CONWAY – The Mount Washington Valley Preservation Association is giving select employees the opportunity until the end of the month to determine whether to sell and install engraved pavers as a fundraiser for the beautification of the city in Conway Village.
Urban engineer Paul DegliAngeli said the paving slabs could be installed as part of the Main Street project, which is partially state funded, which includes rehabilitation of the pavement and sidewalks, improving drainage and improving pedestrian safety in the village.
Similar paving stones have been installed in North Conway Village for the past 18 years. The funds have been allocated since 2010.
Mt. Janice Crawford, executive director of the Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, director of the Mount Washington Valley Preservation Association, had introduced the idea to the select few, explaining that engraved granite paving stones could be sold and the money raised could be used for beautification in Conway and North Conway .
“By selling pavers, donations can be raised to pay for, for example, flower pots, Christmas lights, light pole wreaths and other things that bring back fond memories of your hometown,” Crawford said in a recent letter to the editor.
It is up to the association to decide how the funds raised are to be spent.
Conway Village’s sidewalks will be poured from concrete, and a group of four granite pavers would form a square shape in the center of the sidewalk.
Each engraved “Fall Pink” paver would be 12 inches square and four in one section. Each batch would be placed 30 feet apart on either side of Main Street along the control joints to avoid cracking.
Crawford said she would like to make a decision by the end of the month. The Selectmen meeting last Tuesday was canceled due to the winter storm Orlena. You will meet on Zoom next Tuesday because of COVID in the old town hall.
“The MWVPA plans to make the decision by the end of February to meet our deadlines for paving, selling, engraving, etc.,” said Crawford. “If no decision is made by then, our offer to lead the program will be off the table.”
A total of 320 pavers were sold at 80 locations in Conway Village. Each paver would make a profit of $ 151. The cost of a paver ranges from $ 325 for one with lettering only (pavers could accommodate six lines of 13 fields) to one with a logo that would cost $ 575.
The association also suggested that the city could set up a committee to put historical names and facts on certain paving stones. The association said the committee could have 40 such pavers. However, to have one historic finisher in each batch of four would require 80. There would have to be sponsors for the other 40 to have 80 historic cobblestones.
The proposed agreement states that the Preservation Association, of which Crawford is chairman, would pay for the $ 18,600 modification of the Main Street project and the price of all 320 pavers.
The first profits would be used to reimburse the Preservation Association. After that, they would be split evenly between the Conway Village Club and North Conway.
Conway Village would see a benefit of approximately $ 12,000 from this project, but the amount could be higher if the association decides to spend part or all of Conway Village’s stake.
Crawford said she wanted the project to “improve” the lives of both villages equally.
Long time residents of Conway Village, Mark Hounsell, Janine Bean (his sister) and their mother, Betty Hounsell, believe that installing the granite paving stones would cause the sidewalks to fall apart faster and not fit the image of the village.
“Conway Village is an old working class community while North Conway Village is a tourist business community. No one particularly likes interfering with the other,” said Mark Hounsell.
Historian Bill Marvel also opposes the project, saying: “The paver trick is another example of the tourist parasites in North Conway hoping that Conway Village will act as a doormat for the ‘Mount Washington Valley’ after they have employed the Villagers have taxed. ” Base outside the city. ”
The paving stones would be placed at Arthur’s Memorial once a year through June 15 this year.
Crawford said if selected individuals make a decision by the end of this month they could start selling the paving stones and then the contractor could place the engraved paving stones. If more were sold, Arthur’s Memorial would simply remove and insert engraved ones.
DegliAngeli told selected individuals that the granite paving stones wouldn’t make much of a difference in terms of sidewalk maintenance. The most important consideration for the chosen ones is whether “the aesthetics or the embellishment is worth the time and effort”.
At their January 26 meeting, Selectman asked Mary Carey Seavey at the January 26 meeting if the pavers would catch wheelchairs.
DegliAngeli said he would be more concerned if someone caught a stick or high heeled shoes.
Reached by phone, Arthur’s Memorials owner Maryellen Szetela said the granite paving stones would be 2 inches thick and would not break or move because they would be flush with the sidewalk.
“My product is good,” said Szetela.
DegliAngeli said the granite paving stones held up well in North Conway, but in North Conway the contractor did not do a good job on the “substrate” layer. He said that the work was being managed by NHDOT, not the city, and that there was a problem with the lifting and that some of the concrete paving stones that surround the granite paving stones are gradually dissolving.
DegliAngeli said select individuals should expect $ 50,000 budget requests over the next five years to be placed in the capital reserve to allow North Conway sidewalks to be renewed in sections.
Selectman John Colbath, who grew up in Conway Village, said he could “waver” one way or another “when selling pavers and that he would buy a paver when they became available. He said the most common response he’s received is that people just want the sidewalks to be safe to walk on.
Colbath said he doesn’t think the pavers will raise much money for Conway Village as the money will be split in three ways. He said the main benefit is aesthetics, not a lucrative fundraiser.
“I think it will be too complicated and it will likely be defeated,” said Colbath.