To The Daily Sun,
What are the actual tax impacts of projects like the proposed industrial wind installations in the Newfound Region? Not what the developer says. Not what the opposition says. But what does New Hampshire state law say?
The Alexandria Select Board invites all area residents to a presentation on "Pilot Agreements, Property Appraisals, and Related Topics." The presenters are Commissioner John Beardmore of the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration, and Steve Hamilton, the New Hampshire Director of Property Appraisal. The presentation will be at the Bristol (Newfound) Middle School Gym, this Thursday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m.
Whether you are for, against, or undecided about the proposed installations, this presentation will get down to the nuts and bolts of the impact these types of projects have.
Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 10:07
To The Daily Sun,
As voters go to the polls to determine how tax dollars will be spent, Community Action Program, Belknap/Merrimack Counties Inc. (CAP) is asking the voters of Gilford to support Article 27 in the town warrant and appropriate $8,236 to support the local area center office located in Laconia.
Last year CAP programs provided Gilford residents with $554,200 of services returning $67.29 of service to Gilford residents for each $1 spent in support of the Laconia area center. This request is not for any social service program but solely for the operations of the area center. Staff salaries are the major budget expense.
The area center serves the residents of the city of Laconia and the five surrounding towns. We ask the city and each town we serve to share the expense of maintaining the office so that, when residents experience a hardship and find themselves unable to obtain basic needs such as food, shelter or fuel, the area center staff will be there to help them access resources for these basic life sustaining elements.
CAP works in partnership with local town and city welfare offices to assist residents in need using resources other than local tax dollars. We are awarded contracts by the state of New Hampshire to administer programs to provide basic necessities to New Hampshire residents. We are also entrusted with grants from many businesses and individuals to provide needed assistance to residents seeking help in their time of need. All of the private funds donated to our agency are used exclusively for assistance. No administrative costs are provided, therefore we ask for the city and towns to share, with other federal and state funds, in the support of the area center so that staff will always be available to assist families and individuals in need.
Last year the staff provided over 84 residents with over 750 meals from the emergency food pantry. Over 240 Gilford households were provided with $190,695 in fuel assistance, and 216 Gilford households received a discount on their electric bill because of the work of the area center staff. Over $285,375 was spent weatherizing 23 Gilford homes and $478 was provided to residents facing a utility shutoff.
Without the CAP area center these residents would have sought assistance from the town welfare office and local tax dollars for assistance which the town is required by law to provide. CAP provides other resources and not local tax dollars to help the town meet its legal commitment.
As a Gilford resident I encourage town officials to seek out resources other than my tax dollars to provide assistance to local residents. I hope the residents of Gilford find the work of the staff of Belknap/Merrimack Community Action Program worthy of support from their town.
Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 10:00
To The Daily Sun,
Former first lady Laura Bush has said that the most important thing in her wallet is her library card. I am in complete agreement with Mrs. Bush.
Libraries contribute to the educational success of children. Research shows that the amount of time children spend with books is crucial to reading achievement, and ultimately, to school achievement in general. Library programs encourage parents to play a greater role in their children's literacy development. Research also shows that students who take part in their local library's summer reading program significantly improve their reading skills.
Programs provided by our library staff help preschoolers and young people to develop social skills and to enjoy activities that will foster lifelong learning. Participants feel a sense of belonging in a safe place with their peers and caring adults.
Adult patrons also benefit from the many offerings the library provides. The use of computers and internet access is especially important and necessary in this digital age. Clubs and organizations have comfortable meeting space. Many varied programs are offered to the community free of charge.
As an educator, a mother, and a grandmother, I have always looked to libraries to provide me with opportunities to learn, to teach, to promote a love of reading, and to indulge my passion — reading.
The Gilmanton Year-Round Library provides all of that and more. On March 11 please vote to keep the GYRL open.
Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 09:55
To The Daily Sun,
What's happening at the New Hampshire Electric Coop? It seems to me the Cooperative is making tons of money. How do I know that? Why are they raising the membership rate $2 per month ($26)? No reason was given, just a small paragraph in the flyer that accompanies the bill. I will be calling 1-800-698-2007, member service number. I encourage everyone to call.
The hard-working taxpayers are too busy with their jobs, family and paying bills to even read the flyer. Does the NHEC know this? I wonder how many people have called the NHEC? In my opinion this is unethical. I have noticed the increments in cents each month over the last two to three years, but this is unbelievable.
Another dilemma for the NHEC, is the Wireless Electric Radiation Smart Meters placed on our homes for over two years now, and I understand the network is not functioning. So they took the government grant money and now they are charging the customers for a meter nobody wanted.
Surprise. Yep, it has happened again. The New Hampshire Electric Co-op has increased the Member Service Charge. Predictions for January 2015 will be $28 per month, by 2016, $30.19, creeping to $35 by 2017. Yep, that's $420 a year before buying power.
If you look at your electric bill, it is now $26.06 before buying power, right? Now correct me if I am wrong, but with 83,000 customers times $26.06 would equal $2,162,980 a month, just in membership charge. That means $2.1 million a month plus or minus is going into the coffers of NHEC, before buying power. So the math times 12 months that equals $25,955,760 — almost $26 million a Year taken in — before buying power.
There was never a charge before, example, in 1993 NHEC electric bill. Do you remember what it was back in 2003? Well, it was $9.02 and listed as Customer charge, right? Take a look at your November or December electric bill, the member service charge was $24.17 before buying power. At this rate your member charge will be about $75 in 10 years, right? That's times 12 months for the year rounding out to $900 a year. Think? Do your math ... $26.06 per month in 10 years equals $3,127.20 before buying power? $75 per month member charge times 10 years equals $9,000 before buying power!
Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 09:49
To The Daily Sun,
On Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, a candidate forum for the Executive Council of District 1 was held at the Meredith Community Center. It was standing room only, and it was one of the best forums I have ever attended.
Joe Kenney and Mike Cryans did an excellent and thorough job of answering all the questions.
After I got home, I thought of one question I should have asked to Mr. Cryans. I have read many letters by supporters of Mr. Cryans. Most of these letters that Mr. Cryans has the most experience and qualifications to serve District 1.
Being Mr. Cryans only elected by three cities or towns, Hanover, Lebanon and Enfield as a county commissioner. He has no state experiences. How does this make him the most qualified candidate?
Mr. Kenney served as a selectman, state representative and state senator from District 3 for a total of 14 years. Senate District 3 serves 17 cities or towns.
Mr. Kenney also served his country as a Marine for more than 30 years. He served in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the Persian Gulf War.
When both candidates were asked if this would be a full time job, Mr. Cryans said no. He said like other present councilors he would continue working two jobs if elected. On the other hand, Mr. Kenney stated, he would make it a full-time job. He said he believed the people of the 1st District would want and expect that kind of service. District 1 covers almost 70 percent of the geographic area of the state.
After supporting and campaigning with Ray Burton for more than 25 years, I don't remember one time when he did not back the Republican candidate. Whether it was state representative, state senate, governor, U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate and president.
No one will ever replace Ray, but someone does have to try to continue the service Ray provided. I believe if Ray had been alive and involved, I believe he would have supported Joe Kenney.
Again, I say we need a full-time councilor and that person is Joe Kenney on March 11.
Michael L. Hatch
Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 09:46