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Tuftonboro selectmen hear fire department, committee reports

June 07, 2012
TUFTONBORO — The total of 157 calls to date in 2012 is a figure in line with last year, said Tuftonboro Fire Chief Adam Thompson at the June 4 selectmen's meeting. A recent call from the police department to assist in transporting officers to the scene of reported burglary in progress on Cow Island was among them.

The department responded when Police Chief Andy Shagoury was unable to quickly reach the Marine Patrol, now part of the N.H. State Police communications system, following a reduction in patrol personnel due to budget cuts.

Shagoury appreciated Thompson's help on May 23. The suspected thief, a Plymouth resident, was apprehended in Meredith on May 29 (see separate article).

Thompson brought up a concern about signage in the town following the last selectmen's meeting during which the board reminded the public that the town is not allowed by law to spend taxpayer money for signs on private roads. That is the responsibility of the property owners on those roads; however, missing (or stolen) signs can pose a problem for emergency personnel. While most of the responders are very familiar with the town's roads, said Thompson, not all mutual aid members can be expected to know the back roads.

He pointed out that the town has authorization over the intersections and wondered if it would be allowed to expend money on signs identifying adjacent, private roads.

Selectman Carolyn Sundquist responded that the board would need to look further into the matter.

Thompson reported that his squad had joined Ossipee Fire Department members in the authorized burning of a house on May 19 and was able to run through 10 to 12 training exercises in the course of its destruction.

He also reminded the board that the ambulance contract expires in December and wondered if they desired to set up a committee to explore the feasibility of buying a used ambulance and running their own ambulance service or proceed with the bidding process, which should start soon.

Sundquist first rejected the idea of the town running its own 24 hour service out of hand as too expensive, but then noted that the cost of the contract was unknown.

Conservation Commission Arsenic Advisory

Conservation Commission members Nancy Byrd, Nancy Piper, Michael Phelps and Steve Wingate brought a community outreach member of a Dartmouth College medical research program to present information on the risks of arsenic in well water.

New Hampshire, known as the "arsenic state" in the 1800s, currently shows excessive arsenic levels in one out of every five wells. A low dose over a long time can have an adverse effect on one's health, according to medical research. A direct link has been established to cancers, vascular and cardiovascular disease, reproductive and developmental effects, cognitive and neurological effects, diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

A standard, inexpensive test every three years is recommended, for levels of the naturally occurring mineral is not static. Nancy Byrd said that her well on Mirror Lake shorefront property was within the 10 – 50 parts per billion range until recently, following the drilling of a well on neighboring property, it went up to almost 400 ppb.

The remedy for high levels is to either install a system to remove arsenic or switch to an alternate drinking source.

The Conservation Commission proposed scheduling a day in the summer during which residents could bring water to be sent off for testing and information could be disseminated; the board gave its full approval.

Tuftonboro Milfoil Committee update

Diver harvesting of milfoil is scheduled to take place off Farm and Chase Islands beginning June 11 for approximately two weeks, reported committee member Bill Marcussen. Volunteers are needed to help transfer the milfoil from the DASH boat to dump trucks at about 4:30 p.m. daily. Marcussen welcomes calls at 455-6610.

There is also an opening to serve on the milfoil committee.

Marcussen was sorry to have to report that chemical treatment will not be able to take place in The Basin area on Tuftonboro Neck this spring, a time of rapid milfoil growth and optimum treatment effectiveness. The milfoil will continue to thrive throughout the summer.

Despite the committee's best efforts at providing notice to all residents in the area, some said they hadn't received notice and rely on the lake as a source for all their water needs, including drinking water, and didn't have time to prepare for the required temporary restriction on usage.

Instead, a chemical treatment is scheduled for September, after Labor Day, when the weed will be actively growing and activity on the lake will have diminished. Notices to all abutters will again be sent out. A second treatment will be required next spring before Memorial Day.

Information on milfoil control is available on the town web site.

Selectmen's updates

Sundquist said that she had a conversation with Wolfeboro Public Works Director Dave Ford, who reported that the Lang Pond Road project has been completed and came in under budget. He suggested that the engineering cost on the large project along the lake seemed high and should be put out to bid.

She also talked with Dusty Davies, president of the Mirror Lake Protective Association. Davis said that the association received a $68,000 grant to cover edge of road repairs, culverts and five demonstration rain gardens, all part of an ongoing effort to slow water drainage and the influx of nutrients into Mirror Lake.

Selectman Lloyd Wood brought up the matter of clean up of the 20 Mile Bay beach area. Sundquist said that though Road Agents have cleaned it up in the past, the property does not belong to the town. Chairman Dan Duffy commented that to do so would create a liability issue for the town. The consensus was that those who use the beach should participate in its cleanup.

A meeting on the fire department building project will begin following the regularly-scheduled selectmen's meeting on Monday, June 11 at 9 a.m.

On June 12, selectmen will meet with Time-Warner officials to come to final terms on the cable television contract.

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