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Finance Committee Minutes 3/26/07
Minutes/ Finance Committee- Board of Selectmen
March 26, 2007, 6:30 p.m.

Attendance: Present: Eric Munson, Jr., Steve Della Guistina, Jim Deming, Mira Munson, Ted Locke, Margaret McClellan, and David Barney.  Absent: Ralph Ledger.

Eric reminded people to let Margaret know ahead of time (one week if possible) if they were not going to be able to make a scheduled meeting.  Mira agreed to remind members ahead of time of the upcoming meeting.  An e-mail list was circulated for this purpose.  Ted said he would not be at the meeting on April 2 due to a conflict with a School Committee Meeting.  

The minutes of February 26, 2007 were approved with one correction – Dave Barney was not present as indicated.  

Margaret passed out copies of more FY08 budgets that were turned in as well as the FY07 Expenses to date, and a FY 08 Budget revised after last meeting, and an appropriations sheet updated and an FY 05-07 Salary Spread Sheet.

Sue Voudren was the first and only quest for this meeting.  She reminded us that her Meeting Expenses for ’07 would have an excess of $3,000 which the Selectmen might be able to use elsewhere.  The group felt override expenses might be possible but that there still would probably be an excess.

Sue then proceeded to explain the Assessors’ Budget .  She reviewed the need for new technology. Dave asked if we didn’t pay the $7,000 for new technology, would there be somewhere else we could spend the $7000 that would help us get our taxes out on time.  He asked if Sue had pursued the State Procurement Office to see what of this technology might be available through the State.  They would already have done the required bidding and would have the cheapest price.  Sue had not pursued this and agreed to check on it.

Sue then reviewed her salary requests: For basic clerking and fieldwork, she recommended going from 12.36 to 13.00 per hour for ’08, for Jessica she recommended going from 12.88 per hour to 14.00 per hour for ’08 and for the fieldwork that Sue Moore and Ted do, she recommended going from 13.00 per hour to 14.00 per hour for ’08.  The committee agreed to review these recommendations along with all other salaries.

Sue then asked if elected employees could get medical insurance through the town and pay for it themselves.  They would have the advantage of a group plan. Margaret said it was possible if the town voted to do so on the warrant.   The Selectmen agreed to look into this request more carefully.

After reviewing the FY07 actuals, the group agreed to level fund the Fuel Budget at 24,000 rather than the original proposal of 25,200.  It was agreed to leave Utilities at 35,500 (an increase over FY07 of 5,228).

Margaret agreed to check debt and interest and review it with Ted so that we would have better numbers for the next meeting and could also review the Capital Budget.  Ted reminded the group that we need an inventory list of large equipment in order to do proper planning in terms of the Capital Budget.

Ted Locke spoke to the School Budget which at this point reflects a 14% increase over last year.  Ted explained that though schools received some increased funding from the state, the state also increased the mandatory contribution that each town must make.  Tolland’s mandatory minimum contribution is $295,207.  Ted knows Southwick Selectmen would like to cut about $425,000 (9%) and felt some cuts could still be made.  The next School Committee meeting will attempt to make cuts and get to an 8-9% increase over last year’s budget.  The number currently in the budget is obviously in a state of flux . An 8% increase would bring Tolland’s portion to about $305, 905, $10,698 over our mandatory minimum contribution.

The group then reviewed the salary budget and after some discussion agreed to increase the salaries of all elected and employed officials of the town by 3%.

The health insurance budget was then reviewed.  The FY08 Budget includes the addition of one proposed new DPW employee and one employee for dental coverage only.  Otherwise there is no difference in coverage over last year.  Health coverage itself increased 7.8% over last year.  Margaret agreed to check with the lawyer about two questions:  if different employees could get different percentages of coverage from the town and if an employee did not want coverage, did any paperwork have to be signed to that effect to avoid liability on the part of the town.

We were reminded that next week the DPW, Police and Fire Budgets would be addressed by Wayne, Eric III and Bob respectively.  

Before adjourning, Eric Jr. reported to the group that an exploratory group which included the Police Chief, Fire Chief, Highway Superintendent and Selectman Steve DellaGuistina, had been meeting with Huntley Associates to determine the needs of each department in a highway/emergency complex for Tolland.  Huntley had agreed to develop 4 initial plans that could be reviewed to come up with a single plan agreeable to the Exploratory Group.  The group was meeting March 28, 2007 to review the 4 tenative plans.

The next meeting of this group is scheduled for April 2, 2007 at 6:00 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mira K. Munson

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