Epsom NH News

February 8, 2017


 

Epsom Public Library: “Take Your Child to the Library Breakfast:” Saturday, February 18th 9:30 am. Celebrate with a special Dr. Seuss themed breakfast, stories and a craft. Children will receive a free book, stickers and bookmark! Reservations are suggested! Sign up at the circulation desk or call the library at 736-9920 for more information. If you would like to donate food or drinks for the breakfast call Mrs. Benner.

 


 

Movie matinées continue at the Epsom Public Library with the showing of The Secret Agent on Wednesday, Feb 15 at 1:30 PM.  This “thriller” is an adaption by the BBC of a Joseph Conrad novel.  Set in 1886 Victorian England, it tells the story of Anton Verloc, an unassuming shopkeeper, who, unbeknownst to anyone close to him, also works for  the Russian embassy as a spy.  He is given an assignment that he hates and not following through would mean his identity as a spy would be revealed.

 


 

Epsom Food Pantry

 

Hi everybody.  Well, again another busy week for Ken and his crew. And for we who do paperwork, we too have been busy.

 

Ken bought us a new refrigerator this past week. It’s a beauty.  It’s all refrigerator, no freezer, and it gives us more room for milk, eggs, and fresh veggies.  Come summer, with the new one and the old one, we will be able to store our veggies in a cool place.

 

We also had a nice delivery from the school with more canned goods and stock for the Pantry. Also, Herb and Donna Hodgdon brought in food for the Pantry. Thank you so much everybody. It will be put to good use.

 

Ken also said a gal from a Concord Church gave him a case of mac and cheese.  When I went to the mail today there was a very very nice check from the Dorcas Guild of the First Congregational Church of Pittsfield. You know people, I do not know what we would do if it was not for the wonderful church groups, not only Epsom but our dear friends in  Pittsfield, who work hard at their fairs and money making events and they never forget us.

 

We are indeed so fortunate and deeply grateful to all these folks.

 

Until next time, 

Priscilla

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

Dated January 20, 2017, Donald Trump through Presidential Executive Action removed the individual mandate from the Affordable Care Act. It will now fall under its own weight. When the Heritage Foundation (conservative think tank) came up with original principles of ACA, they concluded “no mandate” scenario would render the Act useless.

 

The phony “repeal and replace” put forth by Republicans will: end coverage for preexisting conditions; end ability of kids to remain on parents policy until age 26; eliminate critical payments to rural hospitals; remove discrimination protection for women’s healthcare; remove 18% max profit limit for health insurance companies (health insurers enjoyed on average 25 to 28% prior to ACA). No doubt, once again health insurers will be denying coverage/canceling policies to suit their profit goals. Block “grants” to states will dramatically lower the coverage pool. Downshift costs to states. 

 

Hence, from January 20, 2017 forward we have “Trumpcare.” What a “brand!”

 

Nancy Heath 

Epsom

 


 

Epsom Selectmen’s Office Updates

 

The BOS has proposed a warrant article to establish a fund for future work on the Meeting House and other town owned buildings.  It is the Board’s hope to finally be able to open at least the lower level of the meeting house for use by our residents. The fund will also be used for major repairs to other buildings that may arise so as to not impact the operating budget.

 

The Board was disappointed that we fell 12 votes shy of the 60% needed for the proposed new Town Office Building last year. We have a long history of attempts to build a new Town Office.  A warrant article is on the ballot to put away funds that can lessen the impact to the tax rate when we are finally successful.

 

Our former Assessing firm, Avitar, fulfilled their contract at the end of December 2016 and the Board voted to award our assessing contract to M&N Assessing starting January 2017.

 

The Board has been reviewing all the surplus properties owned by the town and sold 2 parcels in December. Proceeds from these and future sales will help to lower what needs to be raised by taxes and will also put these properties back on the tax roll to generate tax revenue for the town.  We enlisted assistance from local realtors and the Board would like to keep utilizing their services and expertise as it helps with sales of the properties and results in higher sales prices. There is a warrant article which asks for the authority to list our sale properties through a real estate agent.

 

There was a change in personnel at the town office this year. After many years of service to the town, John Dodge, Chair of the Planning Board resigned and we wish him well!  Also, Debbie Tibbetts, Assessing Assistant resigned and went on to new adventures.  The Board thanks them for their time and services to the Town!

 

This year we have updated some of the job descriptions for our staff. During some of our regular meetings we had scheduled time to meet with all of our Department Heads and staff to conduct the annual review of job performances. 

 

Mr. Crowley recently donated his family’s collection of old Town Reports.  It is interesting to compare the reports! Here is a “bit-of-history” – in 1913 the Town paid out $202.76 for the “Gypsy and Brown-Tail Moth” accounts and $65.05 to paint the “Gypsy Moth Nests”. 

 

The Library circulated 2,250 books.   The High School tuition was $400.00.  There were 4 Road Agents, one for each district!

 


 

Letter

 

To my constituents in Allenstown, Epsom, and Pittsfield,

This week, my committee heard three bills about retiree health benefits. I didn’t notice any constituents in the crowd, but almost a hundred people showed up, and many of them testified in opposition. HB624, which simply clarified the laws to allow retired judges to participate (at their own expense) and updated a number of references, had no opposition. HB653, requiring retirees over 65 to contribute to their health care coverage was strongly opposed by retirees and active employees alike. HB645, ending retiree health coverage for future hires and converting current and future retirees to a defined contribution health plan, was equally opposed by employees and even less attractive to the committee, because the burden would be placed primarily on the older retirees who would have to research and apply for private coverage.

 

HB631, creating a cash balance version of the defined benefit plan for new employees, had a lengthy hearing as many committee members were unfamiliar with the variants of pension plans that have been considered in the last few years. This plan looks like a 401(k), in that members see their balances increased by their contributions and growth, but all funds are mingled and professionally invested, the state guarantees a minimum return, gains above this are shared with the members, and members who leave prior to retirement can take the funds with them. I can’t see this bill passing immediately, due to its complexity, but it neeeds serious consideration.

 

We also heard a number of other, more minor bills, including HB593, which yet again tried to move some positions in the Department of Corrections from Group I to Group II (police, fire, corrections). New positions are created in Group I even if equvalent, existing positions are Group II by either statute or grandfathering senior personnel.

 

Representative Carol McGuire

Carol@McGuire4House.com

782-4918

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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