Wolfeboro selectmen review status of major projects

by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
December 05, 2013
WOLFEBORO — The Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen received updates on major capital projects in town at their Nov. 20 meeting.

First to report was Public Works Director Dave Ford, who reviewed 19 projects approved by voters from 2007 to 2013.

From 2007 Article 7, the $6,368,568 Wastewater Treatment Plant and effluent disposal project is still open, with a balance of $26,932, due to the ongoing problems with the Rapid Infiltration Basin (RIB) effluent disposal system and current lawsuit against Wright-Pierce, the engineering firm that designed and oversaw construction of the RIBs. Ford noted the "RIBs have been running on average 200,000 [gallons per day] for the last 7 months; even with these lower flows, still experiencing concerns with 'Unexpected Issues.'" The site was supposed to dispose of an average of 600,000 gallons per day. As a result of the RIB problems, the former spray fields have been partially reactivated.

Ford said his department is preparing a "Scope of Work" for the Department of Environmental Services to address the issue of long-term effluent disposal.

No projects are still open from 2008 and 2009.

From 2010 Article 12, the $600,000 water lines upgrade project still has a balance of $96,712, which will be used to replace the water line from Cropley Hill to Center Street when the Center Street project is done.

Also open from 2010 is Article 24, the $99,000 Route 28 Corridor Study. The balance of $3,724 will be used to come up with alternatives for the junction of Route 28 and Route 109 (Main and Center Streets). The project will not be completed until early in 2014.

Also on hold is Article 24 from 2011, the $95,000 design of Pine Street and Crescent Lake Avenue. Survey and preliminary engineering have been completed. The next step is to schedule a neighborhood meeting to review plans and then finalize design. A balance of $14,641 remains.

There are four open projects from 2012.

Article 13, the Wastewater Facility Upgrades has $4,713 left of the $180,000 appropriation. The effluent spray field work is complete and working well and the new HVAC system installed at the plant. The remaining plant building improvements will be done by year end.

Article 14, the Downtown Streets Upgrade, Phase 3 has $90,253 remaining of the $750,000 budget. The balance will be spent on Lehner Street and drainage behind Foss Field when the Center Street project is done.

Article 16, Water Meter Upgrades has not gone as well as expected, though 1,500 radio meters were installed through October and another 300 are expected to be done by year end. Town crews will complete remaining 200 or so installations in the spring. A balance of $6,908 is left of the $500,000 approved (which includes a $165,000 state grant).

Article 21, Upgrade Town Roads, ran into wetland approval delays for Cross Road, where the work will not be done until 2014. All other road projects are complete.

For 2013 there are nine open projects from warrant articles approved in March.

Four are complete or nearly so:

Article 7, Public Works Facility Upgrades, is awaiting the completion of the replacement garage lost in a truck fire last February: the Butler building has been framed and is expected to be completed by year end, though interior work will not be done till spring. The replacement rotary lift and fuel pumps have been installed. The balance is $62,219 from the total of $725,801 from the warrant article and insurance settlement.

Article 10, Upgrade Town Roads, has $25,193 left of the $600,000 appropriation: this will be used for Cross Road next year. Also Article12, Town Hall Parking Lot Upgrade, is substantially complete: the remaining $5,874 from the $100,000 budget will be used for landscaping and light poles next spring. Article 16, which added $160,000 to the Highway and Solid Waste Capital Reserve and planned $460,000 in purchases came in $9,226 below budget for the three vehicles and the horizontal baler acquired.

The remaining four projects will definitely carry over into 2014.

Article 15 appropriated $100,000 for two projects for repairs and upgrades for the Libby Museum and the library. A laser survey on the Libby has been completed but a request for proposals for a architectural assessment has yet to be sent out. New heating and air conditioning controls have been installed at the library but there are still problems balancing the system: HEB Engineers has been asked to assess the issues. A combined balance of $68,497 remains on the two project.

Article 5, the $2,100,000 Center Street project, has been funded by the N.H. Department of Transportation for 2014. The preliminary engineering report has been done for DOT, issues with relocating utility poles have been discussed and meetings with property owners are planned. Construction will start in the spring.

Article 6, Sewer Collection Upgrades, has been delayed due to contractor's need to redo assessment work. The goal is to identify sources of infiltration and inflow of ground water into sewer pipes. Ford said they are trying to identify possible private sources of the inflows. A balance of $301,729 remains in the $400,000 appropriation.

Article 11, Middleton Road Design, is awaiting N.H. Department of Transportation approval of preliminary engineering report: the primary DOT engineer has been on jury duty. Reconstruction of the road (which, like the design, has two-thirds of its cost paid for by the state) is expected to begin next summer, pending voter approval of one third of construction costs. The balance for this $150,000 article is $120,000.

Other projects

Town Manager Dave Owen reported that the Public Safety Radio Communications Upgrade funded by Article 22 in 2012 was completed recently when the backup generator was installed at the tower site. Dead spots for police and fire radios have been eliminated. The $75,000 project came in under budget by $2,737.

Town Planner Rob Houseman reviewed the Town Hall Repairs and Improvements authorized by Article 19 in 2012. Of the eight improvements planned seven have been completed, The eighth, foundation damproofing, has been deferred. To date the $200,000 proposal has come in $28,979 under budget, though two of the projects (fire alarm system and replacement window) came in significantly over budget.

Park and Recreation Director Ethan Hipple gave an update on three projects.

Article 8, the Parks and Recreation Maintenance Building, is running behind schedule, he reported, but the contractor just doubled his workforce. The foundation is poured, three wall are up and roof trusses have been delivered, ready to be set in place. The work was supposed to have been completed by Dec. 11 but it now looks like it will not be done until the week between Christmas and New Years. After bids were opened it became apparent that costs would exceed the $203,000 budget, so cuts were made elsewhere in the Park budget to cover a projected $8,920 overage. The good news is that the project has so far come in under budget in some areas.

There were two projects from Article 9, the Operating Budget. The first was Abenaki Ski Lodge Design, was budget at $22,135 and has a current balance of $8,084. Hipple reported his was expecting construction bids that week. The project is not scheduled for construction until 2015.

The second project was the new Middleton Road cemetery. Site work has been done but drainage issues were discovered that resulted in the need for a new survey and drainage plan. Bid requests for drainage and road construction will go out by year end with construction starting next spring.

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