An Independent Weekly Newspaper
Pelham~Windham News Not Spent
Volume 11 Number 19 March 28, 2014 16 Pages 2.6%
of Last Year’s Town Operating Budget
by Barbara O’Brien Financial Director and Assistant Town Administrator Dana Call has reported that approximately 2.6 percent of the approved total town operating budget for 2013 was not spent. This amounts to $336,871 out of a total town operating budget of $11,916,516. The unexpended funds are available toward the 2013 year-end fund balance and, once audited, could be used to offset the 2014 tax rate. Call said that the largest component of savings
was in the highway department, as a result of unexpended winter maintenance/materials, totaling about $65,000; plus unexpended summer (paving) projects, totaling about $75,000. In addition, Call said, the solid waste management budget realized savings in salaries and benefi ts, due to the retirement of a full-time employee, who was not immediately replaced. $21,000 was also saved in the administration portion of the town budget, due to a delay in the anticipated stormwater management program. Lastly, according to Call, taxpayers realized a savings of approximately $32,000 in the general insurance line, due to a return of surplus funds from the town’s Workers’ Compensation Program. Departments which had expenditures
over their budgeted amounts were general government and the fi re department. Call explained that these departments, as well as administration and the police department, had salary and benefi t expenditures exceeding those which were anticipated, due to the town’s buyout of accumulated earned time balances this past year, for both active and retired employees; an amount that totaled approximately $200,000. As for incoming revenue, Call said those amounts came in about $229,000 (4.7%) higher than originally anticipated. Those funds also count toward the 2013 fund balance and, once audited, could be used to offset the 2014 tax rate. Call also said that Windham continues to benefi t from state and federal grants and other such funding. For 2013, Windham was reimbursed by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) in the amount of $37,412, received a State of New Hampshire Emergency Management grant of $3,480 (to cover 50% of replacing the fi re department’s pagers), as well as $8,864 from the State of New Hampshire for 100 percent of equipment for the Windham Police Department. Other general revenue, such as motor vehicle
registrations, building permits and interest on delinquent taxes came in higher than was anticipated when the 2013 tax rate was set this past October. From 2010 through 2012, motor vehicle registrations came in about $2,659,000, while for 2013; the actual amount was $2,972,391. Average building permit revenues for 2010 through 2012 amounted to $160,000 per year, while the actual total collected during 2013 was $192,741. During 2013, Windham made its fi nal
payment on a two-year bond to pay for a new fi re engine. In addition, Windham made its fi nal payment on a 10-year $100,000 bond to renovate Searles School and Chapel; a project which was fully funded through rental income from the operation of the building and not by taxpayers. Since that time, Windham has entered into several lease/purchase agreements for police, fi re, highway and transfer station vehicles and equipment, the principal and interest payments for which are included in the annual operating budget. However, Windham had no outstanding long-term municipal debt as of December 31, 2013.
Irish Stepping at Windham Terrace
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St Patrick’s Day arrived on Wednesday the 18th for the residents of Windham Terrace when the dancers from McGonagle School of Irish Dance, a registered school of
An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha, came to perform. Above left: Performing are Elise Murphy, Anna Murphy, Zaria Koss, Olivia Davis, Michaila Sheehan and Chantal Finlay. Above right: Hannah Flaherty dances for the residents. T e dance company includes Zaria Kos, Andrea MacFarlane, Laura Donahoe, Brook Ross, Grace Shamel, Michaila Sheehan, Chanta Finlay, Brook Ross, Elise Murphy and Robyn Descoteau.
