Tuesday, November 12, 2013

live reporting - Finance Committee - Nov 12, 2013

Present: Dowd, Fleming, Smith, Aparo, Dewsnap, Dufour,
Nutting, Dacey

Absent:: (TBD)

Recognition of former Chair Jim Roche by Rep Jeff Roy for his long and valued service to Franklin

Jim Roche (left), Jeff Roy (right)

Motion to accept minutes of prior meetings, seconded and approved 6-0

Copy of the agenda doc can be found here

Nutting provides overview on the fiscal policies, purpose of the stabilization funds, debt planning to avoid debt exclusions; capital planning just starting

use of free cash to manage the capital plan

enterprise accounts for water, sewer, trash... maintained by the fees set by the Town Council and managed within those fee limits

150 miles of water pipe to maintain, need to address regularly, cant do all at once
I&I - inflow and infiltration taken out of the sewer system, not charged to treat it and the water stays within the aquifer

snow and ice budget set on a five year rolling average; previously had dipped deep into free cash to provide enough, currently now not an issue

OPEB - another actuarial study underway, 10% of free cash intent to put aside and then try to keep aside to address the future requirements
put $500K last year, looking to put aside $600K this year, then $700K

how to manage the roads, without an override which is not on the radar, how do we manage, it requires money

EPA, storm water fee hanging out there, no known impact yet.

use the individual stabilization accounts to continue to put some money aside for future
Senior Center, turf fields, Fire truck, etc.

the stabilization accounts are interest bearing accounts, although not generating a whole lot of interest now

Looking to do a trust fund at some point, would provide more options for investments and potential return increase over current; once in a trust it is forever, the stabilization funds are more flexible

water system maintenance is not a day to day expense, it is capital
water meters replaced every 15 years too to keep up with technology

this is more of a brain storming item, think about it, if any questions or feedback, let us know

Chairperson Dewsnap looking for feedback from Committee for next meeting, want to get before the Council before the next budget cycle

enterprise account - a self supporting entity - supported by fees
revolving accounts - these come and go, fees enter and get withdrawn; school facilities use fee is the largest
stabilization accounts - requires 2/3 vote to go in and take out from; used to be only for bond-able items, no longer

Capital plan - staff owes the drafts in next couple of weeks, will review
free cash only $2M this time around, less than previous years
will need to keep aside some for snow just in case
capital subcommittee will be meeting to review the department requests

DPW, Police Fire, Facilities, usually have capital requests

Long Range Plan
5 year fiscal forecast required every year, due this Jan
good timing
the further out the estimate goes, the poorer the accuracy is
local receipts hard to forecast in a bad economy
state aid, state charges can change year to year, get more in election years, less in off years
formula changed for Chap 70, school population also declining

county pension is going up 10% every year for the next 5 years

health insurance very volatile, employees have been very flexible and responsive
the second biggest budget in Franklin

collective bargaining agreements in place
expenses such a small part of overall budget, increases don't plan a great roll overall

there are a whole lot of variables, the trend is easy -expenses go up faster than revenues

Master Plan calls for additional sidewalks, how do we do that?
 for example would love to build a sidewalk along Pleasant St to get to DelCarte

feedback from Oklahoma City example for what they prioritized aesthetics over some other practical stuff, but once it was done, folks felt more like investing to take care of the other stuff

County investments did'not do too well in 09 and 10, now that difference needs to be made up
avg person in Norfolk County gets $20K, input by employees is 10%
get the unfunded portion paid off, and the annual cost is reasonable

real issue is the calculated return is costed at 8%, when was that real?

public safety employees can retire earlier (hence can draw a pension longer)

it would cost Franklin to get out of the pension system and go to Social Security

actuarial tables changes with regard to life expectancy, living longer cost more

old business - nothing to add

meeting at Tri-County, good feedback, informative meeting

new business -
Nutting - park being put up at DelCarte.
another sculpture added after my video was done
DPW very busy next year, downtown project, etc.

Brutus going to School Committee on the 19th to update the snow plan

winter is coming, it is a pain
I would always leave the last foot and a half until the last plow went by
The DPW does an awesome job

high school building is 60% complete, still on time and on budget
likely to come in under budget
building to be closed in in the next month and then the interior work will be done
after the asbestos tiles are removed from the old school, then the old school will come down, and the fields will be laid out
a week spent on the keys and setting up proper access

motion to adjourn, approved

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