Fire academy named for Burton

Council approves several other area expenditures

November 13, 2013
BETHLEHEM — Governor Maggie Hassan and the Executive Council took a step to honor District 1 councilor Ray Burton last week. On Wednesday, the Council named the fire training facility under construction in Bethlehem the Raymond S. Burton North Country Fire and EMS Training Facility.

Ground was broken at the Trudeau Road site last week. A central part of the new training facility is a multi-story burn building. The structure facilitates live fire training. Classrooms will also be part of the academy.

The academy offers North Country departments a chance to train closer to home. The only other training site for New Hampshire departments is in Concord.

For many years, area fire chiefs have hoped for a regional training site. In addition to helping train North Country departments, the state facility hopes to offer community CPR and first aid classes, according to Deborah Pendergast, state fire training director.

Last week, Hassan noted, "For decades, Ray Burton has provided unmatched dedication and public service to the people of the North Country and all of New Hampshire." Pendergast called Burton, "a strong advocate for not only the needs of the citizens in his district, but of the needs of the emergency responders."

The site for the fire academy formerly belonged to the U.S. Forest Service.

Hassan and many other elected officials were on hand November 1 to dedicate a scenic overlook also named after Burton. The spot is near Route 302 in Bretton Woods.

As Burton continues to battle cancer, the Council approved several District 1 items. At last week's meeting, the Council:

--Authorized an upgrade for Cannon Mountain's Peabody Base Water Pumping Station. The contract includes a $51,702 base price and five percent contingency. Carr Well and Pump, based in Littleton, received the contract.

--Approved a $40,900 contract with Alba Architects, based in North Woodstock. The company will provide structural assessments and other services for 15 state-owned fire towers and auxiliary buildings.

--Agreed to allow $10,000 of Conservation Number Plate funds for exterior and mortar joint repairs at Franconia's Abbie Greenleaf Library.

--Amended a 2012 contract by adding $10,000 to an existing Arts Alliance of Northern NH contract. The funds will be used to support the AANNH 2014 Arts in Education Conference.

--Authorized federal Public Value Partnerships grants to AANNH ($13,000), the Friends of the Colonial in Bethlehem ($13,000), St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts in Berlin ($12,000), and North Country Center for the Arts in Lincoln ($5,200). The grants are designed to assist NH arts organizations provide diverse programs. Funds are available to organizations with at least five years of continuous arts programming and professional staffing.

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