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Demolition of Conner Pond house could begin next week


October 04, 2012
OSSIPEE — Progress continues on the cleanup of an oil spill at a home on Conner Pond in the Ossipee Mountains. As reported last week, concerned residents in the Conner Pond area complained that the cleanup of oil leaking from a storage tank in an abandoned home was taking too long.

That home, located at 30 Bayle Mountain Road, has been tested for asbestos, reported Selectman Harry Merrow at the board's meeting Monday night. Though, as of press time, the results of that testing was not available, the home's owner has been issued a permit to tear it down, pending the results. Merrow said work to tear down the house could begin as early as next week.

Getting to the oil spill in the basement and to the tanks proved tricky for cleanup crews and state officials since the home's foundation is very unstable and they are unable to put people in the basement. Instead, a sump pump fueled by a generator was installed and workers have been doing as much cleanup as possible from the exterior of the building. Once the house is torn down, said David Degler of N.H. Department of Environmental Services, the rest of the spill can be cleaned up as well as any possible contamination of the soil.

Both Merrow and Degler reported that, according to water samples taken from the pond, the spilled oil at this shorefront property has not seeped into the water. A passing kayaker made the initial call to report the smell of oil coming from the house, a move that likely prevented the oil leak from being left unchecked through the winter and the likelihood it would have seeped into the pond in the spring.

Assessing contract

Selectmen announced they will be meeting on Friday, Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. to discuss and make any necessary changes to the town's property assessing contract. The request for proposals for the multi-year contract will be going out shortly after that meeting.

Freight House and Transfer Station

Work at the town-owned Freight House on Moultonville Road is by testimony of all three selectmen and the town's Public Works Director, coming along at a good pace with new windows and interior walls all in place. The interior of the building was completely gutted for renovation that will including meeting and office space as well as second story storage space for records. What was not built into the renovation plan was the installation of sprinkler system on the second floor of the building. Center Ossipee Fire Chief Michael Brownell told the board last month that they are required to install sprinklers in the building's attic if they intend to use it for storage space. Merrow said while he is concerned about the protection of people who will be using the building and generally supports sprinkler systems when the project scope merits the expense, in this case he thinks it is an unnecessary expense. Merrow said there will be no hazardous materials stored in the building and there will be no offices or meeting space on the second floor. The main floor is currently equipped with two exits. Merrow said he plans to look into the supposed requirement further and bring his findings to the next board meeting, Oct. 15.

Regular meeting attendee and Ossipee resident Jean Hansen said the board should think about mowing town records into electronic storage, also known as "on the cloud." The technology is there that enables the reduction of paperwork and storage space needed, she said. Converting thousands of pages of documents takes time, however, and the three selectmen appeared reluctant to consider her suggestion.

In other upcoming projects, Ossipee Public Works Director Brad Harriman said advertisement seeking bids for a new roof on the main building at the town's transfer station will be going out this week, with bids scheduled to be opened at the Oct. 15 selectmen's meeting.

Road paving on Pequawket Trail, Leavitt Road, and Ridge Road is expected to begin next week. Road reconstruction on Sawyer Road is nearing completion and paving on the road is expected to happen in about three weeks, Harriman said.

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