February 29, 2012 Capital Improvement Committee

February 29, 2012 Capital Improvement Committee

Postby Mary Wright » Sun May 13, 2012 1:31 pm

FEBRUARY 29, 2012

A meeting of the Capital Improvement Committee was held on February 29, 2012 in the Municipal Center Resource Room. Mr. Gonynor called the meeting to order at 2:00 PM.

PRESENT: Don Gonynor (Chairman), Mark Dunleavy (Vice-Chairman), Ellie Chesebrough, Shirley Mosczynski, Kent Vinson, Mike Guzinski (Town Administrator)
ABSENT: Paula Brouillette, Nancy Lane

Revenue for Fiscal Year 2013
Michael Guzinski requested that the Committee hold off on their ratings and recommendations for three weeks to give more time to balance out the budget to know exactly how much money is available. He is still waiting for the school budget, and without that, can only give a rough estimate of what the expected revenues will be for next year. There is more free cash than last year, and since it hasn’t snowed much, that helps the Snow & Ice Budget. State Aid has only gone up $100,000, Local Receipts are flat, New Growth has only gone up $50,000, which is the lowest it has been in ten years.
Ms. Jeanne Lovett, Finance Director/Town Accountant clarified that the School Budget also includes Blackstone Valley Tech (BVT) and Norfolk Aggie. Mr. Guzinski expects BVT tuition to increase this year because enrollment is going back up. The schools get paid an assessment from the Town, which is based on the number of students enrolled.
Ms. Chesebrough asked if the state had considered not having an agricultural school anymore. Mr. Guzinski does not know, however it is state policy that if the program is not offered in the Town or at BVT and the student is accepted there, the Town is required to pay the tuition. The cost is for Norfolk Aggie is $22,000 per student, with a total cost of $10,000 in transportation. Ms. Lovett believes the Town has five students at Norfolk Aggie this year.
Mr. Guzinski recommends the Committee put a hold on the Annual Town Warrant for the Capital Projects and meet in three weeks to do the ratings and to make a recommendation as to how much funding they will be requesting.
Ms. Lovett reviewed the FY2013 Projected Revenues packet with the Committee. History of Local Receipts: Motor Vehicle makes up the largest piece. They cannot go over what they took in last year. The other large piece is Licenses and Permits, such as wiring, plumbing, building inspections, etc. What are not included on this list are receipts that are restricted for a lawful purpose, such as enterprise funds, library fines and fees, etc. Other than those, all receipts go into the General Fund.
Ms. Chesebrough asked about Rental of Land - Buses. Mr. Guzinski replied that Tellstone Bus Company rents a small portion of land by the old grammar school and a portion at the high school to park buses on. They pay the town $600/month, which goes into the General Fund. Rental of Town Property is only the Post Office. Ms. Chesebrough questioned why the amount of that rent changed from year to year. Mr. Guzinski replied that it is due to the timing of when the receipts came into the Treasury construct from one year to the other. The total rent for a year is $29,585.
Cherry Sheet-Receipt History – largest items are Chapter 70 and Unrestricted Government Aid, which used to be named “Lottery”. Unrestricted is level from last year. These 2013 numbers are based on the Governor’s budget. The other large piece of this is State Owned Land. There is a slight increase there over last year. Ms. Chesebrough asked how this amount is determined. Mr. Guzinski replied that there is no formula for the amount, but there may be a formula as to what percentage each town gets, however the state gives what it feels it can afford. Ms. Mosczynski pointed out that a lot of that land could be developed.
The largest piece of the Cherry Sheet-Assessment History is School Choice Sending Tuition, which is the cost for students that live in Douglas, but attend another school outside of Douglas. This cost comes right off of State Aid. The total for the General Fund is $414,840.
Ms. Lovett reviewed the front sheet, which displays revenues from taxes, State Aid and Local Receipts. No Free Cash is applied as of yet. Mr. Guzinski stated that the Net Cherry Sheet shows the net increase of State Aid of about $100,000. The state has been reimbursed from the Feasibility for the school.
Under Transfer from Stabilization-Capital Items is the ambulance, which will be paid back over three years, and the police radios. Ms. Chesebrough asked what the definition of a Stabilization Fund is. Mr. Guzinski replied that it is a fund which is used in emergencies or for important capital items for which funding cannot be found any other way. It helps the Town’s bond rating to keep that fund as high as possible. The Reserve Fund is also for emergencies. It is used for small transfers of funds over the year. The Reserve Fund is currently down to approximately $20,000.

Capital Projects Rating
Mr. Gonynor stated that since they do not have full membership today, the rating cannot be done, however, he would like to see the projects rated, even if they do not have the revenues so that they can send a report to Town Meeting and to the department heads so that they know where their project is rated. The Committee should keep the information so that if they have revenues next year, they have a rated report. Mr. Guzinski suggested keeping a paper trail to show that the needs are piling up and need to be addressed.
Mr. Gonynor would like the Committee to think about whether they want to fund some of the requests that affect day-to-day operations of the departments through the Stabilization Fund. Should the Committee push this toward the Board of Selectmen and ask for their support on some of those projects and how much of this fund can we safely use to fund some of these requests? Which items could the Committee fund this way?
Ms. Mosczynski suggests looking at what is vital, however she does not want to pull down the Stabilization Fund. She suggests getting a recommendation from Mr. Guzinski and Ms. Lovett as to what would be the safest level to put it down to. Mr. Gonynor agrees.
Chief Kent Vinson asked, where is it decided that the Town is not going to pay cash for something, it is going to be bonded? Ms. Mosczynski replied that it goes back to the recommendation of the Town Administrator and Ms. Lovett. Mr. Guzinski explained that if the Committee determined that something was an urgent and desperate need and that item must move forward, he would have to go back and look at the budget and fund through a debt exclusion or long-term borrowing and then put in a recommendation for that. The Committee continued to discuss debt exclusion vs. bonding.
Money has not been added to the Stabilization Fund in several years. Ms. Chesebrough would like to read the original establishment of the Stabilization Fund.

Mr. Dunleavy made a motion to approve the minutes of February 8, 2012 as presented. Ms. Mosczynski seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Other Business
The next meeting will be March 21, 2012 at 2:00 PM.
Ms. Chesebrough asked about the Snow and Ice Removal budget. Mr. Guzinski replied that that budget is $85,000, which has been spent. In actuality, $105,000 has been spent, and the Highway Department just got approval to spend up to $113,000. Mr. Guzinski expects salt and sand to be left over from this year.
Mr. Guzinski is still compiling information as to what is coming off the debt. He has asked the Financial Advisor to supply the most recent information. Mr. Guzinski should have that information before the next meeting.

Ms. Mosczynski made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 2:45 PM. Ms. Chesebrough seconded the motion. Vote unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
Posts: 573
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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