Monday, February 8, 2010

Finance Committee 02/02/10

Jeff Nutting opens with comments on the process. The capital budget effectively uses 'free cash'. The amount has varied over the past several years from $600,000 to about $3 million. Six town departments have submitted requests. There won't be a vote tonight. Some of the free cash is also to be used for snow and ice. As the Town is about to overspend the snow and ice budget and the winter is not over, we will need to wait and see what happens.

Jim Roche, Finance Committee Chair, also noted that the meeting this evening is for discussion, question and answers. There is a capital subcommittee to meet with members of Town Council, Finance and School Committees to review and prioritize the capital items before any final votes for approval.

Tim Raposa, Technology Director
1 - Town Technology - Some money for upgrade to a fiber network, some money for upgrade of desktops and laptops. The systems are warrantied for three years, they tend to keep them for four to five years, after that the maintenance expense increases and it makes more sense to replace the systems than to continue to maintain them.

Some money also for server consolidation. Reduction of servers by 60-75%. This will reduce the number of servers, HVAC for maintaining the servers, and associate other server maintenance costs.

Question on data protection - The Schools and Town systems are already protected, most of the data resides on the server and not on the laptops themselves. Education may be required to help to reinforce good practices but from a technical perspective, they are

2 - School Technology -
JFK wireless access to be wired, teacher laptops. The school was chosen as it is the least cost elementary school to do this, Parmenter would be much more. Davis Thayer with its aging facilities doesn't make sense to put it in there at this time.
smart boards for a grade level, the exact grade remains to be determined by the principals.

3 - audio visual over fiber - AV systems in various school complexes, this would be a single server for the entire district to handle a video feed and storage across the district. Centralized, a single purchase, step one. Step two would be to get display devices, like smart boards or classroom monitors. Need to start with the foundation piece and then expand with the other items.

a good bit of the enhancements are dependent upon the fiber purchase which is in the Facilities budget. The smart boards are purchased with training. The training is key for the teachers to use them effectively in the classrooms.

There was also discussion on lease versus purchase. The purchase option currently is the better option. Lease actually is less flexible and more costly over time.

Mike d'Angelo - Director Facilities
The fiber would be single mode, $350,000 total cost. Actual outlay would be $150,000 as cable would grant us $200,000 for this conversion. The fiber would be laid in a ring for redundancy. If one section breaks, the others would be still be able to bypass and continue. There are 24 threads in the connections, 2 could be used in a pair, one for transmit, one for receive. Annual rental for existing T1 lines is over $50,000 per year. The fiber costs would be less. Support would be contracted out as Franklin would own the fiber itself. Support contracts would be similar to the contracts we have for the street lights.

Replace carpeting at the Library; meeting room and local history room. Library picking up some of the costs for this. The Trustees would be picking up this with some State Aid. $20,000 is the local Franklin portion.

Digital video security systems cover the access for school buildings; key fob entrance, video captures who comes in, date/time recorded, major rooms, and entire perimeter. When Keller Sullivan was built it was done with the technology at the time but it has fallen behind now. The system was added to the other schools in 2000/2001. Keller Sullivan does not have this system. $220,000 to add this system to Keller-Sullivan to bring it to the same level of security as all the other schools.

The security system is used extensively by the principals. The doors are locked all the time, everyone is buzzed in or they can enter via the key fob.

Pavement and parking lot at Parmenter proposed to be redone at the same time by the same contractor as Wachusetts Street when it gets done this year.

We have another $3 million in pent up demand. We'd like to consider a bond issue to use some bonding capacity to provide some additional money for facilities. This might come down in the future. The School Committee would know more about Davis Thayer, will it stay open, close? The portable classrooms would need to be addressed.

We have needs for more than we have money for.

We started a program to replace the vans that do in district transportation. We replaced two last year and would like to replace two more this year. $54,000 includes lifts and special equipment to outfit them as required. We got the set of ten several years ago with a grant. This is the second year of a multiyear replacement schedule.

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