Showing posts with label debt exclusion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label debt exclusion. Show all posts

Saturday, February 27, 2021

FM #474 - Finance Committee Mtg - 02/24/21 (audio)

FM #474 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 474 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares the Town of Franklin, MA Finance Committee meeting held on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021. 

The meeting was conducted in a hybrid format: the Finance Committee members and key guests were in the Council Chambers; the remainder, along with the public, were remote via conference bridge, all to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

  • Quick overview of the ambulance rates and rationale behind them from Chief McLaughlin
  • Overview of the recent truck purchase process and the life cycle of trucks on the front line, in reserve and eventual disposition as surplus
  • Great overview of the debt and borrowing status for Franklin, heard previously at the Town Council meeting but great info on exclusions and non-excluded debt and how it is fiscally planned for and managed; the Town has a great credit rating which confirms the overall fiscal prudence shown by the Town
  • Discussion on future topics including adding two sessions to the budget hearing cycle (now four meetings instead of two)
Links to the meeting agenda and my notes are included in the show notes. The recording runs about 77 minutes, so let’s listen to the Finance Committee meeting of Feb 24, 2021.  Audio file =  https://player.captivate.fm/episode/1c047bb0-59a6-44e3-8b50-b7dc814d1861


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FM #474 - Finance Committee Mtg - 02/24/21 (audio)
FM #474 - Finance Committee Mtg - 02/24/21 (audio)


Friday, February 26, 2021

Finance Committee meeting recap - Feb 24, 2021 - ambulance rates, fire truck life cycle; debt overview

Quick Recap:
  • Quick overview of the ambulance rates and rationale behind them from Chief McLaughlin
  • Overview of the recent truck purchase process and the life cycle of trucks on the front line, in reserve and eventual disposition as surplus
  • Great overview of the debt and borrowing status for Franklin, heard previously at the Town Council meeting but great info on exclusions and non-excluded debt and how it is fiscally planned for and managed; the Town has a great credit rating which confirms the overall fiscal prudence shown by the Town
  • Discussion on future topics including adding two sessions to the budget hearing cycle (now four meetings instead of two)
Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one album   https://photos.app.goo.gl/XN9xZuqRLw5vtcY88
 
----
As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
 
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #fincom0224


  • Real time reporting underway for the Finance Committee meeting #fincom0224 agenda doc linked here has the connection info https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/agendas/fincom_agenda_02-24-21_updated.pdf
  • Fire Chief McLaughlin talks to the proposed ambulance rate increases up for second approval at Town Council meeting next week #fincom0224
  • Majority of transportation is ALS1, second BLS and least used is ALS2. Have talked with a company about their frequency of usage. Trying to avoid overuse and making sure it is an appropriate use. 87-88% is about norm for collection rates #fincom0224
  • BLS is basic life support, ALS1 medication, cardiac monitor; ALS2 is a more critical level of service... #fincom0224 billing and allowable rates set outside via Medicare etc. We stay within allowable.
  • The two trucks are from Greenwood in N Attleboro, to offset the service costs of two trucks in reserve to get them inspected. These new ones are coming at a great deal for us, great discount and good value. #fincom0224 the trucks will also enable ISO 1 level rating ...
  • If you recall, they had reached level 2 last year. 15 in frontline and 5-7 years in reserve is a good ballpark lifecycle. Q is the rusted rail unique to Pierce. They rectified that in 2018 but that doesn't help this one. #fincom0224 ISO 1 will enable to save business ...
  • Could be up to 3.5% savings going up the to level 1 for the businesses insurance rates. #fincom0224 moving to the debt and borrowing presentation (also in the doc link shared earlier)
  • Kerri Bertone presenting #fincom0224
  • Most recent interest rate 1.33% a good sign of our high rating and great fiscal management #fincom0224 non-excluded debt (like the Library, Senior Center, etc. ) Vs. excluded debt mostly school buildings (FHS)
  • Some of the 15M authorization will not ever be used. Example, the windows for the Municipal bldg was est at 1.3m and bid came in at about 500k, so we'll use free cash rather than borrow. Chrome books were also part of above but those were covered via the COVID funds #fincom0224
  • Would use lease purchase if a benefit but there is a middle man and we don't always get the best price via going directly to the finance. We are set up to borrow for our benefit. #fincom0224 worthy discussion on the current 2.2% vs policy of 3.5% and thought behind it
  • Police station is likely to be a debt exclusion. Will use bans to out together some of the projects to bond as a package. Saves us the issuance cost and with good rates gets us the lowest cost benefit #fincom0224 what will it take to get to AAA?
  • A regular discussion with the bonders, it is less but a factor of the marker place. #fincom0224 interesting story on Hudson and net interest and DOR changed rules because of it. Refunding is the resident equivalent of refinancing a mortgage, our rates are so low we won't...
  • see that for some time, interest if at 6% would make sense to reduced to 1 or 2 ... If we are already at 1 or 2 but how low can you go. #fincom0224 Stabilization funds update - 10 year history of new growth coming in the next meeting
  • Town Administrator Jamie Hellen updating a review of the comparable stabilization funds #fincom0224 currently $8m in OPEB fund. Some Communities do stick out from the others. Natick has a plan for a fund to cover for a 3 yr downturn based upon a % of their state aid
  • Would be a good discussion point for an overall planning point. Ultimately how were we able to manage? We did put something aside when it was good, key priorities. #fincom0224 need to be fiscally prudent.
  • Discussion on budget hearings to be spread over four nights, worked well last time; #fincom0224 capital plan? had held off due to other items in the mix, less free cash overall, snow/ice eating into free cash with weather this year. General operations metrics, etc.
  • #fincom0224 April 4 nights would be budget hearings, OPEB report in April, stormwater coming in budget, facility coming, UGVI at FHS is the only public school with that service; Motion to adjourn, second, passes 8-0 That's all for tonight, catch you next time!

