Committee Mtgs Town Hall Committee

RCL Town Hall Committee July 2015 Notes


1.  Non-public sessions were conducted after this meeting and the prior one.  Discussion was apparently regarding acquisition of a new site for Town Hall.  A Special Town Meeting may be needed to approve that.
2.  Reasons for failure of $4.1 million Town Hall warrant article in 2015 were discussed.  Opposition e-mail from a builder in Rye, and a letter to the editor opposing the project from the former Chairman of the Town Hall Committee were discussed.
3.  Work session was conducted with representatives of the UNH Survey Center regarding an upcoming survey of Rye residents on Town Hall issue.  Questions discussed included:
a.  The importance to Town residents of preserving historical features of the existing building.
b.  The possibility of demolishing the existing Town Hall.
c.  The feasibility of continuing to use the Rye Schools for elections while school is in session.


1.  Recent e-mails between Town Hall Committee members have violated the right-to-know law.  In the future, discussions between Town Hall Committee members will need to occur during public meetings.
2.  Further work session was conducted with UNH Survey Center on resident questionnaire on Town Hall.
3.  Survey results are expected by mid- to late-September.


1.  The survey was essentially finalized.  A final draft will be circulated by e-mail, with responses only to Town Finance Director Cyndi Gillespie to maintain compliance with the right-to-know law.  The final version will be sent to the UNH Survey Center by the Town Hall Committee Chairman by the end of the week.
2.  There was extensive discussion regarding how to present the tax impact and ascertain residents’ willingness to accept various levels of taxation to pay for Town Hall.
3.  It was revealed that Hutter, the low bidder for the Town Hall project in early 2015, estimated that $950,000 of it’s approximately $3.3 million bid was related to renovation of the existing building, with the remainder relating to the new building.  The warrant article amount of $4.1 million exceeded the bid amount due to contingencies and costs to be borne by the Town directly, rather than the contractor.
4.  The $4.1 million warrant article in 2015 did not include $350,000 in expenditures (primarily with architects) previously approved by voters.  The total project cost thus would have been $4.45 million.  Any revised project is likely to require the expenditure of additional architectural costs.