Town Hall Project

The town hall (center) when it was new. (Photo: Fred Goodhue)

Goals

  • The Master Plan Survey indicates that Wilmot residents have a strong desire to preserve the historic character of Wilmot. Of particular note is the Town Hall.
  • It is widely agreed that the historic features of Wilmot contribute greatly to the character of the Town, making it an attractive and interesting place to live. In that regard all prudent measures should be taken to preserve the history of Wilmot.

Timeline

DateEvent
2017Initial feasibility study for town hall project.
March 2018Master plan suggests renovation of town hall
March 2018Listening potluck.
May 2018Listening potluck.
December 2019Public listening session.
March 2020Public listening session.
Winter/Spring 2020LCHIP advice: leaving building in floodplain most fundable.
March 2020Town meeting votes to repair town hall without raising it.
June 2020First LCHIP proposal asks to leave building in floodplain.
November 2020LCHIP proposal is not funded.
Winter/Spring 2021New LCHIP staff advice: raising building is most fundable.
May 2021Town meeting votes to allow new LCHIP submission.
June 2021Second LCHIP proposal asks to raise the building.
November 2021Second LCHIP proposal is funded.
 

Listening Sessions

Forty residents attended the 2019 presentation.
Facilities Committee chair Jeff Gill presented a PowerPoint summary of the engineering study and the options it presented.

First presentation about Town Hall restoration (December 2019)

Here is a PDF of a PowerPoint presentation from town meeting March 12, 2020

Town Hall Restoration Presentation (March 2020)

Informational Session (January 29, 2022) at Town Hall; 26 people attended. Below is an audio recording of the event.

PDF of the PowerPoint (January 2022)

January 29, 2022 presentation audio

 

Other resource documents

Town Master Plan (2018): See Appendix A for survey results.

Town Hall Feasibility Study – Executive Summary (2019)

Full Feasibility Study in three parts

[Part 1 (full text)]

[Part 2 (appendices)]

[Part 3 (2017 final report)]

Poll taken at 2nd listening session (2020)

LCHIP Proposal (2021)

Agreement with LCHIP (2021)

 

2020 Town Meeting
Results of the vote on town hall options

Article 3, 4, & 5: The moderator explained that Article 3, 4 & 5 are path dependent. They will be discussed and voted on in order. Once one passes the following ones will not be considered. The moderator read all three advisory articles: (see below).  Chairman Palumbo explained that due to repeated flooding events mitigating measures need to be taken or the Town Hall will be unusable.  Jeffrey Gill, chairman of the facility committee, gave a summary analysis of the feasibility study done last year and indicated that three options from the study were being presented. He discussed the scope of work and costs of each option, and he indicated that $164,176 had already been funded over the last four years by the CIP committee.  No appropriation of funds will take place this year.  The vote tonight is advisory only to determine the direction of the LCHIP grant request that will be submitted in June. Funds from which, if allocated by LCHIP, may be distributed to the town in one year or over several.  No work will take place until 2021. Discussion ensued regarding the extent and number of floods that the Town Hall has endured recently.  Catherine Stearns raised the point that article 4 had the best chance of receiving an LCHIP grant. Al Price was in agreement pointing out that Article 5 has little chance of obtaining a grant and the town would then have to bear the full cost of mitigation. Tom Jenssen asked what the tax impact would be over time and Jeff said that it had not been determined. Budget estimates were given in a handout, which reflected potential cost per $1,000 of home value with and without a LCHIP grant.

ARTICLE 3:  After the above discussion the moderator reread this advisory article (To see if the Town will vote to support the raising (by 2.02 feet) of the Wilmot Town Hall at 9 North Wilmot Road to the level of the library to mitigate future water damage from a 500-year flood.  This project would at a minimum stabilize the foundation at the new elevation, fix floor joists by “sistering” with new lumber, install water removal and mitigation systems, insulate around the crawl space and foundation walls, and regrade around the building. (Majority vote required) — Selectmen abstain from recommendation to allow for Town to decide as it sees fit.). A motion was then made by Jan Baker and seconded by Mary Fanelli.   Vote by ballot. ARTICLE defeated 31 to 47.

ARTICLE 4:  Following the defeat of Article 3, the moderator reread the advisory article (In the event Article #3 fails, to see if the town will vote to support the repair of the Wilmot Town Hall at 9 North Wilmot Road at its current elevation.  This option accepts the risk of flood damage for 100-year and greater flood events.  This project would at a minimum stabilize the foundation at the current elevation (not raised to level of the library), fix floor joists by “sistering” with new lumber, install water removal and mitigation systems, insulate around the crawl space and foundation walls, and regrade around the building. (Majority vote required). Selectmen abstain from recommendation to allow for Town to decide as it sees fit.) A motion was made by Tom Jenssen and seconded by Bill Doody.  ARTICLE passed by ballot 74 to 5.

