Cohasset Preservation Committee Tables Town Hall Restoration request

The Cohasset Preservation Commission voted to table a request from Brian Joyce, Cohasset’s Director of Project Management Planning, for $450,000 in 2014 CPC funds for  bid ready plans and specifications for the Restoration and Rehabilitation to Cohasset Town Hall. The design fees for the project are projected at $450,000. CPC questioned that number as being very high when board members felt plans already existed from several years ago, as first done by Architect Jim Sandall.

Joyce told CPC that the Town planned to put out to bid per MGL Chapter 149 procurement law to get a full budget number for the construction to discuss and vote on at Annual town meeting 2014. There are three options.  Option A would cost the town  $4.5MM. Option B and C would cost $6.2MM.

CPC Chair Russ Bonetti questioned Joyce as to why there had not been any public hearings on the bid drawings and why there were no plans for Town Meeting to be involved until a later time, until after a half a million dollars had been spent on bid drawings. “Do we want to fund bid drawings, at least one year away?” CPC member Todd Golff said the entire issue should be exposed to broad public comment before continuing onward.

Although Joyce said in the CPC application he had met with Capital Budget, Capital Budget Chairman Steve Gaumer told the CPC it was the first time he had heard about this and that his committee would like to weigh in on the issue before funds were voted.

Bonetti said he felt the project was a bit like trying to turn a biplane into a jet engine. “Maybe we should start from scratch,” he wondered aloud.

Capital Budget committee member Jack Kenilley said “This is not ready for prime time.”

Sewer Commissioner Wayne Sawchuk questioned what was to gained with the project, other than two office spaces. “What is the benefit for the town to do this?  What will $2MM get us?

In related business the CPC voted to give $23,000 to the Paul Pratt Memorial Library to repair roof and the damaged Codfish weathervane. If there is any insurance settlement, those funds will be deducted from the $23,000.(Library Trustee Agnes McCann called to say  the fish on the library’s weather vane is a mackerel (not a cod) was inspired by the very lucrative mackerel industry Cohasset was known for in the 1850s).

Voted to give $60,000 in upfront costs for purchasing new playground equipment for the Deer Hill School. CPC also offered matching funds up to $120,000.

CPC tabled a request from Ted Carroll, Cohasset Recreation Commission, to replaced basketball poles and lighting at the Paul Pratt Library location. CPC asked Carroll to get some bids first and then they will revisit the issue.  Carroll’s request was for $65,000, a number that CPC felt was too high.

Town Clerk Carol St. Pierre will get $75,000 from CPC funds, or the actual cost, of preserving, rebinding and repair town records. The restoration and preservation of the documents includes the chemical treatment (deacidification) of paper to neutralize destructive acids, repair tears and other damage to paper and the protection of the text by rebinding.

CPC voted $15,050 to replace/repair the Lightkeeper’s Storage shed Roof and interior ceiling at Government Island the Boarder Street.

According to Bonetti, 

The CPC currently has $3,137 in its’ Open Space account, $88,975 in the Community housing account, and $692,000 in the unreserved fund account.  For FY14 we are projecting CPC income to be $412,000 from the Town contribution plus $108,000 from the State for a total of $520.000.  From that amount $52,000 will be set aside in each of our accounts, which include Historical Preservation, Community Housing, and Open Space.  Each year the CPC is required to reserve 10% of revenue in those accounts.  In addition, the CPC can set aside 5% of income to administer the CPC program.  Administrative costs include CPC dues, as well as any legal bills the committee may have.
© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed
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  1 comment for “Cohasset Preservation Committee Tables Town Hall Restoration request

  1. Callahan
    March 22, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    If one recalls, the new addition to town hall cost around or over $1 million at the time. Does anyone believe that the minimalist addition was worth $1 million then or even in today’s dollars? Municipal projects have built-in added costs. I have heard about renovations to the old buiding for years. It is indeed like turning a biplane into a jet, and so a very through cost-benefit analysis had best be done. If only 2 offices are gained, I would suggest not. Perhaps we should consider that since we are a small towm, all building space should be utilized. The old town hall auditorium stinks as a meeting place because of lousy acoustics (perhaps a simple acoustical improvement project there is all that should be done). But we have plenty of decent meeting places in the school buildings. Office space? Storage space? Let’s assess the true needs and not think evey office needs to be in the same building. We are, I am sure, going to be presented a bill for a Taj Mahal sr. center when fundraising falls short. Let’s not add another crazy bill to it. And here’s a though, why not turn the generally useless auditorium into a senior center rather than build a new building. Elections and plays, the aud’s only real functions, can move to the school buildings.

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