Right-of-Way Issue Heats Up at Council Meeting
The Portsmouth Town Council met Monday night.
The Portsmouth Town Council met Monday night at Town Hall. The following is an account of actions taken during the meeting.
The meeting began after 7 p.m. due to an executive session.
Council honors Portsmouth officers, high school band
7:06 p.m. — The council ratified the police department promotions. The promotions included the following: Sgt. Steven Hoetzel to the rank of lieutenant; Det. Inspector Stephen Burns, sergeant; and Patrolman Nicholas Arruda, detective inspector.
7:09 — The council approved the promotions.
7:13 — Michael O'Brien was sworn into office as deputy chief for the Portsmouth Fire Department. Hoetzel, Burns and Arruda were sworn into office.
7:15 — Retired Police Chief Lance E. Hebert was honored with a proclamation and town tile. "It's been an honor to work in Portsmouth," said a teary-eyed Hebert. "It's also been a privilege to be a police officer." Hebert received a standing ovation.
7:21 — The town also presented a proclamation to Caroline "Bunny" Miller and a proclamation to Doug Smith, representing the Portsmouth 375th anniversary committee.
7:32 — The town also presented a proclamation to the Portsmouth High School band director Ted Rausch, honoring the band for being selected to march in the 57th presidential inauguration.
7:35 — Senator Chris Ottiano and Reps. John G. Edwards and Dennis Canario also presented state citations to Rausch for the "pride the whole state will feel," Ottiano said. "It's a wonderful honor." Ottiano and Edwards said they are presenting a $2,500 legislative grant to the high school for the trip costs.
7:38 — The council voted to donate $1,000 to the high school band to help defray the trip costs.
Council tables appointment to School Committee
7:51 — According to Town Administrator John Klimm, a new town-wide employee evaluation program will be completed. The town has issued a second bid to establish a private partnership with the town for the wind turbine generator. Klimm said the town has entered into negotiations with four private companies. A presentation will be held in the future.
8:03 — Keith Hamilton motioned to appoint Allen Shers to the Portsmouth School Committee. The town received three letters of interest. Councilor Molly Magee motioned to have the three candidates speak before council at next meeting. The council voted 7-0 in favor of the motion.
Council debates Fairview Lane right-of-way issue
8:18 — The council held an executive session tonight on Fairview Lane. Discussion on Fairview Lane continues.
8:51 — Discussion on Fairview Lane continues. Several residents and abutters speak at podium. Former Town Councilor Joe Robicheau speaking now on right-of-way issue.
Do you think Fairview Lane should be made a public right-of-way or private access? Tell us in the comment section below!
9:10 — Discussion on whether or not to hold a public hearing on Fairview Lane issues lasts more than an hour. Former town solicitor says notices to homeowners and title search would cost town between $4,000 to $6,000. D.A. D'Andrea says total costs would exceed $10,000.
9:25 — Councilor Michael Buddemeyer says "it's a decision between neighbors." He motions to move the question. Another abutter speaks.
9:44 — After more than an hour and a half discussion, council President Jim Seveney said it was a "private dispute." "I don't see it in the interest of Portsmouth to open up this issue," he said. "I don't see the town's interest being served in that way."
9:44 — Resident Peter Roberts stood at podium, yells and refuses to leave after council president repeatedly asks him to sit down.
9:55 — Hamilton motions to table issue until neighborhood can "get together" to discuss issue. Council votes 7-0 to table.
Council votes to raise transfer station sticker fee
10:02 — Ray Berberick gives 2012 Portsmouth Economic Development Committee annual report.
10:21 — Hamilton motions to set transfer station sticker fee at $130, an increase of $5. The council approves motion in 7-0 vote.
10:39 — Council approves requests to issue RFPs for Statistical Revaluation Program, as well as proposals for Tax Sales Services.
10:41 — Council votes 7-0 to approve a contract for a paving management program.
10:45 — Council approves $500 for Portsmouth Tree Commission's Arbor Day Distribution of Native Tree Seedlings.
10:46 — Council approves request to abate all 2001 delinquent taxes. The vote was 6-0 with Liz Pedro abstained.