Mont Vernon School Board to discuss roof leaks

MONT VERNON – The Mont Vernon School Board will hold a special session this morning to discuss how to cope with roof leaks that closed the school most of the week.

Around a dozen leaks occurred in the building, including some so serious that they collapsed ceiling tiles, after the weekend snowstorm. School, closed Monday due to the snowstorm, opened for a few hours Tuesday but then was shut for the rest of the week.

The building has a history of roof problems, and a recent architect’s report said serious problems with the design and construction of the attic have contributed to ice dams and roof flooding, and could cost $150,000 or more to fix.

In the short term, officials are likely to buy a specialized tarp to cover the roof so that the school can reopen Jan. 5, after the Christmas holidays. About 38,000 square feet of tarp will be needed, at an estimated cost of at least $17,000.

Who’s row tougher to hoe?

MILFORD – It’s not a question that keeps most people awake at night, but there might be a few folks out there who have wondered which of town government’s high-profile jobs takes more time: selectman or school board member?

Now we have an answer from one of the few people who can answer from experience:

Selectman, by a long shot.

“I’d say there are three times as many subcommittees here (on the Board of Selectmen), compared to the School Board,” said Gary Daniels, who is unusual in the region – perhaps unique – in that he is a selectman and School Board member at the same time. “There are many more aspects to this.”

His comment came at a Board of Selectmen meeting Wednesday, during discussion about forming a committee to examine whether Milford should change its form of government.

One of the reasons for changing could be that as towns grow, the almost-volunteer selectmen may have more than they can handle – which is why Daniels was queried as to relative workloads.

His answer makes sense. Although the School District budget in Milford is three times the size of the town budget, school boards oversee a relatively narrow range of tasks: basically, education and buildings. Selectmen, on the other hand, oversee everything from parking laws to emergency-service contracts to impact fees – hence the need for scads of subcommittees.

As for the group that will study possible changes to Milford town government, it is likely to be paradise for governance wonks. Participants range from the eminently practical (former moderator and selectmen Ernie Barrett, who quoted state law from memory Wednesday) to the eminently theoretical (Dave Alcox, the Nashua High School government teacher whose We the People constitutional-law and Mock Trial teams have dominated state competitions).

Last-minute gift for outdoorsy types

Tired of buying your favorite hunter a box of shells or blaze-orange socks every Christmas? Think hand-tied flies make poor Kwanzaa gifts? Or maybe you’re just shopping for something nice for yourself.

Hunting and fishing licenses for 2004 – and gift certificates for these items – are now on sale from the state Fish and Game Department.

Depending on your budget, gift certificates could make a nice stocking stuffer or major gift, and even better, something for an angler or hunter to dream about Christmas night.

For state residents, annual fishing licenses cost $35, hunting licenses cost $24.50 and combination licenses run $48.50. Licenses for out-of-staters are a bit more extravagant: fishing licenses cost $53, hunting licenses cost $105.50 and combination licenses cost $143.50. For non-state residents, one-, three- or seven-day fishing licenses are available for less, from $15 to $35.

Licenses may be bought online, but certificates will require a trip to Fish and Game headquarters, on Hazen Drive in Concord.

Just remember, residents 68 and older are eligible for a free license to fish and hunt in New Hampshire.