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Town accepts grant for milfoil harvesters


May 13, 2010
WOLFEBORO — Selectmen held a public hearing at their May 5 meeting on accepting a $5,000 grant from the Wolfeboro Fund for the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. The grant will go toward the purchase of two Diver-Assisted Suction Harvesters (DASH units) to be used in the town's ongoing campaign to eliminate variable milfoil.

Wolfeboro Milfoil Committee Chair Ken Marschner explained that this grant constituted the town's contribution toward the $41,369 cost of the two DASH units. The units will be jointly owned by the towns of Wolfeboro, Tuftonboro and Moultonborough, with each town contributing $5,000 toward the purchase. The bulk of the cost, $26,369, is coming from a grant from the New Hampshire Lakes Association, which was pleased to support the innovative three-town approach to combating milfoil.

Wolfeboro has three five-year plans to eradicate milfoil in process, covering Lake Wentworth, Crescent Lake and Wolfeboro's Back Bay. A fourth plan for Wolfeboro Bay will be launched this year. Tuftonboro and Moultonborough are just beginning their eradication efforts.

In Wolfeboro, the milfoil committee has used a combination of chemical treatment, hand pulling and DASH in radically reducing what were 11 acres of milfoil in Back Bay. The DASH method involves a diver pulling up weed beds and vacuuming the debris with the DASH unit. The unit sucks the debris up to the surface where it filters the plant matter out of the water.

The DASH method is better than hand pulling because the plants are rapidly removed from the work area, along with any bottom sediment stirred up by the process. As a result visibility in the work area remains good and removal is greatly improved.

[Please see the profile of Marschner and his involvement in milfoil eradication efforts on page B9 of this issue.]

There were no public comments on accepting the grant. Selectman Linda Murray did not participate in the hearing or vote because of her husband's involvement with the Wolfeboro Fund. The vote to accept the grant was unanimous, 4-0.

Selectmen also held a public hearing on accepting a $50,000 grant from the N.H. Department of Environmental Services (DES) to develop a management plan for controlling sediment formation and runoff from Route 28 into Rust Pond. A large shoal of sediment has formed in the north inlet of the pond, damaging the shoreline and docks in the area. The boat ramp off of Route 28 allows road water to flow directly into the pond during storms. The plan will not remove the sediment buildup but will identify ways future deposits can be stopped and how to keep untreated Route 28 runoff from entering the pond.

The DES grant is being matched by a $20,000 grant from the Rust Pond Association.

There being no public comments, the hearing was closed and the board voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with DES and to accept the grant.

Other business

The issue of controlling geese on town property came up again. Town Manager Dave Owen said that Public Works Director Dave Ford had met with staff of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services to arrange for removal of the geese. He also reviewed a flyer that informs the public about the geese problem. After some discussion the board voted to have Owen distribute the flyer as widely as possible, including insertion in electric bills.

Owen also reported that Do Not Feed the Geese signs have been ordered. Town Planner Rob Houseman said that the town has an ordinance prohibiting feeding of ducks and other wild animals on town property, so geese will be covered.

The board discussed the terms of bonds for articles approved by voters in March. Murray asked the board to consider using a line of credit while work is in process and not bonding until payments are due, citing the cost to the town of holding onto bond proceeds while paying interest on the funds. Finance Director Peter Chamberlin pointed out that the bond rates being quoted were very low. In the end the board voted to go with 10-year bonds on the $1,490,546 appropriated.

Owen reported a water main break on Forest Road on Tuesday morning, May 4. Water users were notified via Wolfeboro Community TV and radio station WASR. A large section of pipe had to be replaced.

The board approved signing an agreement with the Carroll County Transit Program permitting the county busses to stop at two public locations in town (at the Railroad Station and at the parking lot next to Linda's Flowers and the Route 109A junction.

Selectmen also approved a new policy and procedure on issuing licenses (a result of the confusion involved in considering an application from Wolfeboro Jet Skis) and a new policy on trapping on town-owned lands that requires the Conservation Commission to review any proposal.

A Commercial Vessel Landing Permit was approved for Wild Oats to pick up charters at the town docks (the charter company operates out of Goodhue & Hawkins Navy Yard).

A discretionary preservation easement with a 50 percent tax assessment was approved for the barn owned by Robert North and Ruth Sexton at 343 Stoneham Road, pending the filing of the easement by the applicants at the Registry of Deeds.

The next meeting of the board of selectmen will be on May 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room.

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