September 26, 2017 Finance Committee meeting

September 26, 2017 Finance Committee meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:19 pm


A meeting of the Finance Committee (FC) was held on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 in the Municipal Center. Mr. Hogan called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM.

PRESENT: Ryan Hogan (Chair), Eric Chamberland, Pamela Holmes, Michael Hutnak, Carol Gogolinski (arrived 8:00)
ABSENT: Howard D’Amico (Vice Chair-Excused), Cynthia Shurick (Excused)
NON-VOTING: Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director)

Mr. Blanchette joined the meeting. He gave an overview of Worcester Regional Retirement and employer assessments, investments, rates of return, liability, demographic changes, etc.
A two minute recess was called and the meeting reconvened at 8:00 PM.

Ms. Lovett compared the Cherry Sheet to the Governor’s budget. There was a decrease in State Aid due to an increase in School Choice. She hopes to make up this difference with the meals tax. A discussion was held.

Mr. Wojcik stated that he is working on three money saving initiatives. The first is street lighting. The Town can save by purchasing LED lights and hiring a company to do the maintenance. The Town will need to invest some capital in order to see savings.
Mr. Hogan asked for a study as to which lights should be kept on in Town. Mr. Wojcik does not feel turning lights off generates a lot of savings, and he does not recommend it.
Mr. Wojcik spoke about an initiative for the bulk purchase and secure storage of gas and diesel fuel. Mr. Cundiff, Town Engineer, is looking into locations for the tanks and pumps. Ms. Holmes suggested coordinating with a neighboring town.
Mr. Wojcik presented an initiative to regionalize dispatch. There is the potential to save over $100,000.
Mr. Wojcik stated that he, Mr. Cundiff and Selectman Hal Davis met with two representatives from the Worcester Business Development Corp. (WBDC) to provide them with guidance as to what Douglas would find useful. Mr. Wojcik asked WBDC for a market range survey. The focus is on three properties in Town: the proposed service road that parallels the highway through Pyne Sand & Stone’s gravel pit, Gilboa Street, and the corner of North and Gilboa Streets.
The trust fund balance from Wallum Lake entrance fees as of June 2, 2017 is $24,000. Douglas gets $1/admission into that trust fund. The statue requires a joint meeting between the Board of Selectmen (BOS) and the Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The statute does not require DCR to sign off on it. The money in the fund is to be used for public safety connected to the sustainability and maintenance of the forest. They have had an internal meeting to identify capital items that could be purchased to enhance service to that part of town.
Mr. Wojcik feels it will be some time before the town sees revenue from the marijuana growth facility, specifically, one year after the commencement of retail dispensing of marijuana. The facility has promised $10,000 to the Town when they first open for cultivation.

Ms. Lovett stated that the warrant is still in draft form and closes October 3, 2017. The first article is the rebalancing of FY18. She expects New Growth to be $150,000 with $100,000 going to the budget. $66,000 from the change in the Health Insurance to a high-deductible plan was transferred to the OPEB account.
Three time sensitive capital projects have come forward: cardiac monitors and defibrillators, a service contract for a company that will manage Douglas’ emergency medical services database, and air conditioning for the senior center. There will be a Capital Committee meeting on Thursday.
There are no prior year bills at this time.
The Town Engineer will be invited to the next meeting to speak about the last two articles.
Regarding Article 8, Mr. Hogan feels the public will ask what services and benefits WBDC provides to Douglas.

Ms. Lovett stated that the FC is allowed to have one person authorized to sign for payroll and expenditures, as long as what was authorized is presented at the following meeting.
Ms. Holmes made a motion to authorize Ryan Hogan to sign for payroll and expenditures vouchers for the Finance Committee, with Eric Chamberland as the alternate. Ms. Gogolinski seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

There is one voucher for postage for the Town Meeting flyer and another for dues for the Association of Town Finance Committees. The meeting for the Association of Town Finance Committees will be October 14, 2017.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to approve the spending of $741.64 for postage for the mailing of the Finance Committee flyer for the Special Town Meeting warrant. Ms. Holmes seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Mr. Hutnak made a motion to approve the spending of $180.00 for the annual dues for the Association of Town Finance Committees. Ms. Holmes seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

There was a discussion at a recent BOS meeting regarding continuing joint meetings with the BOS, Fin Com and School Committee. Mr. Hogan did not find the meetings useful. If the meetings are to continue, Mr. Hogan would like to present topics to be discussed. Mr. Hogan asked the Fin Com members to come up with some topics they would like discussed at future joint meetings.

8. APPROVE MEETING MINUTES: April 11, & June 20, 2017
Approval of the April 11, 2017 and June 20, 2017 Finance Committee meeting minutes was deferred to the next meeting. Mr. Hogan will review the April 11, 2017 meeting and ask for Brett Argall’s input.

There were no Reserve Fund Transfers.

Old Business: In the packet is an email response from Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, Superintendent of Blackstone Valley Tech (BVT) regarding whether or not there is a cap of Douglas students that can be accepted each year to BVT. The answer is that there is no cap.
New Business: A meeting calendar is set for the fall. Mr. Hogan asked that all members give at least a two-day notice if they cannot attend a meeting. Ms. Holmes asked for the agenda the Thursday before the meeting.
There are two openings on the committee.

Ms. Holmes made a motion at 9:39 PM adjourn the Finance Committee meeting. Mr. Hutnak seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
Posts: 513
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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