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State to sell building to Concord

State House Bureau

July 02. 2014 9:28PM

CONCORD - The formal planning and design process for the long-awaited Route 101 expansion in Bedford was approved by the Executive Council Wednesday.

A review of the road layout and related land acquisitions will be done by two commissions and presented at a public hearing in September for the $15.6 million project that has been on the drawing board for more than a decade.The project entails widening Route 101 for 2 miles from the Route 114 and Boynton Street intersection to Wallace Road.

The Executive Council named two groups to study the proposed expansion: a special commission of Executive Councilors Chris Pappas, D-Manchester, Chris Sununu, R-Newfields, and Debora Pignatelli, D-Nashua, and a special commission composed of Ray Chadwick of Bedford, and Thomas Deblois and John Brady of Manchester.Construction is expected to begin next year and be finished in 2017.

The roadway will be expanded to two lanes in both directions with a curbed median strip and sidewalks on both sides of the highway.

Medicaid expansionThe council approved unanimously a $1.5 million contract extension with Boston consulting firm Public Consulting Group, Inc. to help the state Insurance Department prepare for Medicaid expansion.

The department wants the firm to help the agency implement new regulations and provide oversight of health care policies for the N.H. Health Protection Program. The act, approved this year, expands Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act by using private health insurance purchased through the state and federal marketplace to provide health coverage to low-income working adults.New Medicaid recipients will have to move from the state's managed care Medicaid program to private insurers in 2015 if the state waiver is approved by federal health regulators.

The request will extend the existing contract from Dec. 31, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2015, and increase the price from $530,000 to $2 million.Public Consulting will help design and implement the program, work with stakeholders and monitor the program once it is up and running, said Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny.

The contract will be paid for with federal funds.About 50,000 low-income, working adults are expected to be eligible for Medicaid coverage under the program.

Office building elevators

The often malfunctioning Legislative Office Building elevators will be upgraded under a $345,786 contract with D.L. King & Associates Inc. of Nashua the council approved.The cost of the repairs are higher than estimates of $320,000, which is what was included for the project in the state's capital budget last year.

Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon told the council elevator parts were more expensive than expected, so her agency negotiated with the contractor and some planned related work will be done by state maintenance personnel.Councilors were concerned the shortfalls may mean some other projects would not be done, or less work would done on the elevators.

Hodgdon noted her agency's budget does not include between $3.5 million and $4 million in maintenance that has to be done.“Something else will be delayed because of this,” she told the council.

The item was approved unanimously.

Concord buys building

The council approved the sale of the former Department of Employment Security building on South Main Street to the City of Concord for $1.57 million.The agency has moved its offices to the newly renovated Tobey Building on the old New Hampshire Hospital grounds.The city intends to enter into a public/private partnership to develop the site at 32-34 S. Main St. The 24,000-square-foot building is expected to be razed and a new structure built on the .75-acre site.The building has an assessed value of $1.75 million, but DES Commissioner George Copadis said the sale price is consistent with developers' offer to the city.

The proceeds from the sale will be used to offset the cost of renovating the Tobey Building.grayno@unionleader.comg

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