Parks & Rec, metal pile and noise on Sanbornton warrant tomorrow

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

SANBORNTON — While Fire Chief Paul Dexter's request to hire two full-time firefighters will cost taxpayers the most money, warrant articles to replace the Parks and Recreation Building, to charge a fee for picking the metal pile, and to regulate noise in public places also promise to spark some controversy.
Last year, two buildings housing the Parks and Recreation Department were demolished after Primex, which carries the town's property and liability insurance, advised that they posed a hazard. Subsequently, the Parks and Recreation board approached both the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee with a request to replace the buildings with a new structure at the town park at a cost of $98,000.
Both the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee declined to endorse the project. Dave Nickerson, who chairs the selectboard, told voters last week that the commission failed to accompany its request with specific plans for the building.
The warrant article asks voters to approve withdrawing $12,000 from the nonlapsing fund of the Parks and Recreation and Department and raising $86,000 from property taxes to undertake the project. Neither the Board of Selectmen nor the Budget Committee has endorsed the proposal.
The metal pile has been a source of controversy since last fall when, again on advice from Primex, the selectmen announced that the "swap shop" at the Transfer Station where residents collect and reuse appliances, housewares, clothing, books and so on discarded by others, would be closed. Residents easily overcame the reluctance of the selectmen to hold a special town meeting and, shortly before Christmas, voters overwhelmingly reversed the board's decision.
The metal pile, which the team from Primex claimed posed the greatest risk of liability to the town, was the most contentious component of the swap shop. However, despite suggestions to regulate access, the metal pile was reopened without restrictions. Instead, both the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee endorsed a warrant article that would introduce fees against metal removed from the pile, based on the weight of the particular item and the prevailing market price for scrap metal as established by the selectmen. The proceeds would be deposited in the general fund.
The Board of Selectmen has also recommended a warrant article affirming that it is "public policy to regulate unnecessary noise in the public highways, sidewalks, commons and other public places." The article cites two state statutes, one simply authorizing municipalities to regulate Noise and another authorizing the selectmen to regulate "public highways, sidewalks, commons and other public places." The article does not specify how the selectboard intends to define or address "unnecessary noise" other than infractions would be prosecuted as "disorderly action."
The Sanbornton Town Meeting takes place tomorrow at 7 p.m., at Sanbornton Central School. Elections take place today.

Shaker chooses SB2 voting

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

BELMONT — No longer will Shaker Regional School District voters have to attend the annual meeting to cast their vote, as petitioned Warrant Article 1 passed during the voting on Friday.
The article won 355-194. Because a three-fifths majority was needed for the new form of voting to be approved, it required 333 votes to pass.
SB-2, or the Official Ballot Law as established by RSA 40:13, eliminates the traditional annual School District Meeting where votes are taken during the meeting in favor of a deliberative session where warrants are discussed and amended, but then vote at a later date along with elections. The town of Belmont has been an SB-2 town for many years.
The Shaker Regional School Board has also voted to create a non-binding budget committee that will provide a second set of eyes to the preparation of the annual budget.
Board Chairman Sean Embree said they have not decided the mechanics of how the members will be chosen for the first year but said that it will include at least three Belmont members and three Canterbury members.
He said he personally doesn't support having the School Board make the initial appointments because he doesn't want it to seem like a "rubber stamp committee."

Fire at Titeflex damages high temp treatment machine

03-04 Titeflex fire

A fire in a heat-treating process area on the back site of the Titeflex Aerospace building at 6:35 a.m. Friday triggered a first-alarm response that brought firefighter from the city as well as surrounding companies to cover Laconia to the O'Shea Industrial Park.

When firefighters arrived, the met with an employee who told them he thought the fire had been extinguished but when a firefighter entered the room he found heavy, black smoke and fire burning about 10 feet of the ground.

The captain called for a first alarm and firefighters laid hose lines into the building and knocked down the fire.

Chief Ken Erickson said the building is a 550-foot by 200-foot one story industrial steel facility and it took a long time to get the smoke out of the building.

He said the fire started in a exhaust duct and spread into a dryer/dust collector. It didn't trigger any sprinklers but when employees were enable to extinguish the blaze the pulled the alarm.

Erickson said the damage to the machine is fairly extensive.