Report from Councilor Van Ostern

July 26, 2013


On Wednesday, the Governor & Council met in Portsmouth (report below) and also held the first meeting of the 10 year transportation plan (“GACIT” – Governor’s Advisory Commission on Intermodal Transportation). The 10-year plan is a critical tool for setting state transportation priorities; if you have input on local transportation needs, please send it to me and stay tuned for a schedule of public hearings in Sept & Oct.

Also in the news, the Dept of Education withdrew the $117k contract that I raised questions about in the 7/10 meeting.  To be clear, the policy goals and qualifications of the contractor were not in question, but the contract was awarded to a recent Department employee in a process too fast and loose, and I agree it was appropriate to be withdrawn while an alternative solution is identified.

We also tackled a number of projects with both specific regional importance in the district I represent, and some with statewide impact (summary here, full items and links on each at end of report):

(1) Impacting Merrimack Co & Central NH: OK’d sale of ~1 acre of state land in Concord across the street from the hospital to the adjacent Dartmouth-Hitchcock; exotic aquatic plant removal on Lake Massasecum in Bradford; and surface mapping of the Merrimack River.

(2) Impacting the Monadnock Region:  OK’d a loan for capping hazardous urban fill and coal ash at the former B&M railway in Keene.

(3) Impacting Strafford & Belknap Co: Contracted with Strafford Community Action Program on local weatherization assistance; Mad River Restoration design work in Farmington; ok’d a public hearing for bridge replacement in Farmington; and water system improvements and repaving on Rt 126 north of John Tasker Rd in Barnstead.

(4) Other projects & policies with statewide impact:  Contracted for outside help establishing proper compensation levels for individual state employees/roles; investigating gun permit fraud in Manchester; stakeholder engagement in advance of Phase II of Medicaid Managed Care; and heard withdrawal of an Education consulting contract for $117k.

Full details on all these items are included below, as well as all positions nominated & confirmed.

The next meeting is on August 14th in Plymouth. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.


Executive Councilor, District 2

Colin Van Ostern                                
PO Box 193    Concord, NH 03302  603-290-5848


(or follow the links below for documentation of each item)
The Council:

Authorized to sell the State-owned land, building, and other improvements located at 247-249 Pleasant Street, Concord, to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic for $900,000 plus an administrative fee of $1,100.  (2)Further authorize to pay 6% of the gross proceeds from the foregoing sale (amounting to $54,000) to the Norwood Group Inc., Bedford, NH, as its commission for real estate brokerage and marketing services provided.  Effective upon G&C approval.  100% Net Proceeds from Sale (General Funds).  

Authorized to enter into grant agreements with Lake Massasecum Improvement Association Inc., Bradford, NH, in the amount of $3,360; and with the Town of New Durham, in the amount of $4,738, totaling $8,098 to fund exotic aquatic plant control activities.  Effective upon G&C approval through December 31, 2013.  100% Lake Restoration Funds.  

Authorized to enter into an agreement with the Central New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission, Concord, NH, to complete the Impervious Surface Mapping in the Upper Merrimack River Region project, in the amount of $16,380.  Effective upon G&C approval through September 30, 2015.  100% Federal Funds.  

Authorized to enter into a loan agreement with Railroad Land Development LLC, Keene, NH, for remediation of environmental contamination, in an amount not to exceed $480,000.  Effective upon G&C approval.  100% Federal Funds.  


Authorized to enter into a sole source contract with Community Action Partnership of Strafford County, Dover, NH, for the federal Weatherization Assistant Program, in the amount of $2,500.  Effective July 24, 2013 through August 31, 2013.  100% Federal Funds.  

Authorized to enter into an agreement with the Town of Farmington NH, to complete the Mad River Restoration Project Phase I: Design and Permitting, in the amount of $22,800. Effective upon G&C approval through December 31, 2015.  100% Federal Funds.  

Authorized the Bureau of Right of Way’s petition for a hearing on the bridge replacement in the Town of Farmington, and to appoint a commission to hold a hearing, and if the necessity is found, to layout the new highway, with a suggested budget of $939.  

Authorized the Bureau of Construction to enter into a contract with Pike Industries Inc., Belmont, NH, for pavement rehabilitation on NH Route 126 to the north of John Tasker Road in Barnstead, on the basis of a low bid of $294,540.30.  (2)Further authorize a contingency in the amount of $29,454.03 for payment of latent conditions which may appear during the construction of the project.  Effective upon G&C approval through October 18, 2013.  100% Betterment Funds.  

Authorized a loan agreement with Pennichuck East Utility, Inc., Merrimack, NH, in the amount not to exceed $400,000, to finance water system improvements in Barnstead, NH.  Effective upon G&C approval.  79% Federal, 21% Capital (General) Funds.  


Authorized to enter into a sole source contract with The HayGroup Inc., Philadelphia, PA, to provide consulting services for the administration and management of the classification and compensation plans for unclassified employees, in the amount of $20,000.  Effective upon G&C approval through June 30, 2015.  100% General Funds.  

Authorized to enter into a sub grant with the Manchester Police Department for a total amount of $9,680, from the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative for the purpose of investigating gun permit fraud.  Effective upon G&C approval through September 30, 2013.  100% Federal Funds.  

Authorized to enter into a sole source agreement with Louis Karno & Company LLC, Concord, NH, to provide Stakeholder Engagement Services related to the State Innovation Model project, in an amount not to exceed $111,032.  Effective upon G&C approval through December 31, 2013.  100% Federal Funds.  

WITHDRAWN – A request to secure the services of Karen Soule, Manchester, NH, to assist with implementing the Educator Effectiveness Initiate used by schools to improve instruction, in an amount not to exceed $117,000.  Effective upon G&C approval through June 30, 2014.  85% Federal, 15% Credentialing Funds.  

(* = District 2 Resident)

Nominated by Governor Hassan;
Board of Barbering, Cosmetology, and Esthetics:  Kimberly A. Hannon, Hopkinton*
Department of Safety, Dir of Administration: Elizebeth A. Bielecki, Bedford
Higher Education Commission: Peter T. Koch, Stratham
Motor Vehicle Industry Board: Lawrence J. Blaney, Manchester
Nashua Police Commission: Thomas J. Pappas, Nashua
Pesticides Control Board: Jeffrey M. Taylor, Richmond
State Committee on Aging: Kathryn C. Cauble, Freedom;  Sherri W. Harden, Goffstown; Margaret Moser, Lancaster

Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management: Perry E. Plummer, Dover*
Medical Review Subcommittee: Patricia C. Sherman, Newbury*
Volunteer NH Board of Directors: Kelly A. Clark, Webster*
Major, NH Air National Guard: Captain Alexis W. Bull, Dover*
Enhanced 911 Commission: Douglas M. Aiken, Moultonborough
Executive Branch Ethics Committee:  Andrew R. Schulman, Bedford
Fish and Game Commission: James W. Ryan, Northwood
Historical Resources Council: Tim Sappington & Robert B. Stephenson
Housing Finance Authority: John Cuddy, Freedom
Judicial Council: Shari J. Landry, Loudon
Board of Land Surveyors: William J. Doucet, Newmarket
Motor Vehicle Industry Board: Cameron Eldred, Hanover
Pre-Engineering Technology Advisory Council: Corinne Cascadden, Berlin
Board of Psychologists: Susan G. Vonderheide, Nashua
Retirement System Board of Trustees:
John T. Beardmore, Hopkinton*
Richard A. Gustafson, Bedford
Karen A. McDonough, Peterborough
Donald M. Roy, Merrimack
John G. Wozmak, Keene*