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Wolfeboro Town Hall renovations expected to begin in July


May 01, 2014
WOLFEBORO — In a sure sign of spring, the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen approved this year's commercial vessel landing permit for the Millie B, operated by the NH Boat Museum, during its April 24 meeting, just one day after the official declaration of Ice Out. The boat will operate from the town docks opposite the Dockside Restaurant

Renovations to Brewter Memorial Hall are expected to commence in early July, just as the First Congregational Church across the street completes the renovation of the church sanctuary, if all goes as planned.

Town Manager Dave Owen updated the Board on transitional plans. Town business during renovation will be conducted from offices at Huggins Hospital, with the exception of the Public Works Department. Director Dave Ford and staff will move to the new Department of Public Works Garage.

The CCI contract documents have been reviewed and the Northeast Collaborative Architects (NCA) firm has signed a contract not to exceed $250,000. Reimbursement expenses are capped at $5,000. Owen said the company lowered its fee after further discussion of the plans.

Selectman Brad Harriman asked if there was any reduction in scope. Owen responded that everyone agreed that a full scale landscape architectural design and a few other services was not needed in light of completion of the parking lots front and back.

Director of Planning and Development Rob Houseman reported that the town has pared down applicants for Clerk of the Works and expects to make a decision (to be posted on the town web site) in the near future. "We're on schedule for what we set for ourselves so far," Owen commented.

The board authorized a new four year term for new copiers recommended by Finance Director Peter Chamberlin following review of three regional copier companies and the use of pricing from the National Joint Powers Alliance, a national purchasing consortium serving governmental and education communities. The contract covers copiers in the Town Manager's office, the Municipal Electric Department and the Pop Whalen Arena.

Members also looked over the Master Plan Committee's Implementation matrix. Silk was prepared with comments on some aspects of the extensive plan, but Murray suggested that the board continue with a more complete discussion of the matrix at its May 7 meeting.

Selectman Dave Bowers noted that the Wolfeboro Area Children's Center had sent a letter notifying the board that it does not intend to use the entire $20,000 offered by the town to support tuition assistance. Ex. Director Susan Whiting wrote that the board expects that $15,000 will be adequate in response to the "dramatic drop in the number of families and children in our service area." Bowers commented that Huggins Hospital revenue is down and suggested that the board take the effect of the changing demographics into consideration in other areas as well.

Houseman said that current planning is based on the 2010 census, but commented that the planning board has had conversations about developing a possibly more localized census. Houseman offered to provide information from the Office of State Planning to assist in understanding local demographics.

In other business, Owen asked that the Personnel Policy be placed on the next agenda and reported that the Welfare Department, under the attention of Acting Director Jeff Urquhardt, had reduced the total dollar amount of vouchers by $1,000 last month. "People have to fill out the forms and qualify," said Owen. "They are not handed out willy-nilly."

He noted also that the N.H. House had passed the 4.2-cent increase in the gas tax. When the matter was in the hands of the Senate, the board had written a letter of support for the tax to Sen. Jeb Bradley, who subsequently voted against it. Bradley stated in his response to the board that he has introduced a bill that seeks to end diversion of dollars raised from the gas tax to agencies such as the Department of Safety.

The next meeting of the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen is scheduled for May 7, at 7 p.m., in consideration of those who may be attending federal court in Concord in regard to the town's suit against Wright-Pierce Engineering and need time to return for the start of the meeting.

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