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125 Main Street, Suite 200
Littleton, NH 03561
Phone: 603.444.3996
Fax: 603.444.1703

Jan 17, 2017

Bond & Budget Hearing Minutes - January 17, 2017


Town of Littleton

 

New Hampshire

 

Bond/Budget Hearing


January 17, 2017, 5:00 PM

 

 

 

 

 

Bond Budget Hearing, January 17, 2017, 5:00 PM, Littleton High School Cafeteria, 159 Oak Hill Avenue, Littleton, NH

 

Present:  Town Manager Andrew Dorsett, Chairman Milton T. Bratz, V. Chairman Schuyler Sweet, Selectman Edward Hennessey, Finance Director Karen Noyes, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings

 

Others Present:  Chad Fillion (Channel 2), Rudy Gelsi, The Courier, Bruce Hadlock, Robert Blechl (The Caledonian), Brian Patnoe (Transfer Station Manager), Art Tighe, Mary Edick, Ron Bolt, Joe DePalma (Public Works Director),

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bratz called the bond hearing to order at 5:07 PM.  The bond hearing will stay open until 6:07 PM. 

Article 03: Sewer Storm Water Roadway Project Bond 2018

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000) for the purpose of Repair and Replacement of Sewer Lines within the existing wastewater collection system, and any other costs related thereto and to authorize the issuance of bonds or notes and to determine  the rate of interest; Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000) of such sum to be raised through the issuance of bonds or notes under and in compliance with the Municipal Finance Act, RSA 33:1 et seq., as amended, WITH THE AMOUNT OF SUCH BONDS OR NOTES TO BE REDUCED BY ANY GRANT FUNDING RECEIVED FOR THE PROJECT; to authorize the Selectmen to apply for, obtain and accept federal, state or other aid, if any, which may be available for said project and to comply with all laws applicable to said project; to authorize the Selectmen to issue, negotiate, sell and deliver said bonds and notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon and the maturity and other terms thereof; and to authorize the Selectmen to take any other action or to pass any other vote relative thereto. (3/5 Ballot Vote Required)  No Tax Impact in 2017.  Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.           Recommended by Budget Committee 4-0.

 

 

 

Andrea Day from Dufresne Group Consulting Engineers presented Article 3: Sewer Storm Water Roadway Project Bond.  The project area encompasses Union Street, Pine Street Chiswick and Cross Avenues.  Inflow of storm water or river water entering the wastewater treatment plant is a main concern for towns because it still needs to be treated.  The plant runs around 600,000 gallons per day.  If there is significant rain there is a spike in the amount of flow.  In September 2015 there was a heavy rain for two days and the flow entering the plant was over 2.8 million gallons per day. In February 2016 there was another rain event.  The flow from that event measured 1.8 million gallons.  Day showed pictures of the sewer pipes that are made of old clay tile and generally needs to be replaced because it is very brittle.  The manholes have weeping around the joints.  Day said they used a camera in all the sewer mains and inspected all the manholes and evaluated on how to fix it.  Day stressed how we need a successful bond vote for this project to happen.  The estimated project cost is $1,996,000.  The project benefits are reduced flow, reduced risk of backups due to broken mains, prevention of leakage of sewage into the groundwater.  Improved access due to manhole replacements.  Day said the looked at three different agencies for local borrowing.  The next source is a clean water state revolving fund that had offered$ 292,000.  They also looked at rural development which is good news because their funding interest rates are at 1.85%.  The application is being prepared and is due January 30, 2017. 

