April 11, 2016 Finance Committee meeting

April 11, 2016 Finance Committee meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:55 pm

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2016

A meeting of the Finance Committee (Fin Com) was held on Monday, April 11, 2016 at the Municipal Center. Ms. Holmes called the meeting to order at 7:10 PM.

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

1. REVIEW AND APPROVE SPECIAL (STM) TOWN MEETING WARRANT ARTICLES:
Article 1: Prior year bills: Ms. Lovett stated that there are $15,000 unencumbered funds in the Norfolk Agricultural account.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 1 to Town Meeting as presented. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 2: Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Transfers/Amendments: Mr. Guzinski stated that the transfers to monitor landfill and monitor wells were part of next years’ budget, but are now in this budget as a transfer to take care of May and June. These are one-time expenditures. A discussion was held.
Mr. Argall made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 2 to Town Meeting as presented. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 3: Insurance Fund Transfer Related to Damage to the Boiler at the Municipal Center: Mr. Guzinski stated that this article is unchanged. They are trying to get a settlement within the next three weeks.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 3 to Town Meeting as presented. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 4: Post Office – Interior & Exterior Painting: Mr. Guzinski stated that this project is being funded through lease proceeds.
Ms. Gogolinski made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 4 to Town Meeting as presented. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 5: Expansion of Recycling Area: The cost for this project will come from the Transfer Station Enterprise Fund.
Mr. Argall made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 5 to Town Meeting as presented. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 6: Remodeling of Transfer Station Shed/Office: The cost for this project will also come from the Transfer Station Enterprise Fund.
Mr. Argall made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 6 to Town Meeting as presented. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

2. 7:30 PM PUBLIC HEARING: FISCAL YEAR 2017 BUDGET
Ms. Holmes opened the public hearing and explained the proceedings. Mr. Guzinski listed the subtotals and totals of each department in the following order: Total General Government, Public Safety, and Public Works. The total budget request is $26,465,826. Total Operating Budget is $26,537,826. $72,000 will be allocated in Article 8.
Police Chief Foley feels Mr. Guzinski should explain to Town Meeting that the budgets have not gone up much, only 0.03% from FY16. He feels Mr. Guzinski should also spell out that the Town is doing a revaluation this year. Ms. Holmes asked Mr. Guzinski to ask department heads for a list of items that they would like to have in their budgets, but are not possible to have due to financial constraints.
Mr. D’Amico asked for college placement records for Douglas seniors for the last five years. Superintendent Norm Yvon stated that he will get those records.
John Furno, Highway Superintendent said that he may only get one more season out of the 1989 street cleaner. He spoke about the cost and benefits of the truck he wishes to purchase, which would replace two vehicles. It costs $35/catch basin to clean each of the 800 catch basins in town, and the DEP wants them cleaned twice a year.
There were no further questions or comments. Ms. Holmes closed the public hearing at 7:47 PM.
Ms. Holmes asked Justin Snook, Library Director if one of the seven different library funds could be used to fund the $1,500 being requested in the petition article for the library basement door. Mr. Snook stated that the reason this was not put in the operational budget was because the request came in after he had done the budget, and the request would have affected the MAR numbers. The cost did not meet the $10,000 request for Capital Committee. The Library Trustees did not want to spend any more from their budget on capital repairs this year. Much of the trust money was spent. $966 was spent on updating technology and other supplies, and $11,893 was spent on repairing the outside cement stairs, repairing the A/C and chimney.
Two-thirds of cost increases have come from out-of-district school placements.

