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Bristol selectmen deal with diverse agenda

BRISTOL — Selectmen have approved a request to name a new park off Central Street “Eagle Scout Park” to honor the scouts who have contributed to the betterment of the town, including helping to create the park on the site of the former mica building.

Meeting on June 7, the board also approved a contract to remodel the handicap ramp outside the Bristol Municipal Building at a cost of $8,000; hired a construction company to address erosion alongside the Smith River; offered a contract for a reduced-scope road and sidewalk project on Central Street; approved the purchase of a $37,908 truck for the water and sewer department; agreed to pay $12,824 for the third and final year of video scoping the sewer lines; and agreed to pay $4,550 for bicentennial planning.

The far-ranging meeting included approving a contract with the Town of Alexandria for use of Bristol’s public access television channel for bulletin board postings for an annual income of $2,000.

With the voters having approved a budget that is $400,000 less than the town was seeking, selectmen have been careful with spending, including holding off on a $2,000 expenditure that would allow the town clerk/tax collector to accept payments by credit card. Selectman J.P. Morrison suggested that implementing the new system would result in higher revenues for the town that would repay the monetary outlay in a short amount of time, but Chair Rick Alpers pointed out that they are obligated to stay within the spending limits set by the voters. Alpers said that, by October, they should know how well they are doing at operating within those limits and might be able to approve the credit card collection system at that time.

They briefly discussed the high cost of recycling, and Selectman Don Milbrand asked that the matter be put on the agenda for the next meeting. Town Administrator Nik Coates said the solid waste budget may be exceeded by $30,000 if they continue to recycle because the market for recyclables has collapsed and it costs twice as much to dispose of them as it does to include them with regular solid waste.

Also next meeting, the board will take up Fire Chief Ben LaRoche’s request to purchase a new Dodge chassis outfitted with an Osage ambulance body. The current Ambulance II is aging, he said, and is beginning to require a lot of maintenance. At Morrison’s request, LaRoche is to look into the market for used ambulances to determine whether the town would be better off selling the old ambulance than trading it in.

In discussing the trade-in for the sewer department truck, Morrison joked that they could paint the old truck black and white. “The chief needs a new rig,” he said, referring the Police Chief Jim McIntire’s crash with a town cruiser. The cruiser had been badly damaged and the New Hampshire State Police are conducting an investigation in the nature of the crash.

The board also agreed to send a letter to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Company to complain about the work by Eversource subcontractors who have been replacing utility poles, but leaving the old poles in precarious states that could pose a danger to the public.

12 June 2018

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