Cleanup Time for Hudson
by Lynne Ober
Cub Scout parent Joe Labrie works hard to pull this old mattress out from under a fallen tree, while scouts Michael, Tyler, Tom, and Nathan cheer him on.
Every spring friends and families join to make Hudson a cleaner place in which to live. Last Saturday a small crowd gathered at Robinson Pond to sign in, grab bags and go out to pick up trash. Some stayed and worked at the pond while others scattered throughout Hudson.
All of these volunteers were interested in making Hudson a better place and a clean place for all to enjoy. Even if you didn’t participate last weekend, you can do your part when you are out walking by picking up trash and taking it home for proper disposal – or better yet – don’t throw any trash out for anyone to pick up.
Ed Duffelt worked around the shoreline of Robinson Pond. He was dividing trash into recyclables and just trash as he went along. “I just wanted to help make it a better place,” he said.
Jane Bowles, who is a frequent organizer of cleanup days, was helping start volunteers in the parking lot. She was encouraged by the outpouring of community support. “We all need to work together to keep Hudson clean.”
Cub Scout Pack 21 joined in the cleanup efforts as did other groups.
“I want to make the environment better,” said Ben, who is a Webelo in Pack 21.
“We live across the street,” said Leeanne Roystan, “and we wanted to help because we walk over here quite frequently. We all need to help the environment.”
On Sunday the Hudson Lions Club began its annual trash pick days for the season in the south end of town. The dozen Lions picked up 32 bags of trash.
Webelo Ben Roystan is happy to remove this old milk jug out of the leaves.
Hudson Student Wins National Fire Sprinkler Association’s Sprinkler Man Coloring Contest
Fire Inspector Joseph Triolo and Dylan Lima
The Hudson Fire Prevention Division is pleased to announce that a student from the Dr. H. O. Smith School has won the National Fire Sprinkler Association’s Sprinkler Man Coloring Contest for the 8- to 9-year-old age group. Dylan Lima, 9, was one of 160 entrants for the contest. Entries were separated into four categories based on age: 3 to 4, 5 to 7, 8 to 9, and 10 to 11.
Dylan received the contest application during a visit to his school from Hudson Fire Inspector Joseph Triolo. Inspector Triolo visited the school in October to teach the children about fire safety. During this visit, Inspector Triolo talked about hazards in the home, smoke detectors, home fire escape plans, and the importance of home fire sprinkler systems. Dylan colored the contest entry form and sent it in. His picture won the 8 to 9 age group. “We are ecstatic to have a Hudson student win this contest,” Inspector Triolo said.
Dylan’s prize included winning a $50 U. S. Savings Bond and having his name and the winning picture appear in SQ magazine, which is the official journal of the National Fire Sprinkler Association. Chief Murray will be presenting Dylan with a certificate for the great job. Congratulations, Dylan!
Public Hearing Set for Hudson Farm Preservation Easement
by Tom Tollefson
New Hampshire is trying to make life easier for local barn owners with easements.
The Hudson Board of Selectmen unanimously agreed to hold the hearing for the Discretionary Preservation Easement for the Smith Farm property at their meeting on Tuesday, April 22.
According to state law RSA 79-D, the easement encourages preservation of historic barns and other agricultural buildings by authorizing municipalities to grant property tax relief to barn owners who can show public benefit of preserving their barns/farm buildings and agree to keep them at least 10 years.
The 2002 law also gives the governing body of each town 60 days to decide to accept or deny the application for the easement.
Town Administrator Steve Malizia recommended for the board to review the site and fill out a checklist based on criteria for a barn that would benefit the public. This process has been done by Merrimack in the past, and the board will continue to work out the specifics before the public hearing.
The Board of Selectmen to make major decisions regarding the easement acceptance. First, it needs to verify that the barn meets the 75 years of age or older requirement. Second, it must be decide if the structure is currently or formerly used for agricultural uses, which it must be to meet the requirement. Assistant Town Assessor Jim Michaud believes that it does meet this requirement.
The board also needs to judge whether the easement would have “public interest” and a “public benefit” and have “agricultural significance.” It also needs to answer what degree of tax relief will preserve the structure.
Michaud also recommended the following sample questions for the board to answer to help with their decision:
- “Is it a familiar local landmark?”
- “Is it visible from a public road or public waters? To what extent does it contribute to the scenic qualities of the community and region, thus benefiting local residents, visitors and tourism?”
- “Is their interest or support for the structure’s preservation?
Lastly, the degree of a property tax break must be determined. The current assessment breakdown for the property is the following:
- $32,700 = primary building
- $34,400 = outbuildings (barn)
- $141,322 = land (6.875 acres all but one acre in current use, contiguous to other land
- $208,422 (total 2007 taxes) = $3,128.41)
The Smith Farm, owned by Thomas and Katherine Smith, is the only private farm in town.
Litchfield Board Plans for New School Work
by Lynne Ober
With the abject failure of Litchfield’s latest new school proposal comes a renewed sense of determination to make something positive happen for the children of Litchfield.
At their latest meeting, Litchfield’s school board discussed its next steps and what it plans to do during the coming year on this project.
At the top of the list is a careful monitoring of adequate education funding. The board recently invited elected representatives to speak about this and other issues that will affect education. “Certainly they are watching the state funds carefully. If we suffer a major cut, there will not be any school on the warrant next year,” said Superintendent Dr. Elaine Cutler.
According to Cutler, the board decided to have the building committee develop a comprehensive document with data comparing a renovation and a new school. Every year that the warrant for a new school appears on the ballot, there are numerous questions about building versus renovating. Although the board repeatedly has answered renovation questions, they have never created a direct comparison between the two projects. This year that comparison will be done.
Another avenue that the board may address is sending out a new town-wide survey. Cutler noted that it has been four years since the last one was completed.
The board also brainstormed several other ideas that may be developed. “The building committee and the BUILD committee are still very committed to a new school,” said Cutler, “and they are also looking for new committee members to join with them and work throughout the coming year.”