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Wolfeboro avoids borrowing despite revenue shortfall

Town receives award for most recycling programs in place

ADAM TASKER, Wolfeboro Solid Waste Manager (center) was presented with an award from the Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) to the town for participating in the most recycling programs offered by NRRA: 16. Joining Tasker at the June 6 ceremony were (l-r) Rep. Dave Knox, Town Manager Dave Owen, Tasker, Selectman Chair Sarah Silk and Bonnie Bethune of NRRA. (Courtesy photo) (click for larger version)
June 23, 2011
WOLFEBORO — At the June 15 meeting last week Wolfeboro selectmen received good news from Finance Director Peter Chamberlin.

Last month Chamberlin had expressed concern about a cash flow shortfall, as the timing of certain expenses could come at a low point for property tax collections and other revenue receipts, before the first property tax bills for 2011 were sent out. To avoid the crunch he proposed delaying payment of some bills that did not offer payment discounts and to keep a close eye on revenue receipts.

It turns out that such precautions were unnecessary. Thanks to strong revenue receipts, especially from Municipal Electric customers, the crunch did not happen. "If the town did not have an electric department, we would have had to borrow," Chamberlin said.

In the meantime property tax bills have been sent out and cash flow is no longer a concern.

In his monthly report on expenditures and revenues Chamberlin noted that revenues are in line with the budget and overall expenditures to date are 36.6 percent of budget for 41.67 percent of the year through May. Of the five budget categories, only the Sewer Fund is above 41.67 percent at 46.95 percent due to the timing of a debt payment (taking out the debt payment, wasterwater treatment expeditures are 24 percent of budget). Year-to-date the General Fund is 36.2 percent expended and the other three enterprise funds stand at 32.4 percent for the Water Fund, 35.8 percent for the Electric Fund and 36.3 percent for the Pop Whalen Fund.

Chamberlin reported that welfare expenses were 43.1 percent expended slightly over budget as a running rate but far below the 67 percent expended seen at this point in 2010.

Recycling award

Selectman Chair Sarah Silk reported that the town had received an award from the Northeast Resource Recovery Association for utilizing the greatest number of programs offered by the Association in 2010 for a town with a population from five to 10 thousand. In all Wolfeboro took advantage of 16 NRRA programs and recycled a total of 1,969 tons or 620 pounds per resident, the highest recycling rate in the state.

Silk reminded the board that the town avoided paying landfill fees and shipping costs for those 1,969 tons that were recycled.

She also reminded the audience about the town's first Household Hazardous Waste and Medicine Collection, held last Saturday, June 18, from 8:30 a.m. till noon. She added that the hazardous waste vendor, Clean Harbors, is now prepared to accept unwanted fireworks and explosives as part of the next Wolfeboro Household Hazardous Waste Collection on Saturday, Aug. 20.

Solid Waste Manager Adam Tasker accepted the award for the town. Town Manager Dave Owen, Silk and House Rep. Dave Knox attended the awards ceremony.

Other business

The board approved a request that Friday, Sept. 9 be declared Employee Appreciation Day at Albee Beach and that town offices be closed from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to allow town employees to participate.

Owen reported touring the Kingswood construction site with Superintendent Jack Robertson. He said 225 workers are putting in 12-hour days, six days a week, to get as much done as possible while students and faculty are away during the summer. There is so much work there are three job supervisors on site.

The police union has elected new officers: Guy Maloney is president, Mark Livie is vice president and Chris Keaton is secretary/treasurer.

There was a serious sewer backup at the Community Center on Lehner Street that has closed that facility until a solution can be found. Apparently the sewer line was not connected directly to the building but to a settling tank that failed. The tank will need to be removed before repairs can be completed.

Pine Hill Cemetery trustees agreed to hire Norway Plains to do a survey of the lots involved. The trustees have requested that the town take over management of the cemetery and town acceptance is contingent on having a current survey, among other requirements.

Perambulation of the relatively short Wolfeboro-Wakefield town line was completed on May 20 by Wakefield Selectman Peter Kasprzyk and Town Planner Rob Houseman. Both markers were found. The board approved the perambulation report.

Selectmen approved temporary event permits for the Wolfeboro Area Farmers' Market to hold Saturday markets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Clarke Plaza on Center Street from July 2 through Sept. 24 and for the New England Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society to hold a classic boat show on the Wolfeboro Town Docks on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dick Jones was appointed an alternate to the Conservation Commission. His specific interest is in helping to develop the proposed Front Bay Park.

Selectmen approved the town's Emergency Operations Plan as well as participation in the National Incident Management System.

The next two meetings of the Board of Selectmen will focus on specific issues. Next Wednesday, June 22, the board will meet to discuss how to address the renovation of Town Hall, and on Wednesday, June 29, selectmen will meet to review last-minute abatement requests. Both meetings will take place at the Town Hall meeting room beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The next regular meeting of the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen will be on Wednesday, July 6, at 6:30 p.m. at the Wolfeboro Public Library Meeting Room.

Martin Lord Osman
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Varney Smith
Armen Kevorkian
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