Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Trustees 

March 17, 2022 

Video Conference 4:30 


Attendees:  Susan Powell, Allen Paul, Jon Anderson, Dave Dittmer, Jim Kupel, Emily Ward, Anne Janak, Judy Johnson, Ellen Detlefsen, Lenore Rapkin, Catherine Morrison (Ass’t Director), Nancy Crowell (Director). 

Absent:   Bill Donovan. 


The meeting was called to order at 4:35 by Susan Powell, Vice President. 

Adoption of the Minutes of February 17, 2022: 

Motion to adopt made by Anne Janak, seconded by Dave Dittmer, passed unanimously. 

Treasurer’s Report: 

Our income was as expected, with the payroll down somewhat.  We are still in the black.  Nancy warned that expenses for repairs and maintenance would be spiking.  She added that the meeting room was now open, charges for which are $40 for 2 hours plus $20 for each additional hour. 

Library Director’s Report: 

Nancy reported that as of tomorrow, March 18th, the mask mandate is being dropped for the library but we are continuing to encourage it in the Children’s Room.  Barriers in the library are being removed.  She also reported that libraries across the state are receiving envelopes containing stamps as a thank-you from a “grateful Minerva patron.” 

There have been a few more applicants for the children’s librarian position, which has been re-posted without the requirement for a Master’s degree, although previous experience is still a requisite.  In the meantime, the team is doing a great job. 

Town Councilor’s Remarks: 

There was a special meeting last week to authorize negotiations between the Town Manager and the Downs to discuss potentially setting some terms so that we can further consider their request for a housing exemption.  Jon reported that in his remarks he reminded the Council to keep the library in mind, in terms of the impact any decision might have on the library.  

Jon also attends the school building committee meetings, and reports that they are now working on site selection, but there still doesn’t seem to be much community support for this effort.  They are also working on putting together a communications committee to get the word out but that is moving slowly.  They are hoping to go to referendum in November 2023, which Jon feels is very optimistic at this point.  However, he is hearing comments to the effect that “the school is a need, the library is a want,” with which thought Jon does not agree but feels we need to be aware of this. There is still no decision as to whether they want a school consolidation or not.  Currently, the need is greatest for K though grade 2 or 3, but there is recognition that the middle school needs to be part of that conversation  A lot of taxpayers are opposed to funding anything other than schools, and the cost of a new school, which is still unknown, is far greater than other projects.  And the school issue needs to be dealt with definitely within the next 10 years, 5 years may be optimal. 

Nancy interjected that John Cloutier did a study showing that all 3 projects could be possible under guidelines of 13% of debt services capabilities.  John thinks things need to be spread out over a 10 year gap.  

The budget presentation will be on March 30th at 6:00. There will be an opportunity for the public to phone in to ask questions. 

There has been no progress on a community centre, but exactly what such a centre would include has not been defined as yet.  Even though it is hoped that the TIF will largely shelter taxpayers, over $400,000 will still be needed; and there are some restrictions on TIFs.  The schools and the library need to go one route, and the community centre another, as they levy a fee for service. 

Vice President’s Remarks: 

Deferred to later on the agenda. 

Consent Calendar: 

Jim Kupel moved to accept the calendar as is.  Motion seconded by Anne Janak, approved unanimously. 

Unfinished Business 

Building Project Update:  

Susan reported that the current estimate is about $13 million, excluding moving costs, storage, etc. which could be as high as another $1 million.  These figures include inflation projected for 2023.  Construction will begin in the fall of 2023.  We are currently in the “quiet period,” but Nancy has requested poster-sized pictures for publicity.  Nancy noted that we will be having an Open House on Sunday, April 3rd, from 2:00 to 4:00, with “Covid-friendly” refreshments.  There will be remarks at 3:00.  She asked for volunteers to help host the event. 

Fund Raising Campaign: 

Susan reported that John Lanham confirmed that, to date, we have raised almost $100,000. 

Nancy reported that Roccy Risbara is very supportive of our decision not to move our location.  She thinks he will be helpful with our project and will take a leadership role. This may soften his hard business reputation within the community. The question is, do we need to try to pin Roccy down now? Nancy says she thinks he is open to being creative. 

Citizen Campaign Committee: 

Nancy hasn’t met again with John Chrastka as she wants to get some key leadership positions filled before moving forward, especially treasurer positions.  She has been working with various people on publicity, like Bert Follansbee who will do some professional preparation of materials, as well as the Town communications director and the Town Cable tv producer.  Lucy and Nancy have been working with the tv people to produce short videos to enhance the get-out-to-vote campaign. 

Nancy also reported that there been no action re a PAC because, again, she is waiting to have a treasurer in place.  Jim Kupel is working on a Master Calendar which will soon be done. 

New Business 


Nancy reported that last year’s budget was a negative 5%.  We will use federal Employee Retention Credit funds to offset this, using it as a balance forward. 

Motion to accept the Budget made by Jim Kupel, seconded by Judy Johnson, passed unanimously. 

Motion to accept the CIP made by Anne Janak, seconded by Dave Dittmer, passed unanimously. 

Librarian’s Performance Evaluation: 

Tabled in Emily’s absence (Emily had to leave the meeting early). 

Purdy Powers

Nancy and Dave both recommended we continue to retain them as our auditors. 

Motion to accept made by Judy Johnson and seconded by Allen Paul, passed unanimously. 

Board of Trustees Evaluation: 

Discussion tabled due to length of meeting. 

Library Week: 

Judy and Susan volunteered availability. 

Next Agenda:  

Director’s Performance Evaluation, Trustees Skills Assessment. 

Motion to Adjourn:  Ellen Detlefsen moved to adjourn at 5:49, seconded by Dave Dittmer.  Motion passed unanimously. 


Respectfully submitted. 

Lenore Rapkin, Secretary  







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