Online Services

Online Vehicle Registration Renewal Online Property Tax, Water & Sewer payments Online Dog License Renewals Vital Record Request
GIS & Property Database

View of Carroll from Sugarloaf

Minutes of Town Board Meetings

Minutes of 11/30/2017 APPROVED

December 16th, 2017

Town of Carroll Building Committee Meeting Minutes
November 30, 2017 @ 9:00 a.m.
Carroll Town Hall

Members present: Tadd Bailey, Mike Finn, John Gardiner, Greg Hogan, Michael Hogan, Susan Kraabel, Janet Nelson, Jeremy Oleson, Terry Penner, Imre Szauter, and John Trammell.

Professional staff present: Allan Clark, project manager

Guests present: Maryclare Quigley and Ronald Wareing.

The Building Committee (the “Committee”) meeting began at 9:05 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 Nov. 16th draft meeting minutes were discussed. Michael Hogan made a motion, seconded by Jeremy Oleson, to approve the minutes as written. The vote in favor was unanimous.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on the project brochure; he turned the floor over to Allan Clark. Allan Clark outlined the contents of the six panels on the draft 8.5” x 14” layout, noting that information can be added, deleted or rearranged.

Imre Szauter reminded attendees of last meeting’s discussion regarding the addition of Committee member names to the brochure. John Trammell had suggested listing names, but no titles or contact information except for the Committee Chair’s email and/or telephone number. Attendees agreed to the listing of Committee member names, so Imre Szauter will provide Allan Clark with a complete list for inclusion in the brochure.

Mike Finn asked if including the phrase, “Building for the Future” would be included on the first panel, as discussed at the last meeting. Allan Clark acknowledged the discussion at the last meeting, but chose not to include the phrase as he envisioned the brochure as a brief report of the Committee’s work more so than a promotional brochure. Terry Penner pointed out that one or more of the bullet points on the panel labeled “Findings and Recommendations of Building Committee” convey a sense of ‘building for the future.’

Janet Nelson suggested moving the bullet point “A campus concept allows for future municipal growth.” nearer to the top of the list. Michael Hogan cautioned that placing that bullet item nearer to the top might be taken negatively by some people, as in the town preparing to spend even more taxpayer money for more buildings.

Ronald Wareing suggested addressing the future of the town’s library. Imre Szauter pointed out that both the library and the historical society are included in the conceptual drawings and floor plans as part of the new Town Hall (administration building). John Gardiner reminded attendees that previous discussions mentioned that if any town administrative offices or functions needed to expand, the space shown as occupied by the library and/or historical society could be repurposed if the library and/or historical society were moved to another location. This is addressed by the bullet point on the Findings and Recommendations of Building Committee panel that reads, “A campus concept allows for future municipal growth.”

Tadd Bailey commented that on the Findings of Committee Concerning Existing Building panel, under Existing Police Department, there are two instances of “inefficient layout.” John Trammell recommended removal of the word “juvenile” from the “No juvenile holding cell” bullet item, as the police department does not have a usable holding cell. Allan Clark suggested adding “Significant code deficiencies” as a bullet item.

Janet Nelson suggested using a larger font or bolding the first bullet item on the Findings and Recommendations of Building Committee.

Ronald Wareing suggested inserting “per year” after “…will require $200,000…” to the fourth bullet item on the Expected Project Cost and Financial Impact panel.

Ronald Wareing asked for clarification of the amount financed for the project and the anticipated savings in operating and maintenance costs. He asked if the $200,000 per year for 20 years includes the anticipated annual cost savings of $42,000. Allan Clark explained that it does not, as the $200,000 per year for 20 years is the bond or note obligation while the anticipated operating and maintenance cost savings would be reflected in the town’s operating budget.

Michael Hogan asked if bullet items number 3 and 4 could be interpreted as two separate items by some readers. Allan Clark stated that he could reword bullet item number 4 to tie into number 3 more clearly.

Ronald Wareing asked about putting the estimated impact on the property tax rate into a number more easily understood by readers. Using an example such as, “The property tax increase would be about $65.00 per year for a property with a valuation of $100,000.” would be helpful. Attendees agreed adding a bullet point with such an example would benefit the reader.

Allan Clark asked if anyone had an estimate for the average property valuation in town, excluding Bretton Woods. Several estimates were offered, but no consensus was achieved. Allan Clark suggested that this should be a talking point rather than included in the brochure, as voters are more likely to identify with the average than their own valuation.

John Gardiner suggested changing the title panel to read, “Report of the Municipal Building Committee.” There was no consensus on changing the title panel.

