Police Department Life Saver Awards

December 3, 2008

Two Exeter Police Officers, John Forbes and Colleen Driscoll, were presented with Lifesaver Awards on Monday evening at the December 1st Board of Selectmen meeting.  These awards were given for John and Colleen’s actions relating to a near fatal heart attack on a male at 20 Beech Hill Road, October 8, 2008. 

Officers Forbes and Driscoll arrived on scene prior to the Fire Department and administered 2 person CPR to the victim, giving enough time for the Fire Department paramedics to arrive and perform Advanced Life Support procedures. 

I want to personally acknowledge Colleen and John on their heroic efforts on behalf of the community, and their continued good work for the Town of Exeter.

Dan Healy Memorial Pool

July 29, 2009

I want to reach out and thank the members of our community and others who attended the recent renaming of the town pool after Daniel Healy, the Exeter native who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005. I also want to thank both Hampton Post 35 and Exeter Post 32 for making the afternoon a special one, in particular Ralph Fatello, who worked hard along with our town employees to get the site ready. The Exeter Police Department, Parks and Recreation Department, and Highway Department all did great work helping to make the event a special one.

What Makes Up The Tax Base?

December 17, 2008

Few people are aware how many properties make up Exeter’s tax base, what kinds of properties and the growth trends over time.  So I’ll spend the next few weeks detailing the information from our databases.

As of 2008, the breakdown goes: 2,766 single family homes, 937 condos, 1,047 mobile homes, and 195 two family homes.  There are 370 commercial properties compared with 333 in 2000, and 360 parcels identified as US Government/Exempt.  Overall values in 2000 for single family homes were 478,751,300 compared with 925,872,300 today.

Exeter also ranks 18th out of 231 cities and towns in the state in terms of population, with approximately 14,500 residents.

Our three largest taxpayers are all not for profit organizations: Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter Hospital, and Riverwoods.

FY09 Budget Discussions Continue

December 8, 2008

There has been quite a bit of discussion in recent weeks regarding the local Town budget.  I would encourage residents who have an interest in the budget to participate.  As you know, these are trying times, with the economy in a tough state, and the Town feels this as well.  We’ve written quite a bit this year about how property values in Town are down 63 million dollars, or 4 percent of value, a statistically significant number.  If you do some internet work around the country, we are seeing state and local governments facing fiscal challenges like never before.  Most of this is due to drops in revenue.  Since Exeter primarily relies on local property taxes to fund its services, we are somewhat insulated from drops in other revenues more directly related to the economy such as sales taxes.  However, we have seen a downturn this year in interest income, building permits, local revenues, and surplus.  Drops in these categories directly impact how much of the budget must be funded through the property tax.  In other revenues, the meals and rooms tax saw a small increase, and Highway Block Grant aid is scheduled to increase next year, however this is not guaranteed due to estimates being made now for quarterly payments due late next year.  The Board of Selectmen will be determining in the next three weeks what our Town Warrant will look like for FY09.  Since Exeter is an SB2 Town, we will be working with a default and a regular budget proposal.  The budget recommendations committee budget and the Town Manager’s budget can be accessed off the front page of the Town’s website.  The default budget is a separate calculation which will be published at some point in next two weeks.

Holiday Parade Is Coming!

December 1, 2008

One of our great Exeter traditions happens this coming Saturday, the Holiday Parade.  Many Town Departments will be represented in the parade and we encourage all residents to come and enjoy the kickoff to the season.  You can click on www.exeterholidayparade.org to get all of the information regarding volunteering, rain dates, and the like.  Darius Thompson, who is a Town resident, coordinates the annual parade along with the Parade Committee, and these folks deserve a tremendous amount of credit for the effort they put in to make the occasion a success.  We will see you on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. sharp!

New Tax Rate

November 26, 2008

The Town’s new tax rate was set recently by the Department of Revenue Administration at 22.40 per 1,000 of assessed valuation.  This is an increase of 11.6% from last year’s rate of 20.07 per 1,000 of assessed value.  The new tax commitment number for the Town is 35,215,295, a 7.4% increase over FY08.  The rate has four components, Town, School, State Education Tax, and County.  For the new rate they are as follows: Town 6.66 per 1,000, School 12.34 per 1,000, State Education 2.42 per 1,000 and County .98 per 1,000.

The Town’s new net taxable valuation declined 63 million dollars in 2008 compared to 2007.  This represented the second straight drop in property values in consecutive years and represented approximately 1.12 of the increase in the rate. 

The Town’s new operating share of the tax levy is 10,087,685, or 28.6% of the total levy.  Using the new operating tax rate of 6.34 per 1,000, the average $300,000 home now pays $1,902 per year for municipal services.  This includes all general government, police, fire, ambulance, public works, public library, parks and recreation, and library.  The Town’s actual tax rate of 6.66 per 1,000 takes into account overlay for abatements (137,152) and Veterans Credits (366,500).

Boulders Groundbreaking

November 26, 2008

I was fortunate enough to attend the Boulders groundbreaking yesterday at Riverwoods.  The Boulders will be the third facility for the Riverwoods campus, adding to the Ridge and the Main facility.  Riverwoods is a great success story for the community, and has become amongst our top three taxpayers, with PEA and the Exeter Hospital being the others.  Although the weather was windy and rainy, there were many attendees and the ceremonies will be broadcast on Channel 22.  A special thank you to Jim Fellows and Andy Swanson for taking the time and making the effort to record the festivities.

New Town Manager Blog

November 25, 2008

Welcome to my new blog.  From time to time, I’ll be writing and updating the blog, answering your questions and taking comments.  The blog is based on input I received at a seminar this past September in Richmond, Viriginia.  Blogs are becoming more popular all the time, and many managers around the country now have them.  Please check back here often to read about goings on in the Town from the corner office, to ask questions, and get direct feedback.