ARTICLE 5:  As a result of ARTICLE 4 passing, ARTICLE 5 was not voted upon.  (In the event that Articles #3 and #4 fail, to see if the Town will vote to support the replacement of the floor of the Wilmot Town Hall at 9 North Wilmot Road.  This project would replace the floor system with new joists, subfloor and finish flooring.  This does not include any work to the creativity lab floor system.  This would be the least expensive of the three options presented.  (Majority vote required) — Selectmen abstain from recommendation to allow for Town to decide as it sees fit). No Vote taken.

 

2021 Town Meeting
Results of the vote to pursue the LCHIP grant

ARTICLE 03      TOWN HALL REHABILITATION – A

            ADVISORY ARTICLE – To see if the Town will vote to accept the recommendations of the LCHIP Grant Team to resubmit for an LCHIP Grant in 2021 by amending the previous submission with the following changes: 1) Use the “raise the building” scenario to raise the Wilmot Town Hall and Creativity Lab at 9 North Wilmot Road to the level of the Library (2.02 feet higher) to mitigate future water damage from the 500-year flood plain; 2) Remove the “New Building Enhancements” including: generator, new well, bathroom upgrades, and additional electric outlets on the stage from the grant application. This project would, at a minimum, stabilize the foundation at the new elevation, fix floor joists by “sistering” with new lumber, install water removal and mitigation systems, insulate around the crawl space and foundation walls, and regrade around the building. (Majority vote required) – Selectmen abstain from recommendation to allow the Town to decide as it sees fit.

Article read by Deputy Moderator Scott Bemis.  Motion to approve by Tom Schamberg, Bill Doody seconded. Jeff Gill spoke to this article.  We did not get the LCHIP grant applied for last year.  Therefore, the town must decide how to proceed. Jeff Gill explained all three options for clarity.  Jonathan Schwartz asked to clarify that this vote was not to spend money but to support the submission for an LCHIP grant in 2021.  Jeff Gill confirmed that all three of these articles (3-5) are advisory and suggested that if the town does get the grant, there may be another town meeting scheduled.  There was discussion concerning this article then a call to vote.  Two-thirds majority determined agreement to vote.  Voting was done by secret ballot. 

Article 03 passed with 44 YES votes, 5 NO.

 

ARTICLE 04      TOWN HALL REHABILITATION – B

            ADVISORY ARTICLE – In the event ARTICLE 03 fails, to see if the Town will vote to NOT accept the recommendations of the LCHIP Grant Team to resubmit for a LCHIP Grant in 2021 and use only monies raised by taxes and donations to fund the project.  This project would, at a minimum, stabilize the foundation of the Town Hall at 9 North Wilmot Road at the existing elevation and therefore accept the risk of damage for 100-year and greater flood events, fix floor joists by “sistering” with new lumber, install water removal and mitigation systems, insulate around the crawl space and foundation walls, and regrade around the building. (Majority vote required) – Selectmen abstain from recommendation to allow the Town to decide as it sees fit.

No need to vote on this article as Article 03 passed.

 

ARTICLE 05      TOWN HALL REHABILITATION – C

            ADVISORY ARTICLE – In the event ARTICLE 04 fails, to see if the Town will vote to NOT accept the recommendations of the LCHIP Grant Team to resubmit for a LCHIP Grant in 2021 and use only monies raised by taxes and donations to fund the project. This project would, at a minimum, stabilize the foundation of the Town Hall at 9 North Wilmot Road at the existing elevation and therefore accept the risk of damage for 100-year and greater flood events, demolish then replace the entire floor system including the floor joists and finish flooring, install water removal and mitigation systems, insulate around the crawl space and foundation walls, and regrade around the building. (Majority vote required) – Selectmen abstain from recommendation to allow the Town to decide as it sees fit.

No need to vote on this article as Article 03 passed.

Next steps

In December 2021, the Town of Wilmot was informed that the state LCHIP (Land and Community Heritage Investment Program) had decided to fund the proposal submitted earlier in the year. Wilmot will receive $305,303, the full amount requested. This will greatly defray the expense of renovating the building, but will not pay for the entire project.

You are invited to the Thursday March 10, 2022

Wilmot Town Business meeting to vote on a warrant article to raise and appropriate funds for the purpose of renovating the town hall in accordance with the scope of work described and approved by LCHIP (see above link).

 

Some history:
When the Wilmot Town Hall was built 

These are clippings from Wilmot Annual Reports leading up to the construction of the new town hall in 1907. Note that in its early years the hall was rented out often and this revenue exceeded the cost of maintaining it.

 

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