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RCL Notes of the December 10th BOS meeting

Printable version:  RCL BOS 12-10-12 Meeting Notes

NOTES OF DECEMBER 10, 2012 RYE BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING

Final Revision B – Provided by the Rye Civic League

Present:  Selectmen Jenness, Musselman and Mills.  Also present:  Michael Magnant and Cindi Gillespie.

Also present:  Joey Cresta, Portsmouth Herald

Approval of minutes

The minutes of the November 5, 2012 work session relating to assessments were approved unanimously.  The minutes of the November 14, 2012 meeting were approved unanimously with changes. The minutes of November 26, 2012 meeting were approved unanimously with changes.  The minutes of the November 26, 2012 non-public session were approved unanimously without changes.

Approval of Dragon for 2013 Mosquito control contract

Ted Merritt of the Mosquito Control Commission addressed the issue.  The Commissioners unanimously recommend renewal.  For the past 4 years Dragon has done a wonderful job, he said.  The low bidder was actually $350 less, a very small difference on an $89,000 contract, he said.  Selectman Musselman commented that the other bidder had proposed renaming the Commission and having it get into marsh management.  This was contentious issue, especially with the Conservation Commission.  The Town Administrator was unanimously authorized to enter into the $89,900 contract.

Repair of the Flash Jenness Little League Field

Lee Arthur addressed this issue.  There is a safety hazard with a 4000 sq. ft. portion of the field due to a minor height difference.  The Town’s insurance company evaluated it and said that the threat is not an immediate one, however repairing the field can improve play.  She recommends that the Town permit the Little League to repair the field, at no cost to the Town.  She explained that over time the “infill mix” has raised the height of the infield.  The Little League field is one of the top one or two in the state, however, this could be an issue with outfielders coming into the infield.

After Selectman Musselman moved to approve the repair, pending review of the contractor’s insurance, Selectman Mills joked that an apology was owed to his kids.  He said that they had missed an opportunity to play in the Major Leagues due to the problem with the field.  He could be living in a mansion, he said.  He said he cannot get over the letter.  Even the insurance guy said that it’s no big deal.  The team lost the championship 2 times in the last 10 years.  Perhaps this could now be appealed because of the inadequacy of the field, he said.

The motion to approve the field carried unanimously.

Town Hall registration with State Register of Historic Places

Sara Hall of the Heritage Commission addressed this issue.  She stated that following revisions requested by Selectman Musselman, the application was sent to the State.  On October 24, 2012 it was determined that the building was eligible for listing.  Some changes to the inventory had been requested.  The forms certifying that the Town owned the building that were provided to Town Administrator Magnant were sent to Town Attorney Donovan, who raised some questions regarding restrictions on alterations to the building.  In response, a communication from the State was received, essentially stating what is on the Register’s web site:  that there are no restrictions.  Selectman Jenness read the letter, indicating that the owner was free to maintain, manage or dispose of the building as it saw fit.  Selectman Musselman moved to authorize the Chairman to sign the application.  Selectman Mills interjected that Michael Mittelman had wanted to put the building on the National Register.  That was different.  There would have been restrictions in the case of the National Register.  The motion to authorize carried unanimously.

Selectman Jenness then suggested that the document be signed immediately.  Sara Hall, after asking permission to approach the Selectmen, provided the document, and it was signed.

Pole Petitions on Sagamore Rd. and Ocean Blvd.

Public Words Director Dennis McCarthy addressed these issues.  He has no problem with the one on Sagamore Rd., however he does not believe that the one on Ocean Blvd. is required as no pole was installed when a new house was built there.  The Sagamore Rd. pole was approved unanimously, the one on Ocean Blvd. was tabled.

Letter of November 28, 2012 from Victor Azzi regarding Space Needs Committee report

Selectman Jenness noted that a letter had been received from Mr. Azzi as a follow up to discussions at the November 26, 2012 Board of Selectmen meeting.  The letter stated that Space Needs Committee (“SNC”) Chairman Ned Paul had promised that Mr. Azzi’s written remarks would be included in appendices.  She asked Mr. Azzi, who was in the audience, whether it was correct that these had not been included.

