Warrant Articles for Town Meeting 2018

The warrant articles for consideration at Town Meeting 2018 have been finalized.

The following articles will be voted on by ballot on March 13 at the Town House. Polls will be open from 8am to 7pm.

Article 01: To choose all necessary Town Officers for the year ensuing.

Article 02: Are you in favor of the following amendment to the Zoning Ordinance as recommended by the Planning Board?

Amend Section 12.5.3 as follows:
12.5.3 Special Provisions:
(Bold letters indicate changed wording.)

  1. No septic tank or leach field may be constructed or enlarged closer than seventy-five (75) feet laterally to any Very Poorly Drained Soils or surface water, nor any closer than fifty (50) feet laterally to any Poorly Drained Soils, unless the individual disposal system is in failure and the replacement is in the same location. Poorly Drained Soils and Very Poorly Drained Soils are as defined by New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
  2. No part of a wetland may be considered as part of the minimum size requirement of any Lot, nor may any wetland or part of a wetland divide a Lot in such a manner that its minimum Lot size is not Contiguous unless the Lot can be proved to support on-site water supply and sewage disposal without a Variance or waiver from Town or State regulations.
  3. All land included in the Wetlands Conservation District shall be appraised for tax purposes at its full and true value in money, based on its market value as undevelopable land required to remain in Open Space.
  4. No person shall disturb areas occupied by wetlands, swamps, streams, ponds or lakes except as provided by New Hampshire Statutes.

The following articles will be voted on at Town Meeting at the Tuftonboro Central School at 7:30pm:

Article 03: To see if the Town will vote to extend the purposes of the previously established Library Capital Reserve Fund to include expansion and renovation of the existing library building. This Capital Reserve Fund was established by vote at Town Meeting in March, 2010 as Article 12 on the Town Warrant “for the purpose of building a new library.” Furthermore to name the Board of Selectmen as agents to expend from the fund.

(Two-Thirds (2/3) vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0)

Article 04: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One Million, Nine Hundred Twenty Thousand Dollars ($1,920,000.00) to renovate and expand the current Library and to authorize the issuance of not more than One Million Ninety Four Thousand Dollars ($1,094,000.00) of bonds or notes in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Finance Act (RSA Chapter 33); to authorize the selectmen to issue and negotiate such bonds and notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon and the maturity and other terms thereof. Furthermore, to authorize the withdrawal of Four Hundred Sixteen Thousand Dollars ($416,000.00) from the existing Library Capital Reserve Fund and Four Hundred Ten Thousand Dollars ($410,000.00) from the Library Capital Donations Fund. The first payment on the bond or note will not be made until year 2019.

(Two-Thirds (2/3) ballot vote required per RSA 33:8-a)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 2-0-1 and the Budget Committee 6-1)

Article 05: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00) to replace the septic system at the Tuftonboro Free Library. This article is contingent on Article 04 not passing. If article 04 passes, this article will be null and void.

(Majority vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 7-0)

Article 06: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $123,142.00 and authorize the Selectmen to enter into a five year lease/purchase agreement in the amount of $580,000.00 for the purpose of purchasing and equipping a new fire truck for the Fire Department to replace Fire Engine 2. $123,142.00 reflects the first year’s payment. The lease agreement contains an escape clause.

(Majority vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 6-1)

Article 07: To see if the Town will vote pursuant to RSA 80:80 to authorize the Selectmen to convey real property acquired by the Town by Tax Collector’s Deed by Public Auction and sealed bid or in such manner as determined by the Selectmen as justice may require.

(Majority vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0)

Article 08: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Forty-Three Thousand Dollars ($43,000.00) to be added to the previously established Fire/Rescue Department SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) Equipment Capital Reserve Fund. The full amount ($43,000.00) will come from the Unassigned Fund Balance.

(Majority vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 7-0)

Article 09: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00) for a study and design of a new or updated Police Facility.

(Majority vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 7-0)

Article 10: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Two Hundred Sixty Thousand Dollars ($260,000.00) for the preparation and paving of Town Roads.

(Majority vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 7-0)

Article 11: To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) to support White Horse Addiction Center.

(Majority vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 6-1)

Article 12: To see if the town will vote to establish a contingency fund for the current year for unanticipated expenses that may arise and further to raise and appropriate Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for said purpose. Said sum to come from the Unassigned Fund Balance. Any appropriation left in the fund at year end will lapse into the general fund.

(Majority vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 7-0)

Article 13: To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Twenty-Nine Thousand Dollars ($29,000.00) to purchase and equip a new vehicle for the Code Enforcement Officer.

(Majority vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 6-1)

Article 14: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00) to replace the main entrance doors in the Town Office Building.

(Majority vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 6-1)

Article 15: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Eighty-Eight Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($88,500.00) to repair the Sodom Road Bridge to restore to full load carrying capacity.

(Majority vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 7-0)

Article 16: Shall the Town vote to authorize until rescinded the acceptance of privately donated gifts, legacies and devices which shall be invested and accounted for separately from and not commingled with, amounts appropriated for expendable trust funds created under RSA 31:19-a, paragraph 1 and shall be subject to the custody and investment provisions applicable to trust funds accepted under RSA 31:19.

(Majority vote required)
Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0)

Article 17: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Eighty-Nine Thousand Three Hundred Eighteen Dollars ($89,318.00) to pay a third installment toward the ambulance vehicle and rescue truck acquired by a Town Meeting vote in March of 2016. The principal amount is $82,843.00 and the interest is $6,475.00. This lease agreement contains an escape clause.

