On April 17, 2021, Nottingham, the town, held its first ever Deliberative Session (DS). In contrast to the traditional annual town meeting, which the town had had for 298 years, DS could discuss and amend the Warrant Articles (WA) but they could not be voted upon. This would be done on the election on Tuesday, June 8th, 2021. With this in mind, this begins a series of articles on the individual WA. The purpose of these reports is that the more informed the voters are, the better decisions they make.
This is Article #13: “To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $23,400.00 (Twenty-Three Thousand Four Hundred Dollars) for construction and renovation of the kitchen area of the community center. This sum to come from unassigned fund balance. This is a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7 VI and will not lapse until the work is complete or not later than one year after the end of fiscal year 2021, whichever occurs earlier. Majority Vote Required. The estimated tax impact is $0.00 per $1,000 of property valuation. The Select Board recommends this appropriation (5-0). The Budget Committee recommends this appropriation (9-2).”
On Thursday, April 22, 2021, this reporter sat down with Kortney Dorow, Director, Nottingham Parks & Recreation Department (NP&RD) and Bridget Hart, its assistant director to talk about WA #13. Of interest, the interview took place in “the kitchen area of the community center.” Being in that site, they were quick point the need “for construction and renovation.” They cited the key role of that kitchen in the life of Nottingham. If Epping can call its self, the "Center of the Universe,” then it's clear that the kitchen is the center of many Nottingham activities. The Voter Guild says, “The kitchen area of the Community Center has long been used as a gathering place for community groups and a way to include basic food service options for events, rentals, and Recreation Department programs.”
The following is a partial list of all the groups and events held in that kitchen as well as an estimate of the number people attending them: Legacy meals and lunch deliveries with 15-20 people serving 40 meals. Holiday events -the holiday parade and craft workshop, Halloween event, and egg hunt with 60-100 participants each one, Vacation Camps with 30 kids, Day’s @ the Rec programs for Teacher workshop days with 15 kids, Scouts -Girl, Cub and Boy Scouts with 30+ or more each, Alanon meeting group, and Pawtuckaway Piecers with about 10 people. Also NYA and Strikers sometimes host public meetings in the kitchen and it is the site for Annual Flu Shots.
What will happen if the WA # 13 passes. Again, the Voter Guild offers this answer. “The kitchen area of the Community Center has long been used as a gathering place for community… These uses have faded over time as the condition of the cabinetry, plumbing, and appliances have deteriorated. The renovations and updates provided by this appropriation will correct those problems, provide new flooring and painting, and allow for more flexible use of the space.”
Dorow and Hart note that passage of Warrant Article #13 would greatly improve the kitchen and its area. Those renovations would benefit and enhance all the many various activities held there.