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Minutes of 12/14/2017 APPROVED

January 4th, 2018

Town of Carroll Building Committee Meeting Minutes
December 14, 2017 @ 9:00 a.m.
Carroll Town Hall

Members present: Tadd Bailey, Mike Finn, John Gardiner, Michael Hogan, Susan Kraabel, Janet Nelson, Michelle Palys, Lois Pesman, Imre Szauter, and Rena Vecchio

Professional staff present: Allan Clark, project manager

Guests present: Dianne Hogan and Kelly Trammell

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. 30th draft meeting minutes were discussed. John Gardiner made a motion, seconded by Michael Hogan, to approve the minutes as written. The motion passed with one abstention.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on the project brochure; he turned the floor over to Allan Clark. Allan Clark stated that the version presented today was the final draft version, subject to revision to the budget numbers and any deficiencies noted today.

There were no changes suggested for the brochure cover (panel #1).

On panel #2, Findings of Committee Concerning Existing Buildings, Allan Clark noted the change from “Town Administrative Building” to “Town Administration Building”.

On panel #3, Findings and Recommendations of Building Committee, Allan Clark noted changing from “Town Administrative Building” to “Town Administration Building” and rounding of the square footage numbers for several spaces.

Janet Nelson asked about the use of “administrative” and “administration”. Imre Szauter explained he asked Allan Clark to change all “administrative building” references to “administration building” and leave all references to the office spaces as “administrative”.

Michael Hogan suggested removal of “(no change)” from bullet item #4, sub-bullet items #2 and #3.

Michelle Palys commented that providing more information offers a chance for dialog with brochure readers. She suggested that bullet item #5 is redundant, as the Community Room square footage is provided above it. She also commented that the cost estimates and financial information should be simplified and displayed more prominently.

Allan Clark referred to a handout of suggested changes for bullet item #8. Discussion followed regarding the differences between the “campus concept” and the “building concept” as used in the brochure and the best way to present the possible expansion of these new facilities (if needed) many years into the future.

Kelly Trammell suggested adding the EMA (Emergency Management Administration) function to those included in the Public Safety Building so readers will better understand the need for the square footage proposed for the fire department.

Allan Clark summarized the discussion on panel #3 by suggesting the following
 deleting bullet item #5
 adding “about 150 occupants” to bullet item #4, sub-bullet item #4
 adding a new bullet item #5 that reads:
• Space needs for the Public Safety Building were determined as follows:
 Fire and EMA Departments – 9,800 sq.ft.
 Police Department: 3,200 sq.ft.
 deleting bullet items #6 and #7
 rewording bullet item #12
 adding bullet item #13 that reads:
• The Committee unanimously recommends that the Town approve the planning, financing and construction of a Town Administration Building with a Community Room and separate Public Safety Building.

Michelle Palys asked about repurposing of the existing Town Hall. Allan Clark explained that the Committee is simply recommending that the existing Town Hall be repurposed but isn’t involved in how that should occur. That issue is best left to the Select Board, town residents and businesses, and the voters.

Allan Clark pointed out that the brochure was designed to highlight the findings and recommendations of the Committee regarding the future of town facilities. Early on, the Committee determined that hiring a project manager and an architect to develop specifications and provide conceptual drawings was the appropriate method to evaluate current and future needs of the police department, fire department, and town administrative services. If the project is approved by the voters in March 2018, the Committee will recommend hiring a construction manager to translate the design specifications and concepts into reality.

On panel #4, under Proposed Public Safety Building, attendees requested the following:
 adding “and Emergency Operations” after “Fire” on bullet item #9
 changing “9,900 sq.ft.” to “9,800 sq.ft.” on bullet item #9
On panel #4, under Proposed Public Safety Building, attendees requested the following:
 deleting “same as existing” from bullet item #4
 adding “Historical Society – 250 sq.ft.” after bullet item #4

Susan Kraabel asked about the size of the current Town Hall. Imre Szauter provided the current square footage of the offices, storage spaces, meeting room, library, food pantry and gymnasium.

On panel #5, Town of Carroll Municipal Building Committee, Allan Clark noted several changes from the previous draft version. No additional changes were proposed.

On panel #6, Expected Project Cost and Financial Impact, Allan Clark noted a change in the order of several bullet items and the addition of an example of the impact on a property valued at $100,000. The “Town of Carroll Building Committee” listing was updated as well.