Imre Szauter asked if there were any other suggested modifications to the brochure. Hearing none, Allan Clark stated he would deliver a final version for review at the next meeting.

Terry Penner asked if the trifold brochure would fit in a standard business envelope for mailing purposes. Allan Clark replied it would not fit in a #10 business envelope, but would fit into another size business envelope that would be used if mailed.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on the status of the pricing exercise. Allan Clark reported that he is working with two construction managers to obtain pricing on the project and should have firm numbers by the next meeting.

Maryclare Quigley asked when the decision would be made whether to finance the project via a bond or note. Allan Clark replied that the Select Board would make that decision after the March vote, if voters approved the project.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on a list of potential grant sources prepared by Allan Clark. A copy of the cover page was distributed prior to the meeting. Allan Clark commented that there were a few foundations that might provide grants for specific components of the project, but none that would provide a grant for the overall cost of the project. He reminded attendees that the largest grant opportunity (about $70,000) is through the New Hampshire Department of Safety, Homeland Security and Emergency Management related to the new EOC (Emergency Operations Center) within the fire department. Allan Clark mentioned the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), which administers grant and loan programs for municipal projects. He mentioned a few other grant programs, although they are limited to very specific components of a project like this.

Susan Kraabel mentioned the Tillotson Foundation, a broad-based charitable organization that serves portions of northern New Hampshire and Vermont, and Quebec Province, Canada.

Imre Szauter asked if any attendee were on the board or a member of a foundation that provides grants. No one indicated that they were. Both John Gardiner and Jeremy Oleson stated that they have written grant proposals in the past, so they have experience with the application process and what type of information is required on grant forms.

Mike Finn cautioned that the number and magnitude of recent natural disasters, particularly during the 2017 hurricane season, have charitable organizations focused on relief efforts in those areas hardest hit. Therefore, grant requests for projects in other areas may receive a lower priority, at least in the short term.

Imre Szauter summarized the information he received from Liz Taylor at Mailings Unlimited regarding the proposed distribution of the trifold brochure via USPS in January. The cost to print, fold, and place a color, double-sided, 8.5” x 14” brochure in an envelope and affix first-class postage would be about $1.00 per piece, based on the mailing qualifying for a pre-sorted first-class postage rate of 38 cents per envelope. He reported that of the 621 registered voter names on the list, he was able to trim 26 names as they were town employees or Committee members and their families.

Imre Szauter offered that Mailings Unlimited may be able to prepare the mailing in December so it could be billed during 2017. Otherwise, if the invoice is dated for January 2018, funds would have to come from a 2018 budget line for the Committee.

Allan Clark asked how many brochures the Committee would want printed. Discussion followed, with attendees agreeing that 1,000 total (600 for mailing, 400 for distribution) should be sufficient. Imre Szauter stated he would ask Mailings Unlimited to provide a quote for 1,000 brochures, 600 of which would be mailed while the remaining 400 would be sent to the town for distribution. As a comparison, Allan Clark offered that he would obtain a quote for having 1,000 brochures printed.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on the January informational session. He stated that there were discussions prior to the meeting about holding the required public hearing on the project’s financing as either a stand-alone meeting or just prior to the informational session.

Maryclare Quigley provided clarification on what is required for the bond/note hearing. The state requires any project costing over $100,000 to have a public hearing, chaired by the Select Board, during which information on the expenditure would be presented and public comments and feedback would be taken.

Susan Kraabel asked why this public hearing must be held before the project is voted on in March. Maryclare Quigley explained that state law requires the Select Board to hold the public hearing so residents can ask questions and express their opinion on financing the project if it passes town vote.

Maryclare Quigley stated the first meeting of the Select Board in 2018 is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 3rd. As long as the public hearing is properly advertised, it can be held the same evening as the Select Board meeting.

Allan Clark read from the New Hampshire Municipal Association website regarding the requirements for the bond hearing.

Terry Penner summarized the discussion by stating the Select Board will make the decision as to when the bond hearing will be held, the Committee should be prepared to attend that hearing and answer any questions that arise, and the Committee should move forward with planning for the January 18th informational session as a separate exercise.

Maryclare Quigley stated that she would ask the Select Board at their Dec. 11th meeting how they would like to proceed with the required bond hearing.

Referencing two items on the agenda under the informational session discussion, Imre Szauter opened a discussion on asking the police and fire departments to host an open house just prior to the informational session so attendees interested in touring the facilities could do so.