3. REVIEW AND VOTE ON RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ANNUAL (ATM) TOWN MEETING WARRANT ARTICLES
Article 5: FY17 Transfer Station Enterprise Fund: Ms. Holmes read the article. A discussion was held.
Mr. Argall made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend to Town Meeting that the Town vote to raise and appropriate and/or transfer the sum of $225,000
from Transfer Station Charges and Fees, and transfer the sum of $64,110 from Retained Earnings, for a total of $289,110 to operate and maintain the Transfer Station. Salaries/Wages $61,800, Expenses $227,310, Total $289,110. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 6: FY17 Water/Sewer Enterprise Fund: Ms. Holmes read the article. She stated that Water/Sewer will be scheduling a fee study.
Mr. Argall made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend that the Town vote to raise and appropriate, and/or transfer the sum of $900,000 from Water & Sewer Charges and Fees, and transfer the sum of $155,948 from the Reserved for Debt Account, and transfer the sum of $253,377 from Retained Earnings, for a total budget of $1,309,325. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 7: FY17 PEG Access and Cable Related Fund: Mr. Guzinski stated that this will be funded entirely from Cable funds. A discussion was held.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend to Town Meeting that the Town vote to transfer the sum of $85,897 from the PEG Access and Cable Related Fund to operate and maintain the Cable Department. Salaries/Wages
$51,893, Expenses $8,004, Capital $26,000, Total $85,897. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 8: Personnel Bylaw Classification & Update: Mr. Guzinski stated that this changes the classification in the schedule of an increase of 1.75%. This matches the collective bargaining agreements with the Town for FY17.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend to Town Meeting that the Town vote to approve the Personnel Classification and Compensation plans for Fiscal Year 2017. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 9: Recurring Business: Mr. Guzinski reviewed the article. It was noted that there is a typographical error under #1 for the Simon Fairfield Public Library. $750 should read $500.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion that the Finance Agreement recommend Article 9 to Town Meeting as corrected. Mr. Gogolinski seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 10: Adoption of Revised FY 17–21 Capital Improvement Plan: The two cable related items will be funded from cable funds and half of the cost of painting the water tank will come from the Water/Sewer enterprise fund.
Mr. Argall made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 10 to Town Meeting as presented. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 11: Debt Exclusion –Purchase of Rescue Pumper and Catch Basin Cleaner Truck: Ms. Holmes stated that this article needs a two-thirds vote. The plan is to borrow for a period of five years. Mr. Guzinski explained the effect on the tax rate and average tax bill, which is $45-$60/year. Ms. Lovett asked if the Committee would prefer to recommend borrowing for a longer term. Mr. Guzinski explained that since the ballot is closed, the trucks could not be split into two separate votes. It was the concession of the Committee that the vehicles should be separated, other options explored and explore a longer timeframe for the borrowing. A discussion was held, including procedure.
Ms. Gogolinski made a motion that the Finance Committee not recommend to Town Meeting that the Town appropriate the sum of $704,000 to pay for the costs of purchasing and equipping a rescue pumper truck for the use of the Fire Department and a catch basin cleaner truck, with plow and sander, for the use of the Highway Department, and for the payment of all costs incidental and related thereto, and that to meet this appropriation, the Treasurer with the approval of the Selectmen is authorized to borrow said amount under and pursuant to Chapter 44, Section 7.9 of the General Laws, or pursuant to any other enabling authority, and to issue bonds or notes of the Town therefore. No amount shall be borrowed or expended hereunder unless the Town shall have voted to exclude the amounts necessary to repay any such borrowing from the property tax limitations set forth in Chapter 59, Section 21c of the General Laws or Proposition 2.5. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5, No-1.
Article 12: Economic Development Initiative:
Ms. Gogolinski made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend to Town Meeting that the Town vote to transfer the sum of $17,175 from Stabilization Account and transfer $12,825 from Economic Development Gift Account, for a total sum of $30,000 to 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. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 13: By Petition – Simon Fairfield Public Library – Fire Door Replacement: Mr. Guzinski explained that this $1,500 could only be spent on the purpose stated in this article. Ms. Holmes feels that an elected board, such as the Library Trustees, should not be in charge of something like this. A discussion was held including the availability of other library funds.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion that the Finance Committee not recommend to Town Meeting that the Town vote to transfer from Free Cash a sum of $1,500 for the purpose of replacing and installing the fire door in the basement of the Simon Fairfield Public Library. Said funds shall be placed under the control of the Board of Trustees of the Simon Fairfield Public Library. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5, No-1.

