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Joyce Endee

Selectmen get progress report on Town Hall repairs

August 02, 2012
WOLFEBORO — Wolfeboro's Town Hall, neglected for years while under the ownership of the Brewster Trust, will be receiving some needed repairs and upgrades, thanks to voters' approval of $200,000 for this purpose last March. Director of Planning and Development Department Rob Houseman brought information on the bidding process for eight priority items to the Board of Selectmen on July 25.

Asbestos abatement, which included the demolition and offsite disposal of boilers, was to be completed by the end of the week for a cost of $21,000. That number is $6,000 higher than previously bid in consideration of lower prices for scrap metal and an off-hours work schedule that had to accommodate a building still in use.

The bid for replacement of the carpeting has gone out, but the subject engendered discussion in response to a request from assessing department staffers to reconfigure their space, which, if approved, would need to happen before the new carpeting arrives. The square footage would remain the same.

That the assessing department space is cramped and that it is poorly ventilated was not disputed. At issue was whether to move a wall forward, move the file cabinets into the main room, or follow a proposal drawn up by staff working in the space. There was some hesitation on the part of selectmen to spend money for stop-gap measures. The matter was tabled for the next meeting.

Bid specifications are in the process of development for dehumidification (basement and foundation damp proofing), electrical work to address deficiencies and heating needs, and for the fire alarm system with analyses underway by AECon, Electrician Rick Burns, and FSC Engineering respectively.

Houseman said that he has received a draft proposal from Northeast Collaborative Architects (NCA) to prepare bid specification for repair and replacement of the existing windows in the front first floor windows based on Pella plans (used as equivalency standards) and for approximately 25 new double-hung clad windows.

The board received input at the start of the meeting from Suzanne Ryan, who offered Web sites on window restoration rather than replacement, and her assistance "to help do the leg work." Ryan commented, "You just can't buy that wavy glass" and urged the board to keep it.

Later when discussion centered on plans for the window projects, Selectman Dave Senecal said that it is actually possible to buy reproduction wavy glass, to which Selectman Dave Bowers replied that he wondered if the staff would like to look through wavy glass. Selectman Vice Chairman Sarah Silk raised the question of whether there is a market for the old glass.

The two separate window projects, totaling an estimated $71,000 (before bidding), represent a significant share of the $200,000 outlined budget.

The board will return to the possible enlargement of the assessing department at its next meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 1. The results of that discussion will be reported next week.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
Garnett HIll
Varney Smith
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