"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Saturday, August 9, 2014

UNH Team to Perform BRC Gym/Facility Feasibility Study

After a lengthy discussion and an overview of the project structure and time frame, the BoS on Thursday approved awarding a gym/rec facility feasibility study to UNH under the leadership of Dr. Bob Barcelona and Dr. Boyd Haggerty. According to Dr Barcelona, UNH conducts these studies as a community service and in line with UNH's land grant mission. The fees charged are low, (less then $10,000) but enough to cover expenses and cover the costs of grad students to assist in the project. A recent similar study in Peterborough NH by a private consultant cost in the neighborhood of $50,000.
There are still some loose ends to tie up, but the process will include focus groups, small and large as well as surveys. The BoS discussed means to get the surveys out to as many people as possible including potentially  piggy backing to the Village Vision surveys yet to be distributed. It was made clear to the UNH folks that the study needs to include a close look at all facilities, including the schools and neighboring communities.
A major concern the BoS had was that the legislative body approved the site study, but was not asked to approve a feasibility study. What caused me to vote to approve this study was that the need to answer the fundamental question of what it is we truly need outweighed this concern. In addition, the BoS will be directly involved in every step of the process and will be responsible to identify and recruit focus groups and promote public participation to the greatest extent possible. The responsibility for a successful outcome is clearly on the BoS as it should be.
It is anticipated that work will begin in September and completed in November. 


27 comments:

Once And For All said...

Need to get a final answer on this " I Want ". Need a yes, or a no, with enough voters participating to have a believeable decision. History PROVES our best turnout was a survey, U S MAIL to all taxpayers. The 2008 Master Plan Survey had 1400 responses..versus 300 or so at the annual town meeting. Costs four or five grand, but this is a $ 5 million capital cost, W/O annual expense.
A poor second for a survey tried an Internet approach, with hard copy available at Library and Town Hall...only drew 688, and had scant representation from the old timers. Time to do the best we can, to get an answer here, and then once and for all, obey the public opinion.

Anonymous said...

We don't need any more survey's to tell us what we see with our own eyes and know deep down in our hearts. Population in Moultonborough is down not up. Why would our Selectmen be thinking of building another 5 million dollar gymnasium/ Community Center?

Selectmen's Punturieri and Tolman are on the right track, jobs first and the rest will follow.

Which Drawer ? said...

That last Master Plan Survey that drew 688 responses had a question about buying more land, or buildings, for recreation. By about a 2 to 1 margin, people said DO NOT spend anymore money.. That survey must be in the drawer, with the Branley Report, which reccomended combining the Rec after school program, and the school program, under the school Atheletic dept, using school buildings. One member of our BOS is boosting formation of a joint committee for facility sharing. This is long overdue.

I Was There...Yuck said...

Posted at 1:41 The selectmen are only carrying out the result of a vote on a warrant article at last years town meeting. That's the same meeting that gave a tie vote on our need for sidewalks...Feel secure ?
The warrant articles were drawn up by the T A, along with his legal council... It then went to a public Hearing, where the public spoke, but was not heard.. They tried to see if the building was needed, before a site study was conducted, but the BOS disregarded all changes, except a punctuation correction... Said no time to correct, re-notice, new hearing, and print up warrant for town meeting.
So we get another Hobson's Choice, mis-mash to vote on....kind of the thought that " we had better throw them something ".
This feasibility study must be rushed too...need it for Town Meeting. Kind of sad that we have to vote on a comedy of errors.

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

Gym site study meeting Monday 4:00 PM ... talk about the cart before the horse!

The site study was approved at the last Town meeting, to the tune of $17,500.

This has nothing to do, legally, with the present "feasibility" study that was just approved.

The feasibility study would fall under "Prudential Affairs", justifying the BoS expenditure for the feasibility study; town approval not needed ... but nice to have.

This is a valiant effort, on the BoS's part, to "go for," or "kill" this albatross.

Gym ...
Do we need it?
Damned if I know!
But we've already chalked up $17,500 for a site study ... before we know we need/want it.

I guess you need a PH.D in WTF!

http://www.moultonborough.org/Pages/MoultonboroughNH_MeetingsCal/?formid=158&calView=0

See ya there!

Trouble with a Capital T said...

Demographics are on the wane and the economy is in the doldrums but the geniuses running the town are like Johnny one notes. I can't decide if they're brain dead or clueless idiots? Either way we're in trouble!

Anonymous said...

I hope there is also an evaluation of current rec department use. There is no mention of an evaluation of the daily use of each rec program in this UNH study. That’s the first step.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

I'm not sure which one I am "brain dead" or a "clueless idiot" ( maybe both?) The issue of a site study was decided last town meeting. It was argued and debated at town meeting and the voters said do it. My job as a selectman is to do my part to find the best possible site as directed by the voters.
As to the feasibility study, I believe it is critical that we get some real answers as to what we really need in this community in terms of recreation. I spent a lot time looking into the UNH team and the studies they have done and I believe they will do a credible job.

Use What We Have Learned. said...

For sure, they may do a credible job, if the mechanics of this study are correct. At this point, they placed the responsibility for turning out people to survey square on the shoulders of the B O S. That's where it crashes and burns.. Village Charrette, Jul 2012 - 35 or 40 turnout, and a 40 pg glossy report, done byUNH and voted no confidence by a subsequent town M P survey.
Sidewalk builders committee..35 in attendance to hear the done deal...No opinions needed.
Village Vision Study..150 stakeholdsre invited, less then 20 attended.
This MUST tell the BOS that this is just going to be another indecisive exercise unless they reach voters, and we have shown that a written survey in the U S MAIL will do this. We had 1400 a answer the 2008 M P survey.
Their will be pressure against a complete survey. It may interfere with a small groups plans for us. But it is the only way to reach a valid decision.

