Emily Sanborn, who has worked for the Town of Seabrook for twenty five years, has retired. The Board of Selectmen recognized her many years of outstanding service to the community with a citation at the February meeting. There was a huge outpouring of affection and support from her co-workers and family. Congrats to Emily, and thank you for a great 25 years of service to the citizens of Seabrook!
The Board of Selectmen joined Families First at the ribbon cutting for the new facility at the offices of the Community Action Council in Seabrook. A great synergy, with vital medical services now available for Seabrook residents in Seabrook. Thank you to Families First, and Southern New Hampshire Services, for a terrific addition to Seabrook.
The Board of Selectmen, at the May 22, 2017 meeting, recognized Timberland for the magnificent work and contribution done to beautify the Seabrook Community Center. Timberland sent many volunteers, and donated much of the material used to spruce up the Community Center. The Board of Selectmen recognized Timberland for the this work, for their past generosity in donating boots to Seabrook school children, and for their corporate philosophy, centered on giving back, and creating green space in communities for all to enjoy. The Board presented Timberland with an official citation. The Board recognized and thanked Recreation Director Katie Duffey for all of her hard work in spearheading this effort.
The Seabrook Beach Village District hosted The Coastal Resilience and Sand Dunes in Seabrook Workshop 1-Dune Health March 27 at 4 PM at the Seabrook Beach Precinct Building.
After a brief introduction, members of the group walked to the dunes. While on Hudson Street the discussion revolved around examining the beach grass die off, the many threats to our beach’ dunes and learning about the work the UNH team is doing.
Upon returning to the building, a discussion was held on where and how to use the beach and dunes. Julie LaBranch (Rockingham Planning Commission), spoke of the importance of sand dunes while Alyson Eberhardt (Coastal Ecosystems Specialist/NH Sea Grant/UNH Cooperative Education) spoke on dune ecology and function. Gregg Moore,PHD UNH,showed video made by drones over the entire length of our beach as he spoke about dune health and resilience.
A discussion of all information needs and priorities was followed by the announcement of Workshop 11 ( Dune and Beach Planning) which will be held from 2:00pm – 4:00pm on April 18 at the Seabrook Library.
The Seabrook Board of Selectmen have created centralized purchasing by policy, which has led to savings in procurement across the enterprise. As part of this major reform the Board abolished the position of Projects Clerk, and created the position of Procurement Manager. Since that time Procurement Manager Shaylia Marquis has brought the process of requesting public property surplus back to where it needs to be, with all requests for disposition of public property submitted to the Board of Selectmen in public session for discussion and decision by the governing body. As part of this effort Ms. Marquis initiated a process to dispose of taxpayer property through the use of “public auctions,” with utilization of a national on line company Public Surplus. That company does not charge the Town for use of the system, with all costs borne by the buyer. This initiative has brought the taxpayers of Seabrook over $70,000 for the surplus of public items, including $40,000 for the disposition of a Town boat. Ms. Marquis has initiated a process where Town police cruisers coming off line are disposed off through this process. We have just sold our third cruiser through this process, and those proceeds have far exceeded the value taxpayers would have received from simply trading the cruisers in against the value of new cruisers. There has been much more to centralized procurement than this item, but it is a significant success. Congratulations to Procurement Manager Marquis for all of her hard work in bringing this success to the taxpayers of Seabrook.
Many thanks to Bob Wheeler, who painted “Memorial Parade at Seabrook” and has donated it to the Town. The Board of Selectmen has ordered that it be displayed prominently in Town Hall. We look forward to its formal unveiling in Town Hall in the very near future.
The Seabrook Wastewater Treatment facility has been recognized by the federal EPA with a Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award. On behalf of our Board of Selectmen our congratulations to Superintendent Maltais and all of the men and women that worked so hard to achieve this recognition. Running a successful Wastewater facility requires tremendous diligence, hard work, and attention to detail. We are all very proud of our Wastewater facility for achieving recognition by the Environmental Protection Agency. The press release from the EPA is below.
BOSTON – The Seabrook, N.H. Wastewater Treatment Facility was recently selected by EPA for a 2016 Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award. The Seabrook facility, led by Philippe Maltais, Superintendent and Dustin Price, Chief Operator, was recognized by EPA’s New England Office for exceptional work in operating and maintaining the wastewater treatment plant. The facility was one of six facilities in New England acknowledged for exemplary performance during 2016.
The EPA Regional Wastewater Awards Program recognizes personnel in the wastewater field who have provided invaluable public service managing and operating wastewater treatment facilities throughout New England. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services was instrumental in the plant’s nomination.
“The professionals operating wastewater treatment plants play a very important role in keeping our communities and environment healthy by protecting water quality. We are proud to acknowledge this staff’s outstanding contributions to help protect public health and water quality and to give them the credit they deserve,” said Deborah Szaro, acting regional administrator of EPA’s New England Office.
The EPA Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award was established to recognize and honor the employees of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants for its commitment to improving water quality with outstanding plant operations and maintenance. More often than not, and particularly with the smaller facilities, conscientious operators and staff continue to perform exceptionally with limited resources. EPA’s New England office formally acknowledged the Seabrook facility for its fine work during the annual New England Water Environment Association Conference last month.
More information: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-water#wastewater
Seabrook officials, including Representatives Francis Chase, Jason Janvrin, and Aboul Khan, gathered at a Legislative hearing to express strong opposition to HB324, which would require localities to accept DRA assessments of utilities. This bill would, in essence, shift tax burden from utilities to residential, and other commercial taxpayers. Select Board Chair and State Representative Aboul Khan offered testimony on behalf of the Town. That testimony, which was later cited by expert witnesses, gives a strong overview of the negative impacts to the Town of Seabrook should this legislation be adopted. Thanks to our entire legislative delegation for their support.
Town of Seabrook
Testimony on HB324
Good morning Mr. Chairman and honorable Committee members. On behalf of the Seabrook Board of Selectmen I respectfully offer testimony this morning in strong opposition to HB324. Our opposition is rooted in the inherent unfairness of shifting a major piece of our property tax burden from utility companies to residential, and other commercial taxpayers. In Seabrook that impact would be stark, with an estimated $360 million dollar loss in value, translating to a revenue loss of just under $3 million dollars. We have calculated that under this bill utilities would see, in my Town of Seabrook, a 21% decline in their share of the overall tax base. That additional burden would force large tax increases, or serious service cuts, onto our other taxpayers. We estimate that our tax rate would have increased by $1.92 under the provisions of this bill, a 13% increase. This shift of tax burden, to already hard pressed residential, and other commercial taxpayers, does not meet the most fundamental standard of fairness.
As far as the DRA valuations themselves it is abundantly clear that both the results and methodologies are flawed. In the recent cases of Public Service Company of New Hampshire v. Town of Andover and New Hampshire Electric Cooperative v. Town of Andover the Board of Tax and Land Appeals found the DRA's valuation and allocation methodologies were not credible and were subject to considerable flaws. While there is no need to get into the detail involved in how to properly assess value I think it is fair to say that within the assessing community there is wide divergence on how to fairly do so, especially in the area of utilities.
In summation I offer my opposition to HB324 on behalf of the taxpayers of the Town of Seabrook. The proposed one size fits all approach advocated in this bill will place taxpayers, and localities in New Hampshire, at a severe disadvantage, and provide a financial windfall to utilities. On that basis I respectfully ask the honorable committee not to recommend this bill. Mr. Chairman, and honorable members, I thank you for your time today.