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March/April 2020

TownandCity N E W

H A M P S H I R E

In This Issue:

A PUBLICATION OF NEW HAMPSHIRE MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION

The State of Recycling Markets in New Hampshire.......................... 8 A Census Complete Count Will Benefit Everyone in New Hampshire...............................................................15 NHMA Gears Up for 2021-2022 Legislative Policy Process – It’s Never Too Early to Submit Policy Suggestions...........................18 Cadillac Tax Repealed and Other Employer ACA Penalties on the Rise!................................................................ 22


Safety. Liquidity. Yield. Municipalities and governmental entities need investment options that focus on these objectives. The New Hampshire Public Deposit Investment Pool (NHPDIP or the Pool) features: • Professional Management. Investments in the Pool are managed by investment professionals who are experienced in managing local government investment pools, and follow both general economic and current market conditions affecting interest rates. NHPDIP is rated AAAm* by Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services. • Convenience. NHPDIP provides simple management solutions with 24/7 password-protected account access and a Client Services Group to provide additional support and assistance. • Diversification. NHPDIP has a diversified portfolio of high-quality instruments designed to meet the Pool’s primary objective of safety. Learn more by calling your dedicated NHPDIP Representative, Beth Galperin, at 1.800.477.5258 or the Client Services Group at 1.844.4NH-PDIP (1.844.464.7347) or visiting www.nhpdip.com.

*Standard & Poor’s fund ratings are based on analysis of credit quality, market price exposure, and management. According to Standard & Poor’s rating criteria, the AAAm rating signifies excellent safety of investment principal and a superior capacity to maintain a $1.00 per share net asset value. However, it should be understood that the rating is not a “market” rating nor a recommendation to buy, hold or sell the securities. For a full description on rating methodology, visit Standard & Poor’s website http://www.standardandpoors.com/en_US/ web/guest/ home). This information is for institutional investor use only, not for further distribution to retail investors, and does not represent an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any fund or other security. Investors should consider the Pool’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Pool. This and other information about the Pool is available in the Pool’s current Information Statement, which should be read carefully before investing. A copy of the Pool’s Information Statement may be obtained by calling 1-844-464-7347 or is available on the NHPDIP website at www.nhpdip.com. While the Pool seeks to maintain a stable net asset value of $1.00 per share, it is possible to lose money investing in the Pool. An investment in the Pool is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Shares of the Pool are distributed by PFM Fund Distributors, Inc., member Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (www.finra.org) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) (www.sipc.org). PFM Fund Distributors, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of PFM Asset Management LLC.


Contents Table of

Volume LXIII • Number 2

March/April 2020

3 A Message from NHMA’s Executive Director 5 Happenings 7 Upcoming Events 26  Tech Insights: Doing More and Spending Less with Cloud Computing 27 Up Close and Personal on the Board: Cheryl Lindner 28 Legal Q&A: Stop Plowing that Private Road! 30  Affiliate Spotlight: Animal Control Officers Association of New Hampshire 32  Affiliate Spotlight: Northeast Resource Recovery Association

2019-2020

Legislative

Policy Positions

8

The State of Recycling Markets in New Hampshire

15

A Census Complete Count Will Benefit Everyone in New Hampshire

18

NHMA Gears Up for 2021-2022 Legislative Policy Process. It's Never Too Early to Submit Policy Suggestions

22

Cadillac Tax Repealed and Other Employer ACA Penalties on the Rise!

34  NHARPC: New Hampshire: No Longer a Special Place to Call Home? 38  This Moment in History 38  Name That City or Town

Cover Photo Credit: Cover photo provided by Michael Gillis, Media Services Coordinator with the City of Dover.

New Hampshire Town and City Magazine Staff Executive Director Editor in Chief

Margaret M.L. Byrnes Timothy W. Fortier

Contributing Editor Margaret M.L. Byrnes Barbara T. Reid Natch Greyes Production/Design

Evans Printing Co.

Official Publication of the New Hampshire Municipal Association 25 Triangle Park Drive • Concord, New Hampshire 03301 Phone: 603.224.7447 • Email: nhmainfo@nhmunicipal.org • Website: www.nhmunicipal.org New Hampshire Municipal Association Phone: 800.852.3358 (members only) NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY (USPS 379-620) (ISSN 0545-171X) is published 6 times a year for $25/member, $50/non-member per year, by the New Hampshire Municipal Association, 25 Triangle Park Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03301. Individual copies are $10.00 each. All rights reserved. Advertising rates will be furnished upon application. Periodical postage paid at Concord, NH 03302. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY, 25 Triangle Park Drive, Concord, NH 03301. NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY serves as a medium for exchanging ideas and information on municipal affairs for officials of New Hampshire municipalities and county governments. Subscriptions are included as part of the annual dues for New Hampshire Municipal Association membership and are based on NHMA’s subscription policy. Nothing included herein is to be construed as having the endorsement of the NHMA unless so specifically stated. Any reproduction or use of contents requires permission from the publisher. POSTMASTER: Address correction requested. © Copyright 2020 New Hampshire Municipal Association

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MARCH/APRIL 2020

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New Hampshire Municipal Association

B OA R D O F D I R E C TO R S

As of March, 2019

Shaun Mulholland - Chair City Manager, Lebanon

Jim Maggiore - Vice Chair Selectman, North Hampton

Lisa Drabik - Treasurer Asst. Town Manager, Londonderry

Rick Hiland - Secretary Selectman, Albany

Laura Buono Town Administrator, Hillsborough

Butch Burbank Town Manager, Lincoln

David Caron Town Administrator, Derry

Conservation Commission, Holderness

Shelagh Connelly

Phil D’Avanza Planning Board, Goffstown

Jeanie Forrester Selectman, Meredith

Stephen Fournier Town Administrator, Newmarket

Elizabeth Fox Asst. City Manager, HR Director, Keene

Meredith Hatfield Councilor, Concord

Bill Herman Town Administrator, Auburn

Neil Irvine Selectman, New Hampton

Pamela Laflamme Community Development Director, Berlin

Cheryl Lindner Chief of Staff, Nashua

Harold Lynde Selectman, Pelham

Conner MacIver Town Administrator, Barrington

Judie Milner City Manager, Franklin

Donna Nashawaty Town Manager, Sunapee

David Stack Town Manager, Bow

Eric Stohl Selectman, Columbia

David Swenson Selectman, New Durham

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

www.nhmunicipal.org


MUNICIPAL ENGINEERING Supporting NH Municipalities Since 1962

TRANSPORTATION

A Message from the

Executive Director

Roads, Bridges, Sidewalks, Traffic, Airports

SITE DEVELOPMENT Civil/Site, Stormwater, Survey, Permitting

NATURAL RESOURCES Wetlands, Dams, River Restoration

WATER/WASTEWATER

NHMA Margaret M.L.Byrnes

W

elcome to the March/April issue of Town & City. There is a wellknown proverb that March “goes in like a lion and out like a lamb.” With many March town meetings, newly-elected municipal officials, and the legislature in full swing, it may not be a quiet month at either end for local government officials—but it certainly is one full of change.

Collection, Treatment, Storage, Distribution

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experience counts We know New Hampshire governments. Your needs come first at Vachon Clukay & Company, PC, so we’ve structured ourselves to fulfill all of your service needs.We provide the following services: Auditing Accounting Support and Training Advising Personalized “Team” Service Expertise in How Your Organization Operates Computerized Forms Operational Management Studies

We want want to to be part of your We your team. team. For contact: For personal attention contact: Robert L. Vachon, CPA CPA Jarad Vartanian,

So, although we know that means many of you are particularly busy this year, we hope you’ll consider participating in our legislative policy process by helping to set NHMA’s legislative policies and priorities for the 2021-2022 biennium. Participating in this process includes serving on a committee, submitting a policy proposal, or sending a voting member to the Policy Conference in September. Take a look at pages 18-20 in this issue, or on the Policy Setting Process page on NHMA’s website for more information. And perhaps in the spirit of change that March brings for many of our members, this issue of Town & City features of potpourri of informational articles: read about updates with the Affordable Care Act, learn more about cloud computing, and let Natch, our municipal services counsel, explain why you need to stop plowing that private road! We also hope you’ll enjoy NHMA’s 2019 Annual Report as the insert in this issue. The Annual Report provides members with an overview of NHMA’s activities for the year; we encourage you to take a moment to reflect on whether your municipality is taking full advantage of its membership services. You can look for NHMA’s Annual Report in each March/April Town & City going forward. Finally, NHMA and Primex have teamed up to bring members a new program, the Academy for Good Governance. This six-course program, created exclusively for elected governing body members, is meant to serve Warmest regards, as a crash course on the pertinent law and best practices. Learn more about the program on page 14 of this issue Margaret M.L. Byrnes, of Town & City! NHMA Executive Director

608 Chestnut St. • Manchester, NH 03104 Phone: (603) 622-7070 Fax: (603) 622-1452 www.vachonclukay.com

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MARCH/APRIL 2020

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Save the Date

Managing Cybersecurity Risk for Local Government A S TATE W I DE CY BER S U MMI T Wednesday, April 8, 2020 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM Grappone Center, Concord

Join leaders in cybersecurity from Federal, State, and local government to learn about threats, resources, and capabilities. Watch for online registration at nhprimex.org!

4

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

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HAPPENINGS 2020 Board of Directors Receive Refresher Training

(Orr & Reno Attorney Laura Hartz addressing board roles and responsibilities at January 2020 board meeting.)

In January, NHMA’s Board members received refresher training as to their roles and responsibilities, fiduciary obligations and other related matters to their position as a board of director with NHMA. Attorney Laura Hartz of Orr&Reno law firm in Concord, outlined the legal duties of directors as well as the application of the Right-toKnow Law and nonprofit board best practices.

New Final Overtime Rule Workshop

offices on Friday, December 13, 2019. Nearly 35 members attended this one and half-hour training workshop. McKinney reviewed the final rule issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that allows certain workers to become newly entitled to overtime by updating the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative or professional employees from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. The new final rule became effective on January 1, 2020. McKinney addressed, among other requirements, the salary and compensation levels needed for workers to be exempt and reviewed how non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments factor into the new rule.

Right-to-Know Law for Law Enforcement Workshop

(NHMA’s Natch Greyes addresses a full house of law enforcement personnel regarding the State’s Right-to-Know Law.)

On January 21, 2020, NHMA’s Legal Services Counsel Stephen Buckley and Municipal Services Counsel Natch Greyes shared their insights and strategies to a full house of law enforcement

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Offices throughout the Northeast and a new Portland, ME location

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Roberts & Greene, PLLC (USDOL McKinney reviewing new rules governing overtime regulations.)

NHMA would like to thank Steven McKinney, Community Outreach Specialist for the Northern New England District Office of the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (USDOL), for his presentation at the New Final Overtime Rule Workshop held at NHMA www.nhmunicipal.org

Comprehensive Governmental Auditing and Accounting Services Contact us for: Accuracy Communication Timeliness

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Audits of Financial Statements Financial Statement Preparation Accounting Assistance Staff Training Management Advisory Services

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MARCH/APRIL 2020

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HAPPENINGS from page 5 personnel regarding handling governmental record matters arising under the Right-to-Know Law. The disclosure of police records is governed in part by the Right-to-Know Law and in part by rules imported from federal law under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This workshop answered many questions about withholding records compiled for law enforcement purposes when disclosure would interfere with enforcement proceedings or based on other FOIA factors.  There was also close attention paid to disclosure exemptions found in other New

Hampshire statutes governing Body Worn Cameras, motor vehicle records, gun licenses, police personnel records, and the retention of police records.

