April 25,2023 OSHMH Minutes

Meeting House – Preserve & Revitalize Project – SPECIAL MEETING-NOTES

Date:   TUESDAY, April 25,2023    

Time: 3:30 PM In person at Town Office or via ZOOM  


Attendees: David Carter-Chair, Sue Arguin, Sarah Kjelleren, Mary Harwood, Pamela Surprenant, Michael Carroll, Beth Curtis, Linda Seavey, Terry Robinson, Judy Duval, Ethlyn Dubuque, Everett Dubuque, Kim Kinney, Gretchen Patterson, Sandy Gregg. Via ZOOM: Emily Klofft-NRPC

1. Call to Order at 3:30 PM by David C.

2.  Introductions: Sue Arguin- South Hero Town Administrator was introduced.

3. Grants Status:

Focus of this committee is the restoration-revitalization of the 1816 original building.
The new Feasibility Committeehas been identified and will soon be approved and given a mandate by the Selectboard: Carl Frenning, Michael Carroll, Doug Patterson, Steve Robinson, Nate Hayward, Anne Zolotas, Ross Brown, Sue Arguin.
Mary H. and Sue A. will soon visit the Strafford Meeting House to see what that project has done.
Emily Klofft-NRPC reported she is following up with Patrick at VCDP and Rebecca-A&S to extend their contracts. Emily believes that A&S will have construction docs ready by the June 30, 2023. These docs will be for the original building only as described in the Bruhn Grant.
Ethlyn D. described visiting her hometown of Berkshire and touring their Town Office located in their old White Meeting House.
Mary H. reported that the Towns application for Congressional Discretionary Spending – Peter Welchs Office has made it through the first round. There are many rounds to go before the 2024 budget gets approved so no counting our chickens before they hatch!
Sue A. reported on the Municipal Energy Resilience Program (MERP). It is to help town-owned buildings become more energy efficient. There are 3 levels in the grant process: #1. Mini-grant of $4,000 (non-competitive) to cover town outreach about energy efficiency. This could include a mailing, or Town Energy Fairand advertising such; #2. Assessment Grant (non-competitive) to assess the current energy status of Town-owned building (this must be done by one of an approved group of Contractors. Note: Efficiency VT assessments do not count); #3. Implementation Grant – the cost of the actual work. Since South Hero has a high average income level the Town is low in the ratings for this one so we should not expect to get an award anywhere near the maximum which is $500,000.

4.  Financial Report:

The Town Account line for the Meeting House was $168,433 as of January 10,2023.
The South Hero Foundation balance is $27,516 as of April 25,2023.
Status of S.60 regarding Local Option Tax is on the wallin the House committee on Government Operations & Military Affairs, Rep. Michael McCarthy-Chair. It is imperative to get this legislation off the wall, voted on by the House, and signed into law before this session in Montpelier ends for the summer so South Hero can begin collecting the 1% Option Tax that voters approved March 2022.

5.  Community Cheers & Cheese (CCC): Mon, June 26th. Location-The Old White Meeting House, Hours 4-6 PM. Fund-raiser for the Meeting House Project.

Sandy G. reported on the status of this community-wide event. All the same organizations, and a couple new ones, have agreed to take part in this celebration of South Hero with the exception of Grannys Attic. A few members of Grannys Attic were present to discuss their rationale for not taking part. It came down to the issue of liability and wanting to not open themselves to the risk of something happening inside the building due to wine and beer being served outside the building. A great deal of conversation about this issue took place. The conclusion was that David C. will research the Towns insurance through VT League of Cities & Towns and report on the findings at our next meeting. Sandy G. stated that both bays of the garage areas on the ground floor of the Old White Meeting House will be open for the public to see but not to enter (the openings will be roped-off) as they are important in Phase 1 of the project.

6. Other Business:

Options to get the word out about the Meeting House Project – South Hero Foundation plans to do a mailing to bring Donors up to speed on the status of the project. This mailing is planned to go out before CCC.  Table at CCC with latest plans from A&S and possible handout.

7.  Next Meeting – Tuesday, May 23,2023 at 3:30 PM

8.  Motion to adjourn by Michael C. and seconded by Sandy G., vote was unanimous.

    Adjourned at 4:34 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Sandy Gregg, Scribe

South Hero Meeting House Committee