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New Parking Lot at Griffin Park will Exceed Approved Budget
by Barbara O’Brien Windham Selectmen did finally decide to move
forward with constructing the new parking lot at the town-owned Griffin Park, but not all of them were happy about proceeding without taking the decision back to the voters. During the selectmen’s meeting on October 17,
Town Administrator David Sullivan announced that all six bids received on the project would put the total cost of the project over the $200,000 approved by voters last March. $35,000 of that amount had already been spent for engineering costs, leaving only $165,000 for the actual construction costs. Bids received by the October 14 deadline ranged in price from a high of $272,342 to a low of $187,000. All six firms that bid on the work are located in New Hampshire. Based on the lowest bid of $187,000 from North Hampton Excavating, the project would cost $22,000 more than approved by voters. According to Sullivan, the only place the extra money can be found at this point is in the town’s highway department budget, which could mean some of the proposed roadwork might not get done as planned. Highway Agent Jack McCartney was asked how he felt about having $22,000 taken from his 2011 budget. “It keeps happening every year,” McCartney replied, adding that the town is already 20 miles from where it should be in regard to road reconstruction. Selectmen also discussed the possibility of not totally finishing the new parking lot at Griffin Park this year, but leaving the final paving until next year. Sullivan cautioned against taking that approach, however, saying that the cost of paving could escalate in the meantime. “Paving costs could be higher next year,” Sullivan cautioned. “That’s a risk you always run” by delaying, Chairman Ross McLeod said. Selectman Kathleen DiFruscia said she didn’t think it would be wise to do the project piecemeal. “The right thing to do is bring it back to the voters,” she said. “Then do the project next spring, instead.” McLeod said he felt the problems in insufficient money related to the board’s decision not to go out to bid on the engineering costs last spring, but just choosing to use Herbert Associates, instead. The cost of the project didn’t come through as promised, McLeod stated. “Was the $200,000 just pulled out of thin air?” he asked. Selectman Bruce Breton said that Herbert Associates had been doing a lot of the work without even billing the town and that it would have cost a lot more if they had gone with another engineering company. Former selectman Charles McMahon, who has been paramount in developing the assets at Griffin Park, said the cost of asphalt has risen substantially in the past year, adding that the $200,000 price tag “was not a guess.” “The market has conspired against us,” McMahon said. McLeod said he felt strongly that the project should be taken back to the voters next March. By going over budget, “we’re doing a back door on the voters,” McLeod said. If the parking lot is not completed fully this year and the paving is delayed, residents are only getting a partial project for their money, he stated. DiFruscia said she does want to see the parking lot finished, but is concerned about the overage in the budget. Breton said the overage is only 11% of the total cost, an amount he said he did not feel was excessive.
After further discussion, it was decided that waiting to do the final paving would not be a wise move, either because the costs could rise by springtime and, also, that the lot would look unfinished and wouldn’t be blended in with the existing parking area. Selectman Roger Hohenberger suggested that the lighting and fencing slated for the project be put off until later to save some money this year. He was told that it would cost more money in the long run if these items weren’t installed at the time of the initial construction.
McMahon asked selectmen to consider the parking area as “a safety issue.” “This has already been an issue for a decade,” McMahon said, referring to insufficient parking for those using Griffin Park and, therefore, being forced to park along Range Road. With the poor economy, it’s getting more challenging to do these projects, he added. McMahon also said he feels getting the work done this year is “the one window of opportunity.” “You need to make a value judgment,” McMahon urged selectmen. “The town does support this project.” Following more heated debate, DiFruscia made a motion to award the construction bid for the parking lot to North Hampton Excavating for $187,000, contingent on the additional $22,000 coming from this year’s highway department budget. “It will be more costly to come back next year,” DiFruscia said. The motion was approved by a vote of 3 to 1. Selectmen Bruce Breton, Roger Hohenberger, and Kathleen DiFruscia voted in favor of the motion. Selectman McLeod voted against the motion. Selectman Phil LoChiatto did not attend the meeting where the vote was taken.
Plans are to get underway on the actual construction as soon as possible. The requested report from the arborist, concerning the condition of certain trees lining the area, was not yet available for board members to discuss. There was also no decision made about what to do about the old stone wall, an issue that remains in limbo.
