May 25, 2017TUFTONBORO — On May 19, the Board of Selectmen authorized the expenditure of $16,450 from the Library Building Capital Reserve account for SMP Architects to draw up a conceptual plan of resident Skip Hurt's library renovation proposal.
The decision followed discussion with Library Trustees Gordon Hunt, Paul Matlock and Mary Ann Murray on the next step in determining what to present to the voters in March.
No one was interested in having two proposals on the warrant. The trustees expect the schematics to be ready by July 1, thus allowing costs to be determined for the project and further public discussion with detailed information in hand.
Selectman Chairman Lloyd Wood said that historically costs go up 3 percent a year and noted that the $2.6 million dollar plan set aside in consideration of Hurt's idea, is a turnkey proposal.
Hunt said the fundraising committee for the proposal for a new library building has put its efforts on hold.
Selectman Chip Albee observed that it may happen that the proposal will have to be put off another year in light of the time involved in fleshing out Hurt's plan. It is clear that there is broad support for a new library. Each time a proposal is offered, 60 percent or more vote in favor. However, the 66.67 percent required to pass a bond proposal has been an insurmountable obstacle.
Albee emphasized that a consensus has to be reached for a plan to have a chance at success.
In Hurt's estimation, when he presented his plan to the selectmen on May 5, his proposal would cost significantly less, obviating the need for a bond, and thus requiring a simple majority to pass. Marcussen commented during the May 19 work session that in his view, there would not be enough money to cover the project without borrowing money.