March 12, 2015 Strategic Budget Committee

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March 12, 2015 Strategic Budget Committee

Postby Mary Wright » Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:41 pm


A meeting of the Strategic Budget Committee was held on Thursday, March 12, 2015 in the Municipal Center. Ms. Brouillette called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM.

PRESENT: Paula Brouillette (Chair), Dave Cortese (Vice Chair), Mike Hughes (Arrived 5:11 PM), Melissa Morrison
NON-VOTING: Michael Guzinski (Town Administrator), Cortney Keegan (School Business Manager), Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director), Norm Yvon (School Superintendent)
ABSENT: Pamela Holmes (Excused), Scott Yacino (Alternate-Excused)

1. Review 5-Year Pro Forma Revenue/Expenditure Projection
Mr. Guzinski has new information for FY16. He started with the revenues. The 2.5% increase is $297,585, New Growth estimate is $85,000 for a total increase of $382,585. The Local Receipts estimate is $25,806. The State Aid total increase for FY16, based on the Governor’s numbers, is $52,625
School Choice Tuition-Out is a net increase to the budget of $82,419. There is an additional $48,000 from Ambulance Receipts. The Gross Revenue increase in revenues is $494,435. Mr. Guzinski and Ms. Lovett will draw up a new chart, replacing estimates with these actual numbers. 1% State Aid was estimated and 0.5% was received.
Mr. Yvon stated that last week was the State meeting to discuss the formula used to determine State Aid. A large number of students spoke. The message has been consistent that there is not enough financial support for insurance, Special Education, transportation, etc. The chairman is getting the consensus that they should be revising the formula. It should be a dynamic formula that changes on its own with the times.
Ms. Brouillette stated that FY17-FY20 estimated budgets increase about $1.3 million, year to year. Based on FY16, Revenues actually increase less than $500,000.
Regarding the presentation to the public, Mr. Yvon suggested showing the step increase needed just to keep services as they are. Ms. Morrison suggested including all the state mandates, especially on the school side.

2. Discuss Compilation of Comparative Analysis
Mr. Guzinski presented an updated chart made by the prior Strategic Budget Committee. For communities in southern Worcester County, it shows the FY15 tax rate, average family tax bill, average single family home, towns that have succeeded in passing overrides and those that have not, etc.
He also presented information that the Principal Assessor prepared looking at other communities in the State with similar types of residences and comparing the size of the towns. The Committee also wants to look at average family incomes, levels of State Aid received, levels of services, residential vs. commercial tax base, total overall budget, dollars spent per student, public safety, public works, and employee benefits. Ms. Brouillette would like to see a comparison of 20 to 25 communities of similar sizes, based on residents.
Mr. Yvon suggested talking to people in similar communities.
Ms. Brouillette stated that Ms. Holmes would like to look at the pilot payments made for state-owned land. She would like to compare the amount of state-owned land and payments received in similar communities. Ms. Brouillette will look at commercial properties in Town and project what the revenue impact would be based on the properties on the east side. Mr. Yvon and Ms. Keegan will compare schools in similar communities and also get a list of grants that are available and ones that are no longer available.

3. Discuss Timeline/Milestones
The following timeline was discussed: by the end of June, have all information gathered and have discussions about the trends and some preliminary recommendations based on that information, conduct outreach meetings in September, make a presentation to the Board of Selectmen in the beginning of October, and Town Meeting in November.

4. Minutes: February 12, 2015
Mr. Hughes made a motion to approve the February 12, 2015 meeting minutes of the Strategic Budget Committee meeting as presented. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

5. Old/New Business/Open Session
Old Business: None
New Business: The next meeting will be April 9, 2015 at 5:00 PM.

6. Adjournment
Mr. Hughes made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:03 PM. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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