Woodstock buried in roadwork bids
Woodstock selectmen Tuesday received so many bids for work on the Concord Pond Road and for paving/reclaiming several other roads, that they postponed the choice of contractors for a week.
Three contractors bid on work for the Old County, Bird Hill, Dudley, Heikkinen, Church and town office roads/streets, while seven bid on the Concord Pond Road.
In order to give the board time to compare the specifics, selectmen scheduled a special meeting for next Tuesday at 5 p.m.
The bids for the Concord Pond Road varied widely, with the highest bid more than twice the lowest. They were as follows: Wilson Excavation $75,950; Freeman’s Construction $69,000; Steve Swasey $59,750; Keith Hadley $49,950; Cross Excavation, $41,033; D.A. Wilson 38,889; and Ken Koskela, $36,500.
For work on the other roads, total bids were: Pike Industries, $273,244; Bruce Manzer, $225,055; and White Brothers, $205,970.
Selectman Ron Deegan said he did not feel comfortable deciding on the spot, and Rick Young and Steve Bies agreed.
Town Manager Vern Maxfield said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the number of bids.
Notices on online tax info
Selectmen decided to take two steps to formally notify property owners of their plan to
offer tax-assessment information and photos for individual properties online.
Last month the board decided to pay $1,700 a year for the service through its assessing agent, O'Donnell and Associates. Users will be able to search the public information database according to such topics as the name of a property owner, street, map/lot number and documents (including real estate transfer tax forms, tree growth applications, building permits and sketches, deeds, homestead applications and veterans applications).
Having the information available online, said Maxfield, could save significant staff time, as town officials will not receive as many calls and requests for the information.
But property owners will have the ability to "opt out" of having their information on the O'Donnell website. Maxfield said Tuesday that in the weeks since the board first discussed the move, 10 people have asked to opt out.
Resident George Hooper told the board he thought the town should send a clearer message to townspeople about the plan before it takes effect, because many taxpayers may not realize the details of having their information available online.
Bies agreed. “We need to give people a more complete opportunity to opt out,” he said.
The board decided to immediately place a notice in newspapers, as well as include a notice sent out with tax bills, about a month before the online information would become available. The bills are expected to go out in mid-July.
In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, the board:
Learned the Recreation Committee received a donation of $11,250 from Philippe Gut (the money had originally been donated for a town Rec Center, but the plans did not work out and the town had offered to return the funds to Gut);
Were told of several citizen concerns about a parking safety issue along Route 26 in Bryant Pond Village, and decided to ask Maxfield to meet with parties involved.
Approved a Fire Department request to ask for a minimum bid of $3,000 for the WFD’s old squad truck, and approved making Church Street one-way for several hours Oct. 6 for a WFD “Parade of Lights” and associated activities;
Learned they will need to schedule a hearing ahead of accepting new General Assistance guidelines from the state, which will reduce the amount of money the town may provide to people in need;
Received confirmation that the Spruce Mountain LLC wind project will hold a second open house June 23, with shuttle service provided from the intersection of Concord Pond and Granite Ledge roads. The first such event, held last December, drew a much larger crowd than anticipated.