Sunapee will hold hearing on noise ordinance

Sunapee selectmen will hold a public hearing on a new noise ordinance on Monday, October 22 (7 p.m. ) at the town office building, Edgemont Road. You can view the draft ordinance at the town website www.town.sunapee.nh.us or scroll down. Continue reading

2011 Town Warrant awaits Sunapee voters

When Sunapee voters gather for their 2011 Town Meeting, they will have 27 Town Warrant articles to consider including a petition warrant article that seeks to abolish the town’s water and sewer commission.

The deliberative session in Sunapee is February 8. Voting and Election Day is March 8.

Sunapee posted the Town Warrant on its website.

Sunapee News also provides it here: Sunapee, New Hampshire – 2011 Warrant Articles with petition (PDF, 197KB) Continue reading

Sunapee town offices post holiday hours

The Sunapee Transfer Station will close at noon on Friday, December 24, and be closed all day on Christmas day and New Year’s Day. The Sunapee Town Offices will close at noon on Wednesday, December 22, and be closed on Friday, December 24; Saturday, December 25; and Friday, December 31. The Sunapee board of selectmen, with no agenda items scheduled, canceled their Monday, December 27 meeting. (Selectmen meeting agendas and minutes are available on the town website;  minutes are available by subscribing to town news.)

Who is Sunapee’s Oldest Resident?

Sunapee selectmen want help “to determine who our oldest resident may be” and who might be the next recipient of the Boston Post Cane. In October, Helene Nutting, the holder of the cane, passed away at the age of 101.

The Boston Post newspaper devised the Boston Post Cane award in 1909. Edwin A. Grozier, the owner of the Boston Post in the early 1900’s, started the practice for publicity purposes. His newspaper distributed ornate, gold-tipped canes to hundreds of towns in New England for honoring the town’s oldest male resident. Starting in 1930, women were included.

Many New England towns including Sunapee continue the tradition. And Sunapee still has its original cane, which is kept in a case at the town office building. Recipients receive a replica.

“The Town of Sunapee is proud to be one of the municipalities presented with a cane,” according to the recent town notice. If anyone has any idea who might be eligible, please call the Sunapee Selectmen’s office at 763-2212 or email frontdesk@town.sunapee.nh.us.

Sunapee Selectmen Survey Residents about Communication

Sunapee selectmen are looking for feedback. They are asking residents to complete a “customer satisfaction survey” on communication. It can be found on the town website (www.town.sunapee.nh.us) and at the office of the selectmen on Edgemont Road and at the town library. View/download the survey here:  CommunicationSurvey (102 KB).

The on-line survey provides response choices via drop down menus. Continue reading

Sunapee Selectmen OK Emergency Funds for Library Repairs

Sunapee selectmen approved on December 21 an emergency expenditure of $20,000 for mold remediation and repairs at the town library. The money will come from the town’s unreserved fund balance, which is allowed by RSA32:11. The funding request was subsequently approved by the NH Dept. of Revenue Administration, as required. Continue reading

Sunapee Selectmen Will Consider Emergency Funds for Town Library

The board of selectmen in Sunapee will hold a public hearing on December 21 to consider, as prescribed by RSA 32.11, an emergency expenditure of $20,000 for mold remediation at the town library, according to selectmen minutes. Abbott Library Director John Walden and Xan Gallup, chair of the library board of trustees, went before the selectmen on November 30 to discuss the emergency expenditure.

Earlier in the year, toxic mold was discovered in the building’s lower level. The library basement houses adult and children book collections, office space, and the After School Kids (ASK) program that operates three days a week.

The library closed its lower level in November for the mold remediation. However, when books and shelves were removed, other moisture-related damage, drainage failures, and critical maintenance needs became apparent. The cost of the maintenance and repairs including replacement of the basement stairs exceeds available funds within the library budget and from the town contingency fund.

Repair of the basement floor required removing part of the library’s interior staircase. The trustees determined a re-build of the stairs leading to the lower level was necessary based on code requirements.

As for mold, the post-remediation mold tests showed “versicolor mold” still existed in the lower level office. The trustees recently agreed more cleaning airing, and re-testing of the area was needed. Volunteers will assist with the cleaning.

The children’s ASK program found a temporary meeting location, the Sunapee Community Methodist Church located across the street.

