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Minutes of Town Board Meetings

Minutes of 7/27/2017 APPROVED

August 4th, 2017

Town of Carroll Building Committee Meeting Minutes
July 27, 2017 @ 9:00 a.m.
Carroll Town Hall

Members and guests present: Allan Clark, John Gardiner, Greg Hogan, Ben Jellison, Janet Nelson, Jeremy Oleson, Terry Penner, David Scalley, Imre Szauter and John Trammell

The Building Committee (the “Committee”) meeting began at 9:05 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 June 22, 2017 meeting were discussed. John Gardiner made a motion, seconded by Janet Nelson, to approve the minutes as written. The vote was in favor of approval as written, with two abstentions.

The draft minutes of the June 22, 2017 information session were discussed. John Gardiner made a motion, seconded by John Trammell, to approve the minutes as written. The vote was in favor of approval as written, with two abstentions.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on the June 22nd informational session. Several members commented that attendance could have been better, as 22 people were present. Imre Szauter thanked Police Chief Trammell, Fire Chief Oleson, Emergency Management Director John Gardiner, and Project Manager Allan Clark for their participation in the presentation. Imre Szauter stated that Mike Finn, a resident of the Bretton Woods community, volunteered to join the Committee following the informational session.

Allan Clark opened a discussion and review of the process that is guiding the Committee toward the end goal of an energy-efficient, quality public safety and administrative offices facility. During Phase One, the Committee is working toward a conceptual design to house our police and fire departments, our administrative offices, and other functions such as library, historical society, and food pantry. In addition, a multi-purpose room of adequate size to host meetings for Select Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, and other public events should be included. Phase One should include the project’s cost estimate as well as the impact on the town’s tax rate. Using information collected from the various departments on space requirements, an architect will provide floor plan schematics to meet our needs and elevations to help visualize how the facility might look. In the end, the Committee must provide to the voters a plan for a facility that will support the town’s needs for many years to come, be extremely energy-efficient, attractive and low maintenance.

Allan Clark stated that a major focus of the Committee should not be technical in nature, but geared toward convincing voters this project is in their and the town’s best interest. A 2/3 (67%) majority vote is needed to pass Phase Two, during which a design-build company will finalize design specifications and construct the facility on a guaranteed not-to-exceed cost basis.

Allan Clark provided some background on the Franconia Public Safety Building project, stating that it received an 87% affirmative vote for funding after many years of previous attempts.

Allan Clark emphasized expansion of the Committee to include more citizen representation, as input from residents is critical to community acceptance and project credibility. With more citizen involvement, the Committee will have more opportunities to listen to community concerns and feedback.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on the civil engineering RFP. Allan Clark instead suggested a review of the topographical survey completed by Kellogg Surveying and Mapping of Littleton. He referenced a posted survey with 10 foot elevation increments highlighted and the wetlands area on the east side of the property shaded for clarity. The test pits dug on the property revealed good soil types for construction with no ledge detected. Because the soil is so porous, septic system design may be somewhat more complex.

With the topographical survey completed, Allan Clark stated that storm drainage would be one critical item for a civil engineer to address, as requirements to mitigate rapid water runoff during and after a storm are complex. Together with septic system considerations, he felt contracting with a civil engineer on an hourly basis would provide the Committee with valuable insight.

Terry Penner asked if other possible building sites had been considered. John Trammell responded that over the past several years, other sites had been evaluated but all indications pointed to the 13-acre parcel next to the current Town Hall as the most economical and centrally-located location for a new facility. Allan Clark added that the site’s size also offers future opportunities for growth, based on town needs and community input.

David Scalley commented that he has received positive feedback on a campus concept that allows for community spaces and activities. The campus concept could evolve over time from a master plan for the entire parcel of land.

Terry Penner asked about the viability of reusing the existing Town Hall. Imre Szauter mentioned that George Brodeur’s 2014 analysis indicated that necessary renovations for life-safety and code compliance would be expensive, and would not address the needs of the police and fire departments.

Allan Clark raised the issue of repurposing the fire department building, as this was a question presented at the June 22nd informational session. He commented that he spent several hours researching the status of the structure and has determined that it is not feasible to convert it into a new Town Hall. Discussion followed about having Allan Clark prepare a short report outlining the impediments to economically renovating the fire department building, and include a reference to the previous analysis by George Brodeur on renovation costs for Town Hall.

