February 07, 2013TUFTONBORO — During its Feb. 4 meeting, the Tuftonboro Board of Selectmen tabled a decision on whether to have Engineer Josh McAllister of H.E. Bergeron Engineers, Inc. develop a design to pave the section along Lang Pond Road that traverses a wetland area or finish it with gravel.
It opted to look over materials previously presented by McAllister and past discussions that included Dusty Davies, President of the Mirror Lake Protective Association (MLPA) and come to a decision as to which direction to go at its next meeting, Monday, Feb. 11, at 9 a.m.
At issue is erosion control along the water's edge and reductions in the phosphorus load of Mirror Lake, of which roads are a contributing factor, according to the watershed management plan commissioned by the MLPA. High phosphorus levels lead to increased algae growth and reduced water clarity, which affect fish populations and the value of shoreline real estate.
Selectman Chairman Dan Duffy and Selectman Carolyn Sundquist both indicated that they favored the paving option. Selectman Lloyd Wood said that he has been told that it might be cheaper in the long run, but he questioned if it would create an issue for Wolfeboro, which completed work on its half of Lang Pond Road coming in from Route 109, and wondered if it would affect the grant that the MLPA is preparing.
Duffy reminded the others that another option, posed by John Simms at the previous meeting, would be to do nothing.
Resident Bob McWhirter questioned whether paving the road would lead to extension of paving up to Route 109.
Davies is still waiting for empirical data from the town on the use of salt and sand on the road. In a Jan. 21 email to the selectmen in response to a question from this reporter on whether paving would preclude a grant, Davies commented in part, "In the long run, which position the road is in, whether paved or unpaved, how it affects the quality of the lake water and the wetlands not only depends on the project's design and construction, but equally important is the Town of Tuftonboro's long term commitment to dedicate its resources to continue to maintain the road and the sediment run off and soil erosion treatments built to capture both."
The board intends to respond to McAllister's requests for a design direction following its next meeting.