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Minutes of Town Board Meetings

Minutes of 12/28/2011

December 30th, 2011

CARROLL BUDGET COMMITTEE
MINUTES OF December 28, 2011

These minutes should be reviewed in conjunction with the subsequent meeting minutes, at which a review is conducted