, Derry, New Hampshire

January 24, 2013

Londonderry councilors approve town articles

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — With only one exception, town councilors gave their unanimous approval to a list of warrant articles to come before residents at the upcoming deliberative session Feb. 4.

The town’s list of 15 articles include the town’s proposed $27.5 million operating budget for next year.

Only one article, a citizens’ petition article asking voters to spend $227,000 to pave a one-mile stretch of the town’s rail trail system, received a negative vote from Councilor Tom Dolan.

Articles to appear on the upcoming warrant include:

— To raise and appropriate $200,000 to be placed in a maintenance trust fund to use for repairing and maintaining town facilities. The town would use $150,000 from its fund balance for this with the remaining $50,000 to come from property taxes.

— To raise and appropriate $710,000 for an already established capital reserve fund to use for acquiring ambulances, highway trucks and fire equipment. If passed, the town would use $400,000 from its fund balance with the remaining $310,000 to come from property taxes.

— To establish a capital reserve fund for the Cable Access Center to buy future equipment at a cost of $100,000. Fund balance would be used for this with no tax impact to residents.

—To raise and appropriate $490,423 from the police outside detail fund already in place to be funded from users of the outside detail services.

— To spend $101,000 to hire an additional police officer to serve as a school resource officer.

— To spend $2.6 million on construction, payment of interest, management, maintenance and operation of newly constructed sewer systems. Services would be funded through user fees and would not require any local property tax support.

Of the 15 articles discussed, councilors made only minor language changes on the school resource officer request article.

Dolan was the only dissenter on the rail trail article, He said there are other areas where money should be spent.

“I strongly support the trail system,” he said, “but we are faced with other costs, including the school resource officer. Given the budget and the economy we are in, I am going to pick the school resource officer this time.”

Town Councilor Joe Green said he would support the citizens’ petition for that portion of the trail to be completed.

“I would be more than happy to pay the extra taxes,” he said.

Voters will have a chance to discuss the warrant articles and make any changes at the town’s deliberative session on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Londonderry High School cafeteria.