26 Grist Mill Street Committee

Town of Sutton, NH

Meeting Minutes of August 26, 2019

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

Call to order:  Chair Dane Headley called the meeting to order at 2:47 p.m. 

Previous meeting minutes: It was moved by Glenn, seconded by Don and unanimously approved to approve the minutes of August 12 and 19 as written.

Old Business:

– Dane reviewed emails he had with Andrew Cushing which were then discussed by members.  The general consensus was that the examples Andrew presented of repurposing historic buildings was way beyond our scope.  Even if we were to retain a building for town use, the costs of bringing it up to the various required codes would be too expensive. It was agreed that we will not move forward with the grant application.  Dane will write and thank Andrew for his time and efforts.

–  Glenn reported on his discussion with town counsel regarding ADA requirements if the house is retained.  As long as the primary function of the building does not require public access, it does not need to meet ADA requirements.  If employees work in the building, ADA requirements only have to be met if one of the employees has a disability.

–  Members continued discussions about preserving the buildings or not.  Some of the suggestions in Andrew Cushing’s email would require changes to Sutton’s zoning regulations.  Don felt the changes suggested would be drastic ones and would therefor require careful thought and planning, something which could not be accomplished in the time frame under which we are working.

– Glenn wondered if taking everything down but the house and leaving it as is for now would cost much more than demolishing everything.  More ideas discussed, including keeping just the barn’s frame, adding a roof and incorporating that into the park.  It was suggested that the fate of the house could be left for another time, as long as it was buttoned up after the other buildings were removed.  If it wasn’t used for storage or something else, it could be torn down at a later date, but one would have more time to consider what it could be used for, now or in the future.  It was also suggested that town departments be asked what their storage needs are, if any, as if that is a proposed use for the house, we will need to justify it.

New Business:

– Dane asked that we define which scenarios we wish to explore in more depth. Bob offered to create new sheets with any updates we make. The consensus of the committee was that we pursue Sheet #3 – keep the house plus have a second sheet showing the house but also the barn frame moved to a different part of the lot (over the leach field was one idea).  We should also pursue Sheet #1 – tear down all the buildings plus have a second sheet showing that but with the barn frame on the lot. These second sheets will not show a shed.  No one was in favor of pursuing Sheets 2 & 4. It was agreed that we really need to work on costs associated with the scenarios.  Glenn offered to speak with an architect friend who might meet with us to go over some of our ideas, if the committee feels that would be helpful.  Betsy has someone in mind who she will try to contact. Anyone we bring in will be done so at a noticed meeting, with a quorum in attendance, if possible.  We could do it other than on a Monday and later in the day. It was also pointed out that we will probably need to have extra meetings outside of the usual Monday ones in order to meet our deadlines.  Folks seemed to be in agreement with this.

It was agreed that we need estimates for the following:

  * The removal of the ell and barn as well as an estimate to close up the back of the building and    

     make it secure.   

  * The removal of all the buildings.

  * The cost to dismantle the barn and reassemble just the frame, with a roof.

– The meeting with the Select Board on 8-19 was briefly reviewed.  We were okayed to expend $100 towards the NHPA grant, but that is now a moot point. 

–  Members discussed the public information meeting which will be held on Thursday, Sept. 26th at 7:00 p.m.  Dane will give an overview of what the committee has done to date. We will have copies of Bob’s plans.  Attendees can ask questions and make suggestions, but we will not have a dialogue back and forth about what should be done.  Any suggestions will be taken up at a future GMS meeting for consideration.  We would hope to have some preliminary cost figures to present but we won’t have anything firm at that time.

Next Meeting date: 

There will be no meeting on Sept. 2nd.  The next meeting will be held Monday, Sept. 9th @ 2:45 p.m.


There being no further business to conduct, it was moved by Glenn, seconded by Don and unanimously approved to adjourn at 3:47 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Betsy Forsham

Recording Secretary