Mr. Azzi responded that it was.  He asked the Selectmen to review the material and see if it was opinionated or divisive as Mr. Paul had asserted.  He indicated that there were three documents, dated October 9, 2012, October 26, 2012, and during November.  Selectman Jenness noted that she knew everyone had read the first piece.  She didn’t know about the second piece.  The third piece may not have been seen by the SNC as it is dated after their final meeting.  Mr. Azzi responded that this had been sent to each person on the distribution list.

Mr. Azzi discussed he process.  He had not even known Chairman Paul beforehand, he said.  At the first SNC meeting, Mr. Paul had taken the initiative and stated that he was looking forward to Mr. Azzi’s participation in the activities, as he thought that he had a lot to say and contribute.  Editor’s note:  Mr. Azzi had been a key member of the committee responsible for the Public Safety Building.  While Mr. Azzi had not been appointed as a member of the SNC he attended many of their meetings.  Mr. Paul had encouraged him to put his remarks in writing, Mr. Azzi continued.  He took the extra time and effort to do so, he said.  However, after he obtained a copy of the draft report he did not see the material that Mr. Paul had promised to include.

Mr. Azzi continued, expressing concerns with parts of the report.  The cost analysis was drastically flawed, he said.  The analysis of the Public Safety Building was both flawed and prejudicial, he said.  Editor’s note:  Mr. Azzi had estimated the cost of construction at that facility to be $80 per square foot, while Peter Kasnet, a member of the SNC, had estimated $200.  The two figures were averaged, arriving at $140 per square foot.  Mr. Azzi continued, stating that having the meeting room off limits begs for a reaction from uninterested parties.  Editor’s note:  a meeting room in the basement of the Public Safety Building is not generally available for Town meetings due to the absence of secure access.  Mr. Azzi derided the suggestion that the absence of access could be justified by the events of September 11, 2001.

Mr. Azzi stated that Mr. Paul had indicated that his contribution was not “PC,” which means “politically correct,” he said.  Mr. Paul had said that the remarks were divisive and opinionated, as reported by Joey Cresta, who is in the audience.  Mr. Azzi asked whether the contributions were opinionated and divisive.

While he supports a project on the Town Hall site, he does not support shoddy work and “PC” excuses.  The achievement of consensus is not likely if something is missing.

Selectman Jenness stated that she did not recall hearing about his contributions being divisive and opinionated.  She thought that Mr. Azzi had contributed a great deal, she said.  She doesn’t know why his material is not in the appendices.

Selectman Musselman commented that Mr. Azzi’s reaction had come out of the blue.  He thinks that Mr. Azzi should declare victory.  Everyone needs to move forward and get over a number of things, he said.  He agrees with every single thing said in the first 44 points.  Selectman Musselman stated that he had said some of the same things last April.  He thinks that Mr. Azzi reaches the correct conclusions, however, he shouldn’t be calling things flawed.

From Point 45 on, Mr. Musselman stated that he has some issues.  He agrees that the cost estimates are not real.  They could not be.  A figure of $150 per gross square foot (“GSF”) should not be thrown around.  Stating that the Public Safety Building was $129/GSF is not helpful to the process.  Also, that seems to conflict with the $180/GSF.  He continued, stating that Mr. Azzi had made a marvelous case for a stand-alone building.  At this point they’re not going into detail on that at all.  What appeared to have been a personal argument with the committee may have rankled some people.  Why not put points 1 to 44 in the report and declare victory?

Mr. Azzi explained that, since most of the people in the SNC meetings didn’t have an understanding of the costs, he though he would take something familiar and use that.  With regard to credentials, he doesn’t pick fights, but he won’t run away from them either.  He never said anything to anyone about his credentials.  In some of the meetings the concerned citizens were listening quietly.  The meetings would start at 6:30 p.m. and some time at the end was promised for public comment.  With the meeting scheduled to end at 8:30 p.m., perhaps there might be an opportunity for comment starting at 8:15 p.m.  Then, at 8:29 p.m., one of the members whose sole responsibility seemed to be to tell people that it was time to go home would move for adjournment.  Nobody went away happy.

But that was OK.  It was when one of the committee members said “why are we wasting time listening to these people.  They can’t have anything important to say,” that he took personal affront.  Most of the concerned citizens spent more time on issues than most of the members.

