To The Daily Sun,

An open letter to Belknap County Delegation Chairman Herb Vadney and other members of the delegation:

We are writing to you on behalf of the Town of Belmont to express our significant concerns regarding the ongoing county budget battle that is waging in the press. As we understand it the delegation made significant cuts to the corrections portion of the budget which will impact the new facility and potentially the Sheriff's Department.

We have heard that as a result, the county may have to consider closing the dispatch center in order to provide funding to the sheriff to meet his constitutional duties. Such a proposal would seriously impact the town of Belmont and its residents/taxpayers; it would require that a minimum of four full-time dispatchers be hired. The financial impact of this would be approximately $212,780, or 36 cents on the current tax rate. An impact such as this would not be possible in our 2017 appropriated budget and the only mechanism for the town to obtain funding would be to petition the courts for an emergency Town Meeting.

We strongly urge you to reconsider any budgetary decisions you have made that may impact the overall safety and well-being of your constituents in Belknap County. It is difficult to believe that you would have voted to construct a facility without realizing the budgetary needs it would require, and that you would expect other agencies in the county to suffer for your lack of forethought.

Belmont Board of Selectmen

Ruth P. Mooney, Chairman

Jon Pike, Vice Chairman

Claude B. Patten Jr.

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