County minutes late not a good look with Taj Mahal nursing home plans afoot

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To the editor:

RSA 91-A in its preamble states 'is to ensure both the greatest possible public access to the actions, discussions and records of all public bodies, and their accountability to the people. "Also "minutes shall be promptly recorded and open to public inspection not more than five business days after the meeting...shall be treated as permanent records of any public body, or any subordinate body thereof, without exception."

Seems pretty clear to me - no excuses and not posting County meeting minutes online for months at a time is wrong! I will be forwarding a copy of 91-a to the County. I also believe the more we know about this $170 million new nursing home project the better, including all other options.

Through experience, we know promised money doesn't always come.

$50 million in grant money was inferred when the County knew that number was already half or less as other communities were applying for the same money That is why the County wants approval of the full $170 million in bonding.

Bonding will put an increased burden on people, including those of us on fixed income, already paying more for food, fuel, and energy, for basic survival.

UPDATE. I received an email from the county office on Oct. 14 which stated "We recently learned that our proposal for the first round of funding for the $50 million county nursing homes was not granted."

Poof! Millions gone. Just like that! Had the delegation voted for the bonding, the taxpayers would be on the hook for the whole $170 million as of October 15.

The commissioners took their '"three legged road show" to the three county cities and, apparently, have some kind of back door deals in the works with them on a supposedly 'already approved solar farm' as stated in minutes.

Yet, we have seen no concrete plans for such a farm, nor have we got answers to our questions about this so-called farm, like cost, location, life expectancy, etc.

I will remind the County powers that be, in addition to the three cities, there are seven towns too! What about Milton, New Durham, Farmington Durham etc. ALL the taxpayers of Strafford County who will be 'on the hook' for whatever we do.

ALL county residents will be asked to pay back the $170 million, with interest. This at a time of super inflation.

The County runs smooth and is usually under the radar. This project has put you in the spotlight. $170 million, plus interest for an all or nothing project at a time of super-inflation has got our attention. Ringmasters usually like the spotlight. Why must you keep so many of us in the dark on specifics of your 'three legged' proposal? After all, we will be the ones footing the bill.

- Cliff Newton,

State Representative


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October 19, 2022 at 7:41am
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