Terry Penner asked if the current fire department building had been evaluated for possible reuse as a separate emergency services (i.e., EMS/ambulance) facility. Allan Clark stated that based on his research, all the non-compliances and deficiencies he has identified would have to be address for any future tenant, so he believes it is not good economic policy to repurpose the building for any other town function.

Ben Jellison endorsed inclusion of a reference to George Brodeur’s 2014 renovation analysis in a brief report by Allan Clark on the current fire department building, so as to demonstrate the Committee has been thorough in its examination of all options. The report would prove valuable for anyone asking about repurposing either Town Hall or the fire department building. Attendees approved and Allan Clark agreed to prepare the report.

Allan Clark suggested that instead of a formal civil engineering RPF, he believes an informal arrangement for a civil engineer to evaluate the town property would save money and time. Attendees agreed.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on the Architectural Services RFP that Allan Clark distributed to four firms. Two firms, Stewart Associates Architects LLC and Alba Architects LLP submitted written proposals, one firm declined to submit a proposal, and another firm did not respond.

Allan Clark reviewed both proposals for attendees. He highlighted his professional experience with both architects and firms, and stated the Committee would not be disappointed working with either firm. The cost of each proposal should be considered when making a recommendation to the Select Board. Allan Clark noted that neither proposal included cost estimation of the project, which isn’t an issue as far as he is concerned.

Terry Penner asked if the package produced by either firm would be used to market the project to the town’s voters. Allan Clark responded that it would, as conceptual design, renderings and elevations will serve as the main exhibit for the Building Committee during the February 2018 deliberative session.

Janet Nelson asked if Allan Clark had received any feedback from clients of either firm. Allan Clark stated he had experience working with Alba Architects LLP on several projects and found their work very satisfactory.

David Scalley asked if the Committee was looking to select one firm during this meeting. Imre Szauter answered that he would like the Committee to make a recommendation to the Select Board at their July 31st meeting on which firm (if so voted by the Committee) to retain.

Following a discussion on each proposal, Jeremy Oleson made a motion, seconded by John Trammell, to recommend to the Town of Carroll Select Board that Stewart Associates Architects LLC be retained as the Phase One architectural firm to develop the conceptual design, renderings and elevations, subject to a revision in the Agreement for Architectural Services that the Town of Carroll would retain ownership rights to all work produced by the architect, and submission of a satisfactory Certificate of Liability Insurance.

During the discussion that followed the motion, David Scalley asked that both proposals be made available to the Selectmen immediately after this meeting. Imre Szauter responded that he and Maryclare Quigley, town administrative assistant, would be sure to make both proposals available in hardcopy and electronic format.

At the conclusion of the motion’s discussion, a vote was taken. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion. Imre Szauter will prepare the recommendation and forward it to Maryclare Quigley, town administrative assistant, for placement on the July 31st Select Board’s agenda.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion under “Other”.

Terry Penner asked how plans for growth at Bretton Woods might impact planning for public safety services. He stated that insurance rates for Bretton Woods residents are higher now because of the distance to the fire department. Jeremy Oleson replied planning for a potential fire department substation should be included in any growth plans out east.

Janet Nelson endorsed the report that Allan Clark will create on the existing fire department building and Town Hall, as she believes they will help residents understand the need for new facilities.

John Gardiner acknowledged Ben Jellison’s participation at the meeting and encouraged him to share what he learned with his family and friends in the community. He also commented on the decline in the number of small businesses and lodging establishments in town, noting that a new public safety and administrative offices facility might spur investors to acquire some of the shuttered properties and reopen/repurpose the buildings.

David Scalley asked Ben Jellison about the number of voters who typically turn out for an election. Ben Jellison suggested about 200 voters would be a good number to use, meaning that for approval of the project’s Phase Two, about 135 affirmative votes would be needed. David Scalley also encouraged anyone with concerns about the town to attend the Monday evening Select Board meetings to voice their opinions.

Allan Clark suggested the next Committee meeting should be held August 3rd instead of August 10th. Therefore, the next Committee meeting will be Thursday, August 3 at 9:00 a.m. in Town Hall.

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

The meeting adjourned at 10:12 a.m.

Minutes prepared by Imre Szauter.