Frequently Asked Questions


More FAQs can be found here:  Building - Road/Site - General

What's included in the total project cost?

The total 2024 project cost includes site preparation & building construction, landscaping, a sprinkler system and 'soft costs'. 

Has Turnstone Corporation provided any documentation that shows their ability to come in on or near budget on similarly sized projects? 

Turnstone Corporation, our contracted construction management firm, provided information from several past clients as references who could speak to their ability to deliver projects on-time and on-budget. All their references give glowing reviews of their experience working with Turnstone. In at least one case, Turnstone came in under budget and returned money to the client. 

Turnstone has worked extensively with the Library Building Committee in the past year by offering alternatives to help lower the project cost. This allowed us to weather the escalation of material costs as well as the inclusion of a sprinkler system, all without significantly increasing the overall cost of the project. Turnstone volunteered these efforts despite having received no payment to date, or guarantee that the project will come to fruition. The dedication they have already shown to the project gives us great confidence that they will continue to work with us to maintain the bottom line. 

As unforeseen circumstances can arise in construction, Turnstone’s pricing includes a contingency allowance. Any unused contingency funds will be returned at project completion. The LBC has also reserved a separate contingency in the Soft Costs to further ensure that no additional costs will fall upon the taxpayer.

Are there additional costs associated with this building project? What are the specifics?

The Select Board will be requesting funding for the forthcoming cemetery access road, which will also serve the library. The parking area for the library is included in the road project due to the permitting process. (See Road/Site FAQs for more info)

The project includes all furniture and fittings needed to open the library. 

Expanding the collection and purchasing increased technology have been excluded from the project because existing Trust Funds will cover those expenses. There will be no tax impact for either of these items.

Are Landscaping costs included in the project cost?

Yes, necessary landscaping costs are included. The current 2024 proposal includes a revised landscaping package. 

Does the estimated cost include furnishing the new building? What furnishings are included?


 The 'soft costs' portion of the project cost includes an allowance to cover the purchase of all furnishings.

The project covers all of the costs necessary to make the library a reality. The project bid from the construction management firm includes the site work, and the building itself - including all fixtures and fittings. The 'soft costs' portion of the project cost,held by the Town,includes an allowance to cover the purchase of all furnishings. Additionally, both the Town (within the 'soft costs') and the selected construction management firm are holding contingency funding to cover any unforeseen costs. As we have mentioned in other questions there are also Trust Funds held by the Trustee of the Trust Funds that will allow for the purchase of books and technology at no cost to the town.

Does the estimated cost include buying new books and other media

New collection materials will be purchased using existing Trust Funds specifically designated for that purpose.

There will be no cost to the town. 

Does the library project cost include new computers for staff? For patrons?

New technology will be purchased using existing Trust Funds specifically designated for that purpose. 

There will be no cost to the town. 

How much of project funds are allocated for unforeseen costs, i.e., what is the contingency budget for the building, and the other project needs?

The Construction Manager is carrying a contingency of $310K, and an additional $195K is being held in the town soft costs, for a total of $505K (or 10% of the construction cost) in contingencies.  

What are the expected recurring (annual) costs for maintenance of the building? 

All building maintenance will continue to be paid for by the Daland Trust. There is no cost to the town.

What are the expected recurring (annual) costs for landscape maintenance of the site?

All landscape maintenance will continue to be  paid for by the Daland Trust. There is no cost to the town.

What would happen if the Daland Trust could no longer pay all maintenance and utilities? 

Great question! This LBC is advised by members of the Daland Trust and we’ve shared your question with them. The Trust is bound by the terms of Sophia Daland’s will to maintain the library “in perpetuity” and the current Daland Trustees intend to continue to maintain the new library as diligently as they have maintained the current building for 114 years. Because NH towns with public libraries are required to maintain them, there have been discussions about what would happen if the Daland Trust could no longer do so. If the Trust were unable to maintain the building, it would fall to the town. 

However, with the solid stewardship track record of the Trust and their very strong financial position, there is no reason to be concerned that the Trust would be unable to maintain the building. The Daland investments are sufficient to produce interest income that will exceed the normal operating costs of the new building. This allows the reserves to continue to grow to accommodate major repairs when the time comes. To date, the trust has generated income beyond the current building maintenance cost by several million dollars. Some of this money has been given to the Town to purchase the land, pay for engineering, and offset the taxpayers cost of a new library while the balance of the earnings have built up an income-generating investment portfolio. 

How much is to be funded by taxpayers for the building?

The 2024 Draft Warrant Article asks the town to fund at most $2.12M, or 35% of the total project cost. 

The remaining 65% comes from a combination of Library Capital Reserve, Daland Trust and Friends of the Library Commitments and the MVLCF Capital Campaign. 

The MVLCF will continue their work to raise funds right up to, and after, Town Meeting. Based on this effort, the warrant article may be amended at Town Meeting to reduce the town-funded amount even further. 

What is the expected tax rate impact for the building?

This will depend on several factors including:

However, the current projected tax impact is $.41/$1000, or $123 annually for a property with an assessed value of $300K.  

The tax impact is 25% less than last year based on the success of MVLCF fundraising, the LBC’s efforts to reduce costs and the improved bond interest rates projected by NHMBB, in spite of the addition of the sprinkler system to the project.

