5 Gilford residents volunteer to serve on solid waste disposal study committee

GILFORD — Selectmen named the five members of Solid Waste Committee created in January to primarily examine the options available to the town and its trash and recycling needs.

The committee includes Kevin Leandro, Kevin Roy, William Knightly, retired Public Works Director Sheldon Morgan and Selectman Richard Grenier.

Gilford is a member of the Concord Regional Solid Waste Resource Recovery Cooperative. The town partners with the city of Laconia in the use and management of the Laconia Transfer Station, which serves as the collecting point for trash bound for the cooperative's incinerator.

Gilford operates its own recycling facility on Kimball Road where there is room for expansion.

The committee was created in the wake of selectmen trying nearly double the so-called tipping fees to town residents in 2013 who pushed back. Their fear was the private haulers would use the rate increase as an excuse to increase their rates and trash disposal would ultimately cost residents and taxpayers alike more in the long run.
In October of 2014 Selectmen raised the cost of tipping fees to Gilford from $30 to $45 per ton with no objections. The idea of a committee was discussed again and formed officially in January of 2015.

Solid waste or garbage collection costs can be broken down into three-parts: the cost of getting the garbage to the Laconia Transfer Station, the cost of getting the garbage from Laconia to the incinerator in Penacook, and the cost of burning it.
In Gilford, individual residents bear the full expense of getting the garbage to Laconia. The town doesn't have a transfer station or curbside pickup and residents either take their garbage to the Laconia station or pay a private trash hauler to take it.
The costs of transporting the garbage to Penacook and disposing of it was $66.80 per ton and is called a tipping fee. This fee is projected to increase to about $70 for the calender year 2015 said Dunn.
The town of Gilford pays the upfront costs to Laconia and a portion of the revenue collected from the sale of coupons to residents who haul their own or by haulers who pay by the ton to dump their loads is returned to the town.
The town disposes of about 5,000 tons of trash per year. For accounting purposes, the town budgets $350,000 annually as an expense and creates a revenue offset for the money returned to Gilford by Laconia once the fees are paid.
The committee is expected to finish its work by the end of the year and make a report to the selectman about their recommendations about garbage disposal, recycling, dumpsters at the town docks, licensing of trash haulers and other items.

Trash can fires in Laconia

LACONIA — Police are investigating two suspicious trash-can fires that occurred within an hour of each other in the city's south end early yesterday morning.

The first receptacle fire was reported at 12:50 a.m. on South Main Street, near the intersection of Grant Street.

The second was reported an hour later inside the fenced area at Wyatt Park.

Both were extinguished quickly by firefighters.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Laconia Crime Line at 527-1717.

Public Access TV will offer Franklin special deal to try and lure them back into fold

LACONIA — Lakes Region Public Access television is hoping to bring the city of Franklin back on board as a paying member and is prepared to offer that city a six-month trial period for providing services, which would include broadcasts of city council meetings.
LRPA-TV's board of directors agreed Friday to Chairman Chan Eddy's suggestion that Franklin be offered a ''test run'' from July through December at a cost of a little over $5,000.
Eddy said that he will make the offer in writing to Franklin City Manager Elizabeth Dragon so that she can include that amount in the city budget before her May 4 deadline for submitting the budget to the council.
Eddy said that he made a presentation in February to the city council and is hoping that the city, which has 1,975  MetroCast Cablevision subscribers and would pay $10,389,75 a year under the new formula recently adopted by the LRPA-TV board of directors, will see the benefits of supporting local public access television.
Last month the board of directors approved a new fee schedule which will see member communities billed $5.25 per MetroCast subscriber, a rate which will see Laconia pay $26,772.50 compared to the $40,000 it has been billed in recent years. Laconia has 5,090 MetroCast subscribers.
Gilford, where Eddy was recently elected as selectman, recently approved $21,939.75 in funds for LRPA-TV, a vote he abstained on because of his affiliation with the organization. Gilford has 2,727 subscribers and based on the new fee will be billed $14,316 in the future.
Meredith, which has 2,216 subscribers and will be billed $11,634 and Belmont, which has 1,652 subscribers, will be billed $8,673.
Board member Nancy LeRoy of Laconia said that it is important that the 2016 contracts with subscribing communities be sent to them in May so that the board will know where it stands financially.
The board of directors also received a report Friday on progress in hiring a part-time station manager, according to Eddy, who says that the job has been offered to a candidate who has a strong sales and marketing background.
The station has been managed in recent months by interim Program Director Shane Selling, who is also a consultant to LRPA-TV. Selling was named to that position in early January after the directors, citing financial challenges, fired long-time station manager Denise Beauchaine.
The board recently voted to withhold its programming from MetroCast customers in 13 towns in the Lakes Region that declined its offer to dues and contribute to the LRPA-TV operating budget.
Alexandria, Alton, Barnstead, Bridgewater, Bristol, Deerfield, Gilmanton, Hebron, New Hampton, Northfield, Pittsfield, Sanbornton and Tilton all went dark as of March 20. Only Alton had been a paying member of LRPA in the past The other towns did not provide programming to the public access channels, but received the signal via MetroCast channels 24, 25 and 26.