Ossipee — January 18, 2007 — Curious about what happened at the selectmen’s meeting last week? Wonder what the tax rate is or what the master plan says? Want to attend the planning board meeting or find out when the gym at town hall is open for basketball or for walking? You can find the answers to these and other questions on the new town of Ossipee website: www.ossipee.org.
Over the past few months the Town of Ossipee has completely revised its website, redesigning the site and adding new content. The new website offers information to keep people informed about the goings in town government, as well as providing general and historic information about the town and links to other websites of interest to people living in or visiting Ossipee.
Town administrator Martha Eldridge said the website provides good up-to-date information on selectmen and other boards in town, as well as other features for the internet visitor. “We’re getting nice reports from the public about how easy it is to get the information,” she said.
The website has pages on Ossipee selectmen, with an archive of minutes of their meetings for the past two years, a list of town ordinances and application forms for things from outdoor event permits to tax credits. It also includes information on the planning board, zoning board, conservation commission, budget committee and supervisors of the checklist, as well as the incinerator, public safety, recreation, and zoning enforcement departments of the town. A calendar of events lists important meetings and such events as the benefit “Pants Off” scheduled this week to benefit the Ossipee Main Street Program.
Not just a source of current information about town government, the website provides links to Ossipee Main Street Program, Ossipee Public Library, Ossipee Concerned Citizens, an Ossipee Business Guide, The Carroll County Sheriff’s department and New Hampshire state government webpages.
Two of the best features of the new town website, taking the site beyond the standard information often available on town websites, are the online forum and the photo gallery.
The photo gallery currently includes four collections: old photographs, old postcards, Old Home Week 2006 and Ossipee outdoors. The photo gallery makes the website worth a visit, even for those not interested in the doings at town hall.
Eldridge said she particularly enjoyed the old postcard collection, which has about 60 post cards from the 1910s (or earlier) through the 1960s, donated to the cause by Ossipee Historical Society. The photographs can be viewed either individually or in a slideshow at a viewer controlled speed.
“I sat here, me and Sarah Millette and Marge Vacca, and went through the slide show and it is beautiful.” Eldridge said. “It’s Ossipee like I used to remember it. For me it was very exciting.”
If you remember Deer Cove Lodge, Center Ossipee Inn, Mt. Whittier Store, or the old Ossipee High School — or even if you don’t — these cards are worth a look.
The online forum has been a part of the Ossipee website, on an off-and-on basis, for a long time. The forum has occasionally attracted negative attention of town officials and the public, as there were sometimes controversial comments and personal attacks posted on it. Selectmen have more than once decided to do away with the forum because of this, only to try again after a few months.
The new forum includes an admonition from the forum administrator stating, “This forum is for topics pertinent to Ossipee Town Business. We ask no political views or unkind comments be posted.”
Current postings are primarily short notes in praise of the website, like the one from Ossipee resident Bob Gillette, “Has anyone looked at other NH town websites? The new Ossipee site is just excellent. One of the best in my humble view. Clearly organized, all the basic information one should expect on an official Town site, great graphics.” Following a small “grumble” about figuring out how to post messages, he concludes, “Congratulations to the folks who put this website together and maintain it. Head and shoulders better than the old one, not to mention most town websites.”
To visit the website, go to www.ossipee.org.