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Library fundraising and milfoil occupy Tuftonboro selectmen


June 30, 2010
TUFTONBORO — With the economy still worrisome, money and projections for the fall budget discussions were recurring themes at the Tuftonboro Selectmen's meeting of June 28.

Tina Antonucci, chairman of the library's board of trustees, and trustee Lise Gauthier asked the board for direction in the matter of setting their fundraising goals for the eventual building of a new library. Antonucci said that it is difficult to approach donors when plans for the project are unclear.

Selectman Dan Duffy said, "We haven't forgotten you" and noted that the board has voted to address building needs in the following order: fire station, library, and then police. Chairman Carolyn Sundquist rued the lack of a clear answer but said that at this point the board does not yet have firm plans from the architect who is designing the fire station and said that the possibility remains that the new building could address the police department's needs.

"Each month this year, the figures are ahead of every month of 2009," Antonucci told the board, and "people have been asking when the new library will be built." At the same time, with no start date, "fundraising is at a standstill." She then asked the board if they would consider adding money to the capital reserve fund in next year's budget.

Sundquist said that the board will add an amount if they can and suggested a fundraising goal of about 10 percent of the project. Antonucci came up with a figure of $250,000, not including the money already in capital reserve.

Gauthier said that the annual Book and Bake Sale, sponsored by the Friends of the Tuftonboro Library, is scheduled for Saturday morning, July 10.

Milfoil agreement

The board reviewed a letter from the Milfoil and Invasive Species Committee that outlines the purpose and the responsibilities of the three member towns (Moultonborough, Tuftonboro and Wolfeboro) for the use and upkeep of the two diver-assisted suction harvesters (DASH units) to be acquired jointly and the funds required from each town. Each town is asked to provide two members to serve on the committee. Duffy has been active and will continue to represent the board of selectmen, so a citizen is needed.

The selectmen signed the letter of agreement, which has already been signed by Wolfeboro and will be sent along to Moultonborough next – but only after a discussion of what Tuftonboro's commitment to the annual budget should be. Selectman Stockman said that he thinks the mapping of milfoil locations should proceed to assess the extent of the invasive weed and then the board would bring its information to the budget committee.

Duffy said that the town would have to establish a line item in its budget as the other towns have done, and noted that the Lakes Association would serve as the fiscal agent. He commented also that he has been down to the Basin and found that milfoil has made it "unswimmable."

Fire department report

Fire and Rescue Chief Adam Thompson said that his department received notice of eligibility for a 50/50 grant to cover the expense of a new generator at the town office building, which would serve as the center of emergency management operations in the event of a power outage. The $15,000 cost would need to be paid, with reimbursement for half to follow.

Thompson said that he will check to see if the offer will stand until a proposal is voted on in next year's budget, but if the selectmen can find the dollars in the current budget, it definitely is a go. The current generator does not have the capacity to run the whole building; the new propane generator would run the whole building and function automatically.

His department has received complaints of smoke from neighbors' fires causing discomfort, but they usually are made after the fact. The department can only check out the situation if it receives the call at the time of the fire.

Other business

Conservation Commission members Ivy Leavitt-Carlson and Gary Chehames presented a draft of a letter to all abutters of the Great Meadows land area for approval. The purpose is to survey for interest in taking part in plans for a conservation easement. Chehames said that the Land Bank of Wolfeboro-Tuftonboro is supportive, as is the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, and that if some abutters are willing to come forward quickly and together, that appraisals could begin. The board approved the letter.

Sundquist had a contract in hand to authorize John Catalano to serve as the town's consultant for preventative computer maintenance, upgrades when needed and security matters of their systems in the town offices and the transfer station, but the board hesitated to sign a year-long contract when they do not yet have voter approval for next year's budget.

The contract includes 132 reserved hours a year. Stockman suggested that a six month contract might be more appropriate and it would give a better picture of the number of hours needed.

The board signed an ordinance allowing camping on public property, except where posted (19 Mile Bay Beach and Melvin Beach). Permits need to be obtained through the town offices.

Regarding revaluation, 100 percent of the assessment data for the statistical update is complete, and 25 percent of the analysis by Cross Country Appraisals has been done. Information has to be submitted to the state this fall.

Mark Hubbard has been appointed to serve on the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Steve Wingate is moving up from alternate status to serve on the Conservation Commission to take Gary Chehame's place.

The Lakes Region Planning Commission is forming an exploratory Lakes Region scenic byway committee and is looking for three candidates from Tuftonboro by July 16. The first meeting will be August 4. Anyone interested may contact Darlene McWhirter at the town offices.

Sundquist attended the most recent meeting of the Mirror Lake Protective Association (MLPA) and announced that the group has received a $65,000 grant through the United States Environmental Protection Agency for Geosyntec to gather data on the watershed with which to develop a watershed management plan that would include proposed remediation. The MLPA is required to contribute $11,000 and provide 400 volunteer hours.

She reported also that a topic of concern at the Carroll County Coalition of Communities meeting was the impact of recent legislation that will revert back to reliance on a formula requiring property rich towns to contribute to the educational costs of property poor towns. That will increase Tuftonboro's taxes. Sundquist mentioned that of the $70 million raised by the move, $42 million goes to Manchester and Nashua alone.

Town offices will be closed on Monday, July 5, and there will be no selectmen's meeting that night. The board will meet again on July12 at 9 a.m.

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