Cecilia Azzi interjected that the word “credentials” had been used.  The issue of the credibility of the concerned citizens had arisen, she confirmed.

Selectman Musselman stated that he could see what was going on by reading between the lines.  He hoped that everyone can find a way to deal with hurt feelings.

Ms. Azzi continued, stating that construction costs are important as decisions were being made on options.

Selectman Musselman stated that, if costs were used, it was premature.  These need to be taken into account as the process moves forward, he said.

Mr. Azzi responded regarding the point on costs.  Nobody gets far without at least ballpark cost estimates.  Someone will ask why $135,000 is needed.

Selectman Jenness stated that they will have to be very careful not to undo good work.  Everyone was working hard without any money allocated.  There’s been a lot of talk about the concerned citizens in lower case versus the Concerned Citizens in upper case.  Everyone in town is a concerned citizen.  Mr. Azzi’s materials will be included with the minutes of tonight’s meeting.

Acceptance of weapons lights donation

Police Chief Kevin Walsh addressed this issue.  A lot of recent calls have been at night.  Recently there was a 12-18 hour day worked for two situations.  Flashlights are cumbersome.  Editor’s note:  this is an apparent reference to a standoff on Pioneer Rd. and a suicide at Rye Harbor, following a standoff with police, during the summer.

Selectman Mills asked why three lights were being donated.  Chief Walsh responded that there are 3 rifles, one in each vehicle.  The night when the situations were in progress, all officers but two were on duty.  Five cruisers were in use.

Selectman Musselman commented that it was too bad that one of the policemen had to make the donation.  The motion to approve acceptance of the lights carried unanimously.

Approval of parking

Chief Sullivan requested approval of parking of 6-8 cars on Town land adjacent to 619 Washington Rd. on December 22.  He stated that there was to be a celebration for a returning Navy Seal.  Selectman Jenness noted that nobody had a problem.

Continuation of Budget Work Session

Library Budget

Cindi Gillespie advised that the final figure for COLA was 2.3 percent.  Editor’s note:  COLA stands for cost of living adjustment, a factor apparently used to adjust wages in certain union contracts.  This figure, Ms. Gillespie continued, will result in a reduction from last year of 1.7 percent for department operations prior to capital outlays.  This is based on the budget committee recommendations.  The only difference between the recommendations is now the Library.

Karen Oliver, Chairman of the Library Trustees then spoke.  She noted the increased employee benefits.  They have excelled on the budget the past few years.  She believes that the Budget Committee’s approval is a pat on the back.

Ms. Gillespie noted that the original budget for the Library was $611,239.  The Selectmen had approved $588,506.  This had been taken out of the media lines.  That number had been based on a 3.5 percent COLA.  With the lower COLA, the library budget would be $606,883.  Selectman Musselman asked whether the Selectmen needed to take action.  Ms. Gillespie answered in the affirmative.  This would be needed for a presentation to the Budget Committee on Thursday.  Selectman Musselman asked whether the Selectmen could approve a lower figure.  Ms. Gillespie responded that they could, but then they would not be able to say that the Selectmen had approved the budget.

Ms. Gillespie recommended that they go with a figure of $8,024,541 for the budget, a 1.7 percent reduction in operating cost, a 1.74 increase with capital items.

Selectman Musselman moved to change the library line item, and to approve the budget.  The motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Oliver noted that, even with that, the Library has decreased as a percentage of the Town budget.  Library Director Andy Richmond noted that that has been the case since 2009.

Amendment to Beach Ordinance

An article to amend the beach ordinance, section 8(c) to prohibit organized events such as surf camps without Board of Selectmen approval was discussed.  Mr. Magnant indicated that this was a “first crack.”  He had spoken with Town Attorney Donovan.  Sometimes talking with an attorney is like talking with an engineer.  After discussion regarding waivers of liability releasing the vendor but not the Town, Mr. Donovan expressed concerns with other wording in the Beach Ordinance.

Selectman Musselman indicated that the word “etc.” should not be used in a warrant article.  He asked whether races required insurance or waivers.  Police Chief Walsh responded that races and events at the Seacoast Science Center required that the Town be listed as an additional insured.

