conway selectmen

Conway selectmen deliberate at Conway Town Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 3. From left are Executive Assistant Krista Day, Town Manager Tom Holmes, Selectmen Chairman David Weathers, Assistant Chairman Mary Carey Seavey and Selectmen Carl Thibodeau, John Colbath and Steve Porter. (ROB BURBANK PHOTO)

CONWAY— Town Public Works Director Paul DegliAngeli on Tuesday night gave selectmen a heads-up on the need to solicit bids for expansion of the town’s public works garage in Center Conway.

Improvements to the garage, built in 1988, had been planned for the past two years but were delayed due to other priorities, such as moving the Conway Parks and Recreation Department from the Conway Community Building to renovated space at Kennett Middle School.

The anticipated cost would be approximately $786,000, DegliAngeli said.

He said money in the capital reserve fund is “inadequate” for the garage project and a proposal to raise additional funds will need to go before voters.

“The question tonight is whether or not you would like to go out to bid again, because we can’t really wait for the vote (at town meeting in March) and go out to bid,” DegliAngeli said.

He said the town should seek bids “not too far past mid-January,” adding, “We would not be able to bid it in April and get it built in 2020.”

Town Manager Tom Holmes said taxpayers would be asked to raise $286,000 — the difference between the $786,000 cost and the $500,000 already approved in capital reserve.

Renovations to the town garage are to include adding two large bays, which would provide space for four vehicles. Office space and the break room area would be demolished. A second-floor addition would house those functions as well as a foreman’s office. Two restrooms also would be added.

The building is not served by a municipal water system and does not include a fire protection system. Regarding the latter, DegliAngeli said the town is “looking into an aqueous or chemical solution, or both.”

He said the renovation is being looked at as a two-part project: “Get the building up and the renovation done, and come back and do fire protection.”

He said the new building should be sufficient to serve the town’s needs for the next 20 years.

As presented to selectmen Tuesday, the funding request for the garage was rolled into a capital reserve line for maintenance of town buildings and facilities that also includes $95,000 for air conditioning at the new rec center; $50,000 to support the police department’s purchase of a new generator; and $40,000 for renovations associated with the planned move of town hall to the Bank of NH building in Conway Village. Voters in 2018 approved $160,000, currently in an encumbered account, for the bank building renovations.

Holmes will be separating each of those items into individual funding requests for inclusion in the town meeting warrant, and selectmen are set to review them next week.

Selectman Carl Thibodeau praised the separation of the funding proposals into individual requests, saying: “You run the risk of losing the whole thing by not giving people an adequate choice. That truly gives the voter a choice.”

In other action, selectmen approved the transfer of up to $2,500 to pay for a new computer server to provide for a security camera at the new recreation center.

The board also approved a request from North Country Soil Services to perform wetlands testing and survey work on town land near Pudding Pond as part of a study of the new 2.8-mile, multi-use recreation path being pursued by the Mt. Washington Valley Trails Association.

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