Sunapee 2010 Town and School Meeting Results

Yesterday’s Sunapee Town Meeting, which operates under SB2,  approved (626 to 208) an $8 million upgrade to the town’s wastewater treatment plant and rejected (392 Yes to 479 No) an advisory article about using the historic Old Town Hall for a new library. All municipal warrant articles passed except two. Voters rejected article 23, the Old Town Hall-library question, and article 24 that sought to create and fund with $25,000 a capital reserve fund for the purpose of acquiring and building recreation fields. The recreation fields capital reserve fund failed by three votes (424 Yes to 427 No).

Amongst the approved articles were five zoning amendments including guidelines for workforce housing. Also, voters approved the town’s $5.765 million budget, several equipment purchases and capital reserve funding requests, and a new capital reserve fund for the maintenance of town buildings. It was funded with $25,000. Most of these articles passed with comfortable margins. However, the purchase of a new police vehicle got a narrow approval, 418 to 415.  A favorable vote (639 to 212) will provide for a $12,000 ADA compliant restroom at Dewey Beach, the town’s popular public beach located on Garnet Street.

Voters overwhelmingly approved (724 to 130) a conservation easement to permanently protect 79 acres of Town Forest at Ledge Pond with Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust as easement holder. They also approved (637 to 231) $15,000 for the Conservation Commission Fund.

The school budget and warrant articles passed with one exception: Voters turned down (359 to 492) a request for $400,000 to renovate the Blodgett House for use as offices for the Sunapee SAU office. The school’s $9.95 million budget passed 574 to 272.

Of Sunapee’s 2839 registered voters, 891 (or 31%) cast ballots, according to the Town Clerk.

For a complete tally of town and school Town Meeting and election results, visit the town 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

Main Street, Sunapee: The Parade of 1944

Main Street, Sunapee: Parade passes in front of the Old Town HallThis old photo of a parade in Sunapee captures that wonderful sense of community that re-connects people with local heritage.

Dick Leone, Sunapee, leading the goat, re-calls the day. “It was 1944. It was the annual Sunapee Grange Fair Parade held on Labor Day.”

“It was my cousin Sandra MacWilliams who had a pet goat and, at the very last minute, her mother asked me to help Sandra by handling the goat,” said Leone. In front of Leone in the parade was a “Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater float.” Leone was needed to keep the goat from eating the pumpkins.

“Although, I was reluctant to get in the parade, especially with a goat, I did get the parade bug,” Leone added. “The following year, two of my cousins and I had two bicycles welded and spaced apart and had a cart hauled behind us. We called it the Potsdam Conference with cousin Burton dressed as Harry Truman, me as Prime Minister Attlee, and cousin Carroll sitting in the cart as Joseph Stalin, smoking a cigar and getting sick as all get out.”

“There was always prizes, first, second and third place ribbons given out for the parade.” Artie Osborne’s grandmother Hattie Gamsby was usually in charge of the judging said Leone. “I’ll never forget Artie’s mother Phyllis, who was assisting with judging, announced that we had won first prize.”

“The parade route went from lower village to the harbor and back” passing the Old Town Hall along the way. Back in those times, Leone said, local fairground events included a large turnout of vendors, horse pulling and other activities and were held where Micro Precision is now located at the corner of Main Street and Route 11.

Photo courtesy of the Sunapee Historical Society

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.

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

Re-use of Sunapee OTH, Inspired Example of Historic Preservation Says James Garvin

Artist's rendering by James Wassell, Rock Maple Studio, Sunapee: The Sunapee Old Town Hall-Library as presented in the current concept plan for "adaptive re-use of this landmark building."

“The adaptive re-use of this landmark building [in Sunapee] would not only represent an inspired example of historic preservation, but would place the new library in the very heart of Sunapee Harbor, the town’s historic village center,” said State Architectural Historian James Garvin.

“A building that is imbued with so much history, pride, and symbolic identity is a treasure such as few communities can boast of.  It would be fitting if this structure, so interwoven into Sunapee’s community fabric, could assume yet another life of service as the town’s meeting place and intellectual heart.” – Read more…

See the OTH-Library section, a Sunapee News page providing information, resources and links.