Town of Sutton, NH

26 Grist Mill Street Committee

Meeting Minutes of September 19, 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 4:06 p.m. 

Previous meeting minutes: It was moved by Bob, seconded by Glenn and unanimously approved to approve the minutes of September 9, 2019 as written.

Old Business:

– Dane reviewed an email received from Peter Ladd, dated 9/12, in which Peter commented further about some of what he saw during his house visit on 9/11.

– Brief discussion about converting barn frame to a pavilion.  It was the opinion of several folks who viewed the structure that the cost would be prohibitive, so the idea will not be pursued.

New Business:

Glenn gave an overview of Hunter Ulf’s visit to the house this afternoonHunter felt the house is in pretty good shape.  If it were used for storage, he suggested that we check with our code enforcement officer in case there are upgrades which might need to be made due to the house’s change in use.  He did have a question about a beam in the basement, behind the furnace, which seems to have dropped some.  He offered some thoughts on maintenance costs, both monthly and long term. He felt that setting aside $3,000/year in a capital reserve fund would easily cover both monthly utility and future maintenance costs such as a new roof and painting the house.  If the ell and barn were removed, he thought that it would cost around $20,000 for the demolition and no more than $20,000 to put up a wall and button up the house.


Glenn reported that NH Demolition has agreed to come and look at the site in a week or two and will give us estimates to remove all the buildings as well as one to remove just the ell and barn. Two other companies were also suggested from whom to get estimates, which Glenn and Bob will solicit.


A spirited discussion ensued about getting hard costs for potential future uses vs. just those costs for what might be done in the present.  Andy suggested we look at the site with 4 things in mind:  1) first and foremost, parking; 2) Aesthetics/ preserving the present character of Main St.; 3) Community space needs, inside (storage) and outside (park); 4) Office space (which we have pretty much decided would be too expensive).  It was agreed that we do need costs for creating the parking area(s) and the site work involved both for that, the park and a shed for the hearse.


It was suggested that perhaps we could use the back of the house, once the ell and barn are gone, for displaying the hearse and even other historic artifacts.  The rest of the house would be used for storage. The hearse was measured – it is 12’ long, 6’ wide and 7 ½’ high.  It was noted that wherever it is displayed, it will need to be in a climate controlled space.  If it was placed in the house, the heat from there might suffice.  A mini-split unit, which heats, cools and dehumidifies, might be a solution. This idea was bandied about and will be pursued with the contractor who is coming to view the house tomorrow.


It was agreed by all that we need cost estimates for: 1) a stand-alone shed, with climate controls, to display the hearse; 2) conversion of the house to office space; 3) retaining the main structure (house) and utilizing it to display the hearse and sleigh.


Glenn agreed to email town counsel and ask for the definition of “alteration” of a building as it pertains to ADA requirements.


Next Meeting date: 

 Members agreed to have a work session at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, in order to prepare for the public information session to be held at 7:00 p.m. that evening.



There being no further business to conduct, it was moved by Betsy, seconded by Andy and unanimously approved to adjourn at 5:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Betsy Forsham

Recording Secretary