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Gallus wants to name Jericho Visitor Center for Danderson

February 16, 2011
CONCORD — Senator John Gallus, a Republican of Berlin, testified on Thursday in favor of Senate Bill 106 that seeks to name the visitor center now under construction at Jericho Mountain State Park in Berlin for former Mayor Robert "Bob" Danderson, now a city councilor representing Ward II. Gallus spoke in front of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee of which he serves as vice chairman.

Mayor Paul Grenier and city manager Pat MacQueen heartily endorse the idea, Gallus said.

There is a major procedural glitch to the renaming effort, however, explained Trails Bureau chief Chris Gamache, who spoke against the bill, although not its intent.

Naming is supposed to start with a state agency and then the proposed name sent to Governor and Council for approval, Gamache said. Members of the public or elected officials can spur an agency to suggest a particular name. In this case, neither Gallus nor Grenier sent a request into the Trails Bureau or to the state Division of Parks and Recreation, he said, although he was sure it would be looked upon favorably.

In his testimony, Gallus pointed out that "Mayor Bob" had played a key role in getting Jericho State Park underway by initiating the transfer of city property to the state.

To this day, he continues to volunteer his time to trail maintenance, Gamache testified.

Students are now constructing the visitor center, with licensed tradesman set to do the electrical and plumbing work.

The park's Master Plan calls for an admission fee to be charged at Jericho as of Jan. 1, but likely entrance will remain free until summer riding begins, Gamache said in reply to a question posed by Committee chairman Bob Odell of Lempster. The iron ranger in place for voluntary contributions has not resulted in much money.

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