Each year I present a finance report to the Board of Selectmen that covers Town financial data from 2014 on. In this case the covered period is 2014-2021. We examine the trends that the finance data show, and what challenges those trends bring to policy makers. The continuing shift away from the commercial/industrial sector as a percentage of the overall tax levy is shown through the NextEra (Seabrook Station) numbers over the measured period. NextEra as a percentage of the overall tax levy has gone from 42% to 28%. (The NextEra Shift) In 2021 the residential sector exceeded 50% of the total levy for the first time in the measured period.
With the application of fund balance the total tax levy in 2021 rose by under 4%. Despite that number the shifting of the overall burden to residential created, and will continue to create, a rising tax burden for the Seabrook residential sector.
I have included an executive summary that is attached below that brings some additional key data into the discussion for policy makers. We will be discussing the report at the Board meeting of May 16, 2022. I will post the 2021 Water and Sewer reports separately. They will be a key part of the ongoing discussions.
The Seabrook Board of Selectmen authorized a study on climate resiliency at the Seabrook Wastewater Plant, which was unveiled on a recent visit to the Plant by Congressman Pappas. This project was funded by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management in conjunction with New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Coastal Program.
The goal of the study was, in the most basic terms, to identify the vulnerabilities of the plant to climate based sea level rise. We have also identified plant “hardening” measures that can be taken to mitigate the very real and severe challenges faced in the runup to 2050. The recommendations will inform Seabrook’s capital planning in the wastewater department.
I am appreciative of the work of Curtis Slayton, Sewer and Water Superintendent, and Daumanic Fucile, Chief Sewer Operator. My thanks to Weston and Sampson for their fine work on this project as well.
With preparations ongoing for the production of the new Seabrook Capital Plan I have prepared the 8 year review of Seabrook capital spending, which is attached below, with the corresponding tabs. This review shows us where our capital spending has gone, both by department, and by function. Seabrook capital spending has been financed with capital bonds, fund balance, and on a pay/go system through the budget. Importantly both the Budget Committee and the Board of Selectmen have approved the creation of capital reserve accounts, which will help to smooth our capital budgets annually.
The Governor’s re-opening task force has issued new guidance on parks and youth sports, which will now allow competitive games to proceed. This guidance has been adopted by the Seabrook Board of Selectmen, and the initial policy, put forward by the Town of Seabrook in conjunction with the initial parks reopening on June 6, has been amended to reflect the new guidance. The amended Seabrook policy, as well as the new guidance from the Governor’s task force, are attached below. In order to schedule games or for any inquiries on the new policy please contact DPW or Recreation.
The Town of Seabrook will not be issuing parking placards for the 2020 season. For those “non-resident” taxpayers who have prior used the placards to access the Town transfer station please note that we will accept a tax bill, with a drivers license, to allow access in this season. You should present both at the transfer station for entrance. Thank you!
Seabrook Town Hall will reopen to the public on June 1, with restrictions. Town Hall will be opened to the public Monday June 1, Wednesday June 3, and Thursday June 4. Town Hall will be available for transactions Tuesday and Friday in the current manner, utilizing the drop box and appointments. There will be an employee in the lobby to direct the public, and ensure that we do not go over capacity. Seabrook has installed Plexiglas barriers at our service windows, and we have installed a new drop box that can be accessed without leaving your car. That Dropbox is secure, but we will not accept cash via the box. The full reopening protocols are below. If you have any questions please call Town Hall at 603-474-3311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Town of Seabrook, along with the towns of Hampton, Rye, New Castle, and North Hampton, have agreed to a set of beach reopening protocols that were submitted to the Governor’s Reopening Task Force yesterday. The Task Force received this document on May 21, 2020 and approved it for submission to Governor Sununu for consideration. I would like to thank Senator Tom Sherman as well as the management teams from all the communities for all of the work in building this consensus, as well as Tim Roache from the Rockingham Planning Commission. Our thanks to the Governor’s Office and the Reopening Task Force for all of their hard work on the many difficult issues they are faced with.
It is important to note that this document does not contain any reference to, or support of, the Hampton Beach Reopening Plan call for the closing of Ocean Blvd. in Hampton. The Town of Seabrook’s Board of Selectmen continue to oppose that aspect of the Hampton Plan, and have submitted a letter of opposition to it.
CONCORD, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management, announced that 211NH has been mobilized to handle all COVID-19 related calls from New Hampshire residents. All residents with questions or concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak can call 2-1-1.
“211NH will serve as a coordinated and streamlined process for any Granite Stater concerned about the coronavirus,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Now that it is up and running, any New Hampshire residents can call with questions or concerns. I would like to thank the folks at Granite United Way and Public Health for working around the clock to stay on top of this evolving public health situation by making this critical resource available 24/7.”
“It is important during an outbreak that residents get the information they need to protect their health and the health of their community,” said HHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette. “2-1-1 provides that resource for our residents to get the most up to date and accurate information about the presence of coronavirus in New Hampshire.”
211NH is New Hampshire’s statewide, comprehensive, information and referral service operated by Granite United Way and will replace the current Department of Public Health Hotline (603-271-4496) for COVID-19 related questions.
Members of the media and local city and town officials, as well as emergency management officials should still call the state’s Joint Information Center.