While engaged in the rescue mission, another call for assistance came in via 911 for a hiker lost off trail in the thick fog on Mt. Washington. Fortunately, the hiker could be guided safely to the Auto Road over the phone, preventing a separate rescue effort.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 August 2015 23:22
Written by Kirstan Lukasak
By Kirstan Lukasak
GORHAM — Staffing changes and equipment failure prompted EMS Director Chad Miller to approach the board of selectmen with a proposal to add an additional full-time paramedic and to consider purchasing a third vehicle for the department.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 August 2015 23:04
Written by Barbara Tetreault
By Barbara Tetreault
BERLIN — A new steel fabrication company will begin operations at the Maynesboro Industrial Park this fall with three to six employees and plans to eventually expand to as many as 30 people.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 August 2015 22:50
Written by Barbara Tetreault
BERLIN — As part of the proposed reconstruction of Route 16, the design firm is suggesting limiting on-street parking from 9th Street to 12th Street.
Jay Poulin of HEB Engineers updated the council last week on the design work for the project, which is slated to get underway next year.
The plan calls for doing a full reconstruction of the road from St. Anne Church to 12th Street Bridge including removing all concrete pavement and replacing sidewalks and drainage system. In an effort to keep the project affordable, the section from the 12th Street Bridge to White Mountains Community College will not undergo a full reconstruction. Instead, the top two inches of pavement will be removed and the road repaved. Existing sidewalks and drainage will be maintained.
The estimated project cost is $5 million with a $750,000 contingency. Poulin said the contingency is large and said it could go down as the design gets finalized.
Poulin said his firm expects to have the design work completed by Sept. 25 and plans to hold a public meeting before that date to get public input on the design. He said he expects the project will go out for construction bids in February or March of 2016.
Sections of the road between St. Anne Church and the 12th Street Bridge are currently 50 feet wide. Poulin said the plan is to reduce the overall pavement where appropriate, allowing for additional width where on-street parking is proposed. He said curbing will be installed on both sides of the road and large curb cuts will be eliminated in favor of dedicated access points.
Poulin noted the project runs through two different zones. St Anne Church to 8th Street is zoned business general while the section from 8th to 12th Street is residential single family.
He said the preliminary design is proposing on-street parallel parking on the west side from St. Anne to 9th Street and eliminating parking on the west side from 9th to 12th Streets. Poulin said that would allow the city to put in green space and trees similar to the lower Hutchins Street that is popular with walkers. He said it would improve the streetscape of that area.
On-street parking would be allowed on the east side in selected areas such as adjacent to the Northern Forest Heritage Park, Rotary Park, Ron's Variety Store, and businesses between Viking and 7th Street. Poulin noted most businesses on the east side have off-street parking and there are no businesses on the east side after the heritage park.
The council's reaction to the limited parking was mixed. Mayor Paul Grenier said he was uneasy and Councilor Lucie Remillard said the council should listen to constituents. Councilor Peter Higbee, who lives in that area, said he does not see a lot of parking on the east side. Grenier said the public will weigh in on the issue at the public hearing.
At Brown School, the plan calls for a drop-off area in front of the school and on-street parking on the west side. Staff parking on the east side will be paved and curbed to prevent uncontrolled parking. The work there will be done during the summer when school is not in session. One consideration is to install a flashing yellow light there.
A council concern was the fact the city will also be working on Hutchins Street next year. The council did not want both constructions underway at the same time. Poulin said the plan calls for doing the Hutchins Street construction from May through mid-July. During that time, the city can mobilize for the Route 16 work and do the overlay work from 12th Street to the college as well as begin replacing drainage structures and pipes along the curb.
In other business
• The council approved hiring HEB Engineers to perform a structural analysis of the Berlin fire station at a cost not to exceed $3,000. City Manager James Wheeler explained that Fire Chief Randall Trull noticed some deterioration of the concrete and steel beams. The money will come from the fire department repair fund.
• Wheeler reported that City Clerk Debra Patrick has given notice that she will retire July 10, 2016. He said he appreciated the long notice. Assessing supervisor and deputy Clerk Susan Warren is retiring this October. The council authorized Wheeler to advertise for both positions.
• Once again, the city is looking at changing its voting locations. This March, because of concerns by school officials over using the Brown and Junior High Schools for voting, the city agreed to drop them after the 2015 municipal election. Instead, the council agreed to a proposal to use the basement at St. Kieran Center for the Arts for those two precincts. The Angel Guardian and the Berlin Recreation Center remained as the other two voting locations. City Clerk Debra Patrick reported that new legislation now requires that election workers at polling places have to take pictures of voters who do not have proper picture identification. She said the voters will have to fill out a form and have their picture attached to the form. She said the state is supplying the photo equipment but the basement at St. Kieran is too small to provide the added space needed for the equipment. Patrick said she is recommending using St. Anne hall instead. She said church officials are willing to let the city use the hall and the church parking lot there.
The council approved using the hall with Mayor Paul Grenier and Councilor Mike Rozek opposed. Grenier said he thinks the solution is to close the school system on election days so the buildings can be used for voting.
• The council voted to meet on Tuesday, Sept. 8, because of the Labor Day holiday.
Last Updated on Monday, 24 August 2015 23:05
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