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Scenic Roads Workshop planned for Wolfeboro

March 17, 2017
WOLFEBORO — Dave Ford, Public Works Director, brought up several topics at the Wolfeboro selectmen's meeting on Wednesday, March 8. First was the posting of weight limits on town roads. He said other towns in the area have done the same in order to protect the roads. Up to 10 tons are allowed, above that, drivers need to plan to travel a different route.

There are exceptions though, said Ford. He said anyone needing to discuss an exception should visit the Public Works office, located on Route 109A. He added that travelers need to be careful on private roads as well for the same reasons.

Next on his list was an announcement that he has scheduled a Scenic Roads Workshop for Thursday, April 6, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Town Hall in response to issues raised by North Wolfeboro residents about just how roads should be maintained. He said he follows standards with safety in mind but realizes they have to be put in context.

Participants are encouraged to bring pictures of what they don't like. "I can't promise I can make miracles," said Ford, but he wants to open up positive communication with stakeholders.

The meeting will be a time to listen to concerns about road aesthetics, stabilization of disturbed areas and protection of property, trees, and stone walls and explain town crew objectives, highway division budgets and manpower, in order to develop long term goals.

Sidewalks and pathways

Ford then reported that in response to word from the Trustees of the Trust Funds that the Blake Folsum Trust has around $87,000 available for a sidewalk/pathway project, he shared three separate proposals along with "very preliminary cost estimates" to the Pathways committee.

Three potential pathway projects for the Pathway Committee's perusal included a pathway that would connect the Cotton Valley Trail to the The Nick; a sidewalk/pathway along Bay Street to connect Mill Street to Elm Street; and a sidewalk extension on North Main Street from Old Lakeview Terrace to just beyond the cemetery to Lakeview drive.

The committee, said Ford, supported the sidewalk extension on North Main Street as the most practical project. It also fits the amount of the funds available from the Folsom Trust. Trustee of Trust Funds Bob Stewart offered some background. He said the trust originated in 1910 for maintenance of Main Street. In the 1970s, when the road became a state road, the money from the trust stopped and has been accumulating ever since.

The trustees petitioned the court to change the wording of the trust from road maintenance to sidewalks. The judge added land boundaries of North and South Main Street. It can not be used to substitute for an approved project.

Board members voted in favor of the sidewalk extension on North Main Street in light of the wording of the trust. In order to accept that amount (over $10,000 in unanticipated moneys) from the Folsom Trust, the town is required to hold a prior public hearing for authorization.

Ford's memo of Feb. 27 to the Board of Selectmen and the Town Manager said he plans to submit his recommendation to the Trustees of the Trust Funds to move forward with the Underwood Engineers proposal in 2017, with the plan of placing the project in the department's 2018 construction schedule.

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