What is the total expected taxpayer cost of the library including principal and interest?

I wish we had a better answer, but the reality is the total cost of the project including principal and interest depends on many factors that we won’t know until AFTER Town Meeting.

Key information that is needed includes:

NHMBB is suggesting using an interest rate of 4% for July 30-year bonds to be conservative. The total interest paid on a 30-year $2.12M bond would be between $1.31M and $1.55M. Shorter duration bonds would have a lower interest rate and lower cost over the life of the bond, but the tax impact would be higher. The Select Board will weigh all the options before making a decision. 

The total cost to a specific taxpayer is more difficult to quantify.. The $.41/$1,000 tax rate impact used in the infographic is all encompassing and takes into account the principal and interest using the above conservative assumptions. After the first year, this rate starts decreasing down to $.37/$1000 or less for the remaining years. Additionally, if the Town adds new homes over the 30 years, the tax impact per household will decrease because more people are paying their share.

What parts of the project are being deferred? 

The landscaping package has been pared back to primarily include the work that must be done to support construction of the building. Additional landscaping will be done in the future using either unexpended contingency funding or through new fundraising. 

A small number of other items that are not immediately necessary to the building's function (e.g. bike rack, area rugs) have also been deferred to further lower the cost to the town. 

What is the expected tax rate impact for the remainder of the project? 

All costs necessary to the proper function of the building have been included in the project cost. 

The 2023 Town Meeting minutes indicated that the town would lose $1.8M if the library did not pass. Why didn't that happen last year and will it happen this year if the project is not successful?

It was true last year at Town Meeting that $1.8M in gifts, grants and donations was at risk when the project vote was not successful. Here's where that amount came from:

$150K+ in pledges to MVLCF were contingent on the "Yes" vote in 2023.

What are the large funding sources for the library?

What are the conditions of the large funding sources for the library?

The Friends of the Library pledge and Daland Trust pledge can only be used on a new library for Mont Vernon.

Several pledges within the Foundation’s commitment are contingent upon a "Yes" vote at Town Meeting.

Naming Rights Donors have pledged, or donated funds based on the current design and could revoke their commitment in the event of significant design changes.

The MVLCF funds include grant funding with some additional restrictions, the most significant of which is the $655K National Endowment for the Humanities Infrastructure Challenge Grant. This grant requires a 4 to 1 match of other non-federal funds. To date the Foundation has raised enough to qualify for $519,290 or 79% of those funds. Funds voted at Town Meeting are acceptable as part of the matching funds, meaning that if the project passes at Town Meeting, the entire $655K is available. 

The Foundation commitment also includes a $1M gift from the estate of Sherri Conyers that reverts to her estate if the town does not break ground on the library project by October of 2024.

Are the conditions of the funding negotiable?

The terms of Sherri Conyer's bequest of $1M are not negotiable. 

The terms of the NEH grant of $655,000 are not negotiable.

Major Donors may or may not choose to extend their pledges if the project is not successful this year. 

What is the estimate of Tax Impact if both the Library Project and Road Project are combined into a single $2.8M bond?

The LBC received the below answer directly from a member of the Select Board. 

If MV were to combine the Road and the Library into a single $2.8M bond, the Select Board would likely be looking at a tax impact ranging from $.53 per $1000 assessed value for a 30-year Level Debt bond to $.78 per $1000 assessed value for a 20-year Level Principal bond.

The Select Board will work with NHMBB to find the best option for Mont Vernon taxpayers. Based on today’s estimates from NHMBB, that option might well be a 20-year Level Debt bond. The initial tax impact is expected to be almost the same as a 30-year Level Principal bond, but at a long-term savings of nearly than $600K in interest.

There are essentially 3 variables that affect the tax rate:

This is up to the Select Board. Much like we all make choices when financing a car or house, it comes down to how much interest is the town willing to pay to have an affordable annual payment. For large projects like the library, terms of 20, 25 and 30 years will likely be considered.

This is determined by NHMBB after Town Meeting. It’s affected by market conditions and by the amount of bonds that towns across the state approve during Town meeting. NHMBB is suggesting using 3.5% for 20-year bonds, 3.75% for 25-year bonds and 4.00% for 30-year bonds. The actual rates may be lower.

For municipal projects there are 2 types of bonds.

In a Level Debt bond, the payment amount stays the same throughout the bond duration.

Early in the bond duration, more of the payment goes to interest. Over time as then principal is reduced, the proportion shifts so that more of the payment goes to reducing the principal. This type of bond is somewhat like your car or mortgage payment, with less frequent payments. Bond payments are 2x per year. In this type of bond

In a Level Principal bond, the principal is divided evenly over the duration of the bond. Twice a year the town also pays all the accumulated interest. This means that the payments are higher early in the bond duration and get lower over time. This type of bond is very commonly used for municipal projects for a variety of reasons. It does save the town money over the course of the bond, but it increases the burden on current residents.

Is the library project committee open to new ideas or modifications to the current proposal?

Absolutely! All Library Building Committee meetings are open to the public and posted in advance. The public is welcome to attend and offer any suggestions they may have. We are also very open to new volunteers who may have time and expertise they are willing to invest in the project.