Ron Bolt said the rates seem high.  Karen Noyes said she sent a quick request to the banks If we took a loan for three years the interest would be 1.92 % and the interest for five years would be 2.92 %.  Noyes said the rates are reasonable.  Day said rural development will provide an offer eventually.  Dorsett said with the grants available the tax payers will be on the hook for about $300,000 and the sewer users for about $150,000 more.  Rudy asked how long this project has been on thetable.  Rudy said we did not know about this last year.  Bratz said it was started in 2012. The firm that met with us in July 2012 presented allthe problems and where they were.  They never came back and years went by until we finally decided to bring in a new firm.  Bratz said this project could have started in the spring of 2013.  Gelsi said you went five years to get the money to fix it.  Bratz said he is the only one left who was on the board at the time and the first phase was never initiated.  This is a really big deal and will affect the community.  It was not until a year and a half ago that we connected with the new firm.  Joe DePalma stated the Town will be getting curb to curb paving of these roads that will be a huge impact to our paving budget.  All this ground water we have to pay to treat it.  Not doing this job is just kicking the can down the road.  DePalma went on to state that we will not be able to provide expansion.  Andrea Day stated we are exceeding the flow limits at times.  The DES (Department of Environmental Services) can come in and tell us we are going to have to upgrade the plant.  DePalma said we can’t keep kicking the can down the road. The higher the levels get in the plant there would eventually need to be an upgrade done to the plant.  Ron Bolt said the article states 2018.  He then asked if this is when the work would begin.   Andrea Day stated the work would begin in 2018.  Edward Hennessey said there is no tax impact for 2017.  Bolt asked if there is money in the sewer fund to apply towards the cost.  Dorsett said the taxpayers cost would be approximately $300,000 and $400,000 for the rate payers.  Noyes said if the sewer portion comes from the reserve funds there is currently $423,907 in that fund right now.  We were able to get some grant money from projects that happened in the past.  We started to receive the money this year.  Noyes said they have already received about $80,000.  There being no more questions, Milton Bratz moved onto Warrant Article #4 the Operating Budget.

 

Article 01: Election of Officers

 

 

 

 

To choose necessary officers, including one (1) Selectman (3) year term; one (1) Trustees of the Trust Funds, one (3) year term; one (1) Park Commissioner, one (3) year term; three (3) Library Trustees, three (3) year terms, one (1) Library Trustee, one (2) two year term.

 

 

 

 

Article 02: Amendment to Zoning Ordinance

 

 

 

 

Are you in favor of adopting the amendment to the Zoning Ordinance as proposed by the Planning Board to extend the boundaries of the Industrial Zone to include a 115 acre parcel of property which abuts the current Industrial Zone, which is owned by Littleton Industrial Development Corporation and identified as Map/Lot 102-7?   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article 04: 2017 Operating Budget

 

 

 

 

Shall the Town raise and appropriate as an operating budget, not including appropriations by special warrant articles and other appropriations voted separately, the amounts set forth on the budget posted with the warrant or as amended by vote of the first session, for the purposes set forth therein, totaling $8,730,879 (Eight Million Seven Hundred Thirty Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy Nine Dollars)?  Should this article be defeated, the default budget shall be $8,666,901 Dollars (Eight Million Six Hundred Sixty Six Thousand Nine Hundred One Dollars) which is the same as last year, with certain adjustments required by previous action of the Town 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 Tax Impact $7.586 Per Thousand. 
Recommended by the Selectmen: 3-0.  Recommended by the Budget Committee 4-0.  Bratz read the article.  Dorsett asked if there were any questions to the operating budget.  There being no questions Dorsett moved onto Article #5.

 

 

 

 

Article 05: Police Department Safety Equipment

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $5,000 (Five Thousand Dollars), for the purpose of purchasing, installing and improving Police Cruisers with updated safety and communications equipment and to authorize the withdrawal of $5,000 (Five Thousand Dollars) from the Special Detail Revenue Fund.  And further to authorize the Police Chief to trade in or sell older equipment.  No Tax Impact.  Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.  Recommended by Budget Committee 4-0. Andrew presented this article.  Ron asked if the board had any philosophy when this budget was built.  Andrew said they went through the budget line by line and kept everything at a minimum.  Karen Noyes noted there were copies of the budget for the public at the front of the room. Noyes then explained the difference between the proposed and default budgets.   Look at page 3 and 4 of 43.  Bratz said the tax increase in 2016 hit the taxpayer hard.  Noyes said the goal was to try and keep the budget level funded because of the tax rate increase.  Bratz reiterated that within the context of the $2.59 tax increase the budget was carefully reviewed.  There were two labor agreements they had to negotiate this year.  Paving projects that should also be done as well.  There being no questions Dorsett moved onto Article #6.

