SANBORNTON — Selectmen received some bad news last week when they learned the N.H. House version of the proposed biennial budget for fiscal year 2016 and 2017 excludes the state aid Highway money that would be used to pay off the balance of the loan for the so-called "Y" project.
"That $700,000 would have paid it all off," said Selectmen Chair Dave Nickerson who said the town bonded just under $3 million to complete the road project that rebuilt of Hunkins Pond Road, Bay Road, Upper Bay Road and all of Steele Hill Road.
When Sanbornton began discussion the "Y" project — so called because of the "Y" the intersections make when looked at from above — it was around 2007 and none of the current selectmen were serving in office, although Nickerson was on the Budget Committee.
The selectmen at the time were the late Patsy Wells, Guy Giunta, and Andrew Livernois. Bruce Kneuer was the town administrator.
The town applied for program that provided a 1/3 – 2/3 split with the town paying for 1/3 and the state agreeing to pay the 2/3 balance if the town accepted the road as a town road and agreed to maintain it.
In 2011, according to documents made available from the town, the Department of Transportation agreed to reimburse Sanbornton $1,939,934 over three years beginning in fiscal year 2014.
Town Administrator Bob Veloski said the town received $504,000 in fiscal year 2014 and $710,000 in fiscal year 2015. He was expecting an additional $700,000 for the upcoming fiscal year.
Nickerson said he had heard that Sanbornton is not the only community affected by the cuts to the state aid road program but his primary concern is how it will affect the town's budget.
Veloski said the balance of the payments are $117,266 annually plus interest meaning it could cost the town $143,000 for five to six years to pay back the money.
The House budget is only one version of the biannual state budget. The Senate will develop its own budget that may or may not include the state aid road program. Public hearings for the Senate version concluded yesterday.
After the Senate passes a budget, a Committee of Conference will be formed with members from both the House and the Senate. This is the budget that will go to Gov. Maggie Hassan for either a signature or a veto.
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