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Minutes of Town Board Meetings

Minutes 01/13/2017

January 13th, 2017

Town of Carroll Building Committee Meeting Minutes
January 13, 2017 @ 9:00 a.m.
Carroll Town Hall

Members and guests present: Greg Hogan, Michael Hogan, Brad Houston, Evan Karpf, Bonnie Moroney, and Imre Szauter

The meeting began at 9:08 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.

The draft minutes of the Dec. 30, 2016 meeting were discussed. Bonnie made a motion, seconded by Michael, to approve the minutes as written. The vote was unanimous.

Discussion took place on the warrant article submitted by the Building Committee at the Jan. 4 Select Board meeting.

Imre outlined information provided by Chris Carley of C. N. Carley Associates, Architects and Planners regarding a very rough estimation of the cost of a new building, based on input from committee members and town employees. Mr. Carley used the Franconia Public Safety Building (police and fire departments only) as a starting point and added estimated space requirements for town administrative offices, yielding about 11,830 square feet. He used a building cost of $200 per square foot and estimated 9% of the total cost would be for all planning, design, consulting and documentation services. Of the estimated $2,366,000 cost, about $212,940 would be used for planning, design, consulting and documentation services. Moving most of these services (about 7%) into the first phase of a two-phase (two-year) process would require about $166,000 to be requested in the 2017 warrant article.

Bonnie attended the Jan. 4 Select Board meeting and suggested the Selectmen reduce the warrant article dollar amount to $60,000. She felt the $166,000 amount was too high to place before the voters in March. Bonnie outline how planning in phase one could be handled with the lower dollar amount. Once specifications are developed in phase one, the resultant information could be distributed to firms known to design municipal buildings, requesting comments and estimations for a total package cost.

Bonnie mentioned she spoke with a representative of the builder of the Franconia Public Safety Building and learned they also design municipal buildings. Submitting specifications to such a company could provide additional cost estimates for the town to consider. Bonnie explained the process used to construct the new bridge in town. Specifications were sent out to a number of prospective builders, requesting bids for the project. The final choice was made from the two or three submitted proposals.

Imre mentioned the modified warrant article was discussed during the Jan. 10 budget meeting and placed on the agenda for the Feb. 8 deliberative session.

Discussion moved to the Jan. 31 informational session and handout materials. Imre mentioned that Maryclare Quigley has submitted an advertisement for publication twice in the Coos County Democrat. The ad will appear during the weeks of Jan. 16 and Jan. 23.

A skeleton format for the informational session was distributed for review. Evan asked about including other communities that constructed new municipal buildings as examples. Imre stated that Farmington, a community of nearly 6,800 residents northeast of Concord, has a website that documents their proposed public safety building. A Q&A page containing details of their proposal was distributed.

Evan suggested that if the Farmington facility is complete, data from it and the new Franconia Public Safety Building might prove helpful in documenting potential energy savings. Imre stated he wasn’t sure of the status of the Farmington project, but has communicated with Allan Clark regarding performance data from the Franconia building.

Michael suggested listing all current long-term financial obligations the town will meet in the next few years to show the net effect of a new building on the tax rate. He also stated that simplifying the impact based on an estimated project cost would foster understanding. Bonnie cautioned that using an estimated total construction cost so early in the process might lead to unreasonable expectations. She stated that using past cost data, along with estimates to repair and update current deficiencies in existing buildings, would better assist us in making the case to move forward.

Greg shared some of his concerns and feedback he had received from town residents. The current Town Hall was the most-mentioned topic, with questions ranging from the cost of upgrading/rebuilding to disposition if the building is closed down. Evan offered that the informational session should focus on providing hard data because for most residents the bottom line cost to them as taxpayers is the determining factor.

Greg stated that the heating system modifications for the gymnasium shutdown have been completed, so the town should see a reduction in the Town Hall heating oil consumption.

Evan suggested that investigating the incorporation of current Town Hall items or materials into a new structure might assist acceptance by residents. Greg recommended that designating areas to display historic, commemorative or sentimental items and photos would provide residents with a connection to the town’s past.

