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Minutes of Town Board Meetings

Minutes of 5/11/2017

May 30th, 2017

Town of Carroll Building Committee Meeting Minutes
May 11, 2017 @ 1:00 a.m.
Carroll Town Hall

Members and guests present: Paul Bussiere, Allan Clark, John Gardiner, Greg Hogan, Michael Hogan, Brad Houston, Jeremy Oleson, David Scalley, Imre Szauter and John Trammell

The Building Committee meeting began at 1:04 p.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 Apr. 27, 2017 meeting were discussed. Michael Hogan made a motion, seconded by John Gardiner, to approve the minutes as written. The vote was unanimous.

Allan Clark opened a discussion about his role as Project Manager. He stated he gets deeply involved in projects that he manages, watches the project schedule and finances closely, and enjoys his work. He also stated that he hopes all meetings will be productive and follow an agenda.

Allan Clark stated that good communications with the public, the Select Board, other committee members and guests is critical to the success of the project.

Allan Clark asked about the committee’s expectations with regard to his role in the project. Imre Szauter gave a brief background of the committee’s efforts since its reformation in Nov. 2016, previous efforts to construct new facilities or renovate existing buildings for town public safety services, passage of the 2017 warrant article, and the discussions that led up to the recommendation to the Select Board to hire Allan Clark as Project Manager.

Given that the Building Committee recommended breaking the new public safety and administrative offices facility project into two phases, passage of the 2017 warrant article enabled Phase 1 to proceed with hiring professional resources. Phase 1 was envisioned to create plan and design documents, along with conceptual drawings, for review and discussion with the public at one or more informational sessions prior to the 2018 warrant.

Allan Clark stated that during Phase 1, the committee should endeavor to develop a conceptual plan of the exterior, how the site would be laid out, and schematics of the floor plan. Using those items, preliminary specifications and pricing can be developed. Communicating this information to the public as well as the process used to develop it is key to building support and passage of the warrant article for Phase 2.

Allan Clark stated that the Building Committee’s role would change once actual construction begins. During Phase 1, Building Committee meetings every two weeks will probably be sufficient. During Phase 2, weekly project meetings with representatives from the Select Board and the Building Committee are suggested. Allan Clark indicated he would prepare a schedule for Phase 1 so that everyone involved will understand the expectations as we work toward the 2018 warrant article deadline.

Allan Clark again emphasized the importance of communication with the community, a key function of the Building Committee particularly during Phase 1. The Building Committee will have responsibility to ensure any proposals meet and exceed the community’s expectations, so properly promoting the need for and benefits of a new facility will be critical.

Allan Clark stated that an early decision that must be made is whether to follow the Design-Bid-Build (D-B-B) process or the Design-Build (D-B) process.

In D-B-B, an architect is hired to design the facility; plans are put out for bid; and a construction contract is awarded based on criteria specified by the project’s owner. There are pros and cons to using this method.

In D-B, a client’s functional needs and wants, together with a site survey and professional services of a civil engineer, are provided to an architect for development of an initial rendering of the facility. The rendering include specifications, site plans, floor plans, elevation drawings, and a budget estimate. This package is then prepared for submission to the voters for final approval. Following voter acceptance, the package is submitted in a Request for Proposal (RFP) to D-B firms. The Building Committee would arrange to interview D-B firms that responded to the RFP and determine which one best meets the needs of the project and the community. A recommendation to the Select Board would follow, with the expectation the project would be completed within a year.

Allan Clark suggested that using the D-B process provides more flexibility, as the same level of drawings are not required for the various sub-contractors as are required in the D-B-B process. Further, change orders are easier to accommodate in the D-B process. He speculated that by using the D-B process, if construction were to begin in June 2018, the facility could be ready for move-in by January 2019.

Another difference between the D-B-B and D-B processes is the way building costs are handled. With the D-B-B process, the contract specifies a fixed cost, plus the cost of any change orders issued by the architect. Under the D-B process, the construction manager works under a cost-plus arrangement, under which the client is billed for all costs plus a mark-up fee in the neighborhood of 4-6%. General conditions are identified during the interview process so the client knows upfront what fees the construction manager will include in the project.

John Gardiner asked if someone would be responsible for material testing, such as on a concrete foundation and floor. Allan Clark responded that yes, an independent third-party would provide testing services for items such as soil compaction and concrete.

