Approved Minutes of the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC)

Town of Temple, NH

April 23, 2003

Members present                                                                  Others present

(in alphabetical order)                                                            Sherry Fiske (select board)

Steve Andersen (wheelands@aol.com)                                     Ted Petro (select board)

Rae Barnhisel (zymurgy@prexar.com)

Charlene Eddy (ceddy1@netzero.net)

Brian Kullgren (kullgren@aol.com)

Chris Nolte (uplanddogs@aol.com)

Paul Quinn (pquinn@helmers.com)

 

Meeting called to order at 7:05 pm

Order of Business:

1. Minutes: April 9, 2003, minutes approved as written.

Barnhisel provided each member with a copy of the approved March 26 with members’ phone numbers. It was agreed that the current minutes would include members’ email address.

2. New business:

a.      Andersen provided each member with Temple’s quarterly report (Actual & Budgeted Expenses and Encumbrances dated 4/22/03) to be discussed at the next meeting.

b.      Members reviewed the draft BAC submission to the Temple Newsletter prepared by Barnhisel as well as the draft mission statement by Quinn. The members agreed to change the submission to include the fact that the BAC was meeting in the Town Hall and include the statement prepared by Quinn as written. Barnhisel will check with Debra Harling to ensure that the Town Hall is available to the BAC for their meetings and submit the report to the newsletter coordinator (Sherry Fiske) by email as soon as possible.

c.       Barnhisel presented a draft of a letter from the BAC to the Select Board regarding the public hearing scheduled for April 29, 2003, to discuss the acceptance of a private donation of $10,000 for the Police Dept. to purchase an off-road vehicle for patrolling purposes. Members made changes to the letter and signed it. Barnhisel made copies for each selectman and Debra Harling. It was agreed that Barnhisel would post the amended letter at the municipal offices, Temple store (2 places), and outside the Town Hall.

d.      Members discussed the advantages and disadvantages of recommending that the selectmen submit a warrant article, or submitting themselves a signed petition, that would rescind the provisions of 31:95-b so that all public and private donations would be reviewed by the town at the annual meeting rather than by the selectmen after a public hearing. Members also discussed the advantages and disadvantages of submitting a warrant article that would adopt the provisions of 32:14 to establish a full-fledged Budget Committee. It was agreed to revisit these options at a later date.

e.      Barnhisel provided each member with a copy of the latest draft of the Economic Environment chapter of the Master Plan so that the BAC could 1) review the chapter to determine whether the information was useful to the taxpayer, and 2) use the chapter if the information was useful.

Table 1, Municipal Expenditures and Revenues, was discussed. Members agreed that copies of the MS 6 from those years would be useful to explain how General Government increased 151.18% from 1996 to 2002 (expenditures went from ~$180,000 to ~$451,000). It was unclear how building inspections increased by 463.22% (a low ~$500 to ~$3,000). Population increased only 8.6% from 1990 to 2000 according to the 3/24/03 draft Population and Housing chapter (an annual growth rate of 3.2% according to Southwest Regional Planning Board Commission, SWRPC; Table 4, Population and Housing chapter). However, Temple has increased its number of people per square mile 259% from 1960 to 2000 according Table5/6 Population and Housing chapter.

Members questioned why Highways and Streets has decreased by 1.7% from 1996 to 2002 (~$319,000 to $314,000) and underscored the need for special or exceptional items such as bridges (Hadley Hwy?) to be accounted for separately. Andersen suggested that line items listed in Table 1 as “–100%” obscure the true percent change in expenditures (52% according to Table 1). He pointed out that the table showed revenue to increase by only 24%. [See also Table 2, Net valuation and Tax Rate, Economic Environment chapter. Temple’s property tax to be raised increased by 35% with a 21% increase in municipal and 16.17% decrease in local school tax and 2.34% decrease in county tax]

3. Ongoing business:

a.      Barnhisel will follow up with Debra Harling on the payment to CPI Printing in Peterborough for photocopying the detailed budget for the previous town meeting, arranging for the BAC to have a bin or mailbox in and access to the municipal offices, ensuring that BAC has access to the Town Hall for their future meetings, and to post the BAC letter to the select board outside the municipal offices.

b.      Members agreed to discuss the draft recommendations at the next meeting, May 14, at the Town Hall, to begin establishing a schedule or timeline for the preparation of the 2004 budget, and discuss taxpayer outreach methods such as polling and going door to door.

 

Meeting adjourned at 9:10 pm

Respectfully submitted,

Rae Barnhisel

May 14, 2003