Bedford Receives Triple-A Bond Rating, Again! The Town of Bedford is pleased to announce that Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) has once again affirmed Bedford’s bond rating to be Aaa (“Triple A”) in anticipation of its $10 million general obligation bond offering for completion of its multi-year road reconstruction program. Bedford remains the only municipality in the State of New Hampshire to receive

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 The Radisson Hotel, Manchester

Moody’s highest rating of Aaa which it first received in 2011. Among multiple positive factors cited by Moody’s in assigning the Aaa bond rating to Bedford are the Town’s strong financial operations including, conservative budgeting practices, healthy reserves, and its strong economy anchored by a favorable location. Additional strengths acknowledged in Moody’s evaluation included the Town’s sizable and diverse tax base, ongoing new construction and development activity, and strong demographic profile.  “This is excellent news,” stated Town Council Chairman, Bill Duschatko. “Moody’s Aaa rating is a great reflection of the solid financial policy put in place by the Town Council and full credit goes to our management team and employees who work constantly at providing great service to our community in a fiscally responsible manner.”  Rick Sawyer, Town Manager stated, “This rating and our position as the only community in the state to receive it over the last decade is something that the whole community should be proud of.” He concluded by, “thanking the residents of Bedford for overwhelmingly supporting the Roads Program and being so understanding with the impacts that road construction can cause on their daily lives.”

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Planning, Zoning and Enforcement Tax Abatement Appeals Ordinance Drafting and Review Employment and Labor Water and Sewer Issues Litigation General Legal Advice

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

Contact Person: Mark H. Puffer, Esquire Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios, LLP (603) 410-1500 | mpuffer@preti.com

preti.com www.nhmunicipal.org


Upcoming

Events

For more information or to register for an event, visit our online Calendar of Events at www.nhmunicipal.org. If you have any questions, please contact us at nhmaregistrations@nhmunicipal.org or 800.852.3358, ext. 3350.

MARCH Webinar: The Art of Welfare Wednesday, March 18 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Webinar: Learn About NHDES’s SafeTank Program Wednesday, March 25 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

APRIL Webinar: Legislative Half-time Report Wednesday, April 1 (tentative) 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm 2020 Local Officials Workshop NHMA Offices, Concord Tuesday, April 7 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Free for members Managing Cybersecurity Risk for Local Government – A Statewide Cyber Summit Grappone Center, Concord Wednesday, April 8 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm Admission is free – watch for online registration at nhprimex.org Webinar: ZBA Basics Wednesday, April 15 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm 2020 Hard Road to Travel Workshop NHMA Offices, Concord Friday, April 17 9:00 am – 12:30 pm Cost: $65.00 2020 Local Officials Workshop Newington Town Hall, Newington Tuesday, April 21 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Free for members

www.nhmunicipal.org

MARCH/APRIL 2020

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The State of Recycling Markets in New Hampshire Reagan Bissonnette, Executive Director, Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA)

1. The Financial Value of Recycling over Disposal One myth to dispel is that if recyclables can’t be sold for a profit, then they should be thrown away. Rather, recycling should be viewed as a cost avoidance strategy rather than a money maker, and recycling will continue to make financial sense in the future. Here’s why. Two key costs for municipalities in the disposal of municipal solid waste are the tipping fee—the cost to dispose of waste at a landfill or incinerator—and the hauling fee—the cost of transportation to get the material to the landfill or incinerator. Both of these costs are determined by weight. The northeast has the highest tipping fees in the country, in part, because we have the least amount of available space for new or expanded landfills. This high cost will only continue to increase and have an even bigger impact on community budgets, which will make recycling more attractive over time. While it makes financial sense for some communities with high single stream recycling costs to landfill or burn recyclables in the short term, this only guarantees a shorter lifespan for landfills and higher tipping fees sooner for everyone.

2. Types of Recyclable Commodities The four core recyclable commodities from municipal solid waste in order by weight are: (1) fibers (primarily cardboard and mixed paper), (2) glass, (3) plastic, and (4) metal (aluminum cans and steel cans). A recent report by the Northeast Recycling Council provides a useful overview of the average composition of recyclable commodities in the northeast.1 The report was based on a survey of materials recovery facilities (MRFs) in the northeast and provided an average percentage of outbound tons marketed per commodity in 2018. MRFs receive, separate, and prepare recyclable materials from the public, typically through single stream recycling systems, for marketing to processors and end user manufacturers. 8

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

Average Percentage of Tons Marketed per Commodity OCC Grade #11 (Cardboard) 24.40% Mixed Paper Grade #54 27.97% 52.42% Aseptic and Gable-top Cartons (Grade #52) 0.05% Clear 4.41% Green 1.75% Glass 25.14% Brown 4.41% Clear, Green & Brown Mix 14.57% Residue (aka contamination, trash, Residue nonrecyclables) 12.19% 12.19% #1 PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) 3.08% #2 HDPE Natural (High-Density Polyethylene) 0.67% #2 HDPE Colored (High-Density Polyethylene) 0.93% Plastic 8.70% #5 PP (Polypropylene) 0.89% #3-7 Plastic Mix 2.41% Bulky Rigids 0.72% Uniform Beverage Cans (aluminum cans) 0.72% Metal 3.06% Steel Cans 2.34% Total 101.51% 101.51% Note: Disparity over 100% is due to how glass was reported (data from NERC). Fiber

Note that over 50% of the recycling stream consists of fibers (cardboard and paper). A quarter of the material by weight is glass, and nonrecyclable materials, here called residue, outweigh plastic and metals combined. In general, commodities separated into distinct subcategories have a higher price at market than the subcategories being mixed together. For example, mixed paper is different types of paper mixed together (ex. newspaper, magazines, junk mail, office paper). If a community separates out office paper or newspaper separately from its mixed paper, it can receive much higher value for those commodities versus just mixed paper.

3. Source Separation versus Single Stream Recycling The reported death of recycling has been greatly exaggerated. The challenges facing municipalities in New Hampshire are related to trash (especially related to single stream recycling), not recycling. Single stream recycling isn’t representative of all communities. Recycling programs initially began as either source separated or dual stream. In a fully source separated system, residents bring recyclables to their local recycling center and separate www.nhmunicipal.org


out each commodity manually. Many communities in New Hampshire still do this today, including most of the members of the Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA). In dual stream systems, fibers (cardboard and paper) are separated from containers (metal, glass, and plastic). The idea behind single stream recycling was that it would be more convenient for people to recycle everything in one bin, and therefore recycling rates would increase. However, the downside of single stream recycling is increased contamination. Contamination means anything in a final recyclable commodity other than the intended commodity. For example, broken glass can contaminate paper and plastic in single stream systems. Therefore, use of single stream recycling typically results in lower quality commodities than source separated or dual stream systems because of higher levels of contamination in the final commodities.

Municipalities that source separate, rather than using single stream, typically produce cleaner material for market and get paid higher value than for single stream commodities due to lower levels of contamination associated with source separated material. Over half the communities in New Hampshire source separate rather than use single stream recycling. But by population, less than half of the population is served by source separation because larger communities are more likely to use single stream. NRRA members with single stream recycling programs include Nashua, Merrimack, Manchester, and Portsmouth. The mechanics of source separated recycling and single stream recycling vary considerably. A municipality that source separates will need containers to hold the final material loose, or better yet, machinery called balers to compact commodities into rectangular bales and secure them with wire

or strapping. Covered storage space is needed to keep sorted commodities clean and dry until they can be sold. Municipalities in New Hampshire can benefit from grants available through New Hampshire the Beautiful, a beverage industry group, to purchase equipment and storage for recycling. On the other hand, single stream recycling systems rely on regional MRFs. Communities using single stream recycling typically do not need the same space and equipment as a source separating community.

4. Impact of China’s National Sword Policy on Recycling Markets China’s National Sword Policy In recent decades, population growth in China led to higher demand for importing recyclables into the country, especially paper. According to the

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The Bond Bank’s Next Bond Issue will be on July 14, 2020 January 2020 Bond Sale Results - True Interest Cost for: 10 year loans 1.47% 15 year loans 1.83% 20 year loans 2.15%

Are you planning a capital project for 2020? We can assist you with your planning by providing various scenarios based on level debt or level principal payments for different terms. Contact us now for your estimated debt schedules.

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To schedule a meeting, obtain debt service schedules, or for details about our schedule, fees, Bond Anticipation Note programs, and current interest rates, please contact Tammy J. St. Gelais, Executive Director, at tstgelais@nhmbb.com. Visit our website at www.nhmbb.org. Newton Fire Station, Newton, NH

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RECYCLING MARKETS from page 9 Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc., 31% of all United States scrap commodity exports—worth $5.6 billion—was shipped to China in 2017. China was willing to accept relatively high levels of contamination in the recyclables it imported, but this led to severe negative environmental impacts. In 2013, China enacted Operation Green Fence, which involved inspections of recycling coming into China. Then in July of 2017, China announced that its National Sword policy would take effect on January 1, 2018. The policy banned importation of all plastics, unsorted mixed paper, textiles, and some glass and metals into China. For materials China would still accept, contamination rates could not be over 0.5%, whereas 2% was the prior accepted standard. 0.5% contamination

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is extremely hard for single stream MRFs to meet due to the higher levels of contamination associated with single stream recycling systems.

Impact on Fibers - Mixed Paper and Cardboard Mixed paper is the piece of the waste stream that was hit the hardest by the China’s National Sword. When China’s National Sword policy was announced, China purchased approximately 55% of the world’s scrap paper. The resulting drop in demand for paper resulted in the price dropping precipitously worldwide. In the northeast, for example, the average price dropped from a high of $85 in March 2017 to well below zero now. Unlike other markets, when demand falls for recyclables, the supply does not likewise fall. There is no practical

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

way to stockpile all the material that was previously shipped to China. Unfortunately, that means there will be a need to burn or bury large amounts of material until the market responds to make recycling domestically more economical. Similarly, the price of cardboard has dropped following the announcement of China’s National Sword Policy. This precipitated an increase of supply in mills in the United States, keeping the value at $15 to $“0” a ton.

Impact on Municipalities and Materials Recovery Facilities Since over 50% of a typical municipal recycling stream consists of mixed paper and cardboard, the drop in mixed paper and cardboard prices has major budget implications for both New Hampshire communities and MRFs.

www.nhmunicipal.org


A MRF typically earns revenue from two sources: (1) the tipping fee (the fee charged to customers to bring in material) and (2) the revenue from selling the sorted commodities. In order to make a profit, those amounts must be greater than the cost to sort and prepare the commodities for sale. Given the reduction in the value of commodities, many MRFs are facing financial challenges as well.

5. Effects in New Hampshire Single Stream Recycling Communities in New Hampshire that utilize single stream recycling have felt the impacts of China’s National Sword policy to varying degrees. Some have long term contracts and can expect to see large increases in the fees charged for single stream recycling once those contracts are renegotiated. Others have seen their costs increase already. Some have decided to end their single stream recycling programs, and some have switched from single stream back to source separation. Two communities that ended their curbside single stream recycling programs in recent years include Franklin and Hooksett. Both still allow residents to source separate some materials at their town transfer center. Bow briefly stopped single stream recycling, but due to public demand, it was reinstated. Rollinsford switched from single stream back to source separation, which required it to purchase a baler so it could bale the separated commodities for sale. NRRA’s advice for communities with single stream recycling includes educating residents to clean up the recycling stream by reducing contamination, such as plastic bags and garden hoses. In addition, NRRA recommends avoiding making big changes to recycling programs to keep www.nhmunicipal.org

residents in the habit of recycling for when markets rebound. Many MRFs are investing in new technology to reduce contamination and attempt to reach the 0.5% contamination standard set by China.

