The process of building a state budget begins with the governor’s proposed budget and ends when the governor signs it into law. In between, the House and Senate each present their own version, eventually working out a compromise that hopefully the governor will sign. Should the governor veto the budget and the Legislature cannot override the veto decision, then more compromise is needed. While the lengthening of the state budget process is rarely welcome, the compromise achieved can be beneficial. It certainly was for Claremont.
On Wednesday, Oct. 9, Gov. Sununu held a press conference in Claremont to present the city with a check for over $6.2 million. To everyone’s best recollection, it was the largest amount of money that Claremont has received in a state budget. Distributed over the next two years, this amount reflects funds for unrestricted municipal aid, education and school infrastructure. However, this is not the only funding that the city is directly allocated in this budget. Below is a breakdown of funds Claremont will receive.
Unrestricted Municipal Aid — In both this year and next, the city will be receiving $333,485. The amount is based on student population and the number of eligible free and reduced lunch students. However, the amount for each year may change slightly if these variables change. It is anticipated that the city will receive this year’s payment on or before Oct. 15.
Reimbursement of State Aid Grant funding for wastewater projects substantially completed by Dec. 1, 2019 – In 2013, the state placed a moratorium on these grants, and later lifted it in 2017. This budget allows for the reimbursement of those funds to eligible municipalities. Claremont will receive reimbursement for three completed wastewater projects. The city will receive a reimbursement of $29,241 this year and $29,240 next year for the Bog Sewer Improvement project. It will also receive a reimbursement of $73,399 this year and $73,398 next year for the Washington and Elm Street pump station. Finally, the city will receive a reimbursement of $10,698 this year and $10,865 next year for the Main Street Utility project.
New Ongoing Education Funding – This year, the Claremont School District will receive $1,184,875. Next year it will receive $1,436,187.
One-Time Education Infrastructure Grants – The School District will receive $2,905,740 to address long deferred infrastructure needs.
The successful passage of this budget would not have occurred without the commitment of both the governor and the Legislature to find compromise. Nor would the results have been what they are without the efforts of citizens across New Hampshire advocating for their communities. As beneficiaries, we are now better equipped financially to address the needs of our community and continue moving forward.
Charlene Lovett is the Mayor of Claremont and welcomes your feedback. Please email questions, comments or concerns to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.