March 19, 2019 Finance Committee meeting

March 19, 2019 Finance Committee meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:03 pm


A meeting of the Finance Committee (FC) was held on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 in the Municipal Center. Ms. Holmes called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM.

PRESENT: Pamela Holmes (Chair), Howard D’Amico (Vice Chair), Carol Gogolinski, Heather Morin, Lynne Mussulli
ABSENT: Michael Hutnak, Dick Vanden Berg
NON-VOTING: Matt Wojcik (Town Administrator-arrived 8:20 PM), Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director)

(00:32) Council on Aging: Director Patrice Rousseau joined the meeting and presented the budget, which includes Payroll, Vacation coverage per diem, Conferences, Carpet Cleaning, Grant Money Received, Phone, Printing, Exercise Classes, Memberships, etc.
The Council on Aging receives $12,972 in grant money from the State, based on the 2010 census of 1081 seniors. Currently, there are 1881 seniors. She expects a 20% increase in the number of seniors being served over the next five years. The Council on Aging also receives some funding from the local Cultural Council ($1,000 this year). Many seniors take advantage of the tax work-off program. Exercise programs and entertainment are funded by grants and are free to the participants.
Parking, new murals, and an upcoming art show were discussed. The name of the Senior Center is being changed to The Adult Community Center.

(18:10) Simon Fairfield Library: Director Justin Snook joined the meeting. Also present were Library Trustees Ellie Chesebrough and one other. Mr. Snook reviewed his four-year history with the library. The budget has not changed much. The guiding factor in the budget request is the Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR), which states that every year, the budget must increase 2.5% of the average of the last three fiscal years to maintain State certification. 19% of their appropriated budget must be spent on circulated materials, but that money can also come from donations and grants. This year, they are asking for more because that is what was projected in their 5-year budget forecast in order to maintain their services.
Mr. Snook reviewed the library’s circulation to Douglas residents, at a value of $615,000 on a budget of $227,572. This past year, the budget jumped 4.9%, which lead to a 11.8% increase in circulation. The Town Administrator’s budget model forecast in January was $233,842. Mr. Snook reviewed the budget.
Recently, the library was weatherized, the building envelope retrofitted, and hyper-heat mini-split heating units installed, all paid for by a Green Communities grant. Mr. Snook does not know the affect this weatherizing will have on the oil and electricity costs, although he estimates that the library will see a savings next year. Mr. Snook estimates that the library’s final budget request will be $233,918.
Mr. Snook is working with the Town Administrator and Town Engineer to revamp the library ADA/renovation project into smaller, less expensive pieces.
Mr. Snook next spoke about the special accounts: 53e.5 Revolving Account comes from fines, fees and lost items ($2,030.51), Library Grant (traditionally used for technology upgrades), The Carrick Fund, Library Historical Books (for historical nonfiction-$2,500/yr), Building Donations ($16,559), Library Donations ($50,117.04), Building Donations with Interest, Simon Fairfield Trust, RS Douglas Nonexpendable Trust ($10,000), and RS Douglas Expendable Trust ($3,067-for children’s books).
Ms. Chesebrough stated that the Friends of the Library provide approximately $3,000/yr. to the library to use towards special programs and other items not covered by the Town’s budget.

(53:42) Public Building Maintenance: Building Maintenance Manager Adam Furno joined the meeting and presented his multiple responsibilities for the Town, including the Fire Dept., EMT, Highway, Water/Sewer and OSHA Manager.
His salary as Building Maintenance Manager will now be coming out of the Highway Dept. budget. He presented the Capital list, the items that have been funded through FY2019, the list presented to the Capital Committee for FY2020-FY2024 for consideration for funding, his To Do list and inspection list. The Municipal Center roof is leaking again in a different location-$300,000 to replace. A Green Communities grant may help with this expense.
Mr. Furno next presented the budget by line item.