 

 

 

 

Article 06: Highway Department Light Duty Truck (3 Year Lease)

 

 

 

 

To See if the Town will vote to authorize the selectmen to enter into a three (3) year lease agreement in the amount of $100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Dollars) for the purpose of leasing a new or used Light Duty Truck for the Highway Department, and to raise and appropriate the sum of $30,000 (Thirty Thousand Dollars) for the first year's payment for that purpose.  This lease agreement has an escape clause.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.042 Per Thousand.  Recommended by Selectmen 2-1.  Recommended by Budget Committee 4-0. Mary Edick said she had a question on all of these warrant articles.  The budget committee did not have a quorum.  Schuyler Sweet said the chairman does not vote unless there is a tie.  Ron Bolt said it was a very poor performance by the budget committee. There are supposed to be nine members and when these major items are up they can’t make the meeting.  If they can’t make the meeting maybe they shouldn’t be on the budget committee.   Rudy Gelsi said they never show up.  Bratz said many of them were sick and that for the most part the budget committee had good attendance.  Ron Bolt wanted to go back to article #5.  He then asked if there was a vehicle being purchased for the police department.  Dorsett said there will be a vehicle purchased and that it was added into the budget.  Bolt said it has gone back and forth over the years.  There being no questions on article #6 Dorsett moved onto article #7.

 

 

 

 

Article 07: Full Time Highway Employee (9 Months)

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $40,867 (Forty Thousand Eight Hundred Sixty Seven Dollars) for the purpose of increasing the current level of staffing for the Highway Department. The nine month estimated cost is $40,867, the full year cost is estimated to be $54,711 and if approved the full cost will be added to the 2018 default and proposed budget.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.069 Per Thousand.  Recommended by Selectmen 2-1.  Recommended by Budget Committee 4-0.  Dorsett presented.  Ron Bolt said he did not have a problem with this but could Joe give more info on the need.  Joe DePalma said more people are using our roads.  Winter services have been expanded and we have an aging work force.  If one guy calls in sick it puts us short.  If we have one more full time employee it will take the pressure off.  In the summer they take their vacation.  They can’t take it off in the winter.  It will make it safer in the summer.  The thing is each truck is getting used more.  DePalma said we feel it is necessary to have a new person. 

 

 

 

 

Article 08: Part Time Highway Department Summer Laborer

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $10,000 (Ten Thousand Dollars) for the purpose of hiring a part time summer laborer in the Highway Department.  If approved the part time summer laborer cost will be added to the 2018 default and proposed budget.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.014 Per Thousand.  Recommended by Selectmen 2-1.  Recommended by Budget Committee 4-0. Dorsett presented this article.  There were no questions on this article.  Dorsett moved onto article #9.

 

 

 

 

Article 09: Road Improvements

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $150,000 (One Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars) for the purpose of Repairing and Improving various roads in Town.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.208.  Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.  Recommended by Budget Committee 4-0. Dorsett presented this article. Dorsett said they were only asking for the small amount due to other pending road projects on Ammonoosuc Street and the Safe Routes to School Project. Joe DePalma said he had identified some roads.  Industrial Park Drive is ready to be shimmed and over laid.  It is perfect timing to bring the road up to standards.  A couple of years from now that we would be looking at rebuilding it up.  It is a high use road.  There are some other roads we are looking at.  Partridge Lake and Foster Hill and Mount Eustis.  No other questions.  Dorsett moved onto the next article.

 

 

 

 

Article 10: Transfer Station Repair/Replacement/Equipment/Buildings

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $16,000 (Sixteen Thousand Dollars) to replace, fix, purchase and maintain equipment, buildings, containers, vehicle and the purchase of an additional supply of bags.  And to authorize the withdrawal of $16,000 (Sixteen Thousand Dollars) from the Transfer Station Special Revenue Fund created for the above purposes.  The funds will utilized as follows:
$8,000 - New Open Top Container, $4,000 Used MSW Container, $1,000 Open Top Area Improvement, $2,000 Maintenance/Repairs, $1,000 Small Improvements.  No Tax Impact.  Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.  Recommended by Budget Committee 4-0.  Dorsett presented.  No questions. Dorsett moved onto the next article.

 

 

 

 

Article 11: Transfer Station Baler and Conveyor

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to authorize the selectmen to enter into a three (3) year lease agreement in the amount of $100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Dollars) for the purpose of leasing a new or used Baler and Conveyor System at the Transfer Station, and to raise and appropriate the sum of $30.000 (Thirty Thousand Dollars) for the first year's payment for that purpose.  This lease agreement contains an escape clause.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.042 Per Thousand.  Recommended by Selectmen 2-1.  Recommended by Budget Committee 4-0.Dorsett presented.  Dorsett said this a very important piece of equipment. The one that we have has no usable parts.   No questions on this article. 

