Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Live reporting - FinCom - Action items and closing

Partridge St Culvert Emergency Repairs - $150,000
funding: raise and appropriate (until the tax rate is set)
already passed by Council

NuStyle - $165,000 - a placeholder for the correct amount
Jeff re-tells the story of the building
hazardous waste site or brownfield, out to bid to demolish the site
bids are being opened on Oct 27th, wants to get the item to the Council in November
once the building is demolished, we can sell the property, maybe make a little, maybe not
this amount is in addition to the $200,000 from the EPA
couple of weeks to sign contract, assuming no bid protest
so maybe in the winter

motion to raise and appropriate, passed 9-0

Roads - $400,000
Funding: raise and appropriate (Hotel/Meal Tax)
don't have enough from other sources to cover our 200 miles of roads
the money in the open space account is sitting there
DelCarte property could be a use for it but the Council has chosen so far not to do so
suggestion to use the current year's new revenue for the purpose of repairing the roads
Daniels and Lincoln are scheduled for a new water line in 2013
master 'road' spreadsheet to be updated now after the construction has been mostly completed on the roads
do have a game plan based upon a 2000 study of the water system
cast iron pipes are really old, mostly in the downtown sections
goal is to do 2-3 miles every year and to eventually replace the entire system over the years
in the long run the only way to overcome this is with a dedicated revenue source, and that is not on the table anytime soon
)Jeff told story on Bellingham got the Pulaski Blvd project over our Pleasant St project (estimated at $9M)

motion to raise and appropriate, passed 9-0

OPEB Actuary Study - $12,500
Funding from free cash
unfunded liability was last estimated at $79M, need the study to find out what it currently
need to set up an irrevocable trust so that the money currently in hand can be invested and generate a good return (another town did an override to bring their fund to fully funded -at $3M per year)
looking also to get the money

motion to approve use from free cash, passed 9-0

Fire Salaries - $85,000
see letter from Fire Chief
vacancy now at a fire fighter position due to the move up of folks to replace the Captain replacing the Chief
when we had 12 guys on a shift, it wasn't an issue to get backfills, now that we have 11 guys on a shift it becomes more critical. Everybody has been around long enough to get the top vacation amount so spread it around and there is someone out all the time

new firefighter gets 20 weeks of training before going to fight a fire

this amount is not the full amount of the Chief's letter, being conservative
firefighting is an insurance policy, it depends upon how big a deductible you want

motion to raise and appropriate, passed 9-0

Planning Board salaries - $8,000
Board of Health salaries - $9,000
restoring part-time, non-benefit positions as the work is there and required
the positions had been full-time and moved a couple of years ago to part-time
then the people left so the positions were vacant

two motions to approve transfers, passed 9-0 for both

UnPaid Bills
Prior year bills - from Library/Recreation $716.94 from FY 2012 into prior year budget

motion to approve transfer, passed 9-0

Discussion items
Budget workshop

Open Meeting law - reminders on use of email for discussion (no) can share info but not get into a debate

Finance Committee handbook on CD

Annual meeting of Town Finance Committees (Oct 15th)

staggered terms being implemented, some for one year now

re-opening this year's budget
a joint budget subcommittee meeting
Town Council, FinCom and SchCom will be meeting
more to come on this, nothing to do just now
getting into the budget vs. actual to help prepare

SchCom funding of the teach contract was not one time money, it was recurring funding

Jeff Nutting provided an update on the high school design, now awaiting word from MSBA on size of the school, model school already built four times, can move very quickly
can have designed for approval for Jan 2012, if MSBA approves then
the Council would have 120 days to get a vote to the voters
if missing the Jan timeline, it would slip 2 months as they only meet every 2 months
MSBA would pay about 59% of the total, Franklin would contribute to the remainder
Building Committee about to put up 'frequently asked questions' on Franklin website

another big item on the agenda will be storm water
due to a pending EPA edict, no funding source to take on the work
capital requirements estimated at $75M, likely to be more like $100M
do we establish a storm water utility? how does that work?
the EPA has not yet finalized their regulation, once they do, we'll know the timeline
we have 1600 catch basins, probably cleaned 200
we have killed more trees with printing that the EPA would like

Fiscal 2013 budget around the corner, dept head requests coming in Dec, review in Jan/Feb
State Aid numbers comes in Mar, so we'll know the gap
and can budget accordingly

Long Range Fiscal Planning Committee is looking at roads and OPEB
an engineering study is being done on the dams, could go to bid next spring
has the $1.3M estimate gone up or down, don't know, may now next spring
a big deal but less than the new school or budget or OPEB or storm water issues

3.5% funding available within the budget for capacity to borrow and without asking the voters
if the new school debt exclusion passes, the funding ($1.4M) for that would go into the debt exclusion bucket and we would have more capacity within the 3.5% of our plan

space for DPW as some equipment is currently kept at the high school

Jim Dacey -
opportunity to refund 2 bonds
callable in 2012-2013
opportunity to save about 400,000 in interest cost spread over several years
won't see lot each year, but it does add up to 400,000 over the course of this opportunity
Council needs to approve authorization to refinance

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