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Castleberry Fairs

Wolfeboro selectmen reach decisions on three outstanding matters

by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
September 27, 2012
WOLFEBORO — Three matters left outstanding at the last Board of Selectmen meeting were settled by Wolfeboro selectmen at their Sept. 19 meeting.

The most controversial matter was a proposed new policy allowing island residents to store their boat trailers in the auxiliary parking lot at the Pop Whalen Ice Arena from April to October. At the Sept. 5 selectmen's meeting several objections were raised, including that it would provide a special service to a limited number of property owners and the free parking would take business away from commercial arenas.

Timothy Ouhrabka spoke on Sept., 19 on behalf of island residents, particularly those on Lake Wentworth. He said that island residents do not have practical places to park their trailers and this summer trailers parked at Mast Landing were ticketed and towed. He said that Lake Wentworth residents don't have a fireboat as on Lake Winnipesaukee or police protection and noted his cabin had been broken into three times. Islanders don't use town water or sewer or put kids in the school system. At the same time the residents do things like patrol for milfoil. He concluded that it was not fair to require islanders to pay to park elsewhere.

In a letter written to the board, Kathy and Dick Eaton on Triggs Island on Lake Wentworth noted that Gilford provides docks for town residents only and a dumpster only for islander. Use they supported allowing only islands residents to park their boat trailers.

Parks and Recreation Director Ethan Hipple reported that he had done some measurements at the auxiliary parking lot at Pop Whalen (the proposed storage site) and estimated that boat 25 boat trailers would fit.

Hipple said that allow island residents only to park their trailers would also benefit other Wolfeboro residents by relieving crowding near docks, as at Mast Landing. He was also concerned about the impact on his staff if the parking were opened to all residents.

Selectman Chair Linda Murray gave her opinion that she did not see this type of trailer parking taking away from businesses like marinas that offered locked storage since this lot, while lighted was not locked.

Selectman Sarah Silk agreed with Hipple about parking at Mast Landing being crowded since people hiking on the path also parked there. She pointed out that parking for hikers is also available in the town lot next to Linda's Flowers further in on Center Street.

Selectmen Dave Bowers, Dave Senecal and Chuck Storm were also in favor. The new policy passed 5-0, after the wording was changed to make it clear that only boat trailer parking was allowed.

Landing permit

The second outstanding matter from the last meeting was a Commercial Vessel Landing Permit for the mailboat operated by Sandy McKenzie. At issue were the fact that McKenzie did not own the boat and did not provide evidence that the boat's owner, Dive Winnipesaukee, approved applying for the permit. McKenzie provided a letter from Dive Winnipesaukee and it was established that the ordinance provided applications from an "owner/operator." The permit was approved.

A related issue was a sign mounted on the dock advertising mailboat rides. McKenzie had argued that the sign was a grandfathered use and Town Planner Rob Houseman confirmed that the new sign was the same size as the one it replaced.

Libby artifacts

The final matter concerned the acceptance by the Libby Museum of a collection of Native American artifacts from the estate of J.C. Klinck with an appraised value of $7,500. Libby Director Lauren Hammond has secured agreement from the estate that the museum could only guarantee that it would retain the artifacts for two years and that there was also no guarantee that they would be exhibited: these were terms selectmen had suggested at the first public hearing.

Murray reiterated her view that the museum should maintain a focus on natural history and the selectmen should help clarify the collection policy. However, she also noted that the museum does have a number of other art objects.

The board voted to accept the gift of artifacts under the terms specified.

Town Hall repairs

Rob Houseman gave the board an update on Town Hall repairs. Asbestos removal has been completed. Heckman's Flooring was low bidder on replacement carpeting at $19,150; work is expected to be done the second week of October. AeCon was hired to develop specifications for bidding on dehumidification: the focus would be on areas with active storage and other less active areas would be vented. AeCon will manage the project and get three bids.

Only one bid for the electrical work was received, from Rick Burns, Houseman said he had asked several local electricians to bid but has not yet received another bid after four weeks.

SFC was hired to pre-qualify bidders for the security system. Eight firms were invited to bid, four came to the pre-bid meeting and two submitted bids. The low bid came from Knight Security for $33,816.

NCA has the contract to develop window specifications for bidding. Houseman raised a concern that replacement of the front windows is a problem since the comprehensive design for the building changed the number of entrances from four to one. If the windows are replaced that work may be "thrown away" when the complete project is finally undertaken.

Silk gave view that the windows might not be done anyway.

Other business

Selectmen gave approval for the Wolfeboro Area Chamber of Commerce to provide winter access for snowmobiles from the lake through Cate Park. Last year the ice was not thick enough. Selectman Bowers, who owns the dock next to the landing place, asked that the ice curtain placed on Town Dock 4 to allow the ice to form at Cate Park be removed promptly once the ice begins to break up in the spring to avoid damage to his dock.

Finance Director Pete Chamberlin reported that the refinancing of three water bonds has produced a net present value saving of $299,889.54 in interest over the remaining life of the bonds, $34,000 more than originally estimated.

Chamberlin also presented his monthly report on revenue and expenditures through August. Expenses continue to be in line with budget (65.99 percent expended at 66.64 percent through the year). Revenues are also in line overall though water and sewer revenues are down.

Town Manager Dave Owen reported that six firms have bid on the town assessing contract. A committee needs to be set up to evaluate the bids and interview the bidders. Murray agreed to be on the committee.

Owen reported that new pension rates will take effect on July 1, 2013 at three percent for general employees and five percent for police and fire personnel.

Another call firefighter has been appointed: Margaret Fraser, who is also an EMT.

Pleasant Valley Road was scheduled to be paved beginning Sept. 21. Paving of Glendon and Lehner Streets and the parking lot will follow and on Oct. 1 the final coat for Depot Square, and Central and Railroad Avenues will be applied.

The residents of Brummitt Court have sent a letter asking the town to revisit the paving of that private way. Murray said that Owen should make sure all details of the proposal are put in writing and compared with the costs developed earlier by Dave Ford and that a draft easement is submitted before a meeting is held.

The board also received 2013 funding requests from 14 nonprofit agencies serving the town. See separate story on page A2.

The next meeting of the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen will be on Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room.

Garnett Hill
Parker Village
Martin Lord Osman
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