NEWS AND HAPPENINGS ...
Thursday, February 15, 2013
Affenpinscher Banana Joe wins "Best of Show" during the 2013 Westminster Dog Show
For those that do not follow the annual Westminster Dog Show, this year's "Best of Show" winner was Banana Joe, an Affenpinscher. To read more about Banana Joe and this annual event, click HERE.
DURHAM FEATURED ON WMUR FOR STORM CLEANUP FOLLOWING NOR’EASTER NEMO
Durham Public Works Department crews worked to keep major roads clear during and after Nor’easter Nemo, but it has taken several days to fully clean up in some areas with snow remaining piled high along sidewalks and roads.
In total, the Town expended approximately $42,000 during on the storm.
To view the WMUR story on Durham’s storm cleanup, click HERE.
2012 Durham Town Report - Cover courtesy Donna Guerrette
PRINTED VERSION OF 2012 DURHAM ANNUAL REPORT AVAILABLE AT TOWN OFFICE
The printed version of the 2012 Town of Durham Annual Report is ready to be picked up by interested residents/taxpayers at the Town Clerk-Tax Collector's Office. Copies are also available at the Durham Public Library. As in the past, we are in the process of digitizing it and when complete, will post a copy on the Town’s web site for easy access to any and all. The electronic version will likely be ready within the next week.
The Town for decades had mailed a copy of the Annual Report to every property owner in Durham but eliminated this practice as a cost savings and sustainability measure several years ago. At the time, it was becoming increasingly apparent that most of the reports were being placed in the recycling bin almost immediately and ending up at the Raymond A. LaRoche Transfer Station and Recycling Center.
Kudos are extended to Administrative Assistant Jennie Berry for her hard work and effort on this annual document.
DURHAM RECEIVES EQUALIZATION RATIO FROM NH DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE AT 1.04%
The Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) recently conducted a sales-assessment ratio study of Durham using properties that sold here between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012. The purpose of the study is to compare the assessments of those properties sold to their selling price. Based on the survey, the DRA had determined that the median ratio for land, buildings, and manufactured housing in Durham for tax year 2012 is 104%. Basically, this means that on average, the assessments of properties in Durham were approximately 4% above market value during 2012. It is also the ratio to be used to modify market values of properties for tax abatement purposes.
COUNCIL TO RECEIVE BRIEFING FROM ATTORNEY REGARDING COMPCAST CABLE CONTRACT MONDAY
Beginning at 6:00 PM Monday evening, prior to the Council’s regular meeting, a consultation with legal counsel in accordance with RSA 91-A:2 I (b) will be held with Attorney Katie Miller of Donahue, Tucker, and Ciandella to update Council members on the current status of Durham’s cable franchise renewal contract with Comcast. Residents may view the draft franchise and an overview of the status of the Town's efforts as part of this negotiation.
View of Town Hall buildng at 15 Newmarket Road from the back
ADMINISTRATOR TO PRESENT DRAFT P&S AGREEMENT FOR SALE OF TOWN OFFICE SITE TO COUNCIL MONDAY
On May 21, 2013, the Town Council voted to authorize Administrator to sign a Purchase and Sale Agreement in the amount of $745,000 between the Town of Durham and People’s United Bank to purchase the property located at 8 Newmarket Road (Tax Map 5, Lot 2-7) and to execute all of the necessary documents relative to the purchase on behalf of the Town of Durham without further approval by the Town Council. The acquisition of the bank site was predicated on the outright sale of the 15 Newmarket Road site for development purposes. Once the title to the bank parcel is cleared in Superior Court, the Town will take possession of the bank property. This is likely to occur in the next several weeks.
The overt goal of the 8 Newmarket Road bank purchase was to recoup both the acquisition cost of the property ($745,000) and the estimated cost of renovations/additions needed to fully outfit the former bank as the Town Office (est. $1,333,700) totaling $2,078,700 through the sale and redevelopment of the existing 15 Newmarket Road Town Office site. The Town has been offered a price of $1,200,000 for the existing Town Office site. The residual amount, approximately $878,700, would be bonded and offset by the incremental increase in taxes generated beyond what the bank presently pays to the Town in taxes for 8 Newmarket Road versus a new a pharmacy use (estimated to be assessed at between $3 - $4 million) which amounts to approximately $76,000 per year in new taxes ($3.5 million x $28.75 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation equals $100,625 minus current annual taxes of $24,935).&n
bsp; An $878,700 bond for 20 years would cost the Town approximately $82,000 per year in combined interest/principal payments.
