Meeting location: Town offices
Date: February 12, 2019
Members present: Jay Jacobs, Jonathan Miner, Kathleen Scott
Meeting opened: 6:38 pm; Meeting continued: 7:35 pm to 7:00 pm on Thursday, Feb 21, 2019

Members of the public: Police Chief Russell Driscoll, Treasurer Anne Havill, Don Scott, Erin Hammerstedt, Fire Chief Wayne Derosia, Moderator Bryan Kingsbury
Budget Hearing:
The SB began by reviewing the 2019 Warrant as follows (see attached for details):
01: Election of Town Officers

02: Operating Budget

03: Conservation Fund

04: Fire Squad Vehicle

05: Hancock Road Rebuild

06: Capital Reserve Funds for Roads, Fire Department, Police Department, Town buildings, Bridges, Dams, and Re-valuation

07: Roof on the Fire Department

08: Petition Regarding Hundred Nights, Inc.
09: Receive Report of Agents

10: Business Transactions

To the concern expressed that not enough money is being put into Capital Reserves, the Treasurer noted that, for major capital expenses, loans could be taken out or bonds posted.

SB then reviewed the operating budget, department by department, and responded to questions from department heads and the public.

Given the dangerous weather conditions, at 7:35 pm the SB moved to recess and continue the meeting to Thursday, February 21, at 7:00 pm when it reconvened as follows:

Meeting location: Town offices
Date: February 21, 2019
Members present: Jay Jacobs, Jonathan Miner, Kathleen Scott
Meeting continued: 7:00 pm; Meeting adjourned: 900: pm

Members of the public: Bryan Kingsbury, Angela Hendrickson, Winston Sims, Sherry Sims, Deborah Abbott, Steve Weber, Susan Brown, Anne Havill, Andrew Maneval, Wes Tarr, Don Scott, Marci Schepker, Patty Massey, Karen Coteleso


SB reviewed the individual articles as follows (Warrant attached):

O1: Election of Officers

02: Operating Budget– the opportunity for voters to review the town budget;

03: Conservation Fund – article proposed by the Conservation Commission to allow more flexible use of its funds for conservation purposes; currently these funds are restricted to conservation easements and related expenses because of language in a past Warrant Article.

04: Fire Squad Vehicle– This is to replace the Fire Department’s SUV at an amount of $45,000, with half the cost to be donated by the Friends of the Harrisville Fire Department.

05: Hancock Road Rebuild– This is an appropriation for a new section of Hancock Road, so that Bonds Corner all the way to Jaquith bridge will be completed.  The SB confirmed that it received a $50,000 insurance payment to help cover damage from the August rainstorm but thanked Wes Tarr and the Highway Department once again for the diligent management of funds and road repair work.

06: Capital Reserve Funds– The SB will propose a total of $55,000, divided between Roads, Fire Department, Police Department, Town buildings, Bridges, Dams, and Re-valuation.

07: Roof on Fire Dept– The SB will propose to repair the roof on the Fire Department for an estimated cost of $25,000 by withdrawal of this amount from the Capital Reserves.

08: One Hundred Nights Shelter, Inc. – This article came out of a petitioned request, which may be passed over, or possibly asked by its submitters to be voted down, as the SB has already appropriated $2,500.00 in the budget for charitable contributions, including $750.00, as requested and agreed to, for the One Hundred Nights Shelter.

SB noted that the reason there is no article on the Warrant related to a petition for changing the hours at the Recycling Center, is the petition was submitted beyond the deadline.

The SB then began review of the proposed 2019 Budget. The board noted that the increase in the SB members’ salary is to compensate for the reduced hourly rate in the stipend this past year and projected for the year ahead.

In response to questions, SB explained certain line items, including that “Tax Collector repairs” relate to software upgrades and that “professional services” does not include legal fees, which is its own line item. Compliments from the state were noted for the Assessor’s work.

The SB clarified that the $12,500 under Town Administration does include the Town’s matching funds for employee contributions to their retirement. Regarding town employee salaries, the SB noted that raises are proposed for the Fire Department and the Highway Department. When asked if raises are set across the board, the SB confirmed that it’s not uniform across the board and later reconfirmed that raises would not be given across the board, that they are partly based on performance and also on work demand. In some cases, salary is factored on a continuum; for example, if salary increases were given in previous years.

Separately, the board noted that Jeff Cady has taken over as Emergency Management Director. In discussing hours for the Recycling Center, the SB confirmed that hours are not being cut, contrary to rumors that have been circulating.

In response to a question about how residents can submit feedback about town employees to the SB, they responded that residents can either submit letters or emails or attend a regular Thursday night SB meeting.

The SB confirmed that the town pays an annual fee to Keene for Harrisville residents to dispose of any hazardous materials. Steve Weber asked if he, as a private resident, was allowed to haul a combined load for numerous residents to Keene. The exact answer was not known but the SB wishes to discuss the idea further at a future date and welcomed the conversation to continue discussion of ideas for the future of recycling.

Explaining the delineation of charitable contributions, the SB noted that Hundred Nights Shelter would receive $750 of the $2,250.00 allocated and $500 would go to each of the other organizations, including CASA, Community Volunteer Transportation Company, and the Child Advocacy Center.

SB will follow up with the Library to ensure the recent drip was a problem from unusually heavy rain and wind and not a continuing leak.

Overall, the proposed 2019 Budget comes in at $6,610 over 2018. The SB was asked about the estimated tax rate and the board noted it would have this calculated by Town Meeting, as they await estimated revenues for the coming year, but that the overall amount is approximately $60,000 over last year if all Warrant Articles pass. Part of the reason is the increase in roadwork needed and the expected increase in school and county taxes.

Following the budget review and at the close of the public hearing, the SB moved and unanimously voted in favor to accept the proposed 2019 Budget and Warrant for submission to the state.

Other Business:

SB acknowledged receipt of a bid for $5,000 from Small Town Cooling and Heating for the Fire Department furnace. The SB will seek additional bids and defer a decision until after Town Meeting.

The SB also acknowledged receipt of meeting minutes from the Historic District Commission and the Planning Board.





























Town Warrant for 2019 (Continued)