TOWN WARRANT

TOWN of LEMPSTER

STATE of NEW HAMPSHIRE

2008

 

To the inhabitants of the Town of Lempster, in the County of Sullivan, in said State qualified to vote in Town affairs.

 

You are hereby notified to meet at the Goshen – Lempster School in said Lempster on Tuesday, the 11th day of March, 2008 at two thirty (2:30 P.M.) in the afternoon to open the polls for the voting of candidates, and at seven o’clock (7:00 P.M.) in the evening for the discussion of the articles of the warrant.

 

ARTICLE 1: To choose all necessary Town Officers for the year ensuing.

 

Motion: Everett Thurber

 

Second: Edward Sauer

 

 

ARTICLE 2: To receive all reports and act thereon.

 

Motion: Mr. Fulton

 

Second: Mr. Onnela

 

              No discussion; Moderator called for a vote on Article 2. Article 2 was carried by unanimous voice vote.

 

ARTICLE 3: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Eight Hundred Sixty Nine Thousand One Hundred Eighty Nine Dollars ($869,189.00) for the purpose of General Town Operations. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Executive                                                                  $122,905.00

Election and Registration                                            6,510.00

Financial Administration                                              2,000.00

Legal Expenses                                                             2,500.00

Employee Benefits                                                   104,731.00

Planning Board                                                            16,842.00

General Government Buildings                               15,000.00

Appraisal of Property                                                 26,044.00

Conservation Commission                                         1,630.00

Cemeteries                                                                      6,000.00

Insurance Property & Liability-all Depts              17,500.00

Contingency                                                                    5,000.00

Police Budget                                                               55,000.00

Health Officer Supplies                                                   250.00

Ambulance Service                                                      3,500.00

Fire Department                                                           55,357.00

Rescue Squad                                                             15,575.00

Building Inspection                                                       1,900.00

Emergency Management/Forest Fire                     2,400.00

Highway Department                                               290,000.00

Street Lights                                                                       650.00

Solid Waste                                                                  85,000.00

Health Agencies                                                            3,400.00

Sullivan Hospice                                                               250.00

Southwest Community Services                                  900.00

West Central Services                                                 1,100.00

Community Alliance                                                     1,000.00

Newport Food Pantry                                                   1,000.00

Direct Assistance                                                          5,500.00

Sullivan Nutrition                                                               400.00

Parks and Recreation                                                  1,000.00

Library                                                                             15,845.00

Patriotic Purposes                                                            500.00

Interest/Tax Anticipation Notes                                2,000.00

 

Motion: Mr. Diehl

 

Second: Mr. Rodeschin

 

              Selectman Everett Thurber reviewed each department listed and indicated whether the individual budgets had increased or decreased. The total of these items represents an overall reduction of 21.81% from last year.

 

              The Moderator opened the floor to discussion. Mr. Brookens asked why a Police Budget of $55,000.00 was included when the Town currently does not have a Police Officer.

 

              Selectman Edward Sauer indicated that Office Russell had provided part-time coverage since November 2007, as his schedule allowed. At this point Mr. Sauer, speaking for the board, summarized what had taken place since November 2007 in the search for another Police Officer. He indicated that a number of applicants responded to the advertisement placed in the local papers last November. The resumes were reviewed and one applicant’s resume was returned to the Selectboard for consideration. The Town would need to send the applicant to Police Training for a period of 3 months. The Town would pay for the training and salary. The Selectmen decided they did not want to go with a Police Chief at this time. Other options that they considered were to arrange for a couple of part-time officers who would provide minimum coverage throughout the week. The other alternative would be to enter into a contract with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department. The contract would include 44 hours of police coverage a week between the hours of 8am and 11pm; the State Police would fill in the remaining hours. Officer Russell would be scheduled through the Sheriff’s Department, but would use the Lempster Cruiser when on duty. The Sheriff’s Department would provide all vehicles, uniforms, gas, equipment, insurance and a court officer. The only service not included would be a Dog Officer. The $55,000.00 budget listed in Article 3 includes $10,000.00 which is paid for the services of Newport Dispatch. Mr. Sauer answered several questions from the floor concerning the distribution of hours. Mr. Tirrell expressed his concern about the lack of coverage during the overnight hours due to a shortage of personnel on the State Police force.

 

              Mr. Diehl proposed an amendment to add $1500 to the budget for the publication of three issues of the Lempster Owl. Mr. Fabrycky seconded the motion. The amendment passed by voice vote. Selectman Thurber reviewed each line item and indicated whether an increase or decrease had occurred since last year. He addressed questions and comments from the floor concerning the use of the Road Agent’s cell phone. Mr. Whiting called the question; Mr. Grenier seconded the motion. Following an affirmative vote to cease debate, Moderator Shklar asked for a vote on the amended article. A voice vote passed Article 3 as amended; the operating budget is $870,689.00 for 2008.

