February 05, 2013BARNSTEAD — There was a public hearing regarding new town parking ordinances during the Jan. 29 meeting of the Barnstead Board of Selectmen.
In discussing changes to parking ordinances by Barnstead Elementary School, the selectmen opened the meeting for discussion and heard first from Barnstead resident and budget committee member Bruce Grey.
Grey stated that there was no mention of illegal parking in the fire lane at the school in the new ordinances and he believed that was a problem. Grey said he had been in the school area at 11:20 that morning and there were a "…minimum of 10 cars down the area."
Grey told the board he has been to both the police department and the fire department regarding this issue and he felt it still needed to be "addressed in these ordinances."
Grey went on to say, "Fines are nothing…nothing 10 dollar or 20 dollar fine. It has to be enough of a fine to say stay away from there."
According to Grey, the RSA says parking must not occur within 25 feet beyond the end of the striped parking. He stated that parents could just as easily park in the back parking lot and see their children into school safely.
Chairman David Kerr suggested that Grey reread the part of the new ordinance dealing with no parking in public areas.
Barnstead resident Joyce Parsons asked the board to make sure policies were in line with the fire codes. She stated that she spoke with all of the various departments and felt she got "the run around."
Selectman James Barnard noted that currently there were only two signs that state no parking. He suggested there could be more signage.
Selectmen's Secretary Karen Montgomery suggested the issue was not with the ordinances, but with the enforcement. She likened it with dog licensing "…once you get a ticket you see a change in behavior."
In response to questions regarding if people were being ticketed, Montgomery reported that the amount of that revenue in 2012 was zero.
Selectman Paul Vince noted the amount of the fines was irrelevant if they were not being enforced.
Barnard recommended that the board pass the ordinance and instruct the police chief and his men to enforce it. He noted it would not take long for people to "get the message."
Barnard made a motion to pass the parking ordinance. Only Selectman Francis Vardaro voted against it.
Vice-Chairperson Priscilla Tiede was absent from the meeting and, therefore, not present to vote.
Vince suggested the board send a letter to BES Principal Tim Rice letting him know these rules were going to be enforced. They would suggest he send a letter home to inform the parents as well.
The board clarified that cars are not to be left standing, stopped, or parked in the fire lane in front of the school. They did, however, think it was reasonable to stop to disembark "like at the airport," according to Barnard.
Grey mentioned there are also three handicapped spots in the school parking lot that become only two spots with the winter plowing of snow. He complained that when there are games these spots are often illegally used.
Vardaro suggested talking to the police chief and school board to find out why they don't want these parking spots enforced.
Barnard stated that according to Diane Beijer, School Board Chair, the school board does want it enforced.
"I was sent by you board of selectmen to the school board and was told by Eunice [Eunice Landry Vice-Chair of School Board] and Diane they contacted the board of selectmen numerous times to do something about it," said Parsons.
Barnstead resident Bob Drescher questioned if the handicapped sign was applicable all of the time and not just during school hours?
The board agreed it was.
Montgomery informed the board that Road Agent Chris Carazzo was in the office earlier with a request to purchase 100 tons of salt. The cost was $62 a ton.
Montgomery said that Carazzo felt after the storm coming that evening the town would need more salt.
"I mentioned he could maybe buy less until we get a budget," said Montgomery.
"[This] happens in every town every year. We could change the fiscal year… just that first year would have to run a year and a half budget… would be easier in the long run. If he says he wants more I presume he needs it," stated Kerr.
Vince pointed out that if Carazzo wasn't getting a deal by buying in large quantities, it would be better to buy in smaller increments right now.
"I would be more inclined to authorize just a trailer load right now," stated Vince.
The select board unanimously agreed to only purchase a trailer load for now.
"If we have a storm tomorrow night we may need another one, but I would rather do it that way until we get a budget," said Vince.
The Barnstead Board of Selectmen meets every Tuesday evening at 6:30 at the town hall.
|Thanks for visiting NewHampshireLakesAndMountains.com