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Finance Committee Minutes 03/23/05
Finance Committee Minutes
March 23, 2005

In Attendance: Margaret McClellan, Mira Munson, Eric Munson, Jr., Wes Greene, David Barney, Ralph Ledger, Ted Locke

Absent: Jimmy Demming (working)

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.

The committee accepted the minutes of March 16, 2005 as presented.

Regular Business:  None

Budget 2006:

1. Margaret said she would notify Joanne to change her salary amount for the trash compactor in her trash compactor budget.

2. After some discussion, the committee agreed to set the Road Supervisor’s salary at $47,000 for 2005-2006 – the total increase would constitute a raise of 3% (#1299.17) and a salary adjustment of $2395.23.

It was felt that this was a fairer salary for this management and hands on position that requires a variety of skills and certifications and entails a great deal of overtime work.

A discussion of the merits of the road supervisor hiring an administrative assistant part time to do paperwork (bills etc.) ensued. The selectmen agreed to discuss this with the Road Supervisor.  The budget as is would cover the hiring of such a person.

It was agreed to keep the third person in the budget for the DPW – feeling the amount of work that we need to catch up on requires a third person – roadwork, screening, cemetery etc.

3.      A discussion of the Town Clerk’s request for a salary increase followed.  The            
Committee decided not to increase the salary for this elected position for 2006.  It was noted that this salary increased significantly in 2005 and  no other salaries for elected positions have been increased for 2006.

4.      A discussion of the Administrative Assistant’s salary was next.  Margaret
      recused herself from the discussion.  It was agreed to add $89.00 to the   
      Assistant’s proposed salary of  $20,880.00 bringing the new total for 2006 to
      $20,969.   The rationale for this change was that the committee wanted to pay
     the same percentage for benefits to all employees in the future – especially if
      we hire a third person for the DPW.  The $89.00 added to the Assistant’ s
      salary was 15% of the difference of what the town paid for the Assistant at
      the 65% rate and what it paid at the 50% rate.  In the future all  employees
      would pay 50% of their insurance costs with no changes In their salaries
      to compensate.  The Committee also felt the Selectmen should review the
      health benefit plan offered to Town Employees to explore if any savings
           could be possible.

5. The Committee agreed that all department heads should be notified of
      changes in their budgets.

6. Wes and Ted agreed to work on the Capital Plan for presentation to the Committee and the Town.  The Committee agreed that we might have to borrow more than $150,000 each year to meet our needs and catch up on what has been  neglected the last few years.   We felt that we wanted to be sure that in a final presentation,  everyone understood that no matter the number budgeted, we would borrow  only what we needed and the money could not be spent for any other items than those budgeted.

7. The Committee decided to do a special mailing to townspeople on the budget instead of putting it in the “Tattler”.

8. The Committee was reminded that our meeting with Jim is scheduled for April 5 at 7:30 a.m. at the Town Hall.

9. The next Finance Committee Meeting is scheduled for  March 30, 2005 at the Town Hall at 6:00 p.m.

10. A discussion of our assessment for the ambulance purchase by the Town of Sandisfield followed.  Ralph pointed out that he felt we had paid for the new ambulance or should have if fees collected had been put in a separate revolving account (instead of Sandisfield’s general fund) and that we were being asked to pay for Sandisfield’s poor management and mistake and that we should not pay anything.  Others felt we should discuss this assessment with Sandisfield and see if we could agree to some assessment – perhaps a lesser amount.  It was also suggested that whatever agreement is reached, that it should be put in writing for the selectmen.  Eric agreed to invite someone from Sandisfield to our next meeting to discuss this budget item.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mira K. Munson

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