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Shaheen champions wood heat for nursing home

OSSIPEE - U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., touched down in Ossipee Friday to hail efforts by the county government to heat the new nursing home with Earth-friendly wood pellets.

Shaheen, touring the construction site next door to Carroll County's 40-plus-year-old Mountain View Nursing Home, said continued investment in green energy will fuel job-creation and decreased dependence on foreign oil.

"Improving energy effi ciency in buildings will help get America running on clean energy, reduce dangerous pollution, break our addiction to Middle East oil, and create jobs in our communities," Shaheen said.

Meanwhile, county and state offi cials on June 21 will huddle with project architects to draft a call for bids on the $400,000 federally-funded heating job.

Two federal grants secured with Shaheen's aid will allow the county to install a wood-pellet furnace and lay pipes that could heat not just the $23 million home but other buildings around the government complex, county offi cials said Monday.

County commissioner Chip Albee said without Shaheen's efforts to loosen grant restrictions, counties with populations under 100,000 would have been cut out of the nationwide Energy Effi ciency Conservation Block Grants program.

That exempted almost all the counties in New Hampshire," he said.

He said the grant limits the furnace to $3 million BTUs, not enough to power the entire complex, including heaters, and pump hot water for showers inside the jail and nursing home. But he said the county will continue to forge into green-energy options.

"This new energy-effi cient biomass heating system will provide up to 90 percent of Mountain View's heating needs and 50 percent of the domestic hot water requirements while reducing our use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions," Albee said.