Friday, January 29, 2016

Winchester voters to revisit having a budget committee at deliberative session Saturday

Unless of course you all just love higher taxes,more raises for town employees and more unnecessary purchases for town depts. Seems the people we trusted to be fiscally responsible with our money ARE NOT!

This is Winchester, NH .. not Concord or Manchester

By Meghan Foley Sentinel Staff
WINCHESTER — An approximately $3.6 million operating budget, setting aside funding to pay for legal expenses in the town’s fight against the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, and bringing back the budget committee are among the proposals Winchester voters will see at their deliberative session Saturday. Other warrant articles include a request to raise $50,000 for enrichment programs for local children and teenagers as part of ACCESS (All Children Cared for, Educated, Supported and Successful), appropriating $1,600 for Winchester’s annual Pickle Festival, hiring a town grant writer and rescinding the housing standards ordinance approved at town meeting last year.
Residents will have a chance to discuss, debate and amend warrant articles at deliberative session before they go on the ballot at March’s town meeting.

Selectmen, in a vote of 4 to 1 earlier this month, backed a proposed 2016-17 operating budget of $3,567,376. This represents an increase of $155,887, or about 4.6 percent, from the $3,411,489 budget voters approved at town meeting last year.

The proposed budget is also $106,488, or about 3.1 percent, higher than the 2016-17 default budget of $3,460,888.

An increase of $15,000 in health insurance costs, the addition of a part-time housing inspector at $39,000, a $14,000 increase to the town’s highway block grant, town employees receiving a 1.5-percent cost of living increase and a rise in contractual costs are the main factors contributing to the increase in the proposed budget, according to Jan. 13 selectmen’s meeting minutes.

The salary for the part-time inspector position would be offset by fees collected from rental property owners as part of the housing standards ordinance, town officials have said.

( don't believe this baloney for one minute .. first the program is voluntary and second the fee is $35 .. how many $35 dollar fees do you think the town would have to collect to pay this salary ?  And how many of you full time workers are making $39,000 ?) 

This year, a financial advisory committee assisted selectmen in establishing the proposed operating budget after voters approved an article last year to abolish the budget committee, which was previously in charge of setting this number.
( and just look at the people who were APPOINTED to this advisory committee, recognize any names? ) 

A petition article on this year’s warrant seeks voter approval to bring that committee back.
Selectmen recommend, 4 to 1, that voters approve establishing a legal-fund-capital-reserve account for the purpose of opposing the proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline. They’re also asking voters, as part of this warrant article, to put $15,882 into the fund. The money would pay for the town’s portion of legal expenses for being a member of the N.H. Municipal Pipeline Coalition.
The group, which includes 14 other towns, is fighting the proposed pipeline, which would carry fracked natural gas from the shale fields of northern Pennsylvania to a hub in Dracut, Mass.
Along the way, the pipeline is proposed to travel through 18 communities in southern New Hampshire, including the Cheshire County towns of Fitzwilliam, Richmond, Rindge, Troy and Winchester.
The project has been controversial among residents and town officials. With that in mind, selectmen decided not to include the legal expenses in the town’s operating budget, but pull it out as a separate warrant article, board Chairwoman Roberta A. Fraser said Thursday.

Rounding out the 35-article warrant are nine zoning amendments that focus on creating more housing options in town, defining agritourism, and tweaking the town’s sign ordinance to allow for certain signs of limited size and quantity in all zoning districts.

The deliberative session begins Saturday at 9 a.m. at Town Hall,

Meghan Foley can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1436, or Follow her on Twitter @MFoleyKS.


VOTE said...

The fixed income homeowners didn't get any cost of living increase this year, with fuel oil down, low cost of gas, where did we come up with the number 1.5, maybe its to offset the 4.6% increase in taxes next year. Good luck keeping your homes older residents, not that anyone in the town hall gives a S---.

Anonymous said...

So much for having lower property assessments. They find a way to spend our money and not theirs.

Dan C said...

I wasn't able to attend the session this morning and none of my neighbors was interested enough to attend. Could the Informer or someone who was there please post what went on?

Anonymous said...

More and more people are going to leave this town - and already have.

Maybe that's their objective? Maybe they want to 'Gentrify'(remove all lower income people and move in rich people) Winchester? Good luck with that! This town has NOTHING to draw anyone into it. It has no major businesses and no tourist draws. What you get out of paying your taxes in this town is practically nothing. The school system is barely passable, the utility systems are decrepit, and the town management is a total joke.

Why would anyone affluent want to move here - unless they are attracted to towns run like Boss Hogg's town in the TV show Dukes of Hazzard?

Anonymous said...

"Maybe they want to 'Gentrify'(remove all lower income people and move in rich people)"
I feel the exact opposite is going on. This is a poor Town and its seems people work hard at making it poorer. I'm not sure how you came up with your theory, but everything I see leads me to thinking a down hill trend is being encouraged.
Over abundance of trailer parks, The large single family homes being turned into low income apartments. Greedy Businessman is allowed to prevent other businesses from coming to town, Low Voter turnout, Smart sensible people moving out, "other" people moving in. This list could go on and on.

Anonymous said...

Just where are all these new trailer parks you speak of and what is so wrong with people, young and old and ex-service buying and living in a home they can afford and contributing to the community just like everyone else? And low income apartments for people who are just making minimum wages is now a stigma on a community. Who are these businessmen you speak of that are making your life so miserable? I agree, low voter turnout is a problem. However the main issue here as is with most small towns is the nepotism and stranglehold a few families have and the devious corrupt way the town is being run into the ground for personal gain. As always, March is a chance to remove the cancer and trend towards changes that will make the town a vibrant one; but if all people do is bitch and point fingers and not get off their asses and vote and promote removing those who have been sucking the lifeblood for the people of this town, then we will continue to have the issues we do.

Anonymous said...

Lets see who they appoint to replace Berthiaume, it should be Bill McGrath because he got the next voter support. Its the way we have been doing it in Winchester, but most of the board don't care about tradition.

Your beeing fooled by the fools at the town hall! said...

Anonymous your right. Just look at prior sales of homes in Winchester. The town has the your homes overly assessed valuation. Winchester Tax rate per thousand was next to the highest in the state. Town’s people became overly fixated on this tax rate per thousand and the selectmen knew it as the rule of thumb to judge their taxes. The selectmen heard a lot of outrage over the tax rates. So the selectmen uses a hat trick with the blessing of the State to fool the people by lowering the tax rate per thousand by upping the assessments to 116% of assessed value. Now the tax per thousand goes down but you pay more property taxes than before.. No one can sell their homes for what the town has you assessed for. The ironic thing not being funny is they deliberately stating the opposite of the truth with this ploy. The town employees, elected officials and some friends in the circle have been enjoying large abatement on their taxes.. Try getting one. Just a few for the record people like Gus Ruth, Leroy Austin, Roberta Fraser, John Harrison Teresa Sepee, received abatements, while the shell games continue for them, you the home owner make up the difference for their special break. . If you read the town minutes Jan 20, 2016 they vote to rebate of $3392.00 for Michael & Sandra Duprey who was scheduled for a tax appeal hearing in Concord March 23, 2016 at the Board of Tax and Appeals docket # 27612-14PT. The town settled out of court. Why? Avatar the town’s assessors know they would loose. People your getting screwed so wake the Hell up! Before the town is turned into Potters Field. These homes lost to taxes are being bought by outsiders who just rent them out. That means more children and more taxes.