Mr. Wojcik distributed a draft budget for FY2020. He is most confident with the compensation figures. The 2/29/20 Leap Year Day will cost the Town $15,700 in hourly employee wages.
In the fall, money was moved into the Technology account due to some labor intensive activity by an outside consultant to strip out and rebuild the Town’s network. Moving forward, Mr. Wojcik believes the Town may need to spend more than in FY2018, but not as much as FY2019. Microsoft 7 needs to be upgraded to Microsoft 10.
The Board of Selectmen (BOS) approved an increase in Adam Furno’s salary to PM-5, step 10 for all his hours, and a $2,000/yr stipend to be the Town’s OSHA Compliance Officer.
The Police budget reflects all of Chief Miglionico’s requests. One officer is graduating from the Probation step to Patrolman 1, which results in a $6,000 increase in Compensation.
Mr. Wojcik is still sorting out the 56-hour work week in Fire/Ambulance. Reconfigurations were done to ensure that every employee assigned to the Ambulance Dept., and whose wages are paid out of the special Receipts Account, are qualified at the ALS level, because that is what they are charging the patients. The wages of one qualified lieutenant was left in the Fire Dept. budget.
The Building Dept. has been reorganized and is being modernized. The BOS were given a draft fee structure tonight at their meeting. The Building Dept. is also attempting to move to e-permitting.
Street Lighting costs have been reduced significantly from $45,000 to $17,000.
The School appropriation increased by 2%, which amounts to $266,470. The School Bus contract would be another $200,000 increase, if left unmodified.
The Worcester County Retirement Fund increases 9.5% every year. With the joint purchasing contract, Health Insurance will increase 1.4% instead of 10.8%.

There were no transfers.
There was no new information on the Health Insurance Joint Purchasing Agreement, other than the Douglas Teachers Union is meeting 4/1/19. The equity portion would need to be funded in this fiscal year and would need to be voted on at the upcoming Town Meeting. The 3/7/19 presentation on the Health Insurance Joint Purchasing initiative is on the Town of Webster’s website. Mr. D’Amico asked for a Health Insurance discussion for the 4/2/19 meeting.

4. MEETING MINUTES: October 9 &12, 2018 & January 22 & February 26, & March 12, 2019 (1:15:38)
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to approve the January 22, 2019 Finance Committee meeting minutes as presented. Ms. Morin seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-4, Ms. Gogolinski abstained.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to approve the February 26, 2019 Finance Committee meeting minutes as presented. Ms. Mussulli seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5.
Mr. D’Amico made a motion to approve the March 12, 2019 Finance Committee meeting minutes as amended. Ms. Mussulli seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5.
Approval of the October 9 & 12, 2018 Finance Committee meeting minutes was deferred to the next meeting.

5. OLD/NEWBUSINESS (1:40:01):
New Business: Ms. Holmes asked Mr. Wojcik for budget books that were promised in February. She does not feel that Mr. Wojcik is comfortable with that process. She does not know how the FC can do its job without these books. Mr. Wojcik feels that the documents he has provided show the same information as the budget books. The model presented this year is the same format that will be presented for five years. The format is transparent.
Ms. Holmes feels that the FC is being excluded from the budget process because they are not receiving the requests from the departments. She feels that department heads lose some ownership of their budget by not participating more in the process. Mr. Wojcik does not agree, and he described his process. He asked that the FC be his partner in structuring the funds for initiatives, beyond the day-to-day. A discussion was held.
Mr. D’Amico asked for macro discussions. Ms. Holmes reminded the FC members that they are allowed to arrange to have discussions with department heads at any time during the year, Monday through Friday.
Mr. D’Amico expressed frustration at being able to propose a number for a budget, but not have any say in how that number is spent, for example, the School budget. A discussion was held.
Old Business: The next meeting will be 3/26/19, the public budget hearing will be 4/10/19.

6. ADJOURNMENT (2:11:06):
Mr. D’Amico made a motion at 9:18 PM to adjourn the Finance Committee meeting. Ms. Gogolinski seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
Posts: 609
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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