February 21, 2020

Windham Town Councilors tour public safety building and town hall before council workshop

By Lorraine Glowczak

The Windham Town Council met on Tuesday, February 18 at the Windham Town Council Chamber Room at 6:30 p.m. for their biweekly workshop meeting. Prior to the scheduled gathering, Council Members Nick Kalogerakis, David Nadeau, David Douglass, Tim Nangle, Jarrod Maxfield and Town Manager, Barry Tibbetts toured the public safety building and town hall, beginning at 5 p.m. The purpose of the tour was to investigate and see where current issues and challenges exist in both facilities.

Police Chief Kevin Schofield and Fire Chief Brent Libby led tours at the public safety building, while
Police Chief Kevin Schofield speaks to Councilors
Nick Kalogerakis, Tim Nangle and Jarrod Maxfield
Tibbetts provided the tour at Town Hall. Areas of concern and needs for improvement identified for both facilities included, but were not limited to, the following:

Poor or non-existent insulation in sections of the buildings.
Poor sleeping quarters for overnight fire and EMS staff.
Elevators and restrooms do not meet ADA standards.
Locker rooms overcrowded and inadequate showers for emergency staff
Inadequate kitchen facilities
Office space inadequate for optimum staff efficiency
Lack of workspace
Heating and cooling systems inefficiencies (with up to 20-degree differences in office spaces – often requiring space heaters).
Very limited closet storage (using stairwells as closets).
Lack of training and conference room space.
Improper circulation in IT rooms.

Upon completion of the tour, the Council returned to the Chamber Room for their workshop. The first topic of discussion focused on fees for town services, comparing the town’s scheduled fees (i.e. town permit fees, assessing fees, food service establishments with liquor license fees, etc.) to other surrounding towns. The purpose was to identify where such fees may be lacking in comparison and may need to be considered for an increase. Of those identified as potential fee increases included the code enforcement office, of which will be discussed, and possibly voted on, at the Tuesday, February 25 Council meeting.

The second topic of discussion was building space and renovation based upon past assessment studies and space needs analysis that occurred in 2013 and 2014 (of which was also identified during the tour). Tibbetts offered the following recommendations and timelines:

Town Hall and Public Safety Building (central location) to be renovated in order to rectify some of the issues mentioned above - with a timeline of work during the years 2020 and 2021.

It was suggested that The North Windham Fire station, Windham Resource Center and Loan Closet may require more studies and analysis. Suggested timeline for possible improvement is in the years 2023 and 2024

The new Community Center specifics and timeline to be determined.

Suggested funding options for the Town Hall and Public Safety renovations include debt retirement (i.e. road bond, etc.), new revenue permit fees, capitol improvement program, police and fire impact fees and existing budget.

Council members were all in agreement to the suggested renovations and improvements and discussion for implementation will continue in the next couple of months.

To learn more about these agenda topics and other issues discussed at this Council workshop or previous meetings and workshops, go to the town website at www.windhammaine.us/ where one can find the minutes and recorded video version of the meetings. All meetings are televised live on the local cable channel as well as on Facebook live.

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