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Goffstown warrant article seeks funds for youth programs


GOFFSTOWN — One day, Kristie Curtis, executive director of Crispin's House Coalition for Youth, received a call from a local mother who was trying to save her son. The organization, which provides youth drug, alcohol and suicide prevention programs, was able to step in and get the child the help he needed.

The boy was to be released from a hospital just before a long holiday weekend because of the lack of beds, and he had a plan to end his life.

"The mother called (everyone) frantically and we were the only ones who had answered the phone," Curtis said. "Because of our collaboration with decision makers, we were able to advocate for the child and keep him safe."

Curtis told the story at the town's Feb. 6 deliberative session while seeking voter support for a $20,000 warrant article for youth programs.

Crispin's House also provides prevention programs designed to help youth make positive choices in their lives. The programs include high school and middle school monthly youth forums and the VolunTEENS program, Juvenile Court Diversion, Youth Attendant Program and financial aid for families who cannot afford after-school care for their children.

It is also a member of the Greater Manchester Regional Suicide Prevention Initiative.

"It is proven that these prevention programs save money. It keeps our children out of the court system and it prevents costly treatment programs," said Selectman Nick Campasano.

The organization, which has an annual budget of $80,000, helps youth in New Boston, Dunbarton, Weare and Francestown.

Warrant Article 28 and Warrant Article 27, which is seeking $20,000 to support the Goffstown Main Street Program, are going before voters on March 11. In recommending the two articles supporting the town's nonprofits, selectmen said they are vital to the community.

The community has shown support for the Goffstown Main Street program since 1999, said Selectman Phil D'Avanza. Goffstown Main Street is in charge of the Pumpkin Regatta, trick-or-treating on Halloween, Old Home Day, the holiday tree-lighting event and others.

"They also provide support to the community as a whole and they attract people from other areas to the community, which supports our businesses," said D'Avanza. "When businesses thrive in Goffstown, that's good for the community."

Voters will also be asked to support a $5,050 petitioned warrant article for the Goffstown Waterway Association's efforts to clean up Glen Lake. The association estimates the milfoil management project to be $16,750, which will be funded with $6,700 from the Department of Environmental Services, Exotic Species Program from the state; donations from Enel North America, the operator of the Kelly Falls Dam; and donations from local users of the Piscataquog River, Glen and Namaske lakes. About $10,000 has been raised.

There was some discussion at the meeting about gaining Budget Committee support for the warrant, and although the committee said it did not have enough information to support the warrant, Selectman Collis Adams said the state has a plan.

"The town has worked with the Department of Environmental Services and they worked with a private diver to identify priority areas," Adams said. "We really should be throwing more money at this because not only is it important environmentally, but it has important fiscal implications as well. We need to take advantage of every opportunity to bring businesses into Goffstown," and to attract visitors to support the town's businesses, restaurants and gas stations.

Voters will be asked to approve the town's $19,580,945 operating budget, warrant articles and election of officials on Tuesday, March 11 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Goffstown High School.

sclark@newstote.com

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