DRAFT

TOWN OF LITCHFIELD, NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

To the inhabitants of the Town of Litchfield in the County of Hillsborough in said State, qualified to vote in Town Affairs:

You are hereby notified that the first session of the annual meeting of the Town of Litchfield will be held at Campbell High School, 1 Highlander Court, in said Litchfield on February 1, 2014 at  10:00 a.m. for explanation, discussion and debate of each warrant article.  Warrant articles may be amended at this session per RSA §40:13, IV.

You are hereby notified that the second session of the annual meeting of the Town of Litchfield will be held at Campbell High School, 1 Highlander Court, in said Litchfield on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 7:00 in the forenoon for the choice of Town Officers elected by official ballot to vote on questions required by laws to be inserted on the official ballot and to vote on all warrant articles from the first session on official ballot per RSA §40:13, VIII.  The polls for the election of town officers and other action required to be inserted on said ballot will be open on said date at 7:00 o’clock in the forenoon and will not close earlier than 7:00 o’clock in the evening.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Article 1:     To elect by ballot the following Town officers:

OPERATING BUDGET

Article 2:     To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate as an operating budget, not including appropriation by special warrant articles and other appropriations voted separately, the amounts set forth in the budget posted with the warrant or as amended by the vote of the first session, for the purposes set forth therein, totaling, $5,xxx,xxx. Should this article be defeated, the default budget shall be $5,xxx,xxx which is the same as last year with certain adjustments required by previous action of the Town of Litchfield or by Law; or the governing body may hold one special meeting, in accordance with RSA 40:13, X and XVI, to take up the issue of a revised operating budget only.

Estimated 2014 tax rate impact: $3.59

by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: )
by the Budget Committee (Vote: )

ROAD IMPROVEMENT

Article 3:    To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $170,000 for the purpose of road pavement improvement projects. This sum matches the amount expected to be received by the Town through the NHDOT Highway Block Grant. It is anticipated that these funds will be used toward  the costs of repairs to Cutler Road and Stark Lane. This is a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7, VI and will not lapse until the improvements are completed or by December 31, 2016, whichever is sooner.

Estimated 2014 tax rate impact: $0.21

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 5-0-0)
by the Budget Committee (Vote:)

FIRE DEPARTMENT AIRPACK REPLACEMENT

Article 4:    To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $21,000 toward the purchase of replacement SCBA equipment.  These funds will be used either as the Town’s matching share for a regional grant application which, if awarded, will award the town $186,000 for  the purchase of this equipment; or, if the grant is not awarded, as a portion of the purchase price of the equipment, the remaining funds for which will be raised and appropriated at a future town meeting.This is a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7, VI and will not lapse until the equipment is purchased or by December 31, 2016, whichever is sooner.

Estimated 2014 tax rate impact: $0.03

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 4-0-1 )
by the Budget Committee (Vote: )

POLICE CONTRACT

Article 5:    Shall the Town vote to approve the cost items for wage and related costs that have been included in the collective bargaining agreement reached between the Town of Litchfield and Council 93 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees which provides for the following increases in wages and benefits:

2014: $44,562
2015: $31,355 (estimated)

And further, to raise and appropriate the sum of $44,562 for the 2014 fiscal year, such sum representing the additional cost attributable to the increase in benefits over those of the appropriation at current staffing levels. This collective bargaining agreement covers the full and part time patrol officers and full time dispatchers.

This contract contains no raise for 2014 and a 2% raise in 2015.

Estimated 2014 tax rate impact: $0.05

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 4-1-0)
by the Budget Committee (Vote: )


CONTRACT SPECIAL MEETING

Article 6: Shall the Town, if article 5 is defeated, authorize the governing body to call one special meeting, at its option, to address Article 5 cost items only?  (Majority vote required).

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 5-0-0)


STORMWATER MANAGEMENT TRUST FUND

Article 7:    To see if the Town will vote to establish a Stormwater Management Expendable Trust Fund pursuant to RSA 31:19-a. Furthermore to raise and appropriate the sum of $40,000 for deposit into this Fund and to appoint the Board of Selectmen as agents to expend from the fund. The Fund can be used for the costs associated with engineering, documenting, repair and planning of stormwater and drainage systems as well as compliance with EPA stormwater system permits.

