Why is the new library being built on the hill behind the Post Office?

The town voted to purchase this property in 1997 to serve as the site for a new library and future cemetery. The initial thought was to locate the library directly on Grand Hill Road, but environmental constraints made that impossible. The final siting on the hill is the option with the lowest environmental impact. 

Why is the road a separate warrant article and not included in the project cost? 

The warrant article for the road has been submitted separately by the Select Board because it is a town road that serves multiple purposes. For that reason, legally, the funds for the road must be separate from the library, and funds raised for the library project cannot be used toward the road. Similarly, the same is true for the cemetery.

Should the library not move forward, the road will still eventually be necessary to access the new cemetery. The wetlands permit for the road's construction expires this year, and state regulations have changed since that permit was granted. If the road is not built before that permit expires, changes will need to be made to the road design to comply with the new regulations, which will make the road much more expensive to build. Building the road now is the most cost effective option for taxpayers. 

What happens if the library passes but the road does not? 

Good question! This is unlikely to happen since they are back-to-back warrant articles and most voters understand that they are separate warrant articles because of the different sources of funding, but the two projects are linked. However, if this situation were to occur, the Library Building Committee and Library Trustees would work with the Select Board to find a solution. 

Is the road required for the cemetery by itself the same cost as that required to access the library?

Yes, the road itself would be the same amount. The library parking areas were added into the road project for permitting reasons. The Select Board has requested the cost breakdown of the project. We will update as we get more information. 

The cost of the road is driven mainly by the site constraints and the need to manage runoff to protect the pond and comply with legal requirements. 

How much extra costs are added to the road that are not needed for cemetery access?

The Select Board verified that only $40,000 of the total cost of the Road Project is not necessary for cemetery access.

Why can't we make the road gravel, with no asphalt?

According to the Select Board, a dirt road would require constant maintenance. This road has been designed and permitted as a public town road, built to today’s modern standards.

Paving is only a small portion of the cost of the road; changing to a gravel road would not significantly reduce the cost. 

At 2023 Town Meeting there were concerns about wetland permits. What's been done to address the concerns? Has anything changed?

The State of New Hampshire has stringent regulations for construction on wetlands, and will not grant a permit for a design unless it meets these regulations. The State's issuance of the wetland permit is confirmation that the design meets regulations. 

At 2023 Town Meeting, the Conservation Commission had concerns. Have those been addressed by the Library Building Committee?

The Library Building Committee met several times with the Conservation Commission over the past year and addressed all concerns. The Conservation Commission is now satisfied with the current design. 

At 2023 town meeting, I recall that there were NH permits or laws that were said to be expiring/changing that would be obstacles to the project if the vote failed. Is my memory correct? Do those obstacles now exist?

The State has issued three permits for the project including:

o   Approved April 21, 2020

o   Expires April 21, 2025

o   Approved April 23, 2020

o   Expires April 23, 2025

o   Approved April 24, 2020

o   Expires April 24, 2024

These permits require the construction to be “substantially complete” before the permit expires. Getting an extension on the septic permit, which expires this year, is considered routine by Meridian Land Services. The wetlands permit is the most problematic because the NH wetlands regulations changed shortly after the permit application was submitted. The site could not be permitted under the current regulations without significant additional expense.

If those expiring/changing obstacles exist, how are they going to be overcome?

If the road is not built this year, the wetlands permit will expire. Wetlands regulations have changed since the permit filing in 2019. The site could not be permitted under the current regulations without significant additional expense. This was the reasoning behind filing the permit in 2019. 

If the wetlands permit expires, the road design will need to be modified. The road project will become significantly more expensive to the town. 

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.