Hudson Budgets One Step Closer to March Voting

January 16, 2015

 

by Len Lathrop

While all budget committee meetings are open to the public, Thursday saw the Community Center being used for the official public hearing that is required under SB2.  SB2, officially known as RSA 40:13, set up the process for towns who have elected this form of government to get questions to the ballot.  The next step is the deliberative sessions held for the town on Jan. 31 at 9 a.m. and for the school district on Feb. 7, also at 9 a.m.  Voting will take place Tuesday, Mar. 10 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the community center.

During Thursday’s meeting only two people from the public spoke.  About 40 to 50 people were there, but in looking around the room, most were folks who already were involved in the process from town department heads to school principals and support staff, as well as school board members.  Both the town and school district had prepared a handout that listed the warrant articles and the school side also provided an overview (some information) of each.

Starting with the school ballot, Chairman Jasper read the article, asked for public input and then took a motion from a committee member to recommend the article on the ballot.  Two members of the public spoke during the hearing: School and Town Moderator Paul Inderbitzen asked the budget committee to make information about the warrants and their review available to the voters.  Also making comment was Library Trustee Ellen Stokinger who, during the discussion of the town article 8, Wages and Benefit Increase for Non-Union Full Time Employees of Rodgers Memorial Library, said that these employees are paid 14 percent less than similar employees in other towns.  Chairman Jasper reminded people of the deliberative session and the voting as he closed the meeting.

When you vote in March you will see whether the budget committee supported the warrant article or not.

 

School:  six warrant articles with monetary impact

Warrant Article 1 – Operating Budget

Shall the Hudson School District raise and appropriate as an operating budget, not including appropriations by special warrant article and other appropriations voted separately, the amount set forth on the budget posted with the warrant as amended by vote at the first session, totaling $50,038,709?  Should this article be defeated, the operating budget shall be $48,845,932 which is the same as last year, with certain adjustments required by previous action of the Hudson School District or by law; or the governing body may hold one special meeting, in accordance with RSA 40:13X and XVI to take up a revised operating budget only.

Estimated tax rate impact: $14.17

Recommended by the School Board 5-0

Recommended by the Budget Committee 8-3

Warrant Article 2 – AFSCME Contract (school leadership)

Shall the Hudson School District vote to approve the cost items included in the collective bargaining agreement between AFSCME Local 1906 Council 93, AFL-CIO and the Hudson School Board which calls for the following increases in salaries and benefits at the current staffing levels over the amount paid in the prior fiscal year:

2015-16 $146,321

2016-17 $146,252

2017-18 $150,523

and further to raise and appropriate $146,321 for the upcoming year, such sum representing additional costs attributable to the increase in salaries and benefits required by the agreement over those that would be paid at the current staffing levels?

Estimated tax rate impact: $.05

Recommended by the School Board 5-0

Recommended by the Budget Committee 8-3

Warrant Article 3 – PSRP Contract (cafeteria personnel, part-time paraeducators)

Shall the Hudson School District vote to approve the cost items included in the collective bargaining agreement between the Hudson Federation of PSRP’s AFT Local 6245, AFT-NH, AFL-CIO and the Hudson School Board which calls for the following increases in salaries and benefits at the current staffing levels over the amount paid in the prior fiscal year:

2015-16 $75,636

2016-17 $81,210

2017-18 $57,233

and further to raise and appropriate the $75,636 for the upcoming fiscal year, such sum representing the additional costs attributable to the increase in salaries and benefits required by the agreement over those that would be paid at current staffing levels.

Estimated tax rate impact:  $.02

Recommended by the School Board 5-0

Recommended by the Budget Committee 6-5

Warrant Article 4 – Secretaries Contract

Shall the Hudson School District vote to approve the cost items included in the collective bargaining agreement between Secretaries AFT Local 6260, AFT-NH, AFL-CIO and the Hudson School Board which calls for the following increases in salaries and benefits at the current staffing levels over the amount paid in the prior fiscal year:

2015-16  $36,975

2016-17  $35,072

2017-18  $35,880

and to further raise and appropriate the sum of $36,975 for the upcoming fiscal year, such sum representing the additional costs attributable to the increase in salaries and benefits required by the new agreement over those that would be paid at the current staffing levels?

Estimated tax rate impact: $.01

Recommended by the School Board 5-0

Recommended by the Budget Committee 10-1

Warrant Article 5 – Special Education Expendable Trust Fund

Shall the Hudson School District vote to raise and appropriate a sum up to $100,000 be added to the Special Education Expendable Trust Fund?  This fund was established in March 2000.  This sum is to come from June 30 fund balance available for transfer on July 1.

No amount to be raised from taxation.

Recommended by the School Board 5-0

Recommended by the Budget Committee 11-0

Warrant Article 6 – Capital Reserve School Renovation Fund

Shall the Hudson School District vote to raise and appropriate a sum up to $100,000 to be added to the Capital Reserve School Renovation Fund?  This fund was established in September 1999.  This sum is to come from June 30 fund balance available for transfer on July 1.

