Horrifying Horribles on Parade in Pelham
by Lynne Ober
The Horribles Parade is a great annual event; it’s hard to tell who has more fun, the kids in costumes, the parents watching happy children or the firefighters who get to blow their sirens.
Everyone gathered on the grass next to Pelham’s fire station. The fire engines were already lined up, waiting, for the first participants to arrive. Shortly after six, the sirens began to sound and the kids lined up to see the fire trucks go by.
As soon as the fire engines went slowly by, the horribles with their parents filled the street and meandered down the road to Pelham Elementary School where doughnuts, cider, and hot chocolate awaited them.
There were three hayrides this year. Two scary ones with ghosts and goblins and one non-scary hayride that was filled with music from the Monster Mash.
Everyone had a great time thanks to the efforts of both Pelham Fire Department and CERT.
Tallant Bridge to Open
by Lynne Ober
Despite spring flooding and weeks of higher than normal water in all creeks, Tallant Road bridge is scheduled to reopen on Sunday, October 29. The bridge has been closed for nearly five months of construction.
Before the construction, that bridge had been on the state’s red list of bridges greatly in need of repair. During construction the entire bridge was removed and widened and the curve in the road was gently straightened in order to have a better view of the Mammoth Road intersection where a death recently occurred. Trees lining the road prior to construction were removed in order to accommodate the changes.
Although construction started later than anticipated due to the flooding, work has progressed and the new bridge has been paved. Selectmen authorized the contractor to work on Saturdays to install needed curbing.
The detour situation was exacerbated by the spring flooding because the road leading to the Castle Hill bridge, a one-lane wooden bridge, was damaged and that bridge has been closed.
Pelham Selectmen, who had been gravely concerned about the traffic situation in the center of town with Tallant bridge closed, discovered that there were fewer problems than originally expected. Prior to the closing selectmen had discussed a number of potential solutions, including the need for police men to direct traffic in the center of town, that did not have to be implemented. They also met with Windham Selectmen because people in Windham would be affected by the closure.
Bayview Construction Corp., of Portsmouth, selected via a sealed bid process was the lowest bidder and was hired to repair the bridge for $678,053. The state contributed 80 percent of the repair costs.
Straight-forward Good News for Windham High School
by Lynne Ober
It has seemed like a long time since the vote to fund Windham’s own high school and as the months passed, much of the news was bad, but now two positive actions have occurred. According to Windham Town Planner, Al Turner, who contacted Superintendent Dr. Elaine Cutler, the state will allow traffic lights to be installed on Route 111 instead of forcing the school district to build an expensive roundabout.
After New Hampshire Department of Transportation supported the building of the roundabout, Windham School District filed a number of petitions to have that decision re-considered. At the time Windham School Board Chairman, Bruce Anderson, had said a roundabout would not only be much more expensive, but it would also cause an additional construction delay.
When contacted Windham School District Business Administrator, Brian Gallagher, said that he preferred not to comment at this time because he had not received written confirmation of Turner’s news. “That is our preferred option, but I’m waiting until I get it in writing,” Gallagher smiled.
The other piece of good news is the hiring of J. Glenn Davis in the position of Owner’s Representative for the Windham High School building project.
Davis comes to the district after working in the same capacity on the construction of the nearly complete Raymond middle school. According to a spokesman at SAU 28, Davis has more than 25 years of senior-level project management experience and is well versed in dealing with all facets of construction and operations. He has inspection knowledge of soils, electrical and mechanical systems, and construction materials. His educational background includes a master’s degree in finance from the University of New Hampshire and a bachelor’s degree in industrial/electrical engineering from the University of Lowell.
As Owner’s Representative, Davis will work on behalf of the school district through the re-design, construction, and close-out of the Windham High School project. It is anticipated that Davis will work closely with Harvey Construction, the Windham High School Building Committee and the district business administrator to oversee finances, create and monitor timelines and ensure quality control.
When the project moves toward the construction phase, Davis will take on the role of Clerk of the Works and will be the principal liaison between the school district and day-to-day construction management from now until the project is complete.
Developers Propose Upgrade of Flat Rock Road
by Barbara Jester
Developers are proposing to upgrade Flat Rock Road in order to accommodate two new building lots planned for that area.
Selectmen listened to plans for the proposal during their Monday, October 16 board meeting. The session was held following a site visit to the area, just prior to the meeting. All five Windham Selectmen participated in both the site walk and the subsequent meeting.
The developers’ petition asks that selectmen approve upgrading approximately 600 feet of Flat Rock Road from its current Class VI status (subject to gates and bars) to a Class V roadway.
The engineer representing the developers said the proposed plans have already been reviewed by Town Planner Al Turner, as well as Windham’s Highway Agent, Jack McCartney. The proposal includes widening the current 12-foot wide roadway to approximately 22 feet, constructing swales on each side for drainage and relocating existing stone walls farther back than currently located.
Selectman Margaret Crisler said she has concerns about the 22-foot proposed width due to public safety issues regarding the access of emergency equipment.
Selectman Al Carpenter said his concern over the construction revolves around winter maintenance of the road. Carpenter questioned whether or not developers should be required to pave the entire remaining section of the road; which is about 325 feet of one-lane gravel roadway.
Selectmen discussed the possibility of assessing a “betterment” fee to existing abutters should it be decided that the additional 325 feet of gravel road be paved.
Abutters attending the hearing said they are concerned about how the proposed road construction would affect their property in regard to drainage, as well as the possibility of assessing them a portion of the cost of upgrading the road.
Selectmen decided to seek feedback from the conservation commission, the police and fire departments, as well as the highway agent. The public hearing was continued until Monday, December 11 at 8:00 p.m.
Changing Face of Windham Police Department
by Barbara Jester
There are some changes within the Windham Police Department, including two promotions and the retirement of a long-time officer.
The new sergeant’s position approved several months ago has been filled by Detective Wendy Foley. Following extensive testing, Foley proved to be the number-one candidate, according to Police Chief Gerald Lewis. Foley has 18 years of prior law enforcement experience, including 17 years with the Windham Police Department.
“I look forward to the new challenge and being able to mentor some of the younger members of the department,” Foley told selectmen, during her Monday, October 16 swearing-in ceremony.
Also being promoted was Windham Police Officer Carl Wagner, who will be serving as acting captain during the medical leave of Captain Pat Yatsevrch. Wagner was also promoted following an intense testing process. Wagner said he wishes Captain Yatsevrch “a speedy recovery” and that his own promotion to acting captain is “bittersweet.”
Retiring from the Windham Police Department after 20 years of service is Officer Steven Moltenbrey. Moltenbrey also served as the community’s school resource officer. He was an active participant in charitable activities throughout the town and frequently helped with Windham Helping Hand events as well as working with Pelham’s Detective Anne Perriello on a road race against domestic violence.
Moltenbrey’s retirement will be effective Wednesday, November 1. Selectmen accepted Moltenbrey’s resignation with sincere regret.
Lewis said he has begun advertising to fill the position left vacant by Moltenbrey’s retirement.