 

Finance Committee meeting recap - Feb 24, 2021 - ambulance rates, fire truck life cycle; debt overview
Finance Committee meeting recap - Feb 24, 2021 - ambulance rates, fire truck life cycle; debt overview

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Finance Committee meeting - starting time changed to 6:30 PM Feb 24, 2021

 Finance Committee Meeting

February 24, 2021 - 6:30 PM 
(note time change)(was 6 PM)
 
Agenda
1. Call to Order
2. Public Comments
3. Approval of Minutes
a. January 13, 2021
4. Debt and Borrowing presentation
a. Kerri Bertone, Treasurer & Christopher Sandini, Finance Director/Comptroller
5. Fire Department Update
a. ALS/BLS and Mileage Rate Changes
b. Fire Truck Borrowing Resolution
6. Stabilization Funds Update & Comparabiles
7. Future Agenda Items
8. Adjourn


The full agenda and meeting documents (Note - doc was updated on Monday to show a change in start time from 6 to 6:30 PM)

In case you missed the Town Council discussion on the Finance presentation, you get another chance at this on Wednesday night. If you have a question that wasn't asked the first time around, now you have a chance of getting an answer.

Note the explanation on non-excluded debt vs. excluded debt and how both are funded.

Friday, May 24, 2019

"This capital issue is significant, and not going away"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The weather is warming, flowers are blooming and municipalities across the state are hosting Town Meetings, a form of local government dating back more than 300 years, which historically has given residents the opportunity to help decide on various issues related to local governance and spending. 
More recently, however, the scope of Town Meeting decisions has narrowed for many communities, and a lot of time is spent debating whether to fund new municipal projects, such as schools, libraries and senior centers. 
Approval of such projects typically translate into higher taxes for property owners, which advocates say is necessary to ensure dilapidating municipal buildings and outdated schools are safe and adequate for residents and children. 
Opponents, meanwhile, say the process is increasingly becoming a popular way for local governments to pay for projects that should otherwise be affordable within existing municipal budgets, especially at a time when local coffers are growing with the recent surge of new development and rising property values realized across the state."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
https://www.milforddailynews.com/news/20190522/prop-2-12-overrides-disappearing-but-taxpayers-still-pay

Editor's Note: An override is always a sensitive topic but we need to change that perception and have a real conversation about how we want to live here in Franklin. What services do we need? How should we support our schools? Repair our roads? 

