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Gilford Police approve new contract

GILFORD — Members of the police union and the town have agreed to a two-year contract that will see a hike of a minimum of 15 cents in the lowest pay grade, but will make employees responsible for 10 percent of their health insurance costs.

Employee contributions will be made on a pre-tax basis.

The maximum pay increase is 2½ percent unless the officer is promoted to a corporal in which case there is a maximum 3½  percent increase. Currently, Gilford Police have no corporals.

The cost drivers in the contract — or the new money needed to fund the contract — is $3,297.31 in the first year of the contract and an additional $3,463.01 in the second year.

These amounts will appear as a single warrant article on the ballot at the the March Annual Town meeting ballot. The amount cannot be altered at the annual SB2 deliberative session.

By year two, the town will see a decrease in the amount it spends on employee health insurance for union police officers of $2,382.90.

Gilford Police are represented by Teamsters Local 633 of New Hampshire.

The contract also contains a new provision allowing officers who have been with the department for five years to cash out unused sick time exceeding 192 hours at a rate of one day for every four days of unused time — or 25 percent.

Officers with 10 years of seniority or more will be able to cash out accumulated sick time at a rate of two days per four earned — or 50 percent.

A final clause says that while it is the exclusive prerogative of the Chief of Police to determine shift staffing levels or to fill vacant shifts with members of the bargaining unit, new language says the selectmen must give their approval.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 January 2014 01:57

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Correction: 'Beauty & The Beast' matinee is Saturday

GILFORD — The caption that appeared yesterday with a photograph of a rehearsal of Gilford Middle School's production of "Beauty and The Beast, Jr." listed an incorrect date for the matinee performance. The matinee performance will be held on Saturday at 2 p.m. Evening shows will be held tonight, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. All performances will be in Gilford High School auditorium. Tickets cost $5 and may be purchased at the door.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 January 2014 12:08

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In primary, Kenney defeated Boothby by 1,000 votes

CONCORD — The final tally in the Republican primary election for the Executive Council in District 1 showed that Joe Kenney carried 63 of 98 districts where votes were cast to top Christopher Boothby of Meredith by an even 1,000 votes, 3,622 to 2,622, with Mark Aldrich trailing in third place with 499 votes.

The 6,743 ballots cast represented approximately 6 percent of the registered voters in the district, even fewer than anticipated, even in a special election in the middle of winter when the campaign was interrupted by the Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Martin Luther King holidays. By comparison, three-and-a-half times as many voters went to the polls in September 2012 when the late Ray Burton easily defeated Jerry Thibodeau in the Republican primary in District 1, which drew, 23,698 voters to the polls.

Insiders familiar with both campaigns suggested the exceptionally low turnout favored Kenney, who drew much of his support from highly motivated voters on the conservative wing of the GOP, including the Tea Party Republicans and Independents.

The low turnout reflected itself in the 27 towns where the winner was decided by three votes or fewer and the five towns where Kenney and Boothby ran a dead heat. Aldrich carried one town — Benton — and was shut out in 10. Boothby won Dixville 2 to 0 and Hart's Location 3 to 1 while Kenney took Waterville Valley 6 to 4 and Landaff 5 to 4.

Kenney carried 59 towns and all four cities in the district, which includes seven of the ten towns and the city of Laconia in Belknap County. In the county Kenney topped Boothby in Alton 93 to 40, Gilford 141 to 132, New Hampton 34 to 31, Sanbornton 58 to 30, Tilton 38 to 21 and Laconia 265 to 248, while Boothby won Center Harbor 43 to 37 and Meredith 192 to 146.

Elsewhere in the Lakes Region, Kenney ran strong in Moultonborough and Wolfeboro, where his margins over Boothby were 156 to 96 and 207 to 70 respectively. In addition to Laconia, Kenney carried the other three cities in the district — Berlin by 50 to 36, Claremont by 154 to 43 and Lebanon by 58 to 40.

The lone Democrat vying for the seat, Michael Cryans of Hanover, polled 1,767 votes, including 144 in his hometown, almost three times more than the three Republicans put together.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 January 2014 02:10

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Cell phone company to find new site for tower

GILFORD — Responding to concerns expressed by homeowners on David Lewis Road, New Cingular Wireless PCS, doing business as AT&T, last night proposed an alternative site for a cellular telephone antenna the firm originally planned to erect on the southeast corner of a 148-acre tract, where it would have overlooked the residential neighborhood.
Following a brief hearing this week both the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment agreed to defer consideration of the proposal until March 17 when the firm will return with a revised plan for the project.
Originally AT&T applied to erect a 100-foot monopole tower with 12 antennas on a site including an equipment shelter, 12-feet by 20-feet, and emergency generator within a 50-square compound surrounded by chain link fence six-feet high and topped with barbed wire on land owned by Traditional Catholics of New Hampshire. A driveway leading from the southwest corner of David Lewis Road would provide access to the tower. The tower would stand 100 feet from the property line of two adjoining lots, one a house lot at 38 David Lewis Road owned by Kevin Lacasse and the other a vacant 5.27-acre parcel reached from Stark Street owned by Roger Baron, both of whom openly opposed the proposal. Although the tower would not be as close to the homes at 48 and 50 David Lewis Road, the slope of the land would make it very visible from much of both properties.
After considering three other locations, Will Dodge, representing AT&T, told the boards that the most suitable alternative would be to erect the tower on a in a thickly wooded section of the Traditional Catholics of New Hampshire property about 500 feet off Stark Street and 500 feet east of an easement strung with transmission lines held by Public Service of New Hampshire that runs northeast across the tract between Stark Street and Lakeshore Road (Route 3). He said that the tower would be 550 feet from the nearest residence to the east and 750 feet from the nearest residence to the west, which is on the opposite side of the street.
However, Dodge explained that since the elevation at the alternative site in 702 feet, compared to 755 feet at the original location, the height of the tower would have to be raised from 100 feet to 150 feet. He said the tree canopy around the proposed site is between 60 feet and 80 feet. Although an initial survey indicates that the tower would be visible from much of the length of Stark Street, Dodge said that most of the homes face south rather than at the site of the tower.
Unlike the original location, which was in the commercial zone, the alternative site is in the single family residential zone, where cellular towers are not a permitted use. Consequently, in addition to a special exception, which is required of all cellular towers regardless of their location, AT&T will also require a variance.
Both Lacasse and Julie Baron welcomed the decision to seek a different location for the tower. However, residents of Stark Street, who did not express concerns about the original proposal, have yet to be heard from. Dodge said that next month a balloon test will be conducted at the site that will indicate how visible the tower would be from different surrounding locations.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 January 2014 01:51

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