TOWN HALL CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC BEGINNING WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2020

Litchfield Town Hall Closed to the Public beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO THE RESIDENTS OF LITCHFIELD, NH
Litchfield Board of Selectmen – March 17, 2020

TOWN HALL CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC BEGINNING WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2020 (UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE)

We continue to actively monitor the COVID-19 situation, which is rapidly evolving. The Town is committed to the continued health and optimal safety of our residents as well as our employees, and we intend to do our part to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, in consultation with our Emergency Management Team, we have decided that effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Town Hall, Talent Hall, Recycling Swap Table and Darrah Pond Playground (park to remain open)will be closed to the public until further notice.

However, we will still be working to serve the residents of Litchfield. We intend to do our best to operate as a “VIRTUAL TOWN HALL.” In today’s world, most of the transactions for our residents can be done online or arranged via phone or email. Resident questions can and will be answered via phone or email. And as a last resort, you may schedule an appointment in Town Hall with the appropriate Town personnel to complete your transaction. Our Town Hall employees will be working both remotely and on-site (in very limited numbers as necessary)—but we will continue to be at your service.

FIRE, POLICE, HIGHWAY AND SOLID WASTE/RECYCLING: Of course, our incredible Police, Fire, Highway, and Solid Waste / Recycling Departments will continue to serve the residents of our Town on a “business as usual” basis with some minor changes. Fire Burn Permits will be processed online only at https://nhdflweb.sovsportsnet.net and the Police Department Dispatching Lobby area will be closed to the public. If you have questions or non-emergency business for any of the departments please contact them at the phone number or email listed below.

We ask that you please keep all non-emergency calls to a minimum so that they may devote their time to those residents in need of emergency services. If you have non-emergency COVID-19 related questions, please call 2-1-1 (a state hotline manned 24/7 specifically for such questions).

PUBLIC MEETINGS: With the exception of the Board of Selectmen, Emergency Management Team and others as determined by the Board of Selectmen on a “as needed basis”, all Town board and committee meetings in March will be canceled and more information will be forthcoming about meetings in April and beyond.

Finally, rest assured that we will be monitoring all local developments related to COVID-19, and as your Town officials, we are committed to timely and ongoing communication about any and all changes to our operating status as well as any recommendations to the public from public health and other government officials. The Town website address is www.litchfieldnh.gov and we encourage you to visit the website frequently for news and updates. 

IMPORTANT CONTACTS

Have a question for a particular department or services? Please contact the following staff members either via email or by phone. 

Town Clerk / Tax Collector:
Theresa L. Briand, Tbriand@litchfieldnh.gov or 424-4046 ext. 1244
Online payment services are available on the Town website: https://www.invoicecloud.com/litchfieldnh
Vehicle, Dog, Property Tax Payments, and Vital Records.

Assessing Department:
Donna Baril, Dbaril@litchfieldnh.gov or 424-4046 ext. 1236 
Veterans’ Credits, Elderly Exemptions, Property Record Cards, Abatement Applications, etc.

Building Department:
Peter Dionne, Inspector@litchfieldnh.gov or 424-4046 ext. 1239
Permit applications are available on the Town website:  https://public.mygov.us/litchfield_nh
Building, Shed, Electric, Plumbing, Mechanical & Construction Inspections, Building Code Questions, etc

Planning Department:
Joan McKibben, Jmckibben@litchfieldnh.gov or 424-4046 ext. 1241

Finance Department:
Karen White, Kwhite@litchfieldnh.gov or 424-4046 ext 1237
Payroll, Accounts Payable, Impact Fees, Ambulance Fees, Intents to Cut and Excavate, Land Use Change Taxes, etc 

Fire Department: 424-8071 or info@litchfieldfd.com  

Police Department: 424-4047 or info@litchfieldpd.com

Highway Department:
Kevin Brown, Kbrown@litchfieldnh.gov or 424-4046 ext. 1236 
Road Complaints, Snow Plowing, Roadway Drainage, Potholes, Paving Projects, etc. 

