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Meredith voters will be asked to fund $100,000 study of new Public Works facility

MEREDITH — After hearing from the Public Works Facility Workgroup at a workshop last week, the Board of Selectmen agreed to seek $100,000 from Town Meeting in March to fund a feasibility study for the development of a new facility.

The working group consists of Town Manager Phil Warren, Director of Public Works Mike Faller, Superintendent of the Water and Sewer Department Dan Leonard, Director of Community Development John Edgar and Selectman Peter Brothers.

The existing facility, built in 1965 at a cost of $55,000, sits on between six and seven acres of a 29-acre lot between Daniel Webster Highway and Jenness Hill Road, which also houses the Police Department and a large landfill. The department's offices are about a mile away, in the former Police Station, on a 16-acre lot on Daniel Webster Highway.

Introducing a slide show of the facility, Warren remarked "I would definitely say that the building has exceeded its useful life. It's time for us to give it a new look."

The building, Warren explained, is failing from age. Cinder blocks are deteriorating, separating and moving. Air and vapors are entering the building. The septic system has likely neared the end of its lifespan. The bay where mechanics work and area where vehicles are washed lack proper drainage to divert waste-water from Hawkins Brook, which crosses the lot between the facility and the police station.

The building is not adequately insulated or heated. Warren said that loss of heat through the roof leaves the temperature inside at "50 degrees, if we're lucky." Moreover, the roof leaks. Faller said that employees returned to work after a rainy weekend to find rusted tools, all of which had to be cleaned and oiled. The electrical system is inadequate and outmoded. Apart from its structural flaws and mechanical shortcomings, the building lacks appropriate restrooms and locker rooms for employees and is too small to provide sufficient storage space and accommodate larger vehicles and equipment, including the Fire Department's new ladder truck. The only lift, which is sized for cars, is 16 years old.

Energy costs throughout the facility are the highest per square foot among the municipal buildings. The garage, recycling shed and transfer station are heated with waste-oil at an aggregate cost approaching $30,000 per year. In addition, vehicles stored in the "pole barn," a large shed supported by utility poles, must be warmed with 1,500 watt heaters then run for 45 minutes to warm the hydraulic systems that operate the plows, sanders and dump beds. The fueling station must be replaced by 2015 to comply with higher state and federal standards.

Faller said that he would prefer to consolidate the department, both administration and operations, at one site. "I'd like to get everyone under one roof," he said. But, he described the site as "very tight." He said that the feasibility study will indicate what can be done on the site.

Edgar said that the public works facility has been on the horizon for some time. The working group has met with with the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Committee, Energy Committee and Conservation Commission and intends to begin reaching out to the general public.

Warren told the board that "this is something we are going to need some outside help with," explaining that a feasibility study would provide the conceptual framework required to proceed with design and engineering. He emphasized that cost analysis should be based on the life-cycle of the facility, not simply its initial cost. He said that Town Meeting would be asked to fund the feasibility study in March 2014 in anticipation of appropriating construction funds a year later.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 October 2013 03:03

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Carbon monoxide detector does its job in Sanbornton home

SANBORNTON — Four of five residents of a home on Threshing Mill Road were taken by ambulance to Franklin Regional Hospital for evaluation after they were exposed to carbon monoxide.

Fire Chief Paul Dexter Jr. said the carbon monoxide alarms sounded in the home at 5:45 a.m. yesterday and all five residents were able to safely leave the home.

He said emergency responders detected positive readings throughout the home. The Franklin Fire Department assisted with transporting the patients.

Firefighters ventilated the home and shut down all of the appliances. A second metering of the home a few hours later detected no carbon monoxide.

Dexter said that carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in all homes and if they go off, people should always evacuate.

Dexter also recommends that as the heating season approaches, people should have their heating systems checked by appropriate and qualified service technicians.

Residents who have questions or concerns about their smoke or CO detectors should call the Sanbornton Fire Department at 286-4819.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 October 2013 02:50

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'Dysfunction Junction' accidents way down with rotary

LACONIA — Police said yesterday that the number of accidents at "Dysfunction Junction" at Weirs Beach have decreased by 40 percent in the year since the former intersection was reconfigured into a roundabout

Lt. Rich Simmons said that the 11 month-period since the new roundabout was opened in late 2012 there have been 12 reported accidents. During the 11 months prior to the roundabout, there were 20 accident.

The intersection of the Weirs Boulevard/Route 11-B and Route 3 earned its nickname because for years it confused visitors and locals alike which in turn led to a number of road-snarling traffic accidents.

The entire project cost about $1.4-million said city Finance Director Donna Woodaman. She said 90 percent of that was paid by the N.H. Department of Transportation while the city paid 10-percent or $140,000.

The project took the better part of a year to complete.

At the time, representatives from the DOT said the roundabout or rotary was the safest way they knew to keep the intersection as safe as possible by limiting the speed of people entering it but still keep traffic flowing through the area.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 October 2013 02:48

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Sandwich, USA 3, Vera Cruz, Mexico 1, but good will the winner after 8th international soccer match

SANDWICH — Thursday evening on Quimby Field in Center Sandwich, the latest installment of the annual USA vs Mexico soccer game was contested (c between Gillette Show (carnival) workers, who mostly hail from Vera Cruz, Mexico, and the adult Sandwich soccer team. Stemming spontaneously between Sandwich players and the visiting workers eight years ago, the game has since grown into a fun community event with a potluck dinner and barbecue after the game. Attendance from the town and fair workers and visitors has grown quickly.
With both teams decked out in orange and blue jerseys provided by Calico Graphics and Olde Orchard Inn, the action was underway after the usual introductions and negotiations by liaisons Ashley Bullard and Jeff Hussman, who eight years ago first invited the international guests to play. This year the match started out at a wild pace with Parker Hanson tallying in the 10th minute to give Sandwich the lead. The Mexican contingent was not discouraged as they pressed hard and worked for several chances at goal, lead by their captain, former Mexican semi-professional, Ali Morales only to be thwarted by Sandwich goalkeeper, and MVP, Mark Brunell. A hand ball gave Mexico a chance in the 30th minute with a penalty kick only for Brunell to make a stunning save.
With no half time due to impending darkness, the teams played on at a feverish pace as Mexican goalkeeper Charlie "the Fisherman" held strong as Sandwich attacked again and again. Mike Lemein broke through with an impressive dribbling effort and slotted the ball near post in the 50th minute and 10 minutes later Sandwich Parks and Recreation Director, Leo Greene, clinically finished a cross from Jeff Hussman to ice the game.
With time winding down Mexico fired in a goal off the foot of Morales and darkness deemed it full time. The pot luck afterwards was well attended and delicious. Organizers expressed thanks to Calico Graphics for jerseys, Aubuchon Hardware of Moultonborough and manager Mark Tuckerman for donating use of the grill.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 October 2013 02:44

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