Chapter 456

2007 -- S 1052

Enacted 07/05/07





     Introduced By: Senator Kevin A. Breene

     Date Introduced: May 23, 2007


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. Section VII of Chapters 434 and 524 of the 2004 Public Laws entitled "An

Act Creating the Exeter Fire District" is hereby amended to read as follows:


     A. Annual Meetings. There shall be an annual meeting of the district every year for the

purpose of receiving the reports of the Board, approving the budget, ordering taxes and providing

for assessing, levying and collecting the same, enacting bylaws and transacting such other

business or adopting such measures, consistent with this Charter which the voters at said meeting

shall deem beneficial to the district. The annual meeting shall be held on the second Wednesday

of April in each year at such time and location within or without the district as the Board of

Commissioners shall determine. The date of the annual meeting and requirements of the call of

said meeting may be modified in the district bylaws.

     B. Special Meetings. The district shall have a special meeting upon written application

signed by twenty-five (25) or more qualified electors or at the direction of the Board. Written

application for a special meeting and the notice thereof shall specify the business to be transacted

at such meeting. Special meetings shall be called within fourteen (14) days from the date of

delivery of said request to the clerk of the District at such location and time as the Board of

Commissioner shall determine and the business shall be limited to that provided in the notice of


     C. Quorum. A quorum at the annual or any special meeting of the district shall be

twenty-five (25) qualified electors. In the event that a quorum is not present at the time the

meeting is scheduled to open, the moderator is authorized to continue the meeting to such time

and date as in the discretion of the Board shall best serve the interests of the district.

     D. Notice of Meetings. Unless otherwise specified in the district bylaws, notice of annual

and special meetings shall follow the requirements of state law for notice of financial town


     E. Powers of the District Voters. In addition to the general powers specified above, the

voters shall have the following powers exercisable at annual and special meetings:

      The power to order such taxes, fees, and provide for the assessing, levying and collecting

of same on the taxable inhabitants and property in said district as they shall deem necessary to

provide proper operating funding for the district and all fire, rescue and dispatch services in the

district and such taxes, so ordered, shall be assessed by the tax collector of said district on the

taxable inhabitants and property therein according to the last valuation made by the assessor of

the Town of Exeter as provided herein. The taxes assessed and payable in any one (1) year under

the provisions of this section shall not exceed two dollars and fifty cents ($2.50) on each one

thousand dollars ($1,000) of said valuation; provided further, however, the minimum charge for

any district tax bill rendered shall be not less than such amount as the voters shall determine, not

to exceed twenty dollars ($20.00). The voters may provide such deduction from the tax assessed

against any person if paid by an appointed time, or for such penalty by way of percentage on the

tax if not paid at an appointed time, not exceeding the maximum rate allowed by law upon said

unpaid tax.

     F. Budget Cap. (a) Each public safety organization shall endeavor to limit its individual

annual budget request to an amount which exceeds its appropriation for the prior fiscal year by no

more than five and one-half percent (5.5%).

     (b) In the event that any individual budget request (including the proposed fire district

administrative budget) exceeds the respective prior year's appropriation by more than five and

one-half percent (5.5%), such request shall be voted on separately at the annual meeting and shall

require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the electors present for approval. Prior to any such vote, the

moderator shall advise the electors by how much in percent and in dollars the request exceeds

five and one-half percent (5.5%).

     (c) In the event that an appropriation resolution which exceeds the prior year's

appropriation by more than five and one-half percent (5.5%) is not approved by a two-thirds (2/3)

vote, the moderator shall entertain substitute resolutions from the floor and, following discussion,

shall put any such resolution to a vote until a substitute resolution receives the votes necessary for

adoption by majority or a two-thirds (2/3) vote, as may be required.

     (d) After all such requests which exceed the prior year's appropriation by more than five

and one-half percent (5.5%) have been decided, the Moderator shall put the entire fire district

budget to a vote of the electors present at the annual meeting. The fire district budget shall require

a majority vote for approval.

     G. Reserve Fund. There shall be established by the Annual Meeting a fund to be

designated the Reserve Fund into which there may be transferred from time to time by vote of the

Annual Meeting the whole or any portion of the surplus funds which the District may have at the

end of any fiscal year, or to which direct appropriations may be made, or which may be

augmented by both means. The purpose of the Reserve Fund shall be to make moneys available

for temporary borrowings in anticipation of taxes, and/or for capital expenditures, but for no other

purpose. The Board of Commissioners may authorize borrowing from the Reserve Fund in

anticipation of taxes within such limits as the Annual Meeting shall set for each fiscal year.

Moneys from the Reserve Fund may be used for capital expenditures only upon specific

authorization of the Annual Meeting. The Treasurer shall have the authority, with the approval of

the Board of Commissioners, to make such prudent investments of moneys in the Reserve Fund

as may seem appropriate.

     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.