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More comfy town hall in the works

Ossipee beats out competition to win energy grant

March 25, 2010
OSSIPEE — The Town of Ossipee has been awarded a $40,185 federal grant to insulate the drafty town office and gym.

The town faced stiff competition when it applied for the federal Energy and Conservation Block Grant, according to the grant notification letter. More than 270 grant applications poured into the program, requesting a total of $21 million for an available $6.6 million funds for New Hampshire.

"All applications were subject to a robust scoring process and technical evaluation," according to the grant notification letter.

Board of Selectmen shared the news with the public at Monday's board meeting. Public Works Director Brad Harriman credited the efforts of Leona Simon, who while she was an energy conservation student at Lakes Region Community College, conducted a free energy audit for the Ossipee Town Hall. Harriman said the energy audit was used as the basis for the grant application. In it, the town proposed to insulate the floor, ceiling and exterior walls. Based on a $2.88 per gallon cost of heating oil, the town could save $4,000 a year.

Harriman noted that some of the suggestions in the energy audit have already been implemented. Pipes, the water heater and air conditioners have been insulated. A new furnace and programmable thermostats were installed prior to the study, energy efficient lighting was installed in the gym and offices, and most of the windows and all exterior doors had been upgraded. Simon, who has her own company, Simon & Simon Enterprises Inc., on Monday volunteered to conduct energy audits at all the other town-owned buildings at no cost to the town. Harriman said he'd more than happy to work with Simon on the project. "There's a lot of legwork involved," he said, adding that the targeted buildings include Ossipee Concerned Citizens, the police department, town garage, the recreation department building, freight house and the old incinerator building at the transfer station.

Simon's original energy audit includes some interesting factoids about the 5,550 square foot town hall, which was built in 1929 as a movie theater. The building now includes nine offices, two meeting rooms, the large gym, four restrooms and two storage rooms. At 2008 rates, the building cost the town about $870 a month to heat and $750 a month for electricity.

Harriman said the insulation project should be done by the summer.

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