Town of Sutton, NH

26 Grist Mill Street Committee

Meeting Minutes of October 3, 2019

Members present:  Dane Headley, Chair, Don Davis, Glenn Pogust, Bob DeFelice, Andy Jeffrey and Betsy Forsham.

Members of the public present:  John Jones, Corporation Hill Rd.

Call to order:  Chair Dane Headley called the meeting to order at 4:01 p.m. 

Previous meeting minutes: It was moved by Bob, seconded by Glenn and unanimously approved to approve the minutes of September 19, 2019 as written.  It was moved by Glenn, seconded by Don and unanimously approved to approve the minutes of the public information session held on 9-26, with one correction.

John Jones was asked if had comments to make which he did, concerning the hearse.  He felt it was a good idea to remove it from the stage so that the stage could be used again.  He had a suggestion of where to place it in town hall but was told it would interfere with voting booths.  He was thanked for coming and left the meeting.

Old Business:

Public Information Session recap – Dane thought it went very well.  23 folks attended.  It was the sense of the committee that the consensus was pretty evenly divided between demolishing all the buildings vs. keeping just the house.  We’ll have a better sense of public sentiment once we get a fix on costs which will be discussed at the next public session/hearing.

Contractors’ visits/communications – 1) Glenn spoke about his meeting with NH Demolition on 9-27 and found them thorough and professional.  The sent an estimate within a few days. They did not think there was a concern with asbestos.  They said they would leave the concrete slab and foundation, fill it with any rocks they encountered but we would be responsible for back filling it.  They indicated that they need 6-12 inches removed between the back wall of the house and the ell, if the house were to be left standing, so as to not damage it when removing the other structures.  The demolition estimates were $10,200 for house only; $13,680 for the ell and barn; $23,000 for all the structures with a deduction of $880 if all three are removed. It was noted that we could get rid of the septic tank as it will no longer be needed. 2) Betsy spoke about her meeting with Kevin Rowe, Rowe Brothers Excavation, on 10-2.  She reviewed the 2 demolition scenarios with him, discussed asbestos concerns, leaving and filling the foundation, etc.  He will get an estimate to us soon.  It was suggested that we also solicit a bid for from him for site work associated with creation of a parking area and park.  Andy noted that he had invited a third contractor to come and view the site and give an estimate for demolition, but the fellow declined as he felt local contractors should be getting the work.

Plans/Specs for John Chadwick, CLF Builders – Committee developed some specific specs for Chadwick’s consideration, both for the house and a stand- alone, climate controlled structure in which to house the hearse. It was agreed to hold off on sending them until we have a better idea of what might be done with the hearse.

– Further discussion about storage needs and the possibility of utilizing a commercial storage facility.  Some members opined that they are expensive (minimum of $135 for a small, unheated unit) and many do not have climate controls. 

– More discussion about scenario #2 in which all the building are gone but an aesthetically pleasing 18 x 20 building would be built where the house now stands.  The hearse could be housed therein.  The 6 parking spaces along Grist Mill St. would be relocated from what the drawing now shows.  A pavilion for picnic tables could perhaps be built towards the back of the lot, at a later time.

New Business:

– It was agreed that when we develop the specs for the project (s), they should be given to all the contractors giving us estimates with whom we have met or will be meeting.

– Members discussed Roger Well’s proposal which he submitted at the public information session.  Discussed ways to integrate some of his ideas into some of our scenarios.  All seemed to be in agreement that parking should be to the front of the lot, not in the rear as shown on his plan.  More discussion about combining Roger’s plan with Scenario #1 and part of #2, the latter of which shows the shed/pavilion up front where the house presently stands.

–  Discussed alternative locations for the town hearse.  Bob mentioned that he had spoken with Tom Paul, Chair of the MFFM Board of Directors, about storing the hearse somewhere at the farm.  Paul will bring up the subject at a meeting being held on 10-8 to determine if there would be interest in doing so and where. .Both agreed that there would be several things to consider such as insurance and liability, length of time the museum would be willing to store the hearse, display options, etc. All this will be addressed in detail, once we know the farm museum’s level of interest. It was noted that if the hearse did go to the farm museum, then any pavilion/shed we might construct could be done at a later date and would only be for aesthetics and as a cover for picnic tables and the like.

To Do List:

1)  Contact someone knowledgeable about the old maple tree in front of the house and if creating a driveway adjacent to it would injure it.  Don agreed to do the contacting.

2)  Dane feels we should have estimates from 3 contractors.  After we know more about the disposition of the hearse, Andy agreed to find someone.

3)  We need to pin down the electricity and heating costs for the house.  It was suggested that the providers should be able to give us some figures.

4)  We need costs associated with creating the parking area.  Betsy agreed to ask another earth mover she has worked with.  We’ll get some specs, first, before approaching him, Rowe Brothers and any other business.


Next Meeting date: 

 The next meeting will be held on Thursday, Oct. 10 @ 4:00 p.m.



There being no further business to conduct, it was moved by Glenn, seconded by Andy and unanimously approved to adjourn at 6:12 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Betsy Forsham

Recording Secretary