Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Live reporting: Finance Committee - Apr 22, 2015

Present: Aparo, Conley, Fleming, Bertone, Dufour, Smith, Heumpher
Absent: Dewsnap, Dowd

Minutes of Apr 7 meeting - amend to reflect date of Apr 22 (not May 22) for vote on Capital Budget
motion to approve as amended, passed 7-0

Jeff Nutting
overview of the school capital budget submission

$159,000 for Chromebooks

for 8th grade - for incoming 8th graders, include in assessments and instructions
prepare for the high school where they use chromebooks on a 1:1 basis
8th classrooms would have chromebook carts, not on a 1:1 basis
some also available at Libraries for checkout options

there are parts of chromebooks available for all grades currently, this would make the systems more available for instructions

management of the apps could only be done to the school devices, personal devices would not be managed, would still be filtered but up to the parents for maintenance

Google classroom targeted for transition, it is a free platform

5 years ago, the iPad didn't exist, 3 years ago the chromebook didn't exist
how far out do you want to look?
learning environment is moving online, so moving to a device that supports that is our intent
nothing else compares to the price performance of the chromebook currently

wearable technology is possible in the future

the good news is we have wifi everywhere

$40,000 Special Education vans

vans provide for cross town transportation to keep SPED students within the district where it makes sense to do so
currently have 10 vans, replacing on a schedule
5 seat wheel chair van - not a super effective vehicle for a spare, 2003 vehicle
looking for a regular SPED vehicle to replace this unit
looking for a full size 9 passenger van
comes fully equipped for child restraints, would put this into the rotation
and move another unit into the 'spare' capacity
the other units are mostly 2009 vintage and in good condition and maintenance

modulars for Davis Thayer

demolition in place, pull power, etc. out before demo
dispose of the concrete, etc. spread and see loam for the grass

PA system at Kennedy School

when Oak St opened, the system in the 'old' Oak St was moved to JFK
the technology is not like any of the other schools, older technology and ready to get replaced

$50,000 for carpeting at Davis Thayer

approx 9 rooms, backed carpet wears well and looks good
1998 the carpet put in was not like this


multi-function printer for Recreation Dept
better to buy rather than lease

wireless in Town buildings, some don't have it at all, those that do have older slower systems
leveraging the quantity purchase to bring the Town buildings up to speed
total of 63 access points across the major Town buildings

high school has 219 access points in comparison

Fire Dept

Chief McCarragher, Dept Chief Sharpe

looking to put the money aside this year to replace them all next year
self contained breathing apparatus
units are 10 years old
want to have all the units the same for ease of use
air regular and mask issued to fire fighters for their own maintenance

cardio defibrillator for the emergency vehicles
we don't take chances with letting these units age, these are life saving
replaced 5 years ago, three units one per vehicle

external defibrillators
carried in all the other vehicles

the proposal would go to the Council for May 6th
looking to get the vote to recommend tonight

10% free cash usually goes to OPEB but with such a bad year, more money proposed to go for roads

holding $600,000 in free cash, DPW is already over $500,000 for snow/ice
if all goes well, we would still be able to come back and use $70K later

FY 2016 budget update
budget sent to printer today, budget letter drafting
could get out next week

asked Council for Jun 10-11 for the budget hearings

revenues based upon the House budget
only changed the Governor's number by a little
the charter school issue was fixed so that helps

the only thing that might change is the amount of money to borrow for the high school
it is a place holder but wouldn't affect the budget vote as it is a 'debt exclusion' amonut anyway

fully funds the four fire fighters previously brought in under a grant

health insurance discussion with the unions Thursday
$8M spent on health insurance, actually a better plan that what is in place today

may need to draw the budget stabilization account for FY 2017
key is what the wage and benefit increases run, with only th 2.5% to count on, there is not much room for anything else
looking for ideas to keep the tax bill down

no word on the arbitration award yet, frustrated that is lasting this long
estimated placeholder in the budget

old business
high school, risk dollars?
fields being built as we speak
baseball softball fields under construction
turf field would like to be done Aug 1
warranty would be expiring unitl Aug 1
baseball softball fields need two seasons of growing before use, spring of 2017
turf field would be available immediately

Oct meeting minutes not yet approved

Q - any question on the safety of the turf fields?
A - nothing has come to the committee level, it is an issue out there but two sides to a story, not a clear answer

make a recommendation on the capital plan?
move the capital plan as recommended by Administrator be approved
passed 7-0

motion to adjourn, so moved,  and passed 7-0

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