At the conclusion of the brochure discussion, Michael Hogan made a motion, seconded by Mike Finn, to authorize Imre Szauter to approve the final version of the brochure for production. The vote was unanimous.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on the project final preliminary specifications. Allan Clark stated that his office is reviewing the final version for accuracy and will release it as soon as it is completed. Instead of making paper copies for the Committee, Imre Szauter will post the final version as a PDF on the Google Drive and email Committee members when it is posted.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on financing options. He stated that on Dec. 7th, Allan Clark, Michael Hogan and he met with representatives of the USDA (US Dept. of Agriculture) to discuss loan and grant programs administered by the agency. Although the town cannot submit a formal application for funds without voter approval of the project, the meeting was still informative and worthwhile. Imre Szauter reported the current USDA loan rate is 3.5% and that grant opportunities are limited (likely under $30,000). Allen Clark added that the Town could apply to the USDA for grants to cover items that might not have been included in the project’s budget, but funds would still be limited to small dollar amounts.

Imre Szauter cautioned that higher costs and project delays might result from seeking funding through the USDA, as project inspections and paperwork would add to the cost and schedule. Michael Hogan added that the services of a bond attorney would be required and the additional paperwork must be added to the soft costs of the project.

Allan Clark stated that the current rate with the New Hampshire Municipal Bond Bank (NHMBB) is approximately 3.5%. One advantage of financing with the NHMBB may be less overhead than would be required with USDA.

Allan Clark offered that community banks may be able to offer the most attractive project financing rates. He recommended that following voter approval, an RFP (Request for Proposal) be created and distributed to local banks. This would provide the Select Board with options if one or more of the local banks responded to the RFP with a favorable financing package.

Kelly Trammell asked if community banks would permit early loan payoff and/or renegotiation of the terms of the note. Allan Clark replied that community banks typically permit early payoffs and renegotiation of the loan terms (period and/or interest rate) during the life of the loan.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion of grant opportunities. He mentioned that during the Dec. 7th meeting with the USDA they learned of the existence of the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), a Federal-State partnership for economic and community development within the most distressed counties of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. Allan Clark read the mission statement of the NBRC from their website: “The mission of the Northern Border Regional Commission is to catalyze regional, collaborative, and transformative community economic development approaches that alleviate economic distress and position the region for economic growth.” Imre Szauter reminded attendees of the extensive list of grant-making organizations created and distributed by Allan Clark at a previous meeting.

Imre Szauter reported on the status of the required bond hearing for the project. Whether the Town elects to use the NHMMB or not, a public hearing is required to announce the project as the anticipated cost is over $100,000. At the Dec. 11th Select Board meeting, the bond hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in Town Hall. This meeting will precede the budget hearing.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on providing a recommendation to the Select Board for wording on the project warrant article. He stated that as authorized by the Committee at the last meeting, he submitted recommended wording for the project warrant article. The intent was to provide the Select Board with a basis for the project scope and possible funding sources to reduce the overall project cost. In the draft warrant articles, he suggested using $230,000 from the New Land & Building Capital Reserve Fund to help offset the project’s cost.

John Gardiner, in his capacity as a Library Trustee and Treasurer, explained that a recent vote by the Library Board resulted in a recommendation to allocate $20,000 from the Library Improvement Capital Reserve Fund toward the project. A Dec. 6th letter was sent to the Select Board informing them of their recommendation.

When combined with the New Land & Building Capital Reserve Fund recommended amount, the funding recommendation to the Select Board totaled $250,000. Other sources of revenue may be identified before the final warrant article is created and approved by the Select Board, further reducing the amount to be financed for the project.

John Gardiner mentioned a previous discussion on using funds from the Road Improvement Capital Reserve Fund. Imre Szauter replied that pushback during that meeting resulted in him dropping that fund as a possible revenue source in the draft warrant articles.

Janet Nelson asked about using funds from the Computer Technology Capital Reserve Fund. Imre Szauter replied that the fund was so small that it wasn’t worth including in the recommendation to the Select Board.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on the Jan. 18th informational session. Because the bond hearing has been set by the Select Board for Tuesday, Jan. 9th at 6:00 p.m. in Town Hall, the originally-chosen date for the fourth and final information session does not change. There was a concern that if the bond hearing was scheduled to immediately precede the informational session, both events would have to be scheduled prior to Jan. 17th. Imre Szauter will arrange with Maryclare Quigley to advertise the informational session in both the Coos County Democrat and the Caledonian Record.