No amount to be raised from taxation.

Recommended by the School Board 5-0

Recommended by the Budget Committee 10-1

 

Town:  10 warrant articles with monetary impact

Article 2 – Construction of a New Fire Station

Shall the Town of Hudson vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $2,174,600 for the design and construction of a new fire station on Town-owned land located on Lowell Road, and to authorize the issuance of not more than $2,100,000 of bonds or notes in accordance with the provisions of Municipal Finance Act (RSA Chapter 33), and to authorize the Board of Selectmen to issue and negotiate such bonds or notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon, and further raise and appropriate the sum of $74,600 for the purpose of paying 2015-2016 bond issuance cost and interest on said general obligation bonds or notes?  (3/5 ballot vote required)  (This appropriation is in addition to Article 3, the Operating Budget.)

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 5-0)  (Recommended by the Budget Committee 6-5)

Article 3 – General Fund Operating Budget

Shall the Town of Hudson raise and appropriate as an operating budget, not including appropriations by special warrant articles and other appropriations voted separately, the amount 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 $24,392,956?  Should this article be defeated, the default budget shall be $24,087,206 which is the same as last year, with certain adjustments required by previous action of the Town of Hudson 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.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 5-0)  (Recommended by the Budget Committee 11-0)

Article 4 – Sewer Fund Operating Budget

Shall the Town of Hudson raise and appropriate $1,581,206 for the operation of the Town Sewer Utility?  Should this article be defeated, the default budget for the Town Sewer Utility shall be $1,659,315, which is the same as last year, with certain adjustments required by previous action of the Town of Hudson or by law; or the Board of Selectmen may hold one special meeting, in accordance with RSA 40:13, X and XVI, to take up the issue of a revised appropriation for the Town Sewer Utility only.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 5-0)  (Recommended by the Budget Committee 11-0)

Article 5 – Water Fund Operating Budget

Shall the Town of Hudson raise and appropriate $3,647,180 for the operation of the Town Water Utility?  Should this article be defeated, the default budget for the Town Water Utility shall be $3,710,905 which is the same as last year, with certain adjustments required by previous action of the Town of Hudson or by law; or the Board of Selectmen 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.

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 5-0)  (Recommended by the Budget Committee 11-0)

Article 6 – Ratification of a Contract Negotiated between the Town of Hudson Board of Selectmen and the Hudson Police, Fire and Town Supervisors Association, for Wage & Benefit Increases.

Shall the Town of Hudson vote to approve the cost items included in the collective bargaining agreement reached between the Town of Hudson Board of Selectmen and the Hudson Police, Fire and Town Supervisors Association which calls for the following increase in salaries and benefits:

Year           Amount     COLA%

7/1/15-6/30/16    $70,335    2.0%

and to raise and appropriate the sum of $70,335 for the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year, said sum representing the additional costs attributable to the increase in salaries and benefits over those paid in the prior Fiscal Year?  (This appropriation is in addition to Article 3, the Operating Budget.)

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 5-0)  (Recommended by the Budget Committee 6-5)

Article 7 – Wage and Benefit Increase for Town Clerk/Tax Collector

Shall the Town of Hudson vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $1,280 which represents a 2% increase in wages and benefits for the Town Clerk/Tax Collector?  (This appropriation is in addition to Article 3, the Operating Budget.)

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 5-0)  (Recommended by the Budget Committee 11-0)

Article 8 – Wages and Benefit Increase for Non-Union Full Time Employees of Rodgers Memorial Library

Shall the Town of Hudson vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $15,397 which represents a 3.5% increase in wages and benefits for the full-time employees of the Rodgers Memorial Library?  (This appropriation is in addition to Article 3, the Operating Budget.)

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 5-0)  (Not Recommended by the Budget Committee 4-7)

Article 9 – Renovation of the Leonard A. Smith Central Fire Station

Shall the Town of Hudson vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $900,000 for the purpose of renovating the Leonard A. Smith Central Fire Station and authorize the withdrawal of that sum from the unassigned fund balance.  No amount to be raised from taxation.  (This appropriation is in addition to Article 3, the Operating Budget.)

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 5-0)  (Recommended by the Budget Committee 11-0)

Article 10 – Replacement Ambulance

Shall the Town of Hudson vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $200,000 for the purpose of purchasing a replacement ambulance and to authorize the withdrawal of $150,000 from the Ambulance Capital Reserve Fund and to use $50,000 from the unassigned fund balance?  (This appropriation is in addition to Article 3, the Operating Budget.)

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 5-0)  (Recommended by the Budget Committee 11-0)

Article 11 – Funding for Communications Equipment and Infrastructure

Shall the Town of Hudson raise and appropriate the sum of $200,000 to be added to the Communications Equipment and Infrastructure Capital Reserve Fund which was established on March 12, 2013 for the repair, replacement, or improvement of the Town’s radio communication system, equipment and infrastructure?  (This appropriation is in addition to Article 3, the Operating Budget.)

(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 5-0)  (Recommended by the Budget Committee 10-1)