For Rye Selectmen, summer cools off; hot fall anticipated

Issues pending: Dogs on beach, surfing boundaries, budget, etc.

Jack Driscoll

The final Monday night Rye Selectmen's meeting in August was conducted without any residents in attendance.

Luke loves it. (Jim Cerny photo)
That's likely to change in September and October as the agenda takes shape. Crowd-drawing issues such as dogs on the beach, surfing boundaries, and the 2009 budget will be the issues that will be coming to the fore in the fall. On the back burner but singled out by Selectman Joe Mills as needing resolution is the fate of the old police station opposite Town Hall.

The next step in the dogs-on-the-beach discussion will be the formation of a committee to discuss options in the light of a recently-retracted decision by the Selectmen to require leashes. Selectwoman Priscilla Jenness emphasized at last week's that there needed to be "balance" in the selection of committee members. Their deliberations are expected to be followed by a special Selectmen's meeting. It's not likely to lack resident attendance.

Complaints about the dwindling area for swimmers this summer seem to be
resulting in some consensus among the Selectmen for a change next Summer.
Mills has suggested surfers be allowed an area from Cable Road north and from the State Beach south.

Day's over. (Judy Palm photo)
After a weekend visit to the beach in late August, Chairman Craig Musselman said he agreed with the suggestion. He said he measured the distance between flags in the Cable Road area and said a distance of 88 feet was left for swimmers on a crowded day.

The Selectmen will schedule a meeting on the subject soon and are likely to vote on a change in the present system which allows some leeway for lifeguards.

An analysis of single-stream recycling meaning items don't need to be separated by residents has been turned over to the town, and it was announced the subject would be on a future agenda. But indications are that it is already dead.

The Concord Solid Waste/Resource Recovery Cooperative (CRSW/RRC) submitted the analysis. (The cooperative's website is at: Shortly thereafter the Selectmen's report in the Town Newsletter made the following comments:

"It was determined that the financial return would be far less with single-stream than with our current recycling " It is unclear when or how that determination was made.

Meanwhile, budget work sessions are scheduled for Thursday, September 18, starting at 9:00 a.m., with a second session if needed on September 25. One of the major items for budget deliberations will be a 36-foot-high sand-and-salt storage shed at the Recycling Center.


Good-sized turnouts were produced for public hearings on July 14 and Aug. 11 to deal with Emergency 911 concerns about ambiguities in Rye addresses. Fairly easy resolutions resulted from the first meeting as reported in the August issue of Rye Reflections.

At top right off Ocean Boulevard will be East Atlantic Avenue; section crossing Surf Lane will be West Atlantic Avenue. (Google Map)
But the rubber hit the road when it came down to two Atlantic Avenue segments and the two Spruces: Spruce Avenue and Spruce Drive.

Those were the stickiest wickets in the compliance process.

The 911 goal was simple: Prevent having streets with the same or similar names, especially to prevent confusion for out-of-Rye ambulances and other emergency vehicles. Easier said than done.

A special Rye committee, headed by Planning Administrator Kim Reed, ironed out most of the problems but preferred to have affected residents involved in solving the more difficult situations.

About a dozen residents grappled over he Atlantic Avenue dilemma. The street has two segments that don't connect. After about a half hour of discussion Reed suggested street signs that would say East Atlantic Avenue and West Atlantic Avenue. The numbers would remain the same but the telephone company records would have to be adjusted, because they are relied on by 911. It was a compromise that all agreed with, albeit reluctantly.

Spruce Avenue runs off Big Rock Road (top portion); Spruce Drive (bottom left) is adjacent to Abenaqui Country Club. (Mapquest map)

More difficult was the Spruce problem. Something had to give.

In the end it boiled down to the fact that Spruce Avenue is a public road and was named as part of a town government action when a series of adjacent streets were given tree names (Alder, Oak, Spruce, Pine and Maple). Spruce Drive is privately owned.

Reasonable discussion among 10 affected residents resulted in the pendulum swinging toward keeping Spruce Avenue. Chairman Musselman asked if the Spruce Drive residents would agree to huddle and return with a different name within about a month, and they graciously agreed. Problem almost solved.

Musselman acknowledged the difficulty of changing a name or number several times. "It's a pain," he said. He should know. His address was changed four years ago, and he's still experiencing fallout.

Go to Letters in November,2008

September, 2008