Selectmen set goals, carry forward road maintenance funds
Hope — Selectmen set goals for the fiscal year just begun at their meeting Tuesday, July 29.
The list of more than two dozen goals covered a range of issues and tasks in nine categories: Board of Selectmen policies and procedures; economic development; budgeting, including a stronger relationship with Hope Elementary School and School Union 69 administrators; closer oversight of town employees, as well as recruitment of volunteers to serve on town boards; road maintenance, including consideration of returning some paved roads to gravel; management and repair of town-owned buildings; public safety; Town Office operations; and miscellaneous items, such as conducting some votes at town meeting by secret ballot and establishing a policy for disbursement of Hope Chest funds.
Further work on the list of goals and scheduling of items already identified will be taken up at future meetings.
In other business, Town Administrator Jon Duke reported that tax bills were mailed July 25, with pie charts on the back explaining why the mil rate went up and where the town's tax money goes.
Duke also said he had received a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) saying the 90-day appeal period for its proposed new flood maps had begun. Residents may review the maps at the Town Office. He added that very few properties in the town are affected; however, he will mail a letter to those who are affected to let them know the clock on the appeal period is running.
Duke also discussed the nearly-complete fourth-quarter financial report, stating the town's overall tax collections have increased significantly, and excise tax receipts in particular have gone up 15 percent. He gave an unaudited figure for the undesignated fund balance of $538,343, adding that the final number was likely to be very close.
The Board voted to carry forward $129,225 allocated last year for paving and not spent because the contractor went out of business with the contracted work undone. Paving scheduled for last year that wasn't completed will be added to this year's road work.