HAMPSTEAD – At the Hampstead Selectmen’s meeting on Monday, May 8, Sunset Lake Association spokesmen, Howie Steadman and Don Shedd asked Selectmen for their support in the association’s effort to prevent mechanized boat launches at the Town Beach this summer.
Steadman and Shedd both warned that boats from out-of-town can easily carry Milfoil or other toxic weeds that could lead to the end of Sunset Lake that would could have a devastating tax impact on the town. The two also pointed out that they came before the board with a request for the board’s assistance last summer and nothing was done.
Both men expressed the concern for mechanized boat launches taking place while the beach is open and there are swimmers and sunbathers. They say this could have disastrous results.
Last summer, when the group came before the board, Steadman said it was suggested that the lifeguards put cones across the boat launch area and then remove them at the end of the beach day. The lifeguards would not confront anyone moving the cones to launch a boat but rather would immediately call the police. Steadman said this arrangement didn’t happen and he wondered why it had not.
Police Chief Joe Beaudoin said his officers have a problem with stopping residents who have deeded rights to launch their boats. This amounts to several dozen residents who have this deeded right and he said he can’t enforce the hours set for no launching on land that the town doesn’t own and which the residents have the deeded right to launch their boats.
After a discussion it was decided that the board would ask the Recreation Commission to have the life guards put the cones across the area used by cars to launch boats and when someone comes to launch and moves the cones the life guards will notify police who Beaudoin said would respond. If when the police respond and they find the car and boat are from out of town, or are from Hampstead but don’t have a deeded right to launch, they will be stopped.
Beaudoin reminded folks that users of the beach need a sticker to park their cars that they can get from Town Hall and if they have a deeded right to launch they need to have proof of that. The hope is that this will stop the launching of boats during the times that the beach is open.
Later in the meeting, Chief Beaudoin asked the board to approve accepting the Emergency Management Performance Grant of $600 that will provide funding for the purchase of the School Security Notification Software. Beaudoin said this is an important piece of law enforcement resource that will override the 911 when activated in the event of an issue at the schools and go directly to the computers in the cruisers enabling a quicker response. He said several towns are going in on this purchase and it won’t cost Hampstead anything this year and if it proves as worthwhile as he believes it is he hopes the school districts will take over funding the cost of the software in the following year. The board approved accepting the grant.
Beaudoin also asked the board to approve him taking the $4,400 for the renewal of the motorcycle lease out of his Department Special Detail Fund. The board approved his request. He also notified the board there would likely be some road and traffic disruption on May 21 due to the Crop Walk that will originate at the Hampstead Congregational Church with walkers and runners.
He indicated he anticipates a large number of walkers and runners since multiple towns and churches are involved. He also checked to see if the applicants for the full time police officer position had been notified that sending a resume without filling out and sending the application isn’t sufficient. Selectmen’s Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault said she had notified all who had sent in resumes only and expects them to get the applications filled out and submitted by the June 15 deadline.
In other business:
• Theriault reported to the board that the town’s attorney has determined that there is no conflict of interest in Selectman Chad Bennett, who is a contractor, being the liaison to the Highway Department but did caution that distribution of work under the bid cap of $5,000 be done fairly. Road Agent Jon Worthen and Theriault will keep a log of work distributed to ensure fairness.
• Worthen recommended the six-year lease agreement for the loader and the board approved.
• The board approved Worthen spending up to $500 to install a gate and large rocks to block off the town property exit from the Rockingham Trail that goes under Main Street that four wheelers are going through to run up Main Street to Depot Crossing.
• Troop 233 Boy Scout Leader Joshua Rebane explained his Eagle Scout project to the board. He plans to repair and where necessary replace the benches on Veteran’s Memorial Park. In doing the repair or replacement those benches that have plaques will have those cleaned and repositioned on the benches.
• The board approved the new town policy that states that flags in Hampstead will be lowered to half mast only when that is required by the President, the Governor, or the Congress.
• The board opened the four bids for the summer paving project for Emerson Avenue, Wash Pond, Governor’s Island Road and Eagle Road, from Advance Paving, Suncook; Brox, Dracut, Mass; Pike Industries, Portsmouth; and, R&D Paving, Franklin. The board handed the bids to Worthen for his review and recommendation for awarding the contract.
• Theriault said Hampstead has no one clean-up day and she encouraged neighborhood volunteers to come by the Town Hall and get blue bags and cleanup the roadways in their neighborhoods. If they leave their address the town truck will pick-up those bags. Worthen said on Earth Day his people picked up 40 bags that had been filled by volunteers but there was much more to be done.