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March 10, 2011 • Volume 7 - Issue 10

Planning Board Asked to Remove Growth Management Ordinance



Derry’s Planning Board is considering the potential for a growth impact fee ordi- nance, which would help the town subsidize major devel- opment projects. The board also considered in a March 2 workshop eliminating the town’s growth management ordinance, which was passed in the 1990s under pressure to slow down resi- dential development to accommodate overpopulat- ed schools.

“When the next census

comes out, Derry will be one of the slowest growing com- munities in the past decade,” said Planning Director George Sioras, noting that growth management ordi-

nances are not intended to remain in place longer than is required to manage rapid growth in a community. The recession has slow-

ed development, the schools are up to capacity, the town has built up its facilities, and roads have been improved. Land that does remain to be developed in Derry is more marginal and difficult to develop, and the town is more selective of proposed construction projects. “Development growth

won’t come back to the rate it was before,” Sioras said after making the recommen- dation that the board consid- er eliminating the town’s growth management ordi- nance and putting in place an impact fee. “Most developers expect

there will be an impact fee,” Chair David Granese said when member Anne Arsen- ault raised the issue of whether a fee would dis- courage developers from considering Derry as a loca- tion for new construction. Sioras noted that most

communities, including Lon- donderry and Salem, charge the fee, which would be a one-time payment, with the amount determined by a for- mula he said the board would have to develop to take into account total impact, especially for any necessary road improve- ments.

Charging such a fee could help the town accom- plish quickly and cost-effi- ciently significant long-term continued on page 10

Finance Department Closely Watching Revenue Sources


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Derry’s Finance Depart- ment is watching several potential revenue sources the town didn’t budget for in Fiscal Year 2011 that could mean significant savings and a balanced budget for the town. One such source of potential income is ambu- lance revenue, which is on track to exceed the budget by as much as $100,000. “Overall we’re in great

financial shape,” Chief Fin- ancial Officer Frank Childs told the Town Council dur- ing the Finance Depart- ment’s March 1 quarterly presentation on the Fiscal Year 2011 budget progress. Other key potential sav- ings and revenue sources the

town will continue to watch are $135,000 in debt service budgeted for the Route 28 Corridor Tax Increment Finance (TIF) bond that will not be incurred in FY2011, as well as $460,000 of bud- geted revenue from the sale of tax-deeded property. Childs said the town hopes to have auctions in place by mid-May for a June closing. Although the town could

potentially benefit from a significant amount of un- budgeted revenue, the town’s legal fees are expected to exceed the FY2011 budget by $50,000 to $100,000, and interest income is expected to generate $89,000 less than the amount budgeted. Childs also reported that motor vehicle revenue, Derry’s second largest revenue source,

is projected to come in $94,000 below the amount budgeted for FY2011. “Our current projection

is about a 1 percent reduc- tion in motor vehicle rev- enues for 2012,” Childs said. In addition to monitor-

ing the town’s revenue sources and remaining expenditures for FY2011, Childs said his department is also watching legislation playing out in Concord as they prepare next year’s budget, which is to be proposed to the council on March 31.

When Council Chair

Brad Benson asked Childs if he expects the town to come in on budget at the end of the year, Childs said he thinks the town is still on track, and noted the Finance Depart-

continued on page 6

Rainbow Readers Members of the Rainbow for Girls took time last week to read Dr. Seuss stories and make crafts with area children at the

Derry Public Library. Pictured, Amanda Thomson and Samantha Brown admire the hat Dimitrios Tsoupelis, 5, made. The group meets next door at the Masonic Temple. Photo by Chris Paul

Derry Gets Positive Audit Review



Derry performed well in an audit of the town’s finan- cial activities in Fiscal Year 2010, auditors told the Town Council at its March 1 meet- ing.

“When we came in to

examine and test the books and records here in Derry, they were in good working order,” said Scott McIntire of Melanson Heath and

Company, PC, a Nashua company hired to perform the town’s audit.

In his report to the coun-

cil, McIntire noted that because the town spent more than $500,000 in federal aid, the audit includes an addi- tional, required examination of programs on which the funding was spent. Also noted in the report

was a decrease of about $2 million of the town’s unre- served fund balance last

year due to town appropria- tions for capital projects, primarily bridge restoration work. The town’s $10.3 mil- lion unreserved fund bal- ance represents 11 percent of FY2010 expenditures, which puts the town right at the midpoint of the recom- mended fund balance a- mount for a town, according to McIntire. “It represents a strong fund balance position as of continued on page 4

Serving the Derry Area


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