Sunday farmer’s market planned for Tioga Pavilion in Belmont

BELMONT — Selectmen were updated Monday about the progress on plans for a Sunday Farmer's Market at the Tioga Pavilion by Gretta Olson-Wilder, the town's special events coordinator.
She told selectmen that she has been developing guidelines for the market based on those in place in other communities around the state and that one of the key issues she is attempting to resolve is whether or not the individual vendors will be required to have their own liability insurance.
The Tioga Pavilion is located next to the Belmont Mill and has a 26 foot by 80 foot covered common area. It was built last year using grant funds from the federal Land & Water Conservation Fund, which also funded a river walk along the Tioga River.
Plans call for a Farmer's Market from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on four Sundays during the growing season, June 28, July 26, August 30 and Sept. 20.
Wilder said that she has discussed the proposed guidelines with a craftsperson who is interested in operating a booth at the market as well as a farmer and that they gave her different opinions about the liability insurance requirement, with the crafter saying that was fine by her but the farmer saying that he would not participate if liability insurance is required.
She said that some farmer's markets have their own liability insurance like Canterbury while some have very strict requirements for vendors, like Concord.
Selectman Ron Cormier said ''if you want to put strict liability rules in, don't bother going any further. You'll have a problem getting participation. If you require it, they won't come,'' said Cormier.
Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin said that blanket liability insurance would cost the town about $500.
Selectman John Pike said that he wondered whether the Laconia Farmer's Market required vendors to have liability insurance, noting that many vendors there were selling out of the back of their pickup trucks.
''I'd like to know what the other towns close to us do. It would make their lives (the vendors) and ours a lot simpler if we knew,'' said Pike.
Beaudin said that it was not so much an issue for vendors as it was the town and noted that Castleberry Fairs, which runs crafts shows in the area, carries liability insurance for its vendors.
Cormier suggested that if it was standard practice to require liability insurance then the town could charge an extra amount above the $15 farmer's market vendor fee to help pay for it.
Wilder said that she would research what requirements nearby communities have in place on liability insurance for farmer's markets and bring that information back to the board.
Selectmen also discussed a proposed facility use policy for the Corner Meetinghouse and the Tioga Pavilion and agreed that the minimum fee should be $50 and that there should be a requirement for a $250 refundable deposit to ensure that the facilities were cleaned and that there was no damage to them.
Selectmen accepted a proposal from Castagna Consulting to host a meeting on Monday, May 4 at 7 p.m. on ''What's Next for the Belmont Mill?'' and asked Beaudin to approach the Shaker Regional School District with a request to use one of their facilities in case the turnout exceeds the capacity of the Corner Meetinghouse.
Also approved was a payment in lieu of taxes agreement with Belmont Elderly Housing for a payment of $20,039.06 in 2015.

Field of applicants for 2 open Meredith Selectboard seats grows to 6

MEREDITH — Former selectmen Miller Lovett and local activist Rosemary Landry yesterday applied for the two open seats on the Board of Selectmen, increasing the field of applicants to six when the deadline for applications passed yesterday.

The three elected members of the board are expected to interview the candidates and make the appointments when they meet on Monday, April 13.

A retired university teacher and minister, Lovett served two terms on the selectboard from 2006 to 2012 and was a trustee of the trust funds from 2003 to 2006 and has been a member of the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) Committee since 2004. He has been a director of the greater Meredith Program since 2002.

One of eight children of Irish immigrants and a mother of three with 11 grandchildren. Landry believes her experience in the home and on the job, where she served as both a nurse and paralegal has prepared her to manage the business responsibly and efficiently. With 260 votes, Landry finished fourth in the field of eight seeking two seats on the selectboard in March.

Michael Pelczar, Jonathan James and David Bennett, who came third, fifth and seventh respectively in the election in March applied earlier along with Alfio Torrisi, who moved to town last year

A fourth-generation contractor, Pelczar owns and operates Inter-Lakes Builders Inc., which constructs custom homes. Born and raised in Meredith, he described himself as "a regular Joe" who seeks to perpetuate the character of the community.

James, came to Meredith as a 14-year-old. He served in the Coast Guard, worked as a home builder as well as a facilities manager at Freudenberg NOK and the Spaulding Youth Center, and most recently was director of buildings, grounds, housekeeping and security at the Tilton School. In Meredith he has served on the now defunct Water Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment as well as a trustee of the trust funds.

Like Pelczar, Bennett is a longtime resident of Meredith with deep roots in the town. A member of the first graduating class of the vocational technical center in Laconia, he has spent his life building, repairing and racing automobiles and motorcycles. He managed parts departments at local dealerships in the 1970s before opening his own garage and later worked at Meredith (now Laconia) Harley-Davidson. Torrisi, who recently moved to Meredith from Pelham, is an electrical inspector for the state of New Hampshire who applied in order to contribute to the civic life of his new community.

Fire in unoccupied Belmont home extinguished quickly, cause unknown

BELMONT — Local police and fire departments are investigating the cause of a one-alarm blaze that heavily damaged an unoccupied home at 14 Brookside Circle Friday night.

Fire Chief Dave Parenti said the fire was spotted by a neighbor and reported at 9:10 p.m.

He said crews arrived and requested a first alarm that brought additional help from Laconia, Gilford, Gilmanton, Franklin and Sanbornton, and the fire was quickly knocked down.

He said the fire which melted through the skylight, appeared to have started in the kitchen.

Parenti said the home was unoccupied, but had heat and electricity. He said the water had been turned off.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Belmont Police at 267-8250 or the Belmont Fire Department at 267-8333.

Belmont says conversations continue with LRGHealthcare about renting bank building space

BELMONT — Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin said earlier this week that LRGHealthcare of Laconia was still taking to town officials about the possibility of relocation the doctors offices in the Belmont Mill to the former Northway Bank Building.

"We are still having conversations and they have only been conversations," Beaudin said.

LRGHealthcare spokeswoman Sandy Marshall said yesterday that her company is examining a number of options for Belknap Family Care Health Services but was unable to confirm the former bank building in the heart Belmont Village was one of them.

The topic came up at a selectmen's meeting held before the town's annual voting day on March 10, when the board was discussing some of the tenants that are in the mill and what could possible happened to them if it was renovated and converted into town offices.

During that discussion, Beaudin mentioned that the Family Health Care Services may be interested in the former bank building.

Since the town voted nearly 4-to-1 against spending $3.2 million on the complete mill restoration the town has been on hold as to what to do with it.

The key issue with the mill is that the fourth floor has been deemed unusable for structural reasons and the Lakes Region Community College Culinary Arts Program that was there relocated to Canterbury Shaker Village.

To fix only the fourth floor would require the Belknap Family Care Health Services, which occupy the entire third floor, to temporarily relocate — something Beaudin said she was told would not be in their best interests.

Beaudin said the town is definitely interested in having the family care services remain either in the mill or in the bank building.