No support for outside agencies


January 19, 2011
While selectmen recommended the town's $11,209,988 proposed budget, they decided to echo the Budget Committee actions and forego support of outside agencies this year.

While votes pertaining to such warrants have usually been a mixed bag over the years, all five petitioned warrant articles filed by outside agencies were denied last Wednesday evening during a Board of Selectmen meeting.

Requests included $3,500 in funding for Child and Family Services, $25,000 for Community Health and Hospice, $8,762 for the Community Action Program (recommended by the Budget Committee), $11,739 for Genesis Behavioral Health, and $2,000 requested for New Beginnings.

Selectman Gus Benavides, board representative on the Budget Committee, said the Budget Committee voted against the majority of outside agencies this year and felt the selectmen should as well.

Both Budget Committee and Selectmen recommendations will be on the ballot.

"The philosophical question is should taxpayer money be used to fund outside charities," explained Benavides.

Although Benavides is also a representative of the Bicentennial Committee, currently planning out a large town celebration for 2012, the board also voted against a warrant requesting $3,000 in funds to start up the planning process.

At the conclusion of the Board of Selectmen meeting, Benavides gave kudos to the Department of Public Works, after going for a ride along during the snowstorm last Wednesday. He said this particular employee devoted over 12 hours to storm clean-up.

While on his ride along, Benavides also realized one issue in particular needs to be reinforced during the winter season in Gilford. He noted that several residents parked on the side of the road while waiting for plow trucks to come along and became an obstruction to DPW vehicles during the storm.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn confirmed that there are enforced parking bans in town that need to be adhered to. Gilford Police Chief John Markland said that a few vehicles were ticketed Wednesday afternoon during the storm for this particular reason. Markland added that DPW employees work hard to trace down owners of these vehicles to move their cars before receiving a potential ticket or having their car towed away.

The Gilford police have also continued a survey on Potter Hill Road, and requested that the assignment be called off due to the lack of assigned tickets and speeding traffic along the road, which the board authorized.

The board also approved a 2011 Timberman Triathlon application, requesting to use the state highway, although Benavides noted that the aftermath of the race may need to be looked into.

"The Budget Committee mentioned that (the use of the state highway) leaves a cost to the town of Gilford to clean the road up after," said Benavides, who questioned why DPW ends up cleaning the road and not the organization holding the race.

Dunn said while the approval of the application and the aftermath of the race were two separate issues, he was willing to looking additional costs and alternative funds for cleaning up the state highway in Gilford.

The board also motioned to table a request from the Crackling Crow, which was looking for approval of a permit to start up their business. Selectmen felt that since the business representatives did not show up, it was only fair to table the request until the next meeting, and hopefully have some of their questions answered before taking action.

The town default budget of $11,207,660 was also recommended by the board on Wednesday night.

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