Selectman Jenness asked what the reference to “Town Beach” meant.  Does that mean other than State beaches?  Mr. Magnant responded that Attorney Donovan had the same question.  Selectman Jenness stated that there is a concern with a bus full of people arriving at Sawyers Beach and crowding townspeople out.  Selectman Mills stated that the parking ordinance has no restrictions on the size of vehicles.  A large truck could park.  Selectman Jenness continued, stating that every year there are new inventions relating to how to use the water.  Fire Chief Sullivan indicated that there were complaints last summer from Rye residents.  Selectman Mills recalled that on Wallis Sands Beach at Wallis Rd. the Town had done something to prevent volleyball.  Selectman Musselman asked whether kayaking businesses should be added to the list.

Amendment to parking ordinance (roads near Jenness Beach)

The next warrant article was one to amend the parking ordinance, section 3 relating to the Jenness Beach precinct.  No parking areas that have been enforced for many years include Richard Rd., Browns Ct. and Power Ave.  These will be added as a housekeeping matter.  The motion to approve that warrant article carried unanimously.  Selectman Mills commented that the sixteenth house demolition of the year would be occurring on one of the streets.  Alex Herlihy, a Town resident in the audience, stated that the seventeenth, on Straw’s Point, would occur Thursday.

Abandonment of roadbed near Foyes’ Corner

A warrant article to approve the abandonment of an old roadbed, no longer required after the State relocated the road near Foyes Corner, carried unanimously.  It involves 7244 sq. ft. of land, as described on a plan of 25 Sagamore Rd., dated January 18, 2012.  Tax map 24, lot 21.

Numeric tallies of votes on warrant articles

A warrant article suggested by Selectman Mills, requiring a numeric tally of Board of Selectmen and Budget Committee votes for or against warrant articles was discussed.  Selectman Musselman asked what the purpose was, inasmuch as most voters are not at the deliberative session.  Was it to show that the matter was controversial?

Warrant article on six wheel dump truck

This warrant article would withdraw $135,000 from the 1994 Highway Equipment Capital Reserve to purchase a six wheel dump truck.  Selectman Mills stated that he spoke with “Paul,” and that the “books” are no longer kept.  Editor’s note:  This is an apparent reference to maintenance records that Selectman Mills had inquired about at a prior meeting.  Public Works Director Dennis McCarthy indicated that the truck to be replaced is the oldest of the three.  All of the trucks have been through and were repainted where access is available.  They are trying to replace the trucks when they are 15 years old.  The CIP program has been set up at level funding of $100,000 annually.  In response to a question from Selectman Musselman, Mr. McCarthy indicated that inflation had not been taken into account, as this would be too difficult.  There is $176,000 in the account currently.

Selectman Mills asked whether there would be an immediate collapse if there’s another mild winter like the last one.  Mr. McCarthy indicated that one of the truck replacements could be pushed out to 2015, however they want to replace the truck before it breaks down.  The truck that is to be replaced is only used during the winter.  Selectman Mills stated that he cannot go along with replacement of the dump truck this year.

Selectman Musselman indicated that the $220,000 for the front end loader and the dump truck could both be pushed out a year.  However, as Selectman Mills is still suggesting that $100,000 in additional funding for the Highway Equipment Capital Reserve still be provided, there would be no reduction in the tax rate.  Selectman Mills indicated that he is shocked at the prices of dump trucks now.  He asked whether the trucks were being washed after usage.  Mr. McCarthy replied that the trucks are washed upon their return, unless it is still snowing.  Selectman Musselman indicated that the effect of postponing the purchase would be to save one year of use 15 years from now.

A motion to approve the dump truck warrant article initially passed on a 2-1 vote, Selectmen Musselman and Jenness voting yes, and Selectman Mills no.  Selectman Mills then stated that Selectman Jenness should have recused herself as her son works for the Public Works Department.  If she had done that the motion would have failed, he said.  Mr. McCarthy interjected that this is not a truck that Selectman Jenness’ son drives.  Selectman Jenness stated that she would recuse herself.  Upon a revote, Selectman Musselman voted in favor.  Selectman Mills then called upon Selectman Jenness to vote.  She continued to abstain, stating that she is always the one to be in the middle.  Selectman Mills stated that he didn’t want to turn the truck down on that basis.  Selectman Jenness stated that Selectman Mills wanted only to go on record as having opposed the dump truck, but he still wanted the Town to purchase it.  Selectman Musselman stated that if Selectman Mills were to abstain that there would be no valid vote.  Selectman Mills then voted to abstain.

