February 1, 2016 Finance Committee meeting

February 1, 2016 Finance Committee meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:38 am


A meeting of the Finance Committee was held on Monday, February 1, 2016 at the Municipal Center. Ms. Holmes called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

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

7:01 PM Council on Aging
Patrice Rousseau, Director joined the meeting. Six hundred to nine hundred people per year attend the Senior Center. She reviewed some of the programs offered with 4,476 seniors participating last year. The Sunshine Club does all of the fundraising activities. Ms. Rousseau spoke to the Mass. Council on Aging this year.
Ms. Rousseau would like a new refrigerator, air conditioning, and new windows. Half of the windows are boarded up and the others are cracked. They have installed a security camera to be able to view the ramp. There is only one full-time salaried person. She is hoping to receive $10/senior from the State.
Currently, Ms. Rousseau mails out a bi-monthly newsletter at a cost of $5,000 per year. Ms. Rousseau suggested instead to post in The Blackstone Valley Tribune, on social media and posting monthly notices (8 times per year) at the Municipal Center, library and local businesses. She suggested sending a larger, semi-annual newsletter. The money saved from postage will be used for a per diem assistant for four hours per week.
7:19 PM Public Building Maintenance
Adam Furno, Building Maintenance Manager joined the meeting. An adjustment was made to assign Mr. Furno 20 hours/week for building maintenance. He moved $2,000 into the Building Maintenance budget line. He reviewed the other changes in his budget request.
Mr. Guzinski stated that a cost of 8.8 cents/kw established by the electricity aggregation for the municipality went into effect on January 4, 2016. The Town will be paying 9.49 cents/kw.
Mr. Guzinski stated that all departments were asked to level fund and to include an increase 1.75% COLA for union employees and steps for non-union employees where appropriate. Ms. Holmes reminded everyone that revenues do not increase by much.
Mr. Furno reviewed his Capital List with his priorities as follows: repointing of the parapet of the Municipal Center, gym window replacement, Municipal Center air duct cleaning, post office interior and exterior painting (needs to be done within six months of signing the new lease), replacement of the main roof of the Municipal Center and removal of two louvers, Police Dept. window replacement, masonry repair, first floor electrical work, Post Office and Senior Center windows, Senior Center and Post Office air conditioner replacement, Municipal Center/Police Dept. parking lot including removal of the island, elevator wing roof, and Municipal Center second floor heat and air conditioning units. Mr. Furno also had a list of items that need to be replaced.
Mr. D’Amico asked about the Municipal Center’s useful life. Mr. Guzinski feels it could last another 40 years if a million dollars could be put into it. There would be no space issues if the second floor could be used. Mr. Guzinski outlined the work needed to be done to move upstairs, which would cost $150,000-$200,000. A discussion was held, including an appeal regarding installing a fire suppression system on the second floor.
Mr. Furno presented expenses for the Frank I. Rounds, Co. for the temporary boiler, much of which will be paid for through the insurance company. He stated that the Town currently has a contract for oil at $2.779/gal. Next year it will be $1.73 or $1.76/gal.
Discussions were held including, debt coming off, deferred maintenance, and safety issues.
8:05 PM Building Dept.
Adelle Reynolds, Building Inspector, joined the meeting. Her hours were cut last year. She works 19 hours/week. Ms. Reynolds explained the stipends for inspections. Stipends were reduced last year. The 8% increase in wages is due to an increase in responsibilities for one position. Ms. Reynolds stated that their Revenues completely fund the Building Dept. budget. Discussions were held regarding travel, training and conferences, additional equipment, fees, subdivisions under development and solar.

Ms. Lovett reviewed the Fiscal Year 2017 Revenues. The Net Cherry Sheet increase is $60,747. Mr. Guzinski stated that the increase in Chapter 70 is only just over $28,000 (0.17%). Douglas receives the minimum allowable payment of $20/student. The increase in Local Aid is 0.33%, which is the smallest increase since 2010. PILOT payments increased by $17,000 due to the State’s purchase of 300 acres. A discussion was held regarding Chapter 70, especially comparing Douglas to other surrounding communities.
Ms. Lovett quickly reviewed the other charts in her report including: Lottery Aid, School Choice, a History of Local Receipts and Free Cash.

Mr. Argall made a motion to approve the January 11, 2016 Finance Committee meeting minutes as amended. Ms. Shurick seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Mr. Hutnak made a motion at 8:39 PM to adjourn. Ms. Shurick seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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