flag image
Joyce Endee

Regionalization major story in Barnstead in 2011

January 04, 2012
BARNSTEAD — The Barnstead Planning Board started off the year by working on bringing its code in line with the International Building Code.

In February, the Barnstead Budget Committee approved a bottom line budget of $3,421,748.

The town deliberative session was held in February, where nearly 50 articles were reviewed by the taxpayers.

During the March election, incumbents on the Barnstead Board of Selectmen Andy Houle and Jim Barnard were turned down in favor of newcomers Priscilla Tiede and Francis Vardaro.

Kathy Preston and Clarke Goodrich were elected to the planning board, Chris Carazzo was re-elected as the town road agent, Elaine Swinford was elected as the overseer of public welfare and Karen Montgomery was elected to serve as the trustee of the trust fund and Rick Simoneau was elected to serve as a library trustee.

The taxpayers also approved three warrant questions brought forward by the planning board; bringing the current town building code in line with the international building code, removing the Board of Fire Wards with the Barnstead Fire Chief in the large building protection code and adopting certain minimum housing standards for rented or leased premises.

During the town meeting in March, the voters of Barnstead elected to remove the town administrator position from the town budget.

Among the nearly 50 warrant articles some items included: building a new salt shed, creating a new three-year lease agreement for a six-wheel dump truck, repairing the town loader, establishing a three-year lease for an ambulance and adding to many different already established capital reserve funds.

A special warrant article that would have granted an easement to the Center Barnstead Christian Church failed during the town meeting.

Tiede and Vardaro were introduced as new members of the Barnstead Board of Selectmen in late March.

Dave Murley was re-nominated as the chair of the planning board and Michael Kowalski was selected as the vice-chair in April.

In April, the board of selectmen selected individuals to serve on the Police Regionalization Committee.

The committee spent many months investigating the cost savings for regionalizing the police department and held two public hearings on the in September, with members of the Belknap County Sheriff's Department in attendance.

After the investigative study, the committee found that there would actually be no cost savings by regionalizing the police department and these results were presented to the board of selectmen in December.

In May, the planning board reviewed a biodiesel business proposal, but the parties involved eventually decided against opening up the business in Barnstead.

A meeting was held about closing the Parade Road Post Office in the spring, but the United States Postal Service decided in December to keep this office up and running.

In June, Ethel L. Pinkham was presented with the Boston Post Cane by David Kerr, the Chair of the Barnstead Board of Selectmen.

Pinkham was 94 years old when she was presented with the Boston Post Cane.

A public hearing was held in June to discuss a new 10-year contract that was signed for a franchise agreement with Metrocast for cable services.

In July, the board of selectmen met with the Belknap County Commissioners, several department heads, County Administrator Debra Shackett and Sheriff Craig Wiggin to discuss the relationships with the county and its towns.

They talked about the county needed a new jail and briefly about the regionalization of the police department during the meeting.

Barnstead Parks and Recreation sponsored many concerts during the summer months, including every weekend in July and August.

Old Home Day returned to Barnstead in late August, and it was a great success. Vendors filled the fields and many events including a horseshoe tournament, a magic show, a 5k road race, a cake walk and a classic car show were held throughout the day.

Roland "Bunk" Bunker was honored as the Citizen of the Year during the old home day festivities.

Throughout the summer and fall months, the planning board spent many hours working on updating the Capital Improvement Plan and Master Plan.

In December, Murley presented the board of selectmen with a proposal to update both plans annually, chipping away a little bit at a time.

Murley reported that the planning board would be working with the Lakes Region Planning Commission and the University of New Hampshire on both projects.

In September, an event was held at OSG Paintball, with the proceeds going to the battle against breast cancer.

Thaddeus McCotter, a congressman from Michigan who was running for President at the time, visited J.J. Goodwins in September. The night was hosted by the Barnstead Area Republican Committee.

In October, BARC was visited by New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who presented an update on the date of the New Hampshire Primary.

At the time, the date was up in the air because several states moved their primaries, and it looked like New Hampshire would be forced to move their first in the nation primary to December.

New Hampshire was able to set the date of Jan. 10 after several states agreed to move their primary dates.

In late October, the planning board and zoning board held a joint meeting to address changes to zoning ordinance that combined the wording "Use" and "Area" when addressing variances.

These were several other changes were finalized in December and a public meeting is set up for January on these changes.

In November, the town held a ceremony to bless a new town ambulance.

On Dec. 10, the town lost Amanda Michaud and her son, Avery, who were killed in a car accident in Chichester.

The community rallied around the family and the Barnstead PTA organized a spaghetti dinner to raise money for a trust fund in Avery's name.

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

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
Varney Smith
Garnett HIll
Thanks for visiting SalmonPress.com