If all articles pass the municipal portion of the tax rate will rise from $6.32 in 2017 to $6.74 in 2018, or a 6.6% increase. The WWTP bond is not included in the 2018 $6.74 rate, as the bond is not anticipated to hit the tax rate until 2019. However, the bond if approved will add another $.19 to the muni tax rate bringing it up to $6.94 or an 9.8% increase as a result of Warrant Articles approved in March of 2018. Seven proposed articles are funded from the UFB (Unassigned Fund Balance aka accumulated surplus), which would result in a $540,000 withdrawal. Had the UFB not been used in these articles the impact, including the WWTP bond, would result in a muni tax rate of $7.10 or a 12.3% increase.

Town of Hampton 2018 Warrant is current as of 3/8/2018

 Article 07 - $11.78 million bond for Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades  (799 Views)  (2 Comments)

Warrant Article Created By: Selectmen

Results Votes in Favor Votes opposed Total Votes Required To Pass
2134 433 60%
Rational Taxpayer's recommends voting Yes

Rational Taxpayers of Hampton will support Warrant Article 7 calling for a bond issue for $11,780,000 for necessary upgrades to the Waste Water Treatment Plant. During the public hearings for this project and at Public Comments, Rational Taxpayer members and its supporters spoke up to challenge the original amount of the bond issue which resulted in a $2 million reduction.

Areas that we remain concerned about include:

  • instituting industrial user fees rather than just the real estate valuation base
  • the efficacy of implementing the recommendations of the Wright Pierce report
  • the need to scale the project by establishing priorities and a working plan;
  • the general overall lack of upkeep of the plant that includes facilities as well as equipment
  • the impact that Smuttynose Brewery or its potential new owner will have on reducing the discharge of effluents to the Waste Water Treatment Plant’s pollutant capacity
  • The Board of Selectmen’s commitment to negotiate a new agreement with the new ownership of Smuttynose about pre-treatment of the effluent.

While Rational Taxpayers recognizes that the plant needs to be refurbished but there also is a need to be put a plan into place. Wright Pierce only made recommendations not a plan and it is up to the DPW management, the Town Manager and the Board of Selectmen to see that a plan is properly formulated and then executed in a timely manner and is transparent to the Taxpayers with frequent meetings and updates.

Rational Taxpayers stands ready to assist the Town in helping to ensure that Hampton gets the best bang for the buck and we plan on watching/monitoring this most important project carefully.

Shall the Town of Hampton vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $11,780,000 for the purposes of constructing the necessary upgrades and making improvements to the Waste Water Treatment Plant as follows; Headworks Upgrades; Aeration Tank Upgrade; Primary Clarifier Number 1 Upgrade; Gravity Thickener Number 1 Upgrade; Plant Water System Upgrade; Primary Sludge Pump Upgrade; Thickened Sludge Transfer Pump Replacement; Polymer System Upgrade; Septage Handling Improvements; Operations Building Improvements; Maintenance Garage Improvements; and SCADA System Improvements.

Such sum to be raised by the issuance of municipal bonds or notes for a period not to exceed thirty (30) years under and in accordance with the Municipal Finance Act (RSA 33); and

To authorize the Board of Selectmen and the Town Treasurer to issue and negotiate such bonds or notes and to determine the rate of interest there on in accordance with the Municipal Finance Act (RSA 33); and

To authorize the Board of Selectmen to apply for, contract for, accept and expend any Federal, State or other available funds towards the project in accordance with the terms and conditions under which they are received and to borrow in anticipation of the receipt of such funds and or the issuance of such bonds or notes as provided in the Municipal Finance Act (RSA 33); and

To authorize participation in the State Evolving Fund (SRF) (RSA 486:14) established for the purpose, and to authorize the Board of Selectmen to apply for, accept and expend such monies as they become available from the Federal and State Governments; and

To authorize the Board of Selectmen to implement such cost effective solutions as are presented in the future that they deem to be in the best interests of the Town that may result in a lesser amount of expenditure than is authorized by the this warrant article; and

To authorize the Board of Selectmen to take any and all actions necessary to carry out the project in the best interests of the Town of Hampton? (3/5ths vote required)

 

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 5-0-0

Recommended by the Municipal Budget Committee 8-1-0

Fiscal Impact Note {Finance Dept.} Since the above bond would not be issued until later in 2018 or even 20 19, the first, estimated, principal/interest payment of $657,7 17 will not occur until late in 2019. The estimated 20 19 tax rate impact is $0. 198 per $ 1,000 valuation {nineteen point eight cents per thousand dollars of valuation}. The total of the bond's principal and interest payments over a 30-year period at an interest rate of 2.25% are estimated to be $ 15,888,275

