Metrocast contract on the docket in Alton


June 21, 2011
ALTON — The Alton Board of Selectmen met on Monday, June 20, and held a public hearing on the MetroCast Cable TV franchise.

The town receives money from MetroCast for granting the franchise rights to the citizens of Alton, and a public hearing, one of many that will be held on the issue, was held.

Bob Longabaugh spoke on the issue and suggested that the new franchise agreement should have money that the town can use to purchase new equipment. He pointed out that the Panasonic VHS recorder recently broke and is something that such funds could be used to replace.

Longabaugh also talked about wiring several buildings in town; the Town Hall, the Gilman Library, the Gilman Museum and Alton Central School. He feels wiring these buildings to host live events to public access channel, for example candidates night, would be beneficial.

Member Pat Fuller suggested that Longabaugh speak up about this issue during the deliberative session next year so that money could be budgeted to wire these buildings.

Hearing no further comments from the public, the public hearing was then closed.

Town Administrator Russ Bailey said that another public hearing on the issue would be held in the future.

Chair Dave Hussey announced that the fireworks would be held on Sunday, July 3, at 9:20 p.m. in Alton Bay to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Bailey announced that a household hazardous waste day will be held on Saturday, July 9, from 9 a.m. until noon at the town dump.

Hussey thanked local contractors for helping form the walking path behind the Town Hall. Hussey thanked Scott Williams, David Morse, K&B Rock Crushing and the other contractors for the time and materials that they donated.

Fuller said the Alton K-9 officer and the K-9 dog competed at a regional event and qualified for the national competition.

Fuller reported that the town of Alton will not be a donor town for this year, as a recent decision by the state that established the donor downs was handed down.

Hussey talked about his efforts to update the town laws. Hussey and the board feel that many of the laws are outdated and unenforceable.

"We need to act on some of these things," Hussey said.

Hussey said that updates to these laws would be coming before the people on ballots in the future.

Bailey introduced a memo from cemetery trustee Shirley Lane regarding an unidentified headstone that was found on Chamberlain Road.

The headstone hasn't been identified, and one suggestion is to donate it to the Alton Historical Society.

Hussey suggested waiting for more time to pass before deciding what to do with it, and the issue was tabled.

Ruth Arsenault asked the board about the current size of the police department. The current department has 11 full-time officers and six or seven part-time officers, one who is funded by a grant.

Arsenault compared the number to New Durham's, which is only seven full-time officers, and was told Alton has more people and more land to cover, along with an increased amount of tourism.

Arsenault also questioned if the board could set a policy requiring selectmen to attend a certain amount of meetings, and Bailey said state law would prevent such a policy.

She also asked about the energy committee, which hasn't met in some time. Vice-chair Loring Carr said the committee attempted to meet several times, but each time they canceled. Carr said the committee has been shelved due to lack of interest.

Barbara Howard said that she recently found out that the school resource officer was at Prospect Mountain High School only once in the past month.

Hussey said he would contact Chief Ryan Heath to look into the issue.

The board approved a low bid for the concrete work at the transfer station with a cost of $107,500. Bailey said that he would also obtain a formal quote to have an engineer on site to supervise the project.

The board approved a barn discretionary preservation easement that was discussed at the last meeting.

The easement includes a requirement for an annual inspection, and Carr asked how this would be enforced. Bailey said he would look into this and get back to the board.

The board accepted a FEMA grant totaling $31,996. The grant is the result of a culvert project at Alton Shores that needed repair.

The board approved putting out a request for proposal for removal of municipal solid waste at the transfer station. The current seven-year agreement is set to expire and the RFP will allow the town to review and compare different companies that provide the service.

The board approved a pair of land use items that were recommended by the Town Assessor.

The board discussed a hawker's permit for Sharky's Dogs & Sausages. The company requested a permit before but agreed to limit its sales to sausages, cotton candy and soda and water, so that they wouldn't be competing with other businesses in Alton Bay.

The board granted conditional appeal, but Carr suggested conducting a phone poll of the businesses to see if they sell sausage subs.

The board approved a permit request by Billy Tuttle to sell glow in the dark necklaces and other items in Alton Bay during the fireworks celebration.

The board approved a new agreement with LRPA, which limits an increase to 2.5 percent, and authorizing Bailey to sign the agreement.

The board accepted a bid from Felix Septic Service to maintain the town septic tanks.

The board reviewed a request from New Hampshire Foster and Adoptive Parents' Association to sell raffle tickets for a new car. The board approved the request, but the approval is contingent on a proper date, location and time that board agrees with.

The board also approved a boot drive for the Alton Fire Department that will be held on Sunday, July 17, from 6 a.m. until noon. Fuller asked that the department contact the Gilmanton Fire Department and look into holding their boot drives on opposite NASCAR race days.

Howard came before the board and asked that they eliminate administrative leave. Howard suggested putting money in an escrow account as opposed to providing employees with paid administrative leave.

She also asked how money raised from proposed raffle would benefit the New Hampshire Foster and Adoptive Parents' Association. Bailey said he wasn't sure, and Howard asked the town to look into the issue.

The board went into a nonpublic session regarding personnel, character/reputation and claims/litigation.

The next scheduled Alton Board of Selectmen meeting will be held at the Alton Town Hall at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 18.

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

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