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Joint Finance Committee
And Capital Improvement Committee Minutes
Town of Bellingham – Library Community Room
Monday, April 23, 2012

1.      FinCom Present: Toni Picariello, Joseph Collamati, Roland Lavallee, Daniel Spencer, Henri Masson, Judith Cibelli, Katie Quinn
        CIC:  Paul Smith, Toni Picariello, Joseph Collamati, Roland Lavallee

2.      FinCom Absent:  n/a
        CIC:  Kimberley Jennings

3.      Meeting called to order:  7:15 p.m.

4.      ARTICLE 13 - CAPITAL OUTLAY ($50,000 AND OVER)
                SCHOOL TECHNOLOGY - PHASE III/$185,000.00 (School Department, )

This is Phase III of the Technology Plan and they are asking for $168,000 for this phase.  It is less than the $185,000 previously requested because they are further along with the wireless infrastructure.

Roland Lavallee commented that 3 years ago the program had definition.  Mr. Garafano explained that this phase of the Plan will be working on infrastructure.

Roland Lavallee asked what the parameters were.  Superintendent Fleury explained that they were sticking with the plan, but in three years it will be outdated.  They are looking at hand held devices.  The core of existing plan is good.  The program is fluid, there will be technology in the kid's hands and they will teach technology skills.

Joseph Collamati asked about wireless throughout the whole school system - firewall security?  Mr. Garafano that they use Checkpoint, firewall, filtering system.

Daniel Spencer asked about workstations - wireless.  Mr. Garafano explained that workstations are Dell desktop and laptops cost about $500.00.  They will also be replacing some of the classroom computers.

This is what the Plan will cover this year:  This if the3rd year of the 5-year plan.  They are asking for 5 network switches, 250 new network connections, 150 computer replacements and managed wireless infrastructure, Phase I.

CIC: Joseph Collamati/Paul Smith motion to recommend this capital request.  Vote:  4/0.
FinCom: Joseph Collamati/Daniel Spencer motion to recommend $168,000 for this capital request.  Funding:  from Free Cash.  Vote:  7/0.

        (School Department)

Mr. Testa explained that the $750,000 would include all design, engineering and architectural costs which is 80% and project management costs (20%).  No money will be spent until Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) and Bellingham signs a contract.  The 52% reimbursement is for the total project.  The Town must get a program Manager from a State approved list.

On March 12, 2012, Mr. Fleury passed out the MSBA) Summary Guide with regard to the Macy School Project.  According to the MSBA there are deadlines for each step of applying for state funding. (see next page).

According to the Statement of Interest submitted to MSBA from the School Department below are the goals of the project:


The total cost of the project is anticipated to be about $2.7 million (see below).  The feasibility study could come in with a different cost.  Some of the needs were included in the Flansburg Study such as emergency lighting generator (1975), heating, and some outlets.  

The Building Committee consists of School personnel, School Committee, Board of Selectmen, and FinCom.

The School Department is requesting $750,000 for the feasibility study which includes the architecture and all fees.  MSBA could reimburse the Town 52%.


CIC:  Joseph Collamati/Paul Smith motion to recommend this capital request.  Vote: 4/0.
FinCom: Joseph Collamati/Daniel Spencer motion to recommend $750,000 for this capital request.  Funding:  by Borrowing.  Vote:  7/0.



                Salaries                Expenses                Total
2012            $.00                    $1,800,000              $1,800,000              +$80,545
2013            $.00                    $1,680,000              $1,680,000              ($120,000)

        The transportation by Vendetti Bus is reduced because of the full day kindergarten.

Daniel Spencer/Henri Masson motion to recommend this budget as above.  Vote: 7/0.



                Salaries                Expenses                Total
2012            $5,000.00               $19,934,986.00  $19,939,986.00  +$25,000
2013            $5,000.00               $20,292,836.00  $20,297,836.00  +$357,850

FinCom member Roland Lavallee recused himself from the discussion.
The School budget is a total of $20,309,986.  Supt. Fleury informed the committee that they are negotiating with the unions and it has been successful.  The budget changed because they are adding 3 new kindergarten teachers.

Daniel Spencer asked about Primavera Center and if the staff where in the budget.  Supt Fluery explained that they were paid from a revolving fund.

Daniel Spencer/Henri Masson motion to recommend the School budget of $20,309,986.  Funding will be voted on at a future meeting.  Vote:  6/0/1 (Roland Lavallee recused himself)


        (Milford Daily News, 3/21/2012)

Toni Picariello asked about the status of Woonsocket paying the balance they owe to Bellingham for the students at Primavera Center.  Supt Fleury explained that Woonsocket has paid a portion of the funds and is working on paying the balance.  Bellingham charges $30,000 per student.  Outside Town's are billed on a quarterly manner, but the School Department is looking at the Town prepaying.

The FinCom & CIC were informed that the Middle School Boiler Project is complete.


        (Board of Selectmen/School Department)
        Mike Connor emailed the presentation to FinCom & CIC members
        Toni Picariello emailed her research re: Artificial Turf vs. Real Turf

Michael Connors and Michael Reed a resident of Bellingham spoke on this Article.  A presentation was given.  The thought got started by citizens who approached the Board of Selectmen with the local sales tax option and using the funds for the football field.  The meal tax would create money for a general capital fund.  They would like a new artificial Turn football field.  The following sports could use the field: Football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, track and it could be used 90 times per year.  The Town could charge user fees of between $80-150, but they have not discussed that yet.  The Town could generate $290,600 from the meals tax and the cost of the field could be borrowed over 10 years.  The warranty is for 8 years.  If the meals tax article does not pass, then this article would be passed over.

Toni Picariello did her own research which was independent, there was no information from an artificial turf company or turf company.  She had a lot is issues, concerns and questions.  She brought up some of them:

       Borrowing monies on anticipated collection.
       Field lasts 8-10 years on average - Town will have an 8-year warranty from the company.
       Borrowing for 10 years (life-long borrowing expenditure)
       Unknown maintenance and special equipment costs.
       Unknown removal and disposal costs when field needs to be replaced.

FinCom and CIC members' comments were that the proposal is for the funding would come from the new "local" meals tax revenue (Article 16), which, at this time, is only an estimated figure.  They feel that this is a "luxury", especially when the Town will be looking to fund the following:  new police station, DEP mandated wastewater repairs, maintenance to town/school buildings; GASB 45 funding, etc.  

Roland Lavallee stated that there are so many priorities in town and when the meals tax revenue is collected it is Town money.

CIC: Joseph Collamati/Paul Smith motion to recommend this capital project.  Vote:  0/4
FinCom: Daniel Spencer/Henri Masson motion to recommend $1.4M for this project.  Funding:  by borrowing.  Vote:  1/6 (Toni Picariello, Joseph Collamati, Roland Lavallee, Henri Masson, Judith Cibelli Katie Quinn voted against)

        A.      Correspondence/Emails/Memo's etc.
                i.      None

        B.      Minutes to be accepted
                i.      CIC
                        1)      February 13, 2012 (Roland Lavallee)
                        2)      March 12, 2012
                        3)      March 26, 2012 (Paul Smith)

                ii.     FinCom
                        1)      January 23, 2012 (Henri Masson, Katie Quinn, Roland Lavallee)
                        2)      April 9, 2012 (Roland Lavallee)

                The minutes will be accepted at the next meeting.

11.     Adjourn:
                FinCom: Daniel Spencer/Katie Quinn motion to adjourn.  Vote 7/0.  9:30 p.m.
                CIC:  Joseph Collamati/Paul Smith motion to adjourn.  Vote: 4/0.  9:30 p.m.