Mixed Paper NRRA members currently must pay to recycle their mixed paper. So long as the cost of recycling mixed paper is lower than the cost to dispose of paper in a landfill or incinerator, it makes financial sense to keep recycling. But some communities have decided to throw away their mixed paper until markets improve. For example, Marlborough has decided to throw away its mixed paper until markets improve. They still separate and bale cardboard and separate valuable newspaper. Their mixed paper is going with their municipal solid waste to be incinerated. The recycling facility is asking residents to continue to separate and bring their mixed paper to the recycling facility to keep up the habit for when the market makes it eco-

nomical for the community to recycle mixed paper again. Like Marlborough, communities with enough storage and equipment are sorting out fiber commodities that are more valuable than mixed paper alone. For example, Meredith separates out newspaper, which sells for a higher value than mixed paper. Littleton separates office paper, which likewise is sold for a higher value than mixed paper. The silver lining of China’s National Sword policy is that the impacts are driving domestic investment in recycling infrastructure. Another report from the Northeast Recycling Council tracks announced increases in the capacity of North American paper mills to use recyclable paper as a raw material. The report identifies 22 new or existing mills that will use cardboard or recycled paper as a raw material, thus increasing demand for these materials. NRRA has searched for alternative uses and for a long-term domestic capacity solution for mixed paper. Some possible new markets for mixed paper MARCH/APRIL 2020

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RECYCLING MARKETS from page 11 include animal bedding and pellets for fuel.

Glass Markets for glass have decreased over the years, though China’s National Sword policy didn’t have a big impact on glass recycling in the northeast. The heavy weight of glass makes both transportation and disposal expensive. Over time, it became difficult to keep glass-like contaminants, such as porcelain, window glass, and ceramics, out of clean glass bottles and jars. Glass can also contaminate single stream recycling when it breaks and gets into other commodities, such as paper. Therefore, some MRFs provide financial incentives for communities to remove their glass from the recycling stream, and it may be less expensive for other communities to throw their glass away than pay to recycle it through a single stream system. Over 120 communities in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts recycle or reuse their glass through programs with NRAA. NRRA members can recycle glass with an NRRA vendor in Canada that processes the glass, which is then turned into fiber-

glass insulation back in the United States. NRRA currently has two host sites for glass recycling in New Hampshire— Keene and Lebanon—which serve 35 municipalities and businesses in New Hampshire. Municipalities can deliver the glass to these host sites for a cost that is typically less than the cost to otherwise dispose of the glass in landfills. The glass that is being recycled must be very clean and not contain glass-like contaminants such as ceramics, Pyrex, or window glass. For communities that find it difficult to meet these clean glass requirements, NRRA has a processed glass aggregate program that was developed decades ago. This program allows municipalities to combine all colors of glass and include ceramics, window glass, and Pyrex to be crushed into an aggregate at specific NRRA sites. NRRA currently has three host sites in New Hampshire—New London, Littleton and the Waste Management Turnkey Landfill in Rochester—serving over 50 municipalities and businesses in New Hampshire. Once stockpiles reach 1,000 tons, an NRRA vendor brings in a machine to crush the glass. The processed glass aggregate can be used as a subbase for roads, bedding for pipes, and a subbase for retaining walls and foundations. Municipalities can use 100% processed glass aggregate in public

works projects, whereas similar private or commercial use must be approved by a professional engineer or architect. NH Department of Transportation also approves processed glass aggregate allows use in State roadway projects in up to a 20/80 mix with gravel (20% processed glass aggregate, 80% gravel). For example, New London has used up to 100% processed glass aggregate as a base for several public works projects, including as a subbase for a new maintenance building foundation.

Metal and Plastic Although metal and plastic commodities represent the smallest portion by weight (less than 12% combined) of the average blended ton from single stream recycling, they account for a disproportionately high amount of the revenue received from recycling. This is true for both municipalities that source separate and MRFs that process single stream recycling. NRRA markets plastics to buyers in the United States, with few exceptions. Therefore, although China’s National Sword prohibited the importation of plastics, municipalities marketing plastic material through NRRA have seen few impacts on plastic values from the ban. Similarly, China’s National Sword had little impact on the value of metals, such as aluminum cans. The primary source of income from plastic recycling is from #1 PET and both natural and colored #2 HDPE containers, which are those often associated with soda bottles, milk jugs, and detergent bottles. The remaining plastics #3 through #7 have little value and limited end markets for recycling. Examples of plastics with lower value include plastic film and black plastic. These are the types of plastic that are increasing in volume as packaging for products changes over time.

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As with most commodities, municipalities can receive a higher value for their plastics if they separate them further into subcategories. However, space and equipment limitations, as well as a community’s ability to educate its residents, limit a municipality’s ability to separate out plastic effectively. Some communities choose to throw away all their #3-7 plastics due to the lower value received for these commodities and limited end markets. For example, BCEP Solid Waste District, which serves the towns of Barnstead, Chichester, Epsom, and Pittsfield, recently made changes to is recycling center so residents can separate out #1 PET, #2 HDPE natural, and #2 HDPE colored. The remaining plastics are currently being thrown away. As another example, Northwood temporarily stopped its entire plastics recycling program due to high contamination levels. With input from NRRA, Northwood is working on re-establishing their plastics recycling. This will involve improving the grounds of the facility and hours of

volunteer work at the facility to ensure residents are recycling correctly.

Sample Pricing of Commodities in Northeast The following pricing list shows the average range of pricing NRRA members can expect to receive for the four key commodities in January 2020. These prices are for illustrative purposes only because they assume most material is baled and shipped in full tractor trailer loads (rather than loose in gaylords or through single or dual stream recycling) and actual pricing varies depending on how the material will get delivered to the purchaser and other factors. Note that the smallest portion of the recycling stream by weight—plastic and metals— account for the greatest prices per ton, whereas the heaviest items by weight—fiber and glass— receive the lowest value per ton.

About the Northeast Resource Recovery Association The Northeast Resource Recovery Association (“NRRA”) is a nonprofit that enables both small and large com-

Sample Market Pricing for January 2020 Revenue / (Cost) Per Ton Low

High

$1,020

$1,120

Plastic

#2 HDPE Natural (ex. Milk jugs)

Metal

Aluminum Cans

$440

$620

Plastic

#2 HDPE Colored (ex. Detergent bottles)

$220

$280

Fiber

Sorted Office Paper

$80

$85

Plastic

#1 PET (ex. Soda bottles)

$40

$100

Plastic

#1 - #7 Mix

$40

$80

Fiber

#8 Newsprint

$45

$55

Fiber

OCC (Cardboard)

$15

$40

Glass

Into Aggregate or Fiberglass

($75)

($35)

Fiber

Mixed Paper

($100)

($45)

TRASH

MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE

($120)

($70)

www.nhmunicipal.org

munities to manage their own recycling programs. NRRA is one of only a handful of nonprofits in the country that provides cooperative marketing programs for recyclables. This means that we negotiate competitive pricing from companies who purchase recyclables and help our members sell their recyclables to those companies. In addition, we provide cooperative purchasing programs, educational and networking opportunities, technical assistance, and school programs in the general areas of waste reduction and recycling. For example, NRRA offers a variety of educational programs that qualify for continuing education credits required by NHDES certified solid waste operators. The membership of NRRA includes over 400 municipalities, individuals, and businesses in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Southern Maine. Originally founded in New Hampshire, approximately 65% of NRRA’s municipal members are located in New Hampshire. In the past three years, over 75% of the recyclable commodities NRRA marketed came from New Hampshire members. In January 2020, NRRA presented a webinar “Is Recycling Still Worthwhile in New Hampshire?” for New Hampshire Municipal Association members. The recorded webinar is available in the webinar archive on NHMA’s website, www.nhmunicipal.org. Reagan Bissonnette is the Executive Director of the Northeast Resource Recovery Association. Reagan may be reached via email at rbissonnette@nrra.net or by phone at 603.736.4401 (x116).

MARCH/APRIL 2020

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cademy for Good Governance New FREE Certificate Program

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

The Academy for Good Governance is a series of six courses created by NHMA and Primex, exclusively for elected governing body members (select board, town council, city council, board of aldermen, school board, and village district commis-

Governance & Governing Body Authority Presented by NHMA/NHSBA Wednesday, June 3, 2020, NHMA Offices

sioners). Courses are taught by experienced attorneys and staff

Budget & Finance

from NHMA, Primex, HealthTrust, and the New Hampshire School Boards Association (NHSBA). Attendees will receive

Presented by NHMA Wednesday, June 17, 2020, NHMA Offices

education and training intended to make them more knowlEmployment Liability/Harassment

edgeable and effective in their governing body roles. Attendance at the Academy is free and open to governing body

members from municipalities and school districts that are mem-

Presented by Primex Wednesday, September 16, 2020, Primex Offices

bers of NHMA amd Primex. Space is limited, and registration

Contracts and General Risk Management

will open on the NHMA website on April 6 th. Attendees must

Presented by Primex

attend all six courses to receive a Certificate of Completion. All

Wednesday, September 20, 2020, Primex Offices

classes run 5:00 pm—7:00 pm.

Health Care and Affordable Care Act Presented by HealthTrust Thursday, October 8, 2020, NHMA Offices

CREATE NEW CONNECTIONS

Effective Public Meetings Presented by NHMA/NHSBA Wednesday, October 21, 2020, NHMA Offices

Questions? Call NHMA’s Event Coordinator Ashley Methot at 800.852.3358 or email NHMAregistrations@nhmunicipal.org.

WHO CAN ATTEND? Select board members

Don’t miss this chance to build your skills and connect with fellow municipal officials! Find out more: www.nhmunicipal.org/workshops

14

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

Town councilors School board members City councilors Board of Aldermen Village districts commissioners

www.nhmunicipal.org


A Census Complete Count Will Benefit Everyone in New Hampshire By Bill Maddocks, 2020 Census Complete Count Consultant

I

t’s that time again. As required by Article 1, Section 2, of the United States Constitution, the Decennial Census will take place in New Hampshire and across the country early this spring. For New Hampshire, the importance and impact of the Census is consequential. More than $3.7 billion in federal funds are allocated to New Hampshire based on census data. That includes everything from funding for Highway Planning and Construction, the Federal Pell Grant Program and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance to Block Grants for the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse, and Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities. Federal funds provide revenue for 30% of the state of New Hampshire SFY’s 2018-2019 State Budget appropriations. Beyond federal funding, the census determines the allocation of congressional districts and the electoral college. The New Hampshire legislature will use the 2020 census data for redistricting--and undercounts in certain areas of the state may lead to inaccurate representation in the legislature and the Executive Council. For New Hampshire’s thirteen city governments and twohundred and twenty-one town or township governments, the importance of a complete count cannot be overstated. With a declining population and the overall aging of the existing population. ensuring that no one is missed can be a matter of survival for some communities. According to census data, twenty-seven percent of the cities and towns across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont lost population between 1990 and 2017, and an additional 44 By rough calculation, each undercounted person in New Hampshire costs the state about $2,771 of lost federal funds annually.

