Zonia Moore / The Dartmouth Staff
For the upcoming fiscal year, the town is considering a net 2.16 percent tax increase for Hanover residents, though this figure is tentative pending a finalized budget allocation from the state. Griffin said she forsees a need to increase taxes by 5.03 percent based on revenue requirements, but the town is proposing using $240,000 of undesignated funds to lessen the burden of a tax hike.
The need for increased tax revenue results from municipal contributions to the New Hampshire retirement fund as well as a decrease in revenue from building permits. Construction on Dartmouth's campus provides a large share of building permit revenue through taxable projects, such as work on dining halls and dormitories, which, according to the budget report, were scaled back last year.
Overall, the town's value increased $10 million over the past fiscal year to $2 billion, which reflects home renovations, downtown commercial development and renovations to Collis and the Hanover Inn, Griffin said in an interview.
The board also noted a decrease in the number of people who were referred to the town's Alcohol Diversion program, which it attributes in part to the College's efforts. Meeting clerk and Diversion program head Elizabeth Rathburn cited Dartmouth's Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students program, extended to all first-year students last fall, as one reason for this trend.
"We noted that when Dartmouth College changed their BASICS program, students were getting more of the education provided by our Diversions," she said. "We've had to revamp our program to make it effective."
Dartmouth's administration has made efforts to increase the amount of information it shares with the police, Hanover Police captain Frank Moran said.
Crime statistics presented at the meeting indicated increased incidences of theft and sexual assault, particularly on the College's campus. In 2012, the increase in theft was largely attributed to stolen computers. The rise in sexual assaults resulted from collaboration between the College and Hanover Police and revealed more instances than had been previously suspected.
"The College is providing reports and information with redacted names," Moran said. "It is painting a more accurate picture of what is going on, so that we can pursue it."
While the collaboration sheds light on sexual assault incidences, Hanover Police pursues each case as far as the victim wishes to, Moran said. Due to complications and emotional strain arising from legal proceedings, many individuals elect not to have cases fully prosecuted. Perpetrators are instead dealt with by the College through its sexual assault policy.
During the parking budget review, representatives from the town's Parking Office said they are considering increasing rates for parking meters and fines.
"It was a great meeting," Griffin said. "The Board, I think, was pleased with the fact that they have sufficient details, and they are beginning to figure out the bigger issues they need to resolve in their own minds in preparation for their final deliberations a week from tomorrow."
The board will meet again on Wednesday as well as next Monday and Tuesday, when the Selectmen will go into deliberations about the budget and produce a final report.