Finance Committee Meeting
March 20,2000
Lyman Building

Members present: Morey, Nash, Rourke, Roberts, Vogt
Also present, Mike McCallum, BOS

Called to order at 6:30 by Chair Morey

1. Minutes of Feb 28, read and accepted, subject to further review.

2. Minutes of Mar. 2, read and accepted, subject to further review
Mr. Rourke mentioned again the Board of Health still has not presented a warrant article to FinCom regarding the transfer station funding.
Mr. Morey stated there are three areas of concern regarding the accounting of the transfer station.
? Permission from the Department of Revenue is necessary
? Taking previous year revenues into account sets up a revolving fund. Since there are no previous years revenues it is difficult to make a case to allow this kind of account.
? The type of account most likely needed would be an enterprise account. This takes in the funds and allows bills to be paid. It cannot show deficit spending. If the bills cannot be paid from the current funds it poses a significant problem for the following year.

Mr. Morey also stated that the situation with the town and Mr. Murray would probably force the issue of the transfer station to produce results.

3. Minutes of Mar. 9 read and accepted, subject to further review

4. Minutes of Mar. 13 read and the following changes were made.
Line 19 was corrected to read $14,012.00
Line 65 – it was noted that the fire dept, at a meeting with the FinCom, requested the original budget request for $36,000 be increased to $39,000.
Minutes accepted with the adjustments subject to further review.

5. Minutes of Mar. 16 read. The calculation for stabilization fund had been an average of all FinCom members’ suggestions. The original $120K was miscalculated and the correct figure should be $125K. Members agreed to leave the figure as it stands at $120K.
Minutes accepted as read, subject to further review.

6. Library Committee
Ms Davi stated the purpose of the meeting was to:
1. Clarify the information regarding the plans for the new library and
2. The issue of the purchase of the land behind the library.

The preliminary plans and drawings for the library put the town in a position to compete for grant money that is available. The State Library Board has reviewed the plans and feels they are right on target for the application process. Ms Davi informed the committee that there are even more funds available at this time due to several towns intending to compete have fallen from the process.
The preliminary plans will be formalized and more fully developed at a later date.

Mr. Morey asked about the original request for $250K and whether that figure had changed. Ms Davi said the $250K was for the purchase of the parsonage next door and the land behind the library. With the land now separated out the new figure for the parsonage would be closer to $170K-200K.

The library committee said it had discussed holding off all appropriation of funds for the properties and asking for it when the grant money came through. It now feels that the need for the land behind ($35K) is important and perhaps $5000 could be given to the parsonage as a sign of good faith to purchase upon the receipt of the grant.

Regardless of the grant and what happens with it the town should address the current water and septic system of the library. Land behind the library, owned by the Lieneck family, is available for purchase. Because there is no other land surrounding the library property, this would give the library room for the future. Ms. Davi feels the town should take advantage of the availability of the land and purchase it now. Mr. Lieneck stated that the estate is in probate and there are bills, which need to be paid from the sale of the property. He stated that this piece is a buildable lot and if the town does not purchase it at this time it will be sold as either a separate lot or combined with the entire estate and sold as one piece. In any case it will be sold.

Ms Vogt asked what the market value of the land is, since there is no appraisal. Mr Lieneck suggested it would sell as a single building lot somewhere between $30K-50K.

Mr. McCallum, BOS, stated that no matter what we do it is important to secure land abutting the library. The purchase has nothing to do with application of grant money; it has to do with improving the current library. The fact was the land is available now and may not be there in the future. He feels the purchase would be prudent if not convenient at this time.

Discussion ensued regarding the best way to fund the money for the purchase.
Options discussed included
A. Putting $35K in stabilization fund.
B. Making it a warrant article, subject to certain conditions being met. (P&S)
Putting the funds into stabilization fund requires a STM to vote it out of the fund. Mr. McCallum feels this is cumbersome and costly to the town.
 
 

FinCom suggested there would be a special town meeting in the fall anyway and it could be combined with other articles. Mr. McCallum asked the FinCom if they would be willing to spend money on a STM for the purpose of voting funds from the stabilization fund when it could be done with a warrant article pending conditions. FinCom members have no problem with a STM. The stabilization fund is very important for the town. Its purpose is for projects such as this. FinCom’s job is to ensure the town has the funds in this account so that decisions such as these can be made and the money available. The town should have the right to vote their support in the spending of those funds. If the town elects not to support certain projects, then the funds have not been spent in vain.

Mr. Morey pointed out that the stabilization fund would play a role in long-term debt. The more funds the town puts in the account the greater % of the total budget. This makes the town a good risk for investors.

Mr. Nash asked how quickly after probate was settled did the estate need the funds? Mr. Lieneck said the loans the estate currently held would need to be paid off as soon as possible.

A quick review of the septic plan was done and the primary site is located directly behind McMurray’s property with a second site located under the future parking lot. Mr. Lieneck said the primary site had perked fine in a preliminary test. Price for a new septic is estimated at $20K-25K. The current septic system is missing in action, as no one knows where it is.

The current well needs to be shocked to make the water usable. Several site locations were mentioned for a new well.
A. The other side of the Lyman field
B. Town owned land on the side of the cemetery
C. A piece of land owned by the Davis family on Allen road

Mr. Rourke asked if the library had a contingency plan for ADA compliance if the town did not support the new library. They do not.

Further discussion ensued regarding how soon the library would be prepared to present their plans to the residents. Mr. Rourke and Ms Vogt suggested the sooner the better. They were well prepared to this point and Mr. Rourke felt it would be possible to bring it to them at this years meeting, have a vote on the whole idea and be done with it.

Ms Davi said the grant would be filed with the state in Nov. but a decision will not be made until April. Ms Davi feels that more education for the residents regarding the plans is necessary and this town meeting is too soon. They would have more details for town’s people in a few months. A special town meeting in the fall would be more likely. If a favorable vote is made then there is 45 days until an over ride vote is taken.

Mr. Rourke asked Mr. McCallum what the BOS priority would be on the warrant articles. Mr. McCallum thought the purchase of the land would be at the top.
Other warrant articles briefly mentioned:

Police and 2 patrolmen. Mike said that Linda feels they only need one but the chief insists he need both. Mr. Morey is concerned that the current line items and the 1 new patrolman still does not take into consideration benefit time for current officers.

Library needs a letter of commitment from the town stating the funds are available in the town’s stabilization fund.

Question asked to Mr. McCallum regarding the parsonage being in the town’s Historic District and how that could impact the libraries plans. He feels it is not a problem to tear a structure down as the Historic District only controls new renovations or building of structures that face a public way.

EMT- Mr. McCallum was asked how the BOS felt about the position of full time fire chief as a way to solve the EMT problem. He said Mr. Reggio and Mr. Forgues were in favor. He was unsure. Mr. Rourke still wants more information such as a calendar of schedules for the fire dept such as the one given to FinCom by the police dept to show how the use of more personnel will benefit the dept.

Next meeting will be Thursday for FinCom to finalize their budget. Meeting on Mon the 27 at 6:30 with the BOS, to finalize budget for town meeting.

Meeting adjourned 10:00PM
 
 
 

Respectfully submitted
 

Deb Vogt/Secretary