Bellingham Finance Committee (FinCom) Meeting Minutes – March 10, 2014
Finance Committee Members Present: J. Collamati (Chair), J. Allam, J. Cibelli, A. Elliott,
M. Fernandes, J. Palumbo, R. Szczepan
Finance Committee Members Absent: None
Chairman Collamati called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
The meeting kicked off with DPW budget hearings:
#421 Highway Administration – DPW Director Don DiMartino explained that an increase in the Highway Administration budget has to do with the splitting of Assistant Director’s time between DPW departments, resulting in a $4654 proposed net increase. FY2015 Highway Administration total salaries requested are $109,722.
Adding in expenses, the total Department 421 budget proposed is $185,928.
A motion was made to recommend passage of department #421 budget in the amount of $185,928.
#422 Highway Construction and Maintenance – The department has been down 5 employees since 2007. A FTE replacement has been requested in the FY2015 budget, increasing the budget by $51,000. The Board of Selectmen are supporting the personnel replacement. The total Department 422 proposed salary budget is $368,167.
A discussion took place regarding reduction of the Storm Water Education budget (line item 53500). D. DiMartino reported that Storm Water Education has not been taking place over the past few years and recommended reviving the program. While FinCom members agreed, they recommended that it start off less zealously, and asked for a $5,000 reduction in line item 53500 from $6,000 to $1,000.
A motion was made to reduce Department #422, line item #53500 (Storm Water Education) to $1,000.
Szczepan/Elliott 6/0/1 abstention (Mr. Collamati)
With both salary and expenses, the total proposed Department 422 budget is $1,016,767.
A motion was made to recommend passage of department #422 budget in the amount $1,016,767.
#423 Snow/Ice Removal
D. DiMartino discussed justification for keeping the FY2015 budget at $100,000, then requesting overspending as the snow/ice season progresses.
A motion was made to recommend passage of Department #423 budget in the amount of $100,000.
#424 Street Lighting
A motion was made to recommend passage of Department # 424 budget in the amount of $160,000.
#425 Heavy Equipment/Parts
A motion was made to recommend passage of Department #425 budget in the amount of $118,000 (which includes a $3,000 increase).
#426 Gas and Oil
A motion was made to recommend passage of Department #426 budget in the amount of $189,420.
#433 Solid Waste
A motion was made to recommend passage of Department #433 budget in the amount of $2,000.
#439 Sanitary Landfill
D. DiMartino discussed the reason for the increase in this department’s budget: mandatory well monitoring for 2 wells as part of the closure plan.
A motion was made to recommend passage of Department #439 budget in the amount of $10,000.
ATM Article 8 (Highway Construction) was reviewed with Mr. DiMartino.
A motion was made to recommend Article 8 as written
ATM Article 20 (Removal of Old Mill Town Dam) was reviewed with Mr. DiMartino.
A motion was made to recommend Article 20 as written.
Articles 21 (Birchwood Estates Sewer Easements), 22 (Blackmar Street and Bertine Street Roadway Easements), and 24 (Water Transmission Main Land and Easement Acquisition) were scheduled for discussion at the 4/14/14 FinCom meeting.
The meeting continued with CFO budget reviews:
Department #135 CFO – C. Laviolette explained that a Clerical Union agreement regarding overtime accounts for the approximate $18,000 increase in this fiscal year’s budget. Because the budget does not segregate regular/overtime, it appears that salaries have increased more than the approved 2.5%. Mr. Laviolette will segregate for clarification at Town Meeting.
A motion was made to recommend approval of Department #135 budget in the amount of $296,316 (including salaries and expenses).
#710 Maturing Debt (Principal)
Mr. Laviolette reported that the budget number for Debt Principal should be modified by $6,025, for a total of $3,780,465.
A motion was made to recommend passage of Department 710 budget in the amount of $3,780,465.
#715 Debt Interest on Bonds
After much discussion, and concerns raised by Mr. Allam that the requested amount~did not agree with the expected interest expense for FY2015.~~Level Funding was discussed.~ The Town CFO and Administrator will~request guidance from the Town Attorney.~~It was agreed that disposition of this budget would be postponed awaiting opinion from Town Counsel.
Article 5 (Conveyances and Easements)
Town Administrator Denis Fraine requested that $1 be allocated for Conveyances and Easements to allow the account to remain active.
A motion was made to recommend that $1, from Free Cash, be allocated for Conveyance and Easements to keep the account active.
Article 6 (Purchase of Surplus Equipment)
Mr. Fraine requested that $1 be allocated for Purchase of Surplus Equipment to allow the account to remain open.
A motion was made to recommend that $1, from Free Cash, be allocated for Purchase of Surplus Equipment to keep the account active.
Article 7 (Town Property Auction)
A motion was made to recommend Article 7 which gives the Board of Selectmen authority to hold public auctions to sell unwanted Town properties acquired as stated in Article 7.
It was agreed that discussion on Article 30 (Lease of Town land) would take place at the 4/28/14 FinCom meeting.
Article 31 – Residency Requirement
All departments and boards will be invited to discuss this Article at the 3/31/14 FinCom public hearing.
Article 32 (Door-to-Door Solicitation)
A motion was made to take no action on Article 32, as it has no financial implications.
R. Szczepan requested that all meeting minutes be available by the Friday after each FinCom meeting. FinCom Clerk agreed to attempt to comply with this request. No vote was taken.
A motion was made to accept the 3/3/14 FinCom Meeting Minutes, with the correction of a typographical error.
Cibelli/Elliott 4/0 (Mr. Szczepan and Mr. Palumbo were absent from the 3/3/14 meeting;
Mr. Allam left that meeting early.)
It was agreed that a joint meeting of the FinCom and CIC would take place on 3/17/14, so that both committees would be present for the review of the Fire Department budget.
Having fulfilled the evening agenda, and having no New Business to discuss, at 8:55 PM, a motion was made to adjourn the meeting.
The next FinCom/CIC joint meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 17, 2014 at 7:00 PM.
Minutes respectfully submitted by:
Larry Sposato, FinCom Clerk