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Tuftonboro selectmen approve new permit fees

Board hears reports on fire equipment and Wolfeboro effluent status

December 02, 2010
TUFTONBORO — Following a quick public hearing on Nov. 22 with no voices in dissent, the Tuftonboro selectmen made official the new permit fee schedule suggested by town codes officer Jack Parsons. Detailed information is available on the town Web site and at the town offices.

Carter Terenzini, Moultonborough's town administrator, broached the subject of the two towns sharing the code officer position as a means to cut costs, since in his opinion, Moultonborough "could do with less than full-time" and Parson's position is part-time.

Selectman Dan Duffy said that he thought it was a great idea and that he had talked to Parsons about it, but noted that Moultonborough is big geographically.

Chairman Carolyn Sundquist noted that Parsons is also the health officer and attends planning board meetings in addition to doing some odd jobs as needed. She also wondered about the effect that building a new fire and police facility would have on his time.

"Right now, building is slow," offered Duffy, "but things could change."

Sundquist said that she was always willing to look at information, but the board will need more time to consider the idea. Terenzini said there wouldn't be any changes until planning for the 2012 budget.

Fire Rescue update

A new Toyne fire apparatus and its price, well below the $450.000 estimated for the Capital Improvement Program committee, appears to be the "best fit for the department" and the choice of the truck committee according to Fire Rescue Chief Adam Thompson.

He reported that four employees are attending entry-level fire fighter training two nights a week, and he recently attended a class on employee relations.

The highway department paved the driveway of the Melvin Village Fire Station, which will remain in operation, even if and when a new building is constructed, thus bringing it back to paving standards.

The Knight Security alarm system should be in place by the end of the year, and the generator at the town office was sent out for repair and expected to be back in place soon.

Ratcliffe abatement request

Sundquist reported that John Ratcliffe has applied to the Board of Tax and Land Appeals (BTLA) for an abatement on his property, which abuts Bill Holmes' land, the center of controversy for several years for its number of unregistered vehicles (estimated at 45) and assorted items. Holmes built a storage building and, under the threat of accumulating fines, moved much of the offending items into the building and out of sight. He was eventually deemed in compliance by the selectmen. She said that Ratcliffe claims that his property has decreased in value because Holmes has a junkyard next to his property.

Sundquist said that usually a meeting is held with selectmen before going to the BTLA. Stockman suggested that they "let it go to the BTLA" and volunteered to attend that meeting. Duffy agreed, saying, "It needs to go to a higher level." Discussion concluded with a decision to first meet with assessor Dave Wylie and Ratcliffe.

Wolfeboro effluent disposal

Sundquist also said that she had had a conversation with Wolfeboro Public Works Director Dave Ford, and was told that he would be finalizing a report to the Department of Environmental Services within the next two weeks. He said that the town has been limiting its water flow into the rapid infiltration basins to 400,000 gallons a day, which is below the 600,000 gallons a day allowed.

Wolfeboro will be requesting from the State Department of Environmental Services a permit to use the spray irrigation fields to discharge the treated effluent if it is necessary at some point in the future to keep the flow in the basins below 400,000 gallons a day. Ford said that this is a precautionary measure and, if any spraying is done, there will be no impact on the Mirror Lake watershed area because the fields to be used do not drain in that direction.

Fire and safety building proposal

The selectmen are considering the option of building for both fire and police department needs, but leaving the area planned for police operations unfurnished until a later date in order to postpone those costs. The shell would be built and hook-ups would be installed for future use

The advantage of building a structure large enough to accommodate both departments in the building is an estimated 25 percent reduction in cost.

Sundquist mentioned that Bill Magee had sent a letter of opposition to the police station, but in her opinion, the present plan only has to be put up one time. "As selectmen, we have to determine the needs. It's up to the voters to say yes or no," she said.

She said that any suggestion that the town could do without a police force and depend on the sheriff's department or combine services with the State Police or other towns was implausible and read an article affirming that opinion from the Conway Daily Sun citing cuts in the State Police force. Only ten officers are on duty throughout the state after midnight.

Stockman said that he had heard of the possibility of a petition circulating in favor of a separate fire facility to put to voters in March and asked if the architect could provide a set of figures for a separate facility for comparison to answer those questions, but Sundquist replied, " We have to do what we think is right, not what we hear from a handful of people."

Bob McWhirter spoke up to say that he didn't think it was a bad idea to have a cost but added that he liked the option of building the facility and finishing it later.

Sundquist said that the bond hearing will be a time for that discussion.

The board also plans to offer more informational hearings on the proposal and will be listening to feedback. One is expected in January, but first a construction manager must be chosen.

In one of the evening's lighter moments, Sundquist said that a conversation with Planet Aid, which maintains collection boxes for clothing at the transfer station, yielded a small coup. Sundquist said that the organization usually sells the clothes for two cents a pound to nonprofits and does not offer any compensation to transfer stations, since the town saves on disposal costs. She was able to get a concession from Planet Aid to give the town a penny for each pound collected.

In the last report, 4,940 pounds were taken away. Before that, approximately 2000 and 3000 pounds were collected. Duffy complimented her, saying, "You drive a hard bargain." Stockman suggested that any money earned go to the town's Christmas Fund.

Public Input

Dan Bisson and Lisa Conant complained of speeding along County Road. Their home is on Sodom and County Roads, and since they have returned to it, after several years out of state, they've noticed not only the excessive speeds of a few drivers but also the increase in traffic. "They go 50 miles per hour, " said Conant, " and there are no signs."

Bisson also said that there is a culvert on the south side of the road that drains across their property to the north side creating erosion. Stockman suggested a meeting with Road Agent Jim Bean to take care of the drainage issue and thought that maybe installing a few water bars would have the effect of slowing cars along County Road.

Other business

In other business, Sundquist reported that the Callender family has agreed to turn their family cemetery over to the town with the right for burial at the cemetery at no cost. She was charged with writing up an official letter to that effect.

Carroll County Transit has received their buses and expect to begin service in four to six weeks.

Amy Smagula of the Exotic Species Program, a part of the state's Department of Environmental Services, presented her findings on milfoil and discussed her recommendation for its control. (See separate article.)

The selectmen will meet next on Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. in the town offices building.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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