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.
The Seabrook Board of Selectmen have finalized the 2020 Town Warrant, which is now posted. The Town Deliberative Session will be on February 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Seabrook Community Center. The Town election will be on March 10.
I have provided the Board of Selectmen with an analysis of the data contained in the Warrant. The analysis contains a breakdown of requested articles and FY 2020 tax impacts by department. The full memo is attached below. The summary, without the departmental spending, is directly below:
This memo will provide the raw data associated with the 2020 warrant, and will break down that data by department. While there are several ways to look at these numbers I have chosen to examine the articles in the context of the 2020 tax impacts. After the election I will produce the annual capital report which will highlight other facets of capital spending.
The total of requested warrant articles in 2020 is $3,079,656. This is a reduction of $2,910,469 from the 2019 warrant requests of $5,990,125. That is a significant reduction, based on the Board effort to stabilize capital spending, and frankly having addressed some major capital spending needs in prior years. The number should be further reduced by $143,727, the amount sought for reauthorizing water exploration money that had been prior approved, with that source of funding being the water capital reserve. Once that prior appropriation is removed the number requested for this year dips to $2,935,929. As we examine the 2020 numbers our focus will be on the FY 2020 tax impacts, so we will, for this exercise, focus on one year, and show future tax impacts separately.
Other items of note include the fact that the Police number includes $100,000 that comes from a citizens article. The overall warrant contains $165,000 in funding capital accounts that are pre-payments on future capital obligations. Additionally the Police request for radio equipment through bond financing is funded through the newly created communication revolving fund. There will be no taxpayer impacts, in FY2020, or into the future, as that revolving fund derives its funds from lease payments made to Seabrook by Verizon (Police/Fire Tower) and by T-Mobile (Water Tower Lease.) New personnel costs included in these numbers are $190,492. Those would rise in following years.
The tax impacts for FY 2020, if all requested articles are passed, would be $1,309,822.
The Seabrook Board of Selectmen announced this week a one year Collective Bargaining agreement with the Seabrook Employees Association, affiliated with Teamsters Local 633. The SEA is the largest of the Town of Seabrook’s employee unions, covering our DPW, Water, Sewer and some Police and Fire employees, as well as most of the clerical staff. This one year agreement will be on the ballot in March 2020, and would become effective, if passed, on April 1, 2020.
The contract has a “true zero” for FY 2020, with a wage increase of 50 cents per hour beginning on January 1, 2021. On the management side we appreciate the work and good faith shown in the negotiations by the SEA and Teamsters Local 633. The Board of Selectmen worked very hard on this contract and deserve recognition for that effort. This unit has been without a contract since 2017. This contract will appear on the 2020 Warrant as Article 6.
The Board of Selectmen announced a one year contract agreement with the Seabrook Police Association, affiliated with Teamsters Local 633, this week. The agreement will have a “true zero” for FY 2020, with a 2.5% wage adjustment beginning January 1, 2021. There are educational and longevity incentives included, and those changes are also deferred until January 2021. This unit has been without a contract for several years. My thanks to the Teamsters, the SPA, and the Board of Selectmen, who worked very hard on this agreement. This contract will be on the 2020 warrant as Article 7.
The Seabrook Board of Selectmen announced a contract agreement with the Seabrook Firefighters Association Local 2847 this week. The three year contract has no wage adjustment for FY 2020, FY2021, and FY 2022, with a 3% wage increase in January of 2023. Thanks to the Board of Selectmen and the Professional Firefighters for all of their work on this contract. There were three “open” contracts in this cycle, and the Board of Selectmen reached agreement with all three. This contract will be on the ballot in March as Article 8.
The Seabrook Board of Selectmen, after hearing a report from Chairman Aboul Khan, voted unanimously to suspend participation on the Gulf of Maine Offshore Wind Task Force. The letter suspending participation is below. The Board expressed, at their meeting and through the letter, a very strong concern for how the placement of turbines would impact the fishing industry. With those potential negative impacts the Board felt that the fishing industry needs to be afforded membership on the Task Force. Without that change being made the Seabrook Board of Selectmen felt it advisable to suspend Seabrook’s participation.
December 6, 2019
Mr. Matthew Mailloux, Energy Advisor
Office of Strategic Initiatives
107 Pleasant Street, Johnson Hall
Concord, NH 03301
Dear Mr. Mailloux,
Please accept this email as a suspension of the Town of Seabrook’s participation in the Gulf of Maine Offshore Wind Task Force. While the Task Force is addressing the vital issue of offshore wind it is our firm belief that due to potential impacts to the fishing industry this Task Force should have representation from that industry. Seabrook, which we represent, is a fishing community that hosts the Yankee Fisherman’s Cooperative, and has a long history of participation in, and support of, the fishing industry. As a major stakeholder in any potential placement of wind turbines the fishing industry is entitled to a seat at this table. Without a voice for fisherman we feel that the potential impacts to their livelihood may not be fully understood, or addressed, by this task force, as currently constituted.
Aboul Khan Chairman
Theresa Kyle Vice Chair
Ella Brown Clerk
Seabrook has received word that we will receive a federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant of $695,965 for the repair of the Town Pier. This grant is vital to the regional economy, as the failure of the sheet pilings supporting the pier would have a devastating impact on the Yankee Fishing Cooperative and the regional fishing industry as well as on the ability of the Seabrook Station to use the harbor for the delivery of vital equipment. From the Press Release from the United States Department of Commerce:
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $695,965 grant to the Town of Seabrook, New Hampshire, to make critical infrastructure improvements needed to support the local fishing fleet and the NextEra nuclear power station. The grant, to be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $695,966 in local funds and is expected to help retain 200 jobs.
“President Trump is committed to helping communities across the nation develop the critical infrastructure they need to support business development and growth,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “This project will support the needs of the local commercial fishing and power sectors. The nearby Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone will further incentivize businesses to invest in the area and help reinvigorate the local economy.”
The project will help to repair the Seabrook Seawall to ensure the continued use of the wharf and adjacent channel. The work will include the replacement of the existing bulkhead and the re-grading and paving of land behind the seawall.
The Town of Seabrook has derived the matching funds from a taxpayer authorized bond, (2017 Warrant Article 6) allowing this project to move forward. My thanks to Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Senator Maggie Hassan, Congressman Chris Pappas, and Governor Sununu and the State of New Hampshire Economic Development team, who all worked to support this application. Our thanks to the Regional Economic Development Corporation President Laurel Adams as well as Jennifer Kimball, whose work and expertise were essential to having a successful application. My thanks to NextEra for all of their support and assistance.
The Seabrook Board of Selectmen have made this project a top priority, and it was the Board that placed the bond article in 2017, going to the public with strong advocacy for both the financing, and the project itself. Without the support and advocacy of the Board this project would not have reached this point.
Finally a big thank you to the U.S. Commerce Department and the E.D.A. They have been outstanding partners, responsive and helpful throughout.