PVA Home  Meeting Notes May 3, 2008
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Saturday, May 3, 2008
Penacook Community Center

Attendees:

Liz Blanchard, Matt Brown, Lois Bradley, Kathy Bush, Alice Colby, Terri Culjat, Carol R. Foss, Marge and Sumner Goldman, Pat Harbour, Ralph Clarke Harwood, Bill Heinz, Sarah Miller, Lynne Raleigh, Steve Shurtleff, Brent Todd

May 3 meeting
  1. Brent Todd of Concord 20/20 welcomed the group and reviewed recent press coverage in the Concord Monitor and the Penacook Historical Society’s (PHS) events calendar. Carol Foss agreed to take the notes of this meeting.
  2. For the benefit of new members, all attendees introduced themselves and shared their connection and interest in Penacook.
  3. The group then discussed last month’s task force assignments:
    1. SIGNAGE: Matt Walsh was absent; no report on Penacook signage on state roadways
    2. FARMERS’ MARKET: John Jordan was absent; Pat Harbour reported on the PHS efforts to plan a trial run of a market on Saturdays in August. Sumner Goldman reported discussing a market with Harry Lewis, who recommended getting information from the NH Farm Bureau. Pat reported that she has obtained their information packet and has interviewed several people who chair farmers’ markets. Because Concord’s is Saturday mornings and Canterbury’s is Wednesday evenings discussion ensued about an appropriate day for Penacook. Thursday afternoons from 4-6 was suggested, as it works well for Manchester. Ralph Harwood discussed advantages of holding it at Rolfe Barn, such as proximity to a working farm, rural setting, historic site. Sumner pointed out that we need to draw people from Penacook’s mains streets, so signage downtown was recommended. Sarah Miller suggested Sunday afternoons following church services would be better for families. Ralph suggested looking to Webster, Salisbury and Warner for additional farm participants to avoid lack of available produce. Suggestions were to include baked goods, wine, and crafts, as well as promotion of the PVA and PHS.
      Interested volunteers should contact Pat at 753-4810.
    3. MARKETING & PROMOTION: Matt Brown reported his idea of a brochure of the Village, featuring local businesses and points of interest, supported by advertising. Lynne Raleigh reported that the web domain Penacook.org is available, and would cost approximately $150 for two years; these starter funds were generously donated to PVA on behalf of the Community Center and the Historical Society by Steve Shurtleff and Carol Foss. Matt suggested the brochure and website should have a consistent design scheme. Discussion ensued regarding the reintroduction of the Nutshell newsletter as a key project for the marketing group. Alice Colby suggested use of the Concord Insider for future announcements until the new “Nutshell” was published; it was agreed the new version should be titled with “Penacook” and retain the consistent design theme. Pat Harbour noted that there may be some advertising contracts outstanding for the Nutshell.
    4. PVA MISSION STATEMENT: Discussion regarding the need for a PVA and PHS concluded with recognition of the roles of the two groups. Opportunities to synergize exists, but there are also distinct impressions the two active groups would give to the community. Also, there are some efforts more suited to the PVA or PHS. Carol Foss recommended a joint meeting of the PVA and PHS Boards at some future date.
    5. GROCERY STORE/TANNERY: Liz Blanchard reported that although one grocery store deal has fallen through, Matt Walsh has attempted to follow up with an alternative possibility. The demolition of the Penacook Mill is progressing, and is roughly 15% complete. Asbestos removal will continue through the week of May 5th. The entire demolition effort will not be completed until mid-June.
    6. BUSINESS GROUP: Liz Blanchard reported that Nan Hagen of Main Street Concord had offered to speak to Penacook business owners, and she will ask Nan to speak at the next PVA meeting. Liz also reported that the City Council has approved new zoning for Penacook that provides tax incentives for developing the upper floors of downtown buildings. The hope is to renovate them for living space. Terri Culjat reported that a survey of local businesses would be useful to find out what they would like to see happen downtown, and what they could contribute. Lynne Raleigh has generated a list of all businesses in Penacook. Sarah Miller suggested the committee identify the types of businesses desired for the downtown, and work with the City to attract them to Penacook. Bill Heinz suggested discussing the fate of RIVCO and other area employers/businesses at some future meeting.
    7. PVA STRUCTURE AND FUNDING: Kathy Bush offered to investigate grant funding for the newsletter, and to work with Carol Foss drafting PVA bylaws.
    8. TRANSPORTATION: Alice Colby suggested keeping watch on transportation issues that faced the community. Route 3 renovations will be a major upcoming project. Lois Bradley suggested focus on bike-ability downtown, and to ensure proper bike lanes are delineated during the Route 3 work.
  4. The importance of keeping watch on the City Council and Planning Board decisions that affect Penacook was discussed. Kathy Bush agreed to be liason with the Council and report findings to Lynne Raleigh for inclusion in the web site.
  5. May 3 meetingThe following committee recommendations were made:
    1. PVA FORMAL ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE: Kathy Bush and Carol Foss
      • Draft mission statement, articles of incorporation, bylaws
    2. BUSINESS COMMITTEE: Matt Brown and Terri Culjat
      • Develop survey for local businesses
      • Connect with Main St. Concord
      • Identify desirable businesses for downtown
      • Engage existing businesses in the PVA
      • Investigate free WIFI access for downtown
    3. MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Matt Brown, Sumner Goldman, and Lynne Raleigh
      • Village newsletter
      • Village brochure
      • Website
      • CCTV exposure
  6. The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 31, at 9:00 a.m. On behalf of the PHS, Carol Foss invited the group to hold the meeting at the Rolfe House. A sign will be placed on the Community Center doors to remind members of this venue change.
May 3 meeting

Updates on City Activities for the Village
Tannery Project: Demolition is underway and will likely continue through mid to late June.  The grocery store project has fallen through.  Council will meet in nonpublic on May 12th to discuss options.  My feeling is that the "grocery store" site at 4 Crescent Street will be packaged with the Penacook Mill site at #35 East Street and offered by the City as a single development opportunity to interested parties.   Once demolition and some other "due diligence" items are completed, the City will issue a RFP (likely in early July) to restart the process of looking for a new developer / project for the site.  Responses to the RFP by Developers would likely be due after Labor Day.


City Manager's weekly memo of 5/2:

PENACOOK TANNERY DEMOLITION:  Despite the previous heavy rains, the demolition of the Penacook Mill is progressing.  Work at the site remains focused on removal of asbestos roofing, as well as demolition of areas where roofing has been previously removed.  At this point, the project is roughly 15% complete.  Asbestos removal will continue through the week of May 5th.  The entire demolition effort will not be completed until mid June.

BIKE/WALK TO WORK DAY: Concord’s 6th Annual Bike & Walk to Work Day event will be held on Friday, May 16th (rain or shine) from 7:00-9:00 AM at the State House.  There will be live music, refreshments and prizes.  Special guests and speakers include Dr. Susan Lynch and Mayor Jim Bouley.  Anyone that must go to work or have errands to run that day are encouraged to participate in this fun and worthwhile annual event.   

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