GILFORD — After listening to at least five residents from a Belknap Mountain Road neighborhood at a public hearing Wednesday night, Selectmen voted 2 to 1 to install a stop sign at the "T" intersection with Gilford Glen Road. Selectman Richard Grenier voted against the move.
That there was a problem with the intersection came to the Selectboard's attention earlier this month when Public Works Director Peter Nourse told them he came very close to being in an accident there and felt there should be a stop sign on Gilford Glen Road.
Jim Babcock of Haywagon Road, which is a loop off of Gilford Glen Rd, and Casey and Kara Crum of Gilford Glen Rd. objected. They said exiting their road at the "T" was difficult in the winter because it is up a slope and a stop sign would make it nearly impossible for them to get out if there is snow and ice on the road.
They suggested placing the stop sign on Belknap Mountain Road would be a safer choice because it is easier for traffic to stop there as opposed to Gilford Glen Rd.. They also said the stop sign would be more visible.
A woman from Marjorie's Way, which is further up Belknap Mountain Road made the same argument as Police Chief Anthony Bean Burpee — against stopping traffic on Belknap Mountain Road — because they both consider as the primary thoroughfare. Bean Burpee noted that in a commonly used traffic manual says traffic is nearly always stopped at feeder roads and he recommended placing the sign at Gilford Glen Rd.
Nourse said he really didn't have an opinion on where the sign should be but said traffic should be stopped at the "T" from at least one direction.
Selectman Chan Eddy said that in his opinion, safety should come before standard practices and said he would support putting a stop sign on Belknap Mountain Road at the "T" and at some point in the near future putting at "stop ahead" sign further up the road.
Grenier said that he didn't want to add any stop signs at all and felt that a warning sign about "T" intersection should suffice.
Nourse also recommended the stop sign on Belknap Mountain Road at the intersection with Weeks Road should be moved to Weeks Road. He noted the sign was originally placed on Belknap Mountain Road because Weeks Road hosted a busy working farm but that is no longer the case. Selectmen agreed with him and voted unanimously to move the stop sign from Belknap Mountain Road to Weeks Road.
In other action, Town Administrator Scott Dunn told selectmen that replacing the boiler room piping, which is 30-years-old and rotted, in the new police station is imperative and he and the police administration don't want any piping failures in a brand new police station.
Selectmen agreed voted unanimously to take $9,800 from the building maintenance capital reserve account to complete the work.
Dunn also told selectmen that the N.H. Department of Transportation said "several" street lights are being turned off along Route 11, Route 11-A and the Laconia Bypass. Selectmen said they would like to see which ones were not being lit before they decide if the town should assume the cost of operating them. Dunn said they have until October 15.
Nourse said the town received two proposals for re-shingling the roof on the Rowe House on Belknap Mountain Road but neither of them addressed the historic components of the project. He recommended targeting historic preservation renovation specialists in the next bid offering because the job has to be done to meet both state and federal historic standards. The project is being paid for partly by the town and partly through a Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (L-CHIP) and the grant is good through the end of 2016.
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