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Forum, July 16: Claremont does not need waste-sorting business


Monday, July 15, 2019
Claremont does not need waste-sorting business

The Claremont Planning Board is about to vote on a major project that will affect both Claremonters and the city’s image.

An entrepreneur thinks he could make money by trucking a lot of construction and demolition waste into Claremont, have people sort through the material looking for something of value to him, and then hope to ship what he doesn’t want out of town. It can’t be done without Planning Board permits.

As a Claremont native (Stevens High School ’59), I have witnessed the ups and downs the city has experienced. Claremont has a lot to offer its citizens, and I believe its direction is upward. Respectable, concerned citizens have already organized to oppose this waste project. They are serious and not about to give up. It is obvious that a steady stream of unpleasant “waste in Claremont” headlines in local newspapers would follow a “yes” vote by the Planning Board as residents work through the courts to protect their property values and Claremont’s environment.

Another danger associated with permitting a pollution business is that the permit itself becomes valuable and can be sold to a much larger waste company with lawyers enough to overpower Claremont citizens and even the city government in a court of law.

There are far too many people with cancer and other serious health problems in Claremont already. The last thing Claremont needs is a prolonged hazardous waste controversy on the front pages of the newspapers. Claremonters deserve better. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this case.

A public hearing will be held on Monday, at 7 p.m., at the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center, 152 South St. Interested parties may review the applications at the Planning and Development Department, in the Visitors Center on North Street during normal business hours. Comments may be submitted in person at the hearing, or in writing at 14 North St., Claremont, N.H. 03743, or by email at cityplanner@claremontnh.com The sooner the Planning Board acts to end this controversy the better.

WILLIAM GALLAGHER

Claremont

Shared ladder truck unwise

I feel F.X. Flinn’s recent Forum submission deserves a response (“Taxpayers could save millions if towns shared a ladder truck,” June 29). While there may be merit in the sharing of specialized public works equipment by the core towns of the Upper Valley to avoid duplication of expenditures, his idea is really not applicable to fire equipment (aerial ladder trucks, for example) for three reasons: First, while pooling of public works equipment can be coordinated and scheduled in advance, it is impossible to schedule fires, even though we plan for them. If there was a major fire or more than one smaller fire, a single ladder truck for four towns would be inadequate.

Second, whatever the citizens of Hartford saved in property taxes likely would be offset by increased fire insurance premiums. The insurance rating agencies look at the ratings of municipal fire departments when setting premiums, and the lack of a ladder truck would be reflected in higher premiums — especially for the central business district, where buildings are taller.

Third, the fact that five-story buildings have been constructed and are being proposed necessitates availability of a ladder truck. Three of us were discussing this at McDonald’s the other day when a stranger overheard us and introduced himself, saying, “You never want to cut corners where life safety is involved.”

Added response time spells the difference between life and death.

WILLIAM A. WITTIK

Hartford

Thanks for Torch Run support

On behalf of the Upper Valley Hawks, the Hartford Police Department and the town of Hartford, we would like to thank all who participated, donated and attended the Law Enforcement Torch Run on June 6.

More than $7,000 was raised for Special Olympics VT this year, and 15 Special Olympics athletes were recognized by the community.

As a parent volunteer for the Hawks, I know that recognition, and a celebration of who they are and what they do, is so very important and appreciated by these athletes. The challenges they face every day are numerous, yet they typically handle them with grace, humor and a positive attitude. All they ever ask is for a little help and inclusion, and they ask it with trusting, open hearts. We have much to learn from them.

RANDI HARRON

West Hartford

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