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Council Approves Railroad Crossings, Debates Softball Field Restoration

The Portsmouth Town Council met Monday night.

Council Approves Railroad Crossings, Debates Softball Field Restoration Council Approves Railroad Crossings, Debates Softball Field Restoration Council Approves Railroad Crossings, Debates Softball Field Restoration

The following is a report of actions taken at the Portsmouth Town Council's meeting Monday night. 

7 p.m. — Council approves seasonal expansion of liquor license for . The vote was 5-1 with Judi Staven against and Jim Seveney recused. 

7:05 — Joe Robicheau congratulated the cheerleaders, who won the state championship this past weekend. 

Town administrator talks budget

7:12 — Town Administrator John Klimm said he reviewed all pending litigation with the town solicitor. "I'm concerned with financial liability," Klimm said. Klimm also toured public facilities. He will also meet with school superintendent later this week. "I will be touring the transfer station this week as well," he said. 

7:13 — Klimm also spoke about the start of the budget process. "I want you to know we might have to submit a budget with cuts," he said. "I'm very concerned with the levels of our reserves. We will submit a plan to restore those." 

Former town councilor removed from board

7:22 — Salvador Carceller Jr. asks council to dismiss Charter Review Committee member Jeff Plumb who, according to Carceller, has not attended any meetings. 

7:24 — Liz Pedro asks Carceller if he contacted Plumb about tonight's meeting. Carceller said he did not. 

7:28 — , says he would have appreciated being spoken to in advance.

7:31 — Council votes 6-1, with Pedro against, to remove Plumb from committee. 

7:38 — Council hears from David Beutel and his plans to create a 2.75-acre aquaculture farm to grow oysters and quahogs. 

Council approves railroad crossings for future Newport Beach Club

7:40 — Ed Lopes and Bob Andrews of the Newport Dinner Train address safety concerns about the . 

7:56 — Council approves railroad crossings in 4-3 vote with Paul Kesson, Pedro and Judi Staven against.

7:56 — Before vote, President Robicheau told senior citizen Kathleen Melvin to "take a seat" as she attempted to speak against proposal. She only spoke a few minutes before being asked to sit down. 

"No individual should be singled out for concessions that wouldn't be approved for the regular, town taxpayer," she said and continued. 

"We're not talking property taxes," Robicheau said, interrupting her. "Please take a seat." 

8:05 — David Gleason talks about Lower Glen Farm repairs. 

8:14 — Council votes 7-0 to approve three-year contract award for on-call engineering services. 

8:28 — Council discusses costs to repair pit. Council votes to table item. 

8:31 — Carolyn Fletcher asks for $1,000 donation for Portsmouth High School Post Prom Party. Council approves donation. 

8:32 — Council approves use of Town Council chambers for Presidential Primary on April 24, as well as postpones regular council meeting to April 25. 

Council debates $10,000 request to repair softball fields

8:35 — Keith Hamilton recuses himself. Glen Park Working Committee requests $10,000 to restore softball fields after being notified by the Portsmouth Little League. "The Glen Park Committee does not have money to do this. We are asking for your help," said Grace Kinnunen. 

8:50 — "Our primary issue is safety," said Mr. Cofield from the Portsmouth Little League. "Last year, we had a broken leg." 

8:54 — "This is the first time you've seen this request," said Klimm. "I don't think it's reasonable to ask for a two-week analysis...I can't suggest it's financially responsible. I would suggest we take action at the next meeting."

9 p.m. — Seveney motions to table request until next meeting and asks town administrator to "do due diligence on how we would fund this request." Staven asks to split Seveney's motion into two. Seveney agrees. 

9:11 — Staven amends motion to "have Little League bring forward the allocation of money spent on the different fields."

9:18 — "This has nothing to do with trust. It has to do with budgetary diligence to the town of Portsmouth," Robicheau said. 

9:20 — Council votes 6-0 against an amendment, asking the Little League to show a cost analysis for the fields. Staven made the motion and later voted against it. 

9:22 — Council votes 4-2 against approving the funding request. Voting in favor were Michael Buddemeyer and Seveney. Council votes 6-0 to have the committee return with a request and plan in two weeks. 

Elmhurst Planning Committee asks for charter extension 

9:24 — Richard Wimpress asks council to extend Elmhurst Planning Committee's charter another six months. "I would think six months would get you to a point where you could evaluate our recommendations," he said. The committee is developing plans for the former Elmhurst Elementary School. 

9:27 — Council extends committee's charter in 7-0 vote. 

9:28 — Council approves tax vouchers. 

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