Bristol board lays out Howden Hall upgrades

BRISTOL — At the Bristol selectboard’s Aug. 13 meeting, selectmen met with members of the Howden Hall Committee to discuss upcoming renovations to one of the town’s oldest buildings.
Renovations will focus mainly on reducing moisture in the building’s dank basement and will include a new concrete floor, new insulation and a vapor barrier, which is essentially a sheet of plastic behind the walls to keep moisture out. The $75,000 in upgrades, which also include a revamp of the building’s electrical work, will be paid for out of the Howden Hall capital reserve fund.
Town Administrator Bill Bryant said he’d like to see the sheetrock walls and ceiling in the basement demolished by spring next year.
“Next spring and summer is when we plan to do the major work,” he said.
A second phase of renovations, which will include handicap accessibility improvements, would require extra funding from taxpayers. The town currently has no plans to start the second phase of renovations.
In other news from the meeting, the board:
•  Met with Assistant Fire Chief Brett LaRose about a $30,000 federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security.
The grant would help the town meet federal requirements as it shifts from a wide-band to a narrow-band network for radio communications. The grant would pay for 26 headsets and a mobile repeater on the truck, which would help the fire department stay in touch everywhere in town.
The town would have to pay $1,200 from the fire capital equipment fund.
•  Discussed the food cart that was given a provisional permit to operate by Bartlett’s Falls on Lincoln Road. Board members said they hadn’t noticed the cart, and the cart isn’t permitted to be there now.
 “If they were interested in getting a permit they could come back and talk to the board,” said Bryant. 

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