Trash and Recycling:
David Mellen, Dmellen@litchfieldnh.gov or 424-6900  

General Assistance Questions:
Donna Baril, Dbaril@litchfieldnh.gov or 424-4046 ext. 1236 
Rent, Utilities, Food, Heating and Medical Needs

Message from the Town Clerk

For those Litchfield residents who would prefer to avoid public buildings for a few weeks, remember you can renew your vehicles online (renewals only no new or transfer of plates).  

The website is: https://www.litchfieldnh.gov. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see Online Services and click on the service that you need. We will return your registration renewal in the mail. For dog license renewals go to the website and do the same thing. We will return your dog license by mail. Dog licenses must be renewed by April 30. New dog licenses need to be done at the office the first time unless we have received the new rabies vaccination from your vet.  You may also request copies of birth/death/marriage certificates online on the same page and pay your tax bills as well.

Just give us a call at 603-424-4045 and we will be happy to help!

-Terri, Pat and Ann

State Launches 2-1-1 COVID-19 Hotline

3/12/2020 – Governor Chris Sununu, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management, announced that 211NH has been mobilized to handle all COVID-19 related calls from New Hampshire residents. All residents with questions or concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak can call 2-1-1.

View the full press release here: https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/press-2020/20200312-covid-19-hotline.htm

211 NH is the connection for New Hampshire residents to the most up to date resources you need from specially trained Information and Referral Specialists who can provide you with health and human service information you may need to get help, give help or discover options. 211 NH is available 24/7/365. To reach 211 NH please utilize the following options:

Phone: Dial 211 or 866-444-4211 • TTY Number: 603-634-3388 • http://www.211nh.org • Mail: 211 New Hampshire PO Box 211 Manchester, NH 03105

Litchfield 2020 Warrant Article Results

Litchfield 2020 Warrant Article Results

ARTICLE 2 – DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Are you in favor of the adoption of Amendment No. 1 as proposed by the Planning Board for the Town of Litchfield Zoning Ordinance as follows?

Amend Section 310.00 DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS, Note 4, to change the square Footage for a shed needing to meet the minimum ten (10) foot side and rear setback from 192 square feet to 200 square feet.

Recommended by Planning Board – Passed 904 / 416

ARTICLE 3 – PLANNING BOARD CONDITIONAL USE

Are you in favor of the adoption of Amendment No. 2 as proposed by the Planning Board for the Town of Litchfield Zoning Ordinance as follows?

Amend Sections 603 (Special Exceptions – Highway Commercial), 703 (Special Exceptions – Southwestern Commercial District, 803 (Special Exceptions – Northern Commercial District), 953 a through c (Special Exceptions Northern Commercial/Industrial Service District) and 1003 a through c (Special Exceptions Southern Commercial/Industrial Service District) to permit Gasoline Sales, Automobile Service and Repair and Fast Foods Restaurants with Take-Out and/or Drive-Through Service by Conditional Use Permit granted by the Planning Board rather than as a Special Exception under the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Recommended by Planning Board – Passed 943 / 414

ARTICLE 4 – ELECTRONIC SIGNS

Are you in favor of the adoption of Amendment No. 3 as proposed by the Planning Board for the Town of Litchfield Zoning Ordinance as follows?

Amend Section 1500.00, Signs, to provide specific requirements for electronic signs.

Recommended by Planning Board – Passed 921 / 438

ARTICLE 5 – 2020 OPERATING BUDGET

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate as an operating budget, not including appropriations 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 $7,064,927. Should this article be defeated, the default budget shall be $7,035,661 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 2020 tax rate impact: $0.03. 

Recommended by Board of Selectmen (5-0-0)
Recommended by Budget Committee (8-1-0) – Passed 782 / 595

ARTICLE 6 – FULL TIME HIGHWAY EMPLOYEE

To see if the Town will vote to hire a full time Highway Employee effective July 1, 2020 at an estimated annual salary and related costs of $71,928 and further vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $35,964 for wages and benefits for the period of July 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Estimated 2020 tax rate impact: $0.04.

