April 12, 2012TUFTONBORO — Tuftonboro departments and committees are focused on sprucing up for the coming season. The Tuftonboro Association's annual town wide clean up day is scheduled for April 21 in conjunction with yard sales throughout town and in the parking lot of the town office building that same day.
Code Officer Jack Parsons has been addressing a punch list that includes a lighting upgrade in the Town Offices that is expected to save 50 percent in annual energy costs, replacement of carpeting and refreshing the walls with a new coat of paint. With a new generator in place at the town offices, the older generator is now installed at the Transfer Station.
Also, he reported that someone has offered to take the coal out of the basement this weekend, a move that will open up that space.
In addition, Bill Holmes came in to the office in response to Parson's letter of warning following a complaint regarding an accumulation of unregistered vehicles once again visible on his property and said that he had moved them.
As for road maintenance, Road Agent Jim Bean has taken the weight limits off the roads and the crew has been at work sweeping the roads, filling potholes with gravel and preparing the town's dirt roads for regrading.
Rusty culverts along Canaan Road have been replaced and one of the narrower sections of the road has been widened. Rocks on Ledge Hill Road are plentiful and large, said Bean: his men have been digging them out as they prepare to improve the surface.
Selectman Lloyd Wood indicated pleasure that the men were all attired with appropriate reflective vests and hard hats according to prevailing safety regulations when he saw them out working and asked if there is enough money remaining in the road budget to get through the year, considering that 80 percent has been spent.
Bean assured the group that he made it through last year with less and said that the mild winter allowed money and time to go toward other projects such as tree work.
Transfer Station Manager Clay Gallagher said that his department is engaged in spring cleaning in the mornings when activity is slower and reported that they installed the new bailer. The anticipated $3,000 grant from New Hampshire the Beautiful was received for the bailer. That, combined with a municipal discount reduced the amount appropriated by the warrant article for its purchase by close to $4,000.
Commodity prices are picking up said Gallagher. In March, 44,000 pounds of baled cardboard brought in revenue of $2,932; a load of mixed paper brought in $400; 621 pounds of power cords produced income of $881: scrap metal accounted for $1,398 and 188 pounds of nonferrous metal contributed $184.
Gallagher said the town can expect to see a reduction in costs with the availability of the back hoe to provide better compaction.
He also reported that fireman Caleb Pike taught a First Aid class at the transfer station for employees that was well run and informative. "It was one of the best in a long time," said Gallagher, who said he's taken other classes but still learned something new.
Tuftonboro received income of $8,854 from two tax liens on property sold by welfare recipients. Anyone who qualifies for welfare benefits signs a contract to pay back the town when they sell their property. They are able to receive benefits and remain living in their home until that time.
According to Administrative Assistant Cathy Pounder, the town has reduced phone costs by changing programs within their FairPoint bill. She said the fire department led the way and she followed suit with the town offices, police and Town House. The police department stands to reduce its costs by $100 a month. Wood, a former chairman of the budget committee, commended the move.
The pending cable contract was a topic of discussion once again. Wood suggested it was time to move forward, adding, "You two have negotiated in good faith." Selectman Carolyn Sundquist said they are waiting to hear from the lawyer for further word.
Sundquist and Chairman Dan Duffy took the opportunity to air the town's grievances about the present contract, primarily Time-Warner's switch from the airing of Boston channels to Portland channels, with Roger Wilkins, present as an outreach effort from Representative Frank Guinta's office (see separate article on the meeting with Guinta's representative).
Fred Brownell is the new Deputy Fire Warden.
Wood, the board's liason to the Parks and Recreation Commission, called attention to its full slate of activity: preparation of the town beach and programs for summer; improvements to the Gould property, including two trails and the placement of signs, picnic tables and trash receptacles.
Sundquist said that she enjoyed walking the trails recently and complimented the volunteers for their work. She noted that the steps leading up to the house on the property have collapsed and pose a hazard. Wood said that he plans to meet with Steve Guyer, principal of the Lakes Region Technology Center (new name for Region #9 Vocational Center), and discuss involving Construction Trades students in their repair, among other possible projects around town.
Wood, also a liaison to the Conservation Commission, noted that a boundary line adjustment is needed along the Great Meadows Easement; the commission is looking over four bids for the survey work.
The selectmen will meet next on April 23 at 7 p.m. at the town office building. A public hearing on accepting a five-acre parcel of land containing the Callender Cemetery will be held at that meeting and also the May 7 meeting, as required by law.