A special thank you

Police and firefighters honored by children in summer school program in Belmont

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

BELMONT — It was a special day for police and firefighters in the Belmont area Thursday as children from the summer school program treated them to songs, pizza and special banners made for them.

After a blessing by Father Rick of the St. Joseph Parish, first responders joined with children aged 4 to 10 and helped them color and engaged them in discussion.

Although he couldn't stay long, Belmont K-9 Vito visited with his handler Evan Boulanger just long enough to say hello. Vito and Boulanger told the children that Belmont's National Night Out will be on Mill Street on Aug. 2 and they were all invited.

Belmont Elementary School Principal Sheila Arnold said there are about 60 children in the summer school program from pre-kindergarten to fourth grade.

She said the students had about a week to work on their posters and letters and the thing they wanted the first responders to know was "We like them."

Lt. Rich Mann said the Belmont Police already have a significant presence in the school. There are two school resource officers, one of whom is full-time and the second of whom works 30 hours a week. He said officers also frequently visit all the schools and read to the younger ones.

"It's fun for us and fun for them," said Mann.

As for the celebration, he said he was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support for them and the town's firefighters.

"These kids gave up a day of their summer to do this for us," he said.

Belmont police and firefighters were also joined by police from Gilford, Gilmanton and Canterbury.

"This is so wonderful," said Gilford Detective Denise Parker. "Any interaction we can have with a child is good. And the earlier we meet them, the better. This means a lot to us."

The Belmont Police Department will display a poster made by the children in the department that says, "Not all heroes wear capes."

07-29 First responders party 1

Children from the Belmont area shared pizza and conversation Thursday as the summer school program thanked first responders for their service. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)

07-29 First responders party 2

Children sang "Ten Little Firefighters" at the lunch honoring first responders. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)

07-29 first responders party 3

Laconia burn dump project is on time and under budget

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Work to address contamination remaining from an abandoned, filled-over burn dump off Frank Bean Road and Morin Road is expected to be completed by the close of the construction season at $100,000 less than the budgeted cost of $1.2 million, City Manager Scott Myers said Thursday.

The dump, which operated in the 1940s and 1950s, is part of a site that sprawls over 75 acres on either side of Frank Bean Road, which also includes an abandoned landfill owned by the city. The burn dump itself extends over four lots totaling about 3.5 acres. Three of the lots abut one another on the west side of Frank Bean Road and the fourth is bordered by Frank Bean Road to the west and Morin Road to the east. Altogether, the dump stretches along Frank Bean Road for about 1,000 feet and is 250 feet at its widest point. The dump was between 15 and 20 feet deep. Assuming dimensions of 1,000 feet by 200 feet by 15 feet, the area is estimated to contain approximately 110,000 cubic yards of "burn dump material."
The site first drew from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services in May 2003 while excavating for a foundation, and in 2011, after several rounds of sampling and monitoring, the agency directed the city to take remedial measures. Originally, the city planned to excavate contaminated soils on the four lots and dispose of the material off site, then backfill, cap or pave the lots at an estimated cost of $1.4 million. Ongoing monitoring of groundwater and maintenance of pavement at the site for another 15 years was expected to raise the total cost to about $1.7 million.
However, the city proposed and the Department of Environmental Services approved an alternative plan to purchase the four lots, demolish the buildings and cap the land with 2 feet of clean soil, sparing itself from excavating and disposing of contaminated soil, which represented the lion's share of the cost of the original proposal.
Myers said that the city borrowed $1.2 million for the project, of which $304,000 was spent acquiring three of the four lots and $271,000 spent for professional and engineering services to prepare the bid for the work, leaving a balance of $625,000. The low bid was about $420,000, plus another $65,000 for overseeing the project, $10,000 for water sampling and $30,000 in unforeseen costs beyond the scope of the bid. Altogether $1.1 million has been expended or encumbered.
Myers said that he does not anticipate any further significant costs since most of the remainder of the work consists of trucking clean fill and capping the site.

Gilford Solid Waste Committee says it’s time to build its own transfer station

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD —Gilford and Laconia may go their separate ways on trash and recyclables.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn told selectmen Wednesday that the Solid Waste Committee has determined it makes sense for Gilford to separate from Laconia and build its own transfer station at the same site that currently houses the town's recycling center.

Dunn said engineering plans will be presented to the board that will have to make the decision whether to bring its proposal to Town Meeting.

"We are going toward the town of Gilford going its own way," said Dunn Thursday. He said the committee's goal is to have all the information, including costs, available for voters by the 2017 annual Town Meeting.

At this year's annual Town Meeting, voters approved a warrant article for $45,000 for the town to hire an engineer to see if leaving Laconia is viable.

Dunn said Thursday that engineers from CMA have reviewed the area and believe there will be enough area for a full transfer station, although there will need to be some ledge removal.

Gilford and Laconia have been in a two-town agreement for solid waste disposal, and Gilford owes the city about $66,000 in upgrades done some years ago to the facility. Dunn said the money should be paid in full by July of 2018.

• In other Gilford news, selectmen voted unanimously to not redo "Upper" Sagamore Road in this year's road maintenance projects.

Residents led by Howard Epstein weren't very happy about it but asked that Sagamore Road be considered in 2017 and not 2018. Epstein said that since some people on Potter Hill Road don't want their road completely rebuilt, that money could be used for Sagamore Road.

Epstein has suggested not doing Foxglove Road and doing Sagamore Road this year instead but the board and Public Works director did not agree.

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