Finance Director Reports $780,000 Budget Surplus to Town


Finance Director Doug Smith reported the Town’s financial news for the end of Fiscal Year 2015 is “good, and better.”

Smith is projecting the Town will conclude FY15 with a $780,000 surplus on the appropriations side of the budget, and with an excess of $1.7 million in revenues.

“When we think back to several months ago, when we implemented a spending freeze, anticipating we would be on the upside, this is a pretty significant achievement,” Smith said. “I think it’s significant to point out that the Fire Department’s bottom line has been maintained; and that, in particular, was a focus in our spending freeze several months ago. We were thinking that would be an overrun, and that came in under budget.”

“I want to personally thank the Fire Department and you (Fire Chief Darren O’Brien) for your leadership. To come under budget is something we couldn’t have dreamed of several months ago,” Councilor Joe Green said. “To achieve control over this budget is commendable. I thank you guys so much for what you have done.”

Where the Town’s Building Department revenues were projected to come in at $225,000, the Town saw just over $680,000; and just under $7 million for vehicle registrations, compared with $6.4 million in FY14.

Smith noted his numbers at this point are unaudited.

“Because of the change in auditors, the field work isn’t scheduled until the first week of Oct.,” he said. “But I think this is certainly positive news.”

Smith noted the challenge is to figure out how the numbers project as they begin to work on the Town’s next budget.

“It seems to be a little extraordinary, in terms of what we accomplished this year,” he said.

But Smith said his Department is feeling confident in this year’s tax rate setting season—that there will be a little flexibility for setting the Town’s estimate.


“With the additional revenue, if projects come forward; and with additional development on Pettengill Road, this is a really promising sign for the community and our ability to absorb that revenue and hold taxes moving forward,” Councilor Tom Dolan said.

Town Manager Kevin Smith said when the Town sets the tax rate in Oct., the projected surpluses won’t affect the Dec. tax rate.

“What will be affected are FY16 revenues, and the increase in valuation in town, with a significant portion of the Pettengill Road area going online this year,” he said. “It’s going to have a very positive impact on the tax rate when it’s set in Oct. The surplus here is reflected in unassigned fund balance and moneys to use for the FY17 budget.”

In other news:

  • The Council voted 4-0 to accept a Memorandum of Agreement with New Hampshire Fish and Game for a cleared habitat on town-owned land for New England Cottontail, which was recently almost added to the Endangered Species List.

The contract will be upheld for three-year terms, unless modified through an agreement between both parties.

If no parties can reach an agreement on a subsequent contract when the three-year term is up , the agreement will expire—the logic being future councils will have an opportunity to weigh in on the contract.

  • IT Manager Tom Roy presented a revamped town website, which is to launch by Thanksgiving.


Roy said it has been five years since the Town’s website has been updated, and that rebuilding the site gives it a new look and feel, at about a third of the cost of rebuilding the site from scratch.

The rebuild will include the addition of new sub-sites for the Fire Department, Library and Police Department, all of which have large amounts of content. The sub-sites will all have their own unique styles and navigation.

  • The Council approved the expenditure of $8,828 from the Expendable Maintenance Trust Funds for tree removal at Town Hall and Central Station, as well as the installation of a new fire alarm system at South Fire Station.
  • The Council waived the first reading of an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to rezone 345 Rear Mammoth Road from Multi-Family Residential-III to Industrial-I.

The second reading and public hearing for the ordinance was scheduled for the Council’s Oct. 19 meeting.

  • The Council waived the first reading of a resolution to re-name a portion of Meadow Drive.

The second reading and a public hearing for the resolution was scheduled for the Council’s Oct. 19 meeting.

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