Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Live reporting: Budget Hearing #1

F. Hearings
FY 2018 Budget Hearing

status quo budget but doesn't address needs of growing community
schools also use $2.8M funds that are one-time so that will need to be address for the FY 2019 budget
police down 4 policemen
DPW still now up to where they had been
the EPA stormwater rules were appealed but that is hung up and will eventually need to be addressed

the Clerk will read the Town Council to vote numbers
if you want to hold, call it out, and they'll address those at the end

HR salaries, Mercer
replacement working for less, also including part timer ro help cover

Technology expenses, Mercer
why 25% increase?
all the licensing fees increased (Google email, etc.), e-permiting, etc
increased fees to cover the increase in
was in capital program earlier, now in regular budget
Public Property Buildings, Dellorco
why no increases? actually an increase of 150,000
actually water and sewer was part of the increases, water for the town fields

Police expenses, Dellorco
do you have everything yo need?
we are 4 short and in anticipation of more residents, we do need more officers
how many on the midnight shift?
I'd rather not put that out there, it is down from where it was

Nutting, we'll need to come up with a game plan for how to address FY 2019
if we don't get some more revenue we are not even going to keep what we have for 19

Padula, part of that is luck to be a safe community, this isn't going to be something we'll address by talking
I can ask, but the real question is how are we going to pay for it
we did get overtime to help keep the shifts operational

Fire, Kelly
we would need to add about 12 to 16 FTE to staff a third ambulance
last year was the busiest call year, I'll beat that next week
when we are out of resources, we are luck to not get another call
part of what we are asking for it additional management support for the call volume
for 2-3 times per day, for 2-3 hours we are out of resources
the complexity of our world is changing things
who would ever think we had a meth lab in Franklin?
we are making headway on the assisted living facilities, some are holding, some are down
if you don't get me resources, then the only thing I can do is reduce the calls we get 

central dispatch contracts signed, construction will start soon and take about 14 months
Gary Premo is the executive (formerly with the Police Dept)
Plainville, Wrentham, Norfolk and Franklin are the four regional participants

when you call 911 on a cell phone you get State police, that should change when we get the regional center

Regional Dispatch, Padula
this is for training of the new regional center 
the inter-municipal agreement is based upon call volume
there are technical options for remote support
there are issues with safe havens
folks are working on the game plan for next years budget

Schools, Mercer
Town Council doesn't have control over the line items of the school budget
using reserve funds to help maintain programs, the end of these funds must be nearing
$2,8 M in revolving funds as one time use
refer to the budget presentation for the details
keeping the same level of service, no additional positions
we are using $6.3 million from recurring, $2.8 is one time funding

one of the big unknowns is special education, could you share some of those concerns
15% special ed enrollment, it is not about numbers but about the intensity of needs
79 are not kept in our schools, these are served elsewhere; $5M this year but 6+ next year; some funding is reimbursed from the State but it doesn't cover the expense
Federal funding is at risk and that would force decisions locally, i.e development of training of teachers among other items

there are Federal mandates and State mandates, but not funded
it is recognized that the Council needs to advocate for the funding of the mandates 

enrollment, what is the current projections
the high school is at about 1800, it was built for 1600
families are moving here for the high school
declining at the elementary, middle school growing, students coming back from Charter
apartments up by Garelick Farms, we'll be looking at their residential impact

students in the apartments are tending to be more high cost, i.e. 

did build some accounts in anticipation of these needs
(similar to the enterprise accounts - water, sewer)

redistricting can't be a knee jerk reaction, you need to see where the students are
even if is done well, no one is happy
the last one worked out well as we have not had to make changes to it

7 years later we are getting less funding from the State
we have worked hard to control our costs
the FEA has been an amazing partner, have been using interest based bargaining the last several years and it is a more sustainable contract with lower growth

Regional, Kelly
Councilor Jones will be refraining from voting on the regional high budget

Library, Kelly, Mercer, Dellorco
31 libraries needed a waiver this year, Franklin was one of them
if it opens in Sept/Oct it would only be funded for part of the year
we are funding at 85% and next year could be at 100% and not need a waiver
once open, there might be additional requests but they'll need to evaluate based upon the operations

11 currently
adding 3 part time, in wait and see move

Library expenses, Mercer
any of these expenses to be incorporated in the Library project?
no, these were for circulation items and operational costs

the Capital requests were not part of the Town Budget, part of the building project

Recreation, Jette
100% are self funded, but we need the start up funding and it is recovered in the fees

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