Anonymous said...

if seniors are the growing demographic shouldn't we find out what they need?

Anonymous said...

Nope, the seniors are just expected to pay what is deemed NECESSARY for THE CHILDREN.

2 Seniors said...

Good EMT, fire & police are services we would like the town to provide.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Seniors.....no can do until we provide FOR THE CHILDREN!

Anonymous said...

Can't we take care of both children and seniors? Why so cynical?

Anonymous said...

The children in Moultonboro have always been a priority but when is never enough?

Just Around the Corner said...

Has anyone been looking at the Meredith facility? Before we start laying bricks for yet another duplicitous effort for a Gym/community center we should only have to see what Meredith did. AND they went to a huge effort (and expense) to keep it all within the "official Rusty Mac Look". With 50% more residents than M-boro they have the facility and it is being highly UNDER used. They just through out the seniors by charging them more rent than the program could afford... proving their lack of interest for the seniors.
Personally I don't see a public sector group like the UNH crew (tax dependents, not tax payers) coming up with anything but "We need it and will suffer greatly without it... let's double the size"

For Sanity said...

For whatever it is worth, the decision was made by the voters to authorize the site study. UNH will probably be less expensive than a private consultant.

What now needs to happen is that the study come back with a proposed site and specs. Then if the opponents really want to defeat the facility they need to start a campaign and if they believe that a small younger group of voters are the only at Town meetings who can sit for 6+ hours until the warrant article comes up, than get a petition out now for SB2.

It probably won't help for the next Town Meeting as any SB 2 vote, if approved, would only implement it in 2016, but now is the time to do the needed groundwork to;

(1) Start a campaign to defeat any Rec Center/Gym at the 2015 Town Meeting, and

(2) Get a valid petition with enough signatures for a 2015 vote on SB 2.


More Sunlight. said...

For Sanity. Your last paragraphs are spot on....But the first needs clarification...the site study, as requested by the 2014 town meeting, is being done by the schools archetect, and the school systems civil engineering firm, Rist Frost, Shumway of Laconia. Meeting 4 P M this afternoon, so we can hear how they are making out.
The next question is if we need/want it...called a Blue Ribbon Feasibility study, after a committee of five, disbanded two years ago. ( yes, they got the sequence wrong ). There was no authorization for this from the public, but our T A realized it was the last link needed to get the gym approved at the next annual town meeting, so he found a cheap deal we could manage at UNH, and has a request in to the BOS to proceed, feas-wise.
I wonder if this fast-track is planned to get to the town meeting before S B 2

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

Maybe more attention should be paid to the Capital Improvements Program Committee spreadsheet, especially lines 52-59 inclusive!

http://www.moultonborough.org/Pages/MoultonboroughNH_BComm/CIPC/CIPC.pdf

The only 2014 town authorization was Article 13, the $17,500 (line 58) of the CIPC spreadsheet, for a site study, not a feasibility study if we need/want it, that was just approved by the BoS.

The BoS doesn't need town authorization. It can legally proceed without town approval under the "Prudential Affairs" doctrine. The warrants, so far, are a stamp of approval ... not dicta. Nothing wrong with ... "let the legislative body decide".

http://www.nhmunicipal.org/TownAndCity/Article/423

Maybe a petition warrant for the town meeting, to get authorization from the legislative body, before proceeding to authorize any more expenditure for the "Rec." center, might be more effective.

Personally, I'm for this "new" feasibility study, to find out if the town "need"s the Rec. center, UNH notwithstanding.

Let's have the fight now.

Warrant articles can come later.

Town meeting ... "special town meeting" ... rec. center ... SB 2.

Why once a year in March?

"... 50 or more voters ... so presented not less than 60 days before the next annual meeting, the selectmen shall warn a special meeting to act upon any question specified in such application."

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/III/39/39-3.htm

Pay attention snowbirds!

Let the fun accelerate!


SB2 said...

Because Moultonborough uses the Town Meeting form of government, I wonder how many snowbirds know that SB2 will give them more power over the purse strings than they presently have?

Anonymous said...

SB2 is not the answer as long as we have VOTER APATHY! That is the real problem!

A Fair Voice said...

S B 2 will provide relief for the two most common reasons for not voting:

# 1. I am in Florida till April.

# 2 I am elderly and arthritic, and can not spend 4 hours in a chair.

Eliminate those two reasons, and we will be fair to all voters, by allowing absentee ballots.

Less Wiggle Room said...

S B 2 will also give us a firm paper trail to read before voting. This will eliminate the need for a lawyer needed to interpret how we voted at Annual Town Meeting. Saves legal fees.

Josh Bartlett said...

Reason #3 for SB-2:
Fairness to folks who need to work on Saturday.... To run businesses, work retail or service industry, or to be in business trips.

Hear Me Roar said...

Reason #4 I get to vote, in the privacy of the ballot booth, from 7am to 7pm on how I would like my tax dollars spent.

Anonymous said...

Well, what are we waiting for --

Lets get the petition together for SB2 asap, and this tie lets have a good pr campaign so we win.

It is the only way we ever can gain a semblance of control over the Town good old boys who seem to always control the agenda as well as the results.

Old Boys Got Wacked.. said...

The town " good old boys " almost got forced into a sidewalk. If they have learned anything, they must be a bit more S B 2 friendly. Our main threat is APATHY...poor voter turnout. We have some strong voting blocks...300 plus school employees, and parents that must be here winters with their school children. We only had 200 to vote, total, on sidewalks.
To get a valid voice on issues, we must get more votes turned out. S B 2 will make absentee ballots available to our older citizens, and snowbirds, and anyone else who can not be here. Only fair to allow all to vote.