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Tuftonboro Police calls for service down in February


March 04, 2010
TUFTONBORO — The Tuftonboro Board of Selectmen met on March 1, the last meeting before Election Day, coming up on Tuesday, March 9, at the Old Town House from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In that election Selectman Chair Dan Duffy is running for reelection, with competition from Budget Committee member Ted Wright and Guy Pike, who chose to run as a write-in candidate. Joe W. Ewing, Eric J. Letendre and Tyler Phillips, Sr. are in a three-way race for Trustee of Trust Funds for three years, the only other contested race.

Citizens also running for office include incumbents David D. Eaton and Robert L. Theve for another three years on the Budget Committee; Letendre for Cemetery Trustee; Mary Ann Murray for another term as Library Trustee; Betsy F. Thornton for Supervisor of the Checklist, a six year position; and Daniel Barnard, Jr. for Moderator for another two years.

Annual reports are available at the town office building and online at the town Web site for perusal before the Wednesday, March 10, Town Meeting, scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Tuftonboro Central School. The list of warrant articles is online also.

Police report

The police department spent four days in court in February and has been involved in several investigations. Chief Andrew Shagoury expressed concern that a court furlough day is scheduled for April 2, which cuts available court time, and two more are planned in 2010 to cut costs. He said that the Police Chiefs Association has written to Judge Kelly, the administrative judge of the New Hampshire district and family court system, to express the difficulties imposed by cuts in court time.

The number of calls for service, motor vehicle stops, summons and felonies went down compared to last year's data. There were six accidents, six arrests and 31 incidents in February. Guy Pike asked what the calls for service indicate, and Shagoury responded that calls can greatly vary from calls for information on pistol permits, VIN verifications, reports of lost dogs, to domestic violence disputes.

Selectman Bill Stockman commented on a meeting he had with Dave Wiley, contract assessor for the Cross Country Appraisal Group, in which he was reassured that Wiley would keep selectmen informed on cases involving settlement before the Board of Tax and Land Appeals. Stockman had previously expressed concern that the selectmen would not be exercising their responsibility to oversee those matters if Wiley handled them independently.

Dave Ford, president of the Tuftonboro Farms Association, followed up with the board regarding road work to complete what the developer had abandoned after losing funding from his bank for the proposed 16-lot subdivision. The town called the line of credit and received $22,000 to complete phases one and two. Ford, Public Works Director for Wolfeboro, said that is not enough. He estimates the cost to be closer to $35,000.

He doesn't want the roads to continue to deteriorate and wants to be able to get the road work done this year. He said that if the town had insisted on a bond of surety, they would have the necessary funds for completion, but it allowed the project to proceed with letters of credit, which Ford termed a shortcut. The builder was able to proceed without covering the risks.

Ford said several times that the Association is interested in solving the problem without running up legal fees, which can mount up quickly, but the town is responsible for seeing the project, approved by the planning board, to completion. The standard is to have a plan bonded for no less than 50 percent of the total project, which in this case, would be $233,000.

The selectmen said they could not ask for money for a loan to the Association for it is not a town road and not part of the budget, but thought it advisable to talk to Bergeron Construction and get further advice from the Local Government Center and the Lakes Region Planning Commission.

John Simms asked Ford for an update on Wolfeboro's Rapid Infiltration Basin projects. Ford said that the work of constructing two more basins, for a total of five, has been underway and is almost half done. The crews will leave for the duration of mud season and return in early summer to finish.

The additional basins, which will increase the surface area by 50 percent, are expected to be functioning this summer. He also said that the town has added additional testing sites and that nutrient levels of ground and surface water are below the permitted limits.

The Tuftonboro Conservation Commission wrote to Ford on Jan. 27 to detail concerns related to its findings from studies of algae levels near the seeps that occurred during startup of the basins. Ford responded on Feb. 12 and challenged several statements made in the Commission's letter, and has suggested a meeting on April 19 with the Conservation Commission and the Board of Selectmen to reemphasize Wolfeboro's commitment to the health and safety of the community.

The Commission has provided copies of its correspondence on the matter on the town Web site. Ford's letter may be viewed on the Wolfeboro town Web site.

Other business

Chairman Dan Duffy has been attending meetings on the milfoil problems and said that Tuftonboro is next in line for an aerial survey of its water bodies. He said that Wolfeboro and Moultonborough are "way ahead" on studying the infestation and says that Tuftonboro needs to form its own milfoil committee. There is a request for $10,000 on the town warrant, $5,000 of which will be reimbursed, to share in the purchase of two milfoil harvesters. Milfoil is growing in the Basin and has been a problem around the Melvin Village Marina, and "if we don't deal with it, it can get out of control," said Duffy.

Stockman noted that the timber cutting across from 19 Mile Bay has brought in $1,300 to the town so far. The area has became too soft to continue work.

Simms reminded the board that the Capital Improvements Program committee has three volunteer positions open.

Videographer Joe Kowalski would like to see the committee on the Time Warner service to the area formed soon.

Pike inquired about the upcoming assessment of property as to its timing and effect on the tax rate. He expressed concern that if the values go down, the tax rate may rise in response. Sundquist replied that the state requires it to assure consistency and to be fair. Stockman remarked that it is difficult to make sense of the market he's seen some properties go up and others down, as much as 50 percent in either direction.

The selectmen will hold their next meeting at the Town Hall at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 9, Election Day.

Town meeting is the next day, March 10, at Tuftonboro Central School, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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