June 23, 2015 Strategic Budget Committee

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June 23, 2015 Strategic Budget Committee

Postby Mary Wright » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:02 am


A meeting of the Strategic Budget Committee was held on Thursday, June 23, 2015 in the Municipal Center. Ms. Brouillette called the meeting to order at 5:35 PM.

PRESENT: Paula Brouillette (Chair), Dave Cortese (Vice Chair), Pamela Holmes, Mike Hughes
NON-VOTING: Michael Guzinski (Town Administrator), Cortney Keegan (School Business Manager), Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director), Norm Yvon (School Superintendent)
ABSENT: Melissa Morrison (Excused), Scott Yacino (Alternate-Excused)

1. Review and Discuss Comparative Analysis
Mr. Guzinski stated that in the packet is a list of twelve towns, that have K-12 educational systems and the following information for each: 2015 average single family tax bill, 2012 income per capita, tax levy, state aid, local receipts, other revenue, total budget, tax levy and state aid as a percentage of the budget, percentage of the local levy that is residential, and commercial industrial property. He also had in the packet FY12-FY15 Revenue Expenditure History, FY16-FY20 Estimated Revenue Expenditure History, and a summary done out by different categories of services from FY12-FY15 (history) and FY16-FY20 (estimated).
How the numbers were derived was discussed. The committee reviewed the new document of K-12 communities. Ms. Brouillette reviewed her estimate of $1 million in potential tax revenue capability if 750 acres of commercial property on the east side of Town were developed.
Douglas is in the lower third for residential taxing when compared to the twelve towns and they are in the bottom third for commercial taxation. They are also in the bottom third for income per capita. Overall, Douglas is at the lower end in ability to generate revenue. This exercise has shown that Douglas is different than other communities.
A bill has been filed in the State legislature to allow Douglas to collect some revenue from out-of-state visitors to Wallum Lake. Ms. Holmes offered to make phone calls to collect information on local receipt categories. Mr. Yvon offered to contact other school superintendents to see if they are in the same financial situation as Douglas Schools.
Ms. Brouillette worked with some numbers derived from the annual budget that was extended out to FY20. Overall, revenue increases $500,000 per year or 2.2%, projected out the next five years. FY17-FY20 expenses are projected to increase 5% per year, without capital outlay. Ms. Holmes would like to see a breakdown showing if the tax rate is increased by X, Y dollars will be generated and the Town will be able to afford Z. A discussion was held regarding how to present the situation to the public. Ms. Holmes wants to be sure the public is aware of what things cost.
Ms. Holmes feels the State has walked away from communities like Douglas and should be compensated for their state-owned land. Mr. Guzinski is planning a meeting with Sen. Fattman and Rep. McKenna in late July/early August. The Board of Selectmen (BOS) will also be invited to that meeting. Ms. Brouillette, Mr. Guzinski, Mr. Yvon and Ms. Keegan will work on the presentation for that meeting. Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT) allocation, their LPN program, and the age of the BVT agreement are questions for the State delegation. Ms. Lovett does not feel it is fair that BVT does not charge a fee for extracurricular activities when many of the 13 district local schools need to do so.
Over the summer, the committee will work on how to present the information in order to have the most value to the public. Ms. Keegan suggested a presentation like a story. Presentations should include information on how budgets work. A discussion was held regarding instances of unsustainable costs.

2. Minutes: March 12, 2015 and June 11, 2015
Mr. Cortese made a motion to approve the March 12, 2015 meeting minutes of the Strategic Budget Committee as amended. Mr. Hughes seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Ms. Holmes made a motion to approve the June 11, 2015 meeting minutes of the Strategic Budget Committee as presented. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

3. Old/New Business/Open Session
Old Business: None
New Business: None

4. Adjournment
Mr. Hughes made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:46 PM. Ms. Holmes seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
Posts: 536
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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