Eliot Town Hall Renovation Project

Town Meeting Warrant

June 13, 2023

Article #25 Brief

This brief is meant to give accurate information on Article #25, it is not a position paper for the Town Manager and/or the Select Board. The brief does not suggest or ask for you to vote “yes” or “no” on this article.  We respect that with accurate information you are more than capable of making that decision on your own after considering the issue fully and being well informed.

First, an exploratory committee was formed after the voters approved a $50,000 appropriation on June 8, 2021 at Town Meeting (Warrant Article #22).  That committee recommended an architectural firm after the appropriate bid process was completed.  The Eliot Select Board awarded Port City Architects the contract. (February, 2022).

The Capital Improvement Planning Committee (CIPC) made up of citizens of Eliot met with Port City (Lita Semrau) for over a year in publicly advertised meetings. The CIPC also received citizen and employee input. There is a conceptual plan and a cost estimate developed and on display in the lobby of Town Hall. The CIPC decided on (January 2023) to ask the Select Board to place a warrant on the June 2023 Town Meeting Warrant to see if the voters would support the Select Board bonding up to $3.5 million to move the project forward, also part of the four-million-dollar bond authorization is $300,000 intended to be used for necessary improvements to the Elliot Police Department building and $200,000 as a standard contingency for both projects.

Article #25 is a half-step towards the voters approving the project.  The project cannot move forward without the voters’ approval of funding through a future vote of Town Meeting.  This article simply asks if the voters of Eliot feel the project should continue to be put forth in request for funding for November 2023 ballot as conceptually presented with the amount of $4 million acting as cap for the Town Hall/Community Center project and the Police Department necessary repairs.

Any such future warrant article asking for an appropriation would have a financial impact on the taxpayer and therefore must be reviewed by the Eliot Select Board and the Budget Committee at prior to being placed before the voters.  This article has no financial impact for Article #25.

The language of the article is standard legal language for bonding; however, a municipal bond cannot be acted upon unless there is a specific article approving a source of funding for said borrowing.  Therefore, an additional warrant article is required to issue a bond for this or any other project.

The primary focus of the project is to expand the meeting space, add meeting space options and expand services, as well as a bring efficiencies to the Town Clerk operations. The secondary focus is to update systems (energy, access, roof etc.) and bring all spaces up to code (ADA, Fire, IBC).  The third important area of focus is to have the office space made more usable and efficient.

There is a continuous call for additional meeting space with the conceptual plan as it is now configured there would be two new options for public meetings.  One room designed to hold about twenty people and another for about twelve attendees.  The larger room when not being used for board and committee meetings would be made available to the greatest extent possible for other activities (youth groups, adult yoga or exercise, etc.). The Town Hall would roughly double in size from 4,100 square feet to about 8,000 in the present design.

The CIPC determined it would be cost prohibitive to build a separate building, as once suggested.  The present design was determined by CIPC to be the most cost effective for the taxpayer. The initial estimate, if approved by a second vote in November 2023 suggests there would be an impact to the budget in the fiscal year 2026. 

Please forward any question to msullivan@eliotme.org or call 207.451.1205

This brief was prepared by Town Manger Michael J. Sullivan.  It does not endorse or ask for your vote, it only provides information to consider as you make your decision.

Thank you!