The School Committee held Legislative Forums in both February 2018 and 2019 to start the conversation on some of the systemic problems that the State needs to correct. The Town Council chose not to include us in the public conversation until the second budget hearing. 

Next year is predicted to be another budget challenge. We need to have the conversation regularly from now until the budget cycle starts again. When we get together for the Strawberry Festival, the 4th of July, and other public events, part of the conversation should be around how we support ourselves.

Kit Brady speaking for better funding for schools and our children
Kit Brady speaking for better funding for schools and our children






Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Franklin, MA: Override and Debt Exclusion History (new format)


As requested, I have formatted the override and debt exclusion history to make it easier to view






Hopefully this will make it easier to read the information on each election


You can also view this document here
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B0wjbnXDBhczanE1eWt1UXVIQVE


This was compiled from official MA and Franklin election records. If there is a mistake, it is not intended. Please let me know what you think is an error and I'll check it out with the official records.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

“We feel it’s a better future for the children”


“I’m delighted. I’m just really happy about it,” resident Linda Dunnebier said of the 7,988 “yes” votes. That total was more than four times the 1,982 “no” votes. There was a single blank ballot. 
Town officials are now working on contract documents to send the design plans for the school out to bid in the hopes of awarding the bid by August and starting construction in October. 
If everything stays on track, students will be in the new school by fall of 2014, with demolition and the rebuilding of the athletic fields taking place after that.

Read more: http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x777658853/Residents-happy-about-passage-of-override-for-new-high-school#ixzz1qUrsGWTI

The collection of posts on the high school building project can be found here
http://www.franklinmatters.org/2011/12/collection-high-school-building-project.html


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

“This is a great day for the town of Franklin”



“I couldn’t be more excited,” said Town Councilor and School Building Committee Chairman Thomas Mercer. “A major decision for the town was made by 10,000 people. It would have been a sin to see this decision made by 3,000 people.” 
The debt exclusion will raise property taxes until 2040, costing the average homeowner $1 in fiscal 2013, $45 in fiscal 2014, $85 in fiscal 2015, $216 in fiscal 2016, and $260 every year after that until 2040. 
The 104.5 million debt exclusion was the biggest obstacle for supporters of a new Franklin High School to overcome. 
Now, town officials will finish creating contract documents, with Mercer saying he hopes to put the project out to bid by the end of July. 
If everything stays on track, construction will break ground on the current high school sports fields this October, with students moving into a new school by the fall of 2014.

FHS_View_D


Read more: http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x140148815/Voters-overwhelmingly-back-new-Franklin-High-School-project#ixzz1qOzMP2OI


The full set of results from the election can be found here
http://www.franklinmatters.org/2012/03/franklin-ma-debt-exclusion-precinct.html


In the News - marathoner, softball, many voting


Franklin woman running to celebrate life



Franklin Lady Panthers softball clinic set for March 31



Many voting on Franklin override

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Vote - March 27


No matter what your position is on the debt exclusion for the proposed New High School, whether you are against:

Franklin, MA: No











or whether you are for the proposal, your vote counts!

Franklin, MA: Yes

Mark the calendar to get out an vote Tuesday, March 27th. The polls open at 6:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM. All voting will take place at Franklin High School.

Absentee ballots are available at the Town Clerks office if you will be out of town on that day, you can still vote.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

"residents traditionally support debt exclusions for schools"


“Many times, the debt exclusions have passed because there’s been a definite need,” Town Clerk Deborah Pellegri said. Pellegri has been running elections for 27 years. 
“(Residents) look at the value of it, to see how much it’s needed, and they vote on that.” 
In fact, residents voted down the Keller Sullivan school complex twice, one vote pushing the price down, from $27 million to $25.5 million. 
Resident Mary Brennan said she’s against spending money on a new school, and wants the current one renovated instead. 
“This has nothing to do with the education of our children. Most of our founding fathers were self-educated. You do not need this building to educate anyone,” Brennan said.

