Moderator, who wants to retire, got most votes in Inter-Lakes election

MEREDITH — Tuesday's election has presented the Inter-Lakes School District with a quandary.

Craig Baker polled 145 write-in votes to take the seat representing Center Harbor opened by the retirement of Carol Baggaley, while John Martin of Sandwich, with 934 votes, and Lisa Merrill of Meredith, with 1,001 votes, were re-elected without opposition.

However, the election to replace moderator Lee Quimby of Sandwich, who did not seek re-election, produced an inconclusive result because there were no names on the ballot. With 28 write-in votes — all from Sandwich — Quimby himself was the top vote getter. Meanwhile, Steve Nedeau, the town moderator in Meredith, and Charley Hanson, the town moderator in Center Harbor, deadlocked for second place, each with seven write-in votes.

Historical Society to host farmer's market at Rowe House

GILFORD — Selectmen voted unanimously Wednesday night to give a permit to the Thompson-Ames Historical Society to operate a farmer's market at the Historic 1838 Benjamin Rowe House on Saturday mornings this summer.

Lancia said all of the proceeds will be designated to the Rowe House to finish repairs that are being done to the exterior of the historic building.

She said the Rowe House has received an Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) grant for $26,999 for repairs to the building that include some repointing, roof and chimney work.

Lancia said the second phase of the project will be to renovate the ell of the Rowe House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Rowe House is located adjacent to the Elementary School on Belknap Mountain Road.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a vendor at the farmer market is encouraged to e-mail or call Lancia at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 293-2877.

GHS principal will move over to GMS next year

GILFORD — The School Board approved moving High School Principal Peter Sawyer to take over as the Middle School principal beginning on July 1.

Two people who attended last night's reorganization meeting said Sawyer said his heart has always been with the middle school-aged children and he was pleased to take over in that building.

Sawyer replaces Sydney Leggett who resigned to form a private education corporation with William "Bill" Lander, the current superintendent at the Alton Central School.

Superintendent Kent Hemingway also said eventually his suggestion is to take the middle school vice principal position and made it a dual position that performs similar jobs at both the elementary and middle school. He said he was making his recommendations because of declining enrollments.

What was not made public is how the district will fill the high school principal position that will be vacated by Sawyer in July.

In other business, the board elected Karen Thurston as chairman, Rae-Mello Andrews as vice chairman and Jack Landau as clerk.

Belmont voters said 'no' so fire department will keep old ladder truck in service

BELMONT — After voters rejected the purchase of a used ladder truck at Tuesday's annual balloting, Deputy Fire Chief Sean McCarthy said the department would have to make do with their existing one.

A warrant article asking voters to raise and appropriate $300,000 with offsetting revenue from the Fire/Ambulance Special Revenue Account was defeated in an election that saw a majority of some 600 Belmont voters reject a number of warrant ariticles.

"We've just got to make (this truck) work," McCarthy said.

McCarthy said the existing ladder truck is a 1988 and was purchased by Belmont Fire and Rescue in 2008 for $250,000. In previous selectman's meetings, Fire Chief David Parenti said a made-to-order new ladder truck can cost between $1 and 1.5-million and take eight to 11 months to build and deliver.

Right now he said the current truck is in service but has often been out-of-service for repairs. At this time, the pump is not working but he said firefighters have been able to use an external pump.

McCarthy said the department was avoiding spending too much money on repairs until after the March 10 vote.

He said it is due for a ladder check-up as well as a few other things that need to pass an inspection.

The Ambulance/Fire Special Revenue Account — or Comstar Account — was established pursuant to a state law created in 1994 that allowed communities to take the money from ambulance run revenue and put it in a special equipment account traditionally used as a way to gradually save money for large purchases like firetrucks and ambulances.

In Belmont the account is labeled Comstar because that is the name of the company that is hired to perform all of the ambulance billings.

Using an account like Comstar, say its proponents, means the town doesn't have to create capital reserve funds for large fire vehicle purposes or see wild swings in the municipal budget when they have to be replaced.
Detractors say the ambulance run money, much of paid through insurance carriers, would normally go into the general revenue account of the town and be appropriated as voters see fit.