MARJORIE DOW (second from left) presented a quilt made up of T-shirt fronts from the first 30 Granite Man Triathlons to the town at the Oct. 2 selectmen's meeting. Selectman Chair Sarah Silk (left) listens as Dow describes the quilt while Parks and Recreation Director Ethan Hipple (right) and Selectman Brad Harriman (hidden) hold the quilt up for viewing. (Thomas Beeler photo) (click for larger version)
October 10, 2013WOLFEBORO — Wolfeboro selectmen began their Oct. 2 meeting with a presentation of a quilt made up of 30 Granite Man Triathlon T-shirts by Marjorie Dow.
Dow has been involved with the annual race since its inception. Granite Man raises funds for a scholarship fund named in honor of her son, Albert Dow III, who was killed while volunteering for a rescue mission on Mount Washington in 1982.
The quilt will be displayed in the main room of the proposed Abenaki Lodge when it is completed, Parks and Recreation Director Ethan Hipple said.
Town Manager Dave Owen notified selectmen that the 2013 tax rate setting will be delayed. All towns in the state were informed by the Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) that, due to a delay in receiving attendance figures from the Department of Education, DRA will not be able to complete its certification of property tax rates by the end of October, as it has in the past.
Owen said the delay will push off the date that tax bills can be sent and that could require towns like Wolfeboro to issue Tax Anticipation Notes (TANs) to cover the temporary shortfall in tax receipts.
Wolfeboro selectmen have been authorized by voters to issue TANs, but there is a cost to that, as well as interest to be paid.
A news release from DRA issued the following day, Oct. 3, announced that even though the Department of Education will not be able to provide final 2012-13 enrollment data until mid-November, they will be able to provide estimates by Friday, Oct. 11. This means the the first rates could be certified beginning Oct. 22. Last year the first certifications were releases on Oct. 19.
Conservation land acquisition
Selectmen approved a proposal from the Conservation Commission to acquire a 5.2-acre parcel at Tax Map 153-3, along Cotton Valley Road.
Conservation Commission Chair Dan Coons explained that the proposal originated with the Land Bank of Wolfeboro-Tuftonboro. The parcel lies contiguous to wetlands and upland from them, so keeping it undeveloped helps protect the wetlands. It also abuts the Cotton Valley Trail along the former Wolfeboro Railroad tracks.
The purchase price is $15,000, of which half will be paid by the Land Bank and half from town conservation funds.
Mast Landing parking
Resident Ken Alger came before the board to propose a reconfiguration of the upper Mast Landing parking lot off of Center Street. He pointed out that there is no legal way to park a vehicle and trailer in the lot and, despite his efforts to find a way to park his trailer, he had received two parking tickets.
He is a regular user of the lot during the season, coming at 4 a.m. and leaving at 8 a.m.
Alger presented a plan for creating six elongated spaces in the upper parking lot, closest to the street. Those spaces would hold a truck and boat trailer without blocking access to the dock or lower lot. He noted that the lot is only full on July 4 and when island residents are having guests.
Selectman Linda Murray said she had taken a look at the lot and feels the signage needs to be changed or added to in order to make clearer where to park. She said she would prefer to use the grassy area in the lower level for trailer parking.
Alger responded that a truck and trailer only fit in one spot on that level and, if a car is not parked properly down there, you can't even back into that spot.
Selectmen Chair Sarah Silk proposed dropping the boat off and parking in the newly expanded Glendon Street lot.
Alger said that no one would want to leave their boat unattended while they parked.
Selectman Dave Senecal said he liked Alger's proposal because the middle of the upper lot is largely unused and the plan makes use of it. Also the plan is simpler and would eliminate trailer parking on the lower level.
Murray said she would like to have town staff take a look at the plan and come up with proper trailer parking signs to avoid confusion and tickets. She also said she did not like to lose two parking spaces on the upper level, as the Alger plan requires.
Alger said he could live with fewer trailer spots on the upper level and avoid that issue.
Town Manager Owen said he would get written staff input and come back to the board with revised language suitable to be a town ordinance. A public hearing would be required too. He noted that the fishing season is just about over, so any change would not be able to take effect until spring anyway.
Alger said he was OK with the delay and thanked the board for considering his proposal.
Parks and Recreator Director Hipple presented a draft Program Partnership Agreement to be used with outside groups and individuals offering programs in town facilities. Two selectmen had problems with the proposal. See separate story.
The board appointed Jim Ladd to the town Energy Committee. The Energy Committee is planning a second Lakes Region Energy Expo at Kingswood on Nov. 2 and Ladd is already helping the committee with planning for that event.
Selectmen reviewed a proposed change in signage regulations for commercial vessels using the Town Docks. A problem arose last years when there was not enough room for the Mount Washington sign because the other vessels' signs took up too much space. The new regulation would limit signs to 20 by 40 inches. A public hearing on the proposed changes will be held during the selectmen's Nov. 6 meeting.
Owen reported that the emergency backup generator for the public safety antenna on Bennett Hill has finally been installed.
The town received a check for $35,281.55 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for work during the blizzard of Feb. 13. A public hearing to accept the fund will be held on Nov. 6.
The Town Hall parking lot will be reconstructed and paved during the week of Oct. 21. Changes to front parking area required getting an easement from the school district for a small section of land. In return for the easement the town agreed to pave the path between Town Hall and Carpenter School.
The property at the back of the Town Hall parking lot is for sale. Owen sent the notice on to the school district, which is looking for additional parking of its own.
Owen will not be able to attend another meeting on county dispatch services on Monday, Oct. 7, in Ossipee. Murray said she would try to attend.
Selectmen reviewed the schedule of 2014 budget meetings, which will be held on Oct. 8, 10, 17, 23, 24, 29 (and 30 if necessary). All meetings are open to the public and will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the library meeting room, except for the Oct. 10 and 24 meetings, which will be held in the Town Hall meeting room.
The Economic Development Committee is looking for a secretary to take minutes for one morning meeting a month. The pay is $14.10 an hour.
Silk announced that the last Household Hazardous Waste Collection will be held on Saturday, Oct. 19. There is also one more opportunity to dispose of unwanted medications safely, on Oct. 26 all day at the Wolfeboro Police Department.
The next meeting of the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen will be on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 6:30 p.m at the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room.