 

ARTICLE 4: To see if the Town will vote to approve the following resolution to be forwarded to our State Representatives, our State Senator and our Governor:

 

Resolved: We the citizens of Lempster, NH believe in a New Hampshire that is just and fair. The property tax has become unjust and unfair. State leaders who take a pledge for no new taxes perpetuate higher and higher property taxes. We call on our State Representatives, our State Senator and our Governor to reject the “Pledge”, have an open discussion covering all options, and adopt a revenue system that lowers property taxes. Submitted by petition by Yurick Hurd and others. (Majority vote required)

 

Moderator Shklar ruled Article 4 illegal; however, he indicated the voters could over rule him if they wanted to act on the proposed article. In support of his statement, Mr. Shklar explained that New Hampshire was not a home rule state and suggested individuals contact their state and federal representatives directly with their concerns. The Moderator asked for a show of hands by those wanting to over rule his decision and proceed to a vote on Article 4. The majority of the audience declined to vote on this Article. Article 4 was passed over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARTICLE 5: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to be added to the Forest Fire Truck Capital reserve (CIP 005) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Tirrell

 

Second: Ms. Clark

 

Fire Warden James Richards indicated he was still searching for vehicle to replace the current Forest Fire truck and this appropriation would assist in that effort. There was no further discussion; article passed by voice vote.

 

ARTICLE 6: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Seven Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($7,500.00) to be added to the Fire Pumper Capital Reserve (CIP 008) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Cusanelli

 

Second: Mr. Loring

 

              Article passed following a brief explanation from Fire Chief Loring.

ARTICLE 7: To see if the Town will vote to change the purpose of the existing Fire Department Equipment Expendable Trust (CIP 036) from purchase of equipment to purchase or repair of equipment. (2/3 vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Tirrell

 

Second: Mr. Loring

 

              Chief Loring asked for the Town to approve a change in the purpose of

CIP (036) to allow the funds to be used for repairs as well as the purchase of Fire Department equipment. He indicated one of the vehicles was in need of body work and that he had received an estimate that could be covered by the current balance of the fund. A 2/3-majority vote was achieved by a show of hands, thus passing the article.

 

ARTICLE 8: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00) to be added to the Municipal Buildings Complex Capital Reserve Fund (CIP 010) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Grenier

 

Second: Mr. Chandler

 

              James Grenier, Municipal Building Team leader, summarized the team’s efforts during the past year. He indicated that the funds already in this account, as well as the $20,000.00 proposed in Article 8, would be used to hire a pre-design team to provide us with concept drawings and costs associated with construction. The results of this process would be presented at Town Meeting next year. In addition, public meetings will be held between now and then to gather public input.

              Addition questions and comments concerning the clean up process were addressed. The Selectmen indicated that if the clean up phase would be put out to bid unless some “civic minded” members of the community volunteered their time and equipment.

              The Moderator called for a voice vote on Article 8 when no other comments or questions were asked. Mr. Shklar declared the article has passed.

 

ARTICLE 9: To see if the Town will vote to establish a Town Office Information Technology System Capital Reserve (CIP 037) under the provisions of RSA 35:1 for the purpose of purchasing and installation of computers and computer server and all necessary software and to raise and appropriate the sum of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) to be placed in this fund. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Sauer

 

Second: Ms. Grenier

 

              Ms. Locher, administrative assistant for Lempster, explained the importance of having a plan and funds available to replace office hardware. Having to replace two CPUs during the last year urged the Town to consider creating a CIP for updating office technology on a regular basis (perhaps every 5 years) in order for all town offices to stay current with improvements to hardware and software.

              Questions concerning backup capabilities were raised and addressed. A suggestion was made regarding the rental or leasing of computer equipment. The issue of insurance coverage was discussed.

              Mr. Onnela asked about the Lempster website and the problem with keeping it updated with current information. Mr. Fairweather indicated he has been volunteering his time as Webmaster for the past 3 years. He stated he would post information that was submitted.

              The Moderator called for a voice vote on Article 9. The audience voted to pass the article.

 

ARTICLE 10: To see if the Town will vote to appoint the Selectmen as agents to expend from the Town Office Information Technology System Capital Reserve (CIP 037).

 

Motion: Mr. Whiting

 

Second: Mr. Diehl

 

              No discussion. Voice vote passed Article 10.

 

Moderator Shklar closed the polls at 8:10 pm.

 

ARTICLE 11: To see if the Town will vote to increase the Veterans Property Tax Exemption to Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) per year. The Selectmen recommend this article. (Majority vote required)

Motion: Mr. Whiting

 

Second: Ms. Pinkney

             

              Article 11 passed by voice vote following two comments from the audience.