Estimated 2014 tax rate impact: $0.05

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote:4-1-0)
by the Budget Committee (Vote:)

 

REPAINTING OLD TOWN HALL

Article 8:    To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $20,000 for repairing the Old Town Hall and to fund this appropriation by authorizing the withdrawal of that amount from the unexpended fund balance as of December 13, 2013. This price includes legally required abatement of lead paint. This would have a net cost to 2014 general taxation of $0.

Estimated 2014 tax rate impact: $0.00

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 4-1-0)
by the Budget Committee (Vote: )

 

TALENT HALL ROOF

Article 9:    To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $43,120 for the replacement of the roof on Talent Hall and to fund this appropriation by authorizing the withdrawal of that amount from the unexpended fund balance as of December 31, 2013. This would have a net cost to 2014 general taxation of $0.

Estimated 2014 tax rate impact: $0.00

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (5-0-0)
by the Budget Committee (Vote)


HUMAN SERVICES AGENCIES

Article 10:    To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $4,952 to support the requests of Human Services agencies including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Home Health & Hospice, St. Joseph’s Community Services, Bridges and Community Council of Nashua.

Estimated 2014 tax rate impact: $0.01

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 5-0-0)
by the Budget Committee (Vote:)

EXTEND LIQUOR SALES

Article 11:    To see if the Town will vote to allow on premise licensees for liquor sales to sell until  2:00 am as authorized by RSA 179:17 II(b).

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 4-1-0)

 

CONSERVATION FUND CAP

14(a) To see if the Town will vote to amend the 2011 vote regarding the deposit of land use change tax funds into the Conservation Fund to authorize 80% of the land use change tax collected pursuant to RSA 79-A:25 to be deposited into the conservation fund in accordance with RSA 36-A:5, III, as authorized by RSA 79-A:25, II; however, in no event shall the balance in the Conservation Fund be permitted to exceed $1,000,000.  

14(b) only be valid if 14(a) passes)

by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 5-0-0)

 

EXPAND CONSERVATION FUND USES

Article 13:    To see if the Town will vote to rename the fund which has in the past been referred to interchangeably as the Town Conservation Fund, the Conservation Land Acquisition Fund and the Conservation and Land Acquisition Fund to the “Conservation Fund,” and to confirm that this fund may be used for all purposes authorized for conservation funds under RSA 36-A.

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 5-0-0)

 

ROUTE 102 INTERSECTION STUDY

Article 14:    To see if the Town will direct the Board of Selectmen to bring to the 2015 annual meeting, an article to study alternatives and potential costs for a controlled intersection allowing access to Route 102.

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 5-0-0)

 

APPOINT CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM COMMITTEE

Article 15:    To see if the Town will authorize the Board of Selectmen to appoint a Capital Improvement Program Committee pursuant to RSA 674:5, which shall include at least one member of the Planning Board and may include but not be limited to other members of the Planning Board, the Budget Committee, or the Board of Selectmen, to prepare and amend a recommended program of municipal capital improvement projects projected over a period of at least 6 years.

by the Board of Selectmen (Vote:)

ELDERLY EXEMPTIONS

Article 16:    Shall we modify the elderly exemption from property tax in the Town of Litchfield, based on assessed value for qualified taxpayers, for persons 65 years of age up to 75 years, $50,000; for persons 76 years of age up to 80 years, $80,000; and for persons 81 years of age or older, $125,000. To qualify, the person must have been a New Hampshire resident for at least 3 consecutive years, own the real estate individually or jointly, or if the real estate is owned by such person's spouse, they must have been married to each other for at least 5 consecutive years. In addition, the taxpayer must have a net income in each applicable age group of not more than a dollar amount determined by the town of not more than $30,000, or, if married, a combined net income of not more than a dollar amount determined by the town of not more than $45,000; and own net assets not in excess of $150,000, excluding the value of the person's residence and one automobile (the automobile of greatest value if more than one is owned).  This article brings the eligibility requirements into conformance with state law and reduces the asset limit from $300,000 to $150,000.

The modifications will take effect April 1, 2014.

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 5-0-0)


APPOINTED ROAD AGENT

Article 17:    To see if the Town will vote to discontinue the elected office of Highway Agent, and to authorize the Selectmen to appoint the Highway Agent.  The current Highway Agent shall continue to hold the office until the 2015 Annual Town Meeting election, at which time, the elected office shall terminate.  If adopted, the authority of the Selectmen to appoint the Highway Agent shall continue in effect until changed by a majority vote at an annual or special town meeting.

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote:4-1-0)