Town of Sutton, NH

26 Grist Mill Street Committee

Meeting Minutes of October 10, 2019


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

Call to order:  Chair Dane Headley called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m. 

Previous meeting minutes: It was moved by Bob, seconded by Andy and unanimously approved to approve the minutes of October 3, 2019 as written.

Old Business:

– Bob reported that Tom Paul told him the sense of the MFFM executive board members is that the museum would like to house the town hearse at the farm and at no charge.  It would have to be voted on by the full board of directors before any action could be taken. Both sides agree that there are a number of details which would need to be worked out before anything could happen.


– Members discussed demolition estimates received to date with one more to come.  It was the sense of the committee that the foam insulation in the house basement should not be buried and should be removed prior to any demolition.  Betsy agreed to ask the contractors how much extra that would cost as well as well as ask for clarification of what the estimates include as well as how long the project would take.

– Dane asked if anyone had any cost figures to share.  Don spoke about the shelter/pavilions he had shown us last meeting, stating that the one at Winslow State Park cost $50,000 to construct and would cost more if it were built today.  Don reviewed the dimensions of the structure as well as other examples he had found on line from other towns and parks.  He also shared examples of hearse houses and documents the Sutton Historical Society uses when accepting items for its collection. These subjects, while perhaps useful at a future time, exceed the scope of our current charge.  Betsy was directed to create a folder for the materials and to have them stored at town hall (probably in the 26 GMS property file).  Glenn opined that the cost of a shed/pavilion should be a separate warrant article, this year or in the future, but that it should not be attached to the costs associated with the disposition of the buildings currently on the lot which was met with general agreement.

 – Discussion of various maintenance costs ensued:  1) Glenn has a call in to the propane provider in order to determine potential usage and cost of heating the house at 50 degrees.  2) Glenn also agreed to contact a house painter and get a rough idea of how much it would cost to maintain the exterior paint in good condition. 3)  We will include estimates for roof replacement costs as well as the cost to relocate the electric panel as part of the specs we give to building contractors. 4)  Glenn will ask Elly about electricity costs as well as about insurance coverage for just the house.

New Business:

– It was agreed that we do not need to consider a shed/pavilion in our scenarios. It could be, as Glenn suggested earlier, a separate warrant article or something to be considered in the future.  We need to focus on our main mandate – parking. This involves determining the fate of the buildings and the creation of a green space/park area, and the associated costs. Dane felt it important, for safety reasons, to include some kind of fencing and lighting costs, too.   

– Discussed the old tree and whether having a driveway adjacent to it would do it harm.  More discussion with the road agent is needed in determining how much to raise the grade from the road onto the lot.  It was still felt it a good idea to consult with an arborist about the tree regardless of how the entrance will be configured.


–  Further discussion about storage needs and if there are ones which exists.  Dane has viewed the current storage areas in town hall and determined that there is still quite a bit of room available.  He feels it would be a stretch to say we need the house for storage.  Rather, the main reason for keeping it would be the aesthetics.  There was disagreement expressed, as it was felt that the house might serve some future purpose and that the cost of maintaining it for a few years would not be much more than the cost of demolishing it now.  That cost difference, roughly $7,000, could be put in a maintenance account towards its upkeep.


–  Betsy told the members that she had shown the house to the president of a local historical society which is looking for a bigger home and discussed options for moving the building to a site in her town.  It is probably a pipe dream, but it would be a nice use of the house if the voters decided not to keep it.


–  Discussion about creating specs to give to site contractors for estimates to create the parking area and the park, which would include: smoothing out the entire area; bluestone for the parking spaces; and a new lawn area for the park. We also need estimates for lighting, both sides of the lot; fencing, the costs for which we could get from bills paid for the fencing erected at the Sutton Mills cemetery; and setting up electrical service. Dane indicated we will fine tune these specs at next week’s meeting.


 –  Members reviewed the specs for building contractors and made some revisions.  Betsy will send them out to CLF and any others who will be looking at the buildings as well as to members.


– Bob agreed to revise the plans for scenarios 1 & 3, with the “shed” removed.


–  Betsy reminded members that she will be away both Thursday Oct. 24 and 31.


Next Meeting date: 

 The next meeting will be held on Thursday, Oct. 17 @ 4:00 p.m.



There being no further business to conduct, it was moved by Andy, seconded by Glenn and unanimously approved to adjourn at 5:57 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Betsy Forsham

Recording Secretary