appropriations

Legal Q&A: Be Aware of Traps at Town Meeting

You've reviewed the calendar, looked at the warrant, and booked the room. Notices are ready to post, the budget is almost ready, and everyone is gearing up for what promises to be a great annual meeting. We hope that it is! However, even the most experienced local officials miss something now and then. Here are a few traps of which to beware, both golden oldies and new ones.

Winter Maintenance of Roads and Sidewalks

As winter approaches, it is time once again for towns and cities to review their policies regarding plowing, salting and sanding of municipal roads and sidewalks. While every town and city has a good deal of experience with these duties, the specific responsibilities and limitations placed on New Hampshire municipalities by state and federal law continue to evolve. In this column, we look at some of the frequently-asked questions regarding winter maintenance and explain the current status of the law.

Budget Shortfalls: Know Your Options

Does this sound familiar? Several months remain in the fiscal year, and one or more lines in the budget have been (or are about to be) entirely spent. Maybe it is April, the snow removal budget is gone, and you are hoping it does not snow this coming November. Or the local welfare budget has been spent, and there are still residents who require assistance—which the law requires you to provide. Now what?

The Municipal Budget Law: Frequently Asked Questions

As budget season arrives, municipal budget committees and governing bodies across the state are beginning to work through the process of creating budget proposals, holding hearings and ultimately presenting a budget to voters.

Multi-Year Contracts: When and How Are They Authorized?

Municipalities are set up to handle business one year at a time. They are governed by annual budgets and elect officials annually in towns and biennially in cities. So it’s not surprising that there is a good deal of uncertainty when it comes to authorizing contracts that will oblige a municipality to expend money for more than one year going forward. The most common examples are extended equipment leases and multi-year collective bargaining agreements (CBAs).

The Curious Case of ‘No Means No’

Every year, we advise governing bodies, budget committees and other town officials to carefully review the language of proposed warrant articles with the Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) prior to presenting the articles at the budgetary public hearing, creating the warrant, and presenting the articles to the town meeting or the deliberative session.

What’s in a Warrant Article? Nothing Extra, Please

Q. Who decides what goes on the warrant and how it appears?

Using Trust and Capital Reserve Funds to Make Lease Payments: Can It Be Done?

The town’s old plow truck is still running due only to the dedication and considerable mechanical talents of the highway department crew who have so far been able to work miracles to keep the truck on the road. Unfortunately, the town’s best mechanic has just given his notice and is moving south to enjoy semi-retirement in the sun. The selectmen know that without their ace mechanic, the town’s luck in keeping this plow truck running until town meeting probably won’t last.

A Quick Look at a Few New Statutes

In 2005, the New Hampshire legislature enacted two bills that alter public notice requirements for governing body acceptance of unanticipated revenue and sale/acquisition of town-owned land. Another bill changes the appeal period for decisions of the zoning board of adjustment and planning board. Also, legislation was enacted establishing a new revolving fund option, and a new exception was added to RSA 674:41 , which governs building on lots that lack frontage on a Class V or better road.

Class VI Roads and Maintenance Issues

Highway repair and maintenance projects are usually well underway at this time of year, prompting questions about maintenance of Class VI roads. There are lots of misconceptions about Class VI roads, so here are some reminders.

Pages