Litchfield Budget is Ready for Public Hearing, with a Few Holes

December 15, 2017

 

by Len Lathrop

Litchfield residents will be asked to approve an operating budget that impacts the tax rate by 51 cents.  If voters approve the request for an additional police officer, the cost will be another 5 cents, while a raise for library personnel will add another cent.

The balance of questions has no tax rate impact as the first-year payment for the lease of a new highway truck will come from end-of-year surplus balance.

Article 4 – 2018 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, totaling $6,215,024.  Should this article be defeated, the default budget shall be $6,112,492, 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 2018 tax rate increase is $0.51.

Pending review and approval by the Litchfield Board of Selectmen

Pending review and approval by the Litchfield Budget Committee

Article 5 – Full-Time Police Officer

To see if the Town will vote to hire a full-time police officer, effective July 1, at an annual salary and related costs of $40,889 and further vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $40,889 for wages and benefits for the period of July 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.  Estimated 2018 tax rate impact $0.05.

Note: Annual Salary legal question?

FT Officer       2018 (6 months)  2019 (12 months)

Wages                  $24,929            $52,998

Health (2 person)   $7,557             $18,136

Dental (2 person)   $341                $818

NHRS                   $7,337             $15,997

Workers Comp       $374                $795

Medicare              $361                $768

Total                    $40,899            $89,512

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen

Recommended by the Budget Committee

Article 6 – Plow Truck Lease Purchase

To see if the town will vote to authorize the selectmen to enter into a six-year lease purchase agreement for the sum of $161,640 for the purpose of lease purchasing a plow truck with equipment and attachments for the Highway Department and to raise and appropriate the sum of $26,940 for the first year’s payment for that purpose.  The first year’s payment in the amount of $26,940 shall come from the unassigned fund balance and no amount to be raised from taxation.  This lease agreement contains an escape clause.  Estimated 2018 tax rate impact: $0.00.

Lease Quote

2018 – $26,940

2019 – $26,940

2020 – $26,940

2021 – $26,940

2022 – $26,940

2023 – $26,940

2024 –

2025 –

Total – $161,640

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen

Recommended by the Budget Committee

Article 7 – Third Year of Library Non-Union Wage Plan Implementation

To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $10,401 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 third year of a three-year implementation plan.  Estimated 2018 tax rate impact $0.01.

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen

Recommended by the Budget Committee

Article 8 – Town Earned Time Accrual Expendable Trust Fund

To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $50,000 to be placed in the Earned Time Accrual Expendable Trust Fund as previously established.  This sum to come from the unassigned fund balance and no amount to be raised from taxation.  Estimated 2018 tax rate impact: $0.00.  (estimated balance 12/31/17 is $0).

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen

Recommended by the Budget Committee

Article 9 – Building Systems Trust Fund

To See If the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $25,000 to be placed in the Building Systems Trust Fund as previously established.  This sum to come from the unassigned fund balance and no amount to be raised from taxation.  Estimated 2018 tax rate impact: $0.00.  (estimated balance 12/31/17 is $25,000).

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen

Recommended by the Budget Committee

Article 10 – Heritage Commission

To see if the town will vote to establish a Heritage Commission in accordance with the provisions of RSA 673 and RSA 674 with members of the commission to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen.  The commission shall be comprised of five citizens with up to five additional citizens appointed as alternate members.  The purpose of such a commission is to advise and assist other local boards and commissions; conduct inventories; educate the public on matters relating to historic preservation; provide information on historical resources; and serve as a resource for revitalization efforts.  A heritage commission can also accept and expend funds from a non-lapsing heritage fund, acquire and manage property, and hold preservation easements.

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen

Recommended by the Planning Board