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Selectmen remember former colleague

Board also discusses road projects

by Tim Croes
Staff Writer - The Baysider
April 18, 2012
ALTON — The Alton Board of Selectmen presented David McMahon, the son of Steve McMahon, a token of appreciation for his years of service for the town during its meeting on Monday, April 16.

Steve McMahon passed away last weekend and served on the board of selectmen for 12 years.

Chairman Dave Hussey offered sympathy to McMahon's family.

"Steve left a lasting impression that will never be forgotten," Hussey said. "We will miss him."

Member Peter Bolster presented David McMahon with a citation from Governor John Lynch, which thanked him for his years of service to town of Alton as a member of the board selectmen.

Services for Steve McMahon will be held at St. Katharine Drexel Church on Friday, April 20, at 10 a.m.

A public hearing was held on road reconstruction projects, and Ken Roberts, the road agent, explained the various projects that are planned in the near future.

Roberts talked about Smith Point Road and plans to install catch basins, do some blasting with a water charge, adding a new culvert at an owner's request and working on stabilization of the road.

A question was raised about part of Smith Point Road that was privately paved and crack sealing the road and fixing potholes. Roberts said potholes can be fixed when they come up and that the road will be added to the list of roads that need crack sealing.

Roberts talked about Minge Cove Road and the plans to remove rocks and replacing and cleaning culverts.

Roberts talked about Garden Park Road plans to replace a culvert and use an excavator to dig up the road and blend a new ground up layer into the driveways.

A question was raised about the cul-de-sac on Garden Park Road and drainage issues and about sand being removed by the town.

Roberts said the sand will be removed by the town.

An excavator will also be used to dig up the road on Melody Lane.

Bolster asked a question about someone donating a right of way for drainage to the lake and what would be involved.

Roberts said it has been done in the past and a drainage easement would need to be provided, the case would have to go the wetlands board for approval and then it would come before the board of selectmen.

The board recessed as the board of selectmen and convened as the board of health to hear a case for waivers on a new septic system.

Tom Varney came before the board and explained the need for a new septic system at 241 Mount Major Highway, which is owned by Brenda Falk.

Varney explained the soil is all sand and that the new tank would be 107 feet from the lake.

Hussey said that he visited the site and recommended that the board grant the waivers, which it did.

Bolster talked about the recent developments at the Pearson Road Senior and Community Center and the plans to expand the kitchen and the bathroom.

He reported that an offer will be coming in from a local business to do framing and closure of the addition and the 30 by 30-foot addition that will provide an approximate $20,000 in savings.

Bolster reported that additional donations will be needed to pay for the installation of a new septic system and the major addition.

Marc DeCoff reported that the Alton Budget Committee recently appointed Andy McLeod as the new chairman and that there is an opening on the budget committee.

The board agreed to keep Ken McWilliams serving as a representative and John Dever as an alternate for the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC).

The board approved a pair of draft letters that will be sent to property owners with changes in their assessment, which will be paid for by the assessing revaluation company, and a letter sent to in reference to tax liens.

Hussey reported that he received a phone call from a citizen who asked if they cut brush down on Echo Point to install parking. Hussey said the board could look into the issue, but Bolster pointed out that the area is the lakeshore protection area.

Town Administrator Russ Bailey announced that a reception would be held for town employees that are retiring from positions at the senior center from 4 to 6 p.m. today, Thursday, April 19.

The board accepted a donation of $1,000 that will be used on the railroad park.

The board discussed purchasing a zero-turn lawnmower for the buildings and grounds department and agreed to put the item out to bid.

Vice-chair Loring Carr suggested making the bid more open and not being as specific with the details of the mower.

The board agreed to keep the existing mower, as it still be can be used by the town.

Bolster gave the selectmen an update on the redistricting in the state.

He reported that lawsuits may be brought against the state and that Alton would no longer be part of a seven-seat district as a result of the redistricting.

The board approved the specifications for the East Side Rest Room project, which have been modified several times.

The board discussed the sidewalk project and the use of granite curbing.

The board agreed that granite curbing should be used, with a cost of $20 per foot, and that the project should be put out to bid with the option of concrete or asphalt.

Bailey asked the board if they wanted a professional drawing of the project, rather than just the tax map, but they declined.

Bailey reported that $283,901.79 has been spent on paving in town and the roads that have been worked on include: Acorn Drive, Haven Lane, Old New Durham Road, Coffin Brook Road, Reed Road and Rollins Road.

The board approved to pay for 12 days of pulling of milfoil and authorized Bailey to sign an agreement with AB Aquatics, Inc.

The board approved putting the project of repairing the roof on the West Alton Fire Station out to bid, allowing for a range of warranties on the roof.

The board also approved the purchase of three-quarter-ton truck with a plow for the fire department, with a cost of $25,795.

Bailey informed the board that highway trust fund that was established in 1938 with $5,000 had earned $21,000 in interest over the years. The fund must be used for repairs to the highways.

The board approved land use items recommended by the town assessor that included timber tax warrants, current use applications and veteran's credits.

The board approved a hawker and vendor license to sell light up hats, rings and glasses during the Fourth of July fireworks and Old Home Day fireworks.

Scott Simons, the director of Transfer Station, presented the board with changes that included new containers.

The new containers will allow for the separations of different types of wood, sheetrock and other construction materials.

The board approved changes to the town ordinance that will become effective on June 1.

A draft of the new ordinance will be provided at the next board meeting and new signs will need to be purchased.

Simonds recommended the purchase of 16-foot trailer that is in good condition for the price of $1,600, and the board approved the purchase.

Bolster asked about the opening of the swap shop and was told that it would be open this weekend.

Bailey pointed that the recycling brings a lot of money into the town and that there is now a market for rigid plastic found in toys. But a new bailer would be needed for this purchase.

Police Chief Ryan Heath came before the board to discuss accepting the donation of a military Hummer.

The donation of the Hummer is coming from Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) program.

Heath explained that the vehicle would not be used as a patrol vehicle and that cost to paint the vehicle would be relatively low.

He reported that vehicle had an original cost of $65,000, is now worth $35,000 and has 26,000 miles on it.

He reported that any parts that are needed for vehicle would also come from LESO with no cost.

Carr asked if the vehicle could be used to carry an injured person out and Heath said it could be configured to do this.

Heath reported that the vehicle could only be driven by a police officer.

The board approved the acceptance of the donation of the Hummer.

The board approved the sale of 2001 Ford F-550 dump truck. There was one bid on the truck that came in at $16,051.99.

Marty Cornelissen came before the board and asked if he could move a pair of railroad markers, a mile marker and railroad trestle, from Letter S Road and into the railroad park.

Cornelissen explained that one of the markers was a railroad trestle that marked 94.8 miles back to Boston.

Cornelissen reported that he had taken pictures of both markers. The board approved his request, and the highway department will assist with the moving of the markers.

The next scheduled meeting of the Alton Board of Selectmen is on Monday, May 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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