Minutes of the Finance Committee

March 8, 2001

In attendance: Farley, Nash, Raymond, Roberts, Vogt. Joining with FinCom at 7:30pm: BOS members Flinkstrom, McMurray, MacCallum, and Town Administrator Sanders.

Chair Vogt called meeting to order at 6:35pm.

Blood Hill Purchase

Alan Pease presented financial figures for the purchase of Blood Hill by the town. The land deal includes 170 acres of conservation land plus a 5 acre parcel with house. The house belongs to the Wiita family and The Purchase and Sales Agreement promises Mrs. Wiita a "Life Tenancy" if the deal goes through. The total cost of the purchase is $696,462.00. The gift from Mr. Tom Mikes and the Self-Help Grant will cover all costs involved in this purchase, including legal costs and interest payments. Access to the land will be from Luke Road, after Mrs. Wiita no longer resides in the house.

Mr. Pease reported that the town will continue to negotiate for Mt. Watatic and will apply for more Self-Help grants from the state to help finance this project.

Accept Minutes of Feb 22, 2001

Members had already read over minutes and quickly voted to accept the minutes provided by Ms. Roberts for February 22, 2001, subject to further review. Vote was unanimous.

DLS Meeting with BOS on 3/21/01

Ms. Vogt wanted to know who would be able to attend the BOS meeting on 3/21/01 when the Department of Local Services of the state Department of Revenue meets with the BOS to explain their report. Mr. Farley, Ms. Roberts, Mr. Nash, and Ms. Vogt all plan to attend . Mr. Farley thought it might be an appropriate time to explain the budget process to the town before we get to the Town Meeting. No consensus was reached on this idea.

DLS Report and Review- FinCom’s Stance

Ms. Vogt tabled this agenda item until our March 15, 2001 meeting. At that meeting, we will discuss our thoughts for and against this report and where we want to go with it.

Update on Police Overtime

Mr. Morey was absent from tonights‚s meeting so this report was also tabled until he is present to update the FinCom on his findings.

Review of FY2001 Budget

FinCom briefly reviewed the most recent Expense Report for the Town dated 3/07/01. There were no new surprises except that Highway Barn Fuel is nearly all spent ($98.47 left in account). Winter Operations is also $46,231.27 in the red at this point, and is expected to go higher before the winter is over.

Letter to BOS for Closing FY2001 Books

Ms. Vogt read the letter she sent to BOS which outlined the views of the majority of FinCom members present at the February 22, 2001 meeting. The letter urged the BOS to make the closing of the books a priority. Stated that FinCom would use money from the Reserve Fund to pay to get this accomplished in a timely manner. FinCom expects to get Reserve Fund replenished at the Town Meeting (which BOS agreed to do).

Reserve Fund Transfer Request

Request made by Bill Davis of the Highway Department. He has only $98.47 left in the fuel account. Asked for $223.87 to pay for oil delivery. Unanimously approved by FinCom.

Discussion of FY2002 Budget (Assumptions)

Ms Raymond presented a variety of scenarios of how the budget would look under various circumstances. The first scenario was based on the original requests by departments and included the warrant articles. In this scenario, the bottom line was $355,474.35 in the red.

Ms. Raymond plugged in different amounts of free cash, left warrant articles out, took out Stabilization Fund. The scenario that came closest to being a balanced budget followed these assumptions:

* No warrant articles and no free cash in the budget

* No money put into Stabilization Fund

* BOS recommended salaries in budget

*20% Fuel increase for all departments

Included in this final scenario was an increase in Cherry Sheet from $410,059.00 to $492,390.00, as estimated by Dick Choate. Estimated local receipts increased from $347,000.00 to $350,000.00. Free cash will probably not be certified in time for the budget, but will be available in time for the Town Meeting. Free cash will be used to fund whatever Warrant Articles it can, once the amount of free cash is determined.

Budget Meeting with BOS

Fin Com met with BOS to discuss our ideas and to hear what the BOS had accomplished in regards to coming up with a balanced budget.

BOS had worked out a preliminary budget that was balanced. In their budget, free cash was not included. The BOS left out all Warrant Articles from the budget also, planning to fund these with whatever free cash becomes available. In the budget presented by the BOS, the following were key points:

* Town Ofice Clerical Wages raised from $15,380 to $31,170

* Reserve Fund raised from $30,000 to $41,944.90

* Town Accountant Salary raised from $13,965 to $24,960

* Treasurer and Clerk Salaries raised to $14,560 each

* Legal Service Line raised from $25,000 to $50,000

* Police Wages and Salaries reflected new contract agreements

* Fire Chief Salary raised from $17,186.40 to $18,733.18 and position remains part-time

*Communication Wage Line raised from $89,510 to $100,251.20

* Highway wages increased by 9% (Superintendent) to 5%(Laborer)

* Road Sand Seal cut from $18,000 to $0

* Pugmill mix cut from $20,000 to $16,000

* Highway Road Maintenance had been raised to $60,000, then was cut back to $50,000 (the same as last year)

* Stabilization funded with $0

BOS intends to fund Warrant Articles with free cash. This will not be ready in time for the budget, but will be known by Town Meeting time. Warrant Articles were prioritized by the BOS as follows:

1.Highway Truck with Plow ($79,500)

2. Waste Oil Furnace for Fire Station ($6,900)

3. 15 Firefighter Safety Gear ($15,000)

4. Hazardous Waste Day ($6,700)

5. Parks Allen Field Pond Fence ($2,200)

6. Cons Comm Shared Land Use Agent ($5,000)

7. Mr. MacCallum was going to check with Ms. Davi about Library Repair Articles and determine which were most urgent

Next Meeting

Next scheduled FinCom meeting is Thursday, March 15, 2001 at 6:30pm.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:45pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Christopher Nash, Assistant Clerk