An Independent Weekly Newspaper
Hudson~Litchfield News Volume 26 Number 31 February 6, 2015 16 Pages
Declaration of Candidacy
Hudson Town Offi ces
Selectmen - 2 for 3 Years Jared Stevens
Randy Brownrigg Richard B. Kahn Ted Luszey
Normand G. Martin Marilyn McGrath
Budget Committee - 3 for 3 Years Ted Trost
Cemetery Trustee - 1 for 3 Years Laura DeAngelis
Code of Ethics - 2 for 3 Years No Candidate
Library Trustee - 2 for 3 Years Arlene Creeden
Trustee of the Trust Fund - 1 for 3 Years
Edmond A. Duchesne
Hudson School District
School Board -1 for 3 Years Ben Nadeau
Cheryl Cummings Peggy Huard
Few Brave the Cold and Wind to Attend Hudson Deliberative Session
by Len Lathrop The last hurdle before March
10 voting for the town ballot occurred Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Yes, it was cold and the wind was blowing, but the roads and parking lot were clear. Chairs were arranged and the Hudson Junior Women were there with cookies, cakes and sandwiches to keep everyone well fed. Now here is the rub, and this is directed to the folks that were not there, the seats were two-thirds empty, head count of the audience was 36 at 10:30, and with the assistance of former Selectman Ted Luzzi only 13 people in the community center were not town staff or had some position in government. Almost forgot to mention the budget committee members and selectmen sitting in the front; that makes another 16 people. Just setting the stage for the meeting. After, the colors were posted by the Hudson Police Department’s Honor Guard and the national anthem was sung by HPD Lieutenant Charles Dyac. There are 13 articles that you are being asked to decide on, by the numbers:
attention. Budget Committee Chair Shawn Jasper introduced the budget, remarking that it impacted the tax rate with an increase of 9 cents over last year’s rate, which translates to $23 on the average Hudson home. Jasper noted that the committee had only reduced the amount by $18,000, all refl ected in the Rodgers Library portion of the fi nancial plan with $3,000 due to cost of oil heat at the Hills building being over last year’s expenditures and $15,000 from the part-time salary line due to plans by the Library Trustees to pay overtime to staff working on Sundays who had not worked 40 hours in that week. John Drabinowicz, an 18-year budget committee member, rose and said he normally would not support an increased budget, but this represents a reasonable increase. “Roughly two-thirds of the budget is personnel; the rest is in mechanical things - computers, trucks and building maintenance,” he said.
Hudson Police honor guard post colors to a nearly empty room. continued to page 11- Hudson Deliberative
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Saturday, Feb. 7 Hudson
9 a.m., Community Center Litchfi eld
10 a.m., Campbell High School
Article 1 - Construction of a new fi re station created the most discussion of the day. The proposal is to build a new station on Lowell Road across from the Fairview Nursing Home; it is a bond issue, which will requires a three-fi fths vote. The price of the project is $2,174,600, built on town land. Selectman Roger Coutu pontifi cated on how surrounding communities are spending twice as much as Hudson for a station, causing a question from the fl oor of why? Chief Buxton explained the saving come from the town owning the land, that the plans had come from Londonderry and had been used four times in different towns and is a great design, with the property having town sewer and water is also a saving to the citizens. Chief Burton mentioned that this new station would cost the average Hudson homeowner $282 over the ten years of the bond. Questions from location in the south end of town to traffi c on Lowell Road were discussed. Selectman Maddox spoke to the fact that this station is a necessity and not just a want. A general fund operating budget of $24,392,956 received much less
From left are Chairman of Selectmen Roger Coutu, Selectman Richard Maddox, Moderator Paul Inderbitzen and Budget Chairman Shawn Jasper.
Litchfi eld Deliberative Session Leads to Little Change in Proposed Town Articles 2015
Litchfi eld Candidates
Budget Committee Robert Keating William Spencer
Cemetery Trustee Steven P. Calawa
Selectmen Steven Perry
School Board Derek Barka
Jason Guerrette Nicole Quintana
Library Trustee Gail Musco
Moderator John G. Regan
Trustee of Town Trust Funds Steven P. Calawa
by Mike Falzone For those who aren’t involved in town politics or budgets, Saturday’s Litchfi eld Town Deliberative session was the unveiling of the proposed 2015 town budget. The process begins in summer with the selectmen meeting with town department heads to iron out projections and needs to bring to the budget committee. Over the course of two months in the fall, the budget committee and selectmen discuss each line item and debate the needs vs. wants, and fi nal budget amounts. Saturday’s presentation delivered the proposed budget at $5,232,478. The budget represents a 4.49 percent increase. About 40 people were in attendance to hear the presentation. There were fi ve areas of major increase over last
year: • Police Administration, $119,376, which included the police contract approved last year, and a cruiser purchase.
• Information Technology, $69,325 which represented an IT support contract, work which had up to now been done on a volunteer basis.
• Personnel Administration, $25,391, which encased workers comp, social security, retirement, and a decline in health insurance costs.
• Road Maintenance, $15,696, which was increased road repairs and salt purchases.
• Assessing, $11,606, which was the fi fth year of a fi ve-year cycle.
• Solid Waste, a decrease of $16,395 that resulted from a change in the way the town handles wood recycling.
