Water main, sidewalk replacements on Jaffrey warrant

  • Jaffrey Town Manager Jon Frederick discusses future projects and expenses to the town beyond 2019 during the town’s budget hearing on Saturday.  Staff photo By Nicholas Handy

  • The town of Jaffrey held its deliberative session at the fire station on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. Staff photo By Nicholas Handy—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/12/2019 10:15:27 AM

A $2.84 million water main replacement project and two sidewalk projects will appear on the Jaffrey warrant in 2019.

The three projects were among the more than three dozen articles discussed during the budget committee’s public hearing on Saturday at the fire station.

One article on the ballot asks voters to raise $29,500 for engineering and design for improvements to School Street, a project that will extend beyond the scope of the proposed school district parking lot project that will alter the flow of traffic around Jaffrey Grade School. 

“This design is for the rest of the street,” Town Manager Jon Frederick said. “It addresses the street as a whole.”

If passed, the $2.84 million water line project would replace around 13,251 linear feet of water mains on School Street, Stratton Road, and Squantum Road.

The project would be paid for by a bond, supported 1/3 by taxation and 2/3 by water users. 

This round of water main replacements would represent phase two of the town’s replacement plan. In 2015, the town began phase one by replacing water mains on Main Street and Mountain Road.

If approved by voters in March, the town will be about halfway through replacing over 45,000 linear feet of pipe identified in a 2013 water asset management study as needing to be rehabilitated or replaced. 

Only $38,919 of the $803,617 sidewalk project on Peterborough Street and Stratton Road will need to be raised via taxation, with the rest of the money coming from a grant and the town’s Downtown TIF District. 

The town will be paid for by a $642,894 NH Department of Transportation Transportation Alternatives Program grant, 80 percent of the project’s cost. 

The project aims to build out pedestrian and bicycle travel ways on both streets, with sidewalks lining both sides of Peterborough Street and Stratton Road.

On Stratton Road, the sidewalks will go up to Conant High School, while the sidewalks on Peterborough Street will extend to Ridgecrest Road. 

Jaffrey’s proposed operating budget is $6,688,733, a 2.57 percent increase or $167,652 over last year’s total. 

Major increases to the budget include increases of $77,903 in salary and wage increases, $32,500 in road salt and sand, and $20,811 to the library’s budget. 

“We’ve always been flat over the years so little differences can sometimes make a big impact,” Budget Committee chair Norman Langevin said. 

Should all warrant articles pass, there is an estimated tax rate of $12.41 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation – a $1.29 increase over 2018. 

Langevin said the tax rate could decrease between now and when it is set, as the select board could opt to use more money from the town’s undesignated fund balance to offset taxes than the committee budgeted for.

The committee has budgeted $435,000 as an estimated amount for 2019, Langevin said, while the select board approved $560,000 to offset taxes last year. 

Langevin said the town’s valuation dropping by $2 million is also a factor in the projected increase in tax rate. 

A $950,912 water budget and a $2,028,591 sewer budget are also proposed but are funded entirely through user fees and other non-property tax resources. 

The following warrant articles will also appear on the warrant:

■to raise $160,000 for the highway equipment capital reserve fund

■to take $176,500 from the highway equipment capital reserve fund for a new highway loader

■to take $108,500 from the highway equipment capital reserve fund for a new highway dump truck

■to take $59,000 from the highway equipment capital reserve fund for a new highway utility pickup truck and plow

■to raise $50,000 for the town office capital reserve fund

■to raise $60,000 for the fire department capital reserve fund

■to take $30,000 from the fire department capital reserve fund to refurbish hose truck number 1

■to raise $40,000 for the TIF District Capital Reserve Fund, funds will come from the Downtown Tax Increment Finance District

■to raise $5,000 for the land acquisition capital reserve fund

■to raise $1,000 for the cemetery trees trust fund

■to raise $1,000 for the gravestone restoration trust fund and to appoint the select board as agents to expend

■to raise $3,000 for the Meetinghouse trust fund

■to raise $200,000 for the municipal building capital reserve fund

■to raise $120,000 for the bridge rehabilitation capital reserve account

■to establish a capital reserve fund for purchasing and refurbishing police cruisers and to place $50,000 into the fund

■to raise $50,000 for a new police cruiser (should the prior article be defeated)

■to have the town re-affirm the importance of its recognition of honoring veterans by observing Veterans Day

Twelve articles are asking voters to raise a total of $99,724 to support the following organizations: Jaffrey-Rindge Memorial Ambulance, Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services, Monadnock Community Early Learning Center, Community Kitchen, Inc., Monadnock Family Services, Southwestern Community Services, Jaffrey Civic Center, Community Volunteer Transportation Company, the River Center, Hundred Nights, Inc., Reality Check, and Contoocook Lake Preservation Association. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. 

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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