Ossipee police criticized for not picking up reported roadside syringes



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SELECTMEN CHAIR RICHARD MORGAN holds up a photo of the 11 hypodermic needles discovered while walking on the side of road in Center Ossipee on May 4 by Ossipee resident Julie Rosiak. After three calls to police the needles had not been removed so Rosiak and friends removed them and ultimately turned them over to a state trooper. Morgan took the complaint seriously and promised reported needles would be picked up by police promptly in the future. (Image courtesy of governmentoversite.com) (click for larger version)
May 11, 2017
OSSIPEE — Times have changed and you never know what might bite you when you step off the road to go fishing. There are no poisonous snakes to watch out for, Selectman Richard Morgan said at the May 2 selectmen's meeting, there are just might be hypodermic needles.

Selectmen were met with public comment from a very upset Ossipee resident Julie Rosiak who tried for seven hours on May 4 to get police to pick up 11 needles she found while taking a stroll in Center Ossipee. She was assured that though it was unclear why nothing was done to immediately take care of the problem, selectmen aren't going to let it happen again.

At 2:40 p.m. Rosiak called the police department to notify them of the pile then she had to go back to work. Three hours later she returned to the location, needles remained. At 9:30 p.m. she drove by again and, yes, needles remained. Rosiak informed the afterschool program teacher who walks with students regularly in the area so the walking route could be changed.

"You hear on the news all the time you're supposed to call the proper authorities. I did numerous times. I'm completely disgusted, upset and completely and utterly disappointed that after several hours and three phone calls the needles were still on the side of the road," said Rosiak. She ended up loading the needles into her car with the plan to drop them off at the sheriff's department. She happened to run into a state police officer at a gas station who took them off her hands.

"Those 11 I fear are but a small fraction of the number of needles beside our roads," said Morgan, who cautioned people not to handle them. Despite efforts that did not work in this case, Morgan said he can guarantee it will be handled differently in the future.

Route 28/171 intersection

The turning lane option is out. Trees are being cut, signs are being added, and rumble strips at the approach of the intersection are being considered for summer. Though it's going to cost a projected $1.2 million and will take at least two years, design work is underway to construct a roundabout at the Route 171/Route 28 intersection to attempt to make it permanently safer.

Rep. Ed Comeau (R-Brookfield) was thanked for his continued work advocating for intersection improvements on behalf of the town.

The Ossipee Board of Selectmen meet every Monday at 4:15 p.m. in the Town Hall Gym. Meetings are taped and shown on www.governmentoversite.com.

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