www.nhmunicipal.org

percent saw their population grow at an average annual rate that was less than the national average of 30.2 percent. Not only are census allocated federal funds valuable to New Hampshire’s cities and towns but also businesses across the state rely heavily on the data derived from the census. This data “serves, at most companies, as the foundation for data-driven business decision making. It provides them with crucial demographic information about customers, the workforce and the economic landscape” according to the Business for the 2020 Census Task Force, an invitation-only network of executives from major corporations, national trade associations, and national business membership organizations. While businesses may also rely on private, commercial databases, “the census data is the gold standard against which all other government and non-governmental data is compared,” says Ken Johnson, Senior Demographer at the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy. According to Johnson, “all the polling by corporations, commercial survey institutes, by government agencies depend on the census as the base to weight and adjust their findings to reflect the population. Even though they may not directly use census data its pervasive in all of the numerical tools that they rely on.” Despite the importance of having a complete and accurate count, several factors will make getting everyone to respond to the census more difficult than before. One challenge of the 2020 Census is hiring enough staff to carry out the complex task of getting hundreds of millions of people to complete their census questionnaires. Historically low unemployment has made hiring hard; consequently, the base pay for census takers was raised to $20/hr for New Hampshire. This will be the first census to allow online responses. While this should be a cost-saving innovation, another obstacle is the digital divide. In New Hampshire, a significant percentage of homes (especially in the North Country) still lack MARCH/APRIL 2020

15


CENSUS from page 15 access to high-speed internet and mobile phone connectivity. This is not just an issue for our northern neighbors and similar rural areas of the state. In Manchester, in the hardest-to-reach census tract, almost 27% of homes lack internet access. With 82 languages spoken in Manchester schools, reaching non-English speakers will present another hurdle. One of the most undercounted groups are children under the age of five. For different reasons, parents don’t always count their youngest children. The impact on funding for children’s nutrition and health programs due to an undercount could be devastating. The politicization of the census by the current administration and aggressive immigration enforcement by federal agencies have created an atmosphere of fear and mistrust. Outreach to vulnerable populations and those who fear the government should take place by trusted community representatives. Additionally, with the transition to an online response option, data security has become another trust issue for completing the census questionnaire. The census bureau has created a publication specifically addressing census data concerns. To meet these challenges, Complete Count Committees (CCCs) have been organized in Nashua, Manchester, Rochester, Wilton, Claremont and Berlin, and the state government has organized a statewide CCC managed through the Office of Strategic Initiatives. In the absence of state funding, the philanthropic community has stepped up to provide support to census activities in New Hampshire. Members of the New Hampshire Funders Forum have contributed funding for a part16

Why the Census Is Important Because Census data have countless applications in political, business, and social welfare arenas, Census accuracy is critical. Examples of the important uses of Census data include: • Allocation of political power through reapportionment of seats in Congress and drawing of new legislative districts • Distribution of federal funds through funding formulas • Civil rights enforcement through fair housing laws, the Voting Rights Act, and other legislation • Business site selection when companies are deciding where to expand • Population estimates and projections derived from Census counts • Weights for sample surveys • Denominators for rates • Community planning for schools and hospitals • Economic and social science research

time Complete Count Consultant and have created a small pool of funds to be allocated through a mini-grant program for outreach activities by nonprofits managed by Granite United Way. The business community has also been encouraged to address the resource gap needed to effectively meet the enormous challenge required for a complete count. Across the state, public libraries, colleges and universities, community action agencies, economic development organizations and many others are becoming involved in the complete count efforts since all have a stake in ensuring high levels of participation. In addition to in-person and online options, the census can be completed by phone. The Census will offer 12 different languages for responders. Federal Census staff will work with municipalities, libraries and nonprofits to set up Mobile Questionnaire Assistance Centers across the state so anyone without internet access can re-

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

spond to the census questionnaire. How can cities and towns support the 2020 census? The U.S. Census Bureau has created the 32-page guide “2020 Census Toolkit for State and Local Officials” which details several actions that public officials can take to organize and publicize the census in their localities. The guide explains the crucial role of the CCCs which “serve as state and local ‘census ambassador’ groups that play an integral part in ensuring a complete and accurate count of the community in the 2020 Census. Success of the census depends on community involvement at every level. The Census Bureau cannot conduct the 2020 Census alone”. But time is of the essence because the 2020 census has already begun. In the tiny northern arctic town of Toksook Bay, Alaska, traditional fishers and hunters began responding to the census on January 21st. In the lower 48 states, the census will begin in mid-March. www.nhmunicipal.org


With public, private and commuWhen the writers of The Constitution nity support, we can apply the “New designed the census, it was with the Hampshire Way” to the goal of countintention to count everyone “once, ing everyone. only once, and in the right place.” Despite how much we have advanced Bill Maddocks in a 2020 Census Comsince the first census in 1790, it will plete Count Consultant for New Hamptake old-fashioned people-to-people Counting for Dollars 2020 shire. Bill can be reached by phone at connections to reach the wide range The Role of the Decennial Census in the 508-574-3285 or by email at BillNof geographic, language and national Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds HCCC@gmail.com. REPORT identities who live in our state today.

Here is the Complete 2020 Census Calendar 2020

March 12 - 20: Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail. March 30 - April 1: The Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness over these three days. As part of this process, the Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.

COUNTING FOR DOLLARS 2020:

NEW HAMPSHIRE Allocation of Funds from 55 Large Federal Spending Programs Guided by Data Derived from the 2010 Census (Fiscal Year 2016)

Total Program Obligations: $3,718,487,379 Program

Dept.

Obligations

Program

Dept.

$3,636,390,192

Financial Assistance Programs Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid)

HHS

$1,265,965,000

Federal Direct Student Loans

ED

$899,623,282

Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

USDA

$120,552,019

Medicare Suppl. Medical Insurance (Part B)

HHS

$294,560,352

Highway Planning and Construction

DOT ED

Federal Pell Grant Program

Community Facilities Loans/Grants

USDA

$38,859,173

ED

$10,640,020

Crime Victim Assistance

DOJ

$9,466,979

CDBG Entitlement Grants

HUD

$3,292,828

$174,155,111

Public Housing Capital Fund

HUD

$5,392,000

$105,400,000

Block Grants for the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse

HHS

$6,967,796

USDA

$10,186,418

Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers

HUD

$84,289,000

Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

HHS

$38,521,261

Social Services Block Grant

HHS

$6,556,094

Very Low to Moderate Income Housing Loans

USDA

$130,616,190

Rural Rental Assistance Payments

USDA

$14,488,592

Title I Grants to LEAs

ED

$41,409,301

Business and Industry Loans

USDA

$5,000,000

State Children's Health Insurance Program

HHS

$39,174,000

Career and Technical Education - Basic Grants to States

ED

$5,496,906

National School Lunch Program

USDA

$23,032,000

Homeland Security Grant Program

DHS

$2,134,746

ED

$48,632,671

WIOA Dislocated Worker Grants

DOL

$2,330,007

Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program

HUD

$52,666,448

HOME

HUD

$1,031,190

Federal Transit Formula Grants

DOT

$14,669,000

State CDBG

HUD

$8,099,926

Head Start

HHS

$17,691,391

WIOA Youth Activities

DOL

$2,139,306

WIC

USDA

$11,521,000

WIOA Adult Activities

DOL

$2,028,449

Title IV-E Foster Care

HHS

$10,512,985

Employment Service/Wagner-Peyser

DOL

$3,029,576

Health Care Centers

HHS

$24,466,295

Community Services Block Grant

HHS

$3,756,915

School Breakfast Program

USDA

$5,505,000

Special Programs for the Aging, Title III, Part C, Nutrition Services

HHS

$3,348,608

Rural Electrification Loans and Loan Guarantees

USDA

$0

Cooperative Extension Service

USDA

$2,146,012

Public and Indian Housing

HUD

$11,164,000

Native Amer. Employment & Training

DOL

$0

Low Income Home Energy Assistance

HHS

$26,408,240

Child and Adult Care Food Program

Special Education Grants

April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you’ll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.

Obligations

April: Census takers will begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews to help ensure an accurate count. May - July: Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.

USDA

$5,224,000

Vocational Rehabilitation Grants to the States

ED

$10,829,085

Low Income Housing Tax Credit

Treas

$35,755,863

Child Care Mandatory and Matching Funds

HHS

$10,372,000

New Markets Tax Credit

Treas

$17,386,550

December: The Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.

$13,944,000 $28,954,774

2021

Unemployment Insurance Administration

DOL

Federal Transit - Capital Investment Grants

DOT

$0

Child Care and Development Block Grant

HHS

$5,954,000

Adoption Assistance

HHS

$3,141,020

$53,142,412

Federal Tax Expenditures

Federal Procurement Programs HUBZones Program

SBA

$28,954,774

March 31: By this date, the Census Bureau will send redistricting counts to states. This information is used to redraw legislative districts based on population changes.

Prepared by Andrew Reamer, the George Washington Institute of Public Policy, the George Washington University. Spending data analysis provided by Sean Moulton, Open Government Program Manager, Project on Government Oversight. | January 30, 2019 Note: The sequence of the above programs is consistent with U.S. rank order by program expenditures. (See U.S. sheet in series.) Counting for Dollars 2020 publications and spreadsheet with above data available at https://gwipp.gwu.edu/counting-dollars-2020-role-decennial-census-geographic-distribution-federal-funds

www.nhmunicipal.org

IPP-1819-3

For further information:

Andrew Reamer, Research Professor The George Washington University areamer@gwu.edu

MARCH/APRIL 2020

17


NHMA Gears Up for 2021-2022 Legislative Policy Process It's Never Too Early to Submit Policy Suggestions Our Advocacy Efforts Matter! Your Voice Matters More!

E

stablished in 1941 as a voluntary association of New Hampshire’s cities and towns, the New Hampshire Municipal Association has served as the primary legislative advocate for New Hampshire’s municipalities, representing its members at the state legislature and before numerous federal and state administrative agencies. We are a unique advocacy organization in that we do not support or endorse any candidate or political party. Our ability to maintain significant political relevance is tied directly to our advocacy efforts and the relationships we have cultivated over many years with state and municipal leaders, the New Hampshire Legislature, state agency officials and other stakeholder groups.

2019-2020

• Finance and Revenue – budgeting, revenue, tax exemptions, current use, assessing, tax collection, retirement issues, education funding. • General Administration and Governance – elections, Right-to-Know Law, labor, town meeting, charters, welfare, public safety, other governance and legal matters. • Infrastructure, Development, and Land Use – solid/ hazardous waste, transportation, land use, environmental regulation, housing, utilities, code enforcement, economic development.

Legislative

As many municipal officials already know, our legislative work is a full-time, year-round job. It is an ongoing process and staff members have already been working on laying the foundation for the next legislative biennium. The success of NHMA’s legislative efforts, in large part, depends on you. You work at the level of government that is closest to the citizens and you are uniquely situated to help legislators understand how pending legislation affects your city or town.

When you contact us, please indicate your first and second choices for a committee assignment. We will do our best to accommodate everyone’s first choice, but we do need to achieve approximately equal membership among the committees. We hope to have 15-20 members on each committee.

Policy Positions

Step One: Get Involved – Volunteer for a Policy Committee As a first step, we are recruiting volunteers to serve on our three legislative policy committees. These committees will review legislative policy proposals submitted by local officials and NHMA affiliate groups and make recommendations on those policies, which will go to the NHMA Legislative Policy Conference in September. Each of the committees deals with a different set of municipal issues. The committees and their subject areas are as follows:

18

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

There will be an organizational meeting for all committees on April 3. After that, each committee will meet separately as many times as necessary to review the policy proposals assigned to it—typically three to five meetings, all held on either a Monday or Friday, between early April and the end of May.

