January 29, 2013BARNSTEAD — The results of an air quality study of the Town Hall were in at the Jan. 22 meeting of the Barnstead Board of Selectmen. The report suggested tearing out the old carpet would improve the quality of air.
The selectmen acknowledged the carpet was long past due to be replaced. They discussed getting bids from floor contractors.
Chairman David Kerr stated that, "The environmental report supports doing something about it. We can't leave it the way it is."
The Department of Transportation submitted its report on Barnstead bridges and it showed that many of the town's 15 bridges have problems.
The bridges are rated on a scale from one to 10. A one represents a bridge that is washed out while a 10 would be a brand new bridge. The DOT rates a bridge based on the condition of the deck, guardrails and foundations.
The Peacham Road bridge over Webster stream, which is technically a culvert, was rated a four and put on the municipal's "red list."
Kerr said Road Agent Chris Carazzo was getting the figures for what the cost would be to replace it.
"I'm seeing that we have seven of the 15, not including Peacham, rated at a five. A couple of them are culverts, they are substandard," said Kerr of the report.
Kerr told the board that the report had just come in and that did not leave them much time to add these costs to the budget. He stated that these fives would eventually become fours and, therefore, must not be ignored.
The board had put an extra $40,000 in the budget for much needed gravel. Kerr suggested the board could use that money and asked his fellow selectmen which they needed more, gravel or bridge repairs.
"Both," stated Selectman Francis Vardaro.
"Both," reiterated Kerr. "We may be battling this out at town meeting."
Kerr went on to say that there is not enough money statewide for bridge aid.
Selectman Jim Barnard asked how much was currently in the Capital Reserve Fund for bridge repairs.
Kerr gave the figure of $145,165.02, but stated this amount was designated to pay for the town's share of work on the Hannah Nutter Bridge.
Kerr told the board that they had until the budget hearing on Feb. 7 to decide what they wanted to do.
Vardaro said he felt they should be able to at least start repairs by doing a couple of the five needing work.
Vice Chairperson Priscilla Tiede worried that if "something happened" on a bridge because they didn't take care of it, then the responsibility would fall on the town.
Kerr responded by saying they did not know at what rate the bridges would further deteriorate.
Tiede asked if there were records kept of dates on which culverts were repaired.
Kerr told her Carazzo has been keeping records since becoming road agent, but before that it was questionable. The DOT report does show that Oxbow Road bridge was build in 1924 and has not ever been rebuilt.
"We got our money out of that one," said Tiede.
Kerr said they needed to have Carazzo give them some "priorities" where to start.
Selectman Paul Vince chimed in saying they needed "estimates" from Carazzo as well. That way the town might be able to start with the "cheaper ones."
The Board of Selectmen also acknowledged the achievement of Carazzo. The board received correspondence from the University of New Hampshire recognizing Carazzo for his success in becoming a Master Roads Scholar.
The Barnstead Board of Selectmen holds meetings on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall.
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