Shall the Town of Hampton vote to change the title of the “Cemetery Burial Trust Fund” that was first created by Article 26 at the 1986 Town Meeting for the maintenance of Town owned cemeteries, to the “Cemetery Maintenance Trust Fund,” and to confirm that currently, each Town Meeting has the authority to make expenditures from both the principal and the interest in said Fund (the interest from which is otherwise to be withdrawn annually and used for the maintenance of cemeteries) and to make changes in the terms of said Fund as needed? (2/3 vote required.)
What it means: This fund was established in 1986 with $18,000. The fund’s current balance is over $500,000. The combination of deposits to the fund for burials, interest earned and capital appreciation is greater than the voter-approved withdrawals from the fund over the past 30 years. This Article seeks to confirm the ability of the voters at future Town Meetings to approve or disapprove specific proposals to withdraw from both principal and interest. The Article would also change the name of the fund to be more in keeping with its larger purpose (“maintenance” to encompass upkeep as well as burials). The required voting outcome was increased to a 2/3rds majority at Deliberative Session because the Department of Revenue Administration thought it could be interpreted as a change of purpose.
Those in favor say: As long as the Town meets the maintenance & upkeep needs of the cemeteries, the voters should have the ability to approve withdrawals from the fund for specific purposes. Otherwise, the fund will continue to grow, while we accumulate bond debt for other projects.
Those against say: No one spoke against this Article at Deliberative Session.
Fiscal Impact: No tax impact.