To this end, Mr. Selig has been engaged in ongoing conversations with the owner of the Irving Station, Scott Mitchell, to discuss price and timing for purchasing the 15 Newmarket Road parcel. An initial proposal from Mr. Mitchell was submitted a few months ago and shared with the Town Council. The proposal has been revised several times and is now ready to come before the Council for review and discussion. The Administrator also recommends that the Council schedule a Public Hearing on the execution of the Purchase and Sale Agreement for its March 4, 2013 meeting.
The approved 2013-2022 Capital Improvements Plan includes the following for the acquisition of the 8 Newmarket Road parcel and sale of the 15 Newmarket Road property:
Total cost for purchase/renovations /additions of 8 Newmarket Road: $2,078,700
Less cash received from sale of 15 Newmarket Road: $1,200,000
Amount to be Bonded: $878,700
If the Council is inclined to move forward with the sale, a public hearing is recommended for March 4th.
To review the revised draft Purchase and Sale Agreement between the Town of Durham and Scott Mitchell Real Estate, LLC, click HERE.
EPA ISSUES NEW STORMWATER TREATMENT RULES FOR NH DURHAMUNH JOINTLY LEAD THE WAY TOWARD COMPLIANCE
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing new regulations that would require dozens of New Hampshire communities to pay for stormwater treatment and monitoring programs.
The EPA on Tuesday released a new draft of stormwater regulations (MS-4 Permits) that will affect 60 New Hampshire communities, including Durham and UNH. Meeting the requirements spelled out in the permits would cost municipalities, on average, between $78,000 and $829,000 per year over the length of the time the permits are in effect, according to the EPA.
At a minimum, communities that receive the permits must comply with six EPA requirements. They include starting a public education program and soliciting public participation. Communities would also be required to search for “illicit discharge,” manage run-off from construction sites and redevelopment projects and implement “good housekeeping in municipal operations,” according to the EPA.
Unlike a number of communities in the watershed that have opposed the EPA and the NHDES regarding the need to implement improvements to their wastewater treatment plants to address the failing health of the Great Bay Estuary, Durham has been a leader in working collaboratively with regulators to develop a cutting edge integrated adaptive management plan linking improvements to our wastewater facility and local storm water enhancements to ensure we are being responsible stewards of the environment. Our efforts, which are collaborative with UNH, are groundbreaking and will serve as a model for the region and the nation.
To view a recent Foster’s Daily Democrat article on the new MS-4 stormwater regulations, click HERE.
GOVERNOR’S BUDGET BEGINS WITH RESTORING STATE AID TO MUNICIPALITIES
On Thursday Governor Hassan presented her fiscal year 2014-2015 operating and capital budget proposals to a joint session of the House and Senate. Municipal highlights in her operating budget include restoring some of the recent state aid reductions to cities and towns by increasing the meals and rooms tax distribution by $5 million, from $58.8 million to $63.8 million, in the second year of the biennium (maintaining the funding at $58.8 million for the first year).
Also included is $3 million, again in the second year, to begin paying the state share for wastewater treatment projects that have been deferred since 2008. The Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) would be funded at $1.2 million in fiscal year 2014 and fully funded at $4.3 million in fiscal year 2015. Regarding education funding, the budget fully funds the existing adequacy formula, and in the second year increases catastrophic aid and tuition and transportation assistance to schools. Highway block grant funding to municipalities is maintained at $29.6 million in each year of the biennium.
The proposal also restores some funding to the USNH which would receive $55 million more in state aid during the next two years.
On the revenue side, significant proposals include reversing the 10 cent cigarette tax cut enacted two years ago and increasing that tax by an additional 20 cents. The proposed general fund revenues also include $80 million from licensing one high-end, highly regulated casino.
