Londonderry voters to decide on 16 warrant articles
During a budget workshop during this week's Town Council meeting, councilors and budget committee members shared further details on this year's proposed budget and warrant.
Acting Town Manager William Hart said the goal is to come under default by approximately $110,000 with approximately 40 percent of that amount attributed to salaries and benefits. Hart said $22,500 of that adjustment is due to the library staffs' voluntary agreement to forego cost-of-living adjustments next year. Pay reductions for non-represented personnel would be necessary for further fiscal reductions, Hart added.
Resident Dan Bouchard said he personally objects to that option. "We have the greatest employees in Londonderry and I just think this is a bad move," he said.
Article 1, the election of town officers for the coming year, would have no fiscal impact. Article 2 asks voters to approve placing $200,000 in the town's Expendable Maintenance Trust Fund. If approved the item would require to the town to raise $50,000 in property taxes with a one-cent per thousand-dollar tax impact.
"What we've been trying to do is keep this fund in place in order to manage future repairs in town," Hart said. Article 3 asks voters to approve the town's proposed 2014 operating budget of $27,525,281. If approved the item would require the town to raise $16,378,149 in property taxes, resulting in a tax impact of $4.74 per thousand. A negative vote means the $27,635,887 default budget is automatically put in place.
Article 4 asks voters to approve $710,000 in appropriations for a Capital Reserve Fund for the purchase of highway and emergency response equipment. If approved the item would require the town to raise $310,000 in property taxes, with a tax impact of nine cents.
Article 5, a cable revenue capital reserve fund; Article 6, a special revenue account from police detail funds; and Article 7, a sewer fund; are all funded through user fees and would have zero tax impact.
Articles 8 and 9 deal with collective bargaining agreements and details will be determined at a later date. Article 10 asks voters to approve $101,000 in property taxes for the hiring of an additional school resource officer. If approved the item would have a three-cent tax impact.
Articles 11 and 12, collective bargaining agreements between the town and the executive employees and the public safety unions, respectively, would have no immediate impact fiscally, since both unions agreed to forego raises next year in hopes the economy improves.
Article 13 would authorize holding a special meeting on cost items if necessary. Article 14, the $400,000 Roadway Maintenance Trust Fund, would require the town to raise $200,000 in property taxes next year, resulting in a tax impact of six cents per thousand. Article 15 asks voters to approve a $50,000 re-write of the town's zoning ordinance. With $30,000 to come from a federal grant, the item would require the town to raise $20,000 in property taxes next year, with a tax impact of one-cents per thousand.
A public hearing on the proposed budget will take place Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Moose Hill Council Chambers at Londonderry Town Hall.