Category Archives: Town Office Improvement Committee

Town Office Building Committee Meeting Minutes – October 11, 2016




October 11, 2016

Members Present:     Doris Knechtel (Chair Person); Frank Suponski; Mel Martin;
Karen Astley (Recording Secretary)

Absent Member(s):   Meghan Monro; Carol Hatcher (Select Board Member);

Gary Delius (Select Board Member)

  1. CALL TO ORDER: Doris Knechtel opened the meeting at 5:02 p.m.
  1. ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES: Doris Knechtel wanted to make mention that Gary Delius is a Select Board Member and it should be noted. Frank Suponski made a motion to accept the minutes as amended. Mel Martin seconded the motion. Motion passed.
  1. COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC COMMENT: No one was present from the public.

a).  Proposed Partitions: This item was tabled from October 4th. Frank Suponski explained the sketch he had drawn per the request of the staff for three 10′ office space, 8′ walls and with doors in the main meeting room. A cost estimate was presented with the sketch for materials. Based on the committee’s goal to focus on the bond vote, this item is tabled for future discussion if the need should arise.

b). Plan for moving forward: Doris Knechtel requested information from town departments specific to their spatial needs to accommodate a functional work area with storage capacity. Space currently is approximately 2,469 square feet. Proposed space is estimated at 3,820 square feet based on the survey conducted.

c). Carol Hatcher was not present for the meeting but did present via email a list of land record vault sizes in surrounding municipalities. Town Clerks did note that existing vaults are of adequate size for their respective towns.  Sizes varied from 55 square feet (Townshend) to 344 square feet (Dover).  Newfane currently is 172 square feet.

d). Mel Martin did present an initial construction budget cost for a new Town Office building.  Discussion ensued that there are some unknowns and that Trumbull Nelson’s budget could be trimmed. There was no cost associated with preparing the cost estimate.

e). Karen Astley presented information on the Town of Westminster’s Town Hall renovation project. This information gave the committee a comparison to look at while keeping the concept of building new still on the table while having an option for renovating.

f).   Frank Suponski contacted Robin Sweetapple but she was not able to attend the meeting but is optimistic that we can keep her involved in this process.

With the development of the new and existing information, concern was raised about the cost and whether there would be enough money with the bond vote to construct a new building.

Grant monies can be obtained for some items such as demolition. Frank Suponski stated there are residents in town that may donate time, equipment and/or funding for this project.  It may be possible that the Town can also be the general contractor on this project and subcontract out keeping cost in mind if and when construction moves ahead.

Discussion further presented questions about the septic which is currently a 1,000 gallon concrete system on the adjacent parcel. There is a septic easement on the parcel and the location of the well maybe in question.

Mel Martin shared the Flood Elevation Certification on the proposed parcel site for the new building. It was suggested the foundation of any new building be 18″ above the flood plain.

Questions were raised during an August 1st Select Board meeting from the community. The committee is competent that the questions are reasonable but are not valid except one.

It is the committee’s agreement the formula for the new construction of a Town Office is a sequence and if one variable is missing the formula will not work. The formula includes Wilson’s parcel; the current town hall parcel and WW Building. The formula is unique with no conclusion if these variables stay intact.

The committee’s goal is to present a recommendation that is fiscally responsible and minimizes the tax burden to the Select Board and the community.


a).  Warning of Public Hearing: Doris Knetchel stated the Select Board will warn the meeting for October 29th. Shannon will take care of this.

b).  Official Ballot for the Bond Vote: There was discussion pertaining to the language on the ballot. Doris will talk with Shannon to get clarification.

c).   Informational media and deadlines: Mel Martin graciously offered to design the brochure (1,000 to be printed) that will be mailed to property owners (500-600) by October 21, 2016. Mel will draft the text and send to the committee for comments/revisions.

Brochure once designed can go on the website. The committee also discussed having an article in the Brattleboro Reformer and The Commons.

A Powerpoint presentation at the Public Hearing would be beneficial. The committee is hard pressed to deliver without a projector and laptop.

  • Members agreed to continue with research and prepare for the next meeting.
  • Doris – Look for plans for adjacent properties from within the office and Dave Cotton.
  • Carol – Contact VLCT and research other towns who are renovating/building new town offices
  • Mel – Request elevation drawing from Dave Cotton
  • Karen – Obtain one construction budget cost from a contractor(s)
  • Frank – Will review Trumbull Nelson’s construction budget cost and eliminate unnecessary cost to reduce the overall construction cost.
  1. DATE OF NEXT MEETING: Scheduled for Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 5:00 pm in the Town Offices.
  1. Adjournment: Frank Suponski made a motion to adjourn at 7:14 pm. Mel Martin seconded the motion. Motion passed.

_________________________________                  __________________

Signature of Chair Person                                              Date


Prepared by: Karen M. Astley, Recording Secretary
(Note: These are unapproved minutes. Corrections, if necessary, will be found in the minutes of the next Town Office Building Committee meeting minutes.)