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Minutes of Town Board Meetings

Minutes of 2/1/2018 APPROVED

February 9th, 2018

Town of Carroll Building Committee Meeting Minutes
February 1, 2018 @ 9:00 a.m.
Carroll Town Hall

Members present: Tadd Bailey, Mike Finn, John Gardiner, Janet Nelson, Jeremy Oleson, Michelle Palys, David Scalley, Imre Szauter, John Trammell, and Rena Vecchio

Professional staff present: Allan Clark, project manager

The Building Committee (the ¡§Committee¡¨) meeting began at 9:07 a.m. and was recorded.

Attendees stood and recited The Pledge of Allegiance.

An agenda was distributed and a sign-in sheet was routed around.

Attendees introduced themselves.

The Jan. 18th draft meeting minutes were discussed. John Gardiner made a motion, seconded by Rena Vecchio, to approve the minutes as written. The motion passed unanimously.

Although listed on the agenda for review, Imre Szauter noted the Jan. 18th draft informational session minutes were not posted until late on Jan. 31st. He suggested deferring review and approval until the Feb. 8th meeting; attendees agreed.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on the Jan. 18th informational session.

John Gardiner stated that he wished more people had attended the informational session. He commented that he thought things went well and that he received positive comments on the session.

Mike Finn noted that he spoke with several Bretton Woods residents after the informational session and felt they would support the project. He added that Terry Penner had distributed an email to the Bretton Woods community regarding the project and attached a PDF of the brochure. Mike Finn pointed out that there is a movement to promote absentee ballots for Bretton Woods registered voters who are unable to vote in person on Mar. 13th.

John Trammell complimented Coos County Democrat reporter Justin Roshak for his well-written articles in the newspaper¡¦s Jan. 24th edition.

David Scalley noted that he believes at least one ¡§NO¡¨ vote was changed to a ¡§YES¡¨ vote as a result of the informational session. He felt that some ¡§no¡¨ or ¡§undecided¡¨ voters don¡¦t have all the information they need to make an informed decision.

John Gardiner commented on a recent conversation with a neighbor regarding the project. He stated that the neighbor acknowledged receipt of the brochure in the mail and committed to make an effort to vote on Mar. 13th.

Rena Vecchio asked about campaigning on behalf of the project on Election Day. Several attendees provided background on campaigning do¡¦s and don¡¦ts during previous elections, ending with a suggestion the town moderator Ben Jellison be consulted prior to the deliberative session for a definitive answer.

David Scalley mentioned that ¡§Vote for Article 2¡¨ campaign signs financed with private funds might add visibility to the warrant article. As long as the signs are placed were permitted and paid for by non-public funds, he felt they would help in the days leading up to the deliberative session.

Imre Szauter asked if anyone received any negative feedback on the informational session.

Janet Nelson offered that she has spoken with a resident about the impact of the project and the impact on the property tax rate from it and several pending issues, including the closure of the Jefferson Elementary School and maturing of two town bonds within the next 6 years.

Susan Kraabel added that there will always be a number of voters who will not support any new project, regardless of the long-term benefits to the town and its residents.

Rena Vecchio commented that following the Franconia Public Safety building tour on Jan. 25th, conducted by Allan Clark, she learned from a resident that the tour resulted in a position of support for our project. Imre Szauter added that although seven residents participated in the Jan. 25th tour, no one showed up for the Saturday, Jan. 27th tour.

Mike Finn asked about the fate of the current fire department building, should the project¡¦s warrant article receive voter approval on Mar. 13th. David Scalley suggested that similar to the case of Town Hall, pursuing a private sale of the fire department building would make the most sense both for the town and interested investors / business owners.

Janet Nelson asked if there is a market for real estate such as our fire department building, to which David Scalley replied that he believes there is.

Imre Szauter concluded the discussion of the Jan. 18th informational session by thanking presenters Police Chief John Trammell, Fire Chief Jeremy Oleson, EMD John Gardiner, Selectman David Scalley and Project Manager Allan Clark for their preparation and presentations, and their follow up with residents.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on the Franconia Public Safety building tours hosted by Allan Clark. He invited Allan Clark to offer his comments on the tours.

Allan Clark stated that walking through the building offers our residents an opportunity to experience a purposely-built public safety facility designed with longevity, durability, energy efficiency, and low maintenance criteria. While not exactly what would be constructed in Carroll, the building showcases many of the required and essential features lacking in our facilities today. He pointed out an added benefit of the Franconia Public Safety building ¡V a renewed interest in volunteering for the fire department. Allan Clark noted that new facilities impart a sense of pride and increase the willingness of residents to serve within the community, particularly among the younger generations.

John Gardiner asked if there was any impact on the fire insurance rates in Franconia after completion of the new public safety building. Allan Clark explained that a number of factors affect a community¡¦s fire insurance rating, including the availability and quantity of water (in gallons per minute) for firefighting. He stated that a fire rating of 10 denotes ¡§unprotected¡¨, with ratings of 9 or less denoting specific levels of protection. He noted that better fire ratings usually result in lower property insurance premiums. Allan Clark offered that the new public safety building itself didn¡¦t change the fire rating in Franconia, but factors such as addition of the aerial fire truck and an increased number of volunteers may change the rating for the better.

Jeremy Oleson noted that areas in the Town of Carroll with hydrant coverage currently carry a fire rating of ¡§6¡¨.

