Candia incinerator discussion gets heated; former officials come to blows
Former selectman Rick Lazotte and former Solid Waste Committee member Roger Stenbak exchanged a few angry words just as Selectman Richard Snow finished making a motion to accept EnviroVantage's bid for the project.
Lazotte turned to Stenbak, who was sitting toward the back of the packed meeting room, and suggested that they go outside. Stenbak agreed and was getting up to push through a row of people, but the two men never made it to the parking lot.
Instead of moving toward the door, Lazotte went toward Stenbak and punched him in the face, just below the eye. After a brief tangle, the two men were separated and escorted to the other side of the building, which is the town police station.
Stenbak was bleeding from a cut beneath his eye and could be seen applying an ice pack to his face. He was taken by ambulance to a Manchester hospital.
“It was mostly precautionary,” said Officer Kevin Mahoney. “He had some neck pain and he does have a heart condition, so he went to be checked.”
Police Chief Michael McGillen, who was at Town Hall, said before deciding if there would be any charges filed he would speak with people who witnessed the fight.
Candia residents and officials have been sharply divided over the best plan to close and cap the old incinerator site.
Monday night, Selectman Amanda Soares proposed rejecting the three bids the town received for the project and starting from the beginning.
The town has $35,000 earmarked for the closure project, but EnviroVantage's $129,300 bid was significantly lower than the other two bids, which were both roughly $330,000.
However, because Candia doesn't have enough money to pay for the entire project, the town plans to spend $27,000 this year to take down two buildings at the site. The rest of the work, which involves removing and disposing of old ash waste and grading, capping and planting grass, is to be completed next year if Candia residents approve spending the money.
Soares wanted to break the project up into smaller parts, beginning with the removal of the building, a job a local contractor has agreed to do for $3,000.
But Joe Duarte, selectmen chairman, said that the town lawyer felt that would be an unfair twist in the bidding process.
“It's irresponsible,” Soares told fellow board members. “You don't have the right to spend people's money needlessly. You are going to spend $27,000 to take down buildings when we can do it for $3,000. It's ridiculous.”
When Snow made his motion to accept the EnviroVantage bid, the fight between Lazotte and Stenbak broke out. After a brief recess, selectmen returned to their seats.
“One thing about Candia, emotions run high,” said Duarte who apologized to residents.
The board then voted 3 to 2 to accept the bid, contingent on the town's approving the balance of the money for the project.
Soares and Selectman Fred Kelly voted against accepting the EnviroVantage bid. Snow, Duarte and Selectman David DePuy voted in favor.
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