Rindge selectmen finalize town warrant for Feb. 3 deliberative session

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, January 29, 2018 5:28PM

Rindge Selectmen have officially put their stamp on the 2018 town warrant.

The board met Wednesday to finalize the warrant in time for the town’s Feb. 3 deliberative session, which will be held at Rindge Memorial School starting at 9 a.m. 

“I think many of these are no-brainers,” said Selectwoman Roberta Oeser. In total, 20 articles have made it onto the warrant this year.

The board has acknowledged that an amendment will have to be made during deliberative session for an article to purchase a new fire truck over the course of five years.

Fire Chief Rick Donovan said during the meeting that he received a new offer on a fire truck, driving the total net request from $467,729 to $440,000. While the cost of the fire truck comes to about $447,399 – which includes the cost of graphics, financing, and other costs – Donovan said this new company will take $10,000 in trade-in value on the old truck after the town receives the new truck.

Select Board chair Jim Qualey abstained from recommending the article, with the other two members voting in favor.

The following articles were unanimously recommended by the board: the $3.98 million proposed operating budget; $18,000 for the Wellington Road Bridge replacement capital reserve account; $28,000 for the revaluation capital reserve account; $150,000 from the undesignated fund balance for a Freightliner M2 truck for the highway department; $35,000 from the fire department equipment capital reserve account for a new fire utility vehicle; $15,723 form the unassigned fund balance for an industrial Kubota zero-turn mower; to purchase a $206,000 bucket loader with attachments with $166,000 from the undesignated fund balance and $40,000 from the transfer station special revenue fund; to purchase a $40,000 generator for the highway department if grants are received; establishing the Ingalls Memorial Library Trust Fund and placing $20,000 into it; establishing the Cemetery Fund and placing $12,000 into it; purchasing a $14,000 recreation department 15-passenger van with donated funds; and to allow the operation of Keno in town.

Selectmen Qualey and Bob Hamilton did not recommend an article asking to add $5,000 to the Rindge 250 Expendable Trust Fund. Qualey also did not recommend an article asking to raise $25,000 for the fire department capital reserve account and $100,000 to the highway capital reserve fund.

A draft warrant provided Wednesday showed the budget advisory committee voting against the following articles: the purchase of the fire truck (2-4 with one abstention), $5,000 for the Rindge 250 expendable trust fund (2-5), and establishing the Ingalls Memorial Library trust fund (3-4). Three members were opposed to placing $125,000 into two capital reserve funds.

There are two petition warrant articles this year: one to see if the town would adopt the provisions of the state veterans’ tax credit, which would give a $500 tax credit to all Rindge veterans that met the criteria under RSA 72:28-b, and one to have the town express support to Governor Sununu to join Massachusetts and Maine to study the feasibility of developing offshore wind power in the Gulf of Maine.

There was a lot of discussion about whether the budget advisory committee needed to vote to recommend the article, as even though it is a petition article it has a potential financial impact on the town.

There was no definitive answer determined at the meeting, but it was determined that the committee could vote on it after deliberative session if it was required. Selectmen elected not to take a vote on their support of the article.

Selectmen elected not to put two articles on the warrant that had been on previous drafts.

The twin articles would have discontinued the town’s transfer station special revenue fund and created a transfer station revolving fund in its place.

The articles were not placed on the warrant as board members decided to research the issue more, as there is questions as to whether the town can create a revolving fund to use for transfer station operational costs.

Two warrant articles are related to zoning: one eliminating redundancies between the RSA 485-A:39 and the town’s zoning ordinance and one to clarify and ease restrictions on home based businesses to allow reasonable uses through a conditional use permit.

The first article on the warrant is the standard election of town officers article.

The board also had a discussion about potentially implementing childcare at deliberative session in order to further increase attendance. Oeser will reach out to Recreation Director Dan Bemis to see if it is a possibility and will report back to the board next week.

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.