Imre stated that there are really two separate issues under consideration. The first is the need for a new building based on what functions it will house. If the desire of the town’s residents is to reduce expenses associated with the police and fire departments and the administrative offices, then moving from three free-standing inefficient older buildings into one efficient multi-function building is priority number one. Once residents decide where secondary functions housed in those buildings (i.e., meeting space, the library, historical society materials, and food pantry in Town Hall) should be located, the fate of Town Hall and the fire station will become clearer. The voters will decide whether the costs of bringing Town Hall and/or the fire station building into compliance with current life-safety and building codes is better than shutting both down.

Attendees discussed taking advantage of available grants, incentives, and rebates for construction and operational efficiencies to reduce construction and long-term operational costs.

Evan emphasized the potential for damaged or destroyed town records as a result of structural deficiencies in Town Hall. As most records and historical society materials are stored in the basement or on the second floor, the lack of a fire-suppression system poses an increased risk to personnel and property.

The operational and maintenance inefficiencies of three buildings versus one building were brought up. Greg mentioned at a previous meeting that his team is now maintaining and plowing three entrances and parking lots (police, fire and Town Hall) where one entrance and parking lot would save time and reduce materials usage.

Evan mentioned that the town insurance costs on three separate buildings should be reviewed to see if one building housing all services would cost less.

Imre mentioned that the Franconia Public Safety Building is “geothermal and solar” ready, meaning that future installation considerations for a geothermal heating/cooling system and onsite electricity production using a photovoltaic system were included in the design of the building.

Attendees discussed removing the Farmington public building reference and including Whitefield’s building experience. Bonnie mentioned the Campton public safety complex as another example. Michael mentioned that he thought the Town of Monroe recently built a combined public safety and highway department facility. All agreed the Franconia building is the best local example for our use.

Michael stated that no mention has been made of the highway department in all the discussions of a new facility. Greg stated that the current highway department facility is in good shape and is actually more energy efficient than originally thought.

Prompted by a bunkroom question in the Farmington Q&A handout, Evan mentioned that sleeping quarters in the fire station has been an issue in the past for the Town of Carroll.

Michael brought up the inequitable distribution of the state hotel and meals tax as an ongoing problem for municipalities such as the Town of Carroll. The town is required to provide services to non-residents and visitors but only receives a small portion of the tax money generated from the hotel and meals tax.

Imre mentioned Jeremy’s email offer to activate the fire department auxiliary to provide refreshments at the informational session on Jan. 31. Attendees felt that water, coffee and cookies would be welcomed.

Reviewing the information for inclusion in a handout, attendees agreed that it should include: 1) mission statement and/or needs statement; 2) high-level summary of historic costs for heating fuel and electricity for all buildings, plus rent and taxes paid for leasing the police department building; 3) Bonnie’s spreadsheet showing detailed costs from 2007 through 2016; 4) estimated costs to renovate the fire department building and Town Hall to meet current building and life-safety codes and ADA-accessibility; 5) non-compliance of police department building and; 6) recent buildings in other communities such as Franconia and Whitefield.

Attendees agreed an informational session sign-in sheet would provide residents with an opportunity to register an email address for Building Committee distributions, if they so desired.

Under other issues, Michael mentioned that at the Jan. 9 Select Board meeting, the Building Committee has been authorized a budget for $2,500 for advertising and related expenses. Evan asked about a postcard distribution. Attendees agreed that posting a meeting notice at Foster’s Crossroads, the Twin Mountain Post Office, the Fire Department, and the transfer station would help get the word out. Bonnie suggested distributing left-over handouts at the transfer station.

Greg asked about placing an advertisement in The Record, a tabloid distributed free in the area. Imre stated he would check with Maryclare about advertising in The Record.

Imre asked if the committee would entertain moving the next Building Committee meeting to Thursday, Jan. 26 instead of Friday, Jan. 27. Attendees indicated no problem doing so. Therefore, the next meeting of the Building Committee is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in Town Hall.

Bonnie made a motion, seconded by Michael, to adjourn the meeting. Vote was unanimous.

The meeting adjourned at 10:25 a.m.
Minutes prepared by Imre Szauter.