The House Finance Committee will now begin deliberating on the Governor’s budget. A House version will then be presented to the Senate for its review, amendment and adoption, likely leading to a committee of conference between the two bodies sometime in June.
OYSTER RIVER HIGH SCHOOL TO BE SITE FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS PROGRAM
Special Olympics New Hampshire is planning to host a winter term of the Young Athletes Program (YAP) for the Oyster River community. YAP is a weekly sports play program for children with and without disabilities ages 2 through 7, designed to introduce them to the world of sports prior to Special Olympics eligibility at age 8.
The program is designed to address two specific levels of play: LEVEL 1 – Includes physical activities that focus on developing motor skills and hand-eye coordination; LEVEL 2 - Concentrates on the application of these physical skills through sports skills programs. Practice sessions are one hour and will run during February and March. There is no cost for participating.
The host site is the Oyster River High School’s Multi-purpose room starting Feb 2nd. The program is also looking for Assistant Coaches to help.
Please contact Jennifer Haigh, Practice Coach, at (603) 369-3638 or jhaigh [at] orcsd [dot] org to complete a YAP Application, or to get more information.
MAKING DURHAM BICYCLE FRIENDLY | ARE THERE LESSONS TO GLEAN IN SEATTLE?
The City of Seattle, Washington has done a great deal over the years to promote bicycle activity and make bikers feel welcome downtown and throughout the community. So has Durham, but not to the same extent as this Pacific Northwestern city. To learn more, click HERE.
WATER METER PROJECT
During the week of February 18, the Town’s contractor EJ Prescott will visit Durham's water meters radio read units (on the outside of homes) throughout the system to ensure that they are programmed and operating correctly. The Durham Water Department will also be overseeing their work as well. There will be multiple crews needed to complete this vital task as part of the completion of the water meter project. Their vehicles will be properly marked and all employees will have identification badges. The Durham Police Department has been notified of their presence and activity in Town. Any questions or concerns may be addressed to Assistant Town Engineer April Talon or Town Engineer Dave Cedarholm at the Durham Public Works Office, 603-868-5578.
DURHAM POLICE PARTICIPATE IN CHaD BATTLE OF THE BADGES
For the sixth year, New Hampshire police officers and firefighters are coming together to support children at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth, a non-profit hospital that focuses upon children and traumatic illnesses. Officer Greg Ruby of the Durham Police Department is competing in this year’s Battle of the Badges Hockey Game on March 16 at 5pm at the Verizon Wireless Center. The hospital provides critical service to all children in the New Hampshire and Vermont communities, without regard to their financial background. In addition, many of the programs provide support to the children’s morale and emotional wellbeing as they deal with significant diseases. These types of services are not often covered by insurance and depend heavily upon events such as CHaD. As a result, philanthropy such as the Battle of the Badges program directly funds
many of the programs which make the children’s hospital very special to children and families in crisis.
There are many ways to support the Children’s Hospital. For game tickets or corporate sponsorships and advertising, please contact Officer Ruby at gruby [at] ci [dot] durham [dot] nh [dot] us. For direct donations, click HERE. Any donations, large or small, are greatly appreciated.
2013 MARCH TOWN AND SCHOOL ELECTIONS - MARCH 12, 2013
The 2013 Town Election will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at the Oyster River High School. Polling hours are from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Voters will park in reserved spaces along the front of the school and use the Multipurpose Room entrance.
The following is a list of citizens that have filed for the Durham elected offices:
Town Council, 3 positions (3-year terms): Jay Gooze, Wayne Burton, Carden Welsh
Library Board of Trustees, 3 positions (3-year terms): Jenna Roberts, William Schoonmaker, Holly Stark
Trustees of the Trust Funds, 1 position (3-year term): Craig Seymour
The following is a list of citizens that have filed for the ORCSD School Board and Moderator:
At-large (2 positions): Thomas Newkirk (Durham), Carl Piedmont (Madbury), Kenneth Rotner (Durham)
Moderator (1 position): Richard Laughton
In addition to the Town elected positions above, a $2,500,000 bond referendum question will also be on the ballot relative to the replacement of sludge dewatering equipment at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The question, and an explanation for the equipment replacement, appear below:
"Are you in favor of authorizing the issuance of not more than $2,500,000 of bonds or notes, issued in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Finance Act (RSA 33), for the replacement of the sludge dewatering equipment at the Wastewater Treatment Plant and to authorize the municipal officials to issue and negotiate such bonds or notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon. 2/3 vote required."
