Next Steps

As part of their report, the Consultants made some recommendations about next steps. They are:

  1. Engage in backward planning
  2. Further vet the options under consideration: the consultants suggest that there is more work to do for all three options under consideration. This includes having discussions with Epping and Dover, engaging a structural engineer to conduct in-depth work at the JRSRHS and review and revise the ed specs developed prior to the last proposal.
  3. Include the needs of the elementary school
  4. Obtain a broader view from the community: they suggest using the UNH Survey Center to conduct a professional poll of the community, and holding a special district meeting.
  5. Continuing and expanding the School Board and Town Council relationship
  6. Engage in Strategic Planning
  7. Consider engaging an economist/demographer
  8. Examine potential cost savings opportunities

The School Board meets tonight at 7pm.

Consultants’ Report Released

The Consultants’ final report has been released. Below are the executive summary, which also details suggested steps for the School Board, and the full report.

Final Executive Summary

The JAC Final Report

Town Council 4/15/15

*Editor’s note: There is a lot happening in Newmarket and it is our hope to keep the community informed. These Town Council notes were written by Toni Weinstein. If you would like to share meeting notes, please email Toni at newmarket.school.solutions@gmail.com.

At last week’s Town Council meeting, there were 2 ordinances that were on the agenda to be voted on, but the Council had some questions for the Town Administrator, who was on vacation. Both items, the Codification of Town Ordinances and the Town Council Meeting Rules, were held to the next meeting for a third reading.

There were 4 ordinances introduced at the meeting which will be discussed and probably voted on at the next meeting on May 6th:

1. To enter into an agreement with Great Bay Kids Company for payment in lieu of taxes.
2. Prohibiting the feeding of birds and other wild animals on public property.
3. Regulating raffles.
4. Replacing doors at the Recreation center

The Town Council also approved Jon Kiper’s appointment to the Zoning Board.

The next Town Council meeting is scheduled for May 6th at 7pm.

Conservation Commission 4/9/15

*Editor’s note: There is a lot happening in Newmarket and it is our hope to keep the community informed. Amy Burns is the Town Council representative to the Conservation Commission and shared her notes with Newmarket Solutions. If you would like to share meeting notes, please email Toni at newmarket.school.solutions@gmail.com.

The Conservation Commission met on April 9th–Amy’s complete notes are available here:

Conservation Commission Meeting Notes

Some of the highlights:

  • Volunteers needed/appreciated for invasive species removal at Wiggin Farm on April 19 from 9-12.
  • Rain Barrels are available to purchase.
  • They reviewed the recreational value of the Lamprey River Corridor and the National Park Service awarded a grant for a Lamprey River Footpath feasibility study.
  • Volunteers are sought for water testing this summer–training is available.

Conservation Commission meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month. The next meeting  is May 14th at 7pm.

JAC Meeting 4/7/15

The JAC held its final meeting before the expected release of the Consultants’ report on April 15. One of the final pieces of the report is the summary of the focus groups and public forum, and Randy Bell and Jane Bergeron presented a draft of their findings to the JAC Tuesday evening.

The consultants conducted 15 focus group sessions with the intention of gathering viewpoints from a wide variety of stakeholders in the community. They included parents, teachers, students, community members and senior citizens. As reported by the consultants, “the feedback collected is only intended to be a sampling of opinions and viewpoints.” A total of about 100 individuals participated in the focus groups.

The public forum was attended by approximately 80 people and it was an “opportunity for the community to share general thoughts and opinions related to the three facility options for the Newmarket Junior/Senior school.”

The consultants summarized the Strengths/Commendations and Challenges/Concerns and the patterns that emerged from the conversations. Some of those patterns are the following:

1. While there are two distinct groups – those who want to tuition and those who want to continue to educate students in town – the majority of participants want to keep students in Newmarket.

2. The tax rate is a significant concern.

3. There is a movement toward compromise.

4. The school is a focal point and stakeholders voiced commitment to maintaining its culture.

5. The HS is seen as a critical factor in community growth.

 

We will post the full report when it becomes available.

Options Cost Model

The Options Cost model presented by Jeff Raab several weeks ago, has been revised and will be discussed at tomorrow’s JAC meeting at 6:30pm.

This model was created to calculate and compare the potential tax impact of the three options for a long term solution for the JRSHS facility. As stated in the JAC minutes from 2/3/2015, “Anyone with a Google account can plug in their own numbers to see how factors such as tuition revenue from other communities, the type of bond, and the assessed valuation of their own property affect the tax impact of the final solution over different periods of time.”

You can download the spreadsheet and access the model via these links. Here’s an example of the information generated:

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The JAC meeting is Tuesday 4/6, at 6:30pm at Town Hall.

Town Visioning Forum

Your voice and input are essential to shaping Newmarket’s future!

Join your neighbors for a community forum on Saturday, April18 from 9am-12pm. This visioning forum will include discussion on many important topics, including: leadership, community services, recreational opportunities, historic, cultural and natural resources, development and transportation.

Please RSVP to Kyle Pimental at kpimental@strafford.org or 994-3500

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Public Hearing – Thursday at 7pm.

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Public Hearing – Thursday, March 26th

The public hearing regarding the NJSHS facility options has been scheduled for Thursday, March 26 at 7pm in the Town Hall auditorium.

We encourage all community members to participate and share their feedback regarding information made available to date about the proposed facility options, including tuitioning, addition/renovation or a new building.

Public Forum Invitation 03-26-15

Please try to attend.

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