Highway Equipment Capital Reserve

The discussion then turned to Article B, the raising of $100,000 to fund the Highway Equipment Capital Reserve.  The Selectmen unanimously approved that warrant article.  Selectman Mills commented that he likes to have money in the bank, but doesn’t like to withdraw it.

Online video streaming

Article C, to provide $4000 for on-line streaming and archival of meetings, including the Board of Selectmen, the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Planning Board, was then discussed.  Televising would be provided only of meetings conducted in the Town Hall Courtroom.  Selectman Musselman briefly suggested that the money simply be funded from the budget rather than as a warrant article.  Town Administrator Magnant reminded Selectman Musselman about the change needed relative to 2012 Warrant Article 20 because of the fact that meetings outside of the Courtroom would not be televised.  The motion to approve this warrant article carried unanimously.

Old Police Station

Alex Herlihy, Chairman of the Rye Historical Society related the history of the Old Police Station that he had been able to find through research.  He referred to a 1966 publication regarding the Portsmouth Electric Railway that speaks about a storage battery located in Rye Center. The storage battery supplied power when the lines from Portsmouth were shut down for the night.  The battery was overhauled in 1912.  He looked through the Town reports from 1899 to 1902, and there is not a word about this.  He then researched the Registry of Deeds.  The trolley had come to town in 1899 and was abandoned in the mid-1920s.  The same company then started operating buses.  The Old Police Station had to have been built sometime between 1899 and 1912.

Selectman Musselman then described a tour of the building that he conducted recently with an architect based in Dover.  They looked at the structural and architectural elements.  The DES reports indicate that a gasoline spill outside was a non-issue in 1998.  It is also a non-issue now.  After providing for “vapor extraction” the vapors were gone within 4 days.  There is a fine air distribution system.  A unit to provide hot and cold air is needed.  For wastewater, there are chambers under the parking lot.  He is not convinced that these could not be used.  The building is musty, but not moldy.  There is little mold that he saw.  The building has been unheated since the Public Safety Building was occupied 7 years ago.  The architect is proposing a structural and environmental engineering study.

Selectman Musselman continued, stating that the structure is a non-issue.  The building has been there for 110 years.  One of the structural members cracked and was replaced.  The beams are in all likelihood OK.  The front is an awful vinyl and the building has the worst looking windows.  The overhead door needs replacing.  The building could be gutted and finished new.  However, the facility lacks parking and pedestrian access.  A new roof was provided 7 years ago.  Mr. McCarthy interjected that an inexpensive rubber roof was installed in 2009 following a problem.

Selectman Musselman continued, stating that he looked all over for water damage.  There is a little in one place.  Otherwise the facility is bone dry.

Selectman Jenness asked what the $9800 would do.  Selectman Musselman responded that this would enable them to cost out four possibilities:

1.  Use for records storage

2.  Use for office space

3.  Leaving the facility alone

4.  Demolishing the building.

He continued, stating that he did not believe that the building should be torn down and the site used for Town Hall related functions.  He is not proposing an estimate for conversion to private use or a retrofitting of the entire building.  He is only contemplating 2-3 offices in the front for Recreation.

Selectman Jenness commented that there are 8-10 parking spaces.  Selectman Musselman suggested that the cemetery does not use the area from the stone wall to the first set of graves.  Selectman Mills state that that is the Town Green.  Selectman Musselman continued, stating that 10-15 parking spaces could be provided there.  Selectman Jenness commented that she didn’t think that “will go.”

Victor Azzi, a Town resident, commented that he was pleased at what he hears.  This should be part of the Facility Master Plan.  Selectman Musselman agreed, stating that this is a valid thing to do.  Selectman Jenness stated that she believes Victor was right.  All it took was a comment.  People took off with this tidbit.  Editor’s note:  She was apparently referring to a widespread view around town that the building was unsalvageable.

Selectman Musselman continued, stating that there is a slab now.  If there ever was acid there it is below grade.  There is a ground water monitoring well that has revealed no issues.  Selectman Jenness stated that malathion had been stored there.  It was used for mosquito control.

