Meeting House – Preserve & Revitalize Project -NOTES
Date: TUESDAY, FEB 21,2023
Time: 3:30 PM In person at Town Office or via ZOOM
Attendees: David Carter, Mary Harwood, Terry Robinson, Pamela Surprenant, Beth Curtis, Judy Duval, Ethelyn Dubuque, Robin Way, Sandy Gregg. Via ZOOM: Linda Seavey, Emily Klofft-NRPC, Sarah Kjelleren
Absent: Michael Carroll, Jenna Lapachinski (sent email report see item #4)
1. Call to Order at 3:30 PM by David C.-Chair
2. Introductions – none needed
3. Article 6 for Town voters: Shall the Town of South Hero conduct a study of the feasibility, cost,and seek grants for moving the Town Offices to the Old Meeting House site?
• New Committee: David C. explained that the Selectboard will be asking for volunteers to serve on a committee to accomplish this task. He expects the time necessary to do thorough job is 6months to one (1) year.
The Selectboard will be looking for folks with experience in project development, knowledge of construction, experience in budgeting, grant writing etc. Further, the feasibility study would gather cost estimates for design and build of an addition to house the new offices, actual moving costs, and a business plan for the use of the Community Hall.
• Rationale for not going for a bond: David C. explained the reason for not going for a bond was pushback from some Selectboard members and the fact that once the Town goes for a bond the Town would lose it’s ability to apply for many grants. Grants have to be a major priority.
4 Grants Status:
• Emily K. stated VCDP needs a decision from the Town if the additional funds to do the construction documents for Phase 1 are still needed. The committee discussed and there was general agreement that, yes, the funds are still needed. Further, the funds will NOT be used toward any actions on an addition or anything related to moving the Town Offices. Emily stated the Town must bifurcate the project into: 1. Phase 1 Stabilization and foundation (funds from VCDP can be used); and 2. Town Offices in an addition on the Old White Meeting House (VCDP funds can NOT be used).
• VCDP Time Line: Extended to the end of May 2023 to have Phase 1 Construction Documents. Note: that is in 3 months. An extension may be required.
• David C. will communicate with Rebecca Arnold regarding this VCDP timeline. Reminder: Arnold & Scangas Inc. is currently on hold for this project.
• Bruhn Grant status: Mary H. reported the $100,000 grant can only be used in Phase 1 Stabilization and foundation. An extension for the Bruhn Grant may be requested 6 months prior to the end of the grant period.
• Other Grants: Mary H. explained that the cultural facilities grant for ADA compliance requires there be two (2) quotes in hand and be shovel-ready. Therefore, it is off the calendar for 2023. Another grant possibility is the Vermont Housing Conservation Board (VHCB) although their emphasis is housing they also consider community enrichment facilities.
• Mary H. added that many grants have windows to apply, certain requirements, and often have to be ‘shovel ready’ and that means have architectural construction documents in hand. This project is at least a year out for that. Mary H. continues to track grants that suit this project.
• Jenna Lapachinski Email Report: Sandy G. read the following email from Jenn L.:
“I am not able to attend but wanted the committee to know that we are currently accepting proposals for the South Hero National Register Historic District nomination and will select a consultant by the end of the month. The Meeting House is the top priority, so researching the building and establishing the period of significance will be their first task!”
• Ethelyn D. asked if the new committee that will be formed will look into the possibility of building an entirely new building for the Town Offices? David C. responded it could be part of the new committee’s research, yes.
• Judy D. asked if the Grannies would be required to move and why are you asking us to move? David C. responded there is no requirement to move except during actual construction when the 1816 building will be raised and moved. At that time everything will be required to be removed from the building. Judy D. disagreed with that.
• Robin W. asked when restoration of the 1816 building would start? There was general discussion but no date given.
• Terry R. stated our responsibility now is to save the 1816 original building from further decline.
• David C. reminded everyone there will not be a basement for storage under the 1816 building. The water table is to high and by not having a basement there is a cost-savings of at least $300,000. There will be a 6 foot frost wall and crawl space. Further, mechanicals will be so small they will fit into a closet. There will be no water, bathroom or heat/AC in phase 1.
6. Other Business
• David C. passed around an invoice from Harwood Consultant: Invoice #199 in the amount of $607.50 for work done on general Meeting House items. Motion by Sandy G. to approve the invoice for payment. Second by Pamela S.. The vote by committee members was unanimous. David will pass the approved invoice to Kim Julow for payment.
7. Next Meeting – Tuesday, March 28,2023, 3:30 PM at the Town Office
8. Motion to adjourn by Sandy G. and seconded by Terry R. Vote was unanimous Adjourned at 4:34 PM
Sandy Gregg, Scribe
South Hero Meeting House Committee