4. VOTE ON RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FY17 BUDGET
Ms. Holmes explained that Articles 1, 2, and 4 are taken together. Article 4 is the salaries for elected officials. Ms. Holmes read the motion.
The General Government Budget includes the Selectmen’s Budget of $294,454.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Selectman’s Budget as written. Ms. Gogolinski seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Finance Director/Accountant and Audit Budget totals $149,600.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Finance Director/Accountant and Audit Budget as written. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Assessors Budget totals $177,309.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to recommend the Assessors Budget as written. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Treasurer/Collector Budget totals $270,658.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Treasurer/Collector Budget as written. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Finance Committee Budget totals $55,700. Ms. Lovett stated that she submitted this budget on behalf of the Finance Committee. This budget includes the cost of postage and printing of the flyer.
Mr. Argall made a motion to recommend the Finance Committee Budget as written. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Technology Budget totals $72,300.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Technology Budget as written. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Town Clerk Budget totals $121,952.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Town Clerk Budget as written. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Public Building Maintenance Budget totals $202,364.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Public Building Maintenance Budget as written. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Permanent Building Committee Budget totals $2,100.
Mr. Argall made a motion to recommend the Permanent Building Committee Budget as written. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Community Development Budget totals $193,368.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Community Development Budget as written. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Other General Government Budget totals $350.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Other General Government Budget as written. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Police Dept. Budget totals $1,589,123.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Police Dept. Budget as written. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Fire Dept. Budget totals $293,501.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Fire Dept. Budget as written. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Ambulance Budget totals $206,085. A discussion was held.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Ambulance Budget as written. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Building Dept. Budget totals $93,556.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Building Dept. Budget as written. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Tree Warden Budget totals $5,100.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Tree Warden Budget as written. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Civil Defense Budget totals $1,525.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Civil Defense Budget as written. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Sealer, Weights and Measures Budget totals $750.
Mr. Argall made a motion to recommend the Sealer, Weights and Measures Budget as written. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Animal Control Budget totals $23,458.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to recommend the Animal Control Budget as written. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Cemetery Budget totals $10,000.
Ms. Gogolinski made a motion to recommend the Cemetery Budget as written. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Highway Dept. Budget totals $701,906.
Mr. Argall made a motion to recommend the Highway Dept. Budget as written. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Other Public Works Budget totals $55,350.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to recommend the Other Public Works Budget as written. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Board of Health Budget totals $59,767.
Mr. Argall made a motion to recommend the Board of Health Budget as written. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Council on Aging Budget totals $81,919.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Council on Aging Budget as written. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Veterans Budget totals $80,115. The Veteran’s Representative did not come before the Finance Committee. The Committee would like him to come before them in the fall to introduce himself.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Veterans Budget as written. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Culture and Recreation Budget totals $3,000.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to recommend the Culture and Recreation Budget as written. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Library Budget totals $215,046.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to recommend the Library Budget as written. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Memorial Day Budget totals $1,750.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to recommend the Memorial Day Budget as written. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Douglas Schools Budget – Personnel & Expense totals $12,573,552, Transportation $1,242,029 for a total Douglas Schools Budget of $13,815,581.
Mr. Argall made a motion to recommend the total Douglas Schools Budget as written. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Blackstone Valley (BVT) Assessment totals $715,252, Debt Assessment totals $46,025, and Representative Expense totals $500 for a total Blackstone Valley Budget of $761,777. Mr. D’Amico feels Dr. Fitzpatrick’s comments on the return on investment to BVT being the increased MCAS scores was disingenuous. He is concerned that BVT is getting the best academic students. He feels that the list of college placements for BVT are not significantly better than the list of college placements for Douglas Public School students; he feels the BVT students may be stunted. He does not feel that BVT fulfills its original objective. He also feels that the increase in school budgets should be equal.
Mr. Argall discussed the concern of public dollars spent for the post-graduate LPN program. A discussion was held.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to recommend the minimum allowable amount of Blackstone Valley Assessment of $698,768, Debt Assessment of $46,205 (corrected) and Representative Expense $500 for a total Blackstone Valley Regional Budget of $745,473. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Medicaid Reimbursement Budget totals $5,000.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Medicaid Reimbursement Budget as written. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Norfolk County Agricultural Budget totals $158,351.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to recommend the Norfolk County Agricultural Budget as written. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Insurance/Employee Benefits Budget totals $4,106,041.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to recommend the Insurance/Employee Benefits
Budget as written. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
The Debt Service Budget totals $2,656,970.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to recommend the Debt Service Budget as written. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Article 3: FY17 Budget Supplement:
The Budget Supplement totals $1,700,000. Mr. D’Amico is concerned about the amount. Mr. Guzinski stated that the ballot question is unchangeable at this time. A discussion was held including the school budget, the extraordinary building maintenance account, tax levy, school building project and Special Education costs. As written, the town cannot legally put $200,000 in the Extraordinary Building Maintenance Account in perpetuity.
Mr. Argall made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend that the Town vote to raise and appropriate a sum of $1,700,000 as set forth in Article 3, FY17 Budget Supplement in the handout entitled “Finance Committee Budget Message for the Fiscal Year 2017” for supplemental funding for Fiscal Year 2017 Operating Budget contingent upon passage of a Proposition 2.5 override ballot question. $1,500,000 would go to Douglas Schools Personnel and Expenses and $200,000 to Extraordinary Building Maintenance Account. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-4, No-2.

5. APPROVE MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 29, 2016 AND MARCH 15, 2016
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to approve the February 29, 2016 Finance Committee meeting minutes as presented. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Mr. Argall made a motion to approve the March 15, 2016 Finance Committee meeting minutes as amended. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

6. OPEN SESSION
There was no discussion

7. ADJOURNMENT
Ms. Gogolinski made a motion at 10:37 PM to adjourn. Mr. Kocur seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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