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Move to temporary town offices may be delayed up to two weeks

by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
June 12, 2014
WOLFEBORO — Acting Town Manager Rob Houseman announced at the June 4 selectmen's meeting that the move of town employees from Brewster Memorial Hall to temporary offices in the old part of Huggins Hospital may be delayed a week or two, from the week of July 14 up to the end of July.

The reasons were 1) architects NCA and construction manager CCI may not have finished plans for the inside work available for work to begin as planned on July 21; and 2) the rent on the temporary offices does not begin until the move, so not moving too early will save money. NCA needs to provide demolition plans before work can start.

During the week of the move town offices will be closed: Monday and Tuesday will be spent packing; Wednesday will be move day so staff will be absent; and Thursday and Friday will be spent unpacking at Huggins.

Houseman reported that Dave O'Brien has started as clerk of the works; that the contract with CCI has been set up in two phases; and that the insurance issue has been settled. The town clock will continue to function during construction and the landscape garden just installed out front will be maintained undisturbed.

Houseman reported that he and Municipal Electric Director of Operations Barry Muccio defined storage locations for town long term files and furniture in the upper level of the electric building. Tarps will be laid down and the stored items will also be covered with tarps. According to Houseman there is not enough room in the leased hospital space for all furniture and files now in Town Hall.

The locked drop box will now be located either at the entrance to the temporary offices or on the access road to the space from Christian Ridge Road. Parking arrangements for employees outside the Huggins lot are still being worked out.

Other capital projects

Selectmen also received updates on other major projects on June 4. Finance Director Pete Chamberlin reported on the non-Public Works projects.

There is a balance of $28,978.58 left over from the 2012 Town Hall improvements that will be carried over and applied to the cost of new first-floor windows in the building.

The Parks and Recreation Maintenance Building is nearly finished, with only cleanup to do. All vendors have been paid, including those left unpaid when the contractor defaulted.

The Abenaki Ski Lodge design is coming in under budget. Requests for proposals for engineering services are due by Friday, June 13.

Jon Lovering will begin repairs to the Cate Park Bandstand any day now. He is donating the labor to do the work and only charged for materials. The bandstand will be ready by July 4.

Construction of the new town cemetery on Middleton Road will begin shortly by successful bidder Gillum Construction.

Public Works projects

Public Works Director Dave Ford reported on his department's major projects.

What to do with Wolfeboro's waste water in the long term after the failure of the Wright-Pierce design is the subject of a study by Underwood Engineers. Ford reported that all options are on the table, including pumping the effluent across Lake Winnipesaukee to the regional plant in Franklin (which was the plan years ago) and considering other disposal sites. The settlement of the Wright-Pierce suit will be needed to fund whatever option is most promising.

That lawsuit demanded a lot of Ford's time, so some projects, like the Route 28 Corridor Study and redesign of Pine Street and Crescent Lake Avenue, have fallen behind. In both cases Ford said meetings with stakeholders and additional research need to be done.

The major upcoming project is the Center Street Reconstruction, which also involves completing other sewer, water line and drainage projects in adjacent areas. Since the N.H. Department of Transportation is only funding one project a year, the Middleton Road reconstruction will be done this year, starting in September, and the massive Center Street project will not begin until 2015.

About 150 new water meters remain to be installed by town employees. Monthly billing for water and sewer use has started.

The building study of the Libby Museum is in process but will not be completed this year. The HVAC upgrades at the library have improved cooling but balancing issues remain that contractor Strogen is working on.

Drainage work has started on Forest and Birch roads and Libby Street, which are scheduled to be paved by Aug. 1 along with Stoneham and Jenness Farm roads.

Finally Ford commented on the completion of the replacement Public Works garage. His department will move there during Town Hall reconstruction and Ford is now weighing whether to stay there even after the renovation is complete. A date for an open house for the new building will be announced shortly.

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