Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Dec 28, 2017

CDBG Grant Public Hearing Minutes 12-28-2017


 

TOWN OF LITTLETON

CDBG Progress Public Hearing

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2017
9:15 AM
125 MAIN STREET
LITTLETON TOWN OFFICE CONFERENCE ROOM 

Present:  Town Manager Andrew Dorsett, Chairman Schuyler Sweet, Selectman Milton Bratz, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings

Others Present:  Rudy Gelsi, Ralph Hodgman, Karen Noyes, Cathy Conway, Chief Paul Smith, Chad Fillion (Channel 2) 

Sweet called the second public hearing to order at 9:15 AM

Public Hearing:  CDBG Progress Report

The Town of Littleton Board of Selectmen will hold a Public Hearing on Thursday, December 28, 2017, at 9:15 AM at the Littleton Town Office Conference Room, 125 Main Street Littleton, New Hampshire. Community Development Block Grant funds are available to municipalities through the NH Community Development Finance Authority. Up to $500,000 annually is available for economic development projects, up to $500,000 for public facility and housing projects, up to $350,000 in emergency activities and up to $12,000 is available per each planning grants. All projects must primarily benefit low and moderate income persons.  During a CDBG project, a progress update public hearing is required.

 

The public hearing will update the public on, and take public comment on, the progress of the CDBG Project that funded the purchase of manufacturing equipment, and training on that equipment, at the Hugh J. Gallen Career & Technical Center, 140 High Street in Littleton.  Multiple training programs have occurred, another will be held in Spring 2018.

 

Provisions for persons with special needs can be made by contacting the Town Manager’s Office, via telephone (603-444-3996) or mail, at least five days prior to the public hearing.

 

Anyone wishing to submit written comments should address them to the Board of Selectmen, Town of Littleton, 125 Main Street, Suite 200, Littleton, NH 03561.  Comments must be received no later than December 27, 2017.

 

 

Dorsett read the following update:
Community Development Block Grant funds are available to municipalities through the NH Community Development Finance Authority. Up to $500,000 annually is available for economic development projects, up to $500,000 for public facility and housing projects, up to $350,000 in emergency activities and up to $12,000 is available per each planning grants. All projects must primarily benefit low and moderate income persons. During a CDBG project, a progress update public hearing is required.

The public hearing will update the public on, and take public comment on, the progress of the CDBG Project that funded the purchase of manufacturing equipment, and training on that equipment, at the Hugh J. Gallen Career & Technical Center, 140 High Street in Littleton. Multiple training programs have occurred, another will be held in Spring 2018.

 

In 2015, a CDBG grant of $169,000 was awarded by the NH Community Development Finance Authority to the Town of Littleton, for the purpose of providing CNC machine training to help meet local manufacturers' needs for skilled workers. $150,000 of these funds was sub-granted to Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) for the purchase of equipment and implementation of training programs.

 

NCIC purchased a Haas CNC Tool Room Lathe, and a Haas CNC Tool room Mill which were delivered to the Hugh J Gallen Career & Technical Center (the "Training Center") (a program of the SAU84 Littleton School District I Littleton High School), on November 4, 2015. Onsite training for Training Center staff/trainers was completed in January, 2016.

 

Beginning with the Spring 2016 Semester and running through the Fall 2017 Semester,  Introduction to Technical Manufacturing courses have been conducted at the Training Center by the Littleton High School and by White Mountains Community College (WMCC). A total of 53 students have received training, approximately 60% of whom had household incomes at or below 80% of Area Median Income.

 

The success of the Introductory training courses, and the need for a more highly skilled labor force, led to a Memorandum of Understanding between NCIC and WMCC in September, 2017 which provided for WMCC to explore the feasibility of developing an Advanced Technical Manufacturing program. WMCC hired an Advanced Manufacturing Program Coordinator who, working with Training Center staff and local manufacturing businesses, designed an Advanced Technical Manufacturing course which will be offered at the Training Center by WMCC beginning with the Spring 2018 Semester.

 

Additional tooling and equipment needed to support and supplement the training program, including a benchtop milling  machine, has been ordered and will be delivered to the Training Center within the next few weeks.


Throughout the grant period, NCIC, the Training Center and WMCC have collaborated with an advisory committee comprised of representatives from local manufacturers.  The advisory committee has provided insight and input on equipment purchases, curriculum and program direction.

 

Sweet asked if the public had any comments or questions.  Rudy Gelsi asked if they were asking for more funds in 2018.  The Town is not asking for any funds in 2018.  Ralph Hodgman asked if the 53 students that participated in the program are currently employed.  Cathy Conway said she did not have the answer at this time.  Hodgman said they completed the program.  The goal of this program is to put people to work locally. Franco Rossi asked what the reasoning was to sub-grant the money. Cathy Conway said the idea was to have the equipment owned by a nonprofit.  There was a conversation between the high school and the businesses on how to get the employees they need. Karen Noyes said she thinks it’s good there is a program like this.  There are students that do not want to go to college.  This gives them skills they might not have been able to get otherwise. Hodgman said he thinks it is a great program, he would just like to see the results.  Rudy asked who sponsored the program. Sweet said it was sponsored through the federal government via the state.  Gelsi had more questions regarding the amount of grant money the Town can apply for each year.  Cathy Conway and Andrew Dorsett explained the different kinds of granting sources and how they can be applied for.  Bratz said the history of this Town is based on multiple funding sources being applied for.  Bratz gave the Main Street reconstruction as an example of how the grant money helped make necessary improvements.  Bratz said a lot of Town’s that don’t have a lot of money rely heavily on state and federal grants. 

 

Sweet closed the public hearing at 9:45 AM.