Canterbury, NH Building Needs Committee - 2001

Minutes of Meeting
– January 9, 2003–
(as reported by acting Secretary Beth Blair)



Meeting January 9, 2003 at 7:00 PM at the Town Hall


Gwen Duerell (Chief of Police)
Dale Caswell (Fire Chief)
Jim Sewicki (Highway Dept.)
Phil Stone (Road Agent)
John Bouton (Elkins Library Trustee)
Ginger Laplante (Historical Society)
Lucia Kitteridge (landscape planner)

Kent Ruesswick
Jeremy Slayton
Bob Fife
Beth Blair
Charlie Cook
Ken Jordan
Ted West

Eric Paulsen (Sheer, Crystal, xxx)
Steve (Cobb Hill Builders)


Purpose of meeting: To hear opinions from Dept. Heads on the proposed plans for the town center buildings, and to discuss the proposed 2.5 million budget for the plan. To determine whether or not all town departments are supportive of the plan before we proceed further.

Currently budget includes: new construction on Town Hall addition; new construction for Municipal building to house Fire, Police and Highway; renovation of old fire station/public works garage to house Elkins library; renovations to old police station to be meeting space attached to new library; grades and parking in town center around store, town hall, and library; upgrade to the water system for the entire center; conceptual master plan for future landscaping, paths, etc.

Budget doe NOT include: money to purchase cornfield across from CES from Robie Robinson as site for new municipal building; repairs to old part of Town hall; renovations to Sam Lake House; renovations to the recycling center.

FIRE: Dale Caswell says the reaction of his dept. is very favorable. Flow and function of life/life safety building is well thought out. Routine needs are addressed. Some areas can be combined such as code enforcement and emergency management. Gender neutral bunkroom could be used for all departments for over night shifts or in emergency situations.

Dale has provided a typed summary of his comments.

Both fire and police comment that CES (Canterbury Elementary School) has indicated that they are quite pleased at the idea of having fire and police across the street. Easy access for workshops, visits, field trips, special programs, etc.

Discussion of adding a fire pond on the site in the future. Dale concurs that it would be very helpful to have a pond on the site so, among other reasons, trucks could be filled in the building. Eric Paulsen suggests that grading for a future pond might be done while landscaping the site.

Dale is assuming that the projected costs are for a bare wall building, and that volunteers will build equipment cages, supply furniture, etc.

Steve (Cobb Hill) says the FFE (furniture and equipment) line in the budget is pretty small, but they will be better able to tell what the town can actually afford to build once the plan goes out to bid.

Primary focus should be what the town can bear as far as price, and figure out how best to spend it after it’s voted. His opinion is that 2.5 million is going to buy the town a LOT of space at a good price.

HIGHWAY DEPT.: Phil Stone says the plan is fine as it is. Offers his crew to help out with site work where possible.

SAM LAKE HOUSE: Selectmen and town officers are trying to make the most necessary renovations to their space by using Sam Lake monies and volunteer labor. Feel that when the meeting room is freed up by the construction/renovation of additional meeting space, that some office space might be able to expand into the current Sam Lake meeting room.

RECYCLING CENTER: Heidi Hutchinson sends word that their committee contacted 10 designers, and only two responded to their queries concerning a redesign of the recycling center. Both companies contacted were not interested in proceeding with plans until they knew whether or not the dump would need to be capped, and the extent/placement of the cap. There is some money in the RC budget for basic repairs and maintenance, and they will pursue working with the selectmen and DES to resolve the capping issue as soon as possible.

ELKINS LIBRARY: Ted West asks John Bouton (library trustee) if the trustees are supportive of the plan to relocate the library to the site of the current public works garage. John replies that the trustees next meeting will concern this issue in particular, but that they want to be as supportive of the plan as possible. John states that it doesn’t do the trustees any good to sit back and wait to see if the plan flies before signing on.

Discussion concerning the design of library renovation. Will the roof still be flat in the back? Is this just to save money? How might it affect the aesthetics of the building?

Discussion concerning what the current Elkins Library building might be used for if the library moves into the Town garage building. Ideas include senior center, club house, visitor center. Some discussion about making building handicap accessible in the most rudimentary fashion so the building could be used for other purposes until final use decided.

Discussion about how to apportion money for each individual project. Once total monies approved and each building’s budget set, each department can discuss further what actually gets built. For example, the library may choose to buy less book stacks for the present and invest in a new pitched roof instead.

John Bouton wants to know what the sq. foot cost for renovations Steve (Cobb Hill) checks his figures and says that it comes to approx. $113 a sq. ft. including $88,000 for site work, bringing total library cost to approx. $780,000.

Discussion continues concerning how to itemize figures presented at Town Meeting so that it is clear what the cost of just the library is, since much of the site work around the library actually benefits the Town hall and the center in general. Discussion includes Cobb Hill breaking out cost to renovated Police Station into meeting space, which is also currently figured into the “library” cost.

Eric Paulsen says he envisions budget for the project being presented at Town Meeting as one single 8.5 x 11 sheet with line items for Library, police/meeting space, Town Hall, and site work (pavement/parking) for the center so everyone can see what is what.

Suggestion discussed that all Dep’t. Heads write something for the February church newsletter in support of the plan. CUCC (Canterbury United Community Church ) and Historical Society included.

Ideas discussed for getting the word out about the public meeting on Jan 23 and how to generate public discussion before Town Meeting: town crier, open house of town building, “teas”, talk to people who generated support for purchase of Canterbury store.


7:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 15, 2003 at the Sam Lake Building.

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