March 21, 2011 Finance Committee

March 21, 2011 Finance Committee

Postby Lisa Lannon » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:28 pm

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011


A meeting of the Finance Committee was held on Monday, March 21, 2011. Mr. Bari called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM at the Douglas Municipal Center.

ATTENDANCE
PRESENT: Todd Bari (Chairman), Jerome Kocur, Scott Hackett, James Roche (Vice Chairman), Michael Hutnak, Pamela Holmes, Carol Gogolinski, Mike Guzinski (Town Administrator).
ABSENT: Jeffrey LaPorte.

Discussion Regarding MGL Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 41C
Ms. Beth McKay, Assessor, joined the meeting to address questions the Committee has regarding the process of determining eligibility for exemptions under MGL Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 41 C. Ms. McKay discussed the process that the Board of Assessors takes in order to determine eligibility. She indicated that applicants must provide a birth certificate, complete an application and include their gross receipts for the year. The Board of Assessors will ask for any documentation that they feel is necessary to verify income as it relates to the application, such as bank statements, tax returns, social security. This information is filed with the application. A new application is completed each year. Discussion held.

FY 12 Budget Reviews
DOUGLAS SCHOOLS
Mr. Iacobucci joined the meeting. He reviewed the Douglas Public Schools FY12 Initial Budget Presentation & Public Hearing, March 16, 2011 in detail. He also distributed the Douglas Public Schools FY12 Budget Focus Group for the Committee’s review. He noted that this is not the budget that is expected to present to the Town but an “at this point in time” document. Areas he reviewed include the Superintendent’s message, budgetary uncertainties of State aid and local issues, list of identified priorities, Chapter 70 and spending requirements, and Net School Spending estimate based on Governor’s Budget. He reviewed the budget summaries including the District-wide budget of $1,396,066, Early Childhood Center - $145,063, Douglas Elementary School - $2,358,481, Douglas Intermediate School - $3,616,830, Douglas High School - $4,367,793, transportation services - $801,523, vocational education - $207,424. He discussed the FY2011 Grant Summary and the final steps to budget adoption. Discussion held.
Mr. Iacobucci emphasized that this level service budget and a starting point pending more information from the Commonwealth and the Town. Work will continue the Budget Subcommittee. He noted that the School Committee is scheduled to vote on April 6, 2011 regarding the budget. He anticipates that he will be recommending postponing that meeting. Discussion held regarding the time frame of the Annual Town Meeting and the potential for continuing. Discussion also held regarding time frame for grant determination and fuel oil prices.

HEALTH INSURANCE
Mr. Guzinski discussed the health insurance. He noted that the Town was able to negotiate a change in health insurance, which went into affect March 1, 2011. The net result of this is that next year the health insurance will be flat with no increase. He noted that had this change not been made, the increase would be approximately 9 to 10 percent. Some discussion held.

PROJECTED REVENUES
Mr. Guzinski distributed and discussed the FY2012 Projected Revenues. He noted the total tax revenues - $11,550,688, net cherry sheet - $8,982,492, total revenue available for operating appropriations - $22,689,318, total operating expense - $23,911,688. Mr. Guzinski and Ms. Lovette discussed the issues relating to the ambulance receipts. Work continues with the Fire Chief. Discussion held including policies for the ambulance receipts and abatements, the ambulance fund account, the need to review the runs.
Mr. Guzinski reviewed the FY12 Budget Recommendations noting some areas of change. Some discussion held. He noted that he has recommended to the Board of Selectmen a spending freeze for the remainder of the year of non-essential expenses. He emphasized that the final State figures are unknown. It was suggested that a letter be prepared for the legislators showing the revenue changes over the past five years. The need for a timetable for moving forward that is consistent with the information that is available was noted. Discussion held.

Other Business
Mr. Guzinski indicated that the next meeting would be April 4, 2011. Dr. Fitzpatrick, the Board of Health, Water and Sewer and the Fire Chief are available to attend.

Minutes
The minutes of the March 14, 2011 were reviewed. Ms. Holmes made a motion to approve the minutes of March 14, 2011 as amended. Mr. Roche seconded the motion. Vote unanimous.
It was noted that Mr. Rochon’s appointment is up and he has indicated that he is unable to commit to serving on the Committee any longer. A letter will be sent to Mr. Rochon thanking him for his service.

Adjournment
Mr. Roche made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:52 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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