Selectmen discuss lake speed limits


April 06, 2011
ALTON — The Alton Board of Selectmen met on Monday, April 4, and member Peter Bolster alerted the board on possible legislation that may change the boat speed on Lake Winnipesauke.

Currently there is a speed limit for boats on the lake of 45 mph during the day and 30 mph at night. Bolster, who is also a NH State Representative, informed the board that a bill that he has been getting a lot of e-mails about proposes establishing a 55 mph zone in the broads.

According to Bolster, this area is state waters, but 95 percent of the zone would be located in Alton. Bolster said that there is also a proposal to give the town the right to approve the zone.

Bolster said one version of the bill would give the voters in Alton the right to approve the high-speed zone. He said that he would probably be testifying on the bill when it goes to debate at the state level.

Raymond Howard came forward later in the meeting and called it ridiculous to have a speed limit on the lake. He also questioned if the State Police would run Marine Patrol in the future.

Bolster said the plan is to have Marine Patrol run under the umbrella of the State Police rather than run under Safety Services, which is the current set up.

Town Administrator Russ Bailey reviewed the extended hours at the Alton Town Hall. On the first and last Thursday of each month, the town hall will be open until 7 p.m. Bailey also announced that a rabies clinic will be held at Alton Fire Station on Saturday, April 30, at 12 p.m.

Bolster talked about the Alton Senior Center Workshop, which will be held at the town hall from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 pm. on Saturday, April 9. Bolster encouraged people to come and learn about the senior center and improvements that are planned.

Tammie Croft, a member relations advisor for the Local Government Center, came before the board and thanked the town for participation in the program.

She provided the members of the board a comprehensive list of programs and training that the LGC provides.

Selectman Loring Carr asked if some of the training sessions could be held on Saturdays to make them more accessible to people who work during the week.

Croft said she would look into the programs and see if offerings could be held on Saturdays.

Carr also asked about personnel services that the LGC provides and was informed by Croft that requests from the board could be worked into the process.

Chairman Dave Hussey asked if the LGC is available to do training on site in Alton and was told by Croft that is part of the services that the LGC provides.

Jeffrey Clay came before the board and asked if they have started unsealing minutes from previous meetings.

Selectman Steve McMahon said the board has started unsealing non-public minutes that can be unsealed.

Clay also asked the board if they are still planning to purchase land next to the town landfill.

Vice chairperson Pat Fuller informed Clay that a warrant article was approved to purchase the land for $397,000, with the monies coming from the fund balance.

The board approved minutes from previous meetings and unsealed minutes from several non-public sessions.

Ken McWilliams, the town planner, was appointed as the primary representative for the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) and John Dever, the building inspector, was appointed as an alternate.

Bailey informed the board that Dever is working on updating the town hall restrooms and entranceways to meet handicapped requirements. Ideas for altering the entranceway of the town hall will be coming forward in the near future.

The board was also presented with the vinyl tile that will be used on three sides of the west side restroom in Alton Bay. A cheaper version of the tile will be used on the fourth side, which isn't visible.

The electric system at the Alton Senior Center will be changed and a transfer switch needs to be installed. Bolster informed the board that contractors willing to donate the work have been lined up, which allows the center to stretch out the money spent on improvements.

Fire Chief Scott Williams will be coming to the board with improvements needed in the fire stations in Alton. Hussey is curious about how often the West Alton Fire Station is used and asked for a log for the station.

The board approved an updated agreement with Comstar, which provides ambulance billing services. The new agreement updates Medicare billing information.

The board approved a pair of grants that Alton Police Department will be applying for. The first grant is for providing a safe commute and is for $1,800, and the second grant is for additional DWI patrolling and is for $2,160.

Barbara Howard came forward later in the meeting and asked why the police department needs special grants to do what they should already be doing.

Hussey requested a breakdown of overtime hours for the summer and winter. The board agreed to separate the months of April through October and compare them to the rest of the year.

The board approved several land use items proposed by the town assessor.

A FEMA grant that will be used by the fire department for tanks, masks and other gear totaling $2,435 was approved by the board. The grant requires the department to accept bids for the equipment.

Bailey informed the board about the Reed Road Bridge. The bridge is need of repair, with an estimated cost of $600,000. With support from the state, the town will have to pay 20 percent of the project, $120,000.

Bailey said that the town should get the bridge on the state list, which estimates the bridge would be fixed in 2020. The board approved getting on the list and will provide financial commitment to the project by using the Bridge Aid Construction Fund.

Bolster talked about the bill being proposed for the repeal of the car registration surcharge. According to Bolster, the project in Alton on Route 28 is the first on the list that would be eliminated. Most likely, the project would be pushed back. If the bill were passed, the town would also receive an estimated $31,000 less to go towards construction projects.

The Alton Board of Selectmen is scheduled to meet next on Monday, April 18, at 6 p.m. at the town hall.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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