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Gilford will look at compacting recyclables

GILFORD — Selectmen told representatives of the Public Works Department Wednesday night they are interested in learning more about leasing a compactor-equipped container for use at the town's Recycling Center.

Operations Manager Mia Gagliardi said her research shows that as of now, Casella provides the town with three roll-off containers each able to hold 30 yards.

She said there is no rental fee but the town is charged $120 for each container that gets shipped to the market and much of what is shipped is air. With each container holds about 2 tons worth of material and it costs the town about $60 per ton to have it hauled off.

She suggested leasing one 20-yard container with compactor would reduce the number of times containers need to be shipped to the market.

With funding in the budget to build three 30-yard concrete pads for the existing containers, Gagliardi calculated that the town could save money by instead building two 20-yard concrete pads. One would hold the 20-yard containers/compactor and the second would hold a regular container to be used as backup when the compactor is being emptied.

Selectmen said they liked the idea but suggested she get prices for two 30-yard concrete pads in case the town's recycling needs expand in the future.

Gagliardi said she would return to the next meeting with prices for both.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 April 2014 12:55

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Gilmanton warning shot incident involved rented land & burial of a pet

GILMANTON — According to information obtained yesterday from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, the people a Bean Road man was trying to scare of his rented property by firing a gun in the air were relatives of the property owner, who had been given permission to bury a family pet on the land.

Affidavits submitted to the court by Gilmanton Police said Jeffrey Sargent, 38, of 8 Bean Road was outside tending his boiler on April 16 around noon when police arrived.

At that point he was unarmed and told police that he had been yelling at the alleged victims and telling them they were on private property. He said he fired one shot and then ran down the driveway, yelling at the people and fired a second shot in the same general direction.

One of the perceived intruders said he and his son had permission to bury the body of their dog on their in-laws land but when they headed past 8 Bean Road and up a Class 6 road, he heard someone yelling and what he thought was a gunshot.

He said he continued to the spot where he wanted to bury the dog and called his wife who called the police. The victim told police he didn't feel safe until he saw a cruiser coming up the road.

A Sheriff's deputy found two spent .40 caliber casings.

Sargent invited the two officers into his house and showed the police where the gun was. Officers said they had his permission to handle it (it was loaded) and recorded 11 bullets in a 13-round magazine and the serial number.

Sargent told police that at no time was he afraid of the people in the car and he was not in fear of his life. He said he just wanted them off his property.

Police arrested Sargent Wednesday night and he was ordered held on $500 cash and $5,000 personal recognizance bail by Judge Jim Carroll after appearing Thursday morning in a video appearance.

Carroll also ordered him not to possession any weapons, not to consume any alcohol or non-prescribed drugs, and to stay away from the victims.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 April 2014 12:45

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Chemung brush fire results from chain reaction started by high winds

MEREDITH — Firefighters spent nearly three-quarters of an hour corralling and dousing a brush fire that broke out shortly after 1 p.m. yesterday on steep slopes and rough terrain off Swain Road in the Chemung.

Fire Chief Ken Jones said that the fire appeared to have started when wind snapped a tree limb, downing power lines and setting the abundant dry tinder alight.

"We had two separate fires," he said, adding that together they burned about an acre. The challenge for firefighters, Jones said, was stretching hose over steep ground littered with fallen limbs and strewn with rocks.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 April 2014 12:35

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Union planning to make itself heard prior to lawmaker's vote on contract

LACONIA — By rallying at the Belknap County Complex on Monday afternoon, officials and members of the State Employees Association (SEA) hope to bring pressure to bear on the Belknap County Convention when it meets that evening to consider funding a new contract negotiated by the union on behalf of 80 employees of the county nursing home.
Earlier this month the Belknap County Commission ratified the one-year collective bargaining agreement, but the convention must authorize a supplemental appropriation of $336,170 to fund the cost items in the contract.
Beth D'Ovidio of the SEA said that union officials, including President Diane Lacey of Belmont, will join county employees at 3:30 p.m. to urge the convention to fund the contract when it convenes at 6 p.m. In addition, a petition in support of the employees and the contract is posted on the SEA's website, www.seiu 1984.org/2014/04/21support-belknap-county-nursing-home-residents-and -employees/.
Yesterday the SEA issued a statement recounting the experience of Thea Aloise, whose husband Dana, a veteran suffering from dementia, became a resident of the Belknap County Nursing Home just over a year ago. Thea praises the staff of the facility for care and affection they have shown her husband, whose strength and mobility has grown since entering the home.

"It would be a shame for those workers not to get their raise," she is quoted to say. "They definitely deserve it."

Aloise notes that the contract will cost each household in the county $2 over the course of the year.
The 2014 county budget adopted by the Belknap County Convention level funded the employer share of health insurance benefits at $1,272,449 but provided nothing for wage increases or associated payroll costs.

The costs of the new contract include $267,343 more for health insurance, $22,361 for a cost of living adjustment of 1.6 percent, $35,759 for merit increases for eligible employees and $10,705 for associated payroll costs, for the total of $336,170.
The agreement provides for the employees' share of health insurance premiums to increase from 6.5 percent to 16.5 percent for a single person plan, from 5 percent to 15 percent for both a two-person and a family plan. However, the contribution would remain unchanged for employees who participate in three health management programs that include the health assessment, biometric screening and health awareness programs as defined by HealthTrust. In the same vein, the contract would forbid smoking or any other use of tobacco products throughout the Belknap County Complex, beginning on July 1 of this year.
The contract provides a cost-of-living-adjustment of 1.6 percent, equal to the rate of inflation, together with merit increases averaging 2.1 percent, for which some 60 employees are eligible.

D'Ovidio said that the largest group of employees are at labor grade five, which carries a pay scale ranging from $12.07 per hour to $16.71 per hour in 12 steps. O'Neil said that since employees went without wage increases in 2013, the raise represents an increase of 1.85 per year for the two-year period.
The agreement also includes an incentive to reduce the use of sick time from 52 hours per year per employee to 40 hours. If the 80 employees together meet the target, each employee would would receive up to three days to care for an ill or injured family member. collectively meet the target, or two years.
For the past two years, trimming personnel costs, particularly reducing the employer's share of health insurance premiums, has been the highest priority of the Republican majority of the county convention.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 April 2014 12:04

Hits: 393

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