Pelham~Windham News Volume 9 Number 16 October 28, 2011 16 Pages
by Karen Plumley Pelham Elementary School (PES) Lunch
Lady Charity Willis played her monthly role as Ms. Vegetable with gusto, appearing at school lunches on Wednesday, October 19, to share her passion for a secret and rarely served vegetable with students - the Brussels sprout. Sliced in half and roasted to perfection, the brussel sprouts were loaded up on toothpicks, and first grade students enthusiastically lined up to taste- test this curious veggie. Amazingly, most of the kids seemed to enjoy it. The Ms. Vegetable program has been going on for a few years at Pelham Elementary, and according to Pelham Food Service Director Rhonda Peckham, the goal is to “offer healthy fruits and vegetables not typically served to kids.” Some unique treats served in the past have been sugar snap peas, fresh beets, edamame, papaya and ruby red grapefruit. “The program is great because we can
have the kids try new things gradually. There are new regulations coming for school lunches that will require us to offer more vegetable choices,” explained Peckham. If the kids are exposed to some
of these flavors ahead of time, it will not be totally foreign to them, she said.
Ms. Vegetable gets the kids excited about trying something new, and it is truly a game for them. They are not told what the food item is before they try it - they have to guess. Students are asked to shout out their guesses at the end of the lunch period.
Kids at the middle and high
school levels also get to try some new recipes. In October, a fruit salsa was offered to them for tasting. “It was really good. It had fresh pineapple, cilantro, red pepper, lime juice and jalapeño peppers in it,” described Peckham. They also served a dirt cup in honor of Earth Day and some homemade granola - the recipe for the latter is published on the school lunch Website.
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Ms. Vegetable (Charity Willis) serves up the brussel sprouts to first graders at Pelham Elementary School.
Goblins, Ghosts and Ghouls Spotted at Horrible’s Parade Lily Flanders, Michael Flanders, and Arianna Flanders
by Robyn Hatch This year Pelham’s annual Horrible’s Parade took place on Saturday, October 22, to well over 500 people in attendance. The Pelham Firefighters Association and Pelham Firefighters IAFF 4536 Annual Spooktacular Horrible’s Parade did another incredible job with this event and controlling traffic and all people. Goblins, ghosts, and ghouls of all ages were invited to march behind the fire trucks with sirens, horns, and lights. This parade was organized in the parking lot of the Pelham Memorial School on Marsh Road and terminated in the parking lot of the Dennis P. Lyons Memorial Park. There was a Haunted Hayride for those with courage. For those faint of heart, a not so scary hayride as well. Costumed participants were able to dig into a large front-end loader filled up with candy. There was fresh apple cider, popcorn, and hot dogs while they lasted and a large screen outdoor movie kept playing movies over and over. This event is looked forward
to each year, and gets bigger and bigger with excitement for all!
Madison Gillis, Joe Grow, and Ben Larson John Furlong and Chloe Brinelle
submitted by Katie Fittz Residents of Windham Terrace, an assisted
living community located in Windham learned to dance with help from the teachers at the Krystal Ballroom in Salem. It was a trip down memory lane for many of the seniors. “I am amazed at how much dancing resonates with our residents,” said Melanie Purcell, activities director for Windham Terrace. “So many of them have past experiences in dance, or have always wanted to learn. This was a wonderful activity for them, and everyone seemed to enjoy learning the ballroom style.” Resident Karl Venus took dance lessons
Windham Terrace Residents Dance the Night Away
Hannah Leonard, Grace Leonard, Russell Leonard, Sawyer Gosselin
as a child, and when he met his wife Anna, they continued dancing together. Seeing the dancers brought back wonderful memories for Venus and he could not resist getting up and showing everyone his moves. Bernice Plaza grew up doing the jitterbug, but when she met her Polish husband, he taught her to Polka. They used to attend Polka events together around the nation. Plaza had always been interested in ballroom dancing as well, and realized this was her chance. She took to the floor, learning new moves and finished the night like a pro. The Krystal Ballroom dance event was part of the celebration of National Assisted Living Week at Windham Terrace. This week of celebration also included a creative writing
Members of the Krystal Ballroom, Chuck Bamforth, Deb Bamforth, Nico Rael, owner Debbie Ulbrich, Chris Ulbrich and Alana Saab visit Windham Terrace.
class led by author Anne Kelsey, a brunch with the local firemen, a cookie contest, and an exhibit of artwork the residents created over the summer. The men enjoyed their own luncheon while the ladies participated in
makeovers. Entertainers, including Kid Jazz and Gary Sredzienski, also came to help the residents celebrate.
Ms. Vegetable Serves Up the Sprouts
at Pelham Elementary
Photo Courtesy of Windham Terrace
Staff photo by Robyn Hatch
Staff photo by Karen Plumley
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