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Tuftonboro Building Committee submits recommendations to selectmen

JIM ALLAN, chairman of the Tuftonboro Fire/Rescue Department Building Committee (right) presents its recommendation for a new facility on the Gould property. Listening (l-r) are Selectmen Carolyn Sundquist, Dan Duffy and Chairman Bill Stockman (also a member of the committee), and Building Committee Vice-Chairman Gordon Hunt, budget committee member Lloyd Wood, member Bob McWhirter and Allan. Committee members also present, but out of camera range were Chief Adam Thompson and Richard Carey. Tyler Phillips, not present at the meeting, also serves on the committee as a representative for the Budget Committee. (Elissa Paquette photo) (click for larger version)
November 10, 2011
TUFTONBORO — With its nearly three-month investigation complete, the Tuftonboro Fire/Rescue Department Building Committee, presented its findings and recommendation to the Tuftonboro Board of Selectmen on Nov. 7.

Chairman Jim Allan said that the group, which has been meeting weekly since Aug. 17, decided at the outset that they would first gather all the facts with which to decide if a fire/safety building was needed before wading into any details of the plan itself. "We were very objective," said Allen.

Their conclusion? Members found clear justification from their investigation of all angles. Allan stated emphatically that Tuftonboro needs to bring its fire department into the 21st century. He said that a centrally-located, modern facility on the Gould property would provide enhanced response time to the area most in need; 50 percent of calls come within a close radius of that location.

The facility would also meet today's standards, thus reducing liability and the potential for workplace accidents, and allow firemen to decontaminate at the station and hold training sessions on site. The committee found the idea that firemen would return from a fire and have to refit the apparatus outside in freezing weather unacceptable. A new building, designed to last 50 years, not 20, said Allan, is needed.

The committee's formal letter to the selectmen states that committee members "strongly recommend that the town move forward with the current proposal from Davis Goudreau Architects, Gary Goudreau and Construction Manager Andre Kloetz of Bauen Corp. for the new facility." It also believes that the Guaranteed Maximum Price Contract would protect the town from "creeping costs."

The construction cost for the facility is $1,860,944, with additional costs for furniture and soft costs including remaining design, construction documentation & CA fees totaling $291,000, for a total project cost of $2,151,944, a price the committee deems to be "fair at less than $200 per square foot (actual $189 without furnishings), for a commercial specialized facility."

Allan said that the simplicity of the stick built construction design would "lend itself to hiring local contractors."

With financing costs lower than ever and a good competitive market for labor, members feel the time is right. Member Gordon Hunt said that he personally thinks that, considering the time value of money, a longer term with lower rates would be most beneficial. That way the people who use it over time would be contributing to the project and the slower payback wouldn't "hamstring" other building projects that are on the horizon.

Allan called his fellow committee members an "eclectic group" whose discussions were both spirited and cooperative, and said that they were committed to see the process through to a positive vote in March.

He credited each of the members: Bill Stockman, representing the BOS, Gordon Hunt, who serves as Vice-Chairman, Bob McWhirter, Richard Carey (also a consulting architect, AIA), Tyler Phillips, representative for the Budget Committee, and Chief Adam Thompson for their dedication to the task.

A report on the Board of Selectmen's conversations with visiting State House Representatives Chris Ahlgren, David Knox, Betsy Patten and Steve Schmidt also during the Nov. 4 meeting will appear in next week's issue of the Granite State News.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 14 at 9 a.m. at the town offices.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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