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Residents voice concerns over snowmobile right-of-way


by Tim Croes
Staff Writer - The Baysider
April 22, 2014
ALTON — The Alton Board of Selectmen spent an hour during its Monday, April 21, meeting hearing complaints and reasoning regarding a right of way issue on Rand Hill Road.

A public hearing was held and people for and against keeping a right of way open for the Mount Major Snowmobile Club spoke to the board and relayed their opinions.

Several neighbors in the area objected to the club using the right of way because of the noise it causes and concerns about safety and concerns about snowmobiles going to too fast along the right of way.

Bob Bergeron explained that the club has tried to get an easement from a neighbor, which would solve the issue of using the town right of way, but they have had no luck in getting that easement, and the citizen actually lives in Texas.

Ron Arsenault, a representative from New Hampshire Fish and Game, said he has spent time in the area several times and found no snowmobiles going above the allowed speed along the right of way. The speed limit along the right of way is 10 miles per hour.

The board said they would take all the comments and concerns into advisement and would be making a decision in the near future.

It was announced that there is $260 in an old account that will be used toward Old Home Weekend this year.

The board approved an invoice of $110 to replace a picnic table that was damaged by a town plow at Shibley's Ice Cream Stand over the winter.

The board reviewed a draft to formalize a town policy on handling Right to Know requests and approved Cydney Johnson's position on the Parks and Recreation Commission.

The board approved allowing the town assessor to sign intent to excavate permits, and they will still be reviewing the applications as they come into the town.

The board approved encumbering funds to replace the hood on a town truck, with the money collected from an insurance claim already available.

Russ Bailey, the town administrator, informed the board that there is an issue with a drain located near the area formerly called Downing's Landing that is now owned by New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The board approved a policy on town employees regarding firearms. The policy states that town employees can't carry a gun on them while on clock, but they are allowed to store them in their vehicle if properly stored.

Bailey talked about the plans for Monument Square and said the project is scheduled to be finished prior to Memorial Day weekend. He said the sidewalk projects are next on the list of projects in town, and several roads that were given a top coat last year will receive a final paved area this spring and summer.

The board approved adding additional parking to the Gilman Museum and moving a utility pole.

Bailey talked about the project on Stockbridge Corner Road and that notifications would have to be sent out regarding the closing of the New Durham portion of the road in late June. Additionally, the board agreed that a sign should be added to Route 11 indicating when the road would be closed.

Bailey announced that bids were going out for work on the bandstand, the highway department roof and the new foundation for the senior center. The board approved for survey work on several roads in town to be completed.

The board approved purchasing a new cedar wood sign for the Robert's Cove Beach, approved items recommended by the town assessor, a new agreement with the New Hampshire Humane Society, appointing Ken McWilliams and John Dever to serve on the Transportation Advisory Committee and the Alton Business Association's application for the parade on Aug. 9 during Old Home Weekend.

Police Chief Ryan Heath came before the board to discuss outfitting the four 2014 Dodge Chargers that will be coming to the department in the coming weeks.

The board authorized Heath to spend up to $134,000 for the four vehicles, and that includes graphics for the entire fleet totaling nearly $7,000 and police equipment, lights, etc for the four new vehicles.

The board approved the minutes from the April 7 and 10 meetings. The board is set to interview the six candidates for the opening on the board this week and should be making a decision in the coming weeks.

The next scheduled meeting of the Alton Board of Selectmen is on Monday, May 5, at 6 p.m. at the Alton Town Hall.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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