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Ossipee needs six volunteers for town boards

May 01, 2014
OSSIPEE — There are 2,765 registered Ossipee voters. Being an Ossipee resident and registered voter are the only requirements needed to run for election to hold public office. There are only about 40 positions for elected officials to serve Ossipee government.

Even with such a large pool of voters to pull from, several vacancies remain and officials here are hoping volunteers will step up to fill the empty seats.

There are two seats available on the conservation commission and two volunteers are needed who are willing to serve on that board from now until March 31, 2015. Information about the duties of conservation commissions can be found at the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions' website at www.nhacc.org.

As for what conservation commissions do, their website states, "These active volunteers are studying natural resources and developing long-term plans and strategies for the protection of important places, they are providing educational programs & hikes, they are working to permanently protect land, they are educating the public about renewable energy, they are managing city and town lands for timber production, recreation and wildlife, they are researching the latest tools and advising other boards on the importance of the town's natural resources, they are able to work with the state's Department of Environmental Services to provide local comment on wetland permits."

One of the Ossipee properties this town's commission is charged with managing is the "Windows on the Ossipees" scenic overlook area on Route 16. Previously the commission worked with staff and inmates at Carroll County House of Corrections to construct the kiosk at the site. Currently, signs are in the process of being made to add to the kiosk so visitors can learn more about the area. The signs will include a map that identifies all of the mountains seen from the vista, information about the Ossipee Watershed, and a map of Ossipee highlighting conservation and historical areas.

Another property the commission is charged with managing, in part, is the town-owned Sumner Brook Fish Hatchery on Route 16. That property is leased to the current operators in a long-term lease agreement. Selectmen this week heard some preliminary information about the tenants wanting to extend the lease in exchange for money they would like to invest in adding solar panels to offset utility costs at that site.

More information about Ossipee Conservation Commission can be found on the town's website, including meeting minutes and ordinances, at http://ossipee.org/boards/conservation/.

With some recent resignations, there is only one person currently serving on the board of cemetery trustees. To get any work done, there needs to be at least one more member so votes can be taken, though a three-member board would be ideal. Cemetery trustees are charged with overseeing the upkeep of the town-owned cemeteries, keeping accurate maps of each, and with selling cemetery plots.

The N.H. Department of Justice Charitable Trusts Unit offers an excellent resource in their handbook for cemetery, library, and trust fund trustees that can be found on their website at http://doj.nh.gov/charitable-trusts/documents/trustees-handbook-2013.pdf.

There are two vacancies on the three-member trustee of trust funds board. According to the NHDOJ handbook, the duties of trustees of trust funds are described as "trustees of trust funds are the custodians of the town's perpetual care funds, charitable trusts, private donations, and capital reserve/expendable trust funds. TTFs make decisions regarding expenditure from these funds based on the wishes of the donor in the case of privately donated funds and release capital reserve funds and expendable trust funds to the appropriate government officials upon request. They make decisions on how these funds are to be invested based upon the statues and the investment policy adopted by the trustees."

Anyone interested in serving on any of these boards, all touted as a great way to enter into public service, is asked to call Ossipee Selectmen's Office at 539-4181.

Trash talk

Along with the annual snowmelt comes the discovery of trash along the towns' roadways. Some volunteers as well as the town's public works employees have cleaned up several roadways throughout the town but much more help is needed. Officials here are hoping to see a record turnout of residents this year that can help with spring cleaning the roadsides. Willing volunteers are asked to meet Saturday, May 10 at 8 a.m. at Ossipee Town Hall to get trash bags, gloves, and road assignments.

The annual "free dump day" has become so popular that at least one selectman would like to see the event held twice a year, once in spring and once in fall.

Ossipee Public Works Director Brad Harriman told selectman that on April 26, 490 vehicles came to the town's transfer station. Items for which a disposal fee is normally charged, were collected free of charge. Transfer station attendants collected 151 electronic items such as televisions and computer monitors; 204 bulky items, 431 tires, 19 air conditioning and refrigerators, three car batteries, and 11 propane tanks. "These are all things we won't now be picking up on the side of the road," said Harriman.

One resident who attended the April 28 selectmen's meeting lamented that during her frequent trips to Constitution Park on Route 25 she is disgusted to see so much trash, mostly beer cans, on that property. She also asked selectmen to try to find a way to keep people from driving vehicles on the town's ballfields at the park which is "causing big ruts." She noted that it is a shame that some young people have no respect for their community. "Schools need to be responsible to teach the children about respecting public property," she said.

Also on April 26, Ossipee Police Department participated in the national Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This initiative of the US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration "aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications."

According to Ossipee Police Det. Sgt Robert King, officers collected two large boxes of prescription drugs during the April 26 event. There are several purposes for the event. First, unneeded or expired medications can be safely disposed of, keeping the medications out of the hands of those who they were not intended for. Second, there are environmental concerns about the protection of drinking water when medication is disposed of improperly.

Though this is a highly publicized event each spring, King said the department is willing to accept discarded prescription medication throughout the year, no questions asked, and officer will be sure it gets disposed of properly. For more information about the Drug Take Back event and tips on how to properly store and dispose of prescription medication, visit the DEA website at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/ or contact your local police department or pharmacist with any questions.

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