Category: Community

Volunteering to Make a Difference

NH Food Bank Mac Off

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We’re proud that members of our team are reaching out, stepping in, and building up the community. Over the past year, Hoyle, Tanner employees — both on their own and representing the company — have volunteered or donated to more than 15 causes. Since August, we’ve had at least 22 of our employees donate time, energy, and resources to causes like the New Hampshire Food Bank, the Elliot Regional Cancer Center, the City of Manchester, and the Granite United Way. We don’t just want to work and live in our community; we want to make it the best it can be.

Uplifting spirits with food security

The New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities New Hampshire, exists as the only food bank in New Hampshire. The Food Bank gives millions of pounds of food to more than 400 food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other partner agencies throughout the state every year. Because of the Food Bank’s efforts, hundreds of thousands of food-insecure residents have access to meals.

Running toward better health – for others

We had our largest group of 14 runners and walkers come out for this year’s Cigna/Elliot Corporate 5K Road Race on Thursday, August 10th. The race supports the Elliot Regional Cancer Center, and with over 6,000 registrants, it is the largest road race in New Hampshire. The Elliot Hospital was the first in New Hampshire to establish a cancer center in 1966. The center is home to surgical, medical and radiation oncologists with state-of-the-art technology to help patients fight cancer.

Living & giving united

After an environmental engineer at Hoyle, Tanner worked on water and sanitation improvements in Haiti five years ago, we continue to look for ways to donate to the community. This year, the goal is to donate money so that the poorest children in Leon (in the Grand’Anse Department in Western Haiti) get to attend school.

Changing through empathy

We know that sometimes… it takes a village. It takes great people coming together to see that others are struggling and offer to help. We’re proud that the Hoyle, Tanner family has so many caring souls — who dedicate part of their paycheck, time, a good ounce of energy — all to help out those in need.

Right-of-Way Acquisition in 7 Steps

Simple steps of Right of Way permitting

Right-of-Way acquisitions in civil engineering encompass a lot of detail. According to Betsy Bosiak, land acquisition specialist at Hoyle, Tanner, it can take a little under five years to learn everything there is to know about Right-of-Way.

Betsy recently hosted a Lunch & Learn session at Hoyle, Tanner to answer questions about the acquisition process. For those who may not know what Right-of-Way is, it’s the act of acquiring land or easements to complete a project. It could be anything from a homeowner’s land that needs drainage services near a road to getting new land to build a medical office. As she stated in her presentation, each state has to follow certain federal guidelines, but the individual states do have specific criteria for Right-of-Way processes. In fact, if you take a stroll into Betsy’s office, her bookshelf is home to two thick Right-of-Way booklets: one for Maine and one for New Hampshire, available to anyone in the office who has questions.

Betsy’s presentation was about the acquisition process in New Hampshire (one she tried not to get into too much detail about because of its sheer power to overwhelm).

In 7 steps, here’s a breakdown of what we learned:

Before Final Design:

  1. Know the basics. First and foremost, Right-of-Way acquisition is considered a part of the final design process, depending on the size of the project. Yet it’s also important to realize that many items occur concurrent with plan development. The types of Right-of-Way are Prescriptive, Easement, and Fee. Prescriptive is determined by usage, but there is no layout. Easement acquisition is when the property owner gives easements to allow the use of land. Today, however, the most popular acquisition is fee-based; land is purchased for the project to be completed.Types of Right of Way Acquisition
  2. Determine what’s already there. It’s vital to determine the existing Right-of-Way by checking existing plans, historic documents, property surveys, deeds, and existing ground conditions.
  3. Make a plan & be specific. To actually acquire land for project use, there needs to be a project scope, preliminary design, final design, and recording all plans.
  4. Determine the type of acquisition: Fee Taking (buying the land), Temporary Easement (using it for the time of construction), or Permanent Easement (the land is yours forever, but the State or Municipality has easement rights).
  5. Explain the impacts. You actually need to explain to the landowner the intended impacts to the property. Public meetings, meetings with officials, and meetings with landowners are a critical part of the process. As Betsy suggests, keep records of what everyone says so that there’s no confusion later in the process.

During Final Design:

  1. Determine appraisals. Even after the landowner meetings, the land is still nAppraisal types for Right of Way acquisitionot ready to be built upon. In fact, the next step in the detailed acquisition process is Land Value Appraisals. Once that’s complete, a written offer is made to the landowner. If the landowner agrees to the compensation, the designers can move forward with the appropriate documents and acquire the land. The project can be completed! If not, well, it’s back to the negotiation table.
  2. Acquire the needed property rights. The property owner has agreed to the written compensation. It’s time to prepare the deed or easement document, and with a witness or notary, sign the document. Save all written records and notes and make copies of each. The land is officially available for project construction.

The Right-of-Way acquisition process is no simple matter (though it was explained in layman’s terms here). It can take anywhere from 1-2 years from preliminary to final design before land is acquired for the project. By then, project designs and abstracts can change multiple times. Betsy recommends documenting files for each landowner and making multiple copies of these documents for reference.