If the Sunapee selectmen approve the emergency expenditure on December 21, the funds with approval from the NH Dept. of Revenue could be available to the library within a few days, according to trustee minutes.

Continue reading

Sunapee Selectmen Meet August 24

The Sunapee board of selectmen meets next on Monday, August 24 at 7 p.m. at the town hall on Edgemont Road. The agenda (posted on the town website) shows appointments with Police Chief David Cahill regarding a new officer and with Spec Bowers from the budget advisory committee regarding the 2010 budget. Listed under “selectmen action,” there will be a discussion about parking ordinances also a “discussion regarding granite benches.” Meetings are open to the public and held in the lower level meeting room.

Planning Board and Selectmen Will Discuss the Sunapee Center

Discussion in Sunapee about the Sunapee Center, a 5-acre parcel with buildings on Sargent Road, continues this week when the town’s planning board meets with the board of selectmen on Thursday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m. The planning board continues to work on revisions to the town’s 1998 master plan, a multi-year process that began in 2006. Tomorrow’s session take places as part of the planning board’s master plan meeting, regularly held the third Thursday of the month.

The board of selectmen August 10 met with other town and school representatives, members of the school board and board of trustees of Abbott Library, to discuss possible uses of the Sunapee Center complex. Located across the town’s safety service building, the property is also near the central elementary school and Sherburne gym and adjacent to the state highway that cuts through the center of town. Town leaders and community members are looking at the property to see if it makes sense to acquire the property for future civic needs and to possibly centralize services and create a town center complex.

The property, taken over by Claremont Savings Bank by foreclosure, includes open land and buildings.

For more info: Read the selectmen minutes for August 10, 2009

For related articles:

Sunapee officials have a go at Sunapee Center Aug. 10 (SunapeeNews.com)

It’s a unique opportunity says Mastin (SunapeeNews.com)

Sunapee Selectmen Hold Joint Roundtable Aug. 10

Sunday wrap: The Sunapee board of selectmen meet Monday, August 10 at the town hall meeting room. The agenda lists the Old Town Hall at 7 p.m. and a “joint rountable discussion” with the school board and library board of trustees about the Sunapee Center Complex at 7:10 p.m. The agenda offers little detail about other possible action or reports. Senator Jeanne Shaheen canceled a constituent service meeting at the Sunapee town hall scheduled for Thursday, August 13, according to a recent town notice. And hazardous waste collection for Sunapee and five area towns will be at the highway department garage on Saturday, August 22; look for an upcoming Sunapee News article about what you can bring and what you can not bring. As for neighboring towns, Lorie McClorey reports the latest Grantham community news via Sunacom.com. And the League of NH Craftsmen concluded its 76th Fair today; the nine-day event was held at Mount Sunapee in Newbury.  Send us your photos, video clip links and news of local interest. And if you’d like to help report on community news, please email SunapeeNews@gmail.com or leave a comment (below). Thanks for the positive feedback and news tips this week!

Sunapee Selectmen Talk Communication

Where do Sunapee residents get town news and information and where would they like to get it? And how does the annual town report meet the information needs of the town and at what cost? Sunapee selectmen July 13 continued to look at how best to communicate with residents about local government activities, such as the upcoming summer town meeting on August 4.

The recent loss of a second area newspaper in one year’s time continues to close off traditional avenues of communication that are convenient and readily accessible to local government officials.

The town uses primarily the InterTown Record, a weekly, for public hearing ads. And it used until recently, as a back-up, the Eagle Times, because it’s published six days a week, according to Sunapee Town Manager Donna Nashawaty.

However, that option abruptly ended July 10, when the Claremont-based newspaper folded.

Now, it’s about the numbers and readership. Nashawaty is gathering subscription information so she can identify the daily newspaper–Valley News, Concord Monitor or Union Leader–that reaches the greatest number of Sunapee residents. However, ads can get “buried” in larger newspapers and are hard to find when people do not know where to look for them week to week, one selectman said at the recent selectmen meeting. The town manager said she’d look, as well, at the town’s “news and announcements” subscriptions.

And to get feed-back to various “communication” questions, the selectmen are considering a survey, “perhaps” via the recreation department newsletter or a web-based service, such as Survey Monkey. Another option is a hybrid, on-line and print survey, or a phone survey, said Nashawaty in a follow-up interview today with SunapeeNews.com.