NHMA Relies on its Members to Help Shape its Legislative Agenda If you are a local official in a NHMA member city or town and are interested in serving on one of the policy committees, please contact the Government Affairs staff at 800-852-3358, or at governmentaffairs@nhmunicipal.org.

www.nhmunicipal.org


New Hampshire Municipal Association Explanation of Proposed Policy Submitted by (Name):

Date:

Title of Person Submitting Policy: City or Town:

Phone:

To see if NHMA will SUPPORT/OPPOSE:

Municipal interest to be accomplished by proposal:

Explanation:

A sheet like this should accompany each proposed legislative policy. It should include a brief (one or two sentence) policy statement, a statement about the municipal interest served by the proposal and an explanation that describes the nature of the problem or concern from a municipal perspective and discusses the proposed action that is being advocated to address the problem. Mail to NHMA, 25 Triangle Park Drive, Concord, NH 03301; or e-mail to governmentaffairs@nhmunicipal.org no later than the close of business on April 17, 2020.

www.nhmunicipal.org

MARCH/APRIL 2020

19


• Contact the Government Affairs Staff (soon!) if you are interested in serving on a legislative policy committee (send us an email at governmentaffairs@nhmunicipal. org); and

POLICY PROCESS from page 19 The committee process will allow for in-depth review and discussion of policy suggestions so all aspects of each proposal, both positive and negative, will be examined. Based on that review, each committee will make recommendations for the adoption of legislative policies. Once the committees complete their work, their policy recommendations will be sent to every municipal member of NHMA. Each municipality’s governing body will be encouraged to review the recommendations and establish positions on them. Members will also have an opportunity to submit floor policy proposals in advance of the Legislative Policy Conference in September. At the Legislative Policy Conference, each member municipality is entitled to cast one vote on every policy recommendation submitted and on any floor proposals. Each policy proposal must receive a two-thirds affirmative vote of those present and voting in order to be adopted as an NHMA policy.

Step 2: Create Change - Submit a Legislative Policy Proposal Every NHMA legislative policy begins with a proposal submitted by a local official, board, or committee. If there is a law affecting municipal government that you think needs to be fixed, or if you have an idea for how the functions of local government might be improved through legislation, this is your opportunity to make a change. Accompanying this article is a Legislative Policy Proposal Form (on page 19) that can be used to submit a proposal for consideration. The deadline for submitting proposals is April 17, although earlier submission is encour20

2019-2020

Legislative

Policy Positions aged. Please follow the instructions on the form for submitting your proposal.

• Submit a legislative policy proposal if you have an issue that you would like to be considered as part of this year’s policy process. If you have a policy suggestion, it is not too early to send it in! Policy proposals may be submitted by a board or a local official from a member municipality. Please use the form found in this issue on page 19 and email to us at governmentaffairs@nhmunicipal.org.

We leave you, then, with two assignments, should you choose to accept them:

Policy Review Checklist In order to make sure that each policy has been thoroughly considered and all pros and cons discussed, the following checklist should be applied to each recommendation.

 Where does the policy come from?  What is the need for this legislative change/how widespread is this problem?

 What could we lose and what are the risks of pursuing this proposal? What could we gain?

 Who would likely be opposed to this proposal? Who would likely support it?

 Does this proposal require financial analysis?  Would the policy cost money for municipalities? For the state?

 Would the policy be divisive for municipalities? Would it tend to pit one community against another?

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

www.nhmunicipal.org


MEMBER ALERT! Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Good Good news news to to report. report. The Wage Wage Survey Survey is is coming coming back! back! The It’s It’s simplified, simplified, streamlined, streamlined, and and more more user-friendly! user-friendly! The The Wage Wage Survey Survey is is coming coming back back and and has has been been retooled retooled to to encourage encourage greater greater member member parparticipation as this is a very valuable, and often requested, resource from our municipal memticipation as this is a very valuable, and often requested, resource from our municipal members. bers. For For convenience, convenience, we we ask ask that that when when you you update update the the New New Hampshire Hampshire Municipal Municipal Officials Officials Directory on our website this year, you simultaneously include this new wage data too. Directory on our website this year, you simultaneously include this new wage data too.

Please Please update update your your official official municipal municipal roster roster AND AND wage wage survey survey data: data: NHMA on NHMA relies relies on on our our members members for for this this information information to to keep keep up-to-date up-to-date on changes that that occur occur in in municipal municipal positions positions (and (and now now wages)! wages)! changes After After each each town town or or city city election, election, we we ask ask our our members members to to identify identify and and update update all all newlynewlyelected and reelected officials from your city or town. By this action, you help us to maintain elected and reelected officials from your city or town. By this action, you help us to maintain the New Hampshire Hampshire Municipal Municipal Officials Officials Directory Directory as member rethe 2020-2021 2020-2021 New as aa valuable valuable member resource. NHMA relies on this vital contact information to reach municipal officials and staff source. NHMA relies on this vital contact information to reach municipal officials and staff with with timely timely information information regarding regarding available available training, training, programs programs and and services services as as well well as as imimportant legal and legislative updates throughout the year. This publication is also used portant legal and legislative updates throughout the year. This publication is also used exextensively as a valuable reference tool by city, town, school and other local government offitensively as a valuable reference tool by city, town, school and other local government officials. cials. Please and go go to to Manage Manage Officials Officials and and Manage Manage OrganizaOrganizaPlease log log onto onto www.nhmunicipal.org www.nhmunicipal.org and tion under the Member Features box on the homepage. If you don’t know who in tion under the Member Features box on the homepage. If you don’t know who in your your city city or town has access to do this, please contact Judy Pearson, Member Services Coordinator, or town has access to do this, please contact Judy Pearson, Member Services Coordinator, at at jpearson@nhmunicipal.org jpearson@nhmunicipal.org or or 230.3355. 230.3355. You You will will also also be be able able to to update update who who receives receives a a comcomplimentary plimentary Town Town and and City City magazine magazine subscription subscription as as part part of of your your membership membership with with us. us.

Please Please update update this this information information by by May May 31, 31, 2020. 2020. Thank Thank you you in in advance advance for for all all your your help! help!

There’s always more more at at www.nhmunicipal.org www.nhmunicipal.org There’s always www.nhmunicipal.org

MARCH/APRIL 2020

21


Cadillac Tax Repealed and Other Employer ACA Penalties on the Rise! By Chris Stevenson, Esq.

W

e are routinely asked by city, town, and county officials why they still need to worry about offering health insurance coverage and/or IRS health reporting requirements when the ACA has been overturned. The question is very understandable due to many highly publicized and recent developments concerning the legislation. For example, just last month, the President signed into law the “Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020” (the “Act”), which, among other things, contained a full repeal of the highly controversial so-called “Cadillac Tax” on high-cost health plans. The law was previously scheduled to take effect January 1, 2022 and its repeal is a very important development for municipal employers, many of whom offer generous employee health benefits that could have triggered the tax. Although the Cadillac Tax was not scheduled to take effect for about 2 more years, the tax has been a thorn in the side of many municipal employers attempting to negotiate long-term employment agreements. In addition to the repeal of the Cadillac Tax, adding to the confusion surrounding the relevance of the ACA are: (i) the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which repealed the requirement that individuals obtain adequate health coverage, (ii) a directive from President Trump to federal agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of ” the ACA( White House Executive Order 13765, January 20, 2017) (iii) and another seemingly inevitable impending review of the law’s constitutionality by the U.S. Supreme Court’s following a recent Texas District Court ruling. (Texas v. Unites States, No. 18-167 (N.D. Tex, Dec. 14, 2018). In light of these developments, it would be logical to assume that the ACA is an Obama-era law that is no longer relevant to municipal employers. Although understandable, the assumption could not be further from the truth. The reality is that the major responsibilities under the ACA for those municipal employers who constitute “large employers” (for the purposes of the ACA, a municipal employer is considered a “large employer” for a particular calendar year if it had a monthly average of 50 or more full-time equivalent employees during the previous calendar year) remain in full effect. In fact over the past year, the IRS has stepped up ACA enforcement efforts and several local public employers 22

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

have received significant IRS penalty assessments in connection with violations of the ACA’s so called “Play or Pay” penalties and/or IRS Form 1095-C employee health insurance information reporting requirements. Most notably, a Maine public sector employer was recently assessed a penalty if excess of $1,000,000! In all cases, we have worked with employers to appeal these penalty assessments and we have had good success securing significant penalty relief. However, once assessed on the employer, abatement of these ACA penalties is not guaranteed and the process can take several months. So if your municipal office receives an ACA penalty notice, what should you do? It depends upon whether the penalty relates to an apparent violation of the Form 1095-C employee reporting requirement or the “Play or Pay” rules. Form 1095-C Reporting Penalties: Municipal employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees are “large employers” subject to IRS Form 1094-C and 1095-C reporting requirements. Such municipal employers that do not timely file their IRS Form 1095-Cs will very likely be notified by the IRS of a proposed penalty of up to $540 per full time employee (See 26 U.S.C. §6722(a)(1) and (d) (1)(A) for the general penalty and IRS Rev. Proc. 2018-57, §3.58 for the 2019 indexed penalty amounts). It appears that the IRS identifies large employers that are subject to Form 1095-C reporting, but failed to file the forms, by reviewing the number of W-2s issued by the employer. In other words, if your municipal office prepares 50 or more W-2s, but does not prepare Form 1095-C for its full-time employees, you should expect to be contacted by the IRS with respect to the apparent missing Form 1095-Cs. If your office did in fact fail to timely file 2019 Form 1095-C and it had, for example, 200 full-time employees, it could expect to receive a penalty notice in the amount $108,000 (200 x $540 penalty per missing return for 2019). If your office is contacted by the IRS about an apparent failure to timely file Form 1095-C, the municipal business office should: 1) First determine whether it is a “large employer” with 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalents) for the year in question according to a detailed www.nhmunicipal.org


formula contained in the IRS regulations. If your municipality is not a “large employer” for the year in question, neither the Play or Pay rules nor the ACA Reporting obligations apply and this should be explained to the IRS.

file Form 1095-Cs for a particular year, the municipal employer should do so immediately. The IRS will not entertain a penalty abatement request for untimely filing of the forms until the Form 1095-Cs are actually filed

2) Assuming the municipality is a large employer, it should determine whether it did in fact file Form 1095-C by the prescribed deadline. The deadline for filing Form 1095-C with employees is generally January 31 following year end, but the IRS recently announced an extension of the deadline for furnishing employees with their 2019 Form 1095-C to March 2, 2020 (IRS Notice 201963). Additionally, the deadline to file copies of Form 1095-C with the IRS is February 28th following year-end, or March 31st if filing electronically with the IRS {Treas. Reg. § 301.6056-1(g)}. If the municipal employer did not already

3) Once the IRS Form 1095-Cs have been successfully filed with the employee and the IRS, the IRS will consider a waiver of the late filing penalties if the employer can convince the IRS that it had “reasonable cause” for its untimely filing of the forms. A non-exclusive list of factors the IRS uses to assess the presence for reasonable cause are described in the Treasury Regulations (See Treas. Reg. §301.6056-1(i) permitting an appeal of late filing penalties based upon “reasonable cause” and Tres. Reg. § 301.6724-1(b) for factors the IRS considers in assessing reasonable cause penalty waivers).

