(For more information on this topic, the New Hampshire Municipal Association has a good article entitled "History of Perambulation ." The following is from the Concord Monitor)
Walking the line on legislation to change measurement oftown boundaries
By SUSAN DOUCET
Sunday, January 4, 2015
(Published in print: Sunday, January 4, 2015)
Once every seven years, selectmen in New Hampshire towns must walk the boundaries of their town, a long-required process known as perambulation.“It’s an arduous task,” said Rep. Karel Crawford.
Crawford, a former Moultonboro selectwoman, is proposing a bill this legislative session that would allow a town’s selectmen to determine when perambulation should be completed, changing it from a requirement of a set seven-year interval to a discretionary decision.
The idea for the proposed legislation comes from Moultonboro Town Administrator Carter Terenzini,
If this bill were adopted, one town’s board of selectmen would not be able to make the decision regarding the boundaries without consulting its neighbors. “Then you have to get the other towns to cooperate and go along with you,” said Crawford. “Moultonboro is surrounded by several.”
The state archivist has officially counted 624 distinct town lines in New Hampshire. According to the state’s Division of Archives and Records Management, the oldest known law on perambulation dates to 1686.
The current law, requiring perambulation to be reported every seven years to the secretary of state, was adopted in 1969. The proposed bill is also sponsored by Sen. Jeb Bradley of Wolfeboro and Sen. Regina Birdsell of Hampstead. The requirements of perambulation are outdated and unnecessary, Bradley said of why Crawford asked him to support the legislation.Crawford is not the first legislator to propose a change to perambulation. Ten years ago, a bill to repeal the current perambulation law was proposed but did not become law. In the 2013 legislative session, a bill allowing the use of GPS devises in perambulation was proposed, but was not adopted.
(Susan Doucet can be reached at 369-3309, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @susan_doucet.)