Reason for Proposed Bond: Durham’s wastewater sludge dewatering facility, located at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, dewaters the slurry of liquid and solids, otherwise known as sludge, which is removed during the wastewater treatment process. The facility’s sludge dewatering equipment had an expected life span of twenty years. It is now in its twenty-sixth year of operation and has exceeded its usable life. This improvement is included as part of the plant’s Facility Master Plan. Funding will be shared 1/3 Durham (or $833,333) and 2/3 UNH in accordance with the Water and Wastewater Systems Agreement dated November 2005 between the Town of Durham and the University of New Hampshire.
TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATES FORUM - WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2013
On Wednesday, March 6, 2013 beginning at 7:00 PM, a Candidates Forum for Town Council candidates will be held in the Council Chambers of the Town Hall located at 15 Newmarket Road. The forum is being planned and hosted by the Durham Business Association, moderated by Chris Regan, and will be broadcast on the Durham Cable Access Television (DCAT) channel, Channel 22.
DBA members and the public are invited to attend and to participate by submitting questions for Town Council candidates who are running for these elected offices at the March 12, 2013 Town Election.
Questions may be submitted by email to the Durham Business Association at durhambusinessassociation [at] gmail [dot] com by Thursday, February 21, 2013
Please Note: The Durham Business Association is a 501 (c) (6) nonprofit and does not promote, endorse any specific political candidates.
Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 154 secure an injured person and prepare to place him in a sled for transport during a simulaed "search and rescue" exercise at Wagon Hill Farm on Wednesday evening. Courtesy Tom Richardson
LOCAL BOY SCOUT TROOP 154 AT WAGON HILL FARM
Boy Scouts from Durham's Troop 154 moved their regular Wednesday
meeting from the Community Church to Wagon Hill Park this week for
some outdoor night time winter activity. Twelve scouts and eight adults attended.W
When given the choice between a game of capture the flag and a search and rescue exercise the SAR event was the unanimous choice. With head lamps, two way radios, whistles, snow shoes, and a Scout powered dog sled loaded with supplies they set out to search the 99-acre park for two "lost" subjects. When found one of the victims was treated for a simulated broken leg, packaged in a make-shift hypothermia "borito wrap", loaded onto the sled and pulled back to the parking lot. Everyone had a great time and enjoyed the chance to get outside and practice some of their scout skills in realistic conditions. For more information please visit http://www.tro
DURHAM’S FRIDAY DEALS
Friday Deals are offered by Downtown merchants. Click HERE to see the deals on food, health, and services that are being offered. Shop locally and support area business. Money spent locally stays local.
If your business has a Friday deal to offer please send it to Ken Entz at sentz [at] comcast [dot] net.
This week...how about some big time electrical work?! Courtesy Walter Rous
DURHAM PUBLIC LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
Undeterred by snow storm Nemo, work continued on the library despite light snow and rain this past Monday with temperatures in the teens. The rest of the week was mostly sunny and clear with temperatures in the high 30’s to low 40’s. Whereas, most of the work done to prepare the site is accomplished with large pieces of equipment, a majority of the work from this point onward is hand work. And, when it is freezing out, workers hands can become very unhappy.
Exterior work included installing more siding, fascia trim, window casings and soffits. The fascia is the vertical edge of a roof overhang and the soffits are the horizontal underside of that same overhang. The CT (Current Transformer) Cabinet was set on the exterior of the building and electrical work was begun in the exterior stair tower prior to installation of the interior finish of the tower. On the interior, work included roughing in the plumbing for the toilet rooms, roughing in the fire alarm system, installing duct work branches, setting the thresholds and frames for the elevator doors, setting the main electric panels and breakers in the basement and pulling wires to the outlet boxes and spraying foam insulation over the ceiling of the Children’s Craft Room. The term “roughing in” refers to the plumbing, electrical and mechanical work that
will eventually be concealed in the walls, ceilings and floors not to the quality of the work!
