October 28, 2013 Finance Committee

October 28, 2013 Finance Committee

Postby Mary Wright » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:25 pm

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
MONDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2013

A meeting of the Finance Committee was held on Monday, October 28, 2013. Mr. Bari called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at the Municipal Center.

ATTENDANCE
PRESENT: Todd Bari (Chairman), Carol Gogolinski, Michael Hutnak, Jerome Kocur, Cynthia Shurick, Michael Guzinski (Town Administrator), Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director)
ABSENT: Pamela Holmes (Vice Chairman), Ryan Hogan, Kate Murphy

1. VOTE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ARTICLES ON THE WARRANT OF THE SPECIAL TOWN MEETING OF NOVEMBER 18, 2013
Article 1: Mr. Guzinski submitted a Maintenance Priority List, related to the Maintenance Expense Account, compiled by Adam Furno in order of priority. He stated that $20,000 would cover the cost of the first two items on the Maintenance Priority List and should cover the Post Office parking lot.
He also presented the FY14 Cherry Sheet which was approved July 25, 2013. The net change is $32,450. This amount would be balanced by making the transfers in Article 1.
Mr. Guzinski included a Summary Report on the Fire Department’s medical billing. Ms. Lovett provided the committee with a report on a full year from July 1, 2012 through July 1, 2013 and then continuing through September, 2013. Fire Chief Vinson feels they are $30,000 in the positive since having a private company do the billing. A discussion was held.
Also included were a letter from the Chief of Police to the Board of Selectmen and a letter from the President of the Douglas Police Officer’s Association regarding the situation with the cruisers. Also attached was a copy of the Auto Fleet Schedule. There are three cruisers on a shift. There are 6 frontline cruisers.
Police Chief Foley joined the meeting and spoke about the deteriorating condition of the cruisers and the effect on public safety. The purchase of new cruisers has been put off for so long that they all need to be replaced at once. The vehicles have the equivalent of 500,000 miles on them. He stated that every month they are spending approximately $1,000 in repairs. He spoke about the Police Dept.’s plan to stagger the replacement of vehicles in the future. Chief Vinson spoke about the need for an SUV to patrol the state forest. A discussion was held.
Mr. Guzinski explained that raising and appropriating this amount of $191,550 does not raise the tax rate beyond what was approved at the Annual Town Meeting. He stated that the reason there are so many transfers, is because the budgets are very tight. There is no room for the unexpected. Ms. Lovett stated that in the last few years, the November Town Meeting has been used to balance the budget.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion that the Town vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $191,550 and transfer the sum of $81,400 from Ambulance Receipts Reserve for Appropriation for a total appropriation of $272,950 to fund the following amendments to Article 2 at the Annual Town Meeting: Increase Ambulance Wages by $81,400, Increase Fire Expenses by $8,100, Increase Town Accountant Wages by $5,000, Increase Treasurer/Collector Expenses by $6,450, Increase School Department Personnel/ Expenses by $150,000, Increase Municipal Building Expenses by $20,000, Increase Board of Health Wages by $2,000 and to reduce the following Fiscal Year 2014 budgets by the following: a reduction to Municipal Building Wages by $20,000, a reduction to Norfolk County Agricultural by $54,000, a reduction of Douglas Schools -Transportation by $90,000, a reduction of Retirement/Medicare by $20,000 and a reduction to Unemployment Expense by $40,000. Ms. Gogolinski seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
There was a discussion about the increase to Town Accountant Wages. Ms. Lovett explained that the transfer is due mainly to the increase in workload due to the School Building Project. She does not feel it is appropriate to pay for an Operating cost out of a borrowing. A discussion was held.
Ms. Lovett explained that the Treasurer/Collector Expense of $6,450 is the cost for the consultant for the OPEB Actuary Study. At some point, they will need to fund the cost of the Town-Owned Properties Auction.
Article 2: Mr. Guzinski explained that the Ambulance Account had a surplus of $20,000 last year that went into Free Cash.
Ms. Gogolinski a motion that the Town vote to transfer the sum of $20,000 from Free Cash to the Stabilization Account. Mr. Hutnak seconded he motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 3: Mr. Guzinski stated that this article exists to show the bonding agencies that the Town is making an effort to fund this account.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to transfer the sum of $20,000 from Free Cash to the Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Account. Ms. Shurick seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 4: Mr. Guzinski stated that they received a check from the insurance company this morning.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion that the Town vote to transfer from the Insurance Reimbursement Receipts Reserve for Appropriation Account a sum of $195,536.84 to the Intermediate Elementary School Building Project Account. Ms. Shurick seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 5: Ms. Gogolinski made a motion that the Town vote to rescind the authorization to issue Bonds in the amount of $155,000 as approved at the May 4, 2009 Annual Town Meeting for the purpose of the costs of designing and constructing a sewer system extension up Manchaug Road. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 6: This article is to fund the Economic Development Initiative. A discussion was held.
Ms. Shurick made a motion that the Town vote to transfer from certified Free Cash the sum of $25,000 and transfer from Article 13 of the Annual Town Meeting of May 1, 2006 the sum of $5,000, for a total of $30,000to pay for consultants for planning, grant writing, and other services associated with economic development in the Town of Douglas under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 7: Mr. Hutnak made a motion that the Town vote to transfer from certified Free Cash the sum of $79,630 for the purchase of two police cruisers and related appurtenances. Mr. Kocur seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion that the Finance Committee make no recommendation on Articles 8, 9 and 10. Mr. Kocur seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

2. OTHER BUSINESS
Mr. Guzinski has been in contact with Dr. Fitzpatrick’s office, Superintendent of Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, but he has not heard back from him. He will continue to try to contact him to ask him to come to a meeting in early January.
The next meeting will be November 18, 2013 at 6:30 PM at the high school before the Annual Town Meeting. After that, unless something comes up, there will not be a meeting until January 2014.
Mr. Kocur asked about the raises for the Superintendent of Schools and the School Business Manager. Mr. Guzinski could not speak to that. It would have been approved by the School Committee. Ms. Lovett has the information in her office.

3. ADJOURNMENT
Ms. Gogolinski made a motion to adjourn at 8:09 PM. Ms. Shurick seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
 
Posts: 500
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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