Budget Public Hearing Minutes – 2/9/22

Selectboard Present:      Cheryl Mayberry (Chair); Steven Dalessio; Peggy L. Pschirrer

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry called this Public Hearing on the 2022 Annual Budget via Zoom to order at 5:30 PM.  The Selectboard members are in three separate locations.  This meeting was being recorded.

Ms. Mayberry called for a voice roll call of the Selectboard present:  Steven Dalessio was present at the Walpole Town Hall; Peggy Pschirrer was present at her home and Cheryl Mayberry was present at her office in Langdon.  Also attending this meeting was Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration, at the Walpole Town Hall and Mrs. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary, at a separate location.  The following Town employees were in attendance:  Richard Kreissle, Manager of Finance; Jane Malmberg, Walpole Library Director; Police Chief Justin Sanctuary; Mike Rau, Road Agent and Helen Dalbeck, Executive Director of Hooper Institute.  Walpole residents in attendance were:  Amy Howard, Jeff and Beth Colley, Leroy and Cheri Watson, and Ray Boas. 

Ms. Mayberry read the following Notice of Public Hearing on 2022 Annual Budget: 

“You are hereby notified that the Walpole Selectboard will host a public meeting on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 5:30 PM for a presentation of the 2022 Annual Budget and Warrant Articles.  This meeting will take place virtually online via Zoom.

The Selectboard Meeting shall follow after the conclusion of the Public Hearing.

For Zoom invitation information, visit http://www.walpolenh.us/town-news for the online meeting link and dial-in phone number, meeting number and password.  For assistance assessing the meeting, call 603-756-3672 or email sdowning@walpolenh.us.  If the public is unable to gain and maintain access, the hearing will be adjourned and rescheduled.

Check walpolenh.us for updates.”

Ms. Mayberry reported that overall the 2022 Budget that is being recommended has a 4.96% increase.  They added $150,000 for engineering consultants and added $100,000 for Emergency Management.  They hope to recoup some Emergency Management funds from FEMA.  Inflation is running at about a 6% increase. Therefore, they plan to give all employees a 6% increase.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted the Liability insurances went down a little over 8%.  Ms. Mayberry said the HealthTrust also went down; some of this amount will be returned to the employees.

Mr. Boas asked if they would be going over the proposed budget line-by-line; he had specific questions.  Ms. Mayberry replied it was not their intent to go line-by-line but rather by questions that came up during the discussion.  Mr. Boas questioned why the Selectboard was saying the budget increased by 4.96% when the copy of the budget he had showed a decrease of 8.45%.  Mr. Kreissle replied that once individual warrant articles are approved at Town Meeting, they become a part of the operating budget.  The 2021 Total General Fund budget figure that Mr. Boas was looking at includes warrant articles voted in in 2021’s Town Meeting.  If you back out those warrant articles you arrive at a $4,151,887 which, when compared to 2022’s proposed budget of $4,357,505 results in an increase of 4.96%.  Mrs. Pschirrer reported the Selectboard decided to spend $500,000 of the Unassigned Fund Balance this year. A majority of the articles are covered by this amount.  There is a new article that will establish a Capitol Reserve Fund for Municipal Buildings in the amount of $15,000.  This will give them the money when needed for an emergency.  Ms. Mayberry mentioned they cannot assume that any and/or all articles will be passed by the voters. 

Ms. Mayberry read the following:

“To the inhabitants of the Town of Walpole qualified to vote in Town Affairs:

You are hereby notified to meet at the Town Hall, 34 Elm Street, Town of Walpole, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 7:00 AM to act on Articles 1-2.  Articles 1 and 2 will be voted on at the polls.  Polls at the Walpole Town Hall and at North Walpole St. Peter’s Church will be open at 7:00 AM and remain open until 7:00 pm.  Following the closing of the polls and counting of the ballots, the meeting will be adjourned until Saturday March 12, 2022 at 1:00 PM at the Walpole Elementary School Gymnasium on Main Street, at which time the balance of the Articles will be acted upon.”         

ARTICLE 1:  To elect the necessary Town Officers for their respective terms.

ARTICLE 2:  The Planning Board recommends this Article. (6 Yes, 0 No, 1 Abstain)   

ARTICLE 3:  To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of five million, forty-one thousand seven hundred fifty-one dollars ($5,041,751) which represents four million, three hundred fifty-seven thousand, eight hundred five dollars ($4,357,805) for the Town Operating Budget to be raised from general taxation; one hundred ninety-one thousand, two hundred two dollars ($191,202) for the Water Fund Operating Budget and four hundred ninety-two thousand, seven hundred forty-four ($492,744) for the Sewer Operating Budget which includes two hundred thirty thousand dollars ($230,000) for bond assessments.  Such sum does not include special or individual articles or bonds found in the warrant.

The Selectboard recommends this article. (X Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

ARTICLE 4:  To see if the Town will vote to adopt the Walpole Community Power Electric Aggregation Plan, which authorizes the Selectboard to develop and implement the Walpole Community Power Plan as described therein *(pursuant to RSA 53-E:7).

*The Walpole Electrical Aggregation Plan is on the Town Website.

Majority vote required.

The Selectboard recommends this article. (X Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

ARTICLE 5:  To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of two hundred fifteen dollars ($215,000) to replace the Town Hall Roof and repair the chimneys on the Town Hall roof.  The said funds to come from the Unassigned Fund Balance.

The Selectboard recommend this article.  (X Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

ARTICLE 6:  To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) to establish a Capitol Reserve Fund for Municipal Buildings.  The said sum to come from taxation.

The Selectboard recommends this article.  (X Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

ARTICLE 7:  To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of one hundred seventy thousand dollars ($175,000) for a sidewalk snowblower.  The said funds of eighty-five thousand dollars ($85,000) to come from the unassigned fund balance and eighty-five thousand dollars ($85,000) to come from the Highway Capitol Reserve Fund.

The Selectboard recommends this article.  (X Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

(It was noted that in parenthesis the ($175,000) will be corrected to ($170,000)

ARTICLE 8:  To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for the Highway Capitol Reserve Fund.  The said funds to come from taxation.

The Selectboard recommends this article.  (X Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

ARTICLE 9:  To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for a commercial shredder for use at the Recycling Center.  The said funds to come from the unassigned fund balance.

The Selectboard recommends this article. (X Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

ARTICLE 10:  To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000) for the repairs of the Town swimming pool and pool house.  The said funds to come from the Unassigned Fund Balance.

The Selectboard recommends this article.  (X Yes, 0 No,0 Abstain)

ARTICLE 11:  To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of forty thousand dollars ($40,000) to repair the chimney and replace the front door of the Bridge Library.  The said funds to come from the Unassigned Fund Balance.

The Selectboard recommends this article.  (X Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

ARTICLE 12:  To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of forty-five thousand dollars ($45,000) for a vehicle for the Walpole Police Department.  The said funds to come from the unassigned fund balance.

The Selectboard recommends this article.  (X Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

ARTICLE 13:  To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for equipment in the new police vehicle.  The said funds to come from the unassigned fund balance.

The Selectboard recommends this article.  (X Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

ARTICLE 14:  To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for the Police Department Capitol Reserve Fund.  The said funds to come from general taxation.

The Selectboard recommends this article.  (X Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

ARTICLE 15:  To transact any other business that may legally come before the meeting.

Ms. Mayberry opened the meeting for Questions and/or Comments.  There were none.

There being no other discussion, Ms. Mayberry closed this Public Hearing on the 2022 Proposed Budget at 5:54 PM. 

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

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