Police Committee Learns Station Cost to be Billed in Two Payments

HAMPSTEAD – At a recent Board of Selectmen meeting, resident Rick Gaudette raised a question about how the “one and done” police station cost would be billed to residents. At the July 3 Police Committee meeting, committee chair Steve Londrigan read an email from Town Clerk Trish Curran regarding how the “One and Done” building of the station would be reflected on the tax bills, and responding to Gaudette’s concern.

Up to this point it was thought the entire burden would be reflected in the December 2013 tax bill. However, Gaudette had told Curran he had been informed by the state Department of Revenue Administration’s Jeanne Samms that this was not correct.

Curran said Samms told her Gaudette was right. After speaking directly with Samms, Curran said, “Mr. Gaudette was correct in his understanding of the process. This is how she explained it to me: When the tax rate is set in October (2013), the funds needed are billed in December and the following July – So the estimate we paid in July 2013 is really the second half of 2012 and not the first of 2013. In October 2013, when our tax is set, the total funds needed will be billed, the first half in December 2013, and the second half in July 2014.

“It was explained that bills are based on the assessing year, which is why your tax bill says one of two in July and two of two in December,” Curran continued. “But the money is actually collected the first half in December and the second half in July. That being said, the ‘One and Done’ $1.68 million will be collected half in December 2013 and half in July 2014.The tax impact will be approximately 83 cents per $1,000 assessed value in December 2013 and 83 cents per $1,000 assessed value in July 2014.”

Committee member Kris Emerson said Selectman Rick Hartung is skeptical that this is correct but Selectwoman Priscilla Lindquist also spoke to Samms and received the same explanation. The committee was divided in its thinking on how taxpayers would receive this news, half thinking taxpayers would be pleased, and the other half thinking they would be upset.

In other business at the July 3 meeting:
• The new Hampstead Police Station is on track for a late summer or early fall ground breaking.
The police committee plans to present its site plan in August to the Planning Board for its information and input. Emerson said, “It isn’t required but it is the right way to do things.”
The septic design has been forwarded to architect Kyle Barker of Barker and Associates in Concord, who has forwarded it to Mark Gross, who is working on developing the site plan. The structural and electrical engineers need more details before they can complete their portion of the design, and the committee is making arrangements to provide those details.
• Committee member Jon Worthen said he received state approval for expanding the driveway at the Town Garage to accommodate the secondary entrance to the new police station. The state allows a 50-foot driveway and the present driveway opening is 32 feet.

He said the opening can be expanded sufficiently to accommodate both the entrance to the Town Garage and the entrance to the secondary roadway to the police station. He noted he would have to move part of his sand pile, and a dredge and fill permit will be needed as the roadway passes across a minor wetland area.
Emerson said the wetland issue is a minimum impact situation so it could be a permit by notification. Worthen also wants to extend the existing culvert at the Town Garage site so it passes under where the new roadway will go, and the committee agreed. Worthen has already started clearing the site.
• The furniture and electronics committee has developed a price for outfitting the new station that came in under the budgeted amount of $210,000. The figure will be reduced as the committee goes through the present station, tagging what furnishings are in good enough condition to be moved to the new station. Police Chief Joe Beaudoin praised member Tony Ramsey for his work in this area and said he hopes to reduce the furnishing cost by one third.

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