Instead of doing so prior to the informational session, Michael Hogan suggested inviting informational session attendees to contact the police and/or fire department to arrange for tours of the buildings. That way, deficiencies discussed during the informational session could be viewed first-hand by those interested.

Terry Penner asked if the January 18, 2018 informational session date, time and location could be included in the brochure, as the proposed mailing to registered voters would take place at least ten days before the session. Allan Clark said he would add a placeholder in the brochure for the informational session date, time and location.

Based on attendee feedback, the idea of hosting an open house at the police and fire departments just prior to the informational session was discarded.

Imre Szauter reported that on Nov. 29th, John Trammell and Tadd Bailey from the police department and Jeremy Oleson from the fire department provided information and a photo opportunity to capture images of their structures’ deficiencies for presentation at the informational session. Once they have selected which images to use, Imre Szauter will include them and their talking points in the PowerPoint presentation for the informational session.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on the recommended warrant article wording for presentation to the Select Board. He stated that several New Hampshire towns had recently placed articles on their warrants for new facilities, noting that these could serve as examples for our project. Imre Szauter asked if attendees would approve him working with Maryclare Quigley to draft a recommendation for the Select Board to consider. Attendees indicated that was acceptable.

Regarding sources of revenue to reduce the cost of the project, Imre Szauter suggested the Committee make a recommendation to the Select Board of a dollar amount to commit from the New Land & Building Capital Reserve Fund.

The library has a capital reserve fund for library improvements, according to John Gardiner, a portion of which could be recommended for reducing the project’s cost. As agents for the fund, the Select Board would make the final determination, but the library board could make a recommendation of the dollar amount.

Another capital reserve fund that was identified is for road improvements. Greg Hogan stated that using some of those funds for the campus access road and the intersection with US 302 might be appropriate.

Allan Clark asked if the Select Board was the agent for all the capital reserve funds. Maryclare Quigley replied that they are for most, but not all, of the funds. Allan Clark followed up by stating that the Select Board could allocate dollars from the capital reserve funds they control as they see fit. Maryclare Quigley added that all capital reserve fund expenditures must be germane to the purpose of the fund.

Bringing this discussion to conclusion, Allan Clark stated that the Select Board will make all financial decisions related to the project, including type of financing, use of capital reserve funds, and acceptable of all grants and rebates. The Committee can make financial recommendations to the Select Board, but they are just that – recommendations.
Susan Kraabel stated that she doesn’t believe the Road Improvement Capital Reserve Fund should be tapped for this project. She stated that too many roads in town are in need of repair, and diverting money away from them and towards this project could be a mistake.

John Trammell asked where funds received from the sale of the existing fire station building would go, if that building was sold after completion of the project. Maryclare Quigley replied that the funds would likely go into the unassigned fund balance account. Susan Kraabel commented that any unanticipated funds over $10,000 received by the town require a public hearing to determine where the funds would go.

Ronald Wareing asked if any of the funds in the unassigned fund balance account could be used for the project. Maryclare Quigley explained that funds from that account were used to reduce the new property tax rate and that the state requires the town to maintain a balance in that account that is a certain percentage of the town’s operating budget.

Under other issues, Imre Szauter:
• Summarized the Nov. 27th Committee report to the Select Board.
• Announced the Select Board approved a Community Room Usage and Rental Policy prepared by Maryclare Quigley and him; a copy will be posted on the Google Drive.
• Referenced an anonymous letter about the project that distributed prior to the meeting.
• Reported account balances of $1,321.12 ($1,178.88 spent; 52.8% remaining) in the Committee miscellaneous expenses fund and $30,704.19 ($29,295.81 spent; 51.2% remaining) in the warrant article authorization fund.

Michael Hogan asked if funds need to be encumbered from both accounts for 2018 expenses. Maryclare Quigley replied that the warrant article account will continue to be used as the town has a signed contract, but the miscellaneous expenses account requires invoices to be dated in 2017 for use this year.

Imre Szauter summarized current action items:
1) Post approved Nov. 16th meeting minutes on the town website and Google Drive (Imre Szauter)
2) Continue development of informational trifold brochure (Allan Clark)

Attendees agreed the next Committee meeting would be held on Thursday, Dec. 14th at 9:00 a.m. in Town Hall.

Imre Szauter polled attendees for any closing remarks.

Allan Clark referenced the budget spreadsheet he distributed prior to the meeting and estimated the Committee will spend about $45,000 of the $60,000 authorized by the warrant article.

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

The meeting adjourned at 10:35 a.m.

Minutes prepared by Imre Szauter.