Hunt Building in need of work

The grand dame that gave Library Hill its name needs some help.

A recent facility master plan of the Hunt Building by the firm HDB/Cram and Ferguson of Boston, a successor to Hunt architect Ralph Adams Cram, points out the most pressing need is updating the 100-year-old building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system.

City Hall hired the architects to get an idea of what needs to be done to preserve the building, which initially was the Hunt Memorial Library.

During the winter, the rooms get nippy, and during the summer, the brick building bakes.

In fact, the cold last winter burst pipes in the building, flooding the area where the library stacks used to be.

The building otherwise has suffered from deferred maintenance and physical wear, such as the need for re-pointing mortar joints and replacing out-of-date additions with historically appropriate items.

Overall, the restoration and renovation cost estimate came in at $1.38 million for general contract work. Other items, such as refurbishing the woodwork, add another $72,000 to the total.

Hot property

City Treasurer and Tax Collector David Fredette might add another title to his collection: real estate agent.

Fredette got an offer from a young couple to buy surplus city property for nearly $25,000 more than its appraised value.

The city purchased the home at 448 Broad St. as part of the construction project for Nashua High School North. It has never been used.

Working with the aldermanic Infrastructure Committee, Fredette hosted two open houses and got four sealed bids for the property.

The purchase offer from Jaikumar Lalwani and Huey Chiu of Nashua was the highest bid, he said.

The property will be sold to the couple for $305,000 after the necessary paperwork is completed. Aldermen approved the sale price Tuesday.

Tax workshop

Putting on his less popular hat as the tax collector, Fredette noted tax bills have been shipped out.

And if residents have not received one by now, they should call Fredette’s office at 589-3190, he said.

But the news is not all bad. He actually wants to help people keep more of their money.

City Hall is hosting the first of two workshops to help people apply for the state’s Low and Moderate Income Homeowners Property Tax Relief Program. The workshop is scheduled for 9 a.m.-noon Wednesday.

Nashua residents should bring their 2003 federal tax return and a copy of their last property tax bill from December 2003. If they do not file a federal tax return, they must bring proof of income earned last year, such as pension income, dividends and interest.

The completed forms must be mailed by June 30 to qualify for the property tax rebate.

Festive and frugal

Smiles were all around as Mayor Bernie Streeter and the organizers of the city’s sesquicentennial celebration handed over an oversized check to the city coffers.

The check was for $32,030.64. Before the 2003 festivities kicked off, City Hall provided $50,000 to prime the pump.

Over the course of the year, private contributors gave close to $250,000 for the fun, according to city officials. That allowed the committee to return nearly two-thirds of the $50,000 to the city.

Accolades were given to Streeter’s executive assistant, Claire Rioux, as well as Cindy George, the sesquicentennial coordinator, for their hard work by the two leaders of the committee, Griffin Dalianis and Alderman-at-Large David Rootovich.

Taking a pass

Alderman-at-Large Paula Johnson declined to vote for legislation that some colleagues called her best work yet.

Johnson began the effort to increase the tax credit for military veterans to match recent changes in state law.

Even though she received the go-ahead from the city attorney to vote on the matter, Johnson abstained. Her husband is a Vietnam War veteran and receives the tax credit. Johnson said she wanted to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The vote on the legislation, which she co-sponsored with Ward 6 Alderman Robert Dion, was not in doubt. It passed 13-0.

Keeping servicemen and women in mind, Johnson and Dion are teaming up for another mission.

The two fiscal conservatives have submitted legislation to refund $4,500 to a dozen veterans or widows who apparently were incorrectly dropped from the tax credit program by the Assessing Department.

Rumors and innuendo

Alderman-at-Large Jim Tollner believes he needs to grab a megaphone to quash a rumor, albeit a flattering one.

About a month ago, he started to get congratulations about a big promotion at Harvard Pilgrim, where he works as the director of account management of New Hampshire and handles key clients for the managed-care organization.

At the same time, Tollner said people told him they had heard the new job meant he would give up his seat on the Board of Aldermen, where he is the vice president.

Earlier this month, two people approached him at the going-away party for former Police Chief Don Gross, he said.

“I will be the last person out of the chamber,” Tollner said.

He already holds a senior position at the managed-care organization and there is no truth to the notion that he’s quitting the board, Tollner said.

But the promotion idea is nice, he said.

“I’d like to thank them for the humongous promotion. I’m looking for the money that comes with it,” he joked.

“My vision is to serve Nashua for years to come,” said Tollner, who has talked about running for the position of mayor.

Not that we’re trying to start another rumor.

Nashua . . . From the Inside was compiled by staff reporter Andrew Nelson.