Sunapee Seniors to host candidates forum

The Sunapee Seniors will hold their annual Candidates Day meeting on Monday, February 24 at 1 p.m. at the Sunapee Methodist Church, Lower Main Street. The public is invited to attend. All candidates for Sunapee school and town offices have been invited to present their views and qualifications. Election Day is Tuesday, March 11.

Also, at the Seniors meeting, Sunapee Town Manager Donna Nashawaty and Superintendent of Schools Russell Holden will answer questions about town and school warrant articles and Director Mary Danko from Abbott Library will give a progress report on the new town library under construction.

If the weather is inclement, the meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 25 at 1:00 at the Sunapee Methodist Church.

Sunapee voters approve $975,000 for new library

Voters in Sunapee yesterday approved a $6.065 million town budget and all town warrant articles including Article 11, to borrow $975,000 to help build a new library. The article for the library required a 3/5th vote; it passed by 12 votes, 601-380.

AbbottLibraryvotesign_CCThe proposed $2.7 million library, to be built next to Sunapee Center on Sargent Road, will be funded by a mix of private (60%) and public funds (40%), according to the library’s funding plan.

Voters also passed a school budget of $10.7 million and all other school warrant articles except one. A request for $270,000 to improve and expand the art room at the high school failed, 533-413.

In the selectboard race, incumbents Fred Gallup (697) and Emma Smith (515) defeated challenger Veronica Hastings (362) for two, three-year terms. This was the only contest in town this year.

Michael Ripley and Brian Garland were elected to return to the Sunapee school board for three-year terms.

See the 2013 town and school ballot results via the town website.

Sunapee Open House for new library director Mary Danko

Sunapee, N.H. – An open house to welcome Mary Danko, the new director of Sunapee’s Abbott Library, will be held at the library on Saturday, January 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Danko is a graduate of Dartmouth College and received her Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University. She formerly served as director of the Hartland Public Library in Vermont.

Sunapee Town Report honors Bill Roach and Pat Hand

It’s simply stated and deeply felt: “Sunapee will miss them both!”

The 2011 Sunapee Town Report honors William “Bill” Roach and Patricia Hand.  Accompanied by two photos, the memorial page details their many years of service to the town…

Bill Roach (1927-2011) served the community in many different capacities. He was a Sunapee firefighter for 36 years, tax collector for 14 years, water and sewer commissioner for 27 years, and selectman for 10 years. Bill also served on countless committees including Sunapee’s Bicentennial Committee. The Sunapee Fire Department, in 2005, named him Citizen of the Year.

Pat Hand (1942-2010) was the Abbott Library librarian for 28 years, retiring in 2005. Under Pat’s guidance, the library became one of the first small libraries in New Hampshire to computerize its card catalog. Pat also served as secretary and membership chair of the Sunapee Historical Society.

The Town Report is available on-line via the town website, and will be available for pick-up starting Friday, March 2 at the following locations: Town Offices, Transfer Station, Abbott Library and Sunapee Police Department.

Sunapee’s Abbott Library Offers Mango Language Learning

Do you want to brush up on your conversational French, Spanish or German? Or maybe it’s time to learn a new language, how about Mandarin Chinese or Thai?  Abbott Library in Sunapee now offers a subscription to Mango Languages for on-line learning.

Mango is “designed to help patrons of all kinds learn practical conversation skills for the world’s most popular languages in a fun and engaging formats,” according to library Director John Walden. “The Mango program is accessible via the web from both the library and from home. If you would like to use Mango languages from home just have your Abbott Library card ready and click on the Mango link on the library homepage and start learning a new language today!”

The Friends of Abbott Library funded the Mango subscription.

If you’ve forgotten to return books or media to the Sunapee town library, now is the time to hunt them down and get them back to the library. Abbott Library is waiving all fines during this holiday season.

“Late items returned between November 22 (2010) and  January 3 (2011) will not incur fines. The library is also waiving all older fines as well giving everyone a clean slate for the new year,” according to the library director.

For more information, visit the Abbott Library website or call 603-763-5513.

Library Notes from the Lake Sunapee Region

Nov. 13: The Pillsbury Free Library in Warner will be hosting a game day for all ages on Saturday November 13, from 10-1. The library will provide traditional and new board games for groups to play such as Wits and Wagers Family version, Hula Hippo and lots of others, as well as video games for Play Station 3 including Guitar Hero 3, Beatles Rock Band,  Little Big Planet and others; and games on the Wii, such as Wii fit, Wii Play, Wii Sports and Super Mario Bros. This is the third annual National “Gaming at Your Library Day,” writes Library Trustee Laura Milliken. “Come see our newly redecorated meeting room.” Call 456-2289 for more information. Pillsbury Free Library

On-Going: Sunapee’s Abbott Library is now making an Apple IPad available for use at the library. “If you are interested in using the IPad just drop in, email us or call ahead to reserve an hour of time in order to explore all the features the IPad has to offer. A variety of content will be pre-loaded and it will have Internet access via the library wireless network,” reads the announcement on the Abbott Library website.