www.nhmunicipal.org

Although we have had good success appealing late filing penalties based upon a reasonable cause argument, the appeal process is lengthy, time consuming, and requires a close examination of the employer’s circumstances at the time of the reporting failure, as well as a detailed letter and possible follow-up correspondence with the IRS. A much more efficient approach is to simply start the Form 1095-C filing process early and ensure the forms are filed with employees and the IRS by the appropriate deadlines. Play or Pay Rule Penalties: The Play or Pay penalties apply to large employers that fail to offer affordable health insurance that provides minimum value to its full-time employees. However, unlike penalties for failure to timely file IRS Form 1095-C, there is no “reasonable cause” exception for violations of the ACA Play or Pay rules. If a municipality receives an IRS notice for a Play or Pay violation, it will need to closely examine

MARCH/APRIL 2020

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CADILLAC TAX from page 23 the notice for accuracy. We have seen many instances where Play or Pay penalties were incorrectly assessed on employers. Also, employers should note that any mistakes they make in preparing an employee’s Form 1095-C could lead the IRS to assess the so-called “Affordability Penalty” on the employer with respect to the employee (the Affordability Penalty is up to $3,750 per full-time employee for 2019). To this end, any employer receiving a Play or Pay Penalty notice should closely examine its associated IRS Form 1094-C and Form 1095-Cs to determine if a coding error on the form triggered the Play or Pay penalties. If so, the mistake should be explained in detail to the IRS, which should result in the IRS reducing or eliminating the proposed penalty. In summary, despite widely publicized challenges and changes to certain as-

pects of the law, the portions of the Affordable Care Act applying to cities, towns, and counties that are large employers are still in effect and have caused many local employers to be assessed extremely large penalties. In order to help minimize the risk your municipality is liable for such a penalty, each municipality should ensure that their Form 1094-C and Form 1095-Cs are filed with the employee before January 31 (extended to March 2, 2020 for the 2019 Form 1095-C) and with the IRS before March 31 deadlines (assuming electronic filing, or February 28 if filing by paper). Also, employers should take care to accurately complete Form 1094-C and Form 1095-Cs to avoid inadvertently triggering a Play or Pay penalty. Lastly, in the event a municipality receives an ACA penalty notice, the employer should closely examine the reason for the notice, the accuracy of the penalty assessment, and whenever possible, draft an appeal to the IRS to have any

           

 Telecommunica�ons  Tax Assessment  Eminent Domain

                                     

unnecessary penalties reduced or completely eliminated. Chris Stevenson is a tax and employee benefits attorney with Drummond Woodsum. Chris has extensive experience advising public employers on all aspects of qualified and nonqualified deferred compensation plans, health plans, and other employee benefit arrangements. Chris also regularly represents clients before the IRS, as well as state taxing authorities. This is not a legal document nor is it intended to serve as legal advice or a legal opinion. Drummond Woodsum & MacMahon, P.A. makes no representations that this is a complete or final description or procedure that would ensure legal compliance and does not intend that the reader should rely on it as such. “Copyright 2020 Drummond Woodsum. These materials may not be reproduced without prior written permission.”

We represent towns and ci�es throughout the state   and bring value to our clients through decades of   experience and adhering to the budgetary constraints   under which municipali�es operate.  We emphasize   preven�ve and �mely legal counsel to our clients with a  view toward avoiding problems that result in li�ga�on. 

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www.nhmunicipal.org


2020 Local Officials Workshops

Free to Members FREE workshop for veteran and new municipal officials and employees of NHMA member municipalities. Presented by NHMA’s Legal Services attorneys, these workshops provide municipal officials with tools and information to effectively serve their communities. Topics will include the Right-to-Know Law, ethics and conflicts, effective meetings, town governance, municipal roads, budget and finance, and more. Ample time allowed for questions, answers, and discussion. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of NHMA’s 2020 edition of the publication, Knowing the Territory

DATES AND LOCATIONS 9:00 am— 4:00 pm

Registration begins at 8:30 am. Continental breakfast will be provided.

Tuesday, April 7: Concord (NHMA Offices) Tuesday, April 21: Newington (Town Hall) Tuesday, May 19: Peterborough (Community Center) Thursday, May 28: Sugar Hill (The Meeting House)

Registrations Now Open! No Registration Fee. To register online, please visit www.nhmunicipal.org and click on the Calendar of Events. Cancellation must be received 48 hours in advance. If cancellation is not received 48 hours in advance, NHMA will charge you $20 to cover workshop costs, including any meals.

12:00 noon – 1:00 pm LUNCH ON YOUR OWN Time provided for attendees to get lunch!

Questions? Please call 800.852.3358, ext. 3350 or email NHMAregistrations@nhmunicipal.org

www.nhmunicipal.org

MARCH/APRIL 2020

25


Tech

Insights

Doing More and Spending Less with Cloud Computing

By Joe Howland

What if you could pay only for what you need when you want it? That’d be pretty nice, right? That’s the power cloud computing can bring to your organization.

servers, you gain access to cloud servers for a monthly cost. This moves your IT costs from a difficult to plan for capital expense to a manageable, budget-friendly operational expense.

Technical Definition Cloud computing utilizes off-site third-party resources to deliver computing services like applications, servers, and storage.

Greater Access Because you’re using the internet instead of an on-site server, you can access your files and applications anywhere you have an internet connection. This is incredibly helpful for offices with remote employees or satellite locations.

But, What Is Cloud Computing? Think of your favorite entertainment streaming service, like Netflix. Remember what it was like before Netflix? You either needed to own individual movies or go to Blockbuster to rent them. What’s it like now? You stream thousands of movies and tv shows whenever you want. The old way of watching movies (owning hard copies of them) is a lot like on-premise computing services. You own your servers and purchase the key operational software you need to use. This setup requires office space for the servers and someone to install and manage the servers. Also, you may only use 25-50% of the full power of that server. This method can be inefficient in time and cost. The alternative is cloud computing. And it’s a lot like using Netflix. Replace the on-site server with cloud servers that you access through the internet. What are the Benefits? Efficient Spending You may only need a fraction of the power your server or servers can provide. So why buy 100% of something when you maybe only need 40%? Cloud computing allows you to buy what you need and use it when you need it. Sometimes, you can even save money by shutting down machines at night or other times of inactivity. Predictable Budgeting Instead of purchasing, installing, managing, and fixing your

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Improved Flexibility Without the burden of physical hardware, leveraging the cloud allows you to scale up and down based on employee count with ease. Get more licenses for key software, increase data storage, and more thorough digital replication. Better Support Onsite maintenance is no longer needed. Your internal IT staff or your IT partner is now able to perform routine maintenance, update software, and patch a greater number of servers faster. Cloud computing can also be helpful when it comes to cybersecurity. Your IT partner can deploy security measures faster and at greater breadth. Takeaway Cloud computing is to Netflix as on-premise computing is to your DVD library. About VC3 Joe Howland is Chief Information Security Officer for VC3. VC3 is a leading managed services provider focused on municipal government. Founded in 1994 with offices across the east coast, VC3 forms partnerships with municipalities to achieve their technology goals and harness their data. In addition to providing comprehensive managed IT solutions, VC3 offers cybersecurity, website design, custom application development, and business intelligence services. Visit www.vc3.com to learn more.

www.nhmunicipal.org


UP CLOSE &

PERSONAL On the Board

W

elcome to Up Close and Personal is designed to give readers a closer look at NHMA board members. In this issue, we hope you enjoy meeting Cheryl Lindner, Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Nashua. Lindner was elected this November to serve on NHMA’s board of directors.

TC: What are the biggest challenges in performing your duties as Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Nashua? CL: The biggest challenge is the rapid flow of information and shifting of priorities on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. Another challenge is each situation brought to our office is unique and given our city’s infrastructure, sometimes solutions can be complex. TC: Has your job changed the way you look at the role of government? CL: No. I have always had admiration and respect for those who were willing to devote a portion of their lives to serve the public.  Many times, this comes at a sacrifice to self and family. Working in my own city’s government has only increased my admiration for those who work tirelessly to provide a better quality of life for our residents. TC: How has NHMA helped you do your job? CL: The updates and advocacy NHMA provide have been extremely helpful to me during the first 6 months in my position as Chief of Staff.  The training sessions and the legislative reviews have helped to shepherd my entry into local politics. The topics offered and the legislation brought to the forefront are relevant to both towns and cities throughout the state. 

Cheryl Lindner

TC: What lessons about human nature have you learned in your role? CL: Working for the City of Nashua has reinforced my belief that people are inherently good and want to improve their lives. People want to be independent but sometimes need help to get there.  People want to help their neighbors and work together in times of need. TC: What advice would you give someone who would like to follow in your footsteps into this job? CL: I would tell my successor that there is no handbook for this role.  Be flexible to changing schedules, topics, needs.  Manage the way you would like to be managed.  Say, “Thank you.”  Smile every day.  Many people depend on you and take their cues from you especially in stressful situations.

Do you know someone who deserves to be profiled in a future edition of New Hampshire Town and City magazine? If so, please contact the New Hampshire Municipal Association at 800.852.3358 ext. 3408 or tfortier@nhmunicipal.org. www.nhmunicipal.org

TC: Do you dislike any aspects of your job? Which ones? Why? CL: The only thing I dislike about my job is that sometimes there are no solutions to problems. As a mother and a Type A personality, my first instinct is to try and solve every problem.  I am learning through this role that sometimes there is not a solution to a problem but only a partial solution or small adjustments possible.  TC: Has your public position changed you personally? CL: Yes, in that I have learned so much more about my community and its needs. It has been an opportunity for personal growth and allowed me to use my strengths and talents to assist others on a daily basis.  TC: Anything else you would like to share about your job? CL: I am honored and humbled to be able to serve my community. I am grateful for the opportunity to work and help make life better in the city where my children were raised and my family has called home for 25 years.  To be able to leave work every day and feel like you made a difference for the better, is a great feeling and I am fortunate to serve the citizens of Nashua. MARCH/APRIL 2020

27


Legal

Q and A Stop Plowing that Private Road! By Natch Greyes, Municipal Services Counsel

I

t’s that magical time of year when snow softly sweeps over the landscape. Unfortunately, that also means that it’s the time of year when municipal officials begin to feel the pressure to plow private roads. It’s easy to see why. Municipal officials often feel an obligation to provide basic plowing and maintenance services out of concern for public safety and a sense of fairness toward fellow taxpayers. It’s easy, then, to see why so many municipal public works departments inevitably get asked to plow private roads. Municipalities cannot spend public funds for private purposes. That idea was the basis behind the lawsuit in Clapp v. Jaffrey, 97 N.H. 456 (1952). That case, which centered on municipal plowing of private driveways, saw the New Hampshire Supreme Court clearly state that municipalities cannot spend public funds for private purposes – even when those funds are merely going toward paying a municipal employee’s wages – but municipalities can charge reasonable fees for providing private services. (Of course, your municipal insurance carrier and individual municipal attorney would likely tell your municipality not to offer services for sale in competition with the private market and have a variety of good reasons for that advice.) The decision in Clapp has caused some heartburn over the years, but the rule was easy to state and easy to remember. Then, 2007 happened. In 2007, the New Hampshire Supreme Court decided another case about roads. It was Hersh v. Plonski, 156 N.H. 511. That case reminded the public (and some lawyers) that cases decided in the early 1800s are, unless overruled, still valid. That just made things harder for municipalities. Plonski reminded us of the old rule that municipal highways aren’t just created by a formal vote or other formal mechanism called “dedication and acceptance.” Municipal highways can be created because the town does something to 28

