February 6, 2017 Finance Committee meeting

February 6, 2017 Finance Committee meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:12 pm

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2017

A meeting of the Finance Committee (FC) was held on Monday, February 6, 2017 at the Municipal Center. Ms. Holmes called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM.

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

1. DEPARTMENTAL BUDGET REQUEST MEETINGS:
Mr. Guzinski stated that the budget books should be available at the next meeting. The Police Dept. will be asked to present at the next meeting. Department heads were sent a letter asking to submit a level-funded expense budget with no cost of living adjustments (COLA) and one with steps and one without steps.
7:30 PM – Highway Dept. – John Furno
Mr. John Furno joined the meeting. He gave an overview of the department. He has himself, a secretary and 5.5 full-time workers. He listed the responsibilities of his department. They installed a new lift in their garage to maintain most of their vehicles and vehicles of other Town departments within the Highway Department. Each department pays for their own parts, but labor is shared.
Mr. John Furno stated that there are no major changes in the budget from last year. He shifted $5,000 from Repair Maintenance to Supplies. He mentioned that they would like to pave sections of Walnut Street, Cross Street, and Main Street. A large paving project on Webster Street (4.7 miles) will be funded by the State.
Mr. John Furno stated that this year’s budget is right where it should be at this time of the year. (Mr. Furno was referring to his actual spending compared to his FY17 budget.)
Mr. Guzinski stated that under the Municipal Modernization Act, Snow & Ice deficit spending can now be approved by the chief administrator officer of the town, as opposed to a vote by the Finance Committee and Board of Selectmen (BOS). Mr. Guzinski recently approved an increase of up to $200,000. Mr. John Furno is contacted by the Police Dept. when unsafe road conditions exist for Highway Dept. review.
Mr. John Furno stated that they have had 15 snow/ice events as of February 1, 2017. To salt and sand the Town costs almost $5,500. Douglas spends an average of $250,000/year for snow and ice.
Ms. Holmes asked how the operation of the Highway Dept. would change if the budget had to be reduced. Mr. John Furno replied that they may have to eliminate street sweeping and other services.
8:00 PM – Building/Facilities – Adam Furno
Mr. Adam Furno joined the meeting. He stated that Ricky Colonero works 14 hrs/week and he works 20 hrs/week. Mr. Adam Furno assists the Library with their maintenance. He maintains the Municipal Center, Post Office and Senior Center. He described the maintenance recently performed at the Post Office. The Post Office needs new air conditioners.
Mr. Adam Furno estimated that the new Municipal Center boiler uses 68-74 gal/day and the old boiler used 82 gal/day. The building is warmer as a whole. The front parapet work is done. He described other projects that have been completed. Going out to bid for some Municipal Center windows is planned.
Mr. Adam Furno reviewed adjustments he made to individual line items to balance the budget.

2. APPROVE MEETING MINUTES: 1/5/16, 3/28/16, 4/11/16, 10/11/16, 10/25/16 AND 11/1/16
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 5, 2016 Finance Committee meeting as amended. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Mr. Argall made a motion to approve the minutes of the March 28, 2016 Finance Committee meeting as amended. Mr. Hogan seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Mr. Argall made a motion to approve the minutes of the April 11, 2016 Finance Committee meeting as presented. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-4, Ms. Shurick and Mr. Hogan abstained.
Mr. Hogan made a motion to approve the minutes of the October 11, 2016 Finance Committee meeting as presented. Ms. Shurick seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-4, Mr. D’Amico and Ms. Gogolinski abstained.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to approve the minutes of the October 25, 2016 Finance Committee meeting as presented. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Mr. Argall made a motion to approve the minutes of the November 1, 2016 Finance Committee meeting as amended. Ms. Shurick seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5, Ms. Gogolinski abstained.

3. DISCUSS FISCAL YEAR 2018 REVENUE PROJECTIONS
Mr. Guzinski stated that he attended the Mass. Municipal Association annual conference. The governor indicated a 3.9% increase in unrestricted local aid (approximately $30,000) and a $20/student increase in Chapter 70 ($26,000). However, the State Aid Cherry Sheet will see an estimated net reduction of $20,190 due to assessments and School Choice Tuition Out. A discussion was held regarding School Choice Out. The FC would like to know at what grade levels students are choicing in or choicing out.
The 2.5% levy increase will be $319,237, current estimates for New Growth are $80,000, for a total increase in levy capacity for FY18 of $399,237. The estimated increase in Local Receipts is $27,770. The total estimated new revenues for next year are $406,817. There is currently $500,000 in Free Cash in the FY17 Operating Budget. It is not known what that amount will be in FY18. A discussion was held describing Free Cash and its general uses.
Ms. Lovett stated that Debt is not yet updated in the FY18 budget documents.

4. RESERVE FUND TRANSFERS
Mr. Guzinski stated that Mr. Sullivan has agreed to gift the Town (approved at the Special Town meeting) approximately 9 acres of land off of Rte. 16, however in order to make the land transfer, a survey of the property needed to be done in the a mount of approximately $6,100. That was paid for through Selectmen’s Expenses, leaving just over $14.00 in that account after some other expenses were paid. There are other bills waiting to be paid pending this transfer.
Mr. Argall made a motion approve the request for transfer from Reserve Fund dated 2/1/17 in the amount of $7,600 for Selectmen’s Expenses. Mr. D’Amico seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Mr. Guzinski stated that the Old Grammar School has been advertised three times previously. This time, it will be advertised with no restrictions.

5. SNOW & ICE STATUS REPORT
A discussion was held under item 1, Highway Department.

6. NOMINATE MEMBER TO REPRESENT THE FINANCE COMMITTEE ON CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE (CIC)
Mr. Guzinski stated that the CIC is lacking three members. Mr. Argall will consider joining the CIC and have an answer for Mr. Guzinski within the next week.

7. ESTABLISH SCHEDULE FOR FUTURE BUDGET MEETINGS WITH DEPARTMENT HEADS
It was decided that the FC will meet the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Ms. Shurick suggested meeting only with the departments that have changes in their budgets from the past year. Mr. Guzinski asked for a list of department heads the FC would like to meet with. The FC would like to meet with the School, Blackstone Valley Tech, Senior Center, Veteran’s Agent, Library, Fire, and Police. The next meetings will be February 28, March 14, 28, and April 11, 2017.

8. OTHER BUSINESS
The next joint meeting of the BOS, FC, School Committee and the Strategic Budget Committee may be February 21, 2017. Mr. Guzinski will confirm. The purpose of these joint meetings was discussed, which is to foster communication between the committees.

9. ADJOURNMENT
Mr. Argall made a motion at 9:35 PM to adjourn the Finance Committee meeting. Mr. Argall seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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