October 25, 2016 Finance Committee meeting

October 25, 2016 Finance Committee meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:01 pm

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2016

A meeting of the Finance Committee (Fin Com) was held on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at the Municipal Center. Mr. Argall called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

ATTENDANCE
PRESENT: Brett Argall, Howard D’Amico, Carol Gogolinski, Ryan Hogan (Vice Chair-arrived 7:46 PM), Jerome Kocur, Cynthia Shurick
ABSENT: Pamela Holmes (Chair-Excused), Michael Hutnak (Excused)
NON-VOTING: Michael Guzinski (Town Administrator-arrived 7:25 PM), Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director-arrived 7:48 PM)

1. APPROVE MEETING MINUTES OF 2/29/16, 3/14/16, 3/15/16, 3/28/16, 4/4/16, 5/2/16 and 5/24/16.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to approve the February 29, 2016 Finance Committee meeting minutes as presented. Ms. Shurick seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5, No-0.
Mr. Kocur made a motion to approve the March 14, 2016 Finance Committee meeting minutes as presented. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5, No-0.
Ms. Shurick made a motion to approve the March 15, 2016 Finance Committee meeting minutes as presented. Ms. Gogolinski seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-4, No-0, Mr. Kocur abstained.
Approval of the March 28, 2016 Finance Committee meeting minutes was deferred to the next meeting.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to approve the April 4, 2016 Finance Committee meeting minutes as presented. Ms. Gogolinski seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-3, No-0, Mr. Kocur and Ms. Shurick abstained.
Ms. Gogolinski made a motion to approve the May 2, 2016 Finance Committee meeting minutes as presented. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-2, No-0, Mr. Kocur, Ms. Shurick and Mr. D’Amico abstained.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to approve the May 24, 2016 Finance Committee meeting minutes as presented. Mr. Kocur seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-2, No-0, Mr. Argall, Ms. Shurick and Ms. Gogolinski abstained.

2. REVIEW AND VOTE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE ARTICLES ON THE WARRANT OF THE SPECIAL TOWN MEETING (STM) SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 14, 2016.
Article 2: Mr. Guzinski expects the Firefighters’ Union verbal agreement to be ratified prior to STM. This article will cover the cost of the new hires from January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017. Funding would come from New Growth and State Aid.
Ms. Gogolinski made a motion that the Finance Committee vote to recommend Article 2. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5, No-0.
Article 1: Mr. Guzinski read the article and the changes to the FY17 budget. The Blackstone Valley Tech (BVT) additional assessment is due to the difference of what was approved at the ATM and the certified amount that was ratified by at least 9 other participating towns in the district. Mr. D’Amico asked Mr. Guzinski for the names of the towns that ratified the full amount and he asked for contacts for the chairs of their finance committees.
The Health Insurance reduction is an estimate. A discussion was held.
Ms. Gogolinski made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 1 as presented. Ms. Shurick seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5, No-0.
Mr. D’Amico stated that he voted in favor of the Article only so that the Town would not be in breach of contract with BVT.
Article 5: Mr. Guzinski stated that there was a boiler fire at the Municipal Center one year ago. The insurance settlement has paid for the temporary boiler and the adjustments. They were in negotiations with the insurance company regarding the damage to the boiler. He believes the final cash settlement will be in the range of $70,000. The goal of this article is to use some of these funds to replace some of the Municipal Center windows. They plan to go out to bid again this winter for the windows.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 5 as presented. Ms. Shurick seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5, No-0.
Article 6: Mr. Argall stated that on the ballot, the vehicles are together and on the warrant the vehicles are separate. Mr. Guzinski explained that they are separated on the warrant so that each item can be bonded separately in order to lower the borrowing costs. The Board of Selectmen (BOS) decided to have both vehicles on the same ballot question. The ballot authorizes both vehicles if it passes, but both warrants would have to pass. If only one warrant passes, that one vehicle could be purchased. A discussion was held, including the difference between a debt exclusion and an override.
Ms. Gogolinski suggested that the annual financial impact for the average single-family homeowner in Douglas be known for STM.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 6 as presented. Mr. Hogan seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-6, No-0.
Article 7: John Furno, Highway Superintendent explained what a catch basin cleaner is and how this truck would be beneficial to Douglas. This truck will also replace a truck that is a sander and a plow. The truck will easily last 15-20 years. A discussion was held regarding borrowing for the vehicles, debt and financial impact to the taxpayers.
Ms. Gogolinski made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 7 as presented. Mr. Hogan seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-6, No-0.
Article 8: Mr. Guzinski stated that this transfer will put less burden on the rate payers for the water booster station.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 8 as presented. Mr. Hogan seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-6, No-0.
Article 9: Mr. Guzinski was approached a few months ago by a company that works with the mobile pipeline company. The company is interested in disposing of 50 acres of property in Town which is close to some of the Town wells. The Town has an agreement with the company to purchase the land for $400,000. The property was appraised at $431,000.
Bob Sullivan, Water/Sewer Commissioner joined the meeting and spoke about the safety of the Town’s water. Part of the agreement is that the company retains their utility easement and all the (oil) piping will be replaced with double wall pipe with leak detection. This property is a natural filter between the landfill and the wells. There are some secured buildings on the property that could house several large pieces of equipment and vehicles. In 2025, the Town could sell some frontage lots. A discussion was held, including uses for the land and DEP testing.
The $400,000 will come from funds in the Stabilization from the remainder of the MBTE settlement and Water/Sewer Retained Earnings. A discussion was held including, Stabilization and aquifer protection.
Ms. Gogolinski made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 9 as presented. Ms. Shurick seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5, No-0, Mr. D’Amico abstained.
Article 3: Ms. Lovett will email the balance of the OPEB account to the Finance Committee. Ms. Shurick made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 3 as presented. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-6, No-0.
Article 4: Mr. Guzinski stated that these funds were remaining in the Ambulance Account at the end of the year, and they are being transferred to Stabilization as part of the payback for the purchase of the ambulance. Ms. Lovett will email the balance to the Fin Com.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 4 as presented. Ms. Shurick seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-6, No-0.
Article 10: This is a friendly Eminent Domain. Mr. Guzinski stated that DCR purchased over 300 acres in the western part of Town 1.5 years ago. The BOS negotiated with the State and the seller to donate 9 acres to the Town. This article was approved a year ago at ATM.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion that the Finance Committee recommend Article 10 as presented. Ms. Shurick seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-6, No-0.

Mr. Guzinski stated that a meeting of the Fin Com will be posted for 6:30 PM on November 14, 2016 at a classroom at the high school. Mr. Hogan will work with Mr. Guzinski on the flyer. They want the flyers to be at the post office by next Tuesday so that the flyers can be in mailboxes by November 10, 2016.

3. OPEN SESSION
Mr. Argall summarized the last joint meeting with the Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, School Committee and Strategic Budget Committee.
Mr. D’Amico is not happy with the BVT/Douglas School system relationship. He referenced a letter from BVT dated 10/6/16 talking about a 15 student increase in Douglas’ BVT enrollment. He would like to tackle this issue early and address this item at the next joint meeting, which is scheduled for next Tuesday. A discussion was held.
Mr. D’Amico suggested rotating the chairmanship of the Finance Committee. Mr. Argall explained that they reorganized at the last meeting.
Mr. D’Amico asked that the Fin Com be informed when Mr. Guzinski’s name is brought forth to serve on a State legislative board that will be looking at the State PILOT program process.

4. ADJOURNMENT
Mr. D’Amico made a motion at 9:01 PM to adjourn the Finance Committee meeting. Ms. Gogolinski seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
 
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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