Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dum Da Da Dum

From the inbox:


                                                                                   1:15 PM  Monday May 2, 2011

The Town Hall/Center Office Building Committee will meet with the Board of Selectmen on Monday, May 16, 2011 at 6:35 PM in the Town Hall to discuss the current status of the project.

This is going to be good.  Let's hope it will be productive, too.




    Thursday Aug 6, 2009


    Bruce Sutter BS Y
    Kevin Smith KS Y
    Barbara Barry BB Y
    Greg Morse GM N
    Hal White HW Y
    Arnold Wilson AW Y
    William Smith WS Y
    Dean Stickney DS Y
    Phil O’Brien POB N
    Tom Kondel TK Y
    Mary Redetzke MR N
    Mike Racicot MKR Y
    Blake Duzak BD Y
    Natalie Eringros NE N

    Thursday August 20, 2009
    7:00 at the Senior Center

    The meeting was called to order at 7:00.
    Also in attendance at this meeting were Penny Dumas from the Sturbridge CPC and Joe Ouellette also from the CPC and a member of the Historical Society.
    A motion to approve the minutes from the July 2 meeting was made by BB, 2nd by WS and approved with BS, HW, AW and BD abstaining. A motion to approve the minutes from the July 21 meeting was made by MR, 2nd by AW and approved with BB and HW abstaining.
    Invoice #16634 from Yankee Eng and Testing was presented for $2,218.00. A motion to pay this invoice was made by BB, 2nd by MR and approved unanimously.
    Invoice #09-007 from NETCO was presented for $5,430.00. A motion to pay this invoice was made by HW, 2nd by BB and approved unanimously.
    Requisition #4 from Forish Construction for $79,021.00 was presented. A motion to pay this requisition was made by AW, 2nd by BB and approved unanimously.
    After a lengthy discussion with Ms Dumas and Mr. Ouellette the Committee voted to reject COP’s 15 and 16 (proposals to replace the existing windows with new insulated glass units) and sanction the work originally described in the plans and specs. The original windows are to be restored and reinstalled in the existing openings. Ms Dumas was asked if the CPC would have an issue with storm windows and she replied that they would not, discussion on the benefits of storm windows was tabled.
    The issue of a slate roof for the Town Hall then came up. TK described the process the Committee followed in making the decision not to approve the slate but to upgrade to a 50-year shingle instead. The decision ultimately came down to finances, at this early stage of the project and with no idea of the extent of potential change orders the Committee felt it could not jeopardize a significant portion of the contingency fund to this one issue. The cost to change to a slate roof was $84,000.00. After some discussion Ms Dumas made it known that the CPC believed there was an agreement in place that would allow them to review the slate pricing with the option of financing the change with approval at Town Meeting. The Committee did not know of this agreement and acted in what it believed to be the best interest of the Project. Because of the additional cost and delay that would be caused by revisiting the slate issue it was generally conceded that slate at the Town Hall roof was a dead issue.
    PCO # 18 to add joist hangers to second floor joists at both the TH and the COB for $9,556.00 and an additional 5 days added to the contract was presented. A motion to approve PCO #18 was made by AW, 2nd by BB and approved unanimously.


