On the petition of Experience Hampton, and at least 25 Hampton registered voters, shall the Town of Hampton vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $300,000 for preliminary design services for the reconstruction of Lafayette Road from the area near the intersection of High Street south toward Winnacunnet Road? The design services would include street, sidewalk, utility, and lighting improvements for the downtown Hampton Village in an effort to revitalize the downtown. The preliminary design would be used to support a future project that has the potential to be funded by the Road Improvement Capital Reserve Fund created under Article 16 of the 1998 Annual Town Meeting in accordance with the provisions of RSA 35 for the purpose of maintenance and/or reconstruction of streets. Said appropriation to be offset by a donation by Experience Hampton, estimated to be no less than $30,000.
This article is contingent upon the donation of no less than $30,000 from Experience Hampton, and the donations’ acceptance by the Board of Selectmen.
This shall be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7, VI and shall not lapse until the project is completed or by March 31, 2018, whichever occurs sooner? (Majority vote required)
What it means: This funding would allow design work to be done that would be the basis for costing, permitting and bidding work to follow. According to one of the official speakers for Experience Hampton at the Deliberative Session, they would not look to the Town to fund the work itself. They are looking to the voters to approve this design work ($30,000 to be contributed by Experience Hampton and $300,000 to be contributed via one-time taxation), but then the actual transformation of the downtown area would be accomplished via grants or other funding.
Those in favor say: This will be a public-private partnership whereby Experience Hampton will work with the town to beautify the downtown area. It is similar to the work done down at the beach by the State a few years ago, in that the initial improvements were followed by private money that has uplifted the area. According to the Experience Hampton speaker, this is the only aspect of the project that they are asking for the town to fund via new taxation; it was stated at Deliberative session that the initial funding will plans to be developed that in turn will make it possible to raise all further funding via grants or existing funds.
Those against say: There was concern expressed about parking in the downtown area (whether any spots would be lost) and about the businesses who are driving this project. Those associated with the project responded that they are committed to not losing any parking spots.
Fiscal Impact: The average Hampton home valued at $404,000 would bear an increased tax of $36.76, which would be a one-time tax impact.