There wasn’t much discussion about the budget other than the presentation by Budget Chairperson Cindy Coture, which passed without much fanfare, to be presented to voters on Election Day on March 10.
A total of 18 warrant articles were presented in addition to the budget, only nine of which had an immediate fi nancial impact to voters. Articles 2-4 centered on an overlay of a Multi-
Family Dwelling district, impact fee changes, and Accessory Dwelling Unit changes. Article 6 focused on road improvements and upcoming paving projects. Litchfi eld has 77 miles of roads, and 16.71 miles of those roads are in need of repair. The last few years, the town has been using highway block grant monies to catch up on road reclaiming and repaving, and has gotten on a more even schedule of repairs. Litchfi eld lists 26 percent of its road in poor condition, and on a current cost basis, would need $4,636,905 to bring those roads to a good condition. The fi ve-year priority plan will cost the town an estimated $2.2 million. The warrant article states: “To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $200,000 for the purpose of road pavement improvement projects.” It is anticipated that these funds will be used toward the cost of repairs to Pinecrest Road and Blue Jay Way as well as other roads as necessary. In addition to the $200,000, Litchfi eld will use $170,000 in highway block grant monies to make emergency repairs to McElwain and Woodburn drives, repave the remaining half of Stark Lane, rebuild a portion of Albuquerque Road, reclaim Robyn Road, shim 1,000 feet of Nesenkeag Drive, patch Page Road, and overlay Musquash Drive. The
rebuilding of Mike Lane, including major drainage repairs, is included. The article anticipates reclaiming Pinecrest Road from Moose Hollow Road to Hillcrest Road, and reclaiming and repaving Blue Jay Way. Article 7 targeted the replacement of the fi re department’s airpacks. The article is expected to be covered 90 percent by FEMA grants. The current airpacks were manufactured in 2001 and have a 15-year life expectancy. The remainder will be paid through grants, or from the town’s general fund, having no impact on the budget. Article 8 proposed replacing a fi re department
utility vehicle for $20,000; Article 9 proposed repaving the old town hall/fi re station parking lot for $70,000; Article 10 proposed replacing $12,970 in the Public Works Expendable Trust Funds, money that was used for the replacement of a baler in 2014; Article 11 proposed $7,500 for the purchase of a paint striping machine, allowing town employees to repaint portions of crossing, stop bars, and warning markings on town roads. “The problem with adding town assets is that
we have to maintain and house these things all year long, for use one to two weeks of the year,” explained Litchfi eld Budget Committee member Chris Pascussi. “The next thing we’re going to need is a new building to house all the new tools and machines we buy.”
Article 12 proposed an extension of Albuquerque
Avenue to a new intersection at Route 102, ending near Tabernacle Church. The article seeks funds for planning, design, engineering and permitting for extending Albuquerque Avenue to a new intersection along NH Route 102. This is the result of the approval of 2014 Article 19 directing the Board of Selectmen to bring forward an article
continued to page 11-Litchfi eld Deliberative
Selectmen ‘Kick the Can Down the Road’ Regarding Proposed Town Fee Increases
by Doug Robinson
Hudson residents, as well as the Greater Hudson Chamber of Commerce, voiced their concerns regarding the increase of town fees involving the Inspectional Division. The Board of Directors of the Greater Hudson Chamber of Commerce wrote the following letter to the board. “Dear Hudson Selectmen: Thank you for the opportunity to present this letter to you expressing the views of the Board of Directors for the Gr. Hudson Chamber of Commerce on the proposed changes to the Town of Hudson’s Fees. “The Chamber would like to voice its concern regarding increasing these fees and the potential effect on economic development within the Town
of Hudson and housing affordability. Increasing fees on residential and commercial building permit process may have a ripple effect on the progress of our community. When so much of our community is invested in attracting and retaining business to our region, increased building and permit costs could have adverse consequences on potential new business as well as affordability to middle class families. “We respectfully request further consideration
be given to the large step in increases on both the residential and commercial fee structures and the impact it may adversely result.” Tim Malley, of Malley Electric, commented that “any increase of fees” would hurt the consumer.
He further stated that the increase in fees would “drive someone out of our community.” Hudson Board of Selectmen Chair Roger Coutu
believed that the increased fees were “hidden taxes” and that the fees were “convoluted.” Hudson resident Glenn Della-Monica told the selectmen that “for what you get, it’s not worth a heck of a lot.” Selectman Richard Maddox stated that the inspectional fees had not been changed since 2004.
Hudson Fire Chief Rob Buxton said that he
“believed the (new) fee structure impacted the user” only. “The average homeowner should not be burdened” for the inspectional costs incurred
by other homeowners or businesses. Chairman Coutu analyzed the cost increases to be excessive stating, “We are giving away the (Hudson) advantage (for businesses) as our prices are the lowest.” The proposed fee increases raised the permit fee from $25 to $60. The proposed residential electrical permit fee went from $75 to $200. Permits for a roof went from $0 to $200. As a result of the confl icting discussions, the selectmen then decided to “kick the can down the road,” as commented by Selectman Maddox, and requested that the fi re chief reviews his suggestions and returns to the board at a later date.
Staff photos by Len Lathrop
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