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Boy Scout's speeding concerns are addressed


Ossipee selectmen open Freight House bids



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ZACHARY BICKNELL was all smiles at the Ossipee Selectmenís Meeting after his plea for help slowing traffic was heard by town officials. (Mellisa Seamans photo) (click for larger version)
July 12, 2012
OSSIPEE — The highlight of the July 2 selectmen's meeting here was the look on a young Boy Scout's face when he learned one of his concerns had already been addressed.

Zachary Bicknell, 12, of Ossipee Corner sat patiently waiting for the regular business of the selectmen's meeting to be complete. Patiently he waited on the edge of his seat through talk of tax abatements, timber cutting, covered bridge, sidewalks, water system grants, and garbage contracts.

When it was his turn to speak he stepped up to the microphone, dressed in his Boy Scout uniform with clipboard in hand. He spoke of how cars often speed by his house on Old Route 28 and that drivers are likely unaware of the children that live on the road. Bicknell told the board he is concerned about the safety of those children. He asked selectmen to consider helping him to slow the traffic by installing roadway signs urging drivers to use caution and be on the lookout for children playing in the area.

Selectmen and the audience listened intently as he spoke. As the board chairman was about to respond, the town's public works director, Brad Harriman asked to address Bicknell. He explained to the young man that earlier in the day his crew visited Old Route 28, inspected the concern, and installed two caution signs. As he spoke, Bicknell's infectious smile grew across his face and his eyes popped with surprise. He politely thanked Harriman and returned to his seat to complete the paperwork for the community service scouting project. Following his presentation it was clear that this will likely not be the last time that selectmen hear from this young community activist. He spoke to this reporter about his concerns that there are also many bear in his neighborhood and to rumors he had heard about potential dangers of fuel leaking into the ground from underground storage tanks.

Freight House

Given that the town was in the middle of its annual Old Home Week with a band concert being set up on the front lawn of the Town Hall and with one selectman eager to head to the ice cream social sponsored by the Victorian House, the selectmen's meeting was a quick one.

They moved quickly through the agenda and opened the much anticipated bid proposals from contractors eager to do the renovation work at the Freight House. Selectmen received five bids ranging in cost from $216,262 to $246,300. The bidders were also asked to submit a work schedule to let selectmen know how soon they can finish the project. The estimates range from 109 to 181 days. Selectmen will take the two weeks between meetings to review the bids with Harriman and plan to announce the successful bidder at their July 16 meeting. They will also likely detail how they plan to fund the project. There is currently $202,000 available for the project and permitting and design fees will be deducted from that, leaving the balance available to fund the project. It is unknown as of press time whether the board will look to find extra money in other lines of the budget or if they will change the scope of the project.

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