The selectmen also want to know if residents want to continue to receive the annual town report by mail or do they want to pick up a copy at the town hall, transfer station or library. The expense of printing and mailing the report joined the selectmen’s discussion, as it did June 29. If reports are picked-up by the public vs. mailed, the town could save $13,000 in mailing and printing costs and cut the number of copies from 2600 to 1000 or less, Nashawaty said today. Her estimates are based on New London’s experience; the town stopped mailing town reports last year, she said.

Available on-line are Sunapee annual reports for 2007 and 2008. With high speed Internet, one can downloaded both reports, section by section, within four minutes. Connection speed is a factor. The town website warns: “Please be patient PDF documents open slowly.” And unlike the printed report, the 2007 and 2008 editions on-line omit the customary front and back cover and inside-cover photos and dedications and the entire Sunapee school district report including budgets and warrant articles. Nor could SunapeeNews.com locate the school information on the Sunapee school district/SAU85 website.

If you’d like to respond to this article, please leave a comment.

To send a message to town hall, email: frontdesk@town.sunapee.nh.us

Sunapee Selectmen Debate and Set Date for Summer Town Meeting

Sunapee will hold a summer town meeting Tuesday, August 4 at the town hall on Edgemont Road. It will start at 7 p.m. in the lower level meeting room. The board of selectmen agreed last Monday on the date and location after discussing the purpose, audience and recent turn-out for the summer meeting.

Aside from town officials, department heads and committee representatives, fewer than two-dozen people attended last year’s summer town meeting, according to Town Manager Donna Nashawaty.

Last week, Sunapee Select Board Chairman Steve White questioned the benefit of continuing the practice after this year unless public interest and attendance increases. Perhaps it’s time for a change, he lamented.

Nashawaty tossed out some ideas to replace the meeting format: Make a video of department heads that can be played at the library and perhaps aired on the town’s cable channel or produce and distribute hand-outs that contain summaries of town news and updates.

After a 2009 summer meeting was agreed upon, Selectman Emma Smith asked how it would be publicized and suggested the high school cafeteria as a meeting location. Let’s anticipate people will turn out, Smith added. Eventually, the board agreed upon using the Town Hall meeting room. It can seat 75, Nashawaty said.

Selectman Fred Gallup said the meetings began before SB2 and as a way to inform residents that could not attend town meeting.

The town and school system of Sunapee adopted Senate Bill 2 in 1997, an official ballot law that provides for a deliberative session in early February followed by a ballot vote on Town Meeting Day, which is held on the second Tuesday in March. Prior to SB2, Sunapee debated and voted on budgets and warrant articles using the traditional town meeting format.

At the June 29 selectmen meeting, the board and town manager also discussed the cost of communicating town information to the public. Gallup questioned how much time and money should be used. Nashawaty said producing and mailing the annual Town Report to all Sunapee households cost $12,000, and many towns no longer do this. Newport does not mail its town report, Selectman Bill Roach observed.

As for informing people about the summer town meeting, Selectman Charlotte Brown said, many people including summer residents do not go to the post office and many may have little need to go to the town hall. The town uses both locations to post notices.

To notify the public, the board discussed using a street banner, sandwich boards and ads in the local media, and by telling people that come to Town Hall.

Nashawaty discussed the benefits of acquiring an electronic, portable sign that could be used in the future for such purposes, while Smith suggested using the signage space on Sherburne Gym. However, the gym-side sign might not be available to the town during summer, Nashawaty said.

As for summer town meeting and town communication, send us your comments and ideas. Also, you can communicate directly with the Town of Sunapee via its Frontdesk. Email: frontdesk@town.sunapee.nh.us.

Sunapee’s Front Desk Invites Web Comments

Have a question for town hall? Try out Sunapee’s frontdesk.

“We answer every question that comes to the frontdesk,” Sunapee Town Manager Donna Nashawaty said yesterday in a phone interview with SunapeeNews.com.

The town invites and “encourages” comments and inquiries, Nashawaty added.

To reach the office of the selectmen, email: frontdesk@town.sunapee.nh.us.

The town website also lists the contact information for town departments and boards and allows for on-line subscription to “Town News”—emailed, announcements and minutes from select boards and committees. For more information, to: http://www.town.sunapee.nh.us/subscriber.