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

that road once it’s built, meaning the “dedication and acceptance” is implied. Helpfully, the New Hampshire Supreme Court listed a number of actions municipalities might take which would imply that the governing body (select board, town council, city council, etc.) meant to accept a private road as a municipal highway. Those include: “opening up or improving a street, repairing it, removing snow from it, or assigning police patrols to it.” Most often, implied acceptance has occurred through the municipality taking some action to transfer municipal resources to the private road. Some examples include: • a select board member directing the repair of a road; • a vote by the town to raise money to repair a road or bridge; • a select board removing a house which was in the way of a roadway. There do not seem to be any cases stating that snowplowing alone is enough to qualify as acceptance by the municipality, but municipalities should be aware Plonski left that possibility open. Well meaning, but mistaken citizens, may suggest to municipal officials that the layout of a private road as an “emergency lane” pursuant to RSA 231:59-a or for winter maintenance pursuant to RSA 231:24 would allow plowing, but municipal officials must carefully consider the implications of using either statute before doing so. Declaring a road an “emergency lane” only allows the municipality to keep it “passable by firefighting equipment and rescue or emergency vehicles.” That’s a level of plowing which is probably much less than is applied to regular Class V municipal highways when it comes to plowing. It may even mean that in low amounts of snowfall, where firetrucks can easily pass over the snow, no snowplowing is allowed. In addition, the www.nhmunicipal.org


statute requires that the need to keep the road “passable” must be articulable and different from the private benefit to any landowners abutting the road. In other words, the fire chief has to describe to the select board why this particular road needs to be kept passable for firefighting equipment. Similarly, municipal officials ought to be concerned that a layout for winter

maintenance may create liability for the general condition of the road under the insufficiency statutes, RSA 231:90:92-a. If the municipality suddenly becomes liable for the general condition of the road, then it will be required to do more work on the road. Unfortunately as indicated by Plonski, that may result in the implied acceptance of the road, defeating the whole purpose of laying out for winter maintenance.

In short, stop plowing that private road! By plowing it, you may cause your municipality to own it! Natch Greyes is Municipal Services Counsel with the New Hampshire Municipal Association. He may be contacted at 603.224.7447 or at legalinquiries@ nhmunicipal.org.

Guiding Individuals, Businesses, and Communities with:  Environmental (PFAS/PFOA and other) Problems  Insurance Coverage Assessment and Disputes  Risk Management Strategies  Insurance Profile Reviews  General Business Law 271 DERRY RD, SUITE 1, LITCHFIELD, NH 03052 (603)

413-5285

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Engaged.

Committed. MARCH/APRIL 2020

29


A F F I L I AT E M E M B E R

Sp tlight

The Affiliate Spotlight is a column designed to give readers a closer look at affiliate groups of NHMA. There are over 30 such groups comprised primarily of municipal officials serving a particular position, such a city and town clerks, assessors, health officers, road agents, etc. In this issue, we introduce the Animal Control Officers Association of New Hampshire.

30

From left to right: Renee King, Fremont; Robert Langis, Nashua; Sheila Johannesen, Danville; Andrew Claydon, Hudson; Jana McMillan, Hudson; Corie Bliss, Salem; Maura Wenworth, Atkinson, Hampstead and Plaistow; Robin Bordonaro, Derry; Kathy Drouin, Newton; Haylie Gulino, Merrimack; Jacob Hoag, Windham.

TC: What is the mission/goals of the Animal Control Officers Association of New Hampshire? ACOANH: To educate animal control and other law enforcement officers and to elevate and improve the professionalism of the animal control field on a statewide basis by: working to standardize the job requirements of the animal control profession in New Hampshire; offering educational programs, resources, and tools available to animal control and humane personnel from throughout New England under the heading of the New England Animal Control/Humane Academy; (NEACHA). providing educational outreach to citizens and public officials within New Hampshire regarding the true nature and importance of the work performed by animal control professionals; promoting justice and equity in the promulgation and enforcement of animal control laws; working with state and local officials to improve animal control laws and disaster preparedness procedures.

TC: How has NHMA helped your professional group to do your job? ACOANH: Initially NHMA helped us get our association up and running and provided us with space to meet for Animal Control Officers coming from all over the state. NHMA also assisted us in getting our original website up and running. NHMA has continued to support us whenever we call with questions and still provides us a space to host training. We hope that NHMA will continue to remain a liaison between our association and New Hampshire municipalities.

TC: What are the biggest challenges facing your professional group today? ACOANH: Some or our biggest challenges include: working through a variety of matters that involve both humans and animals; a lack of consistency across the state on financial support, procedures, safety and equipment; a lack of funding for better training and equipment; public perceptions, and misconceptions, about our profession with a continued stigma of the “dog catcher; challenges with laws we enforce that need up-

TC: What advice would you give someone who would like to follow in your professional footsteps? ACOANH: Some advice we would offer a prospective Animal Control Officer: urge them to become educated about the field and to pursue experience working with both people and animals, to include attending our association trainings. Recommend that they reach out and network with other officers so they have exposure to working with current laws and changes, and to understand proper procedures of enforcement.

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

dating, although there has been a little progress. Finally, without state certification requirements, we struggle to keep all of our officers up to date on training, especially officers from smaller towns with certain limitations.

www.nhmunicipal.org


The career is rewarding, however, it is natural for it to come with frustrating challenges. Understand that we face the same challenges and threats that other law enforcement officers do, but we may receive little if any support/ respect. Never take for granted the opportunities that you have to change lives; we are the voices for the voiceless. Have the mindset that you make a difference for an animal’s well-being, whether it was a successful conviction, or not. Locate a mentor to assist you and to help you prepare for the job. Establish good connections and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be open minded, develop leadership skills, get active with community involvement and have personal growth goals. TC: Do you dislike any aspects of your profession? Which ones? Why? ACOANH: There are some negative

aspects to the profession: Euthanizing animals, whether they are sick, injured or for public safety concerns. Salaries for Animal Control Officers are not where they need to be and support and respect are negligible, as well. The things we are exposed to, such as seeing neglected or cruelly treated animals can take a toll on our emotional well-being. Finally, negative responses or opinions of what we do, whether on social media or in person, without getting all the facts and educating themselves before they speak is frustrating, as with many other professions. TC: Given the opportunity, what changes would you make to the profession? ACOANH: Given the opportunity, we need to be involved in creating and updating laws that affect us whether they are laws we will enforce

or whether the laws affect our profession. Salaries commensurate with our duties, adequate use of force training to include carrying a firearm; statewide training and certifications with consistent guidelines. Finally, municipalities from across the state advocating for, and supporting, the important job that animal control officers do to protect the public. TC: Anything else you would like to discuss about your affiliate group and its relationship with NHMA? ACOANH: We hope the NHMA will continue to assist us in creating a stronger bond with cities and towns across the state. With NHMA’s support we can continue to help communities in various ways, from protecting public health and safety to protecting animals’ health and wellbeing.

REPRESENTING MUNICIPALITIES Land Use

Labor & Employment

Administration & Finance

Environmental Law

Assessment, Abatement and Tax Collection

Bankruptcy

SHAPING THE LEGAL LANDSCAPE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE FOR OVER 100 YEARS Concord 603.224.7791

Hillsborough 603.464.5578

Jaffrey 603.532.7731

Peterborough 603.924.3864

Portsmouth 603.436.7046

law@uptonhatfield.com | www.uptonhatfield.com

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MARCH/APRIL 2020

31


A F F I L I AT E M E M B E R

Sp tlight

The Affiliate Spotlight is a column designed to give readers a closer look at affiliate groups of NHMA. There are over 30 such groups comprised primarily of municipal officials serving a particular position, such as city and town clerks, assessors, health officers, road agents, etc. In this issue, we introduce the Northeast Resource Recovery Association. TC: What is the mission/goals of the Northeast Resource Recovery Association? NRRA: The Northeast Resource Recovery Association (“NRRA”) is a nonprofit cooperative that partners with communities to make recycling strong through economic and environmentally sound solutions. NRRA enables both small rural and large urban communities to manage their own recycling programs and is one of only a handful of nonprofits in the country that connects sellers of recyclable commodities directly to purchasers of those commodities. NRRA’s members include over 400 municipalities, businesses, and individuals in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, and Rhode Island. TC: What are biggest challenges facing your professional group today? NRRA: The downturn in recycling markets over the past two years has negatively impacted the transfer station budgets of many of our municipal members. This was precipitated by China banning the importation of many recyclable commodities after the country experienced negative environmental impacts from importing contaminated recyclables. Many communities are now facing higher costs and lower revenue for their recycling programs, and NRRA is working closely with its members to ensure their recycling programs can weather this temporary downturn in the markets and come out stronger on the other side. TC: How has NHMA helped your professional group to do your job? NRRA: NHMA helps connect NRRA with local decisionmakers, such as select board members and town administrators. While NRRA is in close contact with our member communities’ transfer station staff, we’re

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

not always as connected to those with budgetary oversight for recycling programs. Through NHMA, NRRA can help inform a larger audience by sharing information about recycling markets at NHMA’s conference and through other venues, like recorded webinars. TC: Give us an example of a problem your organization solved or a dilemma your organization faced and overcame in the line of duty? NRRA: Markets for recycling glass have diminished over the years, and NRRA worked to develop two novel options for our members to recycle glass. Some recycle their glass bottles and jars into fiberglass insulation through our Canadian vendor. Others reuse their glass bottles and jars, plus Pyrex, window glass, and ceramics, through our processed glass aggregate program, which crushes the material into an aggregate that can be used in local road and infrastructure projects. TC: What is the public perception about your job and how does it differ from the reality of your job? NRRA: One myth is that if recyclables can’t be sold for a profit, then they should be thrown away. Instead, recycling should be viewed as a valuable cost avoidance strategy. The Northeast already has the highest cost of disposal for municipal solid waste in the entire country, and that cost will continue to increase, making recycling even more financially valuable over time. TC: Tell us a story about an unusual experience you have had in your profession.

www.nhmunicipal.org


NRRA: Our members find all kinds of interesting items that people try to recycle. For some reason, bowling balls are a common theme. To set the record straight, you cannot recycle a bowling ball through your local recycling program.

nicipalities, which tend to have less resources. NRRA was founded by small municipalities banding together to share information about recycling markets and pool their recyclables, and supporting smaller municipalities is still a key aspect of our work.

TC: Has your job or profession changed the way you look at the role of government?

TC: What lessons about human nature have you learned in your profession?

NRRA: NRRA can better appreciate the challenges faced by smaller mu-

NRRA: Making big changes can be hard, and some people are resistant to

change. But we’ve seen that when our members partner with NRRA to look holistically at their recycling programs, they have been able to make strategic changes to save money. For example, separating out recyclables into their subcomponents typically results in a higher value commodity, and we’ve had members successfully separate out their #1 and #2 plastics or remove glass from their single stream with good financial results.

Transportation | Water& Wastewater | Solid Waste | Structural

CMA

ENGINEERS

pursue excellence PORTSMOUTH, NH | MANCHESTER, NH | PORTLAND, ME www.cmaengineers.com

Mark your Calendars for the 33rd Mountain of Demonstrations Thursday, May 21, 2020 8:00 am—1:00 pm Mount Sunapee Resort, Newbury

Event Held Rain or Shine! Hope to See you There! Come join the New Hampshire Road Agents Association, over 100 vendors and over 500 attendees for the Mountain of Demonstrations. This event offers live demonstrations, hands-on safety training, equipment trials and more! *Agenda and registration information will be available in March.

www.nhmunicipal.org

MARCH/APRIL 2020

33


NEW HAMPSHIRE ASSOCIATION OF REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSIONS

This segment is another in a series highlighting NHARPC’s efforts to provide education on planning-related topics.

