Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Live reporting: Finance Committee - Budget Hearing #1 - 4/17/18

Present: Dufour, Dowd, Conley, Huempfner, Weich, Fleming, Moses, Smith, Dewsnap 
Absent:  none

Fiscal 2019 budget document (160+ pages of good reading)

1. Call to Order

2. Public Comments

3. Approval of Minutes
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

4. FY 2019 Budget Presentations:
overview provided by Jeff Nutting
See the budget doc for the details
proposing to use the budget stabilization account this year, without making dramatic changes;
Board of Health and Inspection being merged, using an outsourced contractor to do the inspections
with almost $2M in the bank, you don't go ask citizens for more money
you can't just have a one year fix, that is not sustainable



Human Services
Council on Aging
Human Services



Public Safety
Human Services
General Government
General Government
General Government
General Government
General Government
Human Resources
General Government
General Government

Veterans - Dale hired via arrangement with County although working here in Franklin
got some clients to get employed and as they did, they dropped off the roll
VA benefits get reimbursed at 75% rate

Veterans walkway, funding by selling bricks through VFW
walkway along the common near the war memorial end

Council on Aging -Karen Alves
$200K funded by Town but grants and other funding sources also provide the services for the seniors
asking for 7 hours for health services nurse
housing, fuel assistance and social needs are the three top drivers
dozens of homeless folks over the last several years

Open House Saturday - Apr 21 from 10 to 1:00 PM

Inspections - Gus Browm
will combine Planning, Health and Building to actually provide better service

Fire Dept - Capt Gary McCarragher
new deputy coming later this year
increased call volume by 9.5%, first Q another 5%
more calls through 3/4 than we did 5 years ago
hence a lot of pressure on the system, back to back to calls
mutual aid then needs to help, which drives up the average response times
we need an additional level of supervision to help provide support
we were dealing with a meth lab, a medical emergency and another call
training when there are no calls, it can be handled, with our call volume it gets challenging
vehicle maintenance is increasing, may need another vehicle to reduce that

14 employees with less than 5 years experience, another 5 to be replaced soon

5 hours out of 24 he can't respond due to the system is already busy

minimum staffing now at 9 when we should be at ten
working on wellness program to help avoid injuries and injury rates
60% of retirees retire on a line of duty injury; not good

did request an additional 8 firefighter/EMTs to help with response times, injury avoidance and reduce the mutual aid calls

would take an override to provide the support and sustain it

Board of Health, budget down $19K due to staff reduction (re-alignment mentioned above)

typo page 85 of the budget doc the Administration and FinCom are using

Planning and Community Development, Bryan Taberner
minor corrections being applied to the numbers

due to toner replacement plan, some adjustments are being made to dept budgets to reflect the changes

Assessors, Kevin Doyle
no real changes, COLA increase and nothing more
incorporated update to the mapping for 911 system

Treasurer/Collector, Chris Saldini
anticipate hiring a deputy collector later this year, to keep succession plan going

Controller, now a Finance Director (no longer a Controller)

personnel replacing Stephanie, added money for physicals for new hires
schools do their own hiring and physicals (on their budget)

Facilities, D'Angelo - can't be here tonight but can come next week
new bid of contract for electricity now 10 was 7 cents

preventive maintenance software implemented

90% of our electricity comes from solar, most of the schools are or will be LED liaghting
couldn't get to 20% reduction from baseline, could only get to 19.5% as we were already efficient

approx 1700 lights in town, will do in chunks of 100-200 at a time
awaiting NationalGrid to reconcile the data to put the final plan in place

DPW - wage increase due to collective bargaining
snow and ice increase planned, award from State on water system
last year was the first year in over 20 with an increase in personnel (2)
within months of updating the pavement management plan (likely June)
likely a presentation to Council when ready
without March the snow/ice budget would have been good, up about 200K over budget

Street Lights
Public Works
Public Works
Norfolk Aggie
Employee Benefits
General Government
Liability Insurance
General Government
Debt Service
General Government
Town Council
General Government
Town Administrator
General Government
Finance Committee
General Government
General Government
Central Services
General Government
Animal Control
Public Safety
Historical Commission
Culture and Recreation
Memorial Day
Culture and Recreation
Cultural Council
Culture and Recreation

Enterprise accounts (Water/Sewer, Trash)
rate increases coming, Charles River assessment increasing and primary driver

bond authorization likely coming in May for wells 3/6 approx 17M expense for the repairs required

water meter replacement is more about equity for everyone, could have an individual variance but globally it should not be material

$4 increase in trash budget

Tri-County - assessment
based upon student enrollment, with October's enrollment
will be looking for an increase sometime to help repairs for the roof, HVAC, etc.
did go to MA School Building but did not get approved

Employee Benefits - 
pension up 8-9% to catch up on funding schedule
health costs only a 4.5% increase, helps a lot this year
Insurance Health Advisory committee gets all the credit on keeping the reductions to the minimum
town active, all town and school retirees are covered by this Town line item; school cover their active employees with their budget

68/32 split for supplemental insurance
45 cities/towns in GIC (of the 351 in MA)

Debt Schedule
high school doesn't affect the general fund as it is debt excluded
library debt to increase next year but others come off, so we'll have some debt capacity

Town Council
mostly MMA dues and some professional development

Town Administrator, increase only due to wage adjustments

FinCom, mostly advertising, budget books, etc.($1500) $0 on one page (an error to be fixed)

Legal budget
also includes money for labor attorney, arbitration, etc.
all collective bargaining expires at end of this fiscal year

Central Services
postage, copiers, toner, etc.

Animal Control
long standing agreement with Bellingham for this splitting coverage

Historical Commissin
hoping for part-time staff at some point for technical storage help

Memorial Day
mostly for the flags

Cutural Council
ArtWeek coming up this month, easy and small increase with great potential returns

what are the next big projects?
recycling center will be an item once the state land transfer takes place
will need to file a capping plan; est $3M (swag)

police station, addition and renovation sometime
dispatchers will have left

water is the biggest one (paid for by the water rates)
sewer - Beaver St intercepter the big one

eventually roofs will need to be replaced
maybe an opportunity to buy some land

you can borrow money for roads but you're really just chasing your tail with interst esxpense

motion to adjourn

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