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Finance Committee Minutes 4/2/07
Finance Committee/Selectmen
April 2, 2007

Attendance: Present - Eric R. Munson, Jr., Steve DellaGuistina, Jim Deming, Mira Munson, Margaret McClellan, Ralph Ledger, and Dave Barney; Absent – Ted Locke

·       FY07 Expenses to date
·       Budget Recap 07,08
·       Budgets - #17
·       Budget #52 revised including Library, DPW
·       Letter from Assessors
·       Letter from DPW
·       Animal Control Budget
·       Agenda 4/2/07
·       Proposed FY08 Regional School Budget
·       Minutes of Previous Meeting

Minutes of the March 27, 2007 meeting were approved as presented.

Budget Presentations

1.      Wayne Carr was present to entertain questions regarding the DPW ’08  expense budget and his capital requests.  Wayne first reviewed his expense budget: building maintenance, road maintenance/contracting, office equipment/supplies (we decided to put his expense for a computer in the technology budget) safety equipment/clothing, welding equipment & supplies and his plan for dirt road improvements.  The committee decided to present the entire DPW budget in one article.  Before voting on the article, an explanation of the goals for ’08 would be given along with an explanation of how each section of the article would be affected.

     Wayne next reviewed his Capital Budget requests for the group.  These requests  
      included an automatic lubrication system for $3500, a one ton diesel pick-up
      with plow to replace the current pick-up truck for $50,000; and a retro fit of the
      hydraulics for the brush mower for $7000.  The group asked questions about
      each item to understand the request and clarify need.

2.      Bob Littlefield, Fire Chief, next reviewed his detailed expense budget with the group.  Preliminary to his remarks he noted that the Fire Dept. now has 13 members, soon to be 14.  His Capital request was for a Rescue Truck costing $135,000 for which he gave the committee detailed specifications.  He noted that the rescue truck is used 90% of the time for calls and that the current pumper is too big for some areas like Wildwood and the Tunxis Club and too heavy to get up some hills/driveways in bad weather (recently had that trouble at a fire).  He noted that he hopes to fix and recertify the current pumper in another year eliminating the need for a pumper for another 10 years.    His request for software was also to be removed and put in the technology budget ($1000).   The group had few questions – most requests were due to additional firemen and state standards that have to be met concerning trucks and equipment. Bob also had money in his budget for matching grants.

3.      Eric Munson, III then reviewed the detail of the Police Dept. expense budget for the committee.  Again, requests for technology – repair, hardware and software were to be transferred to the technology budget.  The committee complimented Eric on his clear and detailed explanation for his requests.  Eric then clarified his request for salaries.  He had not increased hours but had increased salaries based on his request last year – he did not increase them based on what he actually got in his ‘07 budget.
Eric then reviewed the Capital request for an Emergency Services Trailer which he explained was not his request alone but was for the use of all departments of the town that would be involved in an emergency situation.  It would serve as a command center in an emergency situation , also as a rehab center for firemen , policemen etc. and as a storage center.  It would be an office on the scene with a generator ,  The example he gave was custom fitted and the body was stainless steel .  The life of the trailer stored outside would probably be 10 years, stored inside it would be 25 – 30 years.  A committee member inquired as to the cost of retrofitting our old trailer.  Eric did not have this cost.  Eric indicated we would probably share a trailer like this with other towns as other towns share special equipment with us.
           Eric III asked when department heads would know if the group made cuts to
            their budgets. Eric, Jr. said we had to know soon and would let dept. heads
            know.  Eric  III then asked who would decide where the cuts would be made.
           Ralph said that  traditionally department heads made cuts where they saw fit in
            their expense  budget and the Finance Committee made recommendations
            regarding salaries.

A discussion ensued about salaries ( whether to give everyone a 3% raise or raise individual salaries based on merit and whether there should be a difference in how we approached employed and elected officials) but no clear cut decisions were reached.

Our next meetings were scheduled as follows:
·       April 9 at 7:30 p.m. after the caucus
·       April 17, a Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
·       April 23
·       April 30 – The Budget Hearing

The meeting adjourned about 9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mira K. Munson, Secretary

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