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Selectmen will not fill vacancy

September 29, 2011
ALTON — The four members of the Alton Board of Selectmen confirmed that they will not be filling the fifth seat that has been left vacant since July at its meeting on Monday, Sept 26.

In a workshop earlier this month, Chair Dave Hussey and Steve McMahon each cast a vote for Dean Puzzo, while vice-chair Loring Carr and Peter Bolster each cast a vote for Marc DeCoff.

Hussey said that the board is deadlocked and unless someone changes their vote, they are prepared to go without a fifth member until the election in March.

The board held a public hearing on the replacement of the Reed Road Bridge that was damaged during Hurricane Irene.

An engineer, JoAnn Fryer, and a wetland scientist, Tracy Tarr, presented the Alton Board of Selectmen with the plans to replace the Reed Road Bridge during its meeting on Monday, Sept. 26.

Fryer and Tarr went over the added regulations that the state of New Hampshire has added over the years there weren't in existence back in 1988 when the water company constructed the bridge.

A question was raised about the water company contributing to the construction of the new bridge, and Hussey said not something that will probably not happen.

Russ Bailey, the town administrator, announced that Belknap County will be receiving FEMA funding but isn't sure how much could be contributed towards the construction of the new bridge.

Barbara Howard questioned the added cost with the new regulations and was told that they would add a minimal cost to the project.

Hussey stressed the importance of getting this project expedidited and pointed to the fact that getting this project through the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services in a speedy manner was key.

Road Agent Ken Roberts talked about the project and pointed to the fact that the bridge had been around for more than 20 years.

"It was built pretty good in the beginning," Roberts said about the bridge.

Bailey said that there is between $20,000 and $40,000 in the bridge replacement fund that could be accessed to fund part of this project.

The question of paving for the project was raised, and a total of 2,700 feet would need to be paved, and currently all but 400 to 500 feet is paved.

Member Peter Bolster repeatedly pointed to Hayes Road as an unpaved road in town that is good shape and he urged people at the meeting to go and visit it.

Carr questioned all the regulations that are required for the building of the new bridge. Later in the meeting he pointed to some current legislation recently passed that will tax the sale of knives in the state.

Bolster and Carr went back and forth a bit, and Bolster said he would look into the legislation that Carr quoted.

Bolster also talked about the Metrocast franchise agreement that is being worked on that would go into effect in 2013.

Metrocast is attempting to add more towns to the franchise agreement, and they have said that only towns that pay for the community access channels; 24, 25 and 26, will have acces to these channels.

Other business

The board approved a bid for the materials involved in the improvements to Alton Senior Center.

The board approved a change order for the Places Mill Bridge that added a cost of $1,429, with the state picking up 80 percent of the cost.

The board approved beginning the process of removing trees in and around the area of Mauhaut Shores in West Alton.

Roberts said that the first step in the process would be to go mark dead trees that need be removed and then to put the project out to bid.

The board approved a three-year snow removal contract for D & V Landscaping at a rate of $50 an hour. They also approved hiring Al Bagley to plow Reed Road and another portion of the town at $50 an hour.

The board approved the contract with Carr questioning the location of the company in Belmont.

Later in the meeting, it was also pointed out that Prospect Mountain High School use to have D & V, but they no longer use them.

Roberts said that the school actually provided the town with a recommendation.

The selectmen also approved a waiver request by Downings' Landing to replace 60 pilons.

The board approved a schedule for holloween trick-or-treating of Monday, Oct. 31, from 5 to 7 p.m., which was recommended by Chief Ryan Heath.

The board also approved a request for a raffle by the Gilman Library.

Bill Fauver came before the board with additional information regarding a right of way issue in West Alton at the Wise Owl.

Fauver pointed to several points and even pointed to a Supreme Court ruling on a similar case.

Fauver was told by the board that an appointment needs to be heard on the issue, so that both sides can be heard on this issue.

He explained that he just wanted the facts read into the record so that the board has as much information as possible when and if they do hold an appointment on the issue.

The fence in question has been blocking a right of way that had previously been used for more than 50 years by people living and around the area of Smith Point.

"I would say that you should look at this," Fauver said. "It's fairly important information."

The area involving the Wise Owl is somewhat controversial, as there is also a town beach that is located quite close to the fence in question that features year-round yellow poles that block snow mobiles from accessing the lake, even during the summer months.

These poles are beginning to detoriate and rust due to poor maintanence, and they are located very close to the waters of Lake Winnipeasuakee.

The next meeting of the Alton Board of Selectmen is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Alton Town Hall.

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

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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