LACONIA —Belknap County commissioners are expecting to hold the tax rate steady for next year, even with plans for a new jail, but the public is invited to give their thoughts about the budget next Monday.
The Belknap County Convention's public hearing will start at 7 p.m. at the Belknap County complex on the proposed 2016 budget.
County commissioners have proposed a 2016 budget of $35,235,571 which includes $8 million for a new community corrections facility.
Commission Chairman David DeVoy said that although the total spending proposal for 2016 is up more than 31 percent, the amount to be raised by taxes is the same as this year, $13,387,714.
The commissioners will also discuss their plans for financing the $8 million bond for the new community corrections facility.
Commissioners are looking to structure the bond issue with an eye to keeping payments lower, especially during the early years while the county is still paying off $1.4 million in other debts.
DeVoy favors a bond anticipation note which would allow the county to borrow only the amount it needs, when it needs it, not the entire $8 million.
After approving the bond issue on Nov. 2, the county convention passed a nonbinding resolution to use the county's unreserved fund balance to pay off the county's current $1.4 million debt obligation over the next three years, saving $1 million in interest charges. The resolution, proposed by Rep. Brian Gallagher (R-Sanbornton) and passed by a 12-3 vote, recommends a 20-year bond issue with level payments of $530,000 per year over the life of the bond.
Convention Chairman Frank Tilton (R-Laconia) opposed the nonbinding recommendation, saying he favors a 25-year bond spreading the cost of the new jail over a longer period so taxpayers who would benefit from the new facility would be paying a larger share.
Commissioner Richard Burchell (R-Gilmanton) recently reminded the commission of the convention's overwhelming vote in favor of Gallagher's recommendation.
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 324