Select Board
Thursday, January 18, 2024
Meeting Minutes

Select Board: Andrew Maneval, Andrea Hodson, Kathy Scott

Attendees: Emergency Management Director Jeff Cady, Police Chief Steve LaMears, Treasurer Anne Havill, Road Agent Wes Tarr, Fire Chief Wayne Derosia, Town Clerk Cathy Lovas, Moderator Bryan Kingsbury, Erin Hammerstedt, Donna Sprague, Erica Saunders, Don Scott, Chick Colony, Nick Colony, Michael Price, Les LaMois, Earl Horn, Wes Parker

The Chair called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm and immediately opened the public hearing on the proposed 2024 Operating Budget.

Budget Hearing
The Select Board presented the first draft of the budget, reviewed proposed numbers department by department, and took questions from attendees. The board then presented the draft of the Warrant Articles.  On the budget, the board noted that, at present, the total 2024 budget is $1,683,050, or one-half of one percent higher than 2023.  The board’s intent is to keep the municipal tax rate flat at $3.89.

Discussion ensued regarding the proposed Recycle Center budget, as the proposed numbers would be adjusted, for example, to reflect lower trucking costs and to add staffing, if the Town votes to transition to single source recycling as proposed in one of the Warrant Articles.

The board further agreed to revisit lines showing zero expenditures for 2023 to ask boards and committees to consider lowering those lines in their proposed 2024 budgets.  There was also encouragement to attend the School District Budget Hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, February 7, at 6:00 pm at Wells Memorial School.

Following discussion of proposed Warrant Articles, which will be finalized in the coming weeks following review by Town Counsel and the Department of Revenue Administration, the Chair closed the public hearing on the proposed 2024 budget.

Regular Meeting Business
Agenda, minutes of 1/11 – The board approved the remaining agenda with the addition of a discussion with the Moderator and Town Clerk on logistics for the NH Primary, and a discussion with the Police Chief on the timeline for the part-time officer hire.  Separately, the board approved the meeting minutes of Jan 11.

Other business:
-Hazard Mitigation Plan – Jeff Cady noted the town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan was submitted to FEMA last week.  Approval by FEMA could take another 6-8 months.

-NH Primary – Voting will take place at Town Hall on Tues. 1/23 from 8 am-7 pm.

-Follow up on budget hearing – The board reviewed the budget in light of feedback from the hearing and will continue to work to finalize it. The second budget hearing is scheduled for Thurs., 2/8, at 7:00 pm.

-Correspondence – The board reviewed the draft letter and approved its transmission to Mr. Cucchi.

-The board signed the pay warrant in the amount of $228,637.38.

-Agenda for SB during NH Primary, 1/23 – Continue review of the 2024 budget; order of Warrant Articles.

Meeting adjourned at 10:05 pm.