4-way tie for Sandwich Sewer Commission – but no one wants to take it

SANDWICH — If the greasy pole to political prominence begins with the Sewer Commission, it appears no one in town wants to shinny up it.

This year one of three seats on the commission was open, to be filled by election, but no one stepped forward, leaving an empty slot on the ballot. However, some two dozen write-in ballots were cast and four individuals, each with three votes, tied atop the field.

One of the candidates is a sitting member of the commission. Another is a member of the Board of Selectmen. A third is the member of the commission whose decision to retire left the seat open to election. And the last is a former member of the commission. All of the three able to serve have indicated they have no wish to do so.

Town Clerk Sharon Teel, who has overseen elections in town for the past quarter century, said that she has never encountered such an outcome and sought advice from the New Hampshire Secretary of State. She said that she was told that the winner must be chosen by lot, "by flipping a coin, picking straws or drawing names from a hat." She said that a date and time would be scheduled, the four would be invited, though they need not attend, and a winner would be chosen by chance.

Since one of the four already sits on the commission and the other three have indicated their unwillingness join him, Teel expected the process of choosing a member from among them by lot would be an obligatory but fruitless charade. If her premonition is fulfilled, the task of seating a third member of the commission will fall to the two sitting commissioners.

The outcome of the election, Teel observed, could only occur in a small town with a limited electorate, where the odds of a dead heat are shortest. The weather, she added, shortened the odds further as only 193 of the 1,145 registered voters in Sandwich cast ballots last Tuesday.

Bank of NH Pavilion plans to add pool, 'lazy river' for performers

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GILFORD — Meadowbrook Farm LLC, the operator of the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, hopes to attract more performers by installing a private pool and "lazy river" slow-current water ride.

The Gilford Planning Board, on Monday, March 20, at 7 p.m., will review an amended site plan application for this improvement.

In a town vote, about 10 acres of property once owned by Barry Dame that was zoned residential became part of the resort commercial zone.

"They are proposing a lazy river with a pool. That is proposed to be placed mostly on the property that was just rezoned this week," said John Ayer, planning and land use director for Gilford. "The lazy river and pool is intended to be accessible and used only by the performers and their crews, not by the general public."

Associated site improvements including a patio and walkway, security fencing, retaining walls, drainage and landscaping on the property, according to the application.

"It's an amenity they're hoping will add to the allure, the appeal of performing at Meadowbrook," Ayer said.

Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, an outdoor amphitheater with seating for about 9,000, includes 5,746 reserved seats under the pavilion roof and general admission lawn seats.

Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion has lined up several major acts this year.

The 2017 season opens with the Zac Brown Band, May 27-29; and other performances include the Avett Brothers, June 1; Miranda Lambert, The Cadillac Three and Tucker Beathard, June 2-3; Joan Baez, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Indigo Girls, June 16; Bryan Adams, June 17; and Third Eye Blind and Silversun Pickups, June 20. A full schedule is available at banknhpavilion.com.

Gilford Airport Plaza wants to build new access

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The Gilford Planning Board on Monday will review a plan for a new driveway to the Gilford Airport Plaza from the end of the Laconia Bypass. (David Carkhuff/The Laconia Daily Sun)


GILFORD — Owners of the Gilford Airport Plaza plan to build an access road from the end of the Laconia Bypass.

"The center is only 50 percent occupied and in need of upgrade and improvements to the infrastructure and building," reads a narrative before the Gilford Planning Board, citing the need for a second access.

On Monday, March 20, at 7 p.m., the board will review an amended site plan application for this improvement.

The "entrance only" driveway to the plaza "is located for safety, ease of access and least impactive option to the existing highway system," the applicant, WJP Development LLC, wrote. The company narrative states that WJP Development "is in the process of considering renovations and expansion," adding, "Discussions with prospective tenants have been difficult, due to access being limited to the one entrance point."

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation granted access through a controlled access right of way, the applicant noted.

"They're also proposing to repave and stripe the parking lot, proposing new lighting in the parking lot and new sign locations," said John Ayer, planning and land use director for Gilford.

The new access road will not provide an exit onto Old Lake Shore Road.

"You can't exit out of that driveway. DOT has tight restrictions on that," Ayer said.

Left-hand turns off Old Lake Shore Road onto the new road will not be allowed, he said. Right-hand turns, however, will be allowed, he said.

"If you want to get into that parking lot, you either have to come off the bypass, from the direction of Wal-Mart, or you have to come in the other way," through the existing access from the intersection of Route 11 and Route 11C, Ayer said.

The proposal does not affect the size of the 60,328-square-foot commercial building, Ayer said.

"No building expansion. For the umpteenth time, there's no Market Basket going into that development. Everybody and their dog thinks that Market Basket is going there," Ayer said.

"I've been hearing that for years," he said, citing a persistent rumor.

The development is occupied by a movie theater, an industrial wholesaler and Gilford House of Pizza.

In the justification, the owner noted that disturbance of 6,240 square feet of wetlands is a better option than the alternative of a new shopping center in a "comparable commercial zone in this community," which would "disturb significant acres of undeveloped land."