One-way Signs Come Down at Sunapee Harbor

After an hour of public comment and discussion, Sunapee selectmen unanimously agreed Monday night to end the trial, one-way loop at Sunapee Harbor. The audience of more than 30 largely applauded the decision, which appeared to also get the endorsement of Police Chief Cahill and Road Agent Tony Bergeron.

A broadcast email sent Tuesday by the town said the loop would end effective today, Wednesday, July 1, and “the highway department will be working to remove the Jersey barrier and one way signs. Please use caution when entering and exiting the harbor.”

The decision came after several people including selectmen shared personal experiences traveling and observing the one-way loop that started June 17. It directed traffic one-way up Main Street past the old town hall and out of the harbor via River Road and the High Street Bridge.

In May, the board voted 5-0 to test the new traffic plan and “put the issue to bed, one way or another.”

Anchrage2009Harbor business owner Glenn Shaw, from the Anchorage restaurant, said the one-way loop was “infuriating” and confusing patrons and driving people away. It’s “not an easy town to do survive in,” added Shaw, who helped get 500 signatures on a petition to end the experimental traffic change.

Bob Henry, Sunapee, of Harborside Trading Company, also called for an end to the loop. He offered a “compromise,” one-way only on River Road.

Peter Urbach, Sunapee, stood and spoke against the loop. I’ve presented the selectmen a petition with 100 names, he added.

The town is “trying to fix something that doesn’t need fixing,” said Artie Osborne, who then handed over the citizen’s petition containing 500 signatures gathered in less than two weeks.

“People are not happy with it,” noted Osborne.

Osborne also questioned why the sidewalk was re-installed along River Road after voters in March rejected the expenditure. Osborne has repeatedly and publicly questioned the cost and need for a sidewalk along River Road, where once existed trailer parking, but now is limited to vehicle parking only.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Steve White responded, the vote in March was about installing a permanent, not temporary, sidewalk, and there are safety factors.

“Give me a break,” responded Osborne.

Public safety was Skip Nolin’s concern when he spoke against the new traffic design and safety was the major factor the selectmen cited for ending the one-way before the end of the summer. The aesthetics and impact on the community as a whole were other factors people mentioned.

Although Selectman Fred Gallup thought the board would be open to criticism for not providing a “good enough trial” period, he with Selectmen Emma Smith, Charlotte Brown, Bill Roach and Steve White, voted 5-0 to do away with the one-way loop as soon as possible.

It’s Wednesday morning. The Jersey barriers and one-way signs at Sunapee Harbor are coming down.

Other remarks from the June 29 selectmen meeting:

  • Glenn Shaw: “No one is coming [to the harbor]…as a business owner, it is very hard to operate.” The temporary Jersey barriers make the area look like Beirut.
  • Donna Gazelle: Reversing the direction to counter-clockwise might prove to be more successful.
  • Brian Vincent: The charrette [the community visioning and planning session held in 2007] evaluated the potential for creating “a vibrant, community area and re-development of the old town hall.” It looked at future needs of the harbor including traffic and parking. [The charrette, based on community input, suggested adding more on-street parking and moving traffic counter-clockwise through the harbor.]
  • Selectman Emma Smith: “It’s awful. It’s not good….I feel we gave it a chance and we’d be wise to let it go.”
  • Selectman Charlotte Brown: 90%+ of the comments I’ve received oppose the one-way loop. It’s about “safety…I don’t think we should have the one-way loop. River Road should not be one-way either.”
  • Selectman Bill Roach: After reciting several dangerous close-calls involving vehicular traffic, “it’s time to put it to rest…It’s been in place 13 days longer than I figured it would last.”
  • Road Agent Tony Bergeron: “It has not succeeded…[I] recommend, take down the one-way, and not try any other alterations this year…It was a misinterpretation of the Charrette… [business] is 25% behind this year…” If businesses and buildings change in the future, traffic flow may need to be revisited.
  • Selectman Steve White: “The safety and welfare of the town are most important…I do it [vote] with some regret.”

Sunapee Selectmen Vote to Do Away with One-way Loop

Update: Citing safety concerns, the Sunapee board of selectmen at last night’s meeting unanimously voted (5-0) to “discontinue the one-way loop [at Sunapee Harbor] as soon as possible.” The one-way signs and Jersey barriers could be removed as early as this Wednesday, which would allow for two-way traffic to resume up Main Street, along River Road and across the High Street bridge before the start of the July 4th weekend.

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