Windham Seniors Recognized as Elk Teenagers of the Month
by Jillian DiPersio, Windham High School Intern Four seniors from Windham High School, Samantha Broady,
Haley Pereira, Brandon Smith, and Joe Forti, have been chosen as Teenagers of the Month through a program run by the Derry-Salem Elk, Lodge 2226. Each month area high schools nominate high-achieving members of their senior class to be recognized as Teenagers of the Month. Students are chosen based on their accomplishments in academics, extracurricular activities, and community service. At the end of the year, the Elk Lodge will choose the recipients of the Elk Teenager of the Year scholarship from those students named Teenagers of the Month. Samantha Broady is a high honor roll student, having
been awarded the Renaissance Award, the Wesleyan University Book Award, and named a New Hampshire Scholar and Student of the Term. She also received the top score on the National Spanish Exam for Level 2 at WHS. She has work experience in sales, merchandising, and commercial art. She has designed the logo for Magnum T. Enterprises as well as the offi cial t-shirt for the WHS AP Psychology classes 2012-2013. Throughout her career at WHS she has been incredibly involved, playing on the varsity tennis team, participating in the Friends of Rachel Club, the Art Club, and the Jaguar Community Alliance. Haley Pereira has also been highly involved all
through high school. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Math Honor Society, has received the WHS Renaissance Award and the Holy Cross Book Award. Her freshman year she was the WHS Poetry Out Loud Finalist. She has taken the Maxima Cum Laude National Latin Exam and received a Gold Medal for the Classical Etymology Exam. She is also a founding member of the Smart Chix Club and is a varsity cheerleader. She works at Sophisticakes in Windham and also dedicates her time to tutoring and volunteering.
T ese four Elk Teenagers of the Month are all actively involved WHS seniors: Haley Pereira, Brandon Smith, Joe Forti, and Samantha Broady.
Brandon Smith doubles as both an honor
student and an athlete. He has been awarded the Bausch + Lomb Honorary Science Award, the Honor Physics Highest Grade Point Average award, and has taken the National Latin Exam Magna Cum Laude for Latin I and II. His freshman and sophomore year he became a black belt in karate and was part of a demo team that performed at numerous community events. His sophomore year he also participated in Judo and won third place in two tournaments, both statewide and nationwide. His junior year he was on the WHS wrestling team, and he spent both his junior and senior year playing on the varsity football team. Smith will be attending the Georgia Institute of Technology this upcoming fall. Joe Forti is in National Honor Society, Math
Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society. He was on the Granite State Challenge Team and has been a member of the WHS varsity tennis team for four years. He is captain of the WHS soccer team, which he has been involved with for four years, and he has done indoor track for three years. Forti was also a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. These four extraordinarily accomplished
students are eligible for the Teenager of the Year Scholarship, which will be announced in May at the Derry-Salem Elk’s Youth Awards Banquet. Last year two students were named Elk Teenagers of the Year, one student from Windham High School and the other from Salem High School. Best of luck, Samantha, Haley, Brandon and Joe in your fi nal months of senior year and beyond!
Portion of Overpaid School Impact Fees to be Refunded
by Barbara O’Brien The overpayment of school impact fees by developers, an issue that has been haunting town offi cials in Windham for nearly a year, has fi nally been resolved. The resolution came following a joint meeting of selectmen,
school board and planning board members earlier this month. The discrepancy in what was paid by developers, to help offset the impact of their construction on local schools, came to light last spring. As a result, town offi cials spent months researching the issue in an attempt to determine which developers had overpaid and which had underpaid the assessed impact fees. According to Community Development Director Laura Scott, the mistakes were made because certain staff members didn’t understand the state regulations, which, reportedly, were changed a few times over the past several years. “This is not the town’s fi nest hour,” former selectman Alan Carpenter commented. The issue taken under discussion most recently was what to do about school impact fees that were overpaid. Town Administrator David Sullivan said there were two questions to answer regarding the problem. First, what was the extent of refunds to be made and, secondly, where would the refund money come from? Impact fees are assessed by the planning board during the
approval process and then are, subsequently, supposed to be collected by the Community Development Department when a certifi cate of occupancy is issued by the town’s building inspector. That money is then placed either in an account for the school district or in a separate account designated for public safety impact fees. Currently, school impact fees are used toward paying the bonds on the new high school or the new kindergarten building.
According to Sullivan, since the inception of school impact fees, a total of $173,541 has been over-collected from developers. However, based on state law, there is a three-year statute of limitation on those funds. Therefore, the town is only liable for refunding $14,265 of the total amount over-paid; fees collected during 2011, 2012 and 2013. In addition, based on information received from Town Attorney Bernie Campbell, town offi cials can
continued to page 14- Fees Refunded
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staff photos by Len Lathrop
Staff photo by Jillian Dipersio
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