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County commissioners seek bids on jail roof and work on old nursing home

May 29, 2014
OSSIPEE — Carroll County Commissioners are hoping to enter into at least a five-year lease with N.H. Probation and Parole to move the local probation office to the old nursing home at the county complex in Ossipee.

At their May 21 meeting, the commissioners voted to advertise three different requests for proposals. The first advertisement is looking for a contractor to hire to make repairs to the jail roof.

The second advertisement seeks a general contractor who can take on the job of coordinating and completing the tearing down of two of the old nursing home's wings and building walls to fill the gaps, making upgrades to the laundry area, and re-roofing what remains of the building. The commissioners voted on the request for proposals that will be advertised, hoping to have bids due in July with the work to be completed in November. "We will all come down for a party in September as they swing the ball to demolish the wings," said Rep. Karen Umberger at the county delegation's May 19 meeting.

Wakefield resident Steve Brown asked the commissioners to consider hiring a clerk of the works instead of a general contractor, a hire he said has the potential of saving the county thousands of dollars. Rather than putting this major project out as a whole, Brown suggested breaking it into smaller jobs that could be completed by local contractors. Commissioner David Sorensen took Brown's comments but said the board will put it out to bid as a whole project "to see what we get."

The third project is renovating the dining area of the old home to make four offices suitable for lease to the probation department. Commissioners hope that this smaller project will appeal to local contractors.

Pig program

Carroll County Farm Manager Will DeWitte thanked the commissioners at their May 21 meeting for helping to defend the pig program at the May 19 county delegation meeting. At that May 19 meeting, Umberger, asked how the business plan is coming along for the county farm. "We said no piggies but they have appeared so I assume there must be a business plan that would suggest that piggies made sense. But, since I haven't seen one, I would question whether there is sense to be made from that. We have talked and talked and talked about a business plan for the farm," said Umberger on May 19.

Commissioner David Babson said the business plan is in the works, and pointed out this is the busiest time of the year for the farm. Rep. Bill Nelson (R-Brookfield) asked and Umberger concurred that the delegation had made the decision that there would be no pig program at the farm.

"When the subject of the farm comes up, the mood in the room changes. It feels very adversarial and I think we could do better," said Rep. Susan Ticehurst (D-Tamworth).

"It is absolutely foolish that the commissioners are continuing to waste our time and resources on this matter and I think it's wrong," said Rep. Mark McConkey (R-Freedom).

Some delegates recall the farm manager telling them the pig program would be phased out but new piglets have taken up residence at the complex. "I feel very misled," said Nelson.

DeWitte said educational efforts continue, including the month-old piglets he took to Ossipee Central School recently for show-and-tell with students there. "I'm doing as much education and getting them out there as much as possible," said DeWitte.

"I just want to remind the delegation that the commissioners have custody over the county property. I think it is inappropriate to take a vote to tell the commissioners what to do, what we cannot have here on county property. We allowed Will to do this. There are no county tax dollars involved," said Commissioner Asha Kenney.

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