Nov. 18: At Richard’s Free Library in Newport, Roads Less Traveled: Visionary New England Lives with author John Walters will be presented on Thursday, Nov 18th at 7 pm. Roads Less Traveled tells the life stories of some truly remarkable people — people whose lives are full of passion and purpose. They have devoted themselves to a career, an art form, an idea, or a cause,” reads the announcement. “They have literally taken their own ‘road less traveled.’ Their stories  testify to the breadth of human creativity, and the strength of the human spirit. All are residents of VT or NH.” 

Walters writes about people you know including: Continue reading

Sunapee’s Abbott Library Posts Questionnaire for Voters

A questionnaire intended to survey public opinion about library space in Sunapee is now available at the town library and on-line at the Abbott Library website. The form is only for Sunapee voters who did not already receive a copy via the mail, according to the library website. Continue reading

Sunapee Film Series Continues

A 16 mm spring-wound Bolex camera.

Image via Wikipedia

Movie fans, mark your calendar. The Abbott Library film series continues with two screenings this month at the Sunapee Middle High School in the music room. Each film starts at 7 p.m. and there is no charge for admission. “Ginger and Cinnamon,” an  Italian film with English subtitles, will be shown on March 19. The Norwegian movie “Troubled Water” follows on March 26. On April 2, a French film–”Welcome”–will be screened and “The Drummer” (Mandarin and Cantonese with English subtitles) on April 16. Funded by the Friends of Abbott Library, the series screens award winning independent and foreign films selected by Film Movement, and each film is available for loan from the Sunapee library following its screening. For more info, visit the library website.

Sunapee News Updates OTH-Library Resource Page

Sunapee News has added to its Old Town Hall-Library resource page more information about rehabilitation of the Old Town Hall for a new library community center. The latest addition is the Abbott Library Building Committee’s PowerPoint presentation, which has been shown and discussed at various public meetings this winter. Download/view the PowerPoint presentation here, (file size is 2.8MB): PP Library-Old Town Hall Info

Sunapee Library Supporters Respond to Anonymous Mailer

In response to an anonymous mailer that many Sunapee residents received this week, the chairman of the Abbott Library Building Committee has issued this statement.

To the Residents of Sunapee:

A mailer was recently delivered to Sunapee residents, asking residents not to support the concept of creating a new Library by renovating the Old Town Hall. The mailer does not identify its source or fiscal agent, as is customary. The mailer includes several incorrect “facts” and provides some incomplete information, both a disservice to the residents of Sunapee. Please consider:

  • Roger Landry, Town Zoning Administrator, has confirmed that the Old Town Hall property is NOT in the flood plain.
  • The concept plan calls for an increased setback from Main Street, enlarging the entryway and sidewalk in front of the building.
  • Renovating the Old Town Hall as a library is feasible, cost effective, and will create ample space for a library. The concept plan provides for reinforcement of the building’s structure, removal and replacement of the building structure below the Main Street level, and new wings on the east (old police station) and north side of the building. At the Main Street level and above, the building structure and interior paneling will remain, while roofing, siding and windows will be replaced. The clock tower and horse ramp, character defining historic features of the building, will be preserved.
  • In 2007, the Building Committee of the Library Trustees conducted an exhaustive, fact-based survey of fifteen possible sites for Sunapee’s new library. In a blind scoring system, sites were ranked and from this process, the harbor site adjacent to the Old Town Hall was found to be the best available location. Combining this approved site and the adjacent site, and including the usable portions of the Old Town Hall, is a logical improvement to the site concept, as it provides ample building space, 31 parking spaces, more green space and a historic reference that can help Sunapee’s new library become so much more.
  • Cost to finish the lowest level is not included in the conceptual project cost estimate because its public use is yet to be determined.
  • The Harbor Riverway site is 0.9 acres in size. The combined Harbor Riverway – Old Town Hall site is 1.4 acres in size. Up to $200,000 of the total $400,000 land purchase price may be gifted by Riverway stockholders. The concept plan locates a portion of the proposed building addition on the Riverway lot. Ways of controlling non-library use of the parking lot have been discussed. However, peak weekend parking demand primarily occurs when the library is closed.
  • A conceptual design and cost estimate are the first steps in any building design process. As a design progresses, estimates are refined. It is not unusual for public projects to establish and hold to project costs early in the design process. Like the concept plan, the 2006 Charrette planning was also a volunteer effort. However, the concept plan estimate is based on substantially more detailed information than was available to construction estimators at the Charrette, who provided a “ball park” estimate.
  • The mailer does not list Article 23 in its entirety. It omits the last sentence, which describes Article 23 as advisory only, and that it’s placement on the warrant is supported by the Library Board of Trustees, Old Town Hall Committee, and Board of Selectmen.

