Monday, May 4, 2015

Live reporting: Finance Committee - Budget Hearing - May 4

Present: Dowd, Conley, Fleming, Smith, Bertone, Huempher, Dewsnap (approx 7:15)
Absent:  Dufour, 

Nutting, Gagner, Dacey


(Dept #) (Dept name) (page number of budget book)

  • 300 School Dept C-1
Sabolinski, Goodman, Rohrbach
highlights of the school budget can be viewed in the presentation doc from last week's School Committee meeting

$113M spent in FY 2015

$56,950,000 = 2.4% increase over FY 2015

net increase of 4 teachers overall
  • 5 teachers shifting from elementary due to declining enrollment
  • 1 to go to the high school
  • 2 each to go to Remington and Annie Sullivan to eliminate the split teams there
  • adding 3 math specialists (part time) to elementary to assist with the new math program introduced
  • adding one ELL specialist to assist with non-English language learners
no one losing a job, there are other opportunities and transfers within the district

Franklin's enrollment is an anomaly for most studies due to the movement in/out of the community. Looking at all sources available for the data, including births from the Town Clerk to indicate the school population several years down the road.

increase in high school some of which was students within Franklin returning from private schools but a good portion was simple move ins to the district

The substantial Federal grant we get is to support students with disbilities. If it ever went away, there would be a major outcry. It has not decreased, the goal is to cover 100% of the costs and it has not gotten to that. It was as high as 40% of the costs but it is not that now.

Cost for active employee health insurance is covered with the School budget, the costs for retired health insurance is covered by the Town's budget. All the same plan, same benefits.

if any questions, the FinCom can contact Maureen or Miriam.

  • 390 Tri County C-2
an assessment based upon student enrollment
Tri-County will need capital, they are working to develop a capital plan
Franklin makes up about 8% of the students at Tri-County

two ways to manage their building needs, one absorb in the budget and passed to the communities equally; if major, then through the MSBA and a debt exclusion would be needed coordinated among the communities

overall the Tri-County population is down as well, North Attleboro is the other large sending community to Tri-County

  • 395 Norfolk Aggie C-3
an estimate based upon some estimates on how many students will participate

  • 630 Recreation F-9
Ryan Jette, Recreation Director
in process of obtaining and fitting out the new building
service based organization
rely heavily on the participation to support the program
self-supporting, personnel services and expenses
reach about 8,000 with the programs

clerical staff added to handle the registrations, etc. for the program

no firm date yet on when the move would occur
scheduled a 21e environmental review, tentative closing date in July
town hall sale might get pushed a little to Aug/Sep to help minimize impact

may suspend some of the programs being run out of the building
every one has been notified

will increase some fees to help offset the cost of the new building
new programs coming online along with participation each year

summer camp is increasing

joint coordination with Medway working well
Choate Park camp well received
has help increase our program participation
each year seems to be getting better and better

  • 210 Police B-1
Chief Semerjian, Kevin Ryan who does all the finances for the department

some time this year we'll be looking at a deputy chief position, there are funds in the budget but the head count is not added

we came in at just below 2% increase over last year
the community is lucky and it makes my job easier we have so many good folks working for us

no budgets include salary or cost of living increases yet

anticipating any retirements?
not really, the senior would be looking at several years before that

folks would reach max step with 5-7 years of hire

would need to look at viable deputy candidates, from among the lieutenants
no net new hires, backfilling vacancies

grant money restrictions are coming more so now than before
I see that as a challenge coming up with some of those 'extra' funds
the department is pretty fluid

we have no diversity in the department, the last woman left
you heard of the changing demographics in Franklin but it will not happen over night; how do we do that with the minimal turn over we have?

we are 50% of the district by call volume, we haven't looked at the staffign numbers yet, what are we going to run at, we might save some money but we are planning on breaking even initially

  • 293 Parking Meter B-31
looking to have the Council eliminate the meters sometime during the fiscal year, we'd still have the parking officer, etc.

Linda Darling, new assistant to Susan Gagner, Comptroller

Old business 


New business

Council will vote on capital plan Wednesday
might ask for $10K for an OPEB study, may ask for it at the Thursday meeting

the study would be turned around in 30 days or so
maybe have an informational session on OPEB in the fall when it is quieter
get the Trust here, maybe the actuary (although it is not cheap)

motion to adjourn, passed

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