UNITY — Sullivan County lawmakers voted this week to approve a $34.3 million price range that opponents characterised as “shortsighted” for failing to established apart ample funds for a very long-planned renovation of the county’s nursing property.
The Democratic-managed delegation voted, 8-5, on approximately partisan traces Tuesday to approve a fiscal yr 2022 spending plan that officers say will enhance the county’s part of assets taxes by 3.8%.
Which is a reduction from the price range put forth earlier this yr by the Republican-led Sullivan County Commission, which proposed a $34.6 million approach that would have viewed taxes increase by nearly 10%.
Democrats celebrated the vote, indicating the authorized spending budget is delicate to people continue to recovering from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lawmakers lowered the budget’s tax load “without decreasing any applications, any persons or any necessities to the county,” point out Rep. Brian Sullivan, D-Grantham, explained to colleagues.
But some others criticized the spending system for raiding cash established apart to help pay out for a $54 million renovation of the Sullivan County nursing household.
State Rep. Walter Spilsbury, R-Charlestown, was the lone Republican to vote for the spending budget.
The delegation opted to forgo investing $200,000 in a nursing property reserve fund that county officers supposed to use to assistance fork out for updates to the 156-bed facility’s ageing infrastructure. Legislators also took an added $600,000 earmarked for the undertaking and utilized it to draw down the tax level, according to County Manager Derek Ferland.
If the nursing household project does go ahead, he claimed Wednesday, taxpayers will now have to foot additional of the monthly bill, most likely major to double-digit tax boosts.
County Commission Chairman George Hebert cited identical issues throughout Tuesday’s assembly, calling the spending plan a “reckless disregard for the county’s monetary long term.”
Hebert additional that he’s skeptical that politicians will adhere to as a result of on their assure to transfer forward with the Unity nursing residence challenge, which involves gutting the 1 developing, earning aesthetic improvements to a further creating and demolishing a third to obvious space for an 82,000-sq.-foot addition.
“When it will come to words vs . actions, I imagine in steps and I will consider it when I see it simply because thus significantly what I have observed has been disturbing,” he explained throughout the about hourlong meeting, which was held nearly and in human being at the Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Centre in Claremont.
Point out Rep. Judy Aron, R-South Acworth, also expressed disappointment with the spending plan, declaring the delegation’s hesitation on the nursing house means it will possible have to spend an further $60,000 for more scientific studies to determine correct pricing.
That money, she pointed out, is not in the spending strategy.
“When will we get started to see reduction of staff headcounts and nursing dwelling resident headcounts because no 1 will want to get the job done or dwell there?” Aron requested. “Are we making ready for those losses? No.”
Democrats countered that some income in the finances could go towards an preliminary interest payment on nursing house loans and that they are committed to obtaining a less expensive solution.
“I feel that the delegation, the overall delegation, feels that a nursing home renovation is actually necessary. There’s no question in my mind or everyone else’s head that which is the circumstance,” point out Rep. Linda Tanner, D-Georges Mills, reported in a mobile phone interview Wednesday.
However, “we’re not a wealthy county,” she said, introducing that compromises will have to have to be labored out. The delegation ideas to keep a conference afterwards this thirty day period to discuss future techniques for the nursing property.
Ferland, the county manager, said the finances can make several changes to functions and contains two personnel improvements — the reduction of 1 position at the Section of Corrections and much more hours for a section-time sheriff’s deputy.
Grafton County officers on Monday authorised a $48.7 million spending budget that virtually level-funds functions in North Haverhill.
The county delegation voted, 25-1, in favor of adopting a spending program that is not envisioned to maximize taxes and outcomes in a .44% maximize in new paying out.
The nearly unanimous vote was the end result of a bipartisan energy to preserve expenditures low in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, mentioned Wendy Piper, D-Enfield, who chairs the Grafton County Fee.
“We did that to advantage our constituents, to present providers and to go on good quality products and services by the county but also to acknowledge that the county funds are not able to always hold heading up and up,” she said in an job interview Wednesday.
The finances contains a 2% price tag of dwelling increase for union personnel. It also assumes health insurance policies charges will rise by 3%, and payments to the New Hampshire Retirement Process are set to boost any place between 11% and 33%.
All those would be offset by a $117,800 reduction in personal debt payments, and a lot more than $650,000 for funding for integrated supply networks, or well being treatment services that provide aid for mental health and compound misuse.
Tim Camerato can be reached at [email protected] or 603-727-3223.