Officials in Dover to discuss CIPBy JOHN QUINN
Union Leader Correspondent
November 08. 2012 1:29AM
DOVER - As financial uncertainty and ongoing improvements to infrastructure loom across the country, some local residents remain concerned how it will affect their property taxes, according to City Councilor Michael Crago.
City and school officials plan to discuss the district's portion of the proposed Capital Improvements Plan for fiscal years 2014-2019 during a workshop tonight at 7, according to City Manager Michael Joyal.
In an email sent to municipal and school district officials, Crago passed on concerns from residents who asked whether the cost of the proposed CIP will increase property taxes and can the city live within the existing tax cap.
"This is the fundamental question, after all is done and said, and the transparency that my Ward 3 and city neighbors so sincerely and reasonably desire from Dover's city governance and administration," Crago wrote in the email.
Crago said he is most concerned how officials will pay for future improvements - many of which have been a long time in the making - as it takes years for the city to repay bonds.
"If we take on all this debt, will we be able to work within our tax cap budget?" Crago asked, adding finalizing the CIP is the first half of the city's budget process. Crago said he hoped to encourage an open discussion and to not rehash recent issues between officials.
Crago said many residents he's recently spoken to remain concerned that their questions aren't being answered.
"If you're looking at Dover, you're looking at a good microcosm for the state - I hope we're not an anomaly," Crago said.
Like many others, Crago said he's concerned about how the burden of local taxpayers will increase if state and federal assistance decreases. "I'm quite frightened to what's coming in the new year," Crago said.
Joyal said the CIP is a six-year plan scheduling which projects will be started when and how to pay for the expenditures.
He added it does not authorize expenses or initiate projects.
"There are other steps to go through," Joyal said.
For more information about the Capital Improvements Plan or the budget process, visit the city's website at ci.dover.nh.us.