Londonderry Parks Board seeks all proceeds from bottle returns

By Christopher Biddle
© 2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Londonderry Select Board

Londonderry Select Board, seated from left, Select Board member Paul Gordon, Town Administrator Stephanie Johnson,  board chair Jim Ameden, members Steve Prouty, Will Reed and Wayne Blanchard and Town Treasurer Tina LaBeau. Photo by Christopher Biddle.

Jim Ameden’s last meeting as a member of the Londonderry Select Board was short and sweet, lasting just under an hour on Monday night, May 16.

The board opened bids for a new town truck, received an update on soil tests for a possible land purchase and heard a request from Town Clerk Kelly Pajala, acting as a member of the Parks Board, to receive the total amount of proceeds from collecting returnable bottles and cans at the Londonderry Transfer Station.

Currently, the Parks Board splits proceeds from the “bottle money” with the Flood Brook Athletic Association with the understanding that the FBAA use the funds for maintenance on the town’s two baseball fields at Pingree Park.

Pajala told the board on Monday that the FBAA has struggled in recent years to keep a baseball program going, and has neglected to maintain the fields. She said that only she and a few other parents were there for a cleanup day at the beginning of the season, which this year only involves non-competitive play for pre-k through fourth grade.

In a email statement to The Chester Telegraph, Stacy Eddy-Gordon said that while the FBAA receives a yearly appropriation from the town of Londonderry ($2,500 in 2016), it has never received funds from the bottle returns. She said that the FBAA actually organized the cleanup day and that while none of the board members were able to attend, the co-commissioners of the FBAA baseball program were there.

Londonderry Treasurer Tina LeBeau said in an interview that the FBAA is owed about $1,500 from the bottle money, but that a complete account of the money owed was difficult to ascertain because the town’s previous treasurer put the money into a miscellaneous fund and failed to disperse it.

Jay Ouellette of Peru is a member of the FBAA baseball committee, formed this year to keep alive the struggling program. He attributes its state to a  lack of volunteers and the strong program at neighboring Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester. In the end, the board suggested that a representative from the FBAA come before the board to discuss the situation and try to clear up the confusion.

Gravel land purchase, truck bids

Board member Paul Gordon said that Jeff and Linda Yrsha, from whom the board hopes to purchase a parcel of land adjacent to the town Transfer Station, continue with a Phase 1 environmental study, and that preliminary soil samples have shown no indication of contamination.  A special town meeting will be held in Londonderry at 7 p.m. Monday, May 23 at the Old  Town Hall on Middletown Road. The purpose of the meeting is to revisit the land purchase proposed  in an article (failed) at Town Meeting in March along with the amended article to perform feasibility studies which passed.

  • The board opened four bids for the purchase of a new town dump truck, ranging from just under $90,000 to just under $101,000.  The companies and their bids are: Patriot Freight-liner, Freight-liner truck, $89,500 plus $3,000 for warranties; Clark’s Truck Center, International 7300 SFA 4 wheel drive chassis, $99,851; Reed Truck Service; International 7300 SFA 4wd chassis; $100,936; and Delurey Sales and Service; International 7300 SFA 4wd chassis, $98, 675.
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About the Author: Christopher Biddle is a journalist, radio DJ and lifelong Vermonter. He hosts the 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday Rewind show on 102.7 WEQX. In addition to The Chester Telegraph and The Mountain Times he has written for other local publications. His audio work includes stories for VPR and Slate Magazine's podcast network. He collects VHS tapes and knows how to use a chainsaw.

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