December 7, 2015 Finance Committee Meeting

December 7, 2015 Finance Committee Meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:59 pm

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2015

A meeting of the Finance Committee was held on Monday, December 7, 2015 at the Municipal Center. Ms. Holmes called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM.

ATTENDANCE
PRESENT: Pamela Holmes (Chairman), Brett Argall, Howard D’Amico, Carol Gogolinski, Michael Hutnak, Ryan Hogan (Vice Chairman), Jerome Kocur
ABSENT: Cynthia Shurick (Excused)
NON-VOTING: Michael Guzinski (Town Administrator), Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director)

1. REORGANIZATION
Mr. Guzinski accepted nominations for Chairman. Mr. Hogan nominated Pamela Holmes as Chairman of the Finance Committee. Ms. Gogolinski seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Ms. Holmes accepted nominations for Vice Chairman. Ms. Gogolinski nominated Ryan Hogan as Vice Chairman of the Finance Committee. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

2. REVIEW RESULTS OF THE SPECIAL TOWN MEETING (STM) OF NOVEMBER 16, 2015
Mr. Guzinski stated that everything went forward as presented, except Article 12, which was the Economic Development initiative. The night of Town Meeting there was a vote to recommend an amendment. Article 12 passed as amended. A discussion and determination for the process moving forward will be on the agenda for the Board of Selectmen (BOS) next week.
Mr. Guzinski has sent documentation to the consultant that is working on the PILOT payments. Ms. Gogolinski asked that the consultant be sure to examine whether or not the underlying zoning is causing a problem. Mr. Guzinski expects to have a meeting with the consultant in January, 2016. The next time that Douglas can file an appeal is in approximately one year.

3. APPROVE MINUTES OF OCTOBER 26, NOVEMBER 2, AND NOVEMBER 16, 2015
Mr. Hogan made a motion to approve the October 26, 2015 Finance Committee meeting minutes as presented. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-6, Mr. D’Amico abstained.
Mr. Hogan made a motion to approve the November 2, 2015 Finance Committee meeting minutes as amended. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-6, Mr. D’Amico abstained.
Mr. Argall made a motion to approve the November 16, 2015 Finance Committee meeting minutes as presented. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5, Mr. D’Amico and Mr. Kocur abstained.

4. OTHER BUSINESS
Mr. Guzinski stated that the BOS decided that they want a joint meeting with the Finance Committee and School Committee on January 5, 2016 at 7:00 PM to discuss the Town’s financial situation and the budget process for FY2017. The School Committee has requested a joint meeting for the same purpose.
Ms. Lovett stated that the tax rate was set at 16.82 after the Special Town Meeting. Last year it was 16.46. Ms. Lovett will request that the tax rate and tax rate history be placed on the Board of Assessor’s webpage. A discussion was held regarding the Town’s website.
Mr. Guzinski informed the Committee that the annual budget message will be going out to all the departments, committees and boards that have budgets next week. He will ask the departments to have their budgets in by early January, 2016.
Mr. Guzinski stated that the Town has received a one-time grant of $165,000 from the Mass. Office of Travel and Tourism. The grant was received with the help of Sen. Fattman and Rep. McKenna. There are no restrictions on the use of the funds. The funds are outside of the Town Meeting process. Mr. Guzinski recommended to the BOS that the funds be used for capital. The BOS will be taking under advisement the traditional 70/30 State Aid funds split with the School Dept. At their next meeting, the Capital Committee will be discussing where they think the funds should go.
Ms. Lovett stated that the auditor will be doing the exit conference at the next BOS meeting on December 15, 2015.
Ms. Holmes stated that Ms. Shurick suggested reviewing the budgets by breakout: having each member of the Committee look at different budgets with the department heads. Ms. Gogolinski is interested in the Highway Dept. This process will be discussed further on January 5, 2016.
A discussion was held regarding meeting days and snow days. The next meetings will be January 5, 11, and 25, 2016. Mr. Guzinski asked that the Committee give their folders to Ms. Lovett by January 11, 2016.
Ms. Holmes asked about the budget message. She feels the message needs to be more dire than last year. A discussion was held regarding steps and COLA. Mr. Guzinski stated that a majority of the town employees are contractual. The teachers are due a 1.75% COLA in FY17. Police and Fire contracts are still in negotiations. Ms. Holmes would like a message about how the Town is approaching their budgets this year to go to Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT).
Mr. D’Amico was brought up to speed regarding Douglas’ attempts to bring commercial development into Town. Ms. Holmes will send Mr. D’Amico the MMA website.

5. ADJOURNMENT
Mr. Hogan made a motion at 8:08 PM to adjourn. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
 
Posts: 481
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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