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Joyce Endee

No additional bids received for county's pellet boiler

January 12, 2012
OSSIPEE — With no other bids or signs of interest from other contractors, county commissioners voted Monday to contract with Bonnet, Page, and Stone (BPS) for installation of the pellet boilers that will heat and provide hot water to the new nursing home.

Two weeks ago, commissioners announced BPS was the sole bidder at a contract price of $375,000. After urging by at least one citizen and NH Rep. David Babson, the commissioners agreed to reopen the bidding for two weeks and expand the scope of advertising to include the "Dodge Report" at www.dodgeprojects.construction.com, a clearinghouse of large construction projects out for bid across the country. At Monday's meeting, Commissioner David Sorensen said the county business office did not receive any additional bids or even calls of interest as of the deadline Jan. 4 at 5 p.m. Rather than wait until their regularly scheduled Jan. 11 meeting, commissioners held the brief Jan. 9 meeting in their office for the sole purpose of voting on the pellet boiler contract.

Commissioner Asha Kenney did not agree with the special meeting, "Why the rush? Why not in a commissioners' meeting?" she asked. She also voiced her opposition to the awarding of the contract, stating not enough research had been done. Sorensen said, "The sooner BPS can get on the job the sooner it will be done." He added that the contractor the county is purchasing the boilers from has offered to help with the installation, an offer Sorensen said could move the completion date up a full month to two months. The boilers are being paid for with federal grant money, with installation costs falling to the county taxpayers, an expense that is expected to be recouped through the savings on heating costs by using pellets instead of propane.

One issue that remains outstanding is whether or not the county can get a waiver on the newly-implemented changes to the Davis-Bacon federal wage act. Monday's motion included the caveat that commissioner's will continue to try to get the waiver, a move that could save up to $75,000 on the installation. Kenney voted no to the amendment, no to awarding the contract, and remained silent when a vote was taken to adjourn the brief meeting. The meeting was adjourned 2-0 with Sorensen stating he would call BPS immediately to inform them of the award.

The boilers will be installed in the old nursing home with piping to the new home.

Escape investigation

Commissioners voted to spend $3,650 out of the county house of corrections budget for an investigation into last month's jailbreak. Commissioners initially asked the sheriff to do the investigation. At a Jan. 4 meeting, Sheriff Chris Conley told the board, "I was given the task last week to make a recommendation about the escape portion of that whole incident…My office doesn't have the capabilities to do it. Our people are maxed out on time and don't have a thorough background with just corrections." Commissioners voted unanimously to contract with James O'Mara to complete the investigation and report within 45 days. O'Mara is town administrator in Amherst, where he formerly served as selectman. He worked and retired as superintendent of Hillsborough County House of Corrections. Conley estimates the project will take 70 hours.

Nursing home

Longtime Director of Nursing Cheryl Delisle has given her notice and will be resigning from her job at the end of this month. "I think there are rumors that Cheryl and I are not getting along. That is the furthest from the case. The issue is that for her personal growth and professional life she has decided to move on. I applaud her for that. She will be a resource for me as I will be for her. I am pleased for her," administrator Sandi McKenzie told commissioners on Jan. 4.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
Garnett HIll
Varney Smith
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