Selectmen okay $3,400 project to stem erosion of Gilford town beach

GILFORD — Selectmen approved spending $3,400 last week for part of the Gilford Beach restoration project that will be spent on building a barrier to help prevent further beach erosion. Much of the beach is now down to hard-pack.

Parks and Recreation Director Herb Greene said the support will be on the left side of the beach as one faces the water.

The barrier is part of a project approved by selectmen in February to address the erosion issue. Greene said once completed it should cost about total about $11,315.

While the initial estimate was around $7,600, Greene said yesterday the previous estimate was before they decided to build the support, which will help prevent further damage.

Greene said Certified Erosion Control will install the support with the assistance of Belknap Landscaping Company, which handled all the state permitting, including a dredge-and-fill permit from the N.H. Department of Environmental Service. He said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed with the project.

Greene said yesterday that the goal is to finish the support before winter. Next spring, he said, the town will spread about 13,500-square-feet of new beach sand.

When the project was discussed in February by selectmen, Greene explained that there hadn't been any significant erosion control work done to the beach in at least seven years — the amount of time Greene had been the Parks and Recreation director.

He said that since 2005 there have been three "100-year" storms, including one in October of 2005 that dumped 20 inches of rain in parts of New Hampshire.

He said Gilford Beach also sees a great deal of wind erosion from Lake Winnipesaukee. The wind blows the sand into the trees, where it is mostly unrecoverable.

In March, voters supported adding $15,000 to the Recreation Facilities Capital Reserve Fund. Some of the money was spent resurfacing tennis courts.