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Wolfeboro likely to change contract assessing firm in 2013


by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
October 11, 2012
WOLFEBORO — In what turned out to be a very short selectmen's meeting on Oct. 3, Town Manager Dave Owen reported that, based on a review of bids for assessing services and interviews that day with candidates, the town is very likely to change assessors when the current contract with Murdough Assessing ends on Dec. 31.

The town received six proposals for property appraisal services and Owen said that four of the firms had been interviewed that day. There was quite a range in costs quoted for various services and it took some time to make valid comparisons but, based on what he has seen so far, it looks like a new vendor will be chosen and the town will save between $35,000 to $40,000 on assessing costs.

Owen also reported progress on Town Hall repairs. AEC, the company hired to help the town prepare bid specifications on dehumidifying the basement, has now been hired as construction manager for the project. AEC will put the work out for bid and oversee the project until completion. The project is expected to cost between $15,000 and $20,000 and will focus on dehumidifying areas of active storage in the Town Hall basement and ventilating the remaining space.

Selectman Chair Linda Murray asked that contractors located in Wolfeboro be included in the bidding process.

Budget hearings

Selectmen finalized their schedule of hearings on 2013 budget proposals from department heads, as follows:

Monday, Oct. 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the Kingswood Regional High School Lecture Hall: Tax Collector, Welfare, Finance, and Technology.

Thursday, Oct. 11, at 6 p.m. at the Community Center on Lehner Street: Police Department, Communications and Animal Control.

Monday, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m. at the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room: Planning, Zoning, Code Enforcement, Brewster Hall, Conservation Commission.

Thursday, Oct. 18, at 6 p.m. at the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room: Department of Public Works, Water and Sewer Departments.

Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m. at the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room: Library, Fire/Rescue Department, Public Safety Building, Emergency Management, Municipal Electric Department.

Thursday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m. at the Community Center on Lehner Street: Parks and Recreation Department, Pop Whalen Arena.

Monday, Oct. 29, at 6 p.m. at the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room (if needed): General government, Economic Development, Debt Service.

If needed, a final meeting on the budget will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 6 p.m. at the Community Center on Lehner Street.

The Board of Selectmen plans to adopt the 2013 Operating Budget at its regular meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room and send it on to the Budget Committee, which will hold its hearings beginning at 6 p.m. at the Wolfeboro Inn on Nov. 13, 14, 27, 28, and 29 and on Dec. 6, 11, 13, and 27.

All meetings are open to the public.

Other business

During Public Input resident Barbara Johnson of Lilac Lane asked the board to consider extending the current sidewalk on North Main Street from the Inn on Main to Port Wedeln Road. She said it was not safe to walk along North Main Street, especially when returning from downtown.

Owen reported that Public Work Department staff demolished and removed the McBride house from the property the town recently purchased between the library and Public Safety Building. He said the whole process took about 35 minutes.

Owen also informed the board that the parking lot at the library was being upgraded to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and would be paved shortly. Other paving projects to follow include base paving on Cotton Mountain Road and Pleasant Valley Road and final paving on Central and Railroad Avenues and Depot Square.

Owen reported that two more call firefighters have been added to the Fire Department roster.

Modification of the first floor bathroom at Town Hall to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements was discussed: see separate article in this issue.

Upon recommendation of the Conservation Commission the board voted to accept the gift of a 45-acre parcel in North Wolfeboro (Map 36, Lot 1) from Richard Morse. The lot is located between Trask Mountain Road and Browns Ridge Road. Commission Chair Dan Coons said a forester needs to look at the lot and make a management plan.

Murray reported that the Capital Improvement Plan is now available in draft form. Among other items in the 10-year plan are $180,000 to acquire the two derelict properties on Lehner Street, $200,000 for a Parks and Recreation maintenance building, $340,000 for the Public Safety Building, $700,000 for the town's share of the Center Street reconstruction project, $100,000 for reconstructing the Town Hall parking lot to meet ADA requirements, $100,000 to be added to a Town Hall capital reserve and replacement trucks for the Fire, Public Works and Electric departments acquired with capital reserve funds.

The board approved a temporary event permit for the Hospital Aid Association to hold fall fundraiser sales at its barns at 65 Pine Hill Road on Fridays and Saturdays from Oct. 5 to Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jane Wass said, "You'd never know we just had the Street Fair. The barns are filling up again." A special item just received was an 1800 two-person sleigh that had been completely restored.

Selectmen also approved a permit for the fourth annual Howl-O-Ween Fundraiser for Assistance Canine Training Services sponsored by Winni Paw Station at The Nick on Sunday, Oct. 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Robert Stewart was appointed a Trustee of Trust Funds for three years to replace Mary O'Brien, whose resignation was accepted with regret.

The next meeting of the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen will be on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room.

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