Just a reminder that Gilsum Recreation’s Spring Adult Bingo Nightwill be held THIS Saturday (the 28th) at the Gilsum Church! It will be this event’s 3rd anniversary and we hope you’ll join the fun!
Gilsum Bingo is FREE and open to all adult Gilsum residents age 18 and over. Your adult guest is always welcome to join you! Please invite your neighbor as well. This email reminder list is limited to those we possess currently.
To register your dog, visit the Town Clerk at the Gilsum Town offices. Business hours are Tuesday 4:00-7:00 PM and Wed 8:00 AM – Noon.
Should Cemetery Trustees and the Selectmen be named as agents of the Centennial Cemetery Maintenance Capital Reserve?
This question will be put before voters at Town Meeting on Wednesday, March 14. Currently no agent has been named, so no monies can be withdrawn. If approved, the Trustees could go to the Selectboard office to request an expenditure of funds from the capital reserve account, and the Selectboard could approve it, says Selectman Ray Britton. “The article was by petition in 1987 and the purpose was not clearly stated – DRA recommended this article be clarified and agents named,” says Town Clerk and Tax Collector Robin Cantara.
Article 18: Centennial Cemetery Maintenance Capital Reserve, reads: “To see if the town will vote to change the purpose of the existing Cemetery Reserve previously established (1987) to the Centennial Cemetery Maintenance Capital Reserve AND to name the Selectmen and Cemetery Trustees as agents to expend from said funds. This article requires a two-thirds vote to pass.
$7,000 requested for Centennial Cemetery Work
Article 19 on the Town Warrant this year requests $7,000, $5,000 of which is to be used for clearing out a wooded section of the Centennial Hill Road cemetery, says Trustee Mike Ballou. The cemetery is running out of space, so the trustees are asking for funds needed to clear away a wooded section capable of opening up an additional 15 or 20 spaces. Once those are spoken for, the next phase will be to open up an adjacent 2-acre parcel just on the other side of the stone wall. The balance of the funds will be set aside for future work.
Article 19: Cemetery Reserve, reads: “To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $7,000.00 to be added to the Cemetery Reserve CR previously established (1987).” The Selectmen and Budget Committee recommend this appropriation. A simple majority vote is required.
Proposed change would give half the proceeds from Land Use Change Tax to Town Conservation Fund, half to the Town operating budget
People with 10 acres or more of undeveloped land used for farming, forestry or other qualified uses can get a break on their property tax bill by putting it into a special tax status known as “Current Use.” When the land comes out of current use–say, for development–the owner pays a tax penalty equal to 10% of the value of the land. Warrant article 20, to be voted on at Town Meeting is all about who gets the cash.
Warrant Article 20, put forward by the Selectboard, proposes that 50% of the Land Use Change Tax (LUCT) revenue go to the Conservation Fund and 50% to offset town operating expenses. Currently, all monies paid to the town from land use change taxes go into the Conservation Fund, managed by the town’s Conservation Commission, to be used for purposes consistent with the Conservation Commission’s charter. These might include cleaning up town-owned land, frog pond beautification, making improvements to town land, or purchasing land to protect it from development the town doesn’t want to see, says a Commission spokesperson. Currently the Commission plans to expend funds to clean up debris on Town-owned land by the waterfall between Route 10 and the Sullivan Road. The proceeds from the LUCT are the Conservation Commission’s only source of funding.
Here’s how that fund is administered: The Town Treasurer has custody. The Conservation Commission may approve the expenditure of money from the fund as part of its authorized activity under state law. However, if money from the fund is used to purchase any interest in land, a public hearing must be held and the acquisition must be approved by the Selectmen.
Last year, $4,702 of LUCT fees went into the fund, according to this year’s Town Report (p. 40). Sending half of that amount back to taxpayers would not significantly affect property tax bills, a Conservation Commission spokesperson points out. But a spokesperson for the Selectmen says a 50/50 split would be “more fair.”
The current Conservation Fund balance is about $53,000. “While having $50k in a fund may seem like a lot of money, it doesn’t go far if the Commission decides to use the funds to clean up a property or have it surveyed,” a spokesperson said. “Should an issue occur with the Silvio Conte Refuge in Gilsum and we want to negotiate a private purchase of property that they also want, we’d need cash. If we needed to hire a lawyer to deal with a conservation issue, such as wetlands or the river (the wetlands rules are in discussion for changes by DES right now), we’d need cash. Identifying areas for conservation, preservation, and town use could also require funding for hiring professionals and generating reports for the townspeople.”