Read more: http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x1785608251/Franklin-to-vote-on-104M-debt-exclusion-override-for-new-high-school#ixzz1o9JYBREY

For additional information on the new high school project, here is the collection
http://www.franklinmatters.org/2011/12/collection-high-school-building-project.html

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"nothing less than historic"



"Now is the right time," Finance Committee Chairman James Roche said. "Now the costs are lower and the payback doesn't start until four years down." 
Officials last night contended that because the models have been thoroughly vetted by state and independent contractors and are meant to be complete plans, the chance of additional costs, above the town contribution of $47 million, is negligible. 
"The way I look at it is, if I was going to re-do my house and I only had to pay for 40 percent of it, and someone else was going to pay for 60, I don't think there are too many people in here who wouldn't take that," Town Councilor Robert Dellorco said.

Read more: http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x1368171321/Town-Council-approves-Franklin-to-vote-on-new-school-in-March#ixzz1lDhDemWn

Related posts:

Live reporting from the Town Council meeting on the School Building Committee presentation

http://www.franklinmatters.org/2012/02/live-reporting-school-building.html

the Q&A that followed the presentation

http://www.franklinmatters.org/2012/02/live-reporting-school-building_01.html

The high school project collection is found here

http://www.franklinmatters.org/2011/12/collection-high-school-building-project.html



Sunday, January 29, 2012

Proposed Ballot Question for Debt Exclusion

The proposed ballot question language.

Resolution 12 - 07
Shall the Town of Franklin be allowed to exempt from the provisions of Proposition two-and-one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay for the bonds issued in order to construct a new high school, to be located at 218 Oak Street, and for the payment of all other costs incidental and related thereto?

Compared to the language of the ballot questions for the prior debt exclusions:

Oct 10, 2000

Shall the Town of Franklin be allowed to exempt from the provision of proposition two and one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay the principal and interest on the bonds to be issued in order to finance the construction and equipping of renovation and an addition to the Horace Mann School, in the principal amount not to exceed $29,900,000, a portion of which may be reimbursed to the Town through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education.

Nov 2, 1999
Shall the Town of Franklin be allowed to exempt from the provision of proposition two and one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay the principal and interest on the bonds to be issued in order to finance the construction and original equipping of a new combination elementary/middle school, the total cost of which is estimated by the School Building Committee to be $25,500,000 excluding land acquisition costs.

June 20, 1998
Shall the sum of $26,700,000 be appropriated for the construction and original equipping of a new school, which appropriation is in addition to the $300,000 appropriated for the planning costs related to the project by Resolution No. 98-25R and which appropriation bring the total amount appropriated for the project to $27,000,000; and, to meet this additional appropriation shall the Treasurer-Collector with the approval of the Town Administrator be authorized to borrow $26,700,000 in addition to the $300,000 authorized under resolution No. 98-25R, under G.L. c.44, sec 7 and or Chapter 645 of the Acts of 1945 as amended, provided, however, that no debt, except for up to an aggregate of $1,205,000 for planning and other preliminary expenses, may be incurred under this appropriation and Resolution No. 98-25R for the project until the State Department of Education has included the Town's application for a State School Construction grant for the project on its list of completed project applications, showing the priority assigned?

May 2, 1998
Shall the Town of Franklin be allowed to exempt from the provision of proposition two and one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay the principal and interest on the bonds to be issued in order to finance the construction and original equipping of a new school, in the principal amount  of $27,000,000, 60% of the eligible cost of which may be reimbursed to the Town through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education?

March 14, 1998
Shall the Town of Franklin be allowed to exempt from the provision of proposition two and one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay the principal and interest on the bonds to be issued in order to finance the construction and original equipping of a new school , in the principal amount  of $49,000,000, a portion of which may be reimbursed to the Town through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education?.

April 4, 1995
Shall the Town of Franklin be allowed to exempt from the provision of proposition two and one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay the principal and interest on bonds, in the principal amount of $2,000,000, in order to finance the acquisition of land, or interests in land, for any purpose for which a city or town is or may hereafter be authorized to acquire land or interest therein, including but not limited to open space, public parks, or playgrounds, municipal outdoor recreational and athletic facilities, or school or municipal facilities?

Jan 31, 1995
Q1 - Shall the vote of the Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical School District Committee passed on December 23, 1994 authorizing the incurring of debt in the amount of $2,362,364 for the purposes of financing costs of reconstructing, remodeling, making extraordinary repairs and equipping the Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School, including costs of design service consultants to prepare studies, final architectural and engineering plans, bid specifications and contractual documents and cost estimates including costs incidental and related thereto pursuant to chapter 71 of the General Laws, as amended, be approved?

