Randolph warrant addresses non-winter use of ATV’s, hike in ambulance contractBY DEBRA THORNBLAD
Special to the Union Leader
March 09. 2014 6:21PM
RANDOLPH — A group of residents hope their fellow citizens will buck the trend of many other North Country towns that are encouraging ATV use.
A petition article, signed by 31 residents, asks residents to “record their opposition to any future non-winter use of the rail trail through this town by ATVs.”
The petitioners say ATVs on the rail trail “would deprive people of the ability they now have to use the trail for walking, biking and enjoying peaceful scenery,” especially those less ambulatory.
The rail trail referred to is owned by the state, so the vote would not hold any legal authority and would be advisory only.
In addition, there are tar sands and ambulance concerns for Randolph and Shelburne.
But Randolph and Shelburne, as well as other towns in the North Country, both have a petition article on their warrants to ask their respective selectmen to enact a resolution that expresses their concerns regarding the transport of tar sands oil through New Hampshire and their towns “due to economic, environmental, and public health risks of such transport: and to strongly encourage the state General Court and U.S. Congress to take all reasonable steps to make sure any such proposal gets a thorough review at both the state and federal levels.”
The second issue common to both towns concerns ambulance service provided by the town of Gorham.
Gorham recently put together new contracts for both towns that Gorham officials say more truly represent the actual cost to provide the service.
Both are substantially higher that what either town put in the budget for 2014. Randolph budgeted $9,000, and Shelburne set aside $13,500. Gorham said the cost would be $48,500 and $54,000 respectively.
Gorham’s Town Manager Robin Frost had proposed a phase-in plan, but Gorham selectmen voted 2-1 to implement the full cost immediately.
As the budgets and warrants are already finalized, this will have to be taken up under the articles dealing with the public safety part of the budget.
Town meetings for both towns are Tuesday, March 11. Randolph’s starts at 5:30 p.m. and Shelburne’s at 7 p.m.