By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, June 29, 2004
HAMPTON - All Hampton resident Jerry Dignam wants, he said, is to see a clean beach.
"We spend a lot of taxpayer money advertising for people to come to beautiful Hampton Beach," said Dignam. "Let me tell you; its not beautiful right now."
Dignam informed selectmen about a problem they know all to well after being bombarded with letters from residents complaining about trash at Hampton Beach.
Dignam wanted to inform selectmen that Hampton Beach is not the only beach in town that is dirty.
"I heard people complaining about the center beach," said Dignam. "I can tell you, at the North Beach, there was seaweed and there was trash."
Dignam noticed there are no barrels at the beach and that the sea wall was eroding.
Dignam said its time to call the state and to demand a better job cleaning and maintaining the beaches in town.
"The state needs to use some of the meter money and pump it into keeping our beach clean," said Dignam. "I don't care if they have the equipment or thepersonnel, because they certainly have the money."
Selectman Chairman William "Skip" Sullivan said the town has been trying to set up a meeting with the state to discuss the trash situation at the beach, but to no avail.
Selectmen have been trying to open communications and finalize a draft memorandum of understanding with the state concerning trash at the beach and parking meters for the last few months.
Sullivan said he plans to address the town's concerns today with Gov. Craig Benson.
Benson, along with other state officials, will meet at the Hampton State Pier at 9:30 a.m. to announce the town has received a $483,000 grant to construct a public safety municipal pier and dock facility.
"I will speak with Gov. Benson," Sullivan told Damon.
"I don't really care about Gov. Benson," said Dignam. "I really care about the people in charge of public parks. They're not spending the money. I want a good reputation of Hampton Beach. Not a reputation that it's a trashy beach."
In other business, selectmen were informed by Town Manager James Barrington that they will need Town Meeting approval to pass a revised trash bylaw.
Two weeks ago, Department of Public Works Director John Hangen came before the board to get selectmen to approve the revised trash bylaw concerning trash collection and storage.
Hangen wanted to add an extra revision into the bylaw that would require all residents and businesses in town to keep their trash in covered containers.
He also wanted tighter enforcement of the current trash bylaw which prohibits establishments in the business seasonal zone from leaving its trash out on the street in the middle of the afternoon.
Selectman Cliff Pratt said officials may submit an article at the next Town Meeting asking voters to give selectmen the power to approve or disapprove of new ordinances.