Jan 31, 1995
Q2 - Shall the Town of Franklin be allowed to exempt from the provision of proposition two and one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to finance the construction and remodeling, making extraordinary repairs and equipping the Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School, including cost of design service consultants to prepare studies, final architectural and engineering plans, bid specifications and contractual documents and cost estimates including costs incidental and related thereto?

Feb 12, 1994
Shall the Town of Franklin be allowed to exempt from the provision of proposition two and one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds, issued in order to finance the construction and equipping of a new school in the principal amount of $18,500,000, a portion of which may be reimbursed to the Town through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education?

June 16, 1992
Shall the Town of Franklin be allowed to exempt from the provision of proposition two and one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to replace the high school roof in the amount of $1,290,000, a portion of which may be reimbursed to the Town through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education?


The full details for these debt exclusions and the override votes can be found here
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkwjbnXDBhczdDVWaFU0N2ZsTEE2TUVuWHk5NURvQWc&hl=en_US#gid=0

This listing was compiled from both the official State records and official Town Clerk records. Those sources take precedence over this listing.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Franklin, MA: Override - Debt Exclusion History

I have worked with the Franklin Town Clerk, Debbie Pellegri, to compile a comprehensive listing of all the debt exclusion and operational override votes that Franklin has had the opportunity to vote on over the years. 

The complete listing is available for your review here: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AkwjbnXDBhczdHp1bjBJSF9sOVY1ZXlERmFPNHkxZnc&hl=en


A summary of the override and debt exclusion votes looks like this




Override







Count of Ballot Question(s)


Date Failed Passed Total
26-Jun-90 1
1





11-Jun-96 1
1
23-Apr-02 1
1
22-Oct-02 1
1
22-May-07
1 1
10-Jun-08 1
1
Total 5 1 6






Debt Exclusion







Count of Ballot Question(s)


Date Failed Passed Total
2-Apr-91 9
9
16-Jun-92
1 1
12-Feb-94
1 1
31-Jan-95
2 2
4-Apr-95 1
1
14-Mar-98 1
1
22-May-98
1 1
20-Jun-98 1
1
2-Nov-99
1 1
10-Oct-00
1 1
Total 12 7 19






Override







Percent Reg Voters who voted


Date Failed Passed

26-Jun-90 45.1%







11-Jun-96 56.4%


23-Apr-02 32.9%


22-Oct-02 24.6%


22-May-07
47.2%

10-Jun-08 40.3%








Debt Exclusion







Percent Reg Voters who voted


Date Failed Passed

2-Apr-91 34.3%


16-Jun-92
15.1%

12-Feb-94
40.8%

31-Jan-95
4.2%

4-Apr-95 30.0%


14-Mar-98 35.1%


22-May-98
52.7%

20-Jun-98 51.0%


2-Nov-99
37.4%

10-Oct-00
23.7%








Note: The second sheet with the added columns per the comment discussion below can be found here:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AkwjbnXDBhczdDVWaFU0N2ZsTEE2TUVuWHk5NURvQWc&hl=en


Note: the category for 5 the 1991 ballot questions was changed from "override" to 'debt exclusion' based upon discussion with Treasurer/Collector Jim Dacey.  5/12/10

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Fiscal 2010 is predicted to be even more challenging"

GHS
Posted Jun 14, 2008 @ 11:47 PM

Is a teetering economy the place to hold the line on property taxes and leave room for rising gas and grocery bills, or to chip in a little more to hang onto teachers and strained municipal services?

Local voters seem split down the middle on the answer.

Out of 15 Proposition 2 1/2 override requests put before MetroWest and Milford-area residents this year, eight have failed and seven have passed.

However, three of those successes were debt exclusion overrides, which only raise taxes temporarily to pay for a specific project. Operational overrides, which made up all the other requests, permanently increase the amount of taxes a town or city can collect.

Statewide, the rate of override approvals is roughly similar, said John Robertson, deputy legislative director for the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

"About half of the communities that go out win at least one of their (ballot) questions," and that trend has remained roughly steady since fiscal 2006, he said last week.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here