Brad Houston asked Allan Clark if he would provide the names of D-B firms he has worked with in the past. Allan Clark stated he would. In addition to the Building Committee interviewing potential firms for the project, Allan Clark recommended that any firm under consideration be bondable. If a firm can provide a construction bonding letter, there is a reasonable expectation they are capable of properly completing the project. Allan Clark mentioned Daniel Hebert, Inc. of Colebrook, Conneston Construction, Inc. of Gilford, and Ricci Construction Co., Inc. of Portsmouth as D-B firms to be considered.

John Gardiner asked about utilities, whether the town would be responsible for bringing in a water line and electrical and telephone/Internet conduits. Allan Clark responded that the town could do the installations, but scheduling may present timing issues and these might be best left to the contractor.

Paul Bussiere asked about the use of standardized software as part of the project management process. Allan Clark responded that he uses Microsoft Project to track and display progress, and closely monitors critical paths.

Allan Clark asked if the committee had any additional thoughts on which process (D-B-B or D-B) they were inclined to use. Jeremy Oleson stated that previous discussions favored using the D-B process, as it offered several advantages. Allan Clark stated that another advantage of the D-B process is greater transparency on the part of the contractor, as copies of all materials and services invoices are included in the contractor’s periodic invoices for payment.

Imre Szauter asked if it would be helpful if the committee identified which process the committee recommended using. Allan Clark indicated it would. Imre Szauter asked committee members if they had a preference. Following a brief discussion, the committee unanimously indicated a preference for the D-B (Design-Build) process.

Allan Clark mentioned expanding the Building Committee, as additional members who are not stakeholders (elected or appointed officials and town employees) could provide different and more diverse perspectives. A concern about asking prospective members to attend daytime meetings was raised, as people with daytime jobs would not be able to participate. Michael Hogan suggested hosting some secondary or evening meetings (after normal working hours) to accommodate those interested but with daytime commitments.

Imre Szauter mentioned a scheduled meeting with John Santaniello, general manager of the Omni Mount Washington Resort, to brief him on the committee’s plans and progress, and to gauge his interest in representation from the Bretton Woods business community.

Imre Szauter asked committee members to further consider the committee’s expansion by speaking with people who might be interested and forwarding or bringing their names to the next meeting.

John Gardiner asked if the committee had agreed to submit periodic releases about the project to the local newspapers. Imre Szauter stated that he recalled a discussion on news releases but no agreement to proceed.

John Trammell stated that resolving the fate of the Town Hall and the fire department building should be addressed soon, as the public wants answers on what will happen with these structures when a new public safety and administrative complex is proposed. David Scalley suggested that once the new complex is completed, the fire department building might be offered for sale to a private entity, the police department building’s lease should be terminated, and the Town Hall be razed. Imre Szauter noted this item for resolution, either by a recommendation to the Select Board or direct action by the Select Board.

Allan Clark stated that a reassessment of the previous Town Hall and fire department building renovation studies should be done and included in the decision-making process.

Allan Clark opened a discussion about considering a campus concept, in which public safety services are grouped in one building and all other functions in another. He suggested that the separation of public safety services (police and fire departments) from other functions might be more cost effective than constructing one larger building.

Allan Clark also offered that constructing two separate buildings might be accomplished in two separate phases, with the public safety services building the more immediate need and completed first. Some committee members felt this might create a situation where a public safety services building would be approved and an administrative building rejected by the voters, using the rational that the Town Hall should be renovated instead of replaced.

John Gardiner and Michael Hogan asked about planning for the library, Historical Society and food pantry functions in the same building as the administrative offices.

David Scalley, Jeremy Oleson and Paul Bussiere offered that a separate administrative building placed within sight of the US Route 3 and US Route 302 intersection might provide a favorable impression to all those passing through town. Allan Clark suggested placement of a visually-pleasant structure there could help create an identity for the town.

Imre Szauter asked if the committee, going forward, should refer to the building site as a “campus”, leaving open the possibility of community-oriented amenities being added in the future. John Gardiner and Paul Bussiere agreed that more flexibility and greater community support could result from a campus arrangement.

Allan Clark stated that provisioning a large community room for use during an emergency allows for the Emergency Management Director (EMD) to designate a community shelter separate from the Police and Fire Department functions. John Gardiner stated that there is a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under consideration between the town and the Omni Mount Washington Resort. The Omni Mount Washington Resort management is offering to shelter displaced town residents during a declared emergency, saving the town from having to care for a large number of residents.

David Scalley reported that feedback he has been getting from some residents is that the town continues to raise taxes while providing fewer services, specifically citing the Dec. 2016 closure of the gymnasium as an example.

