The fiscal and budget year of the Town shall begin on the first day of January and end on the 31st day of December unless other dates shall be fixed by action of the Town Council.
At such time as may be requested by the Manager or specified by the Administrative Code, each officer or director of a department shall submit an itemized estimate of the expenditures for the next fiscal year for the departments or activities under his control to the Manager. The Manager shall, based on these estimates and other data, prepare a recommended budget which he shall, together with these department estimates, submit to the Council on such date as the Council shall establish. The Council shall review the budget for the following fiscal year and make such modifications and amendments as it desires.
Number of hearings. The Town Council shall hold in convenient places as many public hearings on the budget as it deems necessary, but at least two public hearings on the budget shall be scheduled at least 14 days before its final adoption by the Budgetary Town Meeting at such time and place, convenient to the public, as the Council shall direct.
Notice of budget hearings.
Notice of such public hearing and Budgetary Town Meeting, together with a copy of the budget as submitted, shall be posted in two public places.
A copy of the budget shall be available to the public at the office of the Town Clerk during regular business hours.
In addition, notice of such public hearing and Budgetary Town Meeting shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least one week prior to said meeting by the Town Clerk.
The budget shall be brought before the Town Meeting in March, on a date fixed by the Council.
At the beginning of each quarterly period during the fiscal year, and more often if required by the Council, the Manager or his designee shall submit to the Council data showing the relations between the estimated and actual income and expenses to date, together with outstanding indebtedness and estimated future expenses; and if it shall appear that the income is less than anticipated, the Manager, with Council approval, may reduce the appropriation for any item or items in the budget, except amounts required for debt, interest charges, and other fixed costs, to such a degree as may be necessary to keep expenditures within the cash income. At any time, the Manager may provide for monthly or quarterly allotments of appropriations to departments, funds, or agencies under such rules, as he shall prescribe.
After the budget has been adopted, no money shall be drawn from the treasury of the Town nor shall any obligation for the expenditure of money be incurred except pursuant to a budget appropriation. The head of any department, with the approval of the Manager, may transfer any unspent balance or any portion thereof from one fund or agency within his department to another fund or agency within his department. The Manager, with the approval of the Council, may transfer any unspent balance or any portion thereof from one department to another.
Town Manager, after consultation with the Planning Board, shall prepare and submit to the Council a capital improvement plan at least one month prior to the final date for submission of the budget. The capital improvement program shall include:
A clear summary of its contents;
A list of all capital improvements including major replacements which are proposed to be undertaken during the next six fiscal years, including but not limited to equipment, sewer and water mains or facilities, roads, sidewalks, bicycle paths or lanes, public open spaces and recreation facilities, new police and/or fire stations, and other new public facilities, and major items of equipment, with appropriate supporting information as to the necessity for such improvements;
Cost estimates, methods of financing, and recommended time schedule for each such improvement; and
The estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining the facilities to be constructed or acquired.
The Capital Improvement Plan shall be based on a period of not less than six years and shall include reference to or be influenced by, where appropriate, the Town Master/Comprehensive Plan.
The above information may be revised and extended each year with regard to capital improvements still pending or in process of construction or acquisition.
The Town Council and Town of Bedford Planning Board shall meet annually in preparation for and review of the Capital Improvement Plan in a manner determined from time to time by the Town Council.
A summary of the updated Capital Improvement Plan with estimated costs shall be included in the Town Report, and such portion of the current year costs the Council deems appropriate may be included in the Town budget.
Every appropriation, except an appropriation for a capital expenditure or dedicated funds, shall lapse at the close of the fiscal year to the extent that it has not been expended or encumbered. An appropriation for a capital expenditure shall continue in force until the purpose for which it was made has been accomplished or abandoned.
The Council shall approve to the Treasurer the depository or depositories for Town funds and shall provide for the timely deposit of all Town monies. The Council may require such security for Town deposits as it deems necessary, except that personal surety bonds shall not be deemed proper security.
Any Town officer elected or appointed by authority of this Charter shall be bonded in an amount as required by state law or dictated by prudent fiscal practice for the faithful performance of the duties of his office. The Manager and all officers receiving or disbursing Town funds shall be so bonded. All official bonds shall be corporate surety bonds, and the premiums thereon shall be paid by the Town. Such bonds shall be filed with the Town Clerk.
All borrowing of money for any purpose within the scope of the powers vested in the Town and the issuance of bonds, notes or other evidence of indebtedness of the Town shall be in accordance with the procedures prescribed in the Municipal Finance Act, RSA Chapter 33.
Definition. The acquisition of any and all equipment, materials, supplies and services using funds of the Town or in the fiduciary custody of the Town shall be deemed "public procurements."
Procurement Policy. The Council shall adopt a Procurement Policy which shall establish purchasing and contracting procedures that shall apply to all departments. The policy shall ensure prudent use of Town resources, foster fair competition among providers and encourage cooperative purchasing among departments and with other governmental entities.
Purchasing agent. The Town Manager shall be the purchasing agent of the Town and shall ensure compliance with the Procurement Policy adopted by the Council. He or his designee shall approve all procurements, purchase orders and contracts in a manner consistent with the policy.
Policy waivers. The Council may, by affirmative vote of five of its members, waive any requirements of the Procurement Policy it deems appropriate to special circumstances, provided it publicly states and documents the circumstances warranting waiver and its reasons therefor.
Conditions allowing special assessment. When it appears, either by resident petition or Council deliberation, that a capital public improvement project should be defrayed in part or whole by special assessment, the Council shall have the authority subject to state law to undertake such project.
Public hearing on special assessments. The Council shall hold a public hearing on the project prior to enacting any special assessment resolution.
Such resolution shall state the estimated cost of the project(s), the proportion to be borne by special assessment, and the proportion to be borne by Town revenues, and shall not exceed $20,000 of Town revenues per year without prior approval of the Town Council.
The resolution shall designate the areas of the Town or the premises on which the special assessment shall be levied and the conditions of payment of the levy.
Trustees of the trust funds. There shall be three Trustees of the trust funds who shall hold office for three years and until their successors are elected and qualified on a staggered basis so that one Trustee is elected at each Town election. They shall have all the powers and duties granted to Trustees of trust funds by this Charter and state law.
Investments. Trust funds, except where otherwise provided by the instrument creating such trust, shall be kept separate and apart from all other funds and shall be invested by the Trustees in legal investments.
Vacancy. In the event of a vacancy in office, the Council shall fill such vacancy by appointment, such appointment to be effective until a successor to fill the unexpired term is elected at the next Town election and is then qualified to serve.