A few years ago a similar proposal that would have allocated 100% of the tax to defray town operating budget and none to the Conservation Fund failed to pass at Town Meeting.
Article 20: Percent Land Use Change Tax, reads: “To see if the town will vote to authorize to change the percentage from 100% to 50% of the Land Use Change Tax collected pursuant to RSA 79-A:25 to be deposited into the existing Conservation Fund in accordance with RSA 36-A:5, III, as authorized by RSA 79-A:25, II. If adopted this article shall take effect April 1st, and shall remain in effect until altered or rescinded by a future vote of the town meeting.” A majority vote is required.
Monadnock Humane Society (MHS) is pleased to offer the community a new online resource that can help reunite lost pets with their families. Ten Thousand Eyes™ (TTE) is the trade name of an Internet database system designed specifically for locating and reuniting pets and pet owners in the Monadnock Region. It was developed at no cost in collaboration with the staff of MHS for their use by Gary Lee, an area resident who himself has had five cats vanish in 25 years without a trace. The beta site was launched in October of 2017, and it is now ready to be used to capacity. Micro-Volunteers are needed.
The TTE model focuses on a relatively small geographic area (44 towns in the Monadnock Region – listed on TTE and MHS websites) where people who lose pets are not far from the people who will find them. The differentiating factors TTE uses include all existing and available human resources in the service area. TTE is administered by MHS, a trusted and reputable animal welfare organization, and focuses on their service area of the Monadnock Region. TTE reaches out to local police and animal control officers in those areas, and it uses the power of people to make it run (a team of volunteers who monitor missing and stray pet information on a regular basis – “Micro-Volunteers”).
TTE provides easy 24/7 reporting and information access to all lost animal information in the region, is a central database created by the pet owners and stray spotters themselves. Using a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer, reporting a lost pet or a found stray animal, gets the word out to the entire Monadnock Region in 3-4 minutes, including a pet’s photograph and key descriptive information.
Micro-Volunteers are the driving force behind this initiative. The more people involved, the greater the likelihood that lost pets will be found. We call these volunteers “micro” because it is a job that will not take a lot of time, but can make a huge difference.
Being a Micro-Volunteer involves:
Emily Kerylow, MHS Director of Operations, is excited to offer this service to the community. “MHS is known throughout the Monadnock Region as a resource for pets. Using technology for this initiative will not only create much-needed efficiencies for our staff who have handled these inquiries manually for many years, but will increase the likelihood of pets being reunited with their families.” Kerylow added that having lots of Micro-Volunteers is what will make TTE successful. “We’re thankful to live in such a supportive, compassionate community, and I’m confident we’ll see many people get involved!”
Please consider becoming a Micro-Volunteer today. Visit monadnockhumanesociety.org for more information, or go to tenthousandeyes.org and click on the “Micro-Volunteer” button on the homepage, and follow the easy instructions.
Angela Sundaramurthy launched her new business, Gilsum Alterations, on March 5. Angela, who moved from Virginia to Gilsum with her family last year, says her home-based business does basic alterations. Business hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. Contact Angela at 352-5522 or visit her Gilsum Alterations page on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/Gilsum-Alterations-574213782916815/
The next time you visit the town offices or Gilsum Public Library expect to see something different. The town offices and foyer area are getting new laminate flooring, a fresh coat of paint, a new door, counter area, a bulletin board. And Library improvements, approved by the town last year, are in full swing. The area includes new carpeting and LED lighting and handmade oak shelving. The old battleship grey metal shelving will move downstairs.
Since 2000, Gilsum residents have voted to put money away for an inside renovation of the Library & Town office, which hasn’t seen a major renovation since 1974. Last March at town meeting taxpayers voted to use half of that money for renovation. Volunteers are trying to do as much as possible with a small budget, so they have been doing some of the work themselves. It been a slow process, the Library has new energy-efficient LED lighting, and half of the Library has new carpet/paint and oak book shelves.
The money for these renovations was approved in last year’s budget. No additional funds will be requested this year. Come see the changes as well as new books and audio book titles. Librarian Gail Bardwell will be happy to give you a tour!
Library hours are Monday: Noon – 4:00 PM; Monday and Tuesday 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM; Wednesday 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM; and Saturday 10:00 AM – Noon.