By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioners are eyeing the possibility of using part of an $8 million bond issue for a community corrections facility for a new roof for the Belknap County complex.
Commission Chairman Dave DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) said Thursday that the commission is working out the details of a contract with Bauen Construction of Meredith as construction manager for the project that calls for a guaranteed not to exceed maximum price of $7.3 million for the 18,000-square-foot, 64-bed facility.
"We're looking to fund the roof project as part of the bond issue" said DeVoy, who said that Dustin Muzzey, county facilities manager, has obtained estimates for the roofing project which show $700,000 for replacement of the existing roof and $580,000 for a metal roof which would be built over the existing roof.
He said the commissioners were looking forward to having a discussion with the Belknap County Convention, which in November unanimously approved an $8 million bond issue for the project, about using some of the bond issue funds for the roof project.
Muzzey said replacing the existing roof would be more costly because it would involve not only removal of the shingles, but also replacing the ice and water shields beneath them. A metal roof would be built over top of the current roof and attached to it.
DeVoy also said that the commissioners are still exploring the possibility of obtaining a bond anticipation note of about $3.9 million to fund the project on a piecemeal basis in 2016 and waiting until the following year before floating a bond, which he anticipates would result in a savings to the county on interest costs.
Commissioners met Thursday afternoon to finalize preparations for a meeting with the Belknap County Convention on Monday, Feb. 1, at 6 p.m., at which the 2016 budget will be discussed.
Commissioners reviewed the history of the county's fund balance which shows that it increased to $4.3 million last year, a nearly $500,000 increase over the previous year, thanks to $1.3 million in excess revenues and $1 million in operational savings.
The major part of the excess revenue came from the Belknap County Nursing Home, where revenue was $1 million more than anticipated.
Budget changes made by the commissioners included reducing a number of the group health insurance lines in several department budgets, reflecting changes in department's personnel and new insurance coverage for about 20 members of the Teamsters union who switched to a new point of service plan.
Commissioners also approved adding wages for two employees in the Sheriff's Department and wages for a receptionist at the Belknap County Nursing Home.
Other changes included adding wages for converting eight part-time positions in the nursing home to three full-time positions and for changing a part-time cook's position at the county home to a full-time position.
The bottom line of the budget calls for spending $35,235,571, $13,764,301 of which would be raised through local property taxes, some $72,872 less than last year.
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