Municipal Affairs: 1960 - 1969

Chapter 12 -- Part 8

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Harry D. Munsey, a selectman since 1921, died in October. Beginning in 1907, and except for 1921, every Board of Selectmen until 1960 included as a member either Joseph B. Brown, Elroy G. Shaw, or Harry D. Munsey. All three served together in 1922 and 1923, and Shaw and Munsey also served together from 1932 until 1949. Voted against sewers for Tuttle Lane, Hobson Lane, and Mooring Drive. These were developments primarily by the Harris family and were situated west of Ashworth Avenue, where the Harrises had plans for some 100 lots. A number of other sewer projects were also proposed. Many of the older areas of town were being bypassed by sewers, but some of the new developments were receiving sewers because the subdivision regulations required installation of sewers. Residents of some of the older settled parts of town began to demand sewers. Most of the sewer projects proposed at this meeting were put aside in favor of approving a $1.16 million bond issue to make extensive alterations to the treatment facilities, repair major Beach sewer lines, add a pumping station on Winnacunnet Road, and provide sewers to Boar's Head and such older parts of town as Locke Road, Mace Road, Woodland Road, North Shore Road, eastern High Street, and Ocean Boulevard from High Street north to the North Hampton town line. Since this article had been submitted without recommendation by the Budget Committee, it had to be voted again at a special town meeting in July. Voters gave the selectmen discretion in extending the sewers, but, since money was not adequate for the whole project, they were limited in installing the new sewer lines. Some of the areas scheduled to have sewers under this article did not receive sewers until 1988. The regular meeting also voted to establish a Shade Tree Commission, replacing the long-standing town committee; voted $5,000 to purchase the Deacon Tuck Grist Mill on High Street; and rejected selling a portion of the High Street parking lot for the site of a new post office. Passed a resolution to rename Railroad (Depot) Square in memory of Luigi Marelli, the longtime businessman who died in November 1959. For the first time, the town report listed town office candidates as Republicans or Democrats, the latter party having gotten organized enough to have a caucus and nominate candidates. At this meeting, the checklist had 3,150 names. Of the 1,715 votes cast, 774 were straight Republican, 281 straight Democrat, and 660 were split ballots.


Adopted a law prohibiting dogs from running at large or from being a nuisance when restrained and calling for a $2 fee for a dog license. Passed an ordinance prohibiting use of the beaches between 1 A.M. and sunrise. Voted to rezone a portion of Winnacunnet Road, which would have made possible the siting of a proposed, and long-needed, new post office on a vacant piece of land next to the library. The article itself carried no mention of a post office. The issue came up again at a July special town meeting when voters were asked to approve a zoning change that would have prohibited new business or governmental buildings on Lafayette Road between High Street and Winnacunnet Road if, in the opinion of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, traffic hazards would be created or aggravated. Residents rejected the article by a 48-208 vote, thereby clearing the way for the construction of the post office on Lafayette Road, despite the fact that most people wanted the post office on Winnacunnet. (Time proved correct the fears of many people that Lafayette Road traffic problems would be aggravated by the efforts of patrons to drive in and out of the small post-office parking lot.) A resolution passed in favor of the southern route for a proposed new highway from the Interstate to Hampton Beach. This was the route finally taken by the State in building what is now Route 51, or the expressway. The proposed location of a highway connection with the Beach had been a controversial subject for several years, since the State had proposed to go north of town and the Beach businesspeople and most residents favored a southern route.


Voted $6,000 to hire a full-time engineer to work on preparing tax maps. Indefinitely postponed selling the East End School House lot. Voted $500 to purchase a right-of-way to the oceanfront in the Sun Valley section of town, that strip of land south of the river belonging to Hampton; $4,000 to build a Sun Valley parking lot and to survey and lease as lots the remaining vacant land at Plaice Cove. Voted to restrict access to the High Street parking lot, a decision made to prohibit further development of businesses on the edges of the lot. Changed the Business District on Winnacunnet Road -- which in 1961 had been changed from residential to business to permit the post -- office siting—back to residential. Voted to create the Beach Seasonal Business and Recreation District and to prohibit the sale of liquor or beer in the district. Voted $1,500 and approved the appointment of a committee to study the sale of the Town-owned leased land (except for the HBIC leasehold). Passed a resolution to instruct the Planning Board to begin a study for a new police station. Not only was the old station inadequate, it was on land the State was using for its redevelopment of the bandstand area into the Sea Shell, Chamber of Commerce office, and toilet facilities. The old building, which also housed the Town-operated comfort station, was torn down. A December special town meeting voted $80,000 to build a new police station on Ashworth Avenue.


Edward S. Seavey, Jr., died. He had been moderator since 1953. This was the first meeting to have the voting for officers and ballot questions on Tuesday and the rest of the meeting adjourned to Saturday, a change that became standard practice. Voted to accept the nonpartisan ballot, a victory perhaps for the town's Democrats, who had not been able to elect anyone to town office for many years under the partisan ballot system. Voted not to sell or lease the lots recently surveyed at Plaice Cove. This undeveloped area was named North Side Park in 1919 but was informally known as Joe Billy Brown park, in memory of Selectman Joseph B. Brown. Voted to designate the East End School House lot as a park. Voted $1,500 for the 325th anniversary celebration. The leased-land study committee recommended retaining the Town-owned land and not selling it. A June special town meeting approved $26,300 to purchase another parcel of land for the High Street parking lot. A portion of this parcel had a house, and the Town intended to sell it and its lot for $13,000.


Another article was filed to lease as lots the North Side Park at Plaice Cove, but it was indefinitely postponed and voters later approved an article to finally and formally designate the area as North Side Park in memory of Joseph B. Brown. This is one of the few areas of public access to the beach in this section, and parking here is reserved for residents. Voted $25,000 for a new fire truck. Indefinitely postponed articles to buy a strip of land from Glade Path to the Hampton River Bridge for use as another Beach highway, to adopt the national plumbing and electrical codes, and to raise $120,000 to be appropriated over two years to buy a site for a proposed community center. Voted to study a Precinct-sponsored article that would have created a five-member Board of Selectmen with two members from the Precinct. Voted to permit sales of New Hampshire Sweepstakes tickets, and to retain the nonpartisan ballot.


Voted to increase rubbish collection to twice weekly in the summer. Voted $8,500 to build Brown Avenue Extension, and to adopt and continue a Precinct road committee until the entire proposed road from the Hampton River Bridge to the North Hampton line was completed or the program abandoned. Voted to retain the town government.


Voted $50,000 to provide water to the land south of the river and to indefinitely postpone an article to move the town boundary between Seabrook and Hampton to the center of the river.


Voted $55,000 for a revaluation of property. Hampton had 6,500 parcels of property at the time, and the last revaluation had been 12 years earlier.


Voted $100,000 to build a new public-works garage adjacent to the sewage treatment plant. Voted to appoint a 13-member Town Government Study Committee to include the Precinct commissioners.


Voted to join the Regional Planning Commission and voted $3,750 as the Town's share of the commission's budget. The Town Government Study Committee was continued for another year. Voted $2,500 to purchase a piece of land for the High Street Cemetery and $400 to develop the site reserved for Memorial Day services. Voted against changing the zoning ordinance to permit the sale of alcoholic beverages in first-class restaurants at the Beach.
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