Mr. Azzi indicated that there was talk two weeks ago of there having been a grease pit underneath the vehicle repair area.  Oil and grease may have drained into the soil below.  Selectman Musselman stated that that had been filled in.  It is now solid concrete.  Mr. Azzi stated that seepage could be continuing.  Selectman Musselman responded that there is a test well on site, indicating that the well would have uncovered any seepage.

Fire Chief Sullivan commented that the fume concentration had been 1000 times less than the DES minimum.  The DES had said that nothing needed to be done.  However, patrolmen had reported smelling gas.

The motion to approve this warrant article carried unanimously.

Second ambulance

The discussion then moved to expenditure of $140,000 for a second ambulance, funded from a special revenue fund.  Editor’s note:  In previous meetings, the use of money from a fund resulting from cell tower revenues was discussed.  The plan was to purchase a used ambulance and transfer the body to a new chassis.  Town Administrator Magnant acknowledged that the language creating the fund referred to a new ambulance.  Mr. Magnant stated that Town Attorney Donovan had felt that the language was restrictive, but recommended follow up with the DRA.  Finance Director Cindi Gillespie indicated that she had e-mailed the DRA on the issue.

Selectman Musselman suggested that the new ambulance be put off until next year.  Fire Chief Sullivan stated that he has information on 6-7 departments that have “dual rigs,” apparently referring to towns with two ambulances.  It was informally agreed by the Selectmen that the matter would be put off until next year.

Records storage

Town Administrator Magnant recommended that the Selectmen wait until the firm specializing in municipal records firms up the numbers.

Goss Farm Barn

This $170,000 warrant article was discussed.  It is a three phase project involving (1) restoration of the foundation and drainage, (2) interior and sheds and (3) wiring.  The warrant article would be non-lapsing pursuant to RSA 32:7, VI, with a December 31, 2014 expiration date.  Selectman Jenness stated that this is a lot of money.  She stated that the issue of whether funds raised already would reduce the cost had come up at a recent Rye Heritage Commission meeting.  Sally King had responded that the cost estimate had gone up.

Selectman Musselman commented that he would favor recommending the article.  The Town had gotten itself into this.  The barn would fall down if this is not done.  Town Administrator Magnant asked whether the funding would permit completion of the project.  Selectman Jenness responded that it could be more than $170,000 once complete, however this amount of money should be sufficient to get it just about done.

Selectman Mills asked how much had been paid for the Goss Farm.  Selectman Musselman responded that it had been about $1 million.  Selectman Mills stated that this was a lot of money.  Victor Azzi asked whether this was one phase of a multiple phase project with more to follow.  Selectman Jenness responded that the roof is on.  This funding will permit completion.

The motion to approve this warrant article carried on a 2-1 vote, Selectmen Musselman and Jenness voting yes and Selectman Mills no.  Selectman Jenness stated that they would like to bring it to the voters.  Selectman Musselman stated that once the project has been done the facility has a lot of potential for townspeople.  They either deal with it or not.  There is no middle ground.

Addition of firefighter/paramedic

The next warrant article was to provide $49,620 in funding for 6 months wages, benefits and equipment for a firefighter/paramedic.  The full year cost would be $96,463.  Selectman Musselman stated that he would be in favor of this once the Town has one less fireman.  Selectman Mills stated that the Town was in dire need of a paramedic.  Schooling had been offered but nobody will go.  He is for this once a firefighter retires.  Selectman Jenness stated that what had been said was unanimous.  Selectman Mills suggested that the Rye Civic League could look into this.  Peter Crawford, a Town resident in the audience stated that they would talk about this.

Geotechnical and boundary survey

This warrant article relates to boundary, geotechnical and septic study of the Town Hall site.  Selectman Jenness stated that two sites needed to be studied, including one up on the hill.  Selectman Musselman stated that all of this is needed regardless of what is decided.  The study will need to be revised once they have a footprint.  Borings are needed.  Selectman Jenness stated that the land above is a different lot.  The proposal for a second building has the second building located on the hillside.  They must specify where the testing is to be done.

Victor Azzi stated that the assumption that the construction would be somewhere out there is a fair one.  However, he asked whether this should be part of the overall project and not a separate warrant article.  Selectman Musselman responded that there is a larger warrant article with parts A, B and C.  Mr. Azzi stated that what had been said so far is not enough.  The question is what the likely footprint is.

Town Hall warrant article 

Selectman Musselman read from the proposed warrant article, which has three parts.  It spoke of the restoration of Town Hall, schematic drawings and cost estimates in keeping with the 2012 Space Needs Committee report.  It specifically refers to preservation of the Great Hall.  Selectman Jenness stated that preservation of the associated curvilinear stairs should also be included.  Presentations to the townspeople would be made at multiple events.  At the 2014 Deliberative Session an accepted design would be provided to the voters.

Selectman Musselman then asked about additional steps that had been part of what had been contemplated in Article 10.  Editor’s note:  This is an apparent reference to the 2012 Warrant Article for $135,000 for Town Hall design that failed to achieve a majority of the votes.  Selectman Musselman referred to asbestos and lead paint investigations.  He stated that they know that the existing Town Hall building will be renovated.  It would be a good idea to do additional structural evaluation including another review of the roof renovation requirements.  A historical consultant could be retained now or later.  Mr. Azzi suggested that it would be best to wait on that.

With regard to electrical, Selectman Musselman stated that the service is inadequate, but they won’t have a sense of the requirement until the expansion has been planned.  Town Administrator Magnant interjected that an increase in the service from 200 to 400 amps to “keep the building from burning down” had been approved.

The discussion then turned to ADA requirements.  Selectman Jenness stated that an elevator would be required if there are to be programs upstairs.  Mr. Azzi interjected that elevator requirements depend on whether there are to be two buildings or one.

Selectman Musselman then asked about programming of space.  Mr. Azzi responded that they must start there.  They have the data from the Space Needs Committee, AG Architects and other contributors, but the matter has not been settled.  There needs to be a demonstration as to whether 9000, 10,000 or 11,000 square feet is needed.

Peter Crawford, a Town resident, interjected that space needs are partly dependent on whether Recreation is included in the building or not.  He reminded Selectman Musselman of his comment at an earlier meeting on the need to get a handle on Recreation needs.   Also, he reminded him of a comment earlier in the meeting about using the Old Police Station for Recreation.

Selectman Musselman commented that this could be a 6 month committee study of the Old Police Station, Recreation and the Public Safety Building.

Mr. Azzi stated that the Facilities Master Plan should show existing facilities and other additions.  Recreation is talking about a Community Center.  That needs to be sorted out.  There is a question as to how much of Recreation is in or out.

Selectman Musselman stated that Town Hall cannot be done without Recreation having been considered.  Selectman Jenness stated that in conversations with Lee Arthur distinctions had been made between administrative and programming needs.  Mr. Azzi stated that the Space Needs Committee report says that administrative functions should be in the Town Hall facility.  Selectman Musselman stated that there is also talk of a basketball court.  He had asked the Recreation Commission to spell out the $3.498 million.

Selectman Musselman then stated that he did not believe that a special town meeting would work.  Editor’s note:  At a prior meeting, Mr. Crawford and Alex Herlihy had proposed such a meeting part way through the year as a way to obtain town-wide acceptance of the design, while also permitting the Town to proceed to the next phase prior to the 2014 Town Meeting.  Selectman Musselman stated that there is a special process for these according to the statute.  The scope this year should be to do as much as possible.  He doesn’t believe that further steps can be taken unless the funds are appropriated now.

Mr. Azzi interjected that the townspeople are interested in being part of the decision making.

Selectman Musselman stated that the first step would be keying in on the Old Police Station and Recreation.  Midyear they can look at building and site issues.

Mr. Azzi agreed, stating that this will take a year.  The following year (2014) the Town can proceed with design development and construction documents.

Selectman Musselman then stated that he did not understand the options, particularly if an addition is limited to 20 feet.  Mr. Crawford explained that that figure had come out of the Heritage Commission.  If the addition is limited to 20 feet, that limits the option to the two building option as even 9500 sq. ft. could not be accommodated within a 20 foot addition.  Selectman Musselman asked about a covered heated walkway to join the buildings.

A further detailed discussion of the options occurred between Selectman Musse

 

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