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Minutes of 1/11/2022 Public Budget Hearing

January 18th, 2022

Carroll Board of Selectmen
Public Budget Hearing
Meeting Minutes
January 11, 2022

“These minutes of the Town of Carroll Select Board have been recorded by its Secretary. Though believed to be accurate and correct they are subject to additions, deletions, and corrections by the Select Board at its next meeting when the Board votes its final approval of the minutes. They are being made available at this time to conform to the requirements of New Hampshire RSA 91-A:2.”

Minutes recorded by Heather Brown, Secretary
Board Members: David Scalley, Ken Mills, and Robert Gauthier

Members of the Public: Tadd Bailey, Imre Szauter, Jeff Duncan, Greg Hogan, Ben Jellison, Karen Moran, Sue Kraabel, Austin Alvarez, Carol Alvarez, Chris Pappas, Mike Gooden, Bonnie Moroney

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Chairperson Scalley.

Chairperson Scalley opened the public budget hearing at 6:31 p.m.

Chairperson Scalley announced that the Board would be reviewing the budget and warrant articles. The budget and warrant articles were reviewed with pauses for public comment after each section.

Ben Jellison asked how the employee’s raises were figured. Chairperson Scalley explained that there was not set rate across the board, it was determined by the departments heads and presented the Board.

Bonnie Moroney questioned the Selectmen’s pay increases. Discussion regarding the reasoning. The Board indicated that at past meeting it’s been discussed and highlighted that it should be increased given that is should have been raised in the past.

Ben Jellison inquired about the computer software & support line (01-4150.10-621). The Board indicated that Certified Computer provides the support and confirmed that the Town is not doing a flat rate if they have a problem, they pay only if they have a problem.

Austin Alvarez asked for clarification on Financial Administration lines 110, 111, and 112. The Board explained that 110 is the Admin. Assistant in the Selectmen’s Office (Heather), 111 is the backup to the Admin. Assistant to cover, which is about 12 hours a week (Kelly), and 112 is the Land Use Secretary (currently an open position). The Board further explained that the line 111 was separated out because there was more than one position (Land Use and Admin Assistant backup) on the line and wanted it to be transparent what each position was. The Board confirmed that this was not a new position it was only separating out to show.

Ben Jellison asked for clarification on what Personnel Administration line 01-4155.10-302 Employee Ins. was. The Board explained that this was for the employees who get the insurance stipend. Jellison suggested changing the line explanation to indicate that it was the insurance stipend.

Karen Moran asked about clarification Government Buildings line 01-4194.10-100 Janitor, noting the increase. The Board explained that was for the cleaning of the buildings, as well as cleaning supplies and equipment.

Discussion regarding the electricity lines. The Board agreed and changed following lines:
01-4194.10-420 Electricity Town Hall increase to $5,000
01-4194.10-422 Electricity Police Station increase to $10,000
01-4194.10-423 Electricity Fire Station decrease to $0
01-4194.10-424 Electricity Transfer Station to $4,100

Discussion regarding the clarification of “Police Station” for electricity and heating oil. The Police Station is the Public Safety (Police & Fire) Buildings, and it was suggested to have line explanation updated at some point to indicate that it is Public Safety (Police & Fire) together.

Discussion regarding “Fire Station” for electricity and heating oil, noting both are $0. The Board explained that both lines were for the old fire station which was just sold.

Discussion regarding the Police Department pay increases. Chief Bailey explained that it was not a set percentage across the board, it was based on area average pay and years of service.

Discussion regarding the PD Special Officer 01-4210.10.103 (part-time officer) line. Chief Bailey agreed to decrease the line from $13,000 to $10,000.

Discussion regarding the PD Overtime line 01-4210.10-104. Selectperson Mills pointed out that the part-time officer rate was increased tonight and hopefully with additional part-time officers potentially coming on, it may mitigate the secretary need for overtime. Chief Bailey explained part-time officers would be used to cover shifts, however that is based upon availability and does not always work out that way. Chief Bailey would like to keep the line at $18,000, given the increases in pay, to cover the shifts if part-time officers are not available.

Discussion regarding the PD Ammunition 01-4210.10-308 line. Chief Bailey explained that the increase was for the replacement of the two cruiser shotguns. The Board acknowledged.

Chief Bailey explained his budget reflects what it truly costs to run the department, noting last year there were cuts because of the default budget and he just wants to get back to a good year.

Discussion regarding the FD Firefighter II 01-4220.10-104 line. Moroney explained that she is concerned with amount on the line ($35,000) and it does not reflect the true cost, noting the position in the past was $51,504. Chief Duncan explained that they have not had the position since May, and he is currently the only full-time firefighter but is using on call firefighters. Chief Duncan further explained that the $35,000 is for approx. 2/3 of the year (8 months) and for the following year he would request the full amount. The Board supports Chief Duncan explanation and reasoning and Moroney acknowledged.