Recommended by Board of Selectmen (5-0-0)
Recommended by Budget Committee (7-2-0) – Failed 682 / 713

ARTICLE 7 – PUBLIC SAFETY COMMUNICATION SYSTEM LEASE PURCHASE

To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to enter into a five (5) year lease purchase agreement for the sum of $700,000 to replace and expand the public safety radio communication system. The first payment is not required until 2021. This lease agreement contains an escape clause. Estimated 2020 tax rate impact: $0.00. 

Recommended by Board of Selectmen (5-0-0) – Passed 799 / 588
Recommended by Budget Committee (7-2-0)

ARTICLE 8 – LIBRARY EARNED TIME ACCRUAL EXPENDABLE TRUST FUND

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $5,000 to be placed in the Library Earned Time Accrual Expendable Trust Fund as previously established. Estimated 2020 tax rate impact: $0.01.  

Recommended by Board of Selectmen (5-0-0) – Passed 780 / 608
Recommended by Budget Committee (8-1-0)

ARTICLE 9 – HUMAN SERVICES AND HEALTH AGENCIES

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $15,000 to support Human Services and Health Agencies providing services to the Town of Litchfield. If approved, the Health and Human Services Funding Committee will review funding requests and submit recommended funding amounts to the Board of Selectmen for approval. Estimated 2020 tax rate impact: $0.02.

Recommended by Board of Selectmen (5-0-0) – Passed 739 / 672
Recommended by Budget Committee (8-1-0)

ARTICLE 10 – GENERAL ASSISTANCE EXPENDABLE TRUST FUND

To see if the Town will vote to establish a General Assistance Expendable Trust Fund pursuant to RSA 31:19-a, for the purpose of providing financial assistance to individuals in need pursuant to RSA 165:1 and to raise and appropriate $10,000 for said fund; further to name the Board of Selectmen as agents to expend from said fund. Estimated 2020 tax rate impact: $0.01.  

Recommended by Board of Selectmen (5-0-0) – Passed 718 /683
Recommended by Budget Committee (8-1-0)

ARTICLE 11 – OLD TOWN HALL PAINT

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $25,000 to paint the exterior of the Old Town Hall. This sum to come from the unassigned fund balance and no amount to be raised from taxation. Estimated 2020 tax rate impact: $0.00.  

Recommended by Board of Selectmen (5-0-0) – Passed 861 / 559
Recommended by Budget Committee (6-3-0)

ARTICLE 12 – PLOW TRUCK PURCHASE 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate $100,000 to purchase a plow truck with equipment for the Highway Department.  This sum to come from the unassigned fund balance and no amount to be raised from taxation. Estimated 2020 tax rate impact: $0.00. 

Recommended by Board of Selectmen (5-0-0) – Passed 953 / 467
Recommended by Budget Committee (7-2-0)

ARTICLE 13 – BUILDING SYSTEMS EXPENDABLE TRUST FUND

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $50,000 to be placed in the Building Systems Expendable Trust Fund as previously established. This sum to come from the unassigned fund balance and no amount to be raised from taxation. Estimated 2020 tax rate impact: $0.00. 

Recommended by Board of Selectmen (5-0-0) – Passed 944 / 467
Recommended by Budget Committee (9-0-0)

ARTICLE 14 – TECHNOLOGY & COMMUNICATION EXPENDABLE TRUST FUND 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $25,000 to be placed in the Technology & Communication Expendable Trust Fund as previously established. This sum to come from the unassigned fund balance and no amount to be raised from taxation. Estimated 2020 tax rate impact: $0.00.  

Recommended by Board of Selectmen (5-0-0) – Passed 945/ 468
Recommended by Budget Committee (9-0-0)

ARTICLE 15 – NON BINDING VOTE – COMMUNITY CENTER DESIGN

Are you in favor of the Recreation Commission investigating the need to construct a community center, investigating the cost of such a center, and developing drawings and designs of such a center?
Recommended by Board of Selectmen (5-0-0) – Failed 639 / 773

ARTICLE 16 – BY PETITION

Per RSA 72:39-a and RSA 72:27-a we the people of Litchfield, NH would like to modify the elderly exemptions to the following:

The elderly exemption based on assessed value of their home for qualified property owners 65 years of age up to 75 shall be $85,000 (dollars), from 75 years of age to 80 shall be $140,000 (dollars), age 80 and up shall be $190,000 (dollars) and the income of a single person to $45,500 and married couples to $55,000.

