Finance Committee Minutes
March 16, 2005
In Attendance: Ralph Ledger, Mira Munson, Ted Locke, Margaret McClellan, Wes Green and Eric Munson
Absent: Jim Deming, Dave Barney
Guests: John Panaea
The meeting was called to order at 6:15 p.m. by the Chair, Ralph Ledger.
The minutes of the March 2, 2005 meeting were approved as presented.
Wes reported that Dave Barney would be at our next meeting.
Margaret informed us that our meeting with Jim Podolak for April 4 would need to be changed. We decided on April 5 in the morning… as early as Jim could make it.
Ted reported on his meeting with the Fire Chief stating that the main increase in the budget (once the truck was taken out) was due to the increased maintenance of the old vehicles. He had added approx. $2000 to auto maintenance and taken $2000 in cuts elsewhere. Ted agreed to ask Mark to itemize his accounts more specifically for the Committee and the budget hearing – especially his equipment expenses.
Wes reported that he and Eric had not been able to meet yet but were again scheduled for next week.
#56 Capital Debt Service Acct.
Ted Locke presented a chart showing the impact on debt service over 15 years if we borrowed $150,000 each year for capital expenses.
It was agreed that if this was in the budget, it would be #56 Capital Debt Service.
Review of Plan of Work and Budget for Highway Dept.
Capital Expenses: John Pinaea went over his vehicle inventory with the committee detailing the year and life expectancy of each vehicle. Ted agreed to put this information into a capital improvements chart for our next meeting. John then presented a chart of capital improvements that would be needed in the town over the next 5 years. (see attached) Ted would also put these on his capital improvements chart.
Public Works: John presented a list of projects planned for next year. He reported that the increased costs in his public works budget were coming chiefly from the increased cost of steel products (blades etc.) and motor oil and hydraulic fluid. John reported he was still working on the details of this budget and would check again to be sure all expenses needed for projects as opposed to ongoing maintenance needs were covered in his budget.
Winter Roads: Margaret reported that actual expenses for the public works budget this year would be about $70,000 instead of the $28,789.40 budgeted. The committee agreed to budget a more realistic figure this year of $70,000.
Review of Salaries for 2006
A review of salaries began but time was running out and a few members had to leave. Discussion continued for a bit but this item will need to be first on the next agenda. Some points made included:
1. It was suggested that there be two levels/grades for assessor clerk – one being Assessors Clerk earning $12.50/hour and one being Assistant to the Assessor’s Clerk earning $12.00/hour. The general consensus was that the requested $15/hour was way out of line with comparative salaries.
2. It was suggested that the Highway Supt. Receive a 3% raise and a salary adjustment that would bring him to $47,000.
3. It was generally felt that the accounting officer, trash compactor, library staff and the DPW staff should get 3% raises.
4. A discussion began on the administrative assistant’s salary and the issue of Health Insurance was brought up. The Town pays 50% of the health benefits of the DPW staff and 65% of the Administrative Assistant’s benefits. Ted felt we should look into ways to reduce costs within this plan ( i.e. higher deductibles, co-payments etc.).
It was agreed that our next meeting would be Wednesday, March 23 at 6:00 p.m.
The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Mira K. Munson