Courtesy Walter Rous
PUBLIC MEETINGS: SCHEDULE AND VIDEO ON DEMAND
The following public meetings are scheduled for the coming week All meetings begin at 7:00 PM and are held in the Council chambers at the Durham Town Hall unless otherwise indicated below.
Town Council - Monday, February 18, 2013. For agenda and other information, click HERE.
Integrated Waste Management Advisory Committee - Thursday, February 21, 2013 (9:00 AM). For agenda and other information, click HERE.
Agricultural Commission - Thursday, February 21, 2013 (3:00 PM). For agenda and other information, click HERE.
Conservation Commission - Thursday, February 21, 2013. For agenda and other information, click HERE.
All meetings recorded on DCAT are available on DVD at the Durham Public Library for checkout and viewing.
VIDEO ON DEMAND: Meetings can also be viewed via Video on Demand. Interested viewers can access the streaming site from the Town’s website at http://ci.durham.nh.us/ by clicking the DCAT on demand logo, or directly at http://dcat.pegcentral.com/.
Durham Public Library Board of Trustees meeting schedule, please click HERE.
DCAT Programming Schedule, please click HERE.
SPRUCEWOOD FOREST PROJECT: HELP CLOSE THE SHRINKING GAP
It's a brand new year, and we've got a new window of opportunity to help bring the 172-acre Sprucewood Forest conservation project home. With a leadership gift of $150,000 from Durham resident Tom Haas, an extension from the landowners, and only about $110,000 (less than 3% to reach our goal) to go, Durham's nonprofit partner, the Trust for Public Land, is pushing hard to close by March 29.
Donations--large and small--may be made through the Trust for Public Land, Durham's nonprofit partner, via a donation form available at Town Hall or downloaded from the Conservation Commission's web site. To date over 70 gifts from other Durham residents, ranging from $10 to $5,000, have been received. Every donation demonstrates community support. (If you have already given, thank you!) If you would like to give to the campaign but are not sure whether you can do so before March 29, please call the Trust for Public Land at 617-780-8735.
Check out the February 8th private capital campaign News Flash! To learn more about the Sprucewood Forest, read the so-called case statement; please note that it has not been updated to reflect the campaign's fundraising progress. To learn even more and to view photographs of the property, go to the Conservation Commission's website.
Think of Sprucewood Forest's benefits: a Town-owned Sprucewood Forest would protect over one mile of the Oyster River forest and over 50 acres of the Spruce Hole aquifer; provide habitat for the threatened New England cottontail rabbit; and expand Durham's public access to recreational lands for activities such as birding, fishing, hiking, and cross-country skiing.
CHURCHILL RINK AT JACKSON'S LANDING WINTER PUBLIC SESSION SCHEDULE
Churchill Rink at Jackson’s Landing in Durham has announced its public session schedule for winter. The Winter 2013 Schedule features many hours of Public Skating, Pond Hockey, Open Stick & Puck, and Adult Drop-In Hockey between Wednesday January 2nd and Sunday February 24th. To view the entire schedule including definitions and fees, click HERE.
Saturday Night Ice- See you there!
Skate Night at the Churchill Rink in Durham, Saturday, February 16th
7:00-8:45 PM. All are welcome! A percentage of the proceeds will help fund the ORMS Jazz Band Trip to Disney in May. Admission is $3/youth, $5/adults (18 and over). Hope to see you there!
Durham's Parks & Recreation Director Stefanie Frazee giving a presentation regarding potential upgrades at Churchill Rink. Courtesy DPW
PRESENTATION ON POTENTIAL UPGRADES AT THE CHURCHILL RINK
On Tuesday of this week, Parks & Recreation Director Stefanie Frazee gave a presentation to Denny Byrne’s UNH Recreation Facilities class regarding the potential upgrades at the Churchill Rink at Jackson’s Landing. The students were very engaged and provided great feedback. A lively question and answer session followed the presentation.
