As residents will likely see increases in property taxes in 2021, the City of Dover voted Wednesday to issue tax anticipation notes for the purpose of the city borrowing $17 million to be able to manage its expenses.

According to City Manager Michael Joyal, who spoke at a City Council meeting Wednesday evening, the city requires short-term borrowing in order to "pay its bills until tax receipts are received."

Additionally, Joyal said he expects the owner of an average residential property to see an increase of $250, or a 3% increase, in their property tax bill, although bills can fluctuate. The city's new tax rate is expected to be $24.85 per $1,000 of property valuation, Joyal said Wednesday, adding that although New Hampshire had not set an official tax rate for the city he expects the preliminary numbers to stand.

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Joyal said the city's property assessment protocol was interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and wasn't completed on time, adding that there was also a delay in the New Hampshire Department of Education reviewing the schools' financial submittals.

Next week, Joyal said, the city has a "significant bill" upcoming that requires short-term borrowing.

"Because of tax rate being late," Joyal said, "we’re paying for city services with money that has yet to be collected. We have a significant bill coming due next week, in order to pay that we need to do short-term borrowing."

The city expects to pay $28,000 in interest for the $17 million bond.

Purchase Authorized For Regional Warming Center

Dover City Council formally accepted a grant from the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA) that will cover the purchase of a facility along with equipment and staffing costs to operate an emergency extreme cold weather warming center for the Tri-City area (Dover, Rochester, Somersworth).

The grant allows for the purchase of an existing building located in Somersworth that is immediately available and able to be configured to begin operations later this month.

The warming center could be operational by Dec. 14, Joyal said, and could be staffed for the remainder of 2020 at least, opening up again in 2021 on extreme weather days.

The original grant award was $975,240, which covers the $749,900 purchase of a code-compliant property, all closing costs, equipment, supplies and staffing needed to be up and running, according to a statement released by the City of Dover.

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