GILFORD — Selectmen voted unanimously last night to pay $21,393 to Lakes Region Public Access television for 2013 — the same amount the town paid last year.
The board made the decision after delaying for two weeks while Town Administrator Scott Dunn looked into what other area communities are doing — especially Belmont, whose selectmen voted three weeks ago to not pay their annual fee because they have not been able to find someone to videotape their meetings for later broadcast.
"Belmont is still in the bubble," Dunn said, who added that he recommended paying the dues for 2013 and giving LRPA another year to work on a business plan for 2014.
Ironically, three supporters of LRPA — including station Director Denise Beauchaine, who lives in Gilford — were at the meeting that was not recorded because Finance Director Geoff Ruggles could not be there and he handles that chore.
During the public comment period, Beauchaine thanked the board and told them without Gilford's support, LRPA would likely not exist.
Beauchaine also recommended creating a Gilford public access committee that includes members of the MetroCast Cablevision subscriber base. She said the committee could serve as a liaison to LRPA and could provide her and the LRPA Board direction as to what the community wants from it.
In other business, selectmen adopted a solid waste disposal fee schedule that updates the specifics about disposal but that keeps the residential tipping fee rates at $30 per ton. Selectmen had discussed raising the tipping fee to offset the annual taxpayer subsidy to trash collection but changed their position after hearing from residents who said they would rather pay for solid waste through taxes than see the tipping fee charged to their independent haulers increased. The board nixed Dunn's recommendation that the tipping fee for more than one-ton be increased to $60.
Selectmen also voted to join Laconia and continue the solid waste contract with Concord Regional Solid Waste Resource/Recovery Cooperative (Coop).
Dunn said Gilford and Laconia are part of the same arrangement and since Laconia voted to continue with the coop at the City Council meeting on Monday, he recommended Gilford do the same thing. Gilford owns about 30 percent of the capital infrastructure at the Laconia facility that is managed by Waste Management Corp. Gilford also pays about 28 percent of the operating costs.