DRAFT 2016 WARRANT ARTICLES

TOWN OF LITCHFIELD, NEW HAMPSHIRE

as of December 28, 2015

 

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 January 30, 2016 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 8, 2016 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.

 

ARTICLE 1 - ELECTION OF OFFICERS

 

ARTICLE 2 - PLANNING BOARD ARTICLE

 

ARTICLE 3 - PLANNING BOARD ARTICLE

 

ARTICLE 4 - NORTHEAST ENERGY DIRECT (gas pipeline)

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $27,297.00, of which, $11,700.00 shall come from previously encumbered funds by the Board of Selectmen leaving a balance of $15,597.00 to come from general taxation. Said funds to be expended at the discretion of the Board of Selectmen in opposition to the proposed Northeast Energy Direct high pressure gas pipeline and/or to minimize the impact thereof on the land and people of the Town, including, but not limited to, expenditures for legal representation and consultants, land use planning and consultation, public information purposes, administrative and court filing fees, participation in multi-town coalitions, and any and all other expenses reasonably related to opposing said pipeline project and/or mitigating the effects thereof.  This will be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7, VI and will not lapse until December 31, 2020. Estimated 2016 tax rate impact: $0.02

 

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

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)

 

 

 

 

ARTICLE 5 - 2016 OPERATING BUDGET

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 $XXXXXX. Should this article be defeated, the default budget shall be $XXXXXX 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 2016 tax rate increase is $XX

 

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: X-X-X)

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)

 

ARTICLE 6 - POLICE CONTRACT

To see if the Town will 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: Estimated 2016 tax rate impact: $0.02

 

2016 $18,329.00

2017 $14,623.00 (estimated)

2018 $12,659.00 (estimated)

 

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 3-1-0)

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)

 

ARTICLE 7 - SECOND YEAR OF TOWN NON UNION WAGE PLAN IMPLEMENTATION

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $30,000.00 to fund salary adjustments to bring Town employee salaries in line with the non-union employee wage plan, as approved by the Board of Selectmen in 2013. This article represents the second year of a three year implementation plan. Estimated 2016 tax rate impact: $0.03.

 

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

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)

 

ARTICLE 8 - FIRST YEAR OF LIBRARY NON UNION WAGE PLAN IMPLEMENTATION

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $14,819.00 to fund salary adjustments to bring Library employee salaries in line with the non-union employee wage plan, as approved by the Library Board of Trustees in 2015. This article represents the first year of a three year implementation plan. Estimated 2016 tax rate impact: $0.02.

 

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

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)

ARTICLE 9 - 2016 ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $200,000.00 for the purpose of road improvement projects.  It is anticipated that these funds will be used toward the cost of repairs to Cutler Road, Pinecrest Road and other roads as necessary. Estimated 2016 tax rate impact: $0.23.

 

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

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)

 

Candleridge to Page $200k & Moose Hollow to Albuquerque $98,000

 

ARTICLE 10 - FIRE STATION EXHAUST REMOVAL SYSTEM

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $50,000.00 for the purpose of purchasing a vehicle exhaust removal system for the Fire Station. Estimated 2016 tax rate impact: $0.06.

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 3-0-1)

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)

 

ARTICLE 11 - FIRE STATION / OLD TOWN HALL PARKING LOT IMPROVEMENTS

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $70,000.00 to improve drainage and repave the Old Town Hall and Fire Station parking lot. Estimated 2016 tax rate impact: $0.08.  

 

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: 3-0-1)

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)

 

ARTICLE 12 - BUILDING SYSTEMS TRUST FUND

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $30,000 to be placed in the Building Systems Trust Fund as previously established at the 2013 Annual Town Meeting. This sum to come from the unassigned fund balance and no amount to be raised from taxation. Estimated 2016 tax rate impact: $0.00. 

 

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

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)

 

ARTICLE 13 - EARNED TIME ACCRUAL EXPENDABLE TRUST FUND

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $60,000 to be placed in the Earned Time Accrual Expendable Trust Fund as previously established at the 2014 Annual Town Meeting. This sum to come from the unassigned fund balance and no amount to be raised from taxation. Estimated 2016 tax rate impact: $0.00

 

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

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)

Expended $23,230.74 on 12/14/15 leaving approximately $662.93 plus interests.

