January 24, 2011 Finance Committee Minutes

January 24, 2011 Finance Committee Minutes

Postby Lisa Lannon » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:53 pm


A meeting of the Finance Committee was held on Monday, January 24, 2011. Mr. Bari called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM at the Douglas Municipal Center.

PRESENT: Todd Bari (Chairman), Jerome Kocur, James Roche (Vice Chairman), Scott Hackett, Jeffrey LaPorte, Pamela Holmes, Michael Hutnak, Carol Gogolinski.
ABSENT: Thomas Rochon.

School Building Project Update
Mr. Cohen, Chairman of the School Building Committee was present to give an update on the school building project. He noted a multi committee meeting to be held tomorrow evening for the purpose of a project update and presentation.
In response to previous questions from the Finance Committee, Mr. Cohen indicated that the flooring in the Middle School cannot be stabilized and must be replaced. In addition, he discussed the processes of addressing the potential of damage to area homes during blasting.
Mr. Cohen noted the submittal to DESE has been completed. This has been posted on the Town web site. He discussed a tour the School Building Committee took with the architects of the Middle School. He also discussed the process of determining a location for a track. This will be priced out both with and without the installation of the track. Discussion held regarding the process of reimbursement.
Mr. Cohen reviewed some significant dates in the project. A list from the cost estimators is anticipated on February 2nd, which will include the itemization of what they will be costing out. On February 8th the pricing is anticipated. The School Building Committee will meet on February 10th to review these costs. The Board of Selectmen will vote later in February on the project. There will be another follow-up multi committee meeting in March with a public presentation to follow later in the month. March 28 is the Special Town Meeting with the Special Election on April 5, 2011.
Mr. Cohen inquired if the Finance Committee would allow the School Building Committee to pay for some materials to go out with the Finance Committee flyer for the Special Town Meeting. It was the consensus of the Finance Committee to agree to this.
It was noted that this is a very tight time line. Some discussion held regarding the financing of the project and the percentage of increase to tax payers. The process of bonding was reviewed. Discussion held regarding the timeline moving forward. The possibility of having a meeting for the public prior to the Board of Selectmen’s meeting in February to review the decisions to be made such as the track was discussed.

Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Reviews
Town Clerk
Chris Furno, Town Clerk joined the meeting. She discussed her budget increase of $3,000. Due to increase of voting population, three precincts are now needed for voting purposes. She reviewed the cost impact of that. Some discussion held.
Community Development
Mr. Cundiff joined the meeting. He reviewed the following budgets: Community Development, Conservation – a list of fees collected and Town expenses was requested, Economic Development, Open Space, Permanent Building Committee, Planning Board, and Zoning Board of Appeals all level funded.

Snow & Ice Deficit Spending Request
A memo was noted from Mr. Furno requesting permission to deficit spend for the purpose of snow and ice removal. Mr. Guzinski updated that at this point in time there are approximately $100,000 in outstanding bills relating to the snow and ice events. It is Mr. Guzinski’s recommendation to authorize deficit spending for this account in the amount of $150,000. Ms. Holmes made a motion to authorize the Highway Department to deficit spend up to $150,000. Mr. Roche seconded the motion. Vote unanimous.

Reserve Fund Transfer Request
Mr. Guzinski discussed the reserve fund transfer request for $15,000 for Veteran’s Benefits. It is Mr. Guzinski’s recommendation to transfer $10,000 at this time and to review later in the year. Some discussion held. Mr. Roche made a motion to transfer $5,000 from the reserve fund to Veteran’s Benefits. Ms. Holmes seconded. Vote unanimous.
Ms. Lovett, Finance Director, discussed a request in the amount of $157 for the administration fee of the MA Water Pollutant Abatement. Discussion held. Mr. Roche made a motion to transfer from the reserve fund $157 for the purpose of covering administration fee for the MWPA. Ms. Holmes seconded the motion. Vote unanimous.
Ms. Lovett gave an update on the unemployment account. She noted the account is presently in a deficit of $21,077.94. Mr. Guzinski noted that the new Federal legislation extending unemployment benefits would impact Douglas. Discussion held as to the process of this coming about and addressing this at the Town Meeting.
Mr. Guzinski noted that the Health Insurance Premiums have been received and are showing a significantly lower increase than originally anticipated. The impact of this noted. Discussion held.
The impact of the Governor’s proposed budget was noted as it relates to the increase for schools versus the decrease for municipalities. It was suggested that letters be written to the Legislators. Discussion held.
It was noted that the October 25, 2010 Meeting is online on the web site. It was suggested that it a request be made to be replay it on television again.
Mr. Kocur questioned if the senior citizen circuit breaker deduction is deducted from the cherry sheet. Mr. Lovett will look into this. Some discussion held regarding the ability to obtain forms.

Approve Minutes of January 10, 2011
The minutes of January 10, 2011 were tabled until the next meeting.

Other Business
Mr. Bari noted that annual report is due by January 31, 2011. He volunteered to prepare that.
Mr. Bari noted that the next meeting would be February 7, 2011. A draft timetable for meetings will be prepared for the next meeting.
The Fire/Ambulance, Building/Maintenance and Highway Departments will be asked to present their budgets at the next meeting.

Mr. Roche made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:59 PM. Mr. Hackett seconded the motion. Vote unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Lannon
Recording Secretary
Lisa Lannon
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:34 am

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