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Wakefield Bonnyman Road project to be completed this fall

by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
May 18, 2017
WAKEFIELD — At it May 10 meeting the Board of Selectmen met with Linda Schier, executive director, and Amy Arsenault, program manager, of the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance (AWWA) to discuss the status of the Bonnyman Road runoff control project. Sally Soule of the N.H. Department of Environmental Services, who manages the grant for the project, was also present.

Wakefield Public Works Director Leigh Nichols said that roads on all sides of Province Lake are too close to the lake. Runoff from roads into the relatively shallow lake has produced two cyanobacteria blooms in recent years, and AWWA has been working with the Province Lake Association and the state on projects to control and minimize runoff. Wakefield highway crews have also helped with parts of the project on Bonnyman Road since 2016.

Nichols and Schier confirmed that the Bonnyman Road runoff control project in both Wakefield and Effingham will be completed by the end of the year when the grant period runs out.

Schier also reviewed the Wakefield school projects AWWA has helped initiate. They include raising trout from eggs in the 4th grade, identifying bugs in the streams at Province Lake Golf Course in the 6th grade, testing well water in the 7th grade and getting involved in the sea perch project in 8th grade.

AWWA also runs a Youth Conservation Corps in the summer. Last summer corps members completed 21 water quality protection projects in eight weeks and five of the seven members from that crew are returning in 2017. Arsenault runs that program, which also involves students from Acton, Maine, schools.

Road projects

Nichols has requested bids on the two paving projects approved in the 2017 budget for Willey and Old Stage roads.

At present his crew is filling potholes on gravel roads, which did not do well this winter. All gravel roads will be regraded, Nichols said, adding that Seth Garland is doing good work with the town's grader.

Asked how the four-day week approved for this summer was working out, Nichols said it has help not only morale but getting jobs done. He cited a culvert replacement on Leighton Corner Road that hit ledge and was only completed because the crew had the two extra hours that day to work on it.

Selectman Connie Twombley asked what Nichols did on Fridays when the crew was off. He responded that he gets paperwork done, moves equipment and gets things done he can't get to the other four days. Nichols also admitted he enjoyed the quiet.

Crew Road code enforcement

Town Administrator Kelley Collins reported that Shoreland Compliance Officer Victor Vinagro found a clear cutting operation in violation on Crew Road. Required silt fencing was not installed and an excavator on site was leaking fluids. The contractor, who works out of Plaistow, was not present.

Collins said a cease and desist notice will be issued, which has a fine of $275 a day. The N.H. Department of Environmental Services will be on site shortly to deal with the leaking excavator.

Other business

Collins reported that she plans to maintain regular meetings with department heads but had to move the next date to attend a work session on the Right to Know law, RSA 91-A.

Following up on a question from the last meeting, she reported that the lot formerly used for a skate park, located behind the Public Safety Building, is part of the Public Safety Building lot. Collins also spoke with David Guttadauro about the lot, and he said he is willing to buy or lease it. Selectmen Chair Charlie Edwards said he thought a lot line adjustment adding the property to Guttadauro's lot would be the simplest way to deal with the unused property. Collins said she will check with Town Counsel Rick Sager about what process will be needed and with Nate Fogg about whether the planning board needs to review it.

Collins said outgoing Town Administrator Teresa Williams left a note that personnel policies need to be updated this summer, particularly in four areas, including furlough days. The board agreed the policies should be updated.

The East Wakefield School building is now vacant since the church that leased it has left. Collins asked if the Heritage Commission should evaluate the property. The board agreed. Edwards said he is in favor of auctioning it off since it needs so much work.

Selectmen reappointed Dave Mankus as a member of the Conservation Commission and Helen Watkins as a member of the Heritage Commission.

During the work session section of the meeting Selectman Lino Avellani raised the issue of employees accruing time outside their job description. Collins will look into that, noting that any policy must be consistent for all Wakefield town employees.

Edwards reported that electrical work has started on the second floor of the Public Safety Building and that he will hold a walk through on May 11 for contractors interested in bidding on the sheet rock, plumbing and fire sprinkler work.

Collins reminded the board that there will be public hearings at the next meeting to validate election results and to review invasive species capital reserve requests.

The next meeting of the Wakefield Board of Selectmen will be on Wednesday, May 24, at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall conference room.

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