BOS - February 5, 2008 Workshop

BOS - February 5, 2008 Workshop

Postby Suzanne Kane » Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:12 pm

Board of Selectmen
February 5, 2008

7:00 pm
Executive Session - Collective Bargaining

8:00 pm (approx.)
Discuss Building Department Operations/Staffing Levels

Discuss FY09 Budget

Discuss Submittal of Aquifer Study Request to Capital Committee

Distribute Draft Town-wide Building Plan

Other Business

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
February 5, 2008
Approved October 7, 2008

• Call to Order:
Chairman Michael Hughes called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
In attendance: John Bombara, Scott Medeiros, Mitchell Cohen, Paula Brouillette, Executive Administrator Michael Guzinski, and Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane.

• Executive Session:
Mitchell Cohen made a motion to go into Executive Session for the purpose of Collective Bargaining and to return to regular session. Scott Medeiros seconded the motion. Roll call vote; Michael Hughes – aye; John Bombara – aye; Scott Medeiros – aye; Mitchell Cohen – aye; and Paula Brouillette – aye.

Mitchell Cohen made a motion to leave Executive Session at 8:40 pm, for the purpose of returning to Open Session. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Michael Hughes – aye; John Bombara – aye; Scott Medeiros – aye; Mitchell Cohen – aye; and Paula Brouillette – aye.

The Board moved the meeting into the Resource Room and reconvened at 8:45 pm.

• Discuss Building department Operations/Staffing Levels:
Because the Board does not have the entire budget picture at this time and at the recommendation of Michael Guzinski, the Board felt they should pass over this item and move forward with the budget discussion, taking this topic up at a later date.

• Discuss FY09 Budget:
Referring to the FY09 Budget Books, Michael Guzinksi went over the revenue explaining that a detailed breakdown is included in the backup. Mr. Guzinksi recommends looking at the Overlay Surplus Account for funding Capital items. He stated the total amount for appropriation is $21,684,146 with no free cash being applied to that amount. The total requested expenditures for FY09 is $21,774,660. He explained that this amount does not include an amount that is needed to be set aside to the Collective Bargaining Account for the two Union groups currently in negotiations and an accurate account for the School – he had the school budget level funded for this budget process since their preliminary budget will be submitted to the School Committee tomorrow evening. This leaves a variance of <$164,645> – again not including added free cash, an amount for Collective Bargaining figured in and an accurate submission from the School. Discussion on the Telecom Legislation that would take away the exemption for utility poles giving the Town the ability to collect property taxes and bring the levy up. Currently Massachusetts is the only State that still provides the exemption. Michael Guzinski stated he thinks Douglas could see about $100,000 from this. Mitch Cohen made a motion to send a letter to the legislative delegations supporting the lifting of the Telecom property tax exemption. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. All – aye. Concerning the Levy, Paula Brouillette suggested it’s something that should be looked at annually with the priority being the Assessors use every three years for their evaluation and any abatements that come up – it’s a fund that builds up and is never over expended. She suggested working with the Assessors to use as revenue annually and add it to the policies to be established. Michael Guzinski went over the Budget Summary page of the budget book pointing out that each department submitted two budget requests, one level service and one level funded. The summary sheet reflects the level service budget request. He stated they should look at the Finance Committee’s budget and think about increasing their Reserve Fund since departments have been level funding for several years. He feels that $40,000 is not much from a $20 million budget – he has seen towns with a finance policy putting 1% of the town’s budget into their Reserve Fund. He is not recommending that but would like to discuss increasing it to $60,000 - $70,000. Michael Guzinski reported that the Budget Group will be meeting this Thursday. Last year they used a Revenue Sharing system with the Schools which worked well – they took out things like Health Care that are used by both the Municipal and School side. It gave them an increase of 4.25% across the board and he would like to do that again. Discussion on individual departmental budgets. The Board requested additional backup information for some departments. Concerning Health Insurance, Paula Brouillette asked if they could get a listing, by category, separating out municipal employees and school employees showing what accounts for the 8% budget increase is it head count vs. rate increases? Michael Guzinski will get that information. Question on fuel and any opportunities for making improvements? Michael Guzinski discussed the possibilities for savings on all utilities and office supplies. Discussion on IT Department which is currently supported by a part-time person with extra limited resources to hire outside support – should they look into possibly sharing with the school or regionalization? Agreed to look at a more permanent solution for long term IT support. Michael Guzinski will ask the IT Director for a 5 year plan. Discussion concerning the use of Free Cash since there is no policy yet – some think the ideal situation would be to use no free cash. Mitch Cohen’s thought was to look at the historical trend of available free cash and somehow calculate the amount to use – as an example using 85% of the number with a mechanism to re-adjust as needed. John Bombara thought they should start with a percentage that would decrease each year until they reached zero percent. Paula Brouillette suggested following MMA’s recommendation that if it’s used for an operational expense, have a comparable amount flow into free cash for the next year – it’s a reasonable way to use free cash without putting the town at risk. Scott Medeiros, agreeing with this concept suggested they start with 50% stating they need to look at the real numbers. Discussion ensued. Consensus to use $350,000 from Free Cash, $400,000 towards Capital items, leaving $35,000. Michael Guzinski reminded the Board that the school would be looking for $350,000 for the School Feasibility Study at the Annual Town Meeting – they will need to discuss funding which will be paid in full by the Town and reimbursed at 54% by the State.

• Discuss Submittal of Aquifer Study Request to Capital Committee:
Paula Brouillette reported there is no formal request right now – they are working with Beta Engineering and do not have the scope yet. Right now they estimate the cost to be around $50,000. Stating this should be done in conjunction with Water/Sewer, Michael Guzinski suggested the Board set up another meeting with them. He suggested the Board consider putting a request to Capital to at least have a place holder for this item. Discussion on who should pay for the study. Consensus of the Board to ask Capital to have a place holder for the Aquifer Study.

• Distribute Draft Town – wide Building Plan:
Paula Brouillette reported this item is informational. She attended the joint meeting with the Capital Committee and the Building & Facility Construction Committee (BFCC) where she received a draft copy of the BFCC’s Building Use Study. She stated it is full of excellent information which she feels should be used as raw data in putting together a 5 year plan. She suggested putting this item on a future agenda.

• Future Agendas:
Michael Hughes asked to schedule future discussions. Consensus to hold a Government Study Workshop on February 27th at 6:00 pm, a Water/Sewer workshop on March 4th at 7:00 pm including a discussion on a plan to provide water to the Pyne site, and a Budget Workshop on March 11th at 6:00 pm.

• Adjournment:
Mitchell Cohen made a motion to adjourn at 10:20 pm. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. All – aye.

Respectfully submitted;

Suzanne Kane
Administrative Assistant
Suzanne Kane
Posts: 640
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 2:01 pm

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