 

 

 

 

Article 12:  SEA Collective Bargaining Agreement

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to approve the cost item included in the collective bargaining agreement for two (2) years reached between the Board of Selectmen and the State Employees' Association, Local 1984, which calls for the following increases in salaries and benefits at the current staffing level:
Year                   Estimate
2017                  $7,281
2018                  $21,529
2019                  $6,392
And further to raise and appropriate the sum of $7,281 (Seven Thousand Two Hundred Eighty One Dollars) for the current fiscal year, such sum representing the additional costs attributable to the increase in salaries and benefits over those of the appropriation at current staffing levels paid in the prior fiscal year.  Pursuant to RSA 272-A:12 VII, if approved, the terms of this collective bargaining agreement, including the pay plan, but excluding costs of living increases will continue in force and effect until a new agreement is executed.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.010. Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.  Recommended by Budget Committee 4-0.  1 Abstained. Article presented by Dorsett and Noyes.  Noyes said the SEA agreement is a two year agreement beginning April 1, 2017 and ends March 31, 2019.  Noyes explained the increase in wages and the significant savings on the insurance. There is a stipend for master patrol officer.  There is an increase in uniforms.  The longevity pay will increase.  The second year of the contract there will be a 4.07% increase.  Employees will be paying more of the insurance premiums. Ralph Hodgman asked for the percentage of the pay raise.  Noyes said it was 6.1% in 2017.    Ron Bolt asked why two years instead of three.  Dorsett said the health care act goes into effect in 2018.  Ron Bolt asked what a master patrol officer is.  Dorsett said it is a training program and is voluntary in the past there was no financial benefit tied to it.  Art Tighe asked that the proposed union contracts be posted on the Town webpage with the changes highlighted so people can see the impact.  Noyes said there are red lined copies the public can pick up in the office.  She further stated they would see what they could do about posting them to the website.  Bratz asked if there were any more questions on the bond article.  There being none the bond hearing was officially closed at 6:07 PM.

 

 

 

 

Article 13: Special Town Meeting

 

 

 

 

Shall the Town of Littleton, if Article 12 is defeated, authorize the governing body to call one special meeting, at its option, to address Article 12 cost items only? (60% Majority Vote Required).  No Tax impact.  Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.  Recommended by Budget Committee 3-1. No questions were asked.

 

 

 

 

Article 14: AFSCME Collective Bargaining Agreement

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to approve the cost item included in the two (2) year collective bargaining agreement reached between the Board of Selectmen and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 93, Local 1348 which calls for the following increases in salaries and benefits at the current staffing level:
2017                  $  5,969
2018                  $12,670
2018                  $  3,649
And further to raise and appropriate the sum of $5,969 (Five Thousand Nine Hundred Sixty Nine Dollars) for the current fiscal year, such sum representing the additional costs attributable to the increase in salaries and benefits over those of the appropriation at current staffing levels paid in the prior fiscal year.  Pursuant to RSA 273-A:12, if approved, the terms of this collective bargaining agreement, including the pay plan, but excluding costs of living increases will continue, in force and effect until a new agreement is executed.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.008.  Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.  Recommended by Budget Committee 4-0. Dorsett and Noyes provided more details.  Noyes stated the wage increase is 2.58% with benefits.   The savings on the insurance reduces the cost.  We are doing away with what is considered the no deductible plan.  Uniform costs are an additional change.  Six pairs of wild fire brush pants are being purchased.  Other departments in this contract include the fire department, the transfer station and the highway department. The contract also includes increasing the boot cost.  They added a call stipend for on call only in the fire department for $50.00.  When on call they cannot leave the area. The second year they get an increase of 2.5%.  There are savings in the second year because insurance premium share is being paid by the employee.  In 2019 three months of the raise and the savings on the insurance.  Noyes said there is a summary provided by the attorney if anyone wants to see the changes.  No questions were asked.

 

 

 

 

Article 15: Special Town Meeting

 

 

 

 

Shall the Town of Littleton, if Article 14 is defeated, authorize the governing body to call one special, at its option, to address Article 14 cost items only?
No Tax Impact.  60 % Majority Vote Required.  Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.  Recommended by Budget Committee 4-0. Dorsett presented.  No questions were asked.