34

New Hampshire: No Longer a Special Place to Call Home? By Steve Schneider, Executive Director, UVLSRPC

E

very five years regional planning commissions in New Hampshire are required to conduct a regional housing needs assessment (NH RSA 36:47, II). We are to assess the regional need for housing for persons and families of all levels of income. Traditionally that has meant collecting a lot of demographic data; where do people live, how much does it cost for housing, what are the ages of people occupying that housing, and more. While data collection is important and critical for future planning, it does not address the larger issues associated with housing in our region: housing is scarce, expensive and often a considerable distance from work. That is why we have formed Keys To The Valley, a bi-state multi region initiative to not only understand at a fundamental level why housing is so difficult to develop but also to produce implementable solutions for our communities. Keys To The Valley (KTTV) is comprised of the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission in New Hampshire, Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission and Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission in Vermont. Together we represent 67 communities, with a combined population of over 170,000 on both sides of the Connecticut River. We are home to the largest employer in New Hampshire, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, as well as several colleges and a diverse manufacturing base. The Keys to the Valley Initiative must lead to action, so we will emphasize the way our homes fit into the puzzle of this place through transportation, regulation, environment, community, health, employment, and more. The Initiative will undertake community engagement and participation, thorough data analysis and develop a toolbox of implementable strategies for creating (or recreating) homes that are needed by our community members.

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

Our scope of work includes eleven distinct tasks that vary from data collection to regulation writing, to build out analysis, to community engagement. It is the community engagement piece that will drive how and what our toolbox and action plan of prioritized targets will look like. We believe that any real change is going require that our whole community be engaged, working humbly and respectfully together, despite differences in perspectives. We are proposing to meet with a number of advisory groups that will help us understand how housing impacts their interests. We will meet with builders, educators, realtors, bankers, seniors, employers, state officials and of course our citizenry. The response to our requests to participate has been positive. Our final product will include a variety of takeaways for our communities. Of course, there will be the data. Data on housing type, ownership vs. rental, disability, income, age, location of home, location of employer, population, and the monthly cost of housing. We will evaluate land use regulation across the region’s municipalities for a set of pre-determined standards related to housing. This may include: where are new developments permitted? What types of buildings/housing is permitted and at what density? What land is considered fully developed? We are proposing to develop a rating scale (variables could differently prioritize housing models, relevant infrastructure, and green space), with input and buy in from Upper Valley towns, to identify areas for development that best meet a set of priorities across the Upper Valley Region. This suitability analysis could identify high impact, feasible, and culturally appropriate development or reuse areas by unit type. We will perform this analysis under different scenarios, reflecting different population scenarios, climate conditions or lifestyles). Working in tandem, our localized build-out analyses could evaluate the impact of dif-

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We are three regional planning commissions seeking to improve the regions homes, centered by the Upper Valley. We are working to understand what works and fails about our regions homes through stories and data. Then we will work together with stakeholders and residents to develop a toolbox of solutions. Our communities’ involvement is important to hear stories and perspectives. This will be a guiding force to ensure the solutions reflect what people experience and suit a location's character.

New Hampshire

Vermont

Two RiversOttauquechee RPC

TOPSHAM NEWBURY

CORINTH

BROOKFIELD

BRADFORD

GRANVILLE

CHELSEA BRAINTREE

PIERMONT VERSHIRE RANDOLPH

WEST FAIRLEE

HANCOCK

FAIRLEE TUNBRIDGE

ORFORD

ROCHESTER

STRAFFORD BETHEL THETFORD ROYALTON

PITTSFIELD

LYME SHARON DORCHESTER

STOCKBRIDGE

NORWICH BARNARD HANOVER POMFRET CANAAN

HARTFORD

ORANGE LEBANON

BRIDGEWATER

ENFIELD

WOODSTOCK HARTLAND

GRAFTON PLAINFIELD

PLYMOUTH

GRANTHAM READING

WEST WINDSOR WINDSOR

SPRINGFIELD CORNISH WILMOT

CROYDON

NEW LONDON LUDLOW

CAVENDISH WEATHERSFIELD

SUNAPEE

CLAREMONT NEWPORT

BALTIMORE

NEWBURY ANDOVER

CHESTER

Southern Windsor County RPC

UNITY

SPRINGFIELD

CHARLESTOWN

ACWORTH

GOSHEN

LEMPSTER WASHINGTON

Upper Valley Lake Sunapee RPC

ferent housing regulations and how they relate to need, desirability and suitability. We are proposing to develop case studies of local/regional/national housing

models from both a structural and financial standpoint. Models from within the region will be highlighted for their successes and challenges. Non-local models will be incorporated for their potential to address our regional needs in a novel way, while being appropriately tailored for a new context. Models may include model zoning regulations, proposed changes to state regulations, housing rehabilitation programs, housing ownership models, or public/ private development examples. We will estimate prices that are associated with the different models.

stakeholders. Ultimately, both platforms will host the diverse range of results in an accessible and interactive framework to allow engaged parties to interpret the data, understand the models, utilize the resources, identify priorities, facilitate discussion, and communicate a vision. Our work will provide our communities with a variety of tools that are appropriate for their size and location. We fully recognize that this is a lot of work, and that we may not be successful in everything we hope to achieve; however, if we do not make fundamental, substantive changes in how housing is created and sustained, our region will no longer be a special place to call home. Steve Schneider is Executive Director of the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission. Steve can be reached by phone at 603.448.1680 or via email at sschneider@uvlsrpc.org.

The results of our work will be made available on our public website (www. KeysToTheValley.com) and open data portal (in the works). The website is structured to be a main point of contact to engage and communicate with

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

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SAVE these DATES! WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2020 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020

DoubleTree by Hilton

Manchester

Manchester Downtown Hotel

79TH Annual Conference and Exposition The New Hampshire Municipal Association’s 79th Annual Conference and Exposition is an opportunity for elected and appointed municipal officials and staff to enhance leadership skills, learn from municipal experts, share ideas with peers, discuss strategies, and hear and learn about the latest in products and services designed for municipal governments.

REGISTRATION TO OPEN IN SEPTEMBER

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn, network and share!

QUESTIONS? Call 800.852.3358, ext. 3350 or email NHMAregistrations@nhmunicipal.org.

www.nhmunicipal.org

MARCH/APRIL 2020

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— This Moment in NHMA History — 33 years ago…. The lack of affordable housing was a real crisis in 1987. The practice of “excluding” low income affordable housing in one municipality forced other municipalities to pick up the slack. Cities and towns began exploring moratoria, impact fees and other exactions on developers to absorb the increased service costs at the local level because of development. [ Concern was expressed by members finding it increasingly difficult to find younger people willing to serve their cities and towns in public office. It was noted by one member, “There is a lack of interest in municipal and state affairs by the younger generation. They are much more interested in personal and recreational affairs of their own. They don’t seem to want to donate or do their share anymore.” The passage of SB 1-A in the 1987 legislative session created the Land Conservation Investment Program (LCIP – now referred to as LCHIP) beginning one of the most unique and important public/private land conservation partnership since the passage of the Weeks Act, creating the White Mountain National Forest in 1911. [

?

?

NAME

THAT

TOWN OR

CITY

? 38

? ?

Name the city or town (town offices pictured) that was originally a part of Dover called Barbadoes. According to Wikipedia, this town was originally called Barbadoes, after the West Indies island of Barbados with which settlers conducted trade, sending wood and lumber in exchange for sugar, molasses and other commodities. The name survives at Barbadoes Pond. The town was once the farm of Sir Francis Champermowne and named after his ancient family’s mansion in Devon, England. When you have figured out the answer, email it to tfortier@nhmunicipal.org. The answer will appear in the May/June 2020 issue. ANSWER TO PHOTO IN THE JANUARY/FEBRUARY ISSUE: The photo on page 42 in the last issue of New Hampshire Town and City magazine is of the town offices serving the Town of Westmoreland. Thanks to all our members who responded with the correct response, including Bruce Smith (Surry); Ron Fontaine (Swanzey); Sarah Downing (Walpole) and Bill Herman (Auburn).

NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

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The Art of Welfare Wednesday, March 18, 2020 12:00 pm—1:00 pm

Upcoming Webinars NHMA will be hosting two webinars in March for members of the New Hampshire Municipal Association.

New Hampshire law requires every town and city to have a welfare program to assist residents who are poor and in need of help. Join Legal Services Counsel Stephen Buckley and Municipal Resources Counsel Natch Greyes who will provide a basic overview of New Hampshire law governing local welfare administration, including why guidelines are important, how assistance is provided, and anticipated legislative changes. This session will also address fair hearings, suspension of assistance, and more. This complimentary webinar is designed for welfare veterans, new welfare administrators, municipal budget committee members and select board members who are interested in learning how to best administer welfare at the local level.

Learn More About NHDES’s Safetank Program Wednesday, March 25, 2020 12:00 pm—1:00 pm

For details and registration information, visit www.nhmunicipal.org under Calendar of Events Questions? Call 800.852.3358, ext. 3350, or email NHMAregistrations@nhmunicipal.org.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE TOWN AND CITY

The Safetank Program, administered by the NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), is available to incomequalified homeowners in New Hampshire to upgrade or replace their heating oil storage tank systems, also known as OPUFs (on-premise-use fuel oil tanks). OPUFs are indoor, outdoor or underground tank systems that are not subject to NHDES regulations but can pose a significant risk to public health and the environment if a release from these tank systems were to occur. By replacing old or aging tanks before a release to the environment can occur, the Safetank program is an important tool in reducing the number of fuel oil leaks that result in environmental contamination, and potentially significant cleanup costs. New systems are subject to NHDES installation and upgrading compliance standards to help prevent future leaks, as a condition for receiving state funding assistance. Come learn from Erik Paddleford, Project Manager in NHDES’s Oil Remediation and Compliance Bureau, who will review the Safetank income qualifications and application process, system replacements and upgrades, and best management practices required on new tank installations. Help inform residents in your communities about the available funding and overall process for tank upgrade or replacement.

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How Does the Select Board grant permission for use and repair of a Class VI Road?

What are the rules governing CDL licensing for municipal employees? Join NHMA Legal Services Counsel Stephen Buckley and Municipal Services Counsel Natch Greyes for the answers to these questions --- and many more! The attorneys will discuss the designation and management of Class VI roads, including how and when building permits can be issued under RSA 674:41, granting permission for use of Class VI roads by OHRV’s and snowmobiles, and allowing abutting property owners to undertake private repairs. This workshop will also cover management of local highway construction, repair and maintenance through the office of an elected or appointed road agent or expert agent, and the requirement of CDL licensing for municipal highway employees. This workshop will also provide a review of the local regulation of highways by the select board including, parking, street numbers, street names, weight limits, mailbox location, as well as driveway regulation.

Cost: $65.00* *does not include publication

Attendees receive 2020 supplement to the 2015 edition of A Hard Road to Travel.

Friday, April 17, 2020 9:00 a.m.—12:30 p.m. Registration at 8:30 a.m. NHMA Offices 25 Triangle Park Drive Concord, NH Online pre-registration required one week prior. Space is limited. Questions? Call 800.852.3358, ext. 3350, or email NHMAregistrations@nhmunicipal.org

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What can we do about Postal Service Vehicles causing ruts in road shoulders?


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Profile for New Hampshire Municipal Association

New Hampshire Town and City Magazine, March-April 2020  

New Hampshire Town and City Magazine, March-April 2020  

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