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 persons spouse, they must have been married to each other for at least 5 consecutive years.  In addition, the single tax payer must not have a net income of more than $45,500 (dollars) or, if married, a combined net income of $55,000 (dollars) and own net assets not in excess of $300,000 (dollars) excluding the value of the persons residence or, if married, combined assets shall not be in excess of $300,000 (dollars).  The combined net asset amount for married persons shall apply to a surviving spouse until the sale or transfer of the property by the surviving spouse or until remarriage of the surviving spouse. 

Recommended by Board of Selectmen (5-0-0) – Passed 817 / 561
Recommended by Budget Committee (8-0-1)

ARTICLE 17 – BY PETITION

To see if the Town will vote to increase the Veterans’ Tax Credit and the All Veterans’ Tax Credit from $300 to $500 per year? 

Recommended by Board of Selectmen (4-0-0) – Passed 936 /451
Recommended by Budget Committee (8-0-1)

Litchfield Town Office Election Results

Litchfield Town Office Election Results.

2020 Candidates for Town Offices

** How the order of Names on Ballots RSA 656:5-a are determined **

Budget Committee
3 year term – 3 positions

George Lambert -418
John David Son -605
Scott Taylor – 488
Jennifer Bourque – 749
Keri Douglas – 736
Cory Flindt – 241

Checklist Supervisor
6 year term – 1 position

Joan McKibben – 770
John Pierog – 320

Selectmen
3 year term – 2 positions

Jack Pinciaro – 484
Kim Queenan – 423
Kurt Schaefer – 295
John Brunelle – 400
James Cardello – 130
Richard Lascelles – 642

Cemetery Trustee
3 year term – 1 position

Amber Flindt 368
Jody L. Fraser – 494
Frederick W. French – 216

Library Trustee
3 year term – 2 positions

Donna Ferguson – 849
Alan Sandler – 414
Ruth Ellen Whitney – 549

Town Clerk / Tax Collector
3 year term – 1 position

Theresa L. Briand – 1186

Town Moderator
1 year term – 1 position

Frank A. Byron – 1127

Trustee of Trust Fund
3 year term – 1 position

John J. Poulos, Jr. – 505
Ruth Ellen Whitney – 523

CIP Committee | 3/9/2020 Meeting Summary

CIP Committee | 3/9/2020 Meeting Summary

The following members were in attendance:

Voting:

  • Michael Croteau (Chair) – Planning Board Representative
  • Sean Flynn (Vice Chair) – Citizen Representative
  • Steven Webber – BOS Representative
  • Brian Bourque – School Board Representative

Non-Voting:

  • Andrew Cutter – Budget Committee Representative
  • Troy Brown – Town Administrator
  • Jay Minkarah – NRPC Director

Absent: P. Stone
Actions taken at the meeting:

  • 1/30/20 Minutes approved 4-0-0
  • The CIPC discussed and voted to accept a Mission/Vision Statement (see below) 4-0-0

Committee Discussion:

  • Project Submittal Form Process was presented by the Town Administrator. Goal is to standardize with the School District.
  • A review of the 6 year highway road improvement plan was discussed, with the goal to keep cost consistent over the period and aligned to past years budgets (~$200k block grant + ~$200k voter approved). After 2026, the town can shift into a preventative maintenance strategy with less funds anticipated as being needed for mill and reclamation work.
  • A review of the 6 year Highway vehicle and equipment plan was discussed. A review of Highway department assets, replacement schedule, anticipated needs due to town growth and residential development, as well as the need for salt storage and re-purpose of current salt shed structure.

The CIPC will review all departments 6 year plans before making any recommendations.

Public input by a resident (N. Fordey) was also provided.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday 4/6/20 in which it is planned to review the Police, Fire and Solid Waste Capital Improvement Plans.

As Published on Facebook by Andrew Cutter