 

ARTICLE 12: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to support Old Home Day events. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Fairweather

 

Second: Ms. McCabe

 

              Mr. Cilley thanked the townspeople for their past support and asked for continued support in the future. Article 12 passed by voice vote.

 

ARTICLE 13: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) to be added to the Town Bridges Repair and Reconstruction Expendable Trust (CIP 018) The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Ms. Ferland

 

Second: Ms. Grenier

 

              Article 13 passed by voice vote following a brief explanation from Selectperson Grenier.

 

ARTICLE 14: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) to be added to the Highway Grader Capital Reserve (CIP 029) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Whiting

 

Second: Mr. Schur

 

              Discussion took place concerning the age, condition and future use of the current grader. Selectman Sauer indicated that the Select board had been assured the grader was ready for use in the spring. Mr. Clark asked if the money in CIP 029 could be used for repairs to the current grader.      The Moderator indicated that although the amount of the article appropriation could be changed, the purpose of the CIP could not be changed from the floor. The current balance of the fund is $20,555.

 

              Article 14 passes by voice vote.

 

ARTICLE 15: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00) to be added to the Highway Roller and Trailer Capital Reserve (CIP 031) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Whiting

 

Second: Ms. Grenier

 

              Mr. Onnela suggested the Town rent the equipment by the day when needed as apposed to buying it.

 

              (The tape recorder stopped during the discussion of this article. Did not notice until Article 18) Town Clerk, Gayle Newton

 

              Article 15 passed by voice vote.

 

 

ARTICLE 16: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to be added to the Transfer Station Capital Reserve (CIP 021) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Sauer

 

Second: Ms. Grenier

 

              Article 16 passed by voice vote.

 

 

ARTICLE 17: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) to be added to the Landfill Closure Capital Reserve (CIP 022) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Grenier

 

Second: Mr. Hurd

 

              Article 17 passed by voice vote.

 

 

ARTICLE 18: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) to be added to the Rescue Truck Capital Reserve (CIP 011) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Ms. Chadwick

 

Second: Mr. Tirrell

 

              Captain Chadwick and Chief Loring answered questions about the condition of the current rescue truck. The Moderator called for a voice vote on Article 18. Article 18 passed by voice vote.

 

ARTICLE 19: To see if the Town will vote to appropriate the sum of Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00) to be added to the Town Building Repair Expendable Trust (CIP 012) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

              Mr. Shklar passed over this article due to a question on the wording of the article. The word “raise” was omitted in error.

 

              Original warrant article was worded incorrectly. Ms. Richards moved to amend the article to read: “To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00) to be added to the Town Building Repair Expendable Trust (CIP 012) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Ms. Grenier seconded the motion to amend.

 

              Moderator called for vote on amendment, it passed. No further discussion on Article 19. Moderator called for a vote on amended article. It passed.

 

 

ARTICLE 20: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) to be added to the Town Hall/ Meetinghouse Restoration Capital Reserve (CIP 030) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Ms. McCabe

 

Second: Ms. Kemp

 

              Ms. Spada spoke in favor of the Article, stating that continued Town support was vital in order to attract addition grants and outside funding.

 

              Mr. Onnela asked what had been done with the money appropriated last year. Mr. Rodeschin said that preliminary evaluation had been completed and that the recommended work would be put out to bid in the near future.

 

              Mr. Goodspeed made a motion to amend the amount from $10,000.00 to $5,000.00. Motion seconded by Ms. Goodspeed. Discussion of the pros and cons of the amendment took place. Mr. Grenier called the question on the motion to amend. Motion to amend was defeated. Ms. Pinkney called question; seconded by Mr. Diehl. Motion to cease debate passed. Moderator asked for vote; Article 20 passed in its original form.

 

ARTICLE 21: To see if the Town will vote to discontinue the Rescue Truck Expendable Trust established in 1990. The Rescue Truck was purchased in 1994 and all funds were withdrawn at that time.

 

Motion: Ms. Richards

 

Second: Ms. Grenier

 

Housekeeping article; passed by voice.

 

 

ARTICLE 22: To see if the Town will vote to discontinue the Highway Garage Expendable Trust established in 1991. The funds for the Highway Garage were withdrawn in 1995 for the building of the Highway Garage.

 

Motion: Mr. Sauer

 

Second: Ms. Richards

 

Housekeeping article; passed by voice

 

 

ARTICLE 23: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Ninety Eight Thousand dollars ($98,000.00) for improvements and the resurfacing of Grandview Road of which Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00) will come from State Highway Block Grant money and the balance of Sixty Eight Thousand Dollars ($68,000.00) to be raised from taxation. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Ms. Grenier

 

Second: Mr. Sauer

 

              Mr. Thurber made motion to amend the total amount from $98,000.00 to $148,373. Seconded by Ms. Kemp. Discussion as to why the increase was needed took place. Amendment passed.

