Bedford Journal Letters to the Editor – January 10, 2014

Returning money to rightful owners

To the Editor:

House Bill 1546 is a win-win for New Hampshire.

Money returned to lawful owners is money pumped back into the economy. It generates tax revenue and supports local businesses. Some owners will be lifted out of debt by the return of their money. Some will use it to upgrade their work skills, pay college costs and purchase durable goods. Legislators who make this happen are doing the right thing.

Recently, New Hampshire has been taking in about $14 million in “owner unknown” funds annually. This amount should rise significantly as states attorneys general pursue insurance companies and others who have held beneficiaries’ money too long. In the past, only a little more than $5 million annually is ever claimed by rightful owners. Modern technology and research methods have outstripped the old rules.

Safe and secure identification of “unknown” owners is now possible. House Bill 1546 will get it done.

MELINDA LUTZ BYRNE

Bedford

Failing to recycle costs taxpayers

To the Editor:

Now is the time that the Town Council of Bedford, town employees and interested citizens are looking at setting the town budget, which determines the tax rate for the coming year.

In April, the Town Council wrote to the citizens of Bedford and outlined a way for the citizens to help the town save money by recycling. The sentences below that are within quotation marks are from the letter the Town Council wrote to encourage Bedford citizens to recycle.

“The council set as one of its 2013 goals to increase the rate of recycling at the transfer station by 10 percent.”

The Town Council further informed the citizens of the savings available through recycling.

“Recycling saves taxpayer money. It cost $20 to dispose of a ton of recycled material compared to $74 to haul it to a landfill. Therefore, even a modest 10 percent increase in the town’s recycling rate will save taxpayers almost $10,000 in the town budget.”

My questions to the Town Council are: Has there been an increase in the rate of recycling at the transfer station and has there been any savings to our town budget due to increased recycling rates? Another question for the Town Council, are you considering mandatory recycling to help decrease town expenses?

My thanks to those who recycle and to those who work at the transfer station to facilitate the recycling efforts of our town. I like the new signs that line the road to the transfer station. They help us understand what we can recycle here in Bedford.

Perhaps we need some signs to remind people of the cost associated with the choices they make as they approach the transfer station. Information about the transfer station can be found on the Bedford Town website in the Public Works Department section. I know that town employees, both at the transfer station and in the town office, will be happy to answer your questions regarding recycling.

JUDITH MACLELLAN

Bedford