PARKS AND RECREATION PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
Snowshoeing @ Wagon Hill Farm - Sign up now for a fun-filled guided tour of Wagon Hill Farm! During the tour, you will learn about local ecology, animal tracking, and much more! Join Mary Mazur (Coyote Club Instructor) on this fun adventure. All ages welcome.
Please sign up NO LATER THAN Thursday, February 23rd.
Date: Saturday, Feb. 23rd from 10a-12p @ WHF
Price: $10, $15 with snowshoe rental.
(Sign up by filling out a registration form at Durham Parks & Rec. or Durham Town Hall. Please make all checks payable to: Town of Durham).
NOTE: Please indicate if you will be renting snowshoes from us! For more information, click HERE.
New Session of Coyote Club starting in March! For more information, click HERE.
Tai Chi - Advanced & Beginner
Come learn Tai Chi with Durham Parks and Recreation. Due to its popularity, we have added an additional 30 minutes of instruction to this class! The instructor is Lin Lin, who has taught and trained all across the country!
What to expect: This class is a step up from Lin Lin's Moving for Better Balance. New students are always welcome, and will have special instruction at the beginning of class.
Cost is $80/ 8 weeks (Every Friday 4-5:30 @ the P&R Building)
Register at the Parks and Rec Building or at the Durham Town Clerk's office.
Summer Speed Camp - Do you have a Middle School athlete who is looking to improve their game, while having a TON of fun this Summer? Contact Parks & Recreation Director Stefanie Frazee for more information at sfrazee [at] ci [dot] durham [dot] nh [dot] us.
Want to join a band? Do you have a Middle School musician? We may have just the program you're looking for this Summer! Contact Parks & Recreation Director Stefanie Frazee for more info. sfrazee [at] ci [dot] durham [dot] nh [dot] us.
To view the schedule of classes for February, click HERE.
For more information regarding any of the classes or events offered by Parks and Recreation, visit the P&R web site at https://www.ci.durham.nh.us/boc_parksrec.
ORYA GIRLS TRAVEL HOCKEY PROGRAM TRYOUTS FOR THE 2013 – 2014 SEASON
The Oyster River Youth Association is hosting tryouts for the 2013-2014 girls travel hockey season for players in ages 8 through 14 on Wednesday, March 6th and Wednesday, March 13th. Tryouts will take place at Churchill Rink on Old Piscataqua Road in Durham, NH. Players are expected to attend both days from 5:30pm – 7:30pm and wear full hockey equipment each day. For more information, please contact David Smith, ORYA Hockey Coordinator, at davidsmith7007 [at] comcast [dot] net.
Jeff O'Donal of O'Donal's Nursery in Gorham, Maine, will provide his knowledge and experience concerning the Hydrangea at the Durham Garden Club's meeting on Tuesday, March 26th. See information below. Courtesy Durham Garden Club
COMMUNITY PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
One World Language School—Morning Classes for Preschool aged Children. Classes will be offered in French, German, and Spanish on Thursday mornings at the Lee Congregational y Church. Classes will be held on Thursday mornings. The 12-week session starts on Thursday, March 7th. For information on this program click HERE. For more general information on the One World Language School click HERE. To register, contact Julie Reece at julie [dot] reece [at] oneworldlanguageschool [dot] org or 603-866-0364.
Durham Garden Club Presents "Hydrangea Love Affair: Old Favorites and New Varieties" with Jeff O'Donal of O'Donal's Nursery in Gorham, Maine, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 6:30 PM, Madbury Town Hall. Social Time and refreshments. Non-members welcome to attend as guests.
WEEKLY ARREST REPORT
*Academic year commences the third week of August through graduation at UNH in May.
Have a nice weekend.
Todd I. Selig, Administrator
Town of Durham, New Hampshire
T: 603-868-5571 F: 603-868-5572
tselig [at] ci [dot] durham [dot] nh [dot] us http://www.ci.durham.nh.us
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