BELMONT — Selectmen gave an engineer representing the N.H. Department of Transportation an earful last night when he returned to the board to further discuss putting a state refueling station off Brown Hill Road, near the intersection of Rte. 106.
While the board member's comments were not directed at Ron Grandmaison personally, he listened while they expressed dismay at the way the Belmont section of Rte. 106 — especially the intersections at Brown Hill Road and Seavey Road — were being handled.
"We are the center (between the speedway and Laconia) and we're being avoided," said Selectman's Chair Ruth Mooney.
"They promise us this, they promise us that and then we get put on the 20-year transportation plan," said Selectman Jon Pike, referring to the decision to place the rebuild of the Seavey Road intersection on the 20-year plan rather than doing it right away, as previously promised.
The project is part of the DOT's effort to replace all of its underground storage tanks in the state. In May, Grandmaison told the board that the state needs to replace 30 underground tanks in 19 locations before 2017. The Belmont location is on a 1.4-acre site owned by the state and will replace the underground tanks and fueling station at the intersection of Lily Pond Road and Rte. 11 in Gilford and the one in Loudon.
Mooney told Grandmaison that the site was formerly a swamp and inappropriate for a fuel facility. But her real concern was that the proposed Rte. 106 fuel station would mean additional traffic to on the roadway at an intersection that is already not well maintained by the DOT.
"There's no shoulders," said Mooney, who along with Pike said that the one inch coat of asphalt recently put on Rte. 106 would be gone by winter's end. Additional traffic, especially by heavy diesel and gasoline tankers, would only add to the degradation of the intersection.
Pike said since the intersections of Seavey Road and Rte. 106 and Brown Road and Rte. 106 are within an eighth of a mile of each other they should rebuild both intersections and Rte. 106.
"If you're going to do it, do it right," he said.
Selectman Ron Cormier, who sat silent for the first 15 minutes of the meeting, suggested that if the town really wanted the two intersections fixed they should encourage the DOT to build the fuel facility and in a few years, when the highway was rendered impassable largely because of the additional traffic, it would be forced to fix it immediately and not as part of the 20-year-plan.
Mooney told Grandmaison that she wanted it in writing that in five years, the state wouldn't to come back to Belmont and tell it to fix the town portion of the Brown Hill Road intersection.
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