Article 23 now reads: “To see if the Town will raise and appropriate the sum of One Hundred forty-eight thousand three hundred seventy-three dollars ($148,373.00) for improvements and the resurfacing of Grandview Road of which Thirty Thousand dollars ($30,000.00) will come from State Highway Block Grant money and the balance of One hundred eighteen thousand three hundred seventy-three dollars ($118,373.00) to be raised from taxation. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required) Amended article passed by show of hands.

 

ARTICLE 24: To see if the Town will vote to appoint the Cemetery Trustees as agents to expend from the New Cemetery Capital Reserve (CIP 023).

 

Motion: Ms. Richards

 

Second: Mr. Diehl

 

              Mr. Diehl briefly explained the purpose of this article. Housekeeping article; passed by voice vote.

 

ARTICLE 25: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate up to Eight Thousand Dollars ($8,000.00) to work on the New Cemetery. These funds are to come from the New Cemetery Capital Reserve (CIP 023) and not from taxation. Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Ms. Richards made a motion to table this article due to the passage of article 24. Seconded by Ms. Stamatakis. Motion to table Article 24 was passed.

 

ARTICLE 26: To see if the Town will vote to create a General Cemetery Maintenance Trust Fund under the provisions of RSA 31:19-a for the purpose of using the interest from this fund for cemetery maintenance. Furthermore, to raise and appropriate up to Five Thousand, Two Hundred Dollars ($5,200.00) towards this purpose with said funds coming from General Cemetery Maintenance Trust Fund held by the Trustees of Trust Funds since establishment in 1996. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Ms. Richards

 

Second: Ms. Stamatakis

 

              Ms. Richards indicated this was a housekeeping article. Article 26 passed by voice vote.

 

ARTICLE 27: To see if the Town will vote to appoint the Cemetery Trustees as agents to expend from the General Maintenance Trust Fund established in 1996.

 

Motion: Ms. Richards

 

Second: Ms. Stamatakis

 

              Article passed by voice vote.

 

ARTICLE 28: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) to be added to the Cemetery Fence Capital Reserve (CIP 024) previously established. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Diehl

 

Second: Mr. Hurd

 

              Mr. Diehl indicated the balance of CIP 024 was $3098.95 as of 12/31/07. Additional funds would allow for the continuation of the Cemetery fence project started several years ago. Article passed by voice vote.

             

 

ARTICLE 29: To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to enter into a three year contract for Seventy Thousand Dollars ($70,000.00) for the purpose of Digital Parcel Mapping (CIP 038), and to raise and appropriate the sum of Twenty Three Thousand, Three Hundred Thirty Three Dollars ($23,333.00) for the first year’s payment. Future payments of Twenty Three Thousand, Three Hundred Thirty Three Dollars ($23,333.00) for 2009 and Twenty Three Thousand, Three Hundred Thirty Four Dollars ($23,334.00) for 2010 will appear in the budget for 2009 and 2010. This contract has an escape clause. The Selectmen recommend this appropriation. (Majority vote required)

 

Motion: Mr. Sauer

 

Second: Ms. Grenier

 

5 voters requested a paper ballot vote on this article

 

Moderator Shklar introduced Mr. Don Butson; from Cardiographics, Inc. Mr. Butson presented information about the Digital Parcel Mapping system. He indicated that the current paper maps were grossly inaccurate. The digital mapping assures accuracy to within 1/40th of an inch of the actual landmark. This system would enable the Town to access free resources from the State as well as provide landowners, surveyors, foresters, etc. access to copies of property maps and abutters lists via a database in the Town office. Additional services, such as internet accessibility, would also be available should the Town decide to include the option at a later date.

              Mr. Richards asked about establishing accurate boundaries for properties where the deeds may have been destroyed, or when landmarks may have changed or no longer exist. Mr. Butson outlined the process his company conducts to address these types of issues. Mr. Clark asked about licensing issues relating to the software used with this system. Mr. Butson said the software did not have to be restricted to one PC in the Town office. He also indicated that an annual maintenance fee of $500 would be charged for system upgrades.

              Mr. Butson responded to several other related topics from the audience. The question was called and seconded. A show of hands ceased debate. A paper ballot vote passed Article 29. Yes votes – 55; No votes – 36.

 

ARTICLE 30: To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to allow one percent (1%) discount on property taxes paid in full within ten (10) days of the issue.

 

Motion: Mr. Fabrycky                                                                    Second: Mr. Fairweather

 

No discussion. Voice vote passed Article 30.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gayle Newton

Town Clerk