Septage hauler hydroplanes & wrecks in Wednesday storm

GILFORD — A septage truck, driven westbound on Rte. 11 in heavy rain, yesterday crossed into the eastbound lane on the bend near the Belknap Point Motel then overturned in the ditch at approximately 10:30 a.m.

Lieutenant James Leach said that driver of the truck escaped without serious injury. He said that the mishap remains under investigation, adding that the driver of the truck said that he hydroplaned on the highway awash with water as he rounded the curve. Leach said that excessive speed does not appear to have contributed to the accident.

Leach said that while some lubricants pilled from the truck, there was no leakage of the septage it was hauling.

CAPTION: In driving rain, Gilford police, together with an and engine and ambulance from the Gilford Fire Department responded when a septage truck left the Rte. 11 and flipped into a ditch near the Belknap Point Motel yesterday morning. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch) -

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ZBA lifts cease & desist order against Beans & Greens

GILFORD — The Zoning Board of Adjustment voted 3-1 to grant the appeal of a cease and desist order from the town which would have prevented Andy and Martina Howe from hosting agri-tourism events like weddings at their property on Gunstock Hill Road.
The decision came following a public hearing which lasted nearly two hours and at which strong support was expressed for the Howes and their use of the property for so-called farm to table events.
The cease and desist order was issued by town's code enforcement officer on August 26 after the town had received complaints from abutters regarding weddings being held at the Howe's property at Timber Hill Farm, which is located in a single-family residential zone.
The cease and desist order said that the Howes could not resume holding weddings or other similar activities until they had obtained site plan approvals from the planning board for the property which also would most likely require a land-use variance from the ZBA in order to obtain site plan approval.
Last week the ZBA had tabled the appeal by the Howes due to lack of a quorum and selectmen appointed former selectman Connie Grant to serve as an alternate on the ZBA. Scott Davis who chaired last night's meeting, asked the Howes if they were willing to proceed with only four members instead of a full-five member board and they agreed.
Atty. Patrick Wood, who represented the Howes, said that the issue was the Farm to Table aspect of the business, which he said encompassed weddings as they were a part of selling products which were produced on the farm, and met the standards of the town's zoning ordinance.
Attorney Joseph Driscoll, who represents abutters, said that their concern was that the Howes were not going through the prescribed process for obtaining site plan approval and a variance,
ZBA member Bill Knightly moved to support the town's cease and desist order, maintaining that weddings were not an agricultural activity and was the only person voting for his own motion. Grant, Davis and Ann Montminy all voted no on the motion upholding the town's cease and desist order.
Wood said that the Howes plan to build a barn on their Gunstock Hill Road property to host future events and will submit the plan later this week to the Gilford Planning Board.

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U.S. Business Rte. 3 is back on the map in Laconia

LACONIA — Without debate, the City Council on Monday night unanimously approved the expenditure of $3,315 to erect signage marking Court Street and Union Avenue, from one end of the city to the other, as U.S. Business Rte. 3.

Charlie St. Clair, who has sought to add the signage since the 1990s, renewed his efforts earlier this year, reminding the council that prior to the construction of the U.S. Rte. 3 and N.H. Rte. 11 Bypass this stretch of roadway was designated as U.S. Route 3 but ever since has been designated as N.H. Rte 11-A and N.H. Rte. 107. He contends that visitors unfamiliar with the area would be more likely to travel into the city knowing that they would ultimately be routed back to U.S .Route 3. Motorists are directed to business route in other parts of the country and the state, he said, particularly where bypasses circumventing downtowns have been constructed.

Google Maps continues to refer to Court Street and Union Ave. as U.S. Business Rte. 3.

Authority over signage within the so-called "urban compact zone," the area where the city maintains, manages and polices state highways, rests with the city. The signs would be erected at seven intersections along the corridor defined by Court Street and Union Avenue between the Belmont town line near the entrance to the bypass to the east and McInyre Circle, where Union Avenue, Lake Street and Lakeshore Road intersect at the Gilford town line, to the north.

Paul Moynihan, director of public works, has recommended that 13 Business Rte. 3 signs, 13 black and white arrows, 12 north-south signs and 13 sign posts will be required to mark the route at an estimated cost of $3,315. In addition, Moynihan estimated the in-house labor cost of erecting the signs at $1,200, bringing the total cost of the project to $4,515.

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