Imre Szauter polled Committee members about Allan Clark¡¦s offer of additional Franconia Public Safety building tours. Tadd Bailey suggested that securing a shuttle bus for transportation to/from Franconia might boost participation. John Trammell offered to contact the Mount Washington Hotel to inquire about a shuttlebus and driver.

Imre Szauter stated that he and his wife toured the Franconia Public Safety building on Jan. 25th and found the experience very worthwhile. He noted that newly-appointed Franconia Police Chief Martin Cashin provided an extensive tour of the police department following Allan Clark¡¦s detailed tour of the fire department.

Rena Vecchio commented on the security of the Franconia Police Department side of the building, where visitors enter the front door and can go no further without an escort from the secure lobby.

Imre Szauter asked attendees what tour date(s) would work best. Attendees agreed that holding additional tours shortly after the deliberative session would be better. A consensus formed around hosting a tour on Feb. 8th at 10:00 a.m., immediately following the Committee¡¦s 9:00 a.m. regular meeting. Imre Szauter will post and email the results of the arrangements and David Scalley will announce the tour during the deliberative session on Feb. 6th.

Several attendees asked about using the sign at the US 3 / US 302 intersection to announce the deliberative session and the Franconia tour. Michelle Palys cautioned that the sign, controlled by the Twin Mountain ¡V Bretton Woods Chamber of Commerce, is limited to just a few characters per line and is difficult to update in the winter.

Imre Szauter noted Terry Penner¡¦s absence from the meeting and read the email that he distributed to the Bretton Woods community on Jan. 23rd. Terry Penner¡¦s message provided information on the project and reminded readers of the Feb. 6th deliberative session and Mar. 13th voting session; he also attached a PDF version of the Committee¡¦s brochure to the email. Imre Szauter offered his thanks for Terry Penner¡¦s efforts and commitment to the project.

Under other issues and updates, Imre Szauter:
„« Mentioned the two articles about the Town of Carroll project by Coos County Democrat reporter Justin Roshak that appeared in the Jan. 24th edition of the newspaper. Copies of the articles were distributed prior to the meeting.
„« Mentioned the article in the Union Leader regarding the Litchfield fire station proposal that was recently amended as a result of resident feedback. A copy of the article was distributed prior to the meeting.
„« Reported on the Jan. 22nd Committee report to the Select Board.
„« Reported account balances as:
o $0.00 spent [$2,500.00 (100%) remaining] in the Committee miscellaneous expenses fund.
o $33,718.61 spent [$26,281.39 (43.8%) remaining] in the warrant article authorization fund.

Imre Szauter summarized current action items:
1) Post approved Jan. 18th meeting minutes on the town website and Google Drive (Imre Szauter).

Imre Szauter reminded attendees of the following upcoming meetings:
„« Deliberative session ¡V Tuesday, Feb. 6th @ 6:30 p.m. in the Fire Department building
„« Committee meeting ¡V Thursday, Feb. 8th @ 9:00 a.m. in Town Hall

Jeremy Oleson asked if Imre Szauter planned to provide a brief overview at the deliberative session when the warrant article is presented. Jeremy Oleson suggested that once the warrant article has been introduced, providing high level information would open a conversation and allow attendees to ask any questions they might have. Imre Szauter replied that he would speak with moderator Ben Jellison about giving a brief overview and reference the brochure which will be available at the deliberative session.

Michelle Palys asked if photographs of the building deficiencies shown during the last informational session would be posted at the fire department building prior to the deliberative session. She felt the photographs would help those who missed the Jan. 18th informational session better appreciate the challenges our public safety forces, town employees, and visitors face each day in our facilities. Imre Szauter offered that he would reproduce the PowerPoint presentation photographs and work with Jeremy Oleson to get them posted before the deliberative session.

Allan Clark reminded attendees that a large turnout of supporters at the deliberative session is important to demonstrate backing for the project. He encouraged all Committee members, their families, and all firefighters to attend.

Imre Szauter polled attendees for any closing remarks.

David Scalley stated that we¡¦re in a critical phase for the project, as we need to educate and encourage all voters to make an informed choice at both the deliberative session and voting session.

John Gardiner asked if any residents had filed to run for open seats in town government. David Scalley responded that a few people had filed, with Feb. 2nd being the filing deadline for open seats.

Michelle Palys asked what happens if no one files for a vacant position. David Scalley replied that a write-in candidate would be considered for a vacant seat, subject to a write-in candidate accepting the position if elected.

Allan Clark reminded attendees that the project warrant article needs a 3/5 (60%) majority to pass, so it¡¦s critical to speak with as many people as possible to encourage participation and a favorable outcome. He noted that he hasn¡¦t heard of any organized opposition to the project, as has happened in other communities with proposed building projects.

David Scalley mentioned that a recent conversation with a resident resulted in that person promising to reconsider her opposition to the project. He pointed out that some people claim they just don¡¦t have the time to learn the facts related to a major project like this. When in doubt or without the facts, people tend to vote ¡§NO¡¨ on an issue.

Imre Szauter reminded attendees that the Franconia Public Safety building project warrant article passed with a significant majority in 2014, in spite of some organized opposition.

John Gardiner made a motion, seconded by John Trammell, to adjourn the meeting. The vote to adjourn was unanimous.

The meeting adjourned at 10:04 a.m.

Minutes prepared by Imre Szauter.