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By PAUL J. SPETRINI
EXETERâ€”In its last regularly-scheduled meeting of 2011, the Exeter Town Council received quite a bit of good news Monday night as an independent audit by Warwick-based Certified Public Accountants Nadeau Wadovick, LLC proved favorable for the town for the 2011 fiscal year.
The biggest highlights from the report indicated that the assets of the town of Exeter exceeded its liabilities at the end of the 2011 fiscal year by over $7.4 million, the townâ€™s total net assets increased by $334,727 thanks to favorable General Fund spending and Capital Asset additions and, all told, Exeter has roughly $2.8 million in its General Fund, of which about $1.3 million remains as a surplus after factoring in the townâ€™s liabilities.
â€śAs you go through a tough economic situation, just be cautious in how you spend your funds,â€ť Nadeau Wadovick LLC representative Jeffrey D. Wadovick said. â€śYou donâ€™t want to get yourself in a tough situation. With the way the school district is, if you spend too much, you could find yourself in a supplemental tax roll situation. I think your fund balance of $1.3 million is relatively low.â€ť
Wadovickâ€™s report was the most noteworthy news in a busy night for the council, which listened to a special presentation on emergency generators by Generator Committee members Paul McFadden and Emergency Management Director Stephen Coutoulakis, debated wording on a changes to the townâ€™s code of ordinances regarding hawkers and peddlers and extended a moratorium on wind turbine applications in town.
The most discussed topic of the night, however, was a public hearing on the townâ€™s ordinance governing motor-powered boats on Boone Lake.
In a discussion that lasted nearly 45 minutes, a large group of local residents, most from the Boone Lake area, debated back and forward the merits of raising the horsepower limit on boats on the lake from a maximum of 45 to a proposed 50.
Though the crowd was split 50-50 on the topicâ€”with those opposing the measure citing safety concerns and those in favor of the measure pointing to the fact that 45 horsepower motors are no longer madeâ€”the council was unanimous in its decision, voting 4-0 to approve the change (member Cal Ellis was absent).
â€śYou canâ€™t buy the smaller-sized motors anymore and the new motors are more efficient and they donâ€™t have an oil/fuel mixture,â€ť council member William P. Monahan said. â€śI canâ€™t see why raising horsepower would cause people to go faster than they already go. If theyâ€™re going to not obey speed limit, it doesnâ€™t matter if itâ€™s a limit of 45 or 50, theyâ€™ll speed anyway.â€ť
The council did not come to a decision on the final wording of the ordinance change regarding hawkers and peddlers, however, voting to continue discussions to its January meeting in order to take another look at how other towns define solicitors and what changes could be made to address concerns from citizens regarding placement of temporary carts and stands.
The Exeter Town Council is back in session on January 3.