Thursday, March 28, 2013

Live reporting - Finance Committee - Budget Hearing

Present: Smith, Dufur, Quinn, Roche, Dewsnap, Aparo
Absent: GoldsmithFeldman, Huempfner

Susan Gagner, Jeff Nutting and Jim Dacey (from right to left as you watch the video broadcast)

Action Items 
Elections: $12,400 Source of Funds: Free Cash
Motion to approve, passed 6-0

Budget hearing

Debbie Pellegri, Town Clerk

Town Clerk A-33
Elections A-36
Historical F-11

simple budget expenses all the same, next year may go higher as expenses are increasing but not this year. salaries increase a little, otherwise not much of a change

Need to print hard copy for binding, and to microfilm the official copies
while the world seems to be going digital and web, the government hasn't

The Town election is completely funded by the town for November, no State help for this one

Traffic is increasing at the Museum
little league teams are celebrating 60 year anniversary 
the increases in budget due to needs for manikins, etc.

no admission, donations are accepted to the Friends of the Historical Commission

Tri-County School District
Stephen Dockray, Superintendent
John Roy, School Business Administrator

24% of the assessment is what Franklin contributes
could absorb the capital plan either in budget or decide to go with a debt exclusion to fund this

Bob Fahey, Veterans 
Veterans E-15

28 people on case load, 15 are widows, all but four are veterans in the 50+ age group
all medical costs are covered and reimbursed through the program, Medicare B

The State reimburses 75% of the expenses incurred

Are the pockets of people we are not reaching?
It is possible, we do a lot of out reach through the town, the cable channel, etc.

has been processing claims recently for Vietnam veterans for Agent Orange
had six lung cancer cases where they passed away during the past couple of years, their widows are now entitled to receive benefits

Bryan Taberner, Director of Planning and Community Development
Planning A-40

Steady as we go
started rough with the loss of Nick Alferi the Conservation Agent who passed away last July.
Replaced with two part people instead of the one full-time 

Can you recap some of the projects you have worked on?

  • NuStyle currently in work
  • working with DPW on Downtown Project with easements for the work
  • a lot of zoning work, biotech zoning district
  • increase economic opportunity areas, Hamilton Tech took advantage of
  • working on initiatives for retail downtown
  • cultural economic travel with the MetroWest Region
  • worked on the DelCarte project

Jeff Nutting will be attending a meeting on the Milford casino project
what is not said is that the above listing is all over and above the statutory requirements that are a priority
advertising is usually refundable to the Town as these are recovered by fees

Cindy Souza
Animal Control B-72

split arrangement with Bellingham
we pay for the dog pound and expenses, Bellingham pays the salaries
an increase of coyotes this year being seen this year

wildlife is attended to if is sick or injured

Stephanie Lutz, Director
Human Resources A-23

with state and federal changes, health insurance is becoming more and more complicated and time consuming
health insurance renewals for current employees, involved with the 9 labor unions
active safety committee to minimize risk and injuries
unemployment, health insurance for all the retirees
flexible spending, dental, life insurance claims

on the Joint Management committee for the State to help work other labor disputes

Benefits G-6
two vendors wouldn't quote as our rate is lower than the State GIC rate
have been leading among municipal governments for employee co-pays, and deductible changes
retired teachers were taken out of the State program 7 years ago, more subscribers and still $300,000 less than they were paying 7 years ago

Cindy Dobrzynski, Chair, Library Board of Directors
Felicia Oti, Director
Library F-1

increase in books to expand collection and replace some older books
a beautification committee now formed, looking at safety concerns
looking to improve services and make it a more inviting place
engaging community to solicit feedback
afternoon programs for 6-18
44 kids yesterday afternoon for arts and crafts, so Facebook and communications are helping

The book budget was $175,000 back when we were spending $900,000 on the library
Engineer looking at the interior of the Library to evaluate what can be done and for how much
may require some expense and possible borrowing to be handled under the debt plan

would really like to see the Library open on Sundays in addition to more more of this and that

Chief Gary McCarragher
Deputy Chief Paul Sharpe
Fire B-14
really should have 48 people, currently have 44 
to provide the full staffing with minimal overtime

while call volumes have remained steady, there are anticipated increase coming with the two new assisted living facilities coming online
increased work load has increased overtime and increased injuries which has then contributed to additional overtime, a vicious cycle

a one minute response time improvement can improve life by 13%

response time chart shows the performance vs the staffing levels

increasing reliance on overtime
# of lost time injuries continues to rise

in the next 5-7 years, approx 1/3 of the workforce will be lost due to retirements
institutional knowledge and experience will be lost

cost savings with regional savings can help fund personnel

working with HR to get a back training program
the difference between us and the Boston Celtics is we work 365x7x24 and our wins and losses are measured far differently
my personal belief is to right size the workforce
we have a 24 hour shift and a team sport, take one person out and the performance and the team suffers

Mike D'Angelo, Director
Facilities A-192

full coverage for all the facilities, construction, capital projects
decreases in budget due to better contracts for electricity, natural gas (out to bid now), 
materials and supplies, costs are continuing to increase, less than 1% increase for all of the facilities

more maintenance required as systems age account for fire alarm and monitoring systems increases

comparison of operating costs for new high school versus today's building
electricity will go up, gas will go down, water will decrease
not a lot of issues in first year as the warranty covers those items, after the first year we get to pick up those

There are a zillion little things that the average person doesn't see
looking to put LED lighting into the parking lots, cost to maintain, length of time between replacements will go up

Police Capt Stephen Semerjian

coming back to add $35K for part-time dispatchers given the other moves on the regionalization efforts underway
it is very uncomfortable to be alone in the dispatch area

even if the Council approves this in May, it will take a couple of months to get folks on and trained

Jim Dacey
Debt G-1

will need to amend the budget once the money is actually funded in August
it was modeled at 4.25% and could be a lot less than 4%
it is a good time to do this, the overall school building budget is less and the current interest rates are low, when looked at over 25 years, it makes a difference

very important to maintain reinvestment, the approx $480,000 short of the 3.5% would need to come from some other budget. With debt at 3.5%, it is a small amount given the total budget

it would be equivalent of a $1750 mortgage payment for the whole year, not just monthly (on a $50,000 annual income)

pension blended with all the communities, with a new GASB ruling, they will have to decouple and tell each community its own share
we are the largest contributor to the Norfolk County system

no layoffs expected this year so unemployment insurance holding its own. The schools do layoff the new teachers that don't make it and are not rehired so they use the unemployment

8 of 9 collective bargaining agreements in place, the fire dept is the one outstanding

Liability Ins G-16

Memorial Day F-13
flags for veterans day that the Boy Scouts put on the graves

Cultural Council F15
local money plus State funding results in the grants

Norfolk Aggie C-3
20 students at $2,000 per student
based upon the number of students enrolled in October

this covers all the budget hearings, could cover all the documents now or cover these for our regular session on Apr 2

will cancel the 4/1 and 4/4 sessions

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