Discussion regarding Property Inspection lines (01-4240), noting they are currently listed at .10, however if the warrant article passes, they would be reflected by a .20, except for 01-4240.10-201 Timber Inspections.

Discussion regarding the EM Raze Building 01-4290.10-206 line. Bonnie Moroney questioned the $21,000, noting the properties going to auction. They Board explained that the monies would need to be there in the event the properties didn’t sell at auction and because the auction is scheduled after deliberative session, further noting they need to account for the possibility.

Karen Moran questioned why some of the Emergency Management lines were zeroed out last year. The Board explained that was because of the passes, default budget.

Discussion regarding Highway Department pay increases. Greg Hogan explained that he applied a 5.4% increase across the board and confirmed that his salary is split amongst several lines (highway, water, transfer station and general building).

Ben Jellison asked about the HW Maintenance 01-4312.10-304 line for $45,000. Greg Hogan explained that the amount has nothing to do with the bond and is to be used to chip seal some of the roads, like Rivers Edge I and II.

Discussion regarding winter sand and the cost difference of unscreened vs. screened.

Discussion regarding the HW Sidewalk Repair 01-4312.10-901 line for $15,000 and if the sidewalks are even used. Greg Hogan explained that this is for sidewalks that are in disrepair and deteriorating, further noting they need to be fixed because they are used every day.

Discussion regarding the HW Overtime 01-4312.10-102 line. Greg Hogan confirmed that they line should be kept at $7,000, due to the unknown of mother nature. The Board agreed.

Karen Moran asked about the Culture & Recreation budgets (01-4589 and 01-4520) and the increase from last year. The Board explained that because of the default budget last year, both budgets were cut and this year they were being brought back up to where they should be. The Board noted that there was not a Rec. program last year or skiing and they are trying to get back up and running again this year, noting reasoning for the $20,000 plus increase from last year.

Discussion regarding the Library budget, noting that last year because of the default the budget could not be touched. They Board acknowledged that there is approx. $21,300 in the capital reserve account. They Board confirmed that the Town pays the librarian. The public questioned who they complain to if the librarian leaves early, since the Town is pay them. The Board agreed that the Trustees of the Library should be made aware if there is an issue.

Ben Jellison inquired about the 250th Anniversary line and wanted to make sure it was accounted for. They Board explained that the line had $0 budgeted this year but noted there is a specific line that was created a couple years ago for it when they put $10,000 in it. They Board also confirmed that there just under $12,800 in the 250th account. The Board also acknowledged that Rena had asked for banners but had not presented anything regarding an amount needed.

With no further budget questions, the Board agreed that they would like to input the new amounts on the line items discussed tonight. The Board reviewed all warrant articles individually and on voted on their recommendation. Warrant articles were voted and approved with a recommendation of 3-0 with several exceptions (listed below).

The Board decided to table the following two (2) warrant articles until after the bond public hearing:

To see if the Town of Carroll will vote to raise and appropriate One Million Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,300,000) for the purpose of financing the reconstruction and/or rebuilding of all Town of Carroll roads deemed to be deficient by the Director of Public Works, and to authorize the issuance of not more than One Million Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,300,000) of bonds or notes in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Finance Act (RSA 33) and to authorize the board of selectmen to issue and negotiate such bonds or notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon; to authorize the board of selectmen to apply for, obtain, accept and expend any federal, state or other aid, grants, rebates, gifts or other revenues as may become available for the project and to comply with all laws applicable to said project.
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One Hundred Eighty Five Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty Dollars ($185,720.00) for the replacement of the two inch galvanized water line along the side of Birch Road, two new fire hydrants, and the repaving of Birch Road, and authorize the withdrawal of One Hundred Twenty Three Thousand Dollars ($123,000.00) from the Water Unassigned Fund Balance, and Sixty Two Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty Dollars ($62,720.00) from the Major Road Improvement Capitol Reserve Fund.
The Board decided to delete the following warrant article:

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) to be added to the Employee Benefits Expendable Trust Fund, previously established, for the purpose of funding the benefits upon an employee’s retirement or resignation. —The vote was 3-0 to delete the warrant article.
The Board decided to change the sum of money from $2,000 to zero to the following warrant article:

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Zero Dollars ($0) to be added to the Library Improvement Capital Reserve Fund previously established. —The vote was 3-0 to change the sum the warrant article to Zero Dollars ($0).
The Board reviewed a Petition Warrant article: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000) for the Second Chance Animal Rescue. They are a non-profit that provides care and shelter for abused and abandoned cats and kittens, as well as sponsors monthly low cost spay/neuter clinics for both dogs and cats. The Board decided to put their recommendation on the warrant article with a vote of 3-0.

At 8:39 p.m. Selectperson Mills made a motion to continue the public budget hearing to Friday, January 14, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. Selectperson Gauthier seconded. Mills-AYE, Gauthier-AYE, Scalley-AYE; and the motion passed unanimously. Chairperson Scalley declared the public budget hearing continued at 8:56 p.m. to Friday, January 14, 2022, at 6:30 p.m.