Minutes of the Finance Committee, June 29, 2000

In attendance: members Nash, LeClerc, Raymond, Roberts, Vogt.

Chair Vogt called meeting to order 6:47 pm.

Acceptance of Minutes

The minutes of May 1, 2000 and June 22, 2000 were accepted as written. Reserve Fund Transfer Requests FinCom voted to approve two reserve fund transfer requests:

#0016 for town office maintenance account $870.00.

#0023 for EMS expenses (ambulance radio repairs), $680.64.

This leaves a balance of $22.98 in the Reserve Fund at the end of the fiscal year. Ms. Vogt reported that BOS were holding additional requests until after July 1.

Police Chief and Lieutenant Wages There was discussion of the BOS request to increase the chief’s and lieutenant’s wages in the current fiscal year to bring them into line with the patrolman’s increases. FinCom members are concerned about these increases, since they were not requested during the fiscal year budget discussions and since the ongoing patrolman union negotiations have still not concluded. There will be more discussion when BOS outline their thoughts on sources for funding the increase. The lieutenant’s position was not filled until the end of the fiscal year, so there is possibly money available from that line item rolled into free cash. Discussion of FinCom Reorganization Plan Lengthy discussion followed with an item-by-item consideration of each topic on Ms. Vogt’s draft of a FinCom reorganization plan (attached). Members divided up research tasks as follows:

DOR Annual Town Calendar

Ms. Vogt will develop an adaptation of DOR’s suggested annual calendar, hoping to adopt it for Ashby.

Income and Expenditure History

Ms. Raymond will work with Ms. Vogt to graph the town’s income and expenditures for the past five years.

Stabilization Fund

Ms. Roberts will continue research on Ashby’s stabilization and create a balance/use comparison with other similar and neighboring towns. She reported that the treasurer’s current spreadsheet showed a balance of $187, 965.78 in two accounts where stabilization is held. The treasurer indicated that the ATM 1999 "left over" balance of $2, 490.33 plus interest would be transferred by the end of FY00. After FY01 ATM votes?spending $35,000 for library land plus $32,000 for transfer station expenses, and transferring an additional $120,108.54 into the fund?the fund balance by end of 2001 should be $243,564.65 plus interest. Ms. Roberts felt FinCom should pursue the estimated $17,000 in local receipts projected for the transfer station to replenish the balance.

Computer/Software Issues

Mr. LeClerc will work with Town Administrator to investigate software availability and requirements for town finances, with a view to consolidating data entry and reporting for all departments, including FinCom.

Capital Improvements Plan

Ms. Roberts will work with Town Administrator on the CIP, reviewing current status of the plan and working toward completing the plan in this fiscal year.

Ashby Bond Certification

Mr. Nash will investigate Ashby’s bond rating and report on how it might be revised to allow town to borrow via bond issue at some future date.

Communications

Ms. Roberts agreed to look at producing some kind of public reporting/outreach for FinCom to keep departments, committees, and town at large aware of financial issues and calendar events, etc.

Fundraising

Ms. Vogt will investigate how moneys earned by individual departments through fundraisers are accounted for in the town’s budget.

Presentation to BOS of Reorg Plan

Ms. Roberts will take Ms. Vogt’s plan and frame it as a presentation, distributing to members before the next meeting, when FinCom will discuss it further. Presentation to BOS was moved from July 12 to July 26 since Lyman Bldg presentation is set for July 12 (and to give FinCom more time to prepare).

Additional Reorganization Ideas Ms. Roberts distributed brochures and a sample Financial Management Review from DLS’s Municipal Data Management and Technical Assistance Bureau and reported on her conversation with Rick Kingsley, the bureau chief. Mr. Kingsley said the consultancy is free to towns at the request of the selectmen. There is currently about a six-month waiting list. FinCom members felt this could be a useful service for Ashby if other officers and departments would agree to the process.

Ms. Raymond suggested adding the development of a FinCom "cheat sheet" of questions make sure we analyze impact of all requests for new positions, increases, or capital expenditures.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:47 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Peggy Roberts, Clerk