 

 

 

 

Article 16: Unexpended Conservation Commission Funds

 

 

 

 

 To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $210.00 (Two Hundred Ten Dollars) to be placed in the Conservation Commission Capital Reserve Fund previously established.  This amount represents the unexpended portion of the Conservation Commission’s 2016 appropriation.  No Tax Impact.  Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.  Recommended by Budget Committee 4-0.  Dorsett presented.  No questions were asked.

 

 

 

 

Article 17: Amend Lease Limit Amount

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will amend the lease restrictions that were placed on the Town at the 2006 Town Meeting Warrant Article #35 to a $20,000 limit on leases.  The amendment would increase the limit to $65,000 (Sixty Five Thousand Dollars).  No Tax Impact.  Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.  Recommended by Budget Committee 0-0. Dorsett said the lease limit was put in place in 2006 to keep the voters in control of larger purchases.  But now that years have passed it limits us from saving money on the town’s operations.  No questions were asked.

 

 

 

 

Article 18: Opera House Energy Reduction Improvements

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of not more than $44,200 (Forty Four Thousand Two Hundred Dollars: for the purpose of demolition, construction, air sealing and insulating areas on the Littleton Opera House as identified in Energy Audit report to reduce energy usage.  Estimated cost savings to tax payers is 3,789 (Three Thousand Seven Hundred Eighty Nine) gallons of propane per year.  To further authorize the Selectmen to apply for, accept and expend grants and other funds available for this purpose, and, to establish the Board of Selectmen as the agent to expend from this fund.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.061.  Recommended by Selectmen 2-1.  Recommended by Budget Committee 5-0.Dorsett presented. Mary Edick if there are grants available to offset the cost and what happens to the balance.  Dorsett said they would not exceed the amount.  Peter Cooper said they have submitted a grant application.  No further questions were asked

 

 

 

 

Article 19: Opera House Stage Rigging

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $15,000 (Fifteen Thousand Dollars) to install and/or replace the rigging on the stage as required at the Opera House per safety code NFPA 1983.   And to further authorize a withdrawal of $15,000 (Fifteen Thousand Dollars) from the Opera House Special Revenue Fund to offset this cost.  No Tax Impact.  Recommended by Selectmen 2-1.  Recommended by Budget Committee 5-0. Dorsett presented.  Ralph Hodgman asked how much money is in the opera house fund.  Noyes said the balance in the account is $15,099.39 at the end of 2016.  Mary Edick asked who voted no.  Bratz said he would most like to see the labor agreements pass and the roads repaired. Bratz said he just made his decision on the big tax adjustment of this year. Mary Edick said there was no tax impact on this.  Bratz said he may have made a mistake on this.  No further questions were asked.

 

 

 

 

Article 20: Opera House Maintenance and Repairs

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $5,000 (Five Thousand Dollars) for the purpose of additional repairs which would include repairing or replacing lead glass in the windows, a purchase and installation of a camera video system in the building, and if there are any remaining funds to go toward other minor repairs.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.007.  Not Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.  Not Recommended by Budget Committee 4-1.  Dorsett presented no questions were asked.

 

 

 

 

Article 21: Remich Park Building Replacement Fund

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to appropriate the sum $20,000 (Twenty Thousand Dollars) for the purpose of placing into the already established in 2015 the Remich Park Building Capital Reserve Fund.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.028.  Not Recommended by Selectmen 2-1.  Not Recommended by Budget Committee 4-1. Dorsett presented.  Someone asked how much is in the fund.  Dorsett said the purpose of the fund is to replace the building that is now condemned.  There is currently $10,000 in the fund that was established in 2015. 

 

 

 

 

Article 22: Petitioned Warrant Article Littleton Chamber of Commerce

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $15,000 (Fifteen Thousand Dollars) to support the Downtown Beautification efforts of the Littleton Chamber of Commerce.
Purchase Downtown Flowers            $4,250
Watering Downtown Flowers             $3,500
Downtown Piano Tuning & Covers    $5,000
Purchase Downtown Umbrellas         $   400
Purchase Holiday Decorations           $1,850
Estimated Tax Impact $0.021 Per Thousand.  Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.  Recommended by Budget Committee 6-1.  1 Abstained. Dorsett presented.  No questions were asked. 

