August 28, 2014WOLFEBORO — Following a public hearing, selectmen voted unanimously to conditionally lay out Stonehenge Road as a town road at their Aug. 20 meeting. The approval is contingent upon owners of lots on the private road accepting a 10-year Betterment Assessment to pay for the work needed to bring the road up to current town standards and town voters approving the deal next March.
Stonehenge Road, a private road subdivision that runs off of Oakwood Road in South Wolfeboro, was approved in 1984. Property owners met with selectmen March 19 to request that the town take over the road and indicated their willingness to pay for any improvements needed to bring the road up to town standards through a Betterment Assessment, an addition to property taxes that pays the cost of improvements over 10 years.
Public Works Director Dave Ford inspected the road on June 5 and found it in good shape after 30 years. He estimated to cost of improvements at $72,342, including a 10 percent contingency. The cost of the assessment over 10 years would be $658 per lot per year, but then the town would take over the plowing and maintenance of the road.
There are 11 lots on the road, of which five are vacant.
The next step following board approval is to prepare a warrant article for voter approval in March 2015. Even though Wolfeboro taxpayers will not be paying for the road improvements, they will need to approve appropriating the funds to do so.
The last attempt by property owners to have their road upgraded and taken over by the town through a Betterment Assessment, Winnipesaukee Drive, failed earlier this year when the developer, who still owns the majority of the lots in the subdivision, voted against it. Reportedly all of Stonehenge Road property owners are in agreement on this proposal, so it should make it onto the 2015 ballot.
Selectmen Chair Linda Murray announced that the town had reached an agreement in principle with Wright-Pierce Engineers to settle its lawsuit over the effluent disposal system designed by the firm. She said an official announcement was expected by Friday, but as of press time this Tuesday the lawyers for both sides were still working on the language of the settlement and the official statement.
A complete report will follow as soon as information becomes available.
Boundary line adjustment
Selectmen met with Victor Drouin of Green Mountain Realty Corp. and surveyor Randy Tetreault of Norway Plains Associates to make a boundary line adjustment between the property owned by Green Mountain at 16-18 Lehner Street and the town-owned lot next door where the former Municipal Electric building is located.
When Green Mountain bought the property in 1998, it requested and received town permission to remove a loading dock on the building and replace it with an elevator and stairway tower; however, the details of working out easements and final lot lines were left to later. The last step in that process is to set the lot line between that building and the town lot next door. In the plan presented by Tetreault, the straight line between the properties would require that Green Mountain acquire about 1,000 square feet from the town lot.
After some discussion the board voted to move ahead with a final plan and hold the two public hearings required for the sale of town-owned land.
Chair Murray began the Aug. 20 meeting with a moment of silence for James Foley, the journalist executed in Syria, who grew up in Wolfeboro and graduated from Kingswood Regional High School in 1992.
Selectmen held a public hearing and approved the acceptance of the gift of a full-size moose exhibit valued at $12,000-$15,000 from the Friends of the Libby Museum. The cost includes mounting the moose on a movable display platform in a natural setting that will include a stuffed beaver.
The board approved special event permits for the Wolfeboro Police Department to hold a Family Fun Day at Foss Field on Aug. 23 and for the Wolfeboro Historical Society to hold the first Applefest in Clark Park on Aug. 30.
Selectmen also gave the Wolfeboro Rotary Club permission to sell Christmas trees on the Clark House property for the second year.
Murray noted that the recent problems with "spice" overdoses in Manchester have not occurred in Wolfeboro thanks to the effort of the Wolfeboro Police Department and Lt. Dean Rondeau to craft an ordinance prohibiting the sale of spice two years ago.
Finance Director Peter Chamberlin gave his monthly report on expenditures and revenues through July. Overall expenditures at 59.5 percent of budget are slightly ahead at 58.3 percent of the way through the year but still on track with the budget, while revenues are running ahead of budget and last year.
Town Manager Dave Owen announced that the contract to reconstruct Middleton Road was approved by the state and awarded, with work set to begin after Labor Day.
Owen also reported that the Request for Proposals for assessing services has been sent out; that an agreement with Hearthstone Homes, operators of The Ledges and Christian Ridge senior housing facilities, on a payment in lieu of taxes will be presented at the next board meeting, and that Employee Appreciation Day will be held on Friday, Sept. 5.
Under personnel actions, Owen said a public works employee was fired for cause, that the Clark House docent Sheryll Ross has resigned, and that interviews of building inspector/code enforcement officer candidates would be held on Thursday, Aug. 21.
Owen reported that the town has applied for a second grant to fix the boat launch at Rust Pond and received notice that it is on the short list for consideration. The fix would involve dredging 1,000 square feet of silt.
Selectmen signed letters of commendation to Jeff Urquhart for serving as acting welfare director until a permanent director was hired and to all Town Hall and public works employees for completing the move to temporary quarters at Huggins Hospital smoothly and under budget.
The next meeting of the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen will be on Wednesday, Sept. 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room.