Residents ask board to fill its vacancy



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THE REED ROAD BRIDGE has been temporally fixed until a new permanent bridge can be installed. Tim Croes. (click for larger version)
October 19, 2011
ALTON — Bob and Mary Bee Longabaugh questioned the Alton Selectmen on whether they would be taking any action during their meeting on Monday, Sept. 17, on filling the vacant seat on the board.

Chair Dave Hussey spoke passionately on the subject for several minutes, explaining his reason for supporting Dean Puzzo.

Hussey, along with Steve McMahon is in support for Puzzo to fill the open fifth seat, while members Loring Carr and Peter Bolster are in support of Marc DeCoff.

Hussey talked about previous comments made by Bolster, who was not attendance at the meeting.

"Bolster talked in the papers, and he talked for me," Hussey said.

Hussey recalled receiving nine applications and said that half of the applications were illegible.

He made a strong case for support of Puzzo, pointing out that he was the only applicant that attached a resume along with their application.

"I look at this as a job, a job that should be filled with the best credentials," Hussey added.

Hussey listed Puzzo's qualifications, including his business experience in both the residential and commercial divisions.

Hussey claimed that he doesn't see any deadlock votes coming in the near future.

"Since I have been a selectmen, this is the only deadlock that we have had," Hussey said.

Hussey had nothing but good things to say about DeCoff.

"Marc DeCoff, I voted for him," Hussey added. "I think he is a wonderful man."

Longabaugh brought up the issue and referenced a letter to the editor that was in last week's Baysider by Greg Fuller, which suggested taking the third place candidate from the March election results.

Hussey talked about Bolster supporting DeCoff because it isn't politically correct.

"It isn't what's best for Alton just because it is politically correct," Hussey said. "We have a chance to get a person in this town that would be a great addition to this board."

Hussey closed his statement by talking about Carr's and Bolster's reasons in different ways.

"Loring [Carr] has his reasons and I respect them," Hussey added. "Mr. Bolster has his reasons and I don't respect them."

Mary Bee Longabaugh disagreed with Hussey's reasoning and pleaded that the board fill the open seat.

"I would like to still have the board filled out to five," Longabaugh added during public input. "You need four gentlemen need to get together and get a fifth person on the board so that the town be run correctly."

She also questioned Hussey's confidence that there would be no deadlocked issues in the near future.

"You may not see anything down the line, but it could happen," Longabaugh added.

Other business

Town Administrator Russ Bailey provided the selectmen with an update on several projects.

Bailey said the Places Mill Bridge has been completed and is operational, but that there are two change orders.

One involves the compensation for the removal of the stone, and the other is in reference to paying for the underground drainage. The board approved both change orders.

Bailey also talked about the Reed Road Bridge, mentioning that the temporary bridge has been successfully installed.

He said that the expected completion is sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

He said that a testing of the structural material will be required, with a cost of $6,050 and 80 percent of that cost coming from the state of New Hampshire.

Carr questioned if the footings would be tested and requested that a requirement of testing the footings be added to required testing.

Bailey said that he will be meeting with people from FEMA about federal aid in the coming days and that he will be talking about reimbursement for fuel and vehicle costs during Hurricane Irene.

Bailey said that he would also be talking about the Reed Road Bridge to see if any aid could be provided for its replacement.

Bailey also gave the board an update on the Bay Hill Bridge. He said that the two change orders; one involving anchoring the water quality unit with a cost of $1,015 and another requiring additional dredging costing $2,800.

The board approved the above change orders.

Bailey talked about the tax rate and said that the MS1 has been delayed.

He said that the MS1 probably won't be available until the first in November.

With this delay, Bailey said the goal is to set the tax rate by Nov. 17. According to Bailey, the tax bills will be ready to be sent out around Thanksgiving.

The board discussed the monitoring well at the transfer station.

Bailey said that a request to install a well in a nearby subdivision has been denied.

He explained that plans have been made to install the monitoring well in another location.

Carr questioned spending the money on a monitoring well and questioned if the landfill is truly contaminating the property.

Carr went on to ask the town to contact the state and then go and compare the water quality at the transfer station with the water at Prospect Mountain.

Bailey said that the approximate cost of the monitoring well would be between $10,000 and $12,000.

Carr requested a meeting with the town engineer and the state to try to talk more about this issue.

The board approved awarding Cartographics a $2,500 contract to prepare the next tax maps for the town.

Bailey and the board approved the dedication for the 2011 Town Report.

The dedication will be made to Pat Rockwood.

The board is encouraging citizens to submit suggestions for the new cover of the new town report.

The next scheduled Alton Board of Selectmen meeting is on Monday, Nov. 7, at 6 p.m. at the Alton Town Hall.

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

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