 

 

 

 

Article 23: Petitioned Warrant Article Glenwood Cemetery Association

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $12,000 (Twelve Thousand Dollars) to continue repairs of the cemetery wall on West Main Street.
Estimated Tax Impact $.020 per Thousand.
Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.
Recommended by Budget Committee 8-0.    Dorsett presented.  No questions were asked.

 

 

 

 

Article 24: Petitioned Warrant Article Littleton Community Center

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $15,000  (Fifteen Thousand Dollars) to support a donation to the Littleton Community Center Capital Reserve Improvement Fund towards the purchase and installation of new, energy efficient storm windows. 
Estimated Tax Impact $.021 Per Thousand.
Not Recommended by Selectmen 3-0.  Not Recommended by Budget Committee 4-0. Dorsett presented.  No question were asked.

 

 

 

 

Article 25: Petitioned Warrant Article Library Building Improvement Fund

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate $15,000 (Fifteen Thousand Dollars) to be placed in the “Library Building Improvement Fund,” which was created at the 2014 Town Meeting, said funds to come from taxation. 
Estimated Tax Impact $0.021 per Thousand.  Not Recommended by Budget Committee 0-0. Not recommended by the Selectmen 3-0.  Dorsett said the budget committee see this article.  Mary Edick had a question as this is a town building and they need the money to keep it open. Yet on article 22 they voted for the chamber for $15,000.  She would like to know why they voted to support that.  Bratz said it is difficult to decide the services that are rendered to the community’s image. It becomes difficult to measure.  You are promoting your business and entire community.  We did not discuss this at length.  The other articles that were voted on there was no discussion.  We don’t see the Chamber as more valuable than the library.  Schuyler Sweet said that like Bratz he was concerned about the tax rate.  Our votes are suggestions for the voters.  He sees the money better spent at the chamber than the library.  Mary Edick asked Sweet why.  Schuyler said he thinks we will get more back from the chamber than the library.  Edward Hennessey said the library came in at the very last minute with this instead of a part time employee there was no presentation.  Someone said it is sad how little the board thinks of the library.  Hennessey said they should utilize their fund raising abilities.  Steve Kelley said there is some new leadership on the library trustees.  The problem with a part time librarian was going to be paid full benefits.  Steve Kelley said they needed to rethink this stuff.  A resident said this is our library.   This looks like a building fund and if we don’t keep up the building it will become decrepit.  $15,000 is not a lot to keep the building up.  Steve Kelley said when they ask for $15,000 they should know what they need it for.  We have put a lot of money in that building in the past.  We don’t want to throw $15,000 without knowing what it is for.  Karen Noyes said she has been working with the library trustees for the last few months.  They came in with a $15,000 amount they do have some items they would like to take care for some improvements for saving money.   Ralph Hodgman said originally they came in with a request for a part time employee then they pull that and come in with a building fund.  Hodgman said not everybody wants a library it is a waste of money, they are playing shenanigans’ here.  One of the library trustees said they have just hired a new librarian and have contacted someone to come in to look at the furnace.  We do need money in that area.  There were no more questions.  Dorsett moved onto the next warrant article.

 

 

 

 

Article 26: Petitioned Warrant Article Grafton County Senior Center

 

 

 

 

Shall the voters raise and appropriate Thirty Four Thousand Dollars ($34,000) to Grafton County Senior Citizens Council, Inc., through the Littleton Area Senior Center and the ServiceLink Resource Center for services for Littleton residents in 2017?  These services include congregate meals, home delivered meals, transportation, outreach support services for 696 Littleton residents, and ServiceLink provided services for 106 residents.  The cost of providing these services was $403,151.85.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.047 per Thousand. 
Not Recommended by the Selectmen 0-0.  Recommended by the Budget Committee 6-1.  1 Abstained.  Dorsett presented.  Mary Edick did the board vote on these.  Bratz said no the board passed over the social service articles.   We think it is going to eventually showing up as not recommended.  Bratz said he attended a hearing this morning in regards to this issue.  The state DRA office sees a non-vote as a not recommended vote.  No further questions.

 

 

 

 

Article 27: Petitioned Warrant Article Boys & Girls Club

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $10,000 (Ten Thousand Dollars) to support the Boys & Girls Club of the North Country in order to provide a healthy, safe, and productive after school and vacation camp environment for children from Littleton and other area towns. Estimated Tax Impact $0.014 Per Thousand. Not Recommended by Selectmen 0-0.  Recommended by the Budget Committee 6-1. 1 Abstained.  Dorsett presented.
No questions.

