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The year in review, so far

Seasonal residents hear updates at summer town forum

August 17, 2011
Gilford's selectmen and representatives of each town department invited seasonal residents to Town Hall for the annual summer town forum Wednesday, Aug. 10, where they received an update from each department.

"There have been a lot of exciting changes in the Gilford Fire Department since last we met," announced Fire Chief John Beland.

These changes included the appointment of Steve Carrier, who worked for the Gilford Fire Department in the mid-'80s, to Deputy Fire Chief, and the completion of their fire training facility. Beland was pleased to report the project did not cost Gilford taxpayers anything; all funds were donated or raised by the fire department.

"We had about $30,000 in work and material into the project," said Beland. "We had about equal that in donated time from members of the fire department."

Beland also reported the success of the emergency medical services in integrating the STEMI program that allowed for victims of certain types of heart-attacks to bypass local facilities and go directly to other hospitals.

He addressed the concern of dry debris accumulating in island communities as a fire danger. He suggested that the town hire a tree service company to chip and remove the debris once a year on each island.

"They're not in a crisis state, but there were some concerned," said Beland.

Deputy Police Chief Kevin Keenan reported an increase in calls to the police department since last year.

According to Keenan, police have received about 3,500 calls so far this year, which is up from last year. Additionally, police have made 102 more arrests than last year; Keenan attributed this to the state of the economy.

Keenan reported the arrest of Kolby D. Fenner for the Gunstock Acres burglaries last winter. In collaboration with U.S. Marshals Service, police arrested Fenner in Brookline, Mass. and charged him in connection with the 15 Gilford burglaries. Fenner faces six to 12 years in the New Hampshire State Prison.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn informed everyone that a resolution to the Liberty Hill hazardous waste issue is still underway.

According to Dunn, the preliminary plan would leave 20 percent of the waste on site; however, town officials are urging the state to reevaluate the site.

Additionally, Dunn reported that plans to reconfigure the intersection at Belknap Mountain Road and Cherry Valley Road, and the intersections at each end of Cat Path, are also in the works.

An update from Katherine Dormody, librarian, revealed more visitors to the Gilford Public Library this year than last, according to their door counter.

According to Dormody, there have been about 75,000 items checked out over the past year, which is typical compared to last year.

Additionally, Dormody said they were getting rid of their collection of video and cassette tapes; the items will be for sale at their Old Home Day pie and book sale.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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