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Chief Midgley Expects Problems with Looming Roundabout Construction Project
by Andrew Sylvia Voters went to the polls to
voice their opinions on various municipal issues at last month’s town elections, but now it appears that the results may have far-reaching consequences. After Pelham residents turned
down the warrant article for a new Fire Department building on the Village Green, Pelham Fire Chief James Midgley believes upcoming traffic variations at the department’s current location will eventually create increases in response times. Midgley was informed by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation that their project to transform the Route 111A/ Marsh Road/Main Street triangle into a roundabout would begin to impact traffic patterns from the station within the next few weeks. Impacts will increase with the anticipated start date for construction on the project in May 2012, with construction expected to continue well into 2013.
Once construction starts,
Pelham first responders will no longer be able to exit directly onto Route 111A; instead, they will have to exit behind the building and exit onto either Marsh Road or Nashua Road, depending on the call. This process will also require a variation on parking schemes due to sensitive equipment that will constantly have to be moved. “It’s going to be a mess, to put it bluntly.
It’s going to be a very
big mess,” said Midgley. “The town’s had quite a few years to kind of pull things together and the Department of Transportation
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Will accidents like this one from September 2009 become more common with the road moving closer to the Fire Station?
has [been] holding off on this project, but it’s going—it’s moving.” The chief believes that many
Pelham voters thought they still had time until the state would commence the roundabout project, reducing urgency towards the passage of the new building, but now he hopes those voters understand that that time is indeed up. “I know people kept on saying to themselves, ‘oh, they’ll never do that; they’ll never close the front of the station,’ but they’re going to close the front of the station. That’s just the facts; there’s no way around it,” Midgley said. Recently, the department
received financial assistance for new laptops from the Department of Homeland Security. Although Midgley states that the town has been effective in receiving federal fire grants in the past, he believes that is not an option for solving the problem he faces now and that only way to avoid potential response delays for the foreseeable future is to bring another warrant article to the voters next year.
“My impression from talking to the selectmen is that it has to be on the ballot next year—that we’re going to make another go at it,” said Midgley. “I’m hoping that people who had their head buried in the sand thinking
it’s never going to happen will look and say, ‘wow, they really are doing it, ‘and then they’ll wake up and say we have to do something. This is impacting public safety, which is what we’ve been telling them all along.”
Although Midgley is certain that response times will significantly increase if no action is taken to move the fire department’s facilities before construction begins, he could not give an estimate as to how much those times would increase. The warrant article for the new building received 57 percent of the vote, three points short of the three-fifths majority it would have needed for passage.
Tiger Cubs Tour PTV and Police Department
Bottom: Jack Hamilin, Patrick Menuti, Jason Chubb, Benn Zimmerman, Kyle Cook, Paul Machado. Top: Den Leader Deb Zimmerman, Lieutenant Gary Fisher, Kevin Keleshien, Den Leader/Cubmaster Randy Cook
submitted by Deb Zimmerman, Pack 25 Cub Scouts The Pack 25 Tiger Cub Scouts had an exciting evening recently as they set out for a tour of our local public television station—otherwise known as PTV (Public Community Television). During the visit, the Scouts learned from PTV’s own Jim Greenwood how the station operates during a live televised event and were allowed to check out the equipment hands- on. The boys were then invited to participate in the live selectmen’s meeting that evening, making their TV debut. The Den 4 Tiger Scouts and leaders were honored to open the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. As an extra bonus, while the Scouts waited for the meeting to begin, they were surprised by an impromptu tour of the Pelham Police Station. Lieutenant Gary Fisher and Sergeant Anne Perriello provided the tour to the group of first graders. The boys agreed that their favorite stops on the tour were the holding cell and the Police snowmobile. Many thanks again to Jim Greenwood at PTV and Lieutenant Fisher and Sergeant Perriello for their time and patience with the boys. We appreciate your continued commitment to our community.
Kendall Oliver, 5 enjoys the tea by Len Lathrop As little girls in party dresses danced in a circle, over
100 women and their daughters sipped tea and ate the proper delicate sandwiches and special desserts. The Windham High School cafeteria was filled with the sounds of duets of flutes from mother and daughter Jeannette and Natalyn Tausanovitch. This was a fundraiser to help the Windham High School students bound for Edinburgh, Scotland, pay for their trip next year. Maybe it was the genteel Victorian teacups that everyone received or the sights and sounds that overtook you as you entered. Many of the young ladies had their babies with them—these 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds had dolls in clothes that matched their own dresses, and the “babies” mostly were laying on the tables as it took the young ladies both hands to hold the cup.
Flutists Jeannette and Natalyn Tausanovitch entertain for the afternoon
Jack Hamilin, Patrick Menuti, Jason Chubb, Kevin Keleshien, Benn Zimmerman, and Kyle Cook
Jim Greenwood of PTV and Jason Chubb check out the equipment
Jennifer Oellerin with her daughter Cara Glaser and Cara’s childhood friend Gloria Vitolo
New Fire Truck Purchase Okayed for Windham by Barbara O’Brien Less than three weeks after Windham voters
approved the purchase of a new fire truck, selectmen unanimously agreed to accept the low bid for the firefighting apparatus that will replace the aging and decrepit “Engine #3.” Article 4 of the 2011 Town Warrant asked
voters to raise and appropriate up to $600,000 for the purpose of purchasing a fire engine and any necessary equipment to place that engine into service, as well as to pay any costs associated with the financing of that purchase. Not more than $391,135 is to be raised through a municipal bond or note, with the remaining money to
come from the fire apparatus capital reserve fund, plus accumulated funds raised through fire impact fees. Any remaining money will be raised through general taxation (not to exceed a total of $106,508). This purchase is part of Windham’s Capital Improvement Program.
Plans to buy the new fire engine got underway about 10 months ago with the formation of a committee composed of firefighters representing various segments of the fire department. “Committee members spent hundreds of hours on this task,” Fire Chief Tom McPherson said. “This is a big investment; one we expect to last for the
next 20 years.”
Committee members include Lieutenant Scott Delaney (chairman) and Firefighters Scott Savard, Michael Specian, Scott Zins, Robert Taylor, and Patrick Robertson. McPherson expressed his appreciation to all the committee members for their time and effort in researching options and bringing recommendations forward. McPherson said that he fully supports committee recommendations. The five bids that were received were opened
on March 18, with the lowest coming from Bulldog Fire Apparatus of Hopkinton, MA.
Bulldog Fire Apparatus is the vendor for the manufacturer of KME, located in Nesquehoning, PA, which submitted the low bid of $517,956. Bulldog Fire Apparatus has sold three other fire
trucks to the Town of Windham. “We have very good rapport with this company,” McPherson assured selectmen.
Selectman Roger Hohenberger asked about
the five-year warranty on the fire engine’s pump, noting that there had been problems with a pump on another fire engine in the past. Firefighter Scott Zins said the new engine will have a
continued to page 6 - Fire Truck
courtesy photos staff photos by Len Lathrop
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