(Majority vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0 and the Budget Committee 6-1)

Article 18: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the Budget Committee recommended sum of Three Million Seven Hundred Forty Two THousand Fifty Five Dollars and Twenty Four Cents ($3,742055.24) for general Town Operations. The Selectmen recommended Three Million Seven Hundred Forthy Two Thousand Three Hundred Five DOllars and Twenty Four Cents ($$3,742,305.25). This article does not include any special or individual warrant articles addressed separately.

(Majority vote required)
(Recommended by the Budget Committee 5-1-1)

Article 19 (by Petition): To see if the Town Meeting will vote to establish a Capital Reserve Fund for the purpose of purchasing or leasing vehicles and equipment for use in the Fire Department, Police Department, Code Enforcement Department, Transfer Station Department, and Highway Department, and further to appropriate the sum of $50,000 to be deposited into said fund. The full amount ($50,000) will come from the previously raised unused funds in the Unassigned Fund Balance and not from addition taxation in 2018. No purchase or lease utilizing these funds will be made without express approval by Warrant Article submitted by the Select Board or by Petition.

(Majority vote required)
(Not recommended by the Board of Selectmen 0-3 and the Budget Committee 0-7)

Further, please see the attached PDF of communication between Tuftonboro’s Administrative Assistant, Diane Falcey, and Michelle Clark of the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration.

The selectmen are alleging that the petition article to establish a capital reserve fund for vehicles is worded incorrectly. Here are the minutes from the selectmen’s February 12 meeting:

The Selectmen agreed that the idea of the warrant article is good but they have been advised not to recommend the article. The Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) informed the Town that a Capital Reserve Fund can’t include lease payments. The only time that Capital Reserve Funds can be used for a lease payment is for the final payment of the lease. Therefore the Selectmen have been advised that they should not recommend the warrant article as written. This can’t be amended before Town Meeting as the deadline to submit a petition warrant article has passed. However, it can be modified on the floor at Town Meeting. It was agreed to notify the petitioner of the required amendment. It was also suggested that the words “and equipment” be changed to “and equip” so there is clarification to the purpose of the funds.

As you can see from the obvious contradiction (bolded), the selectmen are confused and have no idea what they’re talking about.

These statements are incompatible with each other:

  1. A Capital Reserve Fund can’t include lease payments
  2. Capital Reserve Funds can be used for a lease payment .. for the final payment of the lease

If a Capital Reserve Fund (CRF) cannot be used for lease payments then it can not be used for the final payment of a lease.

If a CRF can be used for the final payment of a lease, then it can be used for lease payments.

RSA 35 states:

35:15 Expenditures. –
I. Persons holding said capital reserve funds in trust, as provided in this chapter, shall hold the same until such time as the town, district or county shall have voted to withdraw funds from such capital reserve fund or shall have named agents of the town, district or county to carry out the objects designated by the town, district or county, in the manner prescribed by RSA 35:3.
II. Expenditures from any fund established for the acquisition of land pursuant to RSA 35:1 shall be made only as authorized:
(a) By a majority vote of the legal voters present and voting at an annual or special meeting, in the case of a town, school district or village district, or by majority vote of the county delegation, in the case of a county, or
(b) By the selectmen, appointed as agents pursuant to RSA 41:14-a, provided that the selectmen shall not have authority to expend any sum in excess of the amount contained in any capital reserve account created for the purchase of land other than any grant moneys which may be received.
III. (a) Notwithstanding the prohibition of debt retirement fund establishment in RSA 33:2, capital reserve funds may be used for multiple payments under a financing agreement for the purpose for which the capital reserve was established. If the financing agreement is a lease/purchase agreement the following shall apply:
(1) The lease/purchase agreement does not contain an “escape clause” or “non-appropriation clause”; and
(2) The lease/purchase agreement has been ratified by the legislative body by a vote by ballot of 2/3 of all the voters present and voting at an annual or special meeting.
(b) If agents have been named according to RSA 35:15, then no further vote is required to disburse funds following the initial vote which ratified the financing agreement.
IV. In the case of a water works or sewer department, as provided in RSA 35:7, the governing body, water board, or the water or sewer commissioners if any, shall determine when expenditures from said reserve shall be made.
V. In all cases, expenditures from a capital reserve fund shall be made only for or in connection with the purposes for which said fund was established or as amended as provided in RSA 35:16.

Source. 1943, 160:9. RSA 35:15. 1985, 285:3. 1991, 167:2. 1994, 95:2, eff. July 8, 1994. 1998, 43:1, eff. July 4, 1998. 2001, 187:1, eff. Sept. 3, 2001. 2007, 178:3, eff. Aug. 17, 2007.

Michelle Clark of the Department of Revenue Administration has given the selectmen bad advice. As plainly stated by the statute, CRFs can be used for lease payments under certain circumstances:

  1. The lease/purchase agreement does not contain an “escape clause” or “non-appropriation clause”; and
  2. The lease/purchase agreement has been ratified by the legislative body by a vote by ballot of 2/3 of all the voters present and voting at an annual or special meeting.

Tuftonboro generally enters into lease agreements that have escape clauses, so the CRF could not be used for all but the final lease payment on those agreements. But the CRF could be used on the final payment.

 

Published in Town Government
Max Ledoux

Author: Max Ledoux

I've lived in Tuftonboro since 2014. I grew up in Lisbon Falls, Maine (the Moxie capital of the world). I run tuftonboro.net.

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