It’s after Thanksgiving and still no snow, although by the time this is read we certainly will see some. We would like to believe each of you enjoyed the fall and are able to finish the year in good health and in good spirits.

This time each year most of us realize we haven’t finished all our planned chores, and this Selectboard is no exception. Before long we will operate in the next fiscal year.  By the end of this fiscal year we expect to have spent less than we raised at the 2012 Town Meeting. Because of this we decided to return $75,000 from the unreserved fund balance to reduce the tax rate, which will have been set when this is published.  We are scheduling the Budget Hearing for the 2013 Town Budget for February 7th, at 6 pm, at the  Town Offices.

While we have fallen short of our expectations on some fronts, we certainly accomplished a lot this year. We look back with satisfaction on the completion of important projects that will serve the Town for many years to come.  These include the reconditioning of three bridges [which we called for in our 2009 report called  Investments for the Future  – Restoring and Rebuilding Public Bridges, Roads and Buildings], the construction of the new Salt/Sand Shed and the preparation of a new site for the next Town Highway Garage.

We continue our efforts to clarify and improve the many procedures that, operating together, make for a smooth and efficiently run Town government. Most land-use or land-development and building construction permits are issued by and are the responsibility of Town Government to oversee. Some may be issued by the State but are of vital interest to the community as they relate to those land and water qualities that make Harrisville such a wonderful place to live.  A mutually understood and clear permit process system is beneficial to all.  We are working on a detailed description of permit processes, building regulations and the roles of the various land use boards, such as the Zoning Board, Planning Board and the Historic District Commission.

We have also decided to look for a part-time employee to perform the duties of a Recording Secretary for the Harrisville Zoning Board of Adjustment and Harrisville Planning Board.   A Recording Secretary performs a wide range of duties that insure that meetings and transactions of Town Boards are legally announced, recorded, and filed.  The Recording Secretary also may be tasked by the respective Boards with additional duties such as the compilation and copying of documents for distribution, the forwarding of received communication, etc.

We want to thank all the Town’s employees for their contributions and all Town residents for being good neighbors and good citizens.  Have a great Holiday season and a wonderful New Year!

Your Selectmen,

Jay Jacobs, Charles Michal, Seth Kallman