January 9, 2018 Finance Committee meeting

January 9, 2018 Finance Committee meeting

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

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
TUESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2018

A meeting of the Finance Committee (FC) was held on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 in the Municipal Center. Mr. Hogan called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM.

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

1. FREE CASH UPDATE
Ms. Lovett thanked all departments for their help in closing out the year. Free Cash has been certified at $1,588,634. Ms. Lovett presented the highlights. Estimated Local Receipts variance was $624,056 and the turn backs from departments was $598,098. A discussion was held, including Motor Vehicle Excise Tax, School Choice-Out, and School Choice-In.

2. DISCUSS BUDGET PROCESS FOR THE FISCAL 2019 BUDGET
Ms. Lovett distributed a copy of the general memo that went out to the department heads from the Town Administrator, Matt Wojcik. Mr. Wojcik is asking for detailed budgets to get a history and to try to budget out five years. He is also asking for a trend analysis and true departmental budget requests. The deadline for the return of the departmental budgets is 1/17/18.
Mr. Hogan would like to invite every department to present. It was the consensus of the FC to meet with every department. Ms. Lovett will schedule them.
Mr. Chamberland asked if there was a set policy for Free Cash, how it was spent and who determines how it is spent. Ms. Lovett stated that it is part of the budget process, but ultimately the Town decides how Free Cash will be used. Ms. Lovett stated that the general consensus is that Free Cash should be used for non-reoccurring expenditures. Ms. Lovett will email the balance in Stabilization to the FC.

3. DISCUSS LETTER FROM BLACKSTONE VALLEY TECH (BVT) REGARDING INCREASED ENROLLMENT
In the packet is a letter from Dr. Fitzpatrick to Mr. Wojcik stating that Douglas will have an additional 15 students enrolling in BVT for the upcoming year at a cost of an additional assessment of approximately $150,000.
A discussion was held regarding two town residents who were discussing BVT on Dynamic Douglas. That printout was sent to Ms. Lovett and she attempted to get answers to the questions from BVT. Mr. D’Amico asked how to get Town Counsel’s legal opinion as to the accuracy of Dr. Fitzpatrick’s letter dated 10/26/17 and his enrollment analysis. Mr. Hogan asked that Mr. D’Amico send his request in an email to Mr. Wojcik, Ms. Lovett and himself. Mr. Hogan will send a copy of the original BVT charter agreement from 1962 to the FC.

4. RESERVE FUND TRANSFERS
There were no Reserve Fund transfers.

5. REVIEW OF EXPENDITURE VOUCHERS
Ms. Lovett read through a report.

6. APPROVE MEETING MINUTES: September 26, October 10, & November 6, 2017.
Approval of the 9/26/17, 10/10/17, and 11/6/17 Finance Committee meeting minutes was deferred to the next meeting.

7. OLD/NEWBUSINESS
New Business: Mr. Chamberland reviewed the State’s Annual Meetings of the Town Finance Committee workshop that he attended last October. There is another workshop in June at Holy Cross College run by the Dept. of Finance.
Ms. Lovett stated that as of 1/8/18, there have been eight storm events. The original Snow & Ice budget was $135,000. Mr. Wojcik has approved $65,000 beyond the current approved budget. The Highway Dept.’s spending was $145,789 after the last storm. The Snow & Ice Account can be deficit spent.
Old Business: The Mobile land closed at the end of December for just under $400,000.

8. OTHER BUSINESS
For the next meeting, Mr. Hogan would like Mr. Wojcik to present on the recent Green Communities Grant.
Mr. D’Amico would like a joint meeting with the School Committee. Mr. Hogan stated that an agenda would need to be produced. Mr. D’Amico suggested FY19 School Budget and how to encourage more Douglas middle schoolers to continue on to Douglas High School. Ms. Lovett will extend an invitation to the School Committee to attend the same night that the School Dept. presents to the FC.

9. ADJOURNMENT
Mr. Hutnak made a motion at 8:13 PM to adjourn the Finance Committee meeting. Mr. Chamberland seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,


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

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