Tuftonboro selectmen reorganize board
Public Safety Building March 26 reconsideration discussed
March 24, 2011TUFTONBORO — At their March 14 meeting, Tuftonboro Selectmen signed off on the wording of a postcard serving notice of the continuation of the March 9 Town Meeting to Saturday, March 26, at 10 a.m. to reconsider the 60/40 vote of approval of Article 3, a $3.2 million combined fire and police facility, which fell 24 votes short of the necessary 66 percent majority.
An alternate "back up" $1.5 million proposal for a fire station only, presented by John Simms, Vice Chairman of the Capital Improvements Program Committee, failed with 74 votes in favor and 188 against.
The town has been aware of the space needs of the two facilities and has studied the matter for 10 or more years as the needs have become more acute but has not yet found a proposal that has pleased two-thirds of the voters. The March 26 reconsideration provides one more opportunity to put the matter to rest.
While some residents who already endured the four-and-a-half-hour Town Meeting and registered their opinions are grumbling about the move to reconsider, others, unable to attend the Wednesday meeting, will be coming to the matter for the first time. Voters can expect to ask questions of the Public Safety Facility Committee members at the meeting: Selectman Carolyn Sundquist, Selectman Dan Duffy, Fire and Rescue Chief Adam Thompson, Police Chief Andy Shagoury and Codes Officer Jack Parsons.
Information is also readily available on the town Web site, www.tuftonboro.org.
The March 14 selectmen's meeting marked a transition in responsibilities following Election Day. Chairman Carolyn Sundquist turned over the reins to Selectman Bill Stockman, upon majority vote, and there were minor adjustments in responsibilities. Selectman Dan Duffy will continue to represent the board at planning board meetings and participate on the milfoil committee. Stockman will continue to serve on the Conservation Commission and Agriculture Commissions, and Sundquist will serve on the Capital Improvements Program Committee and the Budget Committee.
The board is still waiting for someone from the community to step forward to serve on the Lakes Region Planning Commission.
Selectmen received reports from Codes Officer Jack Parsons and Transfer Station Supervisor Clay Gallagher. Parsons reported nine building permits and 40 inspections to date and said that he sent the 911 maps to the state. The Department of Transportation maps came in on Friday, he said, but there were still more changes that had not yet been made, so he had to send it back.
Gallagher said that Samsung, through a program with Northeast Resource Recovery, had offered a special $95 pick up fee and one cent a pound for electronics, which the town was able to take advantage of. He sent seven Gaylord containers (around 1,000 lbs.) full of electronics out. He also turned in a page on conflict of interest policy for the board's approval.
Sundquist reported that the town audit went well, with just two recommendations; one to develop an investment policy, the other to clarify the police department's billings for details, which she said they have addressed.
The bids on divers and boat tenders in conjunction with milfoil control procedures have come in "way lower" than expected, according to Duffy, who also noted that people who contribute to the milfoil control effort may receive charitable giving tax deductions. He said also that Alton is interested in using the boats to deal with their milfoil problems, which they would be able to rent.
Duffy mentioned that Jack Widmer, Tuftonboro's GWRSD school board member, sustained several injuries when the step down from the staging at Town Meetings tilted, knocking him off balance. The board expressed regret at the incident.
The board noted with thanks a letter of appreciation and a contribution of $500 to the Tuftonboro Police Department from the estate of Betty Campbell.
More on Article 3
Stockman said that he had been receiving complaints about the motion to reconsider the vote on Article 3 at Town Meeting and some people had inquired about going to SB2, which would require a Deliberative Session and a day of voting at the polls on all warrant articles and the election of town officials.
Rick Friend, who made the motion, and has been accused of waiting until most voters had gone home, said he waited out of respect for the presentation and voting on the alternate proposal and the other articles on the agenda. Sundquist noted that reconsideration was never a secret, and the motion to reconsider passed with a 57 percent affirmative vote, similar to the percentage on the Article 3 vote.
Resident Carla Looten commented that she "came in to vote no, but voted yes seeing the hard work that went into it and the cuts that had been made." Lootens asked for clarification on Eric Roseen's successful amendment to include an access approved by the NH Department of Transportation and an outdoor restroom. Stockman explained that there are about 80 acres behind the building that are intended for recreational purposes and said the original plan had included that, but the committee had eliminated it to save money. "It's a pretty minor cost," he added.
She then asked about whether there would be holding cells. Stockman answered that the police retain prisoners in the county jail.
The board will meet next on March 28 at 7 p.m. in the Town Offices building. Town Meeting will reconvene on Saturday, March 26, at 10 a.m. at the Tuftonboro Central School gymnasium.