Portsmouth budget hearing to be held in person Wednesday

Social distancing will be enforced; session will be live-streamed as well

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — For the first time in well over a year, the Town Council will host an in-person meeting when it conducts its annual public hearing on the municipal budget this Wednesday, June 9.

According to the recently filed agenda, the hearing will begin at 7 p.m. in the Portsmouth High School auditorium.

“The meeting being held at Portsmouth High School will be open to the public, subject to space availability and all social distancing guidelines,” the agenda states.

It will be the first time the council has held a meeting in person since March 16, 2020, when it declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent gatherings were conducted remotely.

Previous budget hearings were held at Portsmouth Middle School, but the high school's new sound system is considered to be far superior.

For those who wish to stay at home on Wednesday, however, the hearing will also be live-streamed. Go to https://livestream.portsmouthri.com/towncouncil.

Using your laptop or mobile device, you can “raise your hand” to ask a question, or pose the question in the moderated “Question and Answering” chat window. The host will then be able to respond to your raised hand or question.

To access the meeting by phone, dial 1-888-788-0099. Once prompted for the meeting ID, dial 996-8471-9966#. Once prompted for a participant ID, dial # again. You will then be in the meeting.

While in the audio conference, to raise your hand to ask a question dial *9 and the host will be notified of your interest to ask a question. Dial *6 to mute and unmute yourself.

The hearing will consider a total provisional budget for fiscal year 2021-22 of about $69.07 million, a 3.7-percent increase over the current spending plan. The proposed budget calls for a property tax rate of $15.31 per $1,000 of assessed valuation — a 1.57-percent increase.

The Town Council provisionally approved the budget on May 10, and will formally adopt the spending plan on June 28.

Town Hall to reopen

In related news, Town Hall is set to reopen next week now that its employees are fully vaccinated.

The building will fully reopen to the public on Monday, June 14.

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