    PCO # 19 requesting additional time and money for unforeseen delays was tabled until the next meeting. A meeting was scheduled for Aug 20 at the Senior Center. Several Committee members voiced concerns over how the project was progressing and the performance of both the GC and the Architect. TK’s recommendation was that all parties be brought together in front of the Committee so that a plan to get the project back on track can be discussed. TK explained that the Committee should not get caught up in means and methods of construction. TK would send out and email requesting Eric Forish and Stewart Roberts attend this meeting as well as their field representatives, Jeff Bouyea and Natalie Eringros respectively. The Committee was not pleased that Johnson/Roberts was not represented at the Aug 6 meeting.
    PCO #20 to remove ledge at the back of the COB was presented as a time and material proposal including the following rates: Witch Equipment….$231.25/hr, excavator…..$125.00/hr, operator……$55.95/hr and offsite trucking at $85.00/hr. The Clerk, Bud Black, would have to keep accurate track of the time as the work occurred. A motion to approve PCO #20 for a total not to exceed $6,000.00 was made by BS, 2nd by AW and approved unanimously. As part of this proposal the Committee authorized MR to approve an additional $4,000.00 if it proved necessary. Additional time would be added to the contract based on the work performed and the delay incurred.
    PCO #21 to add additional valves to the domestic and fire suppression water mains to the COB for $1,782.22 and one additional day was presented. The additional valves were needed because the water main in the street is directly below a phone cable set in concrete that makes it impossible to reach from above. A motion to approve this PCO was made by AW, 2nd by HW and approved unanimously.
    PCO #22 to eliminate a portion of the underpinning at the back of the TH and pour a new foundation instead was presented. The cost was $36,788.00 and included an additional 14 days added to the contract. The Committee felt they needed input from the Architect. A motion was made to approve $28,000.00 and an additional 8 days for PCO #22 pending a review by the Architect. The balance of the time allowed would be revisited at the meeting on Aug. 20. A motion to approve the PCO as amended by the Committee and pending Architect approval was made by AW, 2nd by HW and approved unanimously.
    PCO #23 to add storm windows to the existing restored windows for $19,869.81 and an additional 2 days was presented. KS had a copy of the specified units and would get it to the CPC in the event of approval. The matter was tabled; a decision did not have to happen at this time.
    It should be noted here that the Committee had not even received PCO’s 19 through 23 for prior review. TK had just received PCO’s 20-23 hours earlier and did not have time to print them out. The Committee in an effort to keep the project moving took the time and listened to the proposals as TK read them from his computer then took action. TK has stated at numerous times to the GC at the weekly site meetings that PCO’s need to be presented in a timely fashion to allow for adequate review before the Committee has to act. TK noted that it is not fair to the Committee to present PCO’s at this late a date and then look for additional time because there have been delays. This will also be discussed at the Aug 20 meeting.
    The meeting was adjourned at 9:20.
    Tom Kondel

    Meeting notes from October 16,2008

    Committee Members,

    Jim Malloy pointed out that the Board of Selectmen are aware of the budget deficiencies associated with the project and the need for a special Town Meeting to address the deficiencies. Jim has identified several areas of the Project that qualify for CPA funds above and beyond the $900,000.00 already allocated. It was suggested that some of the Town’s reserve fund cold also be used to fund the difference between the cost of the Project and the available funds but Jim was reluctant to touch that sum, it is for emergencies only. Once the CPA funding is clear Jim will ask the BOS to establish the special Town Meeting.
    Phil O’Brien addressed several concerns and issues regarding the project. JSR is now in the “contract document Phase” of the project and is currently at about 20% done with the drawings. The existing windows are to be retained, Tom Kondel asked if storm windows or panels could be added to improve energy efficiency and Phil said they could. He proposed using an aluminum storm window with a Kynar finish that would last for at least 10 years. Insulating the wall was not deemed feasible because of the cost associated with removing and replacing the existing finishes and the loss of square footage.
    Tom Kondel suggested a layout change at the second floor of the Center Office building and it was agreed to remove the wall between the corridor and the large meeting room. The wall at the lobby will be kept and slid a couple of feet to accommodate a display case. The ambulance and the small meeting room would also be switched.
    After the meeting Phil O’Brien and Tom Kondel agreed that another day on the site with the structural engineer would probably be a good idea. Areas where assumptions were made need to be opened up to clearly identify existing conditions and reduce the chance of Change Orders.
    Jim was looking to set up the special Town Meeting within 90 days of the scheduled Town Meeting set for April 14, 2009. He needs to have the 75% estimate to set the funding requirements. It was brought up that it might make more sense to hold the bid prior to this special meeting so an exact amount could be presented. This idea seemed to carry the day. Jim is now working on a timeline that will be reviewed by Phil O’Brien and Tom Kondel. The goal for the presentation of the 75% drawing is December 4, 2008.
    The next meeting is set for October 30 at 7:00 at the Senior Center. Phil will make a presentation to the CPA showing where the project is at this time.

    Tom Kondel


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