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Finance Committee Minutes 2/24/2009
Finance Committee Minutes
February 24, 2009

The Finance Committee/ was called to order at 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2009  by Ralph Ledger, Chair.   Present were Ralph Ledger, Tom Paine, Margaret McClellan, Mira Munson, Eric Munson,  Steve Dellaguistina and Ted Locke who arrived a bit late from attending the School Committee Meeting in Southwick.

Margaret passed out budget sheets from all departments which had been completed as requested – at level funding, 10% cut or 15% cut.  Margaret had also prepared a budget spreadsheet with columns that indicated level, 10% and 15% cuts for each dept where we had required it.  In this spreadsheet,  the FY 2010 request was based on the cuts required by the Finance Committee (level, 10% or 15% depending on the size of the budget.  Margaret had also prepared  a revenues sheet that calculates the levy limit etc.  She also presented expenditures to date.

The committee first discussed the status of free cash -  $320, 432 at the close of  ’08;  the stabilization fund – about $100,00 - $120,000; and the levy limit for FY 2010 - $922,450.   The budget for FY 2010, as Margaret presented it,  asked for $1,109, 340.38 in appropriations.  – a decrease of $65,910.37 from FY 2009 .  Bottom line, we were still over the levy limit by $5,196.38.

A review of the current budget reflects we are on target with the exception of winter roads.

The committee reminded Margaret to remove part time salaries from the highway budget and we discussed an increase (from the state formula) to Tolland’s school budget of  $17,948 even if the Regional School level funds.  This would then leave us $39, 233.85 over the levy limit.  Members who attended the meeting in Southwick of Selectmen, Finance Committee and School staff reported that numbers were still very fluid as much depended on what the State was going to do.  The Regional School was estimating a 3% increase having already made serious cuts.  They also presented a plan for even more serious cuts if necessary -  much also depended on teacher contract negotiations which were currently underway.

The Committee then proceeded to review the FY2010 budget requests line by line as follows:

  • Reserves cut 500.00
  • Regional school – add 17, 948
  • Public works – Wayne presented 3 budgets – level, 10% cut and 15% cut – he did not itemize categories so that we could not tell what he was cutting.  The committee asked for clarification of his categories – more detail.
  • Buildings and grounds – decided on cutting four mowings in Sept and Oct cutting the budget to $10,690.00 from  $ 11,670.
  • Utilities level fund for ’10 at 40.825 and work on cost savings via energy audit in all town buildings
  • Salaries: cut part – time salaries to 0
  • VNA requested level funding – okay
  • County retirement – requested $26,961 – a $2,358 decrease from ’09.
  • Unemployment – same as ‘09
  • Ins. And bonds – 29, 234.21 – a 5% increase over ’09.
  • Workers comp. $5,250. – a 250.00 increase over ’09.
  • Cemeteries –  $9,350 – a 1,650 cut from  ‘09
  • Health Ins  - 9% increase to 13,180 in ‘10
  • Medicare – stays the same, no change in employees or salaries
  • Assessors –decrease 610 to 5,490 in ’10 – a 10% cut
  • Emergency Man. – level at 300
  • Conservation comm. Level at 95
  • Animal insp. – need some clarification
  • Fire Dept – decided to read three presentations at home and compare with last year and discuss at next meeting
  • Audit – first for next three year period – asked Margaret to call and get good number for ‘10
  • Library – 10% cut – requested we ask what are the requirements put on the library by the state and also will any of the state’s funding be cut and is that reflected in the budget
  • Office Supplies – 10 % cut accepted
  • Police Dept. – used 10% cut –  a member reported that they had heard that community policing may be cut entirely by the State.  Need to ask Police Chief how this would impact his request.  Decided to hold and have this budget resubmitted.
  • 911 acct –inc. assessment by 178.65 to 6,133.55
  • Selectmens’ exp – accepted 10% cut
  • Tax Collector – 176 inc. reflects inc. in cost of stamps
  • Town Clerk –cut 10 % .  Asked that conference request be more detailed – what , when, where
  • Treas. Exp. – payroll, mileage, stamp costs up – budget up 317.52.
  • Board of Appeals Exp. – dec. of 1 to 200
  • Vet. Services - no official request yet.
  • Tax Title Treasurer – up 4,000 with approval of selectmen – however there is some chance that legal fees might be waived until property is sold  per our town lawyer – Margaret is checking and perhaps this account could be level funded.
  • Int. on loans – 4.500 - okay
  • Town Hall Loan – complete – down to 0
  • Animal Control -  okay – what are forms in budget each year?
  • Rec Comm. Level funded
  • Health Dept. level funded
  • Furn and Equip – decrease of 200 to 1,800
  • Town records – level fund at 1.00
  • Fuel – level fund at 26,400
  • Historical – level fund
  • Council on Aging – level fund
  • Meetings and Elections – cut 2,700 to 4050 due to decease in # of elections
  • Tech Supp – cut 1500.94 to 11,584.42
  • Town Common – 1.00 okay
  • Ambulance – this is our last payment of 9,000 Ralph to speak to Ralph Morrison to see if our 36,000 has put aside for a new ambulance (as well as Sandisfield’s money).
  • Reval – this is our first year in next cycle – 3,000

There was one request from the Highway Supt. For a pick-up truck – he presented one price.  The committee would request that he get some real prices from several places (including perhaps one ton dumps) for a used vehicle.

The committee set their next meeting for March 11, 2009 when they would review the Fire Dept. budget and the Highway Dept Budget as receive clarification on several questions that came up in the first review of the budget.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mira K. Munson, Secretary.

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