To learn more about the Sunapee Library- Old Town Hall concept plan, visit

Thank you for your consideration.

Barbara Chalmers Chair, Abbott Library Building Committee

In Sunapee Atticus Finch Steps from the Pages

Abbott Library, Sunapee, is participating with other Granite State libraries this month in the The Big Read: New Hampshire Reads To Kill a Mockingbird,” a statewide program organized by the Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library. The Sunapee library will host a portrayal of Atticus Finch by Richard Clark, an actor with over thirty years of experience in New England regional theater, New York Theater and television on Wednesday, March 3 at the Sunapee Methodist Church at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Libraries, schools, bookstores and other organizations throughout New Hampshire will be holding Big Read events during March 2010. A list of participating libraries can be found at the Big Read website.

Programs include film screenings, book discussions, a panel discussion on adapting literature to film, presentations by local attorneys and appearances by Atticus Finch himself. Events are scheduled at 100 different venues according to the Big Read NH website.

  • Tracy Library and community partners in New London have Big Read events planned throughout March.
  • Pillsbury Free Library, Warner, on March 2 will welcome New Hampshire criminal defense attorney Lisa Wellman-Ally using the portrayal of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird as a jumping off point to discuss the role of defense attorneys.
  • Richard’s Free Library, Newport, will host a Southern potluck dinner and book discussion on March 17.
According to the The Center for the Book, it chose to focus on Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird “not only because it is a great coming of age story but also because of the many topics of discussion it inspires: who is a hero, the importance of standing up for what is right, the role of defense attorneys in society, relationships between the races, courage, justice and more.”
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Sunapee Roundtable: Library Community Center Concept

Architectural rendering of Old Town Hall-Library Concept Plan by Diana Piotrow, New London.

Architectural rendering by Diana Piotrow, New Londow, recently illustrated the Old Town Hall-Library concept plan with interior and exterior views. A roundtable discussion on the plan will be held in Sunapee on Tuesday, February 16.

Sunapee voters will have an opportunity to learn about the new Sunapee Library-Old Town Hall concept plan at the Sunapee Town Office meeting room on Tuesday, February 16 at 7 p.m. A roundtable forum, hosted by the Abbott Library building committee, will discuss the current proposal–the re-use of a historic town-owned building for a new town library and community center–and a related warrant article that will be voted on in March.

Building committee members Barbara Chalmers and Bruce Jennings, local historian Ron Garceau, and Maggie Stier, statewide field representative for the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, will participate and be available to answer questions.

Topics to be covered include the concept and site plan, current library needs, and how the project fits with town planning goals. Also, the value of historic preservation and funding opportunities will be discussed.

The public is invited to attend; a meet and greet will start at 6:50 p.m.

By architect and artist Diana Piotrow, New London, an interior rendering and, below, an exterior building view from Main Street.

On the Sunapee Town Warrant, article 23 will ask voters if they support a joint project that would expand a previously approved library site at Sunapee Harbor to include the adjacent Old Town Hall property while preserving the building’s historic features, reserving space in the building for other community uses, and continuing to seek private funding for the new library.

Town Meeting is March 9.

For related information, see our OTH-Library page.

Main Street-East View as Envisioned in Concept Plan. Architectural rendering by Diana Piotrow, New London.

Abbott Library Re-Opens Lower Level with Celebration

Balloons adorn the announcement, the Abbott Library invitation to all Sunapee community members.  There will be a “re-opening celebration on Saturday, February 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. “The library wishes to thank all the families of Sunapee for their patience while we repaired our lower level.  Light refreshments will be served and we will have craft activities for the kids!”

Sunapee Discusses New Library Plan

Site plan by James Wassell, Sunapee, of the concept plan for re-use of the Old Town Hall for a new Sunapee library-community center

Site plan rendering by James Wassell, Sunapee, of the concept plan for use of the Old Town Hall for a new Sunapee library-community center. Presentations continue in Sunapee to inform voters about the concept and town warrant article 23.

