Featured here is a report of the Portsmouth Town Council meeting:
7 p.m. — Town Council presents letter of commendation to Joseph Yates, who researched a project and constructed a household-size wind turbine in Africa. Yates is a student at the Portsmouth Abbey. Audience stands and applauds Yates.
7:05 — Council hears recommendation to appoint Mathew Helfand as tax assessor and Michael Cranson as the new fire chief. The town received 62 applications from 25 different states for the position of fire chief.
7:12 — Council votes 6-0 to appoint Helfand as tax assessor. Keith Hamilton is away on business. Council votes 6-0 to appoint Cranson as fire chief. The audience errupts in applause after each are sworn into office.
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7:28 — Council approves various liquor and holiday licenses for businesses.
7:38 — Council approves bills of more than $100,000.
7:43 — Council votes 6-0 to postpone public hearing on the Wastewater Management District Ordinance.
7:47 — Council approves fee waiver for youth lacrosse clinic.
7:48 — Council President Joseph Robicheau proposes tabling discussion on Fairview Lane right-of-way. Judi Staven says she'd like to hear the discussion. "There's no rush," says James Seveney, who agrees on the postponement.
Should the town council take action on Fairview Lane or postpone the discussion? Tell us in the comment section below!
8:11 — Motion to postpone discussion on Fairview Lane fails 3-3 with Staven, Liz Pedro and Paul Kesson in favor of continuing talks.
8:13 — Robicheau withdraws suggestion to "enter executive session."
8:15 — Staven motions to make Fairview Lane as a "public right-of-way."
8:31 — Motion to designate Fairview Lane "as a public road to the water" fails in a 3-3 vote with Michael Buddemeyer, Seveney and Robicheau against. The issue will now be posted on the next council agenda.
9:07 — Council ends discussion on town's pension plan.
9:08 — Police Chief Lance Hebert provides an update on a boat sunk in Blue Bill Cove. "This has gone on way too long and people down there are being affected by it," Hebert said. Hebert says the boat is breaking up into pieces, which are hitting other boats.
9:12 — Hebert says he would like the council to create a Request for Proposal (RFP) to research costs for removing boat. Donald Kidd of Portsmouth gives photographs of boats sunk in cove to council.
9:14 — The boat has been in the cove for more than a year. Seveney asks about issuing an emergency RFP.
9:24 — Brandon Kidd says he was a bidder to remove boat and proposes property tax credit in exchange for removal.
9:25 — "So we can explore some 'out of the box' options," asks Seveney to Dave Faucher. "I'm not sure about the tax option," Faucher says.
9:34 — Council votes to issue an emergency, lowest cost RFP for removal of boat.
9:58 — Seveney motions to continue issue on tank farms to next council meeting.