 

 

 

 

Article 28: Petitioned Warrant Article Support Center at Burch House

 

 

 

 

To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $3,080 (Three Thousand Eighty Dollars) for the Support Center at Burch House. These funds will support essential domestic and sexual violence prevention services and emergency shelter for victims and survivors in the community. Estimated Tax Impact $0.004 Per Thousand.
Not Recommended by Selectmen 0-0. Recommended by the Budget Committee 6-1.  1 Abstained. Dorsett presented.  No questions. 

 

 

 

 

Article 29: Petitioned Warrant Article Northern Human Services

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $9,696 (Nine Thousand Six Hundred Ninety Six Dollars) as the Town’s contribution to the White Mountain Mental Health and Common Ground, programs of Northern Human Services, serving the mental health and developmental service needs of Littleton residents.  Tax Impact $0.013.  Not Recommended by Selectmen 0-0.
Recommended by Budget Committee 6-1.  1 Abstained. Dorsett presented.  No questions.

 

 

 

 

Article 30: Petitioned Warrant Article Tri County Transit

 

 

 

 

Te see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $4,000 (Four Thousand Dollars) in support of the Tri Town Public Bus Service.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.015 Per Thousand.  Not Recommended by Selectmen 0-0. Recommended by Budget Committee 6-1.  1 Abstained. Dorsett presented.  No questions.

 

 

 

 

Article 31: Petitioned Warrant Article Tri-County Community Action Program

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town of Littleton will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $11,000 (Eleven Thousand Dollars) for Tri-County Community Action Grafton County for the purpose of continuing services of the Fuel Assistance Program for the residents of Littleton.
 Estimated Tax Impact $0.015 per Thousand. 
Not Recommended by the Selectmen 0-0.
Recommended by the Budget Committee 6-1.  1 Abstained. Dorsett presented.  No questions.

 

 

 

 

Article 32: Petitioned Warrant Article Ammonoosuc Community Health Services

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000) for Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, Inc. (ACHS).  ACHS is a non-profit community health center that provides primary preventive health care to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay.  This will help ACHS continue to provide high quality care to 2,119 current Littleton patients, as well as reach more of those in need.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.02 Per Thousand.  Not Recommended by Selectmen 0-0.  Recommended by Budget Committee 6-1.  1 Abstained. Dorsett presented.  No questions. 

 

 

 

 

Article 33: Petitioned Warrant Article Caleb Caregivers

 

 

 

 

To see if the Town will raise and appropriate the sum of $2,000 (Two Thousand Dollars) for support of Caleb Caregivers Inc., a non-profit organization helping Seniors live independently.  Estimated Tax Impact $0.010.  Not Recommended by Selectmen 0-0. Recommended by Budget Committee 6-1.  1 Abstained. Dorsett presented.  No questions asked. 

 

Dorsett moved to Article 1:  The election of officers.  No questions.

 

He then moved to Article 2:  Amendment to Zoning Ordinance.  Rudy Gelsi asked what the tax impact would be.  Dorsett said there would be no tax impact with zoning.  Gelsi said there would be a tax impact.  Gelsi said no tax impact in 2017 so everybody would vote yes.  Dorsett said it is to change a zoning area from rural to industrial.  A citizen said there are many abutters that are opposed to this article.  This rezoning of this lot is our beautiful view of Mount Eustis.  Right now LIDC has no plans for it.  When we bought our property we did not expect this to change.  We do not want to have the rug pulled out from us.  A lot of residents that live in the area are really concerned.  We are going to be fighting for everyone to vote no on Article 2.  Rudy Gelsi said Article 2 should not even be on this list.  Dorsett asked if there were any other questions. 

 

Ralph Hodgman said the budget is going to increase with the proposed budget.  Bratz answered the reason is the cruiser was added back to the budget.  Dorsett said the increase had a lot to do with the dam assessment.  Ralph asked if our valuation goes up will the taxpayers see a reduction in the tax rate.  Noyes used the warrant article spread sheet available to the public to explain that there is actually a decrease.  This is based on the 2016 valuation.  The bond/budget hearing adjourned at 7:00 PM