Robbie Mills Field still without running water but rain helps

06 30 Robbie Mills field a bit yellow

After a tarp was left on the infield too long, the grass was just about dead. The recent rain may help it recover despite the lack of running water at Robbie Mills Sports Complex. (Rick Green/Sun photo)


LACONIA — Nearing the halfway point of their season, the Winnipesaukee Muskrats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League remain high and dry at the Robbie Mills Sports Complex.

There's no running water for bathrooms, concessions or irrigation.

The city is still trying to restore water service to the baseball field two months after it was disrupted by a broken water main.

And, as if portable potties weren't bad enough, a rain tarp was left on too long, turning the infield grass yellow.

Kristian Svindland, the team's general manager, said the team has been forced to find workarounds for the lack of water. Dirty utensils from the concession stand are brought home for cleaning. Bottled water is available for players and fans.

Despite the team's groundskeeping mishap, a rainy summer has worked in the field's favor. Still, that could change.

“The infield is yellow or brownish, but it still plays perfectly,” Svindland said. “We're not in drought conditions, but our main concern is that if conditions change and we get a week with no rain, we'll have some problems.”

City Manager Scott Myers said Thursday he hopes a solution “is days, not weeks” away.

The field at 15 Eastman Road depends on a water tower that is part of the former Laconia State School campus. A water main serving that tower failed in late April.

Rather than make expensive repairs, the state, which is under no obligation to provide water to the city's field, opted to serve its facilities by tying into a water main on Route 106. That roadway is close to the state's property but a good distance from the ball field.

The city's solution was to dig two wells on State School property at a total cost of $47,000. The City Council approved the expenditure, but Laconia still needed to get the state to sign off on the plan. The state required another City Council vote, which occurred Monday, attesting that Myers was authorized to sign relevant documents.

The sports complex land is owned by the state and was leased to the city for 99 years at nominal cost.

It was raining Thursday, which bodes well for the grass, but the portable potties will remain until the water flows again.

Svindland said an average of about 200 people attend each game, and some, particularly of the female variety, object to the primitive facilities.

“We get a complaint every night,” he said. “My mother-in-law has to leave in the seventh inning.”

Sanbornton swears in two full-time firefighter-EMTs


SANBORNTON — The swearing-in on Wednesday of two full-time firefighter-EMTs was the culmination of three years of effort to ensure shift coverage, said Sanbornton Fire Chief Paul Dexter.

The chief administered the oath of office to firefighter-paramedic Kenneth Carleton and firefighter-advanced EMT Dan Chapman during a brief ceremony at the fire station after the selectmen had approved the hiring of the two full-time personnel.

The department has 16 local on-call firefighters and seven per diem firefighters it can call upon, but the fire chief has been the only full-time member of the department. Dexter said the two new full-timers will enable the department to be staffed daily.

“Staffing during the late hours has always been a problem,” Dexter said. “It’s looking like we’ll be able to have a paramedic on every shift now, which will be a good thing for the community.”

Carleton is joining the Sanbornton Fire Department as a 22-year firefighter, most recently serving for 12 years in Newport. He has been a paramedic since 2008.

With his wife, Vanessa, he has a 22-year-old daughter and a 23-year-old stepdaughter. Carleton said he will be moving to Sanbornton once they sell their home in Newport.

Chapman is a Sanbornton native, noting that he is from a family of police officers on both his mother’s and father’s side of the family. His mother, Ginger, is a paramedic in Sanbornton, and he decided to join the fire department four years ago. He gained his first certification as an emergency medical technician in 2013 and has just become an advanced EMT.

Chapman is married to Aubrey Chapman and has three children: Owen, 5, Kenley, 3, and Joel, 1.

06 29 Sanbornton FD

Sanbornton Fire Chief Paul Dexter administers the oath of office to Kenneth Carleton and Dan Chapman during a brief ceremony at the Sanbornton Fire Station on Wednesday. (Tom Caldwell/Laconia Daily Sun)


Glendale Dock repairs scheduled in mid-July

GILFORD — Selectmen have approved a contract for structural repairs to correct problems identified during an underwater inspection of the Glendale Docks in late May.
Public Works Director Peter Nourse said the town had never done underwater inspections in the past, but had spent money for various repairs to the docks over the years. At his request, selectmen agreed to hire Appledore Marine Engineering of Portsmouth to do a thorough inspection this year — something he hopes to continue every five years as part of a routine maintenance plan for the docks.
Appledore, he said, is one of the only firms offering diver-engineers. It costs about $7,000 for the inspection.
The divers found that the structural elements along the last 60 feet of Dock 3 had shifted from their assigned positions, posing a critical risk to the integrity of the structure. The town stabilized that section of the dock, then sought bids for the necessary repairs.
Nourse told selectmen on Wednesday that Ambrose Marine Construction of Meredith was the only company of the four he contacted that responded to his bid request. He explained that everyone in the trade is very busy this time of year.
Ambrose came in with a bid of $23,385 to do the work, which the company said could be completed in four to five days. Ambrose proposed waiting until after July 4 to do the work, suggesting a July 10 start.
The project will involve lifting the last three 20-foot concrete slabs, plumbing and replacing the structural members as needed, and then replacing the slabs. Nourse said they would need to utilize a barge which also would affect Dock 2 during part of the job. The crew will try to minimize the disruption to boaters, Nourse said.
In approving of the bid, selectmen authorized the use of up to $25,000 from capital reserve funds to make the repairs.

06 29 Glendale Docks
Dock 3 at Gilford's Glendale facility is closed due to structural problems. Ambrose Marine Construction of Meredith will making repairs in mid-July. (Tom Caldwell/Laconia Daily Sun)