Members of the Board of Selectmen had a pleasant surprise when they met Nov. 30: Police Chief Joe McGann told them that his budget for 2019 will be the same as that for 2018.
When McGann told them he is planning to retire in two or three years, he was asked to keep them clued in so that a quiet transition might take place. He was also asked to have one of the patrol vehicles marked since they are not observed as being “out there” when unidentified.
Asked about target practice and its noise, McGann reported that units from the University of New Hampshire, Rye and Hampton, as well as from town, use the range off Pudding Hill and one can find out when they will be there by calling dispatch, and that no one is there before 9 a.m.
It was made known that the parking area at the trailhead on Route 155 will be closed permanently Jan. 1. All parking will be on Madbury turf.
Moonlight Snowshoe Racing is scheduled from 3 to 9 p.m. Feb. 16 on the trails behind Town Hall, sponsored by Acidotic Racing. This event is open to the public; at this time 125 racers are expected.
There was discussion of the Oyster River Youth Association status, which seems to be in flux due to the Durham Town Council having nixed its funding from that town.
The selectmen took time to go outside to view the new doors on the front of the Town Hall.
The Water Resources Board reviewed the final report issued by the Seacoast Commission on Long Term Goals and Requirements for Drinking Water set up by the state, which met 10 times as well as having subgroup discussions to cover specific areas of concern.
Set up under RSA 485-F:5, the 21-person commission’s charge was to suggest how Seacoast towns could cooperate relative to replacing drinking water in case of contamination; evaluate threats to groundwater due to environmental issues; create a centralized planning group to monitor possible new emerging contaminant threats to groundwater and drinking water – among other goals. Experts in water resources and groundwater protection were called upon.
The report lists known threats to water quality: lead, arsenic, iron, manganese, radon, PFES components; pharmaceutical products; household and industrial septic systems; pesticide and fertilizer run-off; salt-water intrusion and “other man-made contaminants yet to be discovered.”
It reports that, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “incidence rates for breast, bladder and pediatric cancers are highest in New Hampshire when compared with all other U.S. states. In addition, a double pediatric cancer cluster was identified in a 5-town area of the seacoast in 2016.”
The commission favored having federal agencies take the leadership in addressing emerging contaminants in drinking water.
According to the report, “the Seacoast communities and water systems will need to develop regional and local integrated water resource plans....” It is suggested that the Rockingham and Strafford Regional Planning Commissions be encouraged to take on this project, while also suggesting that the funds to do so be provided by the state.
In June the commission met at the Portsmouth regional water system’s Madbury surface water treatment facility on Freshet Road. An overview of Portsmouth’s system was provided, this system, which provides about 60 per cent of Portsmouth’s water, with lines into Dover, Durham, Greenland, Newington, New Castle, Rye and Madbury.
Will Ogmundson will offer a Christmas program at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the Madbury Church.
Ogmundson is an award-winning and Emmy-nominated composer and lyricist, and a classically-trained solo pianist who has many friends and followers in Madbury.
A free-will offering will be taken.