 

ARTICLE 14 - PUBLIC WORKS EXPENDABLE TRUST FUND APPROPRIATION

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $25,0000 for deposit into the Public Works Expendable Trust Fund previously established at the 2012 Annual Town Meeting . Estimated 2016 tax rate impact: $0.03.

 

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

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)

 

ARTICLE 15 - PUBLIC WORKS EXPENDABLE TRUST FUND AMENDMENT

To see if the Town will vote to amend the Public Works Expendable Trust Fund,  as shown below with original text shown unchanged, new text shown in bold and deleted text shown as crossed out:

 

This Fund can be used for payment of solid waste disposal fees in excess of the annual budgeted appropriation for that purpose as well as the replacement of capital equipment at the Solid Waste Facility with a value of greater than $5000. In addition, this Fund can be used for repair and replacement of vehicles and equipment, payment of snow removal related costs, including but not limited to, wages, contracted service fees and purchase of salt and sand in excess of the annual budgeted appropriation for those purposes. (2/3 vote required).

 

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

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)

 

ARTICLE 16 - LIBRARY EARNED TIME EXPENDABLE TRUST FUND

To see if the Town will vote to discontinue the Library’s Vacation Accrual Expendable Trust Fund created in 2012 and return the balance of such fund to the Town's general fund. The balance of this fund as of December 31, 2015  is $7,368.00. And further, to see if the Town will vote to establish an Earned Time Accrual Expendable Trust Fund under the provisions of RSA 31:19-a for the purpose of annually accounting for the cost of earned but unused vacation time so that the expenses associated with employee resignations, retirements and buyouts of accrued earned time do not impact the current year budget, and to raise and appropriate the sum of  $7,368.00 to put in the fund, with this amount to come from the unexpended fund balance as of December 31, 2015; and to further appoint the Library Board of Trustees to serve as agents to expend from the fund. This would have a net cost to 2016 general taxation of $0.

 

Balance of fund as of 9/30/15 is $7,368.68

 

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

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)

 

ARTICLE 17 - CONSERVATION COMMISSION

To see if the Town will vote to require the Conservation Commission to provide the Board of Selectmen, unless waived by the Board of Selectmen, with an independent property appraisal on land they wish to purchase prior to requesting Board of Selectmen approval and to require the Conservation Commission to seek legal counsel review of purchase and sale agreements prior to approval by the Conservation Commission.  

 

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

 

ARTICLE 18 - TAX CAP

Shall we adopt the provisions of RSA 32:5-b, and implement a tax cap whereby the Budget Committee shall not submit a recommended budget that increases the amount to be raised by local taxes, based on the prior fiscal year's actual amount of local taxes raised, by more than 5.5%. (3/5 vote required).  

 

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

 

ARTICLE 19 - RECYCLING REVOLVING FUND

To see if the Town will vote to establish a revolving fund pursuant to RSA 31:95-h, for the purpose of accounting for the cost of collection and disposal of recycling material, purchase of recycling supplies and equipment and other direct and indirect costs associated with the town’s recycling program. The revenue from fees, charges and other income derived from the town’s recycling program will be deposited into the fund and the money in the fund shall be allowed to accumulate from year to year and shall not be considered part of the town’s general fund balance. The town tr easurer shall have custody of all moneys in the fund and shall pay out the same only upon order of the governing body and no further approval is required by the legislative body to expend. Such funds may be expended only for the purpose for which the fund was created. Estimated 2016 tax rate impact: $0

 

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

 

ARTICLE 20 - FIREFIGHTER PARAMEDIC TRAINING

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $37,600 for expenses associated with training one (1) firefighter as a paramedic. This will be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7, VI and will not lapse until training is completed or by December 31, 2019, whichever is sooner. Estimated 2016 tax rate impact: $0.04.

 

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (Vote: X-X-X)

Recommended by the Budget Committee (Vote: X-X-X)