New London, NH
What a beautiful
Fourth of July weekend! I climbed to the top of Mount Kearsarge with
friends on Saturday night to watch the sunset and the panorama of
fireworks – something that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Bring a jacket for the top and a headlamp for the descent, though
don’t be afraid to turn it off periodically to experience the dark,
silent beauty of a New Hampshire night.
Unfortunately, the weekend was not good to everybody. Our thoughts are
with the owners of Twin Lake Village and the families who lost their
belongings while on vacation this week, as a fire burned down one of
TLV’s year-round homes in Springfield. Although the building could not
be saved, the mutual aid cooperation of 12 area fire departments was
commendable and comforting.
It is going to be a stifling hot week and we expect the beaches to be
packed. These are the steamy crowded days that generate the most
complaints to the Police Department and Town Office. For the safety and
enjoyment of all involved, please obey beach rules and parking
regulations. If you are a New London resident or property owner and you
do not have a current parking sticker or temporary pass, please visit
the Town Clerk’s Office to get one. And please help us deter vandalism
by reporting any unusual activity that you see at the beaches,
especially at night.
Summer being the busiest time for yard sales and property transfers, we
have received a number of inquiries about proper disposal of household
hazardous waste. It is true that due to budget cuts, for the second year
in a row the Town of New London is not holding a household hazardous
waste collection, nor are we participating as a town in one of the
However, there are three opportunities for our residents to participate
in regional hazardous waste collections at their own expense.
Collections will be held from 9:00 AM until noon on Saturday, July 17
and Saturday, September 25 at the Lebanon Solid Waste facility on Route
12A, and closer by on Saturday, August 28, at the Newbury Highway
Garage. This year, the collections will also accept unwanted
prescription medicines, which should never be flushed down a toilet or
poured down a drain, which could contaminate area drinking water
The regional collections are organized by the Upper
Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission (UVLSRPC). Please
note that the collections are intended for household (i.e., residential)
hazardous waste. Large scale disposals, such as from commercial
businesses, schools, or other large institutions, must register at least
two weeks in advance of the collection and also must pay for all
disposal costs. If you are in that category, please call Vickie Davis at
the UVLSRPC at 448-1680.
Further details about the
collections, including fees, instructions and a helpful list of what is
considered hazardous (and what can be disposed of in other ways), are on a
flyer available at the Town Office, Transfer Station, and on our website
In addition, a guide to disposal of common wastes is on the website of the
Upper Valley Household Hazardous Waste Committee (www.uvhhw.org).
The impact to the Town
budget for the disposal of individual household hazardous waste would be
about $9,000 per year, which amounts to about $3.50 per year on the median
tax bill. In 2006, when New London last hosted a collection, 212
households participated, at a cost of a little over $40 per participating
household. In 2007, 116 New London households participated in the
collection held in Sunapee, and in 2008, only 19 households participated.
In all three years, the cost of the hazardous waste collection was borne
not just by the participating households, but by all of the
non-participating households as well. Should all taxpayers continue
to pay for a service that is used by a diminishing number of households?
Some would say yes -- holding a town-wide household hazardous waste
collection benefits the greater good, as allowing for the proper disposal
of hazardous waste keeps it out of the landfills, woods, and public water
On the other hand, one of the theories behind pay-as-you-throw trash
disposal is that it will affect consumer habits and lead to informed and
responsible purchasing decisions (the UVHHW website also gives a number of
alternative non-toxic recipes for many hazardous household cleaners).
The question of “who should pay?” will be asked – and hopefully
answered -- as we explore pay-as-you-throw options and other budget
reduction measures. How should we pay for trash disposal? Should people
and businesses be responsible for the trash they generate, or should trash
be a collective expense? Should people who own land (but not buildings) in
New London be allowed to use the Transfer Station?
The question can be applied to other services as well. Who should pay for
recreation? Should taxpayers underwrite staff for programs that are being
used by residents from other towns? Should people who own waterfront homes
have to subsidize others’ use of the public beaches and boating
programs? Should people who have seasonal homes on private roads have to
pay for winter clearing of public roads? Should those who live on paved
roads have to pay for the paving of gravel roads? Should seasonal
residents have to pay for the education of our children? And, for that
matter, should we have to pay for the education of children who live in
I wish there were a perfect formula, but that is what the public forum is
for – you decide! Please join us during the budget process this year as
we tackle these and other questions.
Jessie Levine, Town
375 Main Street
New London, NH 03257
Phone: 603-526-4821 extension 13