HARVARD — Midway through its last Town Meeting directive to map out makeover plans for Town Hall and Hildreth House, the selectmen-appointed Municipal Building Committee has been assigned another task.
Now, selectmen have charged the MBC with coming up with an “approach” to phasing in the renovation projects that would become the next step in the process.
The board discussed the issue at Tuesday night’s meeting.
“Given what we know,” the plan is to put Town Hall first, Chairman Marie Sobalvarro said, followed by Hildreth House, the other town building on the MBC’s to-do list. The proposals will be presented in that order at the Fall Town Meeting, she said.
Selectmen also discussed MBC’s application for Community Preservation Act funds to help pay for the two renovation projects.
The CPA Committee, which reviews project applications in terms of CPA criteria and makes recommendations to Town Meeting voters, will likely take up the MBC funding request at its meeting in November, Sobalvarro said.
The question then became whether selectmen support the request, and, more to the point, if they approve committing CPA funds for the project.
Members singled out items in the application that didn’t seem to fit.
Peter Warren questioned the need for a new roof.
Tim Clark mused about the MBC’s inclusion of the Old Library. “I understand it’s to start the conversation (about its disposition) but it’s not part of their charge,” he said.
But Ron Ricci said it’s more important to show the voters at Town Meeting that selectmen and the MBC are working in concert than to pick apart the application, which Sobalvarro said she had helped to draft.
“Shall we formally endorse it as well?” she asked. Acknowledging that there had been discussion about upping the CPA surcharge to 3 percent to cover future demands on the account if the municipal building projects move forward, she said that was not relevant to this issue.
“Ideally,” the MBC can take a letter of support from the selectmen with them when they present their application to the CPC, she said.
The board voted unanimously to back the MBC application for CPA funding.
In a related matter, Town Administrator Tim Bragan later told the board that a previous renovation plan had called for a paint-chip analysis to determine the original color of the antique building, possibly so that the new paint job could historically replicate it.
The study, for which funds were apparently set aside at the time, was never done, he said.
With renovations in the offing again, Bragan suggested resurrecting the study idea.
“Shall we have it done for the MBC?” he asked. “It could hold up the project if we wait.”
Asked about cost, he said he didn’t know but would find out.
“Once we determine the original color, who decides what color to paint the building now,” Ricci asked?
Bragan said the MBC and the Historical Commission could work that out together.
Selectmen told Bragan to go ahead and start the ball rolling.
When the Selectmen next meet Nov. 1, Sobalvarro anticipated the MBC will have arrived at another project milestone.
Having completed the architect selection process, the committee, working with Ricci, is currently negotiating a contract. "We hope to have an architect by the start of November," she said.