Paul Bussiere stated he felt it is important that the police and fire departments should have direct access to US Route 3. Jeremy Oleson offered that direct access to either US Route 3 or US Route 302 would provide similar service call response times for both departments.

John Gardiner mentioned that continued trail access for the snowmobile club should be included in the plans.

Paul Bussiere asked about siding options for any new structures. Allan Clark stated that building options such as siding and roofing should be considered by the committee with input from the community. Creating a positive identity for the town is achievable and desirable through the proper selection of building style and materials.

Allan Clark asked about property and topographical surveys of the town property. David Scalley stated that Kellogg Gardner Surveying of Littleton has completed both surveys of the property.

Allan Clark stated that the needs of the police department, the fire department, the emergency operations center, and the administrative offices should be documented sooner than later, making the preliminary architectural work quicker and easier. The departments and offices should focus not only on current needs but should look into the future and plan for space and equipment needs accordingly. For example, the fire department should evaluate equipment currently in their apparatus bay and plan for additional equipment. The fire department training room may be one of the functions served by a multi-purpose room that can be equipped and partitioned for different needs. By establishing the needs now, the project can be designed using an “inside to outside” process, free of exterior constraints such as those encountered by the Franconia Public Safety Building design.

At a minimum, Allan Clark suggested the committee should look 25 years into the future for the preliminary design, and consider utilizing expansion of the building(s) beyond that. This would permit a 50-year design to be realized and would better serve the town than building only for today’s needs.

Imre Szauter stated he recently met with both Fire Chief Oleson and Police Chief Trammel to discuss their needs for their respective departments, using information gathered during December 2016, past design proposals, and anticipated growth within their departments. A crude bubble diagram was prepared for the fire department. John Trammel brought previous design proposals that he felt would meet his department’s needs.

Jeremy Oleson stated that the rough drawing captured most of what he envisions the fire department needs today and provides some planning for the future. John Trammel stated that two layout options captured in 2009 where still good starting points for the police department’s needs. He also spoke about his previous work with planning and designing the Charlestown, Rhode Island Police Department building, including what he referred to as the “hallway to nowhere”, a provision for future growth.

Allan Clark suggested that a similar exercise needs to be completed for the town offices and any other options that should be included in the building. He indicated he would prepare and bring to the next meeting RFPs (Requests for Proposal) for architectural services and engineering services. If the town already has arranged for the property survey and topo drawings, they can be used without expending additional funds.

Allan Clark suggested that the committee consider local architects and engineers that may have worked with the town previously.

Allan Clark asked about deadlines. Imre Szauter indicated that to place the Phase 2 issue before the voters on the 2018 warrant, the article must be submitted no later than the second week in January. Allan Clark suggested that having most of the Phase 1 work completed by early November would provide time to share the information (what the complex will look like, what size it will be, and the estimated cost) with the public prior to the holiday season. He also stated that presenting the conceptual plan during the summer for public input would allow time to incorporate ideas that would build stronger community support.

David Scalley suggested getting information out to the public sooner than later, including use of the Fire Department pancake breakfasts, the July 4th celebration, and the fishing derby.

Imre Szauter asked if another informational session should be planned soon to invite the public to review and discuss what’s been accomplished to date. Allan Clark emphasized that explaining the process is critical to the public’s understanding and assurance that the Building Committee and the Select Board are not planning in secret. Attendees agreed that Thursday, June 22 at 7:00 p.m. in Town Hall would be an acceptable date & time if nothing else is scheduled.

Paul Bussiere emphasized that two keys questions – project cost and the fate of the existing buildings – must be addressed as soon as practical, as many voters will remain wary until they have those questions answered.

David Scalley asked if the committee could prepare estimates of operational costs for a new complex so they could be compared to current expenses for the three existing facilities. He believes lower operational costs should be emphasized, as the new complex would be expected to serve for at least 50 years.

Imre Szauter asked attendees for input on firms that provide architectural, engineering and design-build services. He will distribute a short list gathered from several sources, including the New Hampshire Municipal Association.

Michael Hogan mentioned he contacted the USDA regarding loans and grants for municipal projects. He reviewed their process and some of the requirements for application, and stated there were no funds available for the remainder of this year.

The next meeting of the Building Committee is scheduled for Thursday, May 25 at 9:00 a.m. in Town Hall.

Imre Szauter made a motion, seconded by David Scalley, to adjourn the meeting. The vote to adjourn was unanimous.

The meeting adjourned at 2:49 p.m.

Minutes prepared by Imre Szauter.