We have a BIG breaking news story to start things off this morning! The town of Auburn is offering a 2 0 11 white Ford Crown Vic with a front push bumper and utility spotlight with only sixty nine thousand two hundred miles for sale by sealed bid. The vehicle is offered “as is” with no warranty expressed or implied. It was most recently used by the town’s building inspector and was previously used as a police cruiser. The vehicle is available for inspection at the Auburn Town Hall during normal business hours. Sealed bids indicating the amount offered should be submitted in a sealed envelope marked “AUTOMOBILE BID.” Bids must be received at the Selectmen’s Office, 47 Chester Road (P.O. Box 309), Auburn, NH 03032 no later than 2:00 on Tuesday, January 31st. The Board of Selectmen reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals in the best interest of the town.
The Derry Town Council has scheduled public hearings for Tuesday, January 24, starting at 7:30 PM at the Derry Municipal Center to get public input on a proposed Supplemental Appropriation of two hundred fifty two thousand five hundred dollars from the town’s Unassigned Fund Balance and reserve one hundred fifty thousand dollars from the Conservation Commission for the purpose of purchasing land at seven and a half Willow Street. Revisions to Chapter 30 of the Building Code will also be the subject of public comment. If approved, the revisions will go into effect thirty days after adoption. For additional details, please contact the Office of the Town Clerk.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation has announced which projects it will fund using Transportation Alternative Program, or TAP, funds. More than twenty five million dollars in requests came from nearly four dozen communities for the five and a half million dollars available. The state funded a dozen projects including
- one for eight hundred thousand dollars in Manchester to construct a Rail Trail along the abandoned railroad bed from Mammoth Road to Lake Shore Ave. The city will have to provide a two hundred thousand dollar match for the project.
- Merrimack received five hundred twenty thousand dollars to construct sidewalks along the Daniel Webster Highway and Woodbury Street. They’ll need to cough up a one hundred thirty thousand dollar match.
- Auburn’s request for more than five hundred forty thousand dollars to construct a multi-use path along the west side of Hooksett and Chester roads didn’t make the cut,
- nor did Bedford’s eight hundred thousand dollar request to construct a multi use path along Nashua Road, that included a pedestrian bridge over Route 1 0 1, and continued to the Town Common.
- Goffstown’s five hundred thirty thousand dollar request for funds to build sidewalks along Route 1 1 4, Church Street, Warren Ave., Eden Street, Daniel Plummer Road and St. Anselm Drive went up in smoke
- as did Pembroke’s three hundred sixty four thousand dollar bid to construct sidewalks along the driveway to Three Rivers School and construct a multi-use path between the school and Route 3.
- Londonderry’s request for eight hundred thousand dollars to build sidewalks along the south side of Pillsbury Road from Ash Street Bridge over I 9 3 to Gilcreast Road was panned
- as was Milford’s more than four hundred fifty thousand dollar bid to rehabilitate the historic Swing Bridge for pedestrian use.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Manchester School Superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas took questions at the second of two budget forums he arranged to share the causes of what he’s called a structural deficit that’s driving the district’s budget woes. More than four dozen people showed up at Memorial last night to hear what he had to say. Surprisingly, some in the audience, including Citizens for Manchester Schools founder and President Jim O’Connell, criticized Vargas for merely presenting the problem and soliciting ideas on how to solve the problems without presenting any solutions himself. Vargas replied it was important to make the community aware of what’s causing the funding challenges and said that he’d received some constructive suggestions from the forums on areas of change to consider. He said he was looking at all options to bring spending down and would be presenting those to the Board of School Committee and to the public in two public hearings.
A teacher in the district confronted Vargas with comments made by Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas during his weekly interview on the Girard at Large Radio Show yesterday regarding the impossibility of closing the budget gap without reductions in staff. In response to a question asked by Ward Eleven Board Member Kate Desrochers on Monday night, Vargas said there currently was no plan to lay off one hundred twenty teachers. Last night, Vargas told the audience that what he said was true, there is no plan to lay off one hundred twenty teachers, but he said that didn’t mean there wouldn’t be reductions in staff. Given the size of the problem, everything has to be on the table he said as he detailed the many considerations that would have to be made before determining what staff reductions would have to be made and in what areas to minimize the impact on students.
Several thanked Vargas for the forum and opening a dialogue with the public and several taxpayers urged him to do what was necessary to stay within the tax cap, while others worried about potentially increasing class sizes.
That’s NEWS from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next.