Posted in: Pending, Money

Comments

# stevejnh Sunday, February 18, 2018 1:51 PM
I have to say that I wan't really in support of this, but the town meeting convinced me that this and future upgrade are likely needed to the aging plant. One bright spot is there is now a spotlight on the "light industrial" users that aren't paying their way!
# Jerry Znoj Tuesday, March 6, 2018 9:46 PM
To the voters of Hampton, be advised that the 200 plus page Wright Pierce report of the status of this plant has been thoroughly studied and analyzed by the author of this article and other interested citizens. Please note that this report is on the Town of Hampton web site on the very front page. I have certainly challenged Wright Pierce and the Town to the best of my ability at the public hearings held by the Budget committee as well as by the Department of Public works and hopefully had an influence on the cost reduction that the BOS put forth at the Deliberation session on February the 3rd at the Winnacunnet High school auditorium.
I would also like to remind you that as a Selectman (2009 through March 2012) I participated (with the Board of Selectman approval) in the resolution of a 2010 State corrective action notice given to the Town. This was a result of waste water releases to the marsh that violated certain measured and reported on State and Federal specifications. As part of their corrective notice The State, at that time, required that all permits for sewer usage be reviewed by the State for approval. This had the potential of stopping the Town development in its tracks!
My participation in the above issue allowed me to spend much time in the plant from September of 2010, through 2011 and to a lesser extent in 2012. Working with the Town Mgr. and the DPW Director (Mr. Price at the time) we met and worked with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) several times on the issues and by February 2011 were able to get an agreement on a plan we formulated and the sewer moratorium was lifted. As a result of my “tenure” in the Waste Water plant I got to know this plant and its processes. I can tell you we have competent operators in that plant and I can also tell you we have an ageing and deteriorating infrastructure there as well! The Wright Pierce report should have been conducted in 2012/2013)! Part of the 2012 warrant article for 1.2 million dollars (a new Press which was part of the corrective action required on the above stipulated problem) had that intention built into it as the plant’s infrastructure was viewed in dim light at that time by this author.

Circumstances prevailed however and DPW management has turned over several times and the beat goes on!
So here we are in 2018 and the study was finally performed. The study is loaded with statistics and facts portrayed in various ways (tables and graphs) and I deem the report to be excellent. It contains recommendations and priorities with associated costs that have been researched. The report also highlight’s Town management shortcomings as did the Silberdick letter to the editor that appeared in the February 23rd Hampton union which I agree with 100%. The Town certainly needs stronger controls in place with industrial users and explicit ramifications should they not meet the contractual specifications! This should include escalating fines and a supplier shut -down if the sewer plant’s required operational specifications are being threatened. This should take care of future pollution impacts that impacted the plant from 2014 through 2017! In addition the Town needs to pursue impact fees on future sewer users as applicable. Close liaison with the Planning Board is required here. Additionally the Sewer Ordinance needs significant upgrade ( fines and new initiatives) that would contribute to the Sewer plant finances. If pursued correctly one can foresee future Capital and operational needs being supplemented by something more than just taxes! Certainly an attrition plan needs to be established as well as new purchases are made so we don’t find ourselves in the same predicament in years to come.
Management needs to be directly involved here with this project and by that I mean the DPW Director, the Town manager and the Board of Selectman. Much has been mentioned at the Public hearings and of late the newspaper that management needs to address. We hope what has been said is acted upon!
All that said we cannot reject this article because of past misgivings! The sewer plant must live on! We need this plant and we need it to be running as it’s designed to run and meet State and Federal (EPA) specifications! To have to replace items because they have failed is not a plan and no way to live! I urge all to support this article so that the Town can begin a detailed design and the associated implementation schedules. We are only going to age and deteriorate further if this article does not pass and increase the possibilities of a major breakdown at perhaps at a most inopportune time.
This phase one will be watched very closely by interested citizens and we expect status reports monthly from the DPW Director with specifics. If we do not feel or sense this is happening we will be at the microphone for the public comments section of the BOS meetings and in the papers and on the RTOH web site you can count on it! I and other active citizens stand ready to help this project in any way we can so that it is a success. The support we will give to Phases 2 and 3 are contingent on the success we see of phase 1.

Again and finally I urge your support of this article 7 by voting yes.

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