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Finance Committee Minutes 3/1/06
Finance Committee Meeting
February 13, 2006

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Eric R. Munson, Jr.

In attendance were Eric R. Munson, Jr., Margaret McClellan, Ted Locke, Mira Munson.

Wes Greene, James Deming, Ralph Ledger and David Barney were absent.

The minutes of the January 9, 2006 Finance Committee Meeting were accepted as e-mailed and corrected.

The first order of business was to review the Capitol Expenditure Plans to date.  Margaret reported that she would be using a Bond Anticipation Note (BAN) initially for expenses.
The following items that were in the Town Meeting Article are in progress:

·       DPW single axle Truck – John reports that it should be arriving in 2-3 weeks.

·       The Highway Dept. is working on ventilation, the entry door and an update of the electrical system in their building.

·       The transfer station is on hold until the Dump Committee reports on its plans for 07.

·       The Library is planning to paint the interior, get new doors, update the electrical and service the furnace (it was determined that we didn’t need a new furnace).

·       The Town Hall is scheduled for interior painting, replacement of screens and a door, work on electrical and water problems and other renovations.

Margaret requested that the Finance Committee Review the items budgeted for the Highway Dept. – particularly the $70, 000 budgeted for Winter Roads (Snow and Ice). Her question was : What was the intent of the $70,000 – was it to include salaries for winter roads?  All the members present agreed that it was not to cover salaries.  Salaries were all presented in item 11 Salaries and include all money for the DPW.  Salaries cannot be taken out of other line items in the budget.

Margaret then explained that her question was asked because John was running low on money for part time salaries.  The committee reiterated that his part time money was for extra help for storms, mowing in the summer and the cleaning person for the town hall – not for part time people for other work during the week in the winter.

Margaret also reported that in her conversations with the state that they did not want chapter 90 money to cover part time salaries but they wouldn’t refuse it.  Ted clarified that they don’t mind if the salary money is connected to a specific project and the town needs extra help for that project. However, they do not want to pay for part time help that is just to extend the town budget for part time help.

Eric said he would have Jim Deming (who is working with John on behalf of the Selectmen) talk to John about his management of personnel and use of money for part time help and his use of overtime money.    Eric also wanted John to present a plan for use of Chapter 90 money to the Selectmen before the Selectmen approve any more money to be spent out of Chapter 90 money.

A review of our current budget revealed most line items to be on target except part-time salaries for DPW, Medicare, fuel and Planning Board expenses.  Margaret reported that John had not okayed bills for payment since Jan. 9 which means his accounts are not really current.  Margaret agreed to check as to why workers compensation expenses were not at 50%.  
Margaret handed out all budgets turned in for ’07 to date.  The other budgets need to be in as soon as possible.   Ted reported that the Southwick Regional School Budget for ’07 stands at $262,554 for Tolland, a 7.5% increase over last year.  He reiterated that this is the current figure but it may change several times before the Budget Hearing.  He noted that increased utility and fuel costs are driving the increases in many areas.

The Committee agreed its next meeting would be March 1, 2006 at 6:30 p.m.  It was agreed that we would invite the dump committee, the fire chief, the police chief and the assessors to present their budgets to the committee at this meeting.  It was again noted that other department heads could schedule time with Margaret to meet with  the Finance Committee if they wished to clarify their budgets in person.

The Committee agreed to meet with John at their March 14 meeting so that he could present is plans and budget for ’07.

Eric reported that the Selectmen had agreed to hire a structural engineer from Huntley Associates, for a fee not to go over $2,000, to evaluate the basic structure of the DPW Building.  His findings as well as those of other agents like the Health Dept. and the State Building Inspector may affect the ’07 budget.

The Committee adjourned its meeting at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted

Mira K. Munson, Secretary

Handouts: FY2006 YTD Expense Budget Report
                  FY 2007 Budget Sheet to date
                  Packet of Budget Requests for FY ’07

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