Pelham - Windham News April 29, 2011 - 5
More Parking for Rail Trail Rail trail parking lot on Rte. 28 at the Windham-Salem line
by Barbara O’Brien It took a long time for town officials to reach a decision, and the discussion was a contentious one throughout the multi-week process, but, eventually, selectmen did unanimously agree to sign a three-year Special Use Permit for state-owned property off Route 28. As a result, there will be additional parking for those using the southern end of the “Windham Rail Trail.”
According to Mark Samsel, president of the Windham Rail
Trail Alliance, the state-owned parcel, located behind the former Rogers Auto Body, was first offered to Windham about five years ago, through the Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED, Bureau of Trails). At the time, however, the offer was declined. More recently, the State of New Hampshire offered Windham a three-year use agreement. “With the increasing popularity of the trail, extra parking is needed in this location,” Samsel said. Windham Police Chief Gerald Lewis agrees with Samsel’s contention, saying certain safety concerns would be resolved with the additional parking. Samsel said the parcel is partially paved and partially gravel. “It can be used as-is,” Samsel added. “This is low-cost/no-cost to taxpayers,” he continued. “Our intent is not to pave it at this point.” Volunteers would be used for cleaning up the area and tree trimming, he said.
According to the “rolling agreement” with the State, one that could be extended after the initial three-year period, Windham would be responsible for maintaining the parking area. Any improvements would first have to be approved by the State, Samsel explained. The problems between selectmen arose due to a small portion of the parking area, about 5%, being located in the town of Salem. Although Samsel said the issue had been raised with Salem on numerous occasions, little interest from Salem officials had resulted. “No one [in Salem] has shown any interest for the past two years,” Samsel stated. Selectman Bruce Breton was adamant, however, that more effort be expended in getting Salem to respond to the proposed agreement. “I don’t want to step on Salem’s toes,” Breton insisted. “It’s imperative that we work together.” As a last-ditch effort, town officials sent a letter to the Salem Board of Selectmen, dated March 29. As of April 18, there had been no correspondence sent in response. Selectmen’s Chairman Ross McLeod said he felt the proposal had already been in limbo for too long. “We need to do something before we lose it,”
McLeod said. Town Administrator David Sullivan suggested that parking be limited to the Windham section of the property only. “There’s a one- quarter parking space that’s located in Salem,” Samsel said. “Salem had three years to provide input. We need to move ahead.” “We’re beating a dead horse here,” Selectman Kathleen DiFruscia
said. “Salem is simply not interested.” Selectman Roger Hohenberger said he was concerned about obligating Windham to future unforeseen expenses. “I don’t want the town to get hit with bills down the road,” Hohenberger said. Sullivan said the town’s only obligation is to maintain liability insurance—a very minor cost, he added. It was suggested that the parking lot be posted with signs stating that it is only for the use of people using the Rail Trail and that parking is done at the vehicle owner’s own risk. After additional discussion, Windham selectmen did finally vote 5 to 0 to approve the three-year special use permit with the State of New Hampshire, based on Windham receiving no objections from the Town of Salem by May 1, 2011. Windham selectmen also stipulated that there is to be no expense to the town without prior approval regarding the maintenance or improvement of the parking area.
Life Jackets: Just the Facts
Knowing the facts about the different types of life jackets (also referred to as PFDs – Personal Flotation Devices) can help you decide which are appropriate for you. All boaters should wear life jackets, whether or not the law requires it. • While riding a personal watercraft. • While water-skiing or being towed on a similar device. • For children less than 10 years of age on any vessel less than 18 feet in length.
It is particularly important to wear a life jacket in the following situations: • When the boater cannot swim or is a weak swimmer • When boating alone • When the water is dangerously cold (the months of October through May)
• During rough water/waves and severe weather conditions • When boating at night • In emergency situations • In swift and fast current situations Life jackets fall into five different categories—each with different features that serve a variety of needs. Regardless of type, all life jackets must meet these U.S. Coast Guard requirements. No matter what the type of life jacket, the most significant fact about life jackets is that they save lives. It is important for recreational boaters to take the time to choose a life jacket that they will wear, that meets the need of the activity they are participating in, and that will work for the environment to which they are exposed.
Charlie Chalk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick E. Donovan Attorney at Law
Admitted in New Hampshire and Massachusetts
State-Owned Land On the Market
by Barbara O’Brien The State of New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) has decided to place a parcel of surplus land in Windham on the open market. Windham officials were given the first right of refusal, but have decided that it really wouldn’t be of substantial use to the town. The issue was discussed publicly during the selectmen’s board meeting on April 18. Town Administrator David Sullivan said the 2.4-acre parcel at 16 Roulston Road was first offered to the town about six months previously.
At the time, the State’s asking price was $198,000. In the interim period, the sales price has dropped dramatically to $130,500.
Despite the significant decrease in the asking price, however, selectmen still decided to tell the State, “No, thank you.” Selectmen also said they think the town will benefit more by having the property sold on the open market and, therefore, put back on the tax roll. The DOT purchased the land and small house in advance of reconstructing that area of Route 111. But as it turned out,
this particular plot of land, located off of Industrial Drive, was not needed for the construction project.
According to Economic and Community Development Director Laura Scott, the property being offered for sale is currently zoned Residential-A. The selectmen’s decision not to
purchase the property was unanimous (5 to 0). A final decision needed to be reached no later than April 18, Sullivan said.
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Windham Presbyterian Church Sponsors Baseball Equipment Drive
submitted by Windham Presbyterian Church
When people think of the Bahamas, they think of prosperity, not poverty; but on Grand Bahama Island, there is poverty. Lewis Yard and surrounding settlements, the poorest areas on the island, were devastated by back-to-back hurricanes in 2004 and then hit hard again as the world economy declined. Many families live in shacks of roughly 475 square feet with no running water or electricity.
opportunities are scarce. Yet one of the goals of local community leaders desired to start a baseball and softball league for the children of Lewis Yard. They have a field, coaches, a meeting house, and the support of the schools and churches, but one thing was lacking—equipment. They have no equipment, nor do they have the funds to purchase any. One of Windham
Presbyterian Church’s member families, Ken and Mary Lou Stubert, brought the plight of the community to the attention of church’s mission committee. Over the winter, the Stuberts worked with The Harvest Foundation, a non-profit Christian organization dedicated to improving the life of the residents of these settlements. With the help of groups from the United States, homes were re-built and other community projects accomplished. After hearing that the program included four bases—Love God, Respect Others, Go to School, and Have Fun—the church immediately agreed to conduct an equipment drive. From May 1 to June 16, new and used
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equipment can be brought to the church: bats, gloves, balls, helmets, catcher’s gear, sneakers, baseball shoes, and wiffle balls and bats, plus anything else you can think of, will be gladly accepted. The Stuberts will deliver the equipment personally to the island and work with the locals in getting the league started. For more information, contact Ken or Mary Stubert at 635-2392 or the church.
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