Have Right-of-Way questions? Talk to the specialist: Besty Bosiak, ebosiak@hoyletanner.com

Unifying Beautification Efforts in the Millyard

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In honor of Earth Day 2016, members of our team are hitting the streets and giving back to the Manchester community by participating in Intown Manchester’s #AdoptABlock neighborhood clean-up effort. Intown Manchester is the only Business Improvement District in the State of New Hampshire and is “working in cooperation with the City of Manchester to increase downtown’s competitiveness and to affirm Manchester’s position as an economic leader of the New England region.”

In addition to working in our corporate headquarters in the Millyard, many of our employees call the Queen City home and, therefore, the clean-up effort provides an opportunity for us to give back to them and the public. The Adopt-a-Block program is bringing together local business men and women to unify the beautification efforts and improve Manchester’s livability.

“We’re excited to participate in our first “Adopt-A-Block” and look forward to spending time with many of our Millyard neighbors making a positive impact to the community we work and live in,” states Jen Pelletier, Marketing Manager. “The fact that the event falls on Earth Day is extra special, we have the opportunity to take part in the largest secular civic event in the world.”

In New Hampshire, numerous Earth Day celebrations and volunteer activities are planned to inspire residents to get involved in conserving our planet for years to come. To find out more about Earth Day and to get involved… Take Action!

How Your Community Plays a Part in National Walk to Work Day

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Spring has arrived just in time for National Walk to Work Day! Individuals across the country are lacing up their sneakers and hitting the pavement, while communities are taking a more holistic approach to ensuring safe pedestrian and bicycle travel. Many municipalities are introducing the concept of “complete streets”, introduced by the National Complete Streets Coalition, to their design efforts to balance safety and convenience for motorists, transit users, pedestrians and cyclists alike. Currently, there isn’t a single design for a complete street; it represents creating roads that are safe for all users, regardless of age, ability, or transportation method. Growing in popularity, some of the complete streets features are being implemented throughout the state, including:

Traffic Calming
With the growing demand for alternative modes of transportation, traffic calming measures are being introduced on various roadways to ensure safe travel for all users. The use of narrowed throughways, speed bumps/humps/tables,chicanes, and curb extensions (bulbouts) are some of the many features being used in the efforts to slow automobile travel, including the Union Street Reconstruction in Peterborough, New Hampshire. This project also incorporated tree plantings along the medians to beautify the area.

High Visibility Crosswalks
History shows pedestrian crossings existing more than 2000 years ago, where raised blocks on roadways provided a means for pedestrians to cross without having to step on the street itself. In current designs, high visibility crosswalks are incorporated to guide pedestrians and alert motorists to the crossing locations. Six foot wide crosswalks are installed using long lasting plastic/epoxy or paint embedded with reflective glass beads to assist in the crossing markings. In addition to local governments, universities, like the University of New Hampshire, are incorporating these crosswalks on their campuses.

Shared Use Paths
A multi-use path or trail that has been separated from motor vehicle travel and has been established for alternative transportation purposes is another option that is growing in popularity. Utilizing existing right-of-ways to create these travel corridors for pedestrians, cyclists, skaters, equestrians, and other non-motorized users in some instances are also used to observe the natural environment in various communities. Recently, a shared use path was completed connecting Manchester’s and Goffstown’s trail system.

Multi-Modal Intersection
Intersections have the unique responsibility of accommodating and coordinating the nearly-constant occurrence of conflicts between all modes of transportation. Multi-modal intersections focus on intersections where numerous modes of travel come together and the coordination is required for the safety of all users. Utilizing different design features such as corner refuge islands, forward stop bars, and dedicated bike lanes, as used on Manchester Street in Concord, all intersection users can travel simultaneously, safely.

With many communities implementing these design features into roadway geometry, walking to work can be as simple as strapping on your shoes and heading out the door. By walking to work for this nationally recognized day, you will help reduce carbon emissions, get fit, and avoid the traffic jams.

Every Little Bit Counts

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During the recession in 2009, Hoyle, Tanner’s employees joined together to help the local community in New Hampshire and started a non-perishable collection to benefit the New Hampshire Food Bank (#NHFoodBank). Each month Hoyle, Tanner employees use the food bank theme for the month’s collections and although we don’t always stick to the theme our employees remain committed to helping families in need.

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Coming up on the fifth anniversary of starting this program, we have come to realize that every bit counts – both large and small. Collecting various non-perishables throughout this program, in one month our smallest donation was 11 pounds and our largest donation was 149 pounds. Now totaling over 1,900 pounds, we have helped provide nearly 2,500 meals to hungry families in New Hampshire. Statistics (summarized above) regarding the individuals  served by the NH Food Bank were collected off of their website at  http://www.nhfoodbank.org/Statistics.aspx.