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February 11. 2014 6:12PM

Prosecution contracts to increase for 3 Rockingham County towns

BRENTWOOD — Three towns may soon be paying more for contracting with the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office to handle prosecutions in district court.

The towns of Deerfield, Candia and Nottingham have been paying about $12,000 per year to get the services of a prosecutor and other support in handling district court cases.

That cost will rise to $18,000 per year following a review of county contracts by Interim Rockingham County Attorney James Boffetti.

“I determined through a cost analysis that the county was in effect subsidizing these towns,” Boffetti said. The recommendation is part of the proposed 2014 budget for the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office. A subcommittee is expected to meet in Concord today during lunch break session in Room 306 of the Legislative Office Building to decide on any last minute changes to the proposed budget before it is forwarded to the executive committee.

Subcommittee members have questioned the need to raise the prices to the three towns. However, they have also expressed interest in increasing the salary structure for assistant county attorneys as a way to shore up retention within the office.

Boffetti said that Rockingham County pays a competitive salary to its prosecutors compared to comparable jobs like the Public Defender’s Office. He said one area where the county prosecutor’s pay scale could have a bigger raise is between an employee’s fifth and sixth year on the job.

County Commissioner Chairwoman Katharin Pratt said the requirement has always been for the towns to pay their fair share if they wanted such county services.

“We are not making any money on this,” she said.

Pratt said that Boffetti worked with the county finance office in scrutinizing the amounts being collected from the three towns and what it actually costs to provide them prosecution services.

She said that discussions about possibly changing the pay structure at the county attorney’s office will continue once the budget process is over for this year.

Two other subcommittee — dealing the Rockingham County sheriff’s budget and with salaries for county employees — are expected to meet today as well in Concord.

Following the subcommittee votes today, the county budget will then be forwarded to the county delegation’s executive committee. The full 90-member delegation, made up of state representatives, will vote on the overall budget in March.

jkimble@newstote.com


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