Imre Szauter suggested the Committee meet briefly the morning of Jan. 18th to finalize the PowerPoint presentation and any other items needed for the informational session. Attendees agreed to a 9:00 a.m. meeting in Town Hall; a reminder will be sent to Committee members and guests before the meeting.

Imre Szauter mentioned recent photographs taken at the police and fire departments to highlight the facility deficiencies. John Gardiner asked if some or all of the photographs would be printed out for viewing. Imre Szauter replied his intention was to provide some of the photos, along with descriptions of the deficiencies, for use by Jeremy Oleson and John Trammell during their portion of the presentation. Additionally, some of the photos could be printed out and posted outside the meeting room for informational session attendees to view before and after the session.

Susan Kraabel asked if there were any plans to reference the need for a fire department ladder truck, in light of the recent fire at Bretton Woods. Imre Szauter responded that a ladder truck was mentioned at the September informational session during the discussion on the sizing of the fire department apparatus bay. Jeremy Oleson might mention a ladder truck again at the January informational session and may choose to reference the Bretton Woods condominium fire.

John Gardiner mentioned recent expansion plans announced by the Omni Mount Washington Resort. Michael Hogan highlighted some of the details that were introduced during a recent Planning Board meeting. The plans call for additional rooms to be added to the resort, to the right of the existing building and unseen from the entrance, and a wedding venue at the top of the mountain and an eight-person enclosed gondola lift on the ski side.

Michelle Palys suggested that mentioning future business growth and expansion of the property tax base may convince some voters of the additional benefits derived from the project. She pointed out that business owner may view a new Public Safety Building and Town Hall as the community investing in itself and its future, and be more willing bring or expand businesses in the area.

Imre Szauter opened a discussion on the proposed January mailing of brochures by Mailings Unlimited to registered voters. He summarized his conversation with Liz Taylor:
 1,000 8.5” x 14” double-sided color brochures to be printed and folded
 552 brochures placed in oversized envelopes and mailed at the pre-sorted first class postage rate of $0.38 each to verified addresses from a list already provided
 the remaining brochures and envelopes sent to the Town for local use
 estimated cost is $1,054.00

Michael Hogan made a motion, seconded by Tadd Bailey, to proceed with the brochure printing and mailing by Mailings Unlimited in January under the terms and costs discussed. With no additional discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Allan Clark asked what paper would be used for the printed brochures. Imre Szauter replied that he would ask Liz Taylor to make sure they use appropriate paper stock for the brochure so the double-sided color printing does not bleed through the paper.

Imre Szauter commented that he requested that Mailings Unlimited invoice the Town in 2017 for the printing and mailing costs, so the 2017 miscellaneous expenses account could be used. He added that Maryclare Quigley had included in the 2018 budget request an additional Building Committee $2,500 line item for miscellaneous expenses. Those funds will be needed for advertising the fourth informational session and any other expenses associated with the Committee’s work during the year.

Under other issues, Imre Szauter:
• Summarized the Dec. 11th Committee report to the Select Board.
• 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.

Imre Szauter summarized current action items:
1) Post approved Nov. 30th meeting minutes on the town website and Google Drive (Imre Szauter)
2) Continue working with Police and Fire Departments on Jan. 18th informational session presentation (Imre Szauter)
3) Finalize informational trifold brochure (Allan Clark and Imre Szauter)

Attendees agreed the next regular Committee meeting would be held on Thursday, Jan. 4th at 9:00 a.m. in Town Hall and a brief meeting to finalize the informational session presentation would be held on Thursday, Jan. 18th at 9:00 a.m. in Town Hall.

Imre Szauter noted the next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on Monday, Jan. 8th at 7:00 p.m. in Town Hall. All warrant articles will be finalized at that meeting.

Imre Szauter polled attendees for any closing remarks.

Kelly Trammell announced that the Select Board-approved Community Room Usage and Rental Policy will be posted on the Town website. This document will provide guidance on public and private use of the Community Room if the project is approved by the voters.

Allan Clark announced that he will provide at the next meeting a one-page document on the proposed project financing for review and discussion. He will also provide a single-page document on the project budget and the estimated impact on the property tax rate.

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

The meeting adjourned at 10:32 a.m.

Minutes prepared by Imre Szauter.