Meeting held on the 7th of February 2004


Board members present: B. Kantner, S. Fiske, Ted Petro-Board of Selectmen

S. Andersen, B. Kullgren, R. Barnhisel, C. Eddy-Budget Advisory Committee.


Call to Order by B. Kantner at 10:15 a.m.


13 members of the public were present.



Budget Hearing


  1. Subject:  Kantner welcomed the public to the budget hearing.                     The Board of Selectmen and the Budget Advisory Committee were introduced to the public.  Kantner explained to the public that the Board of Selectmen are not required to hold two hearings, however, the Board of Selectmen and Budget Advisory Committee had determined that in 2004 they would try the process of holding two hearings.  R. Barnhisel questioned the notice of this hearing and asked if this hearing had been published in the paper.  Kantner explained that due to a mishap the paper did not receive the fax of the notice.  The hearing was posted at the Temple Municipal Building, the Temple Store and the Temple Post Office.  Barnhisel stated she had spoken to a person at the Department of Revenue Administration who informed her that if the hearing notice was not published in the paper the hearing was not legal.  Kantner read the NHMA guidelines for Selectmen, which quote RSA 32:5.  According to the guidelines there is no specification as to whether the posting must be published in a newspaper, or posted in two public places.  M. Klinck asked for clarification on which RSA Kantner was referring to.  The Board of Selectmen consulted with each other and determined they should continue with the hearing.  Barnhisel requested that the Administrative Assistant verify her actions regarding the posting of the notice.  D. Harling, Administrative Assistant, verified that she had faxed the notice to the Mondanock Ledger and posted the notice at the Temple Municipal Building, the Temple Store and the Temple Post Office.  Barnhisel stated that questions could arise around the amounts budgeted and any new purposes added to the budget since the January 17, 2004 budget hearing.


M. Klinck requested that the budget be presented by reading the 2003 expenditures and the 2004 budget amounts.  S. Fiske began reading the budget.  M. Klinck asked the Board if they had considered his suggestion of 1/17/04 regarding freezing wages for Town Employees as he noticed




that the comment section referred to a 2 ˝% increase for Town Employees rather than the 3% increase previously recommended.  Petro explained that he and the Administrative Assistant had investigated the percentage increases that were being recommended for employees of other area towns and that 2 ˝% was lower than the norm for other towns.  Petro also explained that the employees are paid within the median for similar sized towns and the Board of Selectmen had determined that 2 ˝% was a reasonable increase.  M. Klinck stated he did not think that the answer addressed his question.  Klinck then cited the National statistics he had mentioned at the 1/1704 budget hearing.  Klinck asked the BOS and BAC to consider freezing wages.  Barnhisel stated that she had been doing research and cited an SWRPC study and guidelines regarding employee compensation.  Barnhisel suggested that in 2004 the BAC could study employee compensation.  J. Kullgren stated that the 2 ˝% was a good compromise.  J. Kullgren also stated that she thought the Boards should study other budget items, not wages.  A. Lunt stated she agreed with J. Kullgren.  S. Andersen informed the public that the BAC had looked at compensation.  Andersen also stated that the BAC had worked the two years since its inception to open lines of communication and he did not think that Department heads should be rewarded for saving the town money by receiving cuts.  Kantner summarized the BOS decision and cited the NHMA Wage and Benefit Survey, which is available at the town offices.  C. Eddy read from the human resource manual regarding employee compensation.  H. Hastings asked for an explanation of the comment section on the budget worksheet that had been given to the public.


Fiske continued reading the budget.  Andersen noted that the asterisk on the left hand side of the worksheet denotes budget items partially or fully offset by revenue.  H. Hastings asked about the allocation for the research of “orphan lots”.  The Administrative Assistant explained to the public what “orphan lots” are.  Hastings asked about the allocation for mailing the town newsletter.  Fiske explained that the newsletter is mailed once a year to registered voters.


Fiske continued with the budget.  Klinck asked about the increase in the assessing line item.  Fiske explained that this amount is needed for the statistical update to bring assessments up to 100% of market value.  Klinck asked if the budget in on a cash basis, the answer is yes.  Klinck suggested that the town budget be done on an accrual basis.  Barnhisel stated that the accounting and assessing are areas that the BAC have not looked at.  Barnhisel also stated that the abatement line item is an area





where the budget is “padded” and the BAC should work on presenting a more accurate picture of abatements.  Barnhisel asked if there are any pending lawsuits and stated that the legal budget is another area where the BAC should estimate true costs.  Andersen pointed out the $700.00 increase in the Planning Board budget and explained that this increase is for copies of the new master plan.  J. Kullgren asked for an explanation of why allocated money was not spent in the cemetery budget.  Fiske explained that because of rain certain repairs were not completed.  Klinck asked why Police training and ammunition were together in the same line item and asked what the cost of ammunition was.  The Administrative Assistant explained that the Police use the ammunition in training as they need to certify on firearms every year.  Klinck asked if all the money from fines came to the town.  The Administrative Assistant explained that the District Court forwards money from fines, if any money from fines goes to the State that allocation would be made by the District Court.  M. Collier asked about the increase in the dispatching budget.  The Administrative Assistant explained the re-allocation of expenses by Keene Mutual Fire Aid Dispatch (the Fire Department dispatch service).  Klinck asked about the gasoline account.  Andersen explained that the gasoline is used mostly by the Police and Fire Departments.  Barnhisel made comments about the “Other Public Safety” item.  M. Collier asked if there are any bridges that will be coming up for repair.  Fiske explained the warrant article for the “Capital Improvement Plan”.  Andersen explained that the Wilton Recyc ling Center allocation is down.  Collier asked if the deal with the Birchwood Inn regarding the dumpster rental would continue.  The Board felt that at the present time this would continue.  Klinck mentioned the cost per household of the WRC.  Kantner informed Klinck that the cost is $111.00 per household.  Comments were made from several members of the public that this cost is “cheap”.  Klinck asked if the cost of the WRC could be re-negotiated.  The Administrative Assistant explained that the towns share is determined on a per capita basis.  J. Kullgren explained that stickers are available from the Town Clerk.  Collier asked why the Animal Control budget was the same as the previous year when the actual expenditures were lower.  Andersen explained that the cost of Animal Control depends on the number of animal complaints.  A. Lunt asked why there was no allocation for Project Lift for 2004.  Fiske explained that Project Lift is not currently serving any Temple residents.  J. Daler asked about the Conservation Commission allocation.  Fiske explained that the expenditure is for operating expenses.  Collier asked why there had been no allocation until 2004.   Petro and Andersen explained that some of the allocation had been under Town





Administration, the balance is a new allocation for fund operating costs in a manner similar to Planning and Zoning.  Klinck asked about the allocation for debt service.  Andersen explained that this is the note for the fire tanker and will be paid over a three-year period.


Fiske reviewed the five warrant articles for the lawn mower, highway sander, town hall capital reserve fund, municipal building water softener and funding of a capital improvement program.  Fiske also informed the public that the 12/6/03 snowstorm had been declared a disaster and the town had filed for disaster relief funds.  Klinck asked if all taxpayers are entitled to driveway plowing, and stated that his house by the pond has not been plowed.  Barnhisel made a comment about the employee compensation.  Andersen pointed out that there is an approximate $75,000 carry over from 2003.  There was some discussion about employees vs elected officials.  Hastings recommended a few more notes in the comment section.  Klinck stated that in his opinion the Town employees are adequately compensated.


The hearing was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.  


Respectfully submitted by Debra Harling, Administrative Assistant.