WOLFEBORO — A public hearing will be scheduled soon to air a number of big ticket warrant articles, including a $4 million bond request to complete interior and exterior renovations of the Town Hall.
Town Manager David Owen said over the past several years, voters approved appropriations for some repairs, including replacement windows and town hall parking lot improvements to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. The town has spent $333,000 for repairs, but more needs to be done at the town hall, built as Brewster Memorial Hall in 1888.
“We’re chipping away,” he said, adding the $4 million article will enable the town to complete renovations that include repointing and fixing dormers on the exterior, replacing or repairing additional windows, removing asbestos, upgrading plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems, and remodeling the first-floor offices and basement. The proposed changes would bring the structure up to building and life safety codes, as well as making the interior ADA complaint.
At a recent board of selectmen meeting, Joyce Davis of the Friends of Brewster Town Hall reported that the group has acquired more than $700,000 in pledges to assist in the restoration of the building via a public/private partnership.
The town hall renovation would create a new front entry with offices for the town manager, town treasurer, tax collector, town clerk, tax assessor and planning department, rooms for archives and plans, a vault, ADA-compliant lavatories, a conference room and an elevator to the second floor. The second floor calls for a great hall large enough to seat 300, with lavatories and a lobby. The basement space would be improved to offer storage spaces and separate rooms for the boiler and electrical systems.
Other potential warrant articles to be placed on the 2014 warrant include: Middleton Road construction, $1,350,000; Winnipesaukee Drive reconstruction, $1,122,000; annual road upgrades, $625,000; wastewater treatment plant improvements, $250,000; annual sidewalk upgrades, $100,000; department of public works facility upgrades, $160,000; electric department digger/Derrick truck replacement, $200,000; and funds for capital reserve accounts, including fire trucks and apparatus replacement, $176,000, public works vehicle and equipment, $165,000, and the Abenaki Ski Area Capital Reserve account, $15,000, and the town office facility capital reserve account, $100,000.
The town’s tentative annual operating budget is listed as $24,526,600, a 2.93 percent increase over last year.
A public hearing on the bond issues will be held later this month.