August 10, 2020 Finance Committee meeting

August 10, 2020 Finance Committee meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:00 pm


A joint meeting of the Finance Committee (FC) and Board of Selectmen (BOS) was held on Monday, August 10, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants were invited to join the meeting by video conference or in person at the Municipal Center Mr. D’Amico called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM.

PRESENT: Howard D’Amico (Chair), Carol Gogolinski, Sandy Kuipers, Phil Landry, Heather Morin (remote), Lynne Mussulli (remote), Dick Vanden Berg
ABSENT: Michael Hutnak (Vice Chair)
BOARD OF SELECTMEN: Kevin Morse (Chair), Tim Bonin (arrived 7:34 PM), David Cortese, Hal Davis (joined remotely at 7:35 PM), Mike Hughes (Remote)
SCHOOL COMMITTEE (all remote): Lisa Brown (Chair), Kelli Grady, Heather Morin, Becky Charniak, Paul Vieira (Superintendent)
NON-VOTING: Matt Wojcik (Town Administrator), Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director-remote)

Mr. Wojcik stated that the State has passed a budget that is valid only through October, 2020 and has opened a lending facility. The ongoing discussion of Revenue shortfall is very concerning. In the last quarter, the State’s economy shrank by 44%, the country’s economy shrank by 25%. Last weekend, the legislature and executive had agreed in principle that they would not reduce Chapter 70 or UGGA.
The Town’s budget was based on a forecast of 50% cuts to UGGA and 4% cuts to Chapter 70. With the new information, the question arises as to whether or not the budget should stay in this condition or should restorations be made. Mr. Wojcik recommended to increase the school FY21 appropriation to 1.5% over FY20’s appropriation. He also recommended restoring COLA for union and non-union employees for Fire and Police as negotiated in their contracts for FY21 (1.75%).
Mr. Wojcik recommended keeping the police lieutenant position vacant for 6 months and keeping the reorganization in the Community Development Department. It will not be necessary to use $400,000 in Free Cash for the Operating Budget. No adjustments were made to Local Receipts. All in, the budget is in the black. The Town will not be asked for capital until at least November, 2020. The bottom line surplus is $70,000.
Discussions were held, including the School Inventory Management Audit and establishing an inventory system.
-Chief Vinson’s Presentation regarding Fire & Ambulance Dept. Reorganization
There are a good number of vacancies in the Fire Dept. Chief Vinson joined the meeting and described the staffing difficulties in his department. He would like to hire an Assistant Chief ($90,000 salary split 50/50 between Fire Dept. and Ambulance). He described the responsibilities of the position.
Chief Vinson distributed the Ambulance Rates. He estimated that $155,000 is left “on the table” due to lack of staffing for mutual aid. Mr. D’Amico asked to know how many mutual calls were missed due to not having an ambulance available vs. not having staff available. Chief Vinson will get that information.
Mr. Bonin suggested incentivizing the call firefighters. Chief Vinson explained that very few call firefighters are paramedics. Call firefighters also usually have full-time jobs as well.
Mr. Wojcik explained that an additional $20,000 would be taken from the Ambulance Receipts to help pay for the Assistant Chief position. Discussions were held, including the Strong Chief Statues.

Ms. Kuipers made a motion at 8:55 PM to adjourn the Finance Committee meeting. Mr. Landry seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-7.

Respectfully submitted,

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

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