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Moderator could postpone Gilford deliberative session

GILFORD — With five- to 10-inches of snow predicted for the Lakes Region today, Town Administrator Scott Dunn said they would use the Gilford e-mail blast system to notify residents if the Town Moderator chooses to postpone the annual deliberative session of Town Meeting.

Dunn said state law provides that Town Moderator Sandy McGonagle has up until 5 p.m. to decide if she will postpone the session which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the High School.

In the unlikely event the deliberative session is postponed, Dunn said it would likely be held the next night or Friday at the latest.

To sign up for the Gilford e-mail blast system, go to www.gilfordnh.com.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 02:46

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Divergent views of whether or not county needs to formally appropriate grant money

LACONIA — When the Belknap County Convention met last evening, Rep. Colette Worsman (R-Meredith) called for developing a policy to vest the convention with greater oversight over grants.

The issue arose over a $297,300 grant awarded to the Belknap County Sheriff's Department last year by the United States Department of Homeland Security to replace its communications system. Much of the grant has already been expended. Last week, when the convention considered the budget of the Sheriff's Department, Rep. Frank Tilton (R-Laconia), chairman of the Executive Committee of the convention, openly wondered how the funds could be expended without the convention authorizing an appropriation.

Last night, Curt Magee of Sanbornton reminded the convention of a statute (RSA 24:21-a) that provides that "all moneys to be appropriated by the county must be stipulated in the budget on a 'gross' basis, showing revenues from all sources, including grants, gifts, bequests and bond issues, as offsetting revenues to appropriations affected."

That prompted Worsman's initiative. She said that the grant policy could be "whatever we decide" and in addition to appropriating funds received in the form of grants proposed requiring that county officials seek the approval of the  convention to apply for grants.

County Administrator Debra Shackett explained that the county has a policy governing grants, which was developed in consultation with the independent auditors and all grant applications are posted on the county website.

"That is different from the convention's grant policy," Worsman replied. She described the grant received by the Sheriff's Department as "off-budget" and stressed that "it is very important from my perspective that nothing should be off-budget."

Shackett said that the only means of incorporating grants into the county budget would be to authorize a supplemental appropriation, which she claimed has never been done in the past and is not the practice in other counties.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 02:44

Hits: 174

Belmont man collecting funds for brother burned from home

BELMONT — A local man is helping his brother's family recover from a fire that destroyed their Hudson home and nearly all their belongings on Friday.

Matt Greenwood said his brother Paul, his two children, fiancee and mother were displaced from their home that burned when the family dog inadvertently turned on one of the burners on the stove top. Paul, Jr., seven years old, alerted his napping grandmother to the fire and is credited with saving her life.

Matt lives in Belmont and said Paul spent much of his youth at a family home in Gilmanton. Matt has placed collection buckets at several local businesses and said the "Greenwood Fire Relief Fund" has been established at TD Bank North. He asked for members of the public to lend his brother a hand in recovering. "They completely lost everything," he said.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 02:40

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House panel rejects bills aimed at county budget authority

CONCORD — The House Municipal and County Government Committee yesterday voted unanimously to recommend two bills intended to clarify the budget process in Belknap County "inexpedient to legislate."

The committee found the bills unnecessary. One member said that the county convention was seeking more control over the county budget than was appropriate while another suggested that if members of the convention wanted to manage the budget so closely they should run for the county commission.

House Bill 1373, sponsored by Representative Colette Worsman (R-Meredith), who chairs the Belknap County Convention, would affirm the authority of the convention to itemize appropriations "in detail, including specific lines within each department," and require the commissioners to seek the approval of the executive committee to transfer funds in any amount either between specific lines within a single department or from one department to another. Her bill would further provide that the convention may take the commissioners to court to enforce the law and if they are found in violation, remove them from office.

Likewise, House Bill 1120, sponsored by Representative Frank Tilton (R-Laconia), would provide the county convention with line-item authority over the budget and require the approval of the executive committee for any and all transfers of funds from one line to another without providing any enforcement mechanism.

The Belknap County commissioners testified against both bills at a hearing last week.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 02:36

Hits: 175

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