DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

March 7, 2013

Londonderry voters to consider $27.5 million town budget

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — LONDONDERRY — Voters will be asked to spend $101,000 to add another school resource officer when they head to the polls March 12.

The new officer spending request is one of 14 articles on the town warrant this year.

Voters will decide on a proposed $27.5 million town operating budget and other articles calling for $500,000 for a road maintenance fund and $290,000 for a zoning audit.

Adding a new school officer is supported by many town officials.

School Board member Nancy Hendricks supports the article and said the money would be well spent if schools can be safer.

“I’m glad to see a school resource officer on the warrant this year,” she said. “I certainly intend to support it. They see things parents may not see and create a bond with students that is very important.”

The district has just one school resource officer now.

A citizens petition article calls for $227,000 to be spent to pave a one-mile section of the Londonderry trail system.

Town Councilor Tom Dolan previously said money could be spent better elsewhere.

“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 be asked 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.

Town officials want 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.

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

Also on the ballot will be a request 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.

Sewer maintenance is on the warrant with a request 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.

In addition to the town budget, voters will choose town councilors, a town clerk/tax collector, Budget Committee members, library trustees and a town treasurer.

Only two races, town clerk/tax collector and a two-year Budget Committee positions are contested. Incumbent town clerk Meg Seymour goes up against Patti Hanley Maccabe for the job. Gary Vermillion and Glenn Douglas square off for the Budget Committee position.

Incumbent Town Councilors John Farrell and Tom Dolan are unopposed for two three-year terms.

Newcomers Mark Aronson and Ted Combes are running for two open three-year Budget Committee seats. Incumbent library trustees Pauline Caron and Robert Collins, along with newcomer John Curran, are seeking three three-year terms.

Incumbent town treasurer Kathy Wagner is unopposed for another three-year term. There are no candidates for the three-year term as Trustee of Trust Funds.

Polls are open in Londonderry on March 12 at the high school gym on Mammoth Road from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.