Town Hall Citizens’ Advisory Committee
Meeting Minutes, October 28, 2019
5:00 p.m. Town Office Building Basement
Present: Ann Kuendig (interim chair), Betty Warner, Jeremy Rayner, Ray Colton, Dave Larkin, Carl Oertel, Sarah Gallagher, Jenna Lapachinski (PTVT)
1. Call to order. Ann called the meeting to order at 5:04 p.m. and noted the following agenda modifications: Jenna Lapachinski from Preservation Trust of Vermont was present to explain available options/grants available through PTVT and answer questions; Ann has information concerning loan/grant programs available through the USDA; report on visit to Stockbridge Meeting House. There were no objections to the modifications.
2. Approval of minutes. The minutes of the October 14, 2019, meeting were approved by a motion from Ann, seconded by Jeremy.
3. Update on first floor design. Carl will follow up with Dan Pratt at RCWA regarding his bid for the first floor design.
4. Preservation Trust of Vermont. Jenna gave an overview of services provided by PTVT and how they fit with this project. The RSF provides matching funds to do a general assessment ($250) as well as a structural assessment ($500), working with a pool of professionals who have agreed to provide these services at reduced rates. PTVT has done thousands of projects, including many town halls. Community support is a necessary component of their process. They provide workshops on specific areas (Fundraising and Project Management; Churches and Sacred Spaces; Historic Preservation and Community Development; Arts and Cultural Heritage; and Libraries, Nonprofit Owned and Public Buildings), and can arrange a meeting with all possible funders to review available programs. The State office of Historic Preservations determines whether or not a building is historic; usually a building 50+ years old is considered historic. Jenna indicated the assessments could probably be done by year’s end. Following discussion, a motion (Dave/Betty) to proceed with the general assessment passed unanimously. Upon further discussion, a motion (Jeremy/Dave) to proceed with the structural assessment passed. Ann will follow up with Jenna.
5. Preliminary Survey results. There was some discussion about the survey. Notably, 67% of respondents (100) indicated the Town Hall is an important community asset because of its place in the town’s history, because it is the only community meeting place, and because of its potential for hosting community events.
6. Discuss/Update Options Document. Ann first thanked Carl for closing up and weatherproofing the east end of the building, where the chimney had been located. The power vent has been installed and was accomplished for $300 less than the bid price. It was noted that the cost of demolition would likely run between $80,000 and $100,000. Ann noted that, prompted by Glen’s email about the Stockbridge Meeting House, some of the committee had visited the building. It is similar in size and layout to our Town Hall, with a kitchen/dining area in the basement and a meeting space with a stage on the main floor. The cost of renovations to the Stockbridge building was $400,000.
7. Community Informational Meeting: The facilitator from Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission is available for November 21, but not November 14. Ann suggested sending postcards to property owners/voters to notify them of the meeting. Dave felt we weren’t ready for a meeting, that we didn’t have enough information to present. The intent of the meeting is to let folks know where we are in the process, and to continue to receive public input as the survey has resulted with 100 people responding and it’s important to hear from as many people as possible. A motion (Ann/Betty) to proceed with a community meeting on November 21 at 6 p.m. passed. After some discussion about noise levels in the back room at the Clear making it difficult to hear, Ann will explore other location options (Riverside, Amee Farm, Fire House, Church). Motion (Ann/Jeremy) to proceed with postcard notification was passed. Ann will ask if the facilitator, Kevin Geiger can attend our next meeting to help build an agenda for the November 21 meeting.
8. Next meeting: Next meeting is tentatively scheduled for November 11, at 5 p.m., with November 14 as backup if Kevin is not available on the 11th.
9. Adjournment. Ann moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:05, Jeremy seconded.
Approved by: s/Ann Kuendig Date: November 11, 2019