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Minutes of Town Board Meetings

Minutes 12/30/2016

December 30th, 2016

Town of Carroll Building Committee Meeting Minutes
December 30, 2016 @ 9:00 a.m.
Carroll Town Hall

Members present: Paul Bussiere, John Gardiner, Michael Hogan, Brad Houston, and Imre Szauter

The meeting began at 9:00 a.m. and was recorded.

Attendees stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

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

Attendees introduced themselves.

Imre mentioned he distributed via email an amended version of the Dec. 16 draft meeting minutes which included the draft warrant article language prepared by Bonnie Moroney.

Michael made a motion, seconded by Brad, to approve the amended minutes of the Dec. 16 meeting as written. The vote was unanimous.

Information collected in a document titled, “Review of Current Town Safety and Administrative Facilities and Future Needs” for architect Chris Carley was discussed. Imre stated that the police and fire departments and administrative offices had provided information on their current and future needs, and those that visited the Franconia Public Safety Building provided their thoughts on that facility. Emergency Management Director John Gardiner provided additional information on current and future needs related to disaster and emergency planning that should be considered in any new structure. These items were included in an updated version to be distributed to committee members after the meeting.

Imre stated that he provided the original and updated versions to Chris Carley and was waiting to hear back with his thoughts and recommendation for our draft warrant article’s dollar amount. Several attempts by Chris to reply were apparently blocked by Imre’s email server, so his reply was not available for review during the meeting. Imre stated he would contact Chris to figure out the issue and forward Chris’ response as soon as possible.

The draft warrant article prepared by Bonnie was discussed. Imre stated that the estimate for the proposed planning, preliminary engineering and consulting services was still blank, as this is the figure the committee is waiting for from Chris Carley. Attendees approved of the wording of the draft warrant article and approved submitting it to the Select Board once the estimated cost was included.

The need for one or more public information meetings prior to the March vote was discussed. Preparation of a flyer or handout listing expenditures for electricity, fuel, rent and taxes for the police and fire departments and administrative offices, plus other costs related to maintenance and repairs to current facilities, would inform attendees and strengthen the arguments for building a new combined facility on town-owned land.

It was pointed out that distribution via the U.S. Postal Service is expensive, and since the Building Committee is without a budget, other ways to get this information into residents’ hands are needed. Michael suggested the Building Committee request a small budget from the Select Board.

Michael suggested that distributing a flyer or handout at the Twin Mountain Post Office would be one approach to informing the public. The flyer/handout should include mention of the closure of the Town Hall gymnasium due to life- and fire-safety issues and the cost of heating the space, and an announcement of one or more public information sessions to allow residents to learn more, ask questions, and provide their input. He also suggested this information be provided to The Democrat for publication.

John provided a brief history on how information of this nature was distributed in the past. He stated that Town Reports were hand-delivered by the highway department because the employees knew the town’s residents. John stated that civic groups could be another conduit for distributing information, including the Chamber of Commerce and the Historical Society.

Brad suggested that a postal mailing might be effective, given the recent closure of the gymnasium portion of the Town Hall.

John mentioned the issue of property owners who aren’t permanent residents of the town don’t vote on tax-related matters such as safety services. This is the case with properties in the Bretton Woods communities, as many condominiums there are rental or leased units.

Imre asked about support from the business community. He also asked about any impact a new public safety and administrative building might have on property owners’ insurance rates. Brad stated that a new combined public safety and administrative complex across the road from the current fire station would change nothing insurance-wise. He mentioned that proximity, equipment, hydrants, and full-time/volunteer status have the biggest impact on property owner insurance rates.

John provided a brief history on previous efforts to place a satellite fire station near the Mount Washington Resort and Hotel.

Attendees discussed the emotional attachment some residents have with the current Town Hall as an impediment to moving forward with a new, more efficient combined facility. Michael stated that showing the inefficiencies of our current facilities compared to a proposed modern structure might sway some, but the committee must be prepared to deliver hard data from other towns to convince them.

Revisiting the issue of one or more public information sessions, it was stated that the town’s deliberative session is Feb. 8 and the town’s vote is Mar. 7. Some of the pros and cons of holding such a meeting before versus after the Feb. deliberative session were discussed. It was pointed out that the town’s deliberative session is the last chance to amend or pull a warrant article, meaning that hosting an information session before Feb. 8 might give those attending more information on which to make an informed decision at the deliberative session.

Following additional discussion, attendees concluded a public information session prior to the town’s deliberative session was most appropriate. They selected Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. in Town Hall. Appropriate posting and advertising for the information session should begin as soon as possible. John urged that options for the existing Town Hall be included in the flyer/handout and covered during the information session.

John suggested that current snow mobile access across town-owned land should be addressed as part of the proposal.

Imre stated that he contacted Chief Allan Clark of the Sugar Hill Fire Department. Chief Clark was the project manager for the new Franconia Public Safety Building. He offered to provide electricity and fuel consumption data for our reference after the first of the year.

Brad shared some preliminary drawings of potential changes to the current fire station. The drawings showed an increase in the depth of two bays to accommodate longer and/or additional apparatus, along with other modifications to comply with existing code, provide more convenient access for firefighters, and reduce public access to firefighter spaces.

Paul asked if the committee had considered a steel building design. Attendees concluded that the main goal is to get the town’s residents to first approve a new facility. After approval, alternative designs and construction methods can be considered.

Paul offered to cover the cost of printed materials for use by the committee in distribution and at an informational session. Attendees thanked Paul for his offer.

The next meeting of the Building Committee is scheduled for Friday, January 13, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in Town Hall.

Meeting adjourned at 10:20 a.m.
Minutes prepared by Imre Szauter.