To follow up Sunapee’s deliberative session last week where re-use of the Old Town Hall for the new town library was debated, the Abbott Library Building Committee is hosting a round table discussion on the library’s Concept Plan and warrant article 23. The public forum will be held on Tuesday, February 16, following a trustees meeting at the Town Office meeting room at 7 p.m. Guest speaker will be Maggie Stier, field representative for the NH Preservation Alliance. Prior to the forum, a ten-minute “meet and greet” is planned at 6:50 p.m.

Library trustees, the Old Town Hall Committee, and Sunapee selectmen voted to put an article on the March 2010 Town Warrant to help determine the level of support for a joint project to re-use of the Old Town Hall for a new library and other town uses.

Warrant Article #23 asks: “Do you favor expanding the previously approved library Harbor site to include the adjacent Old Town Hall property, renovating the Old Town Hall for a library while preserving the horse ramp and clock tower, reserving a portion of the building for other town uses, while continuing to seek private funding? This article is advisory only and is intended to provide the Library Trustees, the Old Town Hall Committee, and the Select Board with a sense of the voters’ opinions.”

However, it’s not clear sailing for supporters of the joint project. After the selectmen voted to put an advisory warrant article on the ballot, an opposing article was presented by petition. Continue reading

Sunapee Looks at $8M Upgrade of Wastewater Treatment Plant

At the deliberative session in Sunapee held February 2 in the high school gym, voters amended only one article before being moving 26 articles to the ballot. The town, governed under SB2, vote by secret ballot on Town Meeting day, the second Tuesday in March. The polls at the Sherburne Gym, Route 11, will be opened March 9 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  • For the Town Warrant, click WARRANT ARTICLES 2010. (See below for amendment to Article 26.)
  • For the 2010 Town Budget ($5.765 Million), click 2010 MS6.
  • For the 2010 Default Budget ($5.827 Million), click 2010 MS7.

A detailed presentation accompanied Article 8. It asks voters to approve an $8 million bond to upgrade to the town’s wastewater treatment plant that serves Sunapee (a 35% user) and New London (a 65% user of the system).

Selectman Steve White said it was an “important bond issue at this time.” He urged voter support.

The presentation included a video of the plant narrated by David Bailey, superintendent of the water and sewer department. A PowerPoint presentation by Neil Cheseldine from Wright-Pierce, an engineering firm, followed and methodically addressed plant history, maintenance challenges, recommended solutions, and the funding scenario.

Designed in 1969 and built in 1974, the plant now has major deficiencies related to the headworks, secondary clarifiers, and oxidation and dewatering of the sludge, Cheseldine explained. A handout for voters listed ten facility deficiencies.

The warrant article says that Sunapee’s share of the cost would not exceed $1.82 million. The greater portion of the cost would be paid by the Town of New London, that share would not be more than 42.25%. Grants and other funds would cover 35% of the cost. Sewer users would pay Sunapee’s portion of the cost, which would result in no impact to the tax rate. A 3/5th approval by voters is required.

“It’s a never ending battle to keep it [the wastewater treatment plant] operating,” said Bailey. “Stuff is just wearing out.”

This is an opportunity for the town to capture some of the federal stimulus money and upgrade the plant before additional failures or possible government mandates, explained Bailey. He went on to say the chance for this level of federal funding being available in the future is “slim to none.”

Spec Bowers, a member of the budget advisory committee, said the upgrade was “essential,” the plant was “in terrible condition, and they are doing the best they can with the equipment they have.”

Detailed information about the project is available at the town office building on Edgemont Road. Bailey encouraged voters to contact the water and sewer department if they have questions, need more information, or wish to tour the facility.

About 95 people including town officials were on hand for this year’s deliberative session officiated by Town Moderator Harry Gale. Discussion and presentations largely focused on two topics: upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant and  Article 23, an advisory question about expanding the proposed new library site at Sunapee Harbor to include the Old Town Hall property.

This year’s proposed zoning amendments, the town budget, articles seeking capital reserve expenditures for equipment and vehicles, and land conservation questions moved to the ballot, in most instances, after short presentations that appeared to satisfy the audience. Many articles prompted little or no debate during the three-hour session.

Article 26, submitted by petition, brought Rec Department Director to the floor. He offered an amendment to the article: “to raise and appropriate $12,000 to construct a ADA compliant bathroom at Dewey beach.” The goal is to build a uni-sex handicapped bathroom that can be accessible during times that beach is not staffed, said Blewitt. It would replace the need for a chemical toilet. The amended article passed; it moves to the ballot.

During the session,  Moderator Gale read to the audience each article (other than the text of the zoning amendments) before accepting a motion and second.  Statements and comments were then entertained. Prior to moving to the next article, Gale asked for a “sense of the meeting” with a voice vote. That’s the tradition in Sunapee under SB 2, Gale explained.


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