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Wolfeboro selectmen review Capital Improvements Program

First floor plan for Town Hall approved for fundraising purposes

by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
October 25, 2012
WOLFEBORO — At the meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 17, the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen were presented with the just-completed 10-year Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for 2013-22.

Planning Board Chair Kathy Barnard introduced the plan, which she said had been approved unanimously by the planning board the previous evening following a public hearing, eight meetings of the committee and a tour of town facilities.

She said the CIP committee supports the creation and use of capital reserve funds for major capital projects and also favors creation of a Municipal Assets Management Plan, even though a proposal for such a plan was turned down by voters last March.

In addition to Barnard, the CIP committee consisted of fellow planning board member Stacie Jo Pope, Selectman Linda Murray, Joyce Davis, James Shildneck and Robert Tougher.

Town Planner Rob Houseman then presented the 2013-22 plan as a PowerPoint slide show.

Between 2000 and 2012 a total of $44,291,766 in projects were recommended by the CIP. Of these, only half were actually funded by voters, the highest level being in 2007 when $9,834,963 was approved, mostly for the sewer system upgrade.

"We need to be realistic," Houseman said before unveiling the $36,571,022 plan for the next 10 years, from 2013 through 2022. He noted that in 2012 capital projects totaling $3.7 million were approved by voters, out of the $7.8 million proposed in the CIP plan.

The new CIP plan is proposing $4.1 million in improvements for 2013 and $7.9 million for 2014, which includes a placeholder for Town Hall renovation.

Proposed 2013 projects

The 2013 plan recommends 12 capital improvement projects, including replacements for three front-line vehicles for the Public Works, Fire and Electric departments. They are:

Make improvements to the Town Hall parking lot to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act for $100,000;

Purchase the derelict 74 and 80 Lehner Street properties for future uses for $180,000;

Construct a maintenance building for the Parks and Recreation Department for $200,000 to replace six deteriorating sheds and garages;

Maintain and upgrade town roads for $600,000;

Reconstruct Center Street from Pickering Corner to Route 109A in a town-managed state project with two-thirds of funding to come from the state and $700,000 from town bonds;

Create a plan for improvements to Middleton Road for later construction for $50,000;

Continue sewer line improvements to reduce inflow and infiltration of ground water for $400,000;

Replace existing salt shed, hydraulic lift and fuel dispensing system at the Public Works garage for $340,000, with $65,000 coming from capital reserves; and

Replace existing electric meters with new radio read meters for $720,000, a four-year project to improve meter reading and avoid estimated bills.

The three vehicle replacements, all funded from existing capital reserve funds so there is no impact on the tax rare, are:

Replace HD-6, a five-ton Highway Department dump truck for $200,000;

Replace Engine 1, a 1994 Fire Department pumper originally scheduled for replacement in 2009; and

Replace ME-3, an Electric Department bucket truck that has exceeded its useful life.

Selectmen accepted the plan for review and consideration for 2013 warrant articles. The approved CIP plan is available on the town website, www.wolfeboronh.us: click on Boards & Commissions and select Capital Improvement Program Committee.

Town Hall plan

Selectman Chair Murray said that the Friends of Town Hall are planning a fundraising effort to make improvements to Brewster Memorial Hall. They plan to use the First Floor Only plan developed last year that focuses on the main building (excluding the Annex) and adding plans for a multipurpose main room on the second floor. The Alternative Second Floor plan would eliminate the offices proposed in the $4 million plan in favor of having a large open space that can be used for meetings and expositions, but retaining the staff area behind the stage. The estimated cost, based on last year's estimates, was $2.8 million.

Murray said the Friends were looking an endorsement of the existing plan from the board so that they could use it in their fundraising. If the board did not support that plan the Friends would have to come up with another.

Selectman Sarah Silk said this was a way to move forward on Town Hall renovation with private funding.

Selectman Dave Senecal said he would not vote for it.

Selectman Chuck Storm moved that the board endorse the plan for fundraising purposes and Selectman Dave Bowers seconded. The vote was 4-1 with Senecal in opposition.

Other business

Selectmen were given a presentation on issues involved in setting water and sewer rates and also agreed to renew the contract with Woodard & Curran to operate the town's wastewater treatment facility: see separate article on these subjects.

Finance Director Peter Chamberlin presented his Monthly Budget Expenditures and Revenue report through September. The overall expended-to-date was 74.1 percent for 75 percent of the year. His main concern was with legal expenses, which are running ahead but could come in at budget by year end. Revenues are in line with projections.

Chamberlin told the board he has submitted the information needed to set the tax rate for 2012 and was waiting for the Department of Revenue Administration to set a date.

Town Manager Dave Owen announced that the 2013 contract for assessing services will be awarded to Granite Hill Municipal Services of Concord.

He also reported that bid documents have been sent out for Town Hall window replacement and police/fire radio equipment, with bids due by Oct. 25.

Also on Oct. 25 there will be a ribbon cutting for the newly-expanded Lehner Street parking lot at 8:30 a.m.

Owen said that the town has reached agreement with owner Paul Dumont to use the appraisal services of Peter Knight for the buildings at 74 and 80 Lehner Street. Appraisals should be ready by mid-November.

The Moose Plate award to repair the town clock faces has been received. A public hearing will be held for the town to formally accept it.

The Wolfeboro Area Chamber of Commerce has proposed adding a small sign identifying the town as "The Jewel of Lake Winnipesaukee" at all five entrances to the town. The board agreed that the Chamber should pay for the signs but wanted to see a prototype as well as where the signs would be placed. The subject will be reviewed at the next selectmen's meeting.

The board reviewed a proposed revision of the Snow Removal and Ice Control Policy with Public Works Director Dave Ford. Ford will revised the document and resubmit in mid-November.

Storm reported that the planning board met with the Zoning Board of Adjustment about better criteria for landlocked parcels. The planners are still working on zoning changes for Route 28/Center Street.

Bowers reported that the Economic Development Committee is working on a new idea: placing a billboard on Route 16 directing people to Wolfeboro. The wording of the sign is still being settled.

The next meeting of the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen will be on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Wolfeboro Public Library meeting room.

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