HANSON — Selectmen have requested a facilities assessment at Camp Kiwanee be boiled down to a spreadsheet matrix ranking the urgency of work remaining to be done at the facility.
The Recreation Commission presented its facilities assessment and audit to the Board of Selectmen Tuesday, Feb. 27. That report outlined work already done and a ranking of work remaining. Selectmen also voted to support a letter from the Recreation Commission to the Community Preservation Commission seeking funding to replace the dock at the Cranberry Cove beach.
“What I liked about the report itself in general was that you gave an indication of how long it would last and the timeframe in which it needed to be replaced or upgraded,” Selectmen Chairman James McGahan said of the projects reviewed.
Selectman Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett asked for an overview of how the assessment was conducted and what projects might need to be done immediately.
“We look for things that we consider need to be done right away,” said Lee Chizek of AEI, the independent contractor hired to conduct the assessment. “Then we look at what you would need to allocate for continuing to have [a] building function forever and ever.”
The quality of original materials factor into that consideration, he said. The projects are ranked one through five regarding urgency, with one a high priority, cost recommendations and a year suggesting when work should be done, McGahan said.
“What we found is that you have a number of buildings that have been reasonably well maintained,” Chizek said. “Some of the buildings … we thought you would really want to allocate money for routine maintenance. We didn’t find anything alarming.”
McGahan advocated for a more user-friendly, spreadsheet matrix organized by priority. FitzGerald-Kemmett said she would like such a matrix to be sorted by priority, price or length of life.
Selectmen Jim Hickey, meanwhile, argued that work should be completed at each building before a high-priority ranking moved attention to another building.
“I wouldn’t want to do the priority one items and … move on to work on something else,” he said. “Let’s [for example] finish the chalet first so we at least know something is done.”
“If you are fixing one thing, it can lead to another,” McGahan agreed. But he stressed some repairs would be separate and a spreadsheet could help identify the differeces.
“The point is, right now we can’t sort it by anything because it’s all these separate [priorities], which is helpful, but when you’re trying to look at it from a global, large-scale perspective you really need to have all that information in one place,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said.
Chizek said he could get back to the board on the spreadsheet idea, but had not done such a plan before.
“We want to share these findings with the townspeople,” said Recreation Commission Chairman Annemarie Bouzan of the assessment paid for with funds approved at the October Town Meeting. “The reason the Rec Commission wants to present tonight is two-fold, one is for the townspeople to have an in-depth look at the facility and [to] understand the ongoing problems, but also to understand that — while it’s the desire of the entire commission to bring recreation back to this wonderful facility, based on our mission statement for our policies and procedures … recreational programs are organized to encourage participation and enjoyment and should be held at a safe and well-equipped facility.”
The Commission’s hiring of Joshua Wolfe as its new director, and the town’s planned hiring of a facilities manager are part of the plan to see to it that the work is done so those recreational programs can be offered again. Wolfe will be meeting with Selectmen at their March 6 meeting.
Bouzan also presented a list of projects already completed over the last 12 months as well as a list of permits for work done between 2003-2016, prior to the current commission’s involvement with the camp.
“These items were either an urgent repair or due to damages, or repair work that was needed in order to provide a safe environment for our renters,” she said.
Chizek produced “a number of reports” centering on Needles Lodge as “the most critical of the properties because it’s used for a number of functions” including the main income-generator — weddings.
Other facilities reviewed included the Frontier Cabin, the north and south end cabins, the caretaker’s building, the so-called electric cabins, the two bath houses and the bridal cottage.
Some electrical work has been redone at the lodge with some remaining that is original to the building constructed in the 1930s, Chizek said, adding that work on a water connection to the building was not done to code.
“That doesn’t pose a danger, but it’s something that should be addressed if you’re going to be using the facility,” he said of the old wiring. “When you go through the report, you’ll see other things. It will tell you that you have to replace your fire alarm system.”
Selectman Don Howard, who also serves as a Water Commissioner said he was under the impression that the water connection was done correctly. Town Administrator Michael McCue said the Water Department did what it needed to do, but a plumber was required to complete internal work.
“I applaud your effort,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said of the assessment. “As we go forward and [you’re] asking for funding … we don’t need to second-guess what needs to be done. We’ve got a report that has been professionally put together.”
She advocated doing such an assessment for all town buildings.
Bouzan said CPC funding is being sought for replacing the docks, not on the report, and will be before the CPC March 6. FitzGerald-Kemmett, a former CPC chairman, said water-based recreation is one of the areas for which the CPC grants funding.
“I’m not going to step into the shoes of the CPC, but think it’s an excellent and very creative way to use the funds and something a lot of people in town could benefit from,” she said.
Bouzan said she has discussed fundraising with McCue as an additional funding source the CPC likes to see being considered.