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Belmont selectmen want second opinion on Engine 2 before refurbishment

BELMONT — Selectmen have asked Fire Chief Dave Parenti to get a second opinion about the condition of a fire engine before any decisions are made to refurbish it.

Parenti told selectmen during his budget presentation last month that he may ask for about $200,000 to refurbish Engine 2, but wanted to make sure that it would last eight to 10 years before the town spent the money.

Saying body rust was one of the key problems, he suggested taking it to Repair Service of New England — or RSNE — of Gilford to make sure the frame rails were not rusted and selectmen agreed.

On Nov. 4, selectmen were forwarded a letter sent by RSNE owner Rick Gagnon which concluded, "In our opinion, it isn't likely this unit will be reliable for the next 10 years."

RSNE expressed concerns about the integrity of the frame air system, the brakes, the air lines, the radiator, the water piping and the injectors. They tested the transmission and engine oil but said the results weren't back yet.

What was not in the report, said Selectman Jon Pike, was any mention of the condition of the frame rails.

"I don't like this letter," Pike said.

His interpretation of the RSNE letter was that Parenti, who was not at Monday's meeting, was against refurbishing the truck.

Pike also said that for years the Fire Department used Winnipesaukee Truck Repairs and said he was under the impression the selectmen were going to get an evaluation of the frame rails from RSNE.

"I think we need two opinions," Pike said.

Selectman Ron Cormier and Selectman Ruth Mooney agreed.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 04:20

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Sanbornton tax rate climbs 13% to $22.97

SANBORNTON — The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration has set the 2013 property tax rate at $22.97 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, an increase of $2.64, or 13 percent, over the the 2012 rate.

The amount to be raised by property taxes grew by $103,303, of 1.2 percent, from $8,676,001 to $8,779,304 while the total assessed valuation dropped by $45,173,395, or 10.4 percent, from $432,619,969 to $387,446,574.

The town tax rose from $7.68 to $8.72, the local school tax from $8.96 to $10.25, the state education tax from $2.40 to $2.56 and the county tax from $1.29 to $1.44.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 04:17

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Gilmanton tax rate drops by $2.27

GILMANTON — Town Administrator Arthur Capello said the state Department of Revenue Administration has set the town's tax rate at $21.15 per $1,000 of valuation which is down $2.27 from last year.

The municipal rate dropped from $5.47 to $4.67 and the local school rate went from $13.93 to $12.36. The Belknap County portion of the rate went from $1.36 to $1.39 and the State-wide Property Tax went from $2.39 to $2.43.

Capello said the selectmen's proposed operating budget for 2014 is down about $50,000 from the 2013 operating budget — or $3,315,218 in 2013 to $3,260,237.

He said yesterday that the board and the department heads also had to compensate for an additional $40,000 for contributions to the state retirement system so, in real numbers, the selectmen eliminated $90,000 from the 2014 operating budget request.

"The department heads were given a direction of flat-lining (their budgets), and that's what they did," Capello said.

As for raises, Capello said none was incorporated in to the 2014 budget. However, he said selectman are considering a separate warrant article that would include some as-yet undermined amount for raises.

Some of the operating budget savings came from switching employee healthcare to School Care, a Cigna Insurance company product that Capello said gives essentially the same coverage but for less money, saving $12,000.

Gilmanton also saved $14,000 by switching their workers' compensation insurance from the Local Government Center to Primex.

At this point, he said selectmen have not finished the capital budget.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 04:14

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LFD’s Beattie promoted to assistant chief

LACONIA — Laconia Fire Chief Ken Erickson has promoted fire Capt. Kirk Beattie to assistant fire chief, replacing former Assistant Chief Deb Pendergast.

Beattie started his new assignment yesterday.

Erickson said Beattie has been with the Laconia Fire Department for 16 years and was most recently the captain of the Weirs Fire Station, where he coordinated fire department efforts for Annual Motorcycle Week.

He has two associates degrees in Fire Science and Paramedicine from the Lakes Region Community College and is earning his bachelor's degree in Public Leadership from Granite State College. He was one of the first Firefighter/EMTs in the Laconia Department.

Erickson said Beattie is the first line officer to move into the chief ranks in Laconia since the 1980s.

"This is a great morale boost for the department to see a member of the department excel to command staff," Erickson said.

Erickson said Beattie has knowledge of Laconia's buildings, its hydrant systems, and his good reputation with the other city departments is well established. Beattie lives in Laconia and several years ago developed the Swift Water Training Program for the fire department.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 04:11

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