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Wolfeboro selectmen decide not to pave Lang Pond Road


by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
January 26, 2012
WOLFEBORO — Following a discussion with Public Works Director Dave Ford, Wolfeboro selectmen decided against paving the Wolfeboro section of Lang Pond Road.

Following a presentation on threats to water quality in Mirror Lake on Aug. 16, Wolfeboro had agreed to make improvements to 480 feet of the road to improve drainage and prevent runoff from the road into Mirror Lake. Of the 480 feet to be improved, 68 percent is in Wolfeboro and 32 percent is in Tuftonboro.

Most of Lang Pond Road, which connects Routes 109 and 109A, is unpaved and the longer section is in Tuftonboro. Since most of the homes on the road in Tuftonboro are seasonal, that town does not plow most of its section, so the road is only actively used during the warmer months. The Wolfeboro section of the road is only paved to Robin Acres Drive. The section needing work lies beyond Robin Acres.

When the project was first discussed last summer, two Wolfeboro residents complained about the dust stirred up by passing cars, and initially Ford promised to look into paving the Wolfeboro section once the drainage improvements were completed.

Ford came to the Jan. 18 selectmen's meeting looking for guidance on how to proceed on the Lang Pond Road project for 2012. He noted that the conservation commission wants to keep the road as a gravel road and that Tuftonboro has indicated it wants to keep it as a country road. If Wolfeboro were to pave its section, the paving would end halfway up a hill at the town line.

The main work involves replacing two undersized culverts in the Tuftonboro section and adding drains that run away from the lake every 100 feet in the Wolfeboro section. Ford recommended not paving, doing a better job of controlling dust and starting earlier, and then revisit the idea of paving in 2013.

Selectmen agreed that Ford should proceed with his planning as he proposed.

Capital Projects Update

Ford gave selectmen his quarterly Capital Projects Update Report, reviewing the current status of 12 open capital projects approved by voters from 2007 to date.

The oldest is the $8,139,740 approved to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant and install Rapid Infiltration Basins (RIBs) to increase the town's capacity to dispose of treated effluent. After the RIBs came on line "unexpected issues" developed and, in Ford's words, "It has been determined that the RIB site has significantly less capacity than permitted. The town will have to use spray site for treated effluent discharge to make up the difference." A balance of $46,926 remains from the original appropriations in 2006 and 2007, despite adding two additional RIBs (making a total of five).

From 2008 the $820,000 approved for Sewer Inflow/Infiltration Rehabilitation has a balance remaining of $146,906. While water inflows to the sewer system have been reduced significantly, there is more work to be done. Much of the remaining inflows seem to be coming from private properties. The balance remaining will be used to reduce inflows in the Glendon/Lehner Street area and other sites

From 2010 most of the $1.2 million raised for Center Street drainage and water line upgrades remians unspent but the project has been awarded to Lyman Construction of Gilford based on bids received Jan. 9. Work will begin later this year.

Of the $99,000 approved for the Route 28 corridor study, $29,938 remains. The Steering Committee still has to determine what to do with segment 4, from Christian Ridge Road to Pickering Corner.

From 2011, of the total of $150,000 approved for upgrading town parking to ADA standards, $121,070 remains. The Clark Park lot was done in 2011 but planned improvements on Central and Railroad Avenues need to be reviewed with property owners before work begins in the spring.

Most of the $150,000 approved for municipal building maintenance upgrades has been spent on the Libby Museum, Dockside, the Public Works garage and sheds. A balance of $4,719 remains to be spent on projects requiring permits.

$53,688 remains of the $750,000 appropriated for town roads. More than 5.6 miles of road were paved and 8,200 feet of drainage installed on Hemlock, Waumbeck, Springfield Point, Forest and Pleasant Valley Roads as well as Bay Street. A lot of the work on Pleasant Valley Road was done in-house and the 2,500 feet base-paved will receive final paving in the spring.

Sidewalks were rebuilt in front of the post office, Cate Park, Black's, the Yum Yum Shop and Nordic Skier. Bids for the section from Union to Glendon Streets came in twice as high as estimated: as a result the site work and drainage will be done by town crews in the spring and the curb and concrete work will be bid out then. A balance of $42,130 remains of the $100,000 approved.

The Public Safety Building drainage and parking lot work was completed. Final paving will await completion of repairs to the building later this year. A balance of $23,122 remains in the capital reserve for this project.

Stantec Consultants have completed surveying and preliminary engineering for the reconstruction of Pine Street and Crescent Lake Avenue. A neighborhood meeting needs to be scheduled to preview plans. Because of the Center Street project, work might not be done until 2014. A balance of $64,729 remains of the $95,000 authorized.

Road improvement fee

Town Manager Dave Owen brought to the board's attention the fact that since 1997 towns are allowed under RSA 261:153 to collect up to $5 per car registration to be placed in a capital reserve fund for transportation improvements. A total of 10 cities and towns (Bedford, Concord, Durham, Exeter, Hanover, Hollis, Merrimack, Nashua, New London, and Seabrook) currently collect from $1 to $5 for this fund, Owen reported, and at least 11 others have considered it. The reason for heightened interest lately is that highway block grant funds have been cut.

Owen acknowledged that it is too late to introduce a warrant article this year but suggested that selectmen keep it in mind for 2013.

Selectman Linda Murray asked Owen to keep track on what other towns are doing in this area so that selectmen have the information when the next warrant article cycle starts.

Other business

Finance Director Pete Chamberlin gave his Monthly Expenditure and Revenue Report for December 2011. While totals are subject to year end adjustments, overall the town's General Fund and four Enterprise Funds underspent their budgets by 4.59 percent: the General Fund expended-to-date total was 96.01 percent; the Water Fund total was 96.75 percent; the Electric Fund total was 92.11 percent; the Sewer Fund was 95.16 percent; and the Pop Whalen Fund was 98.92 percent.

General Fund revenues came in at 100.95 percent of budget.

Selectmen approved an application for a taxi license from Thomas Bryant and Paul Amadio d/b/a IRide. The board also approved locating a taxi stand on the corner of Central Avenue and South Main Street, across from the post office. Selectman Dave Senecal noted that in the past the taxi stand was always at that location.

The board approved using the IRS mileage reimbursement rate of 55.5 cents per mile for 2012.

Temporary event permits were approved for All Saints' Church to hold its 51st annual Summer Fair on July 21, for the Eastern Lakes Region Housing Coalition to hold its second rubber duck fundraiser on Sept. 1, and for the Governor Wentworth Arts Council to hold its 33rd Artists in the Park on Aug. 15.

The board also approved using Cate Park and the bandstand for a wedding the evening of Sept. 21.

Selectmen gave permission to Arts on the Edge Wolfeboro to place sculptures for a second year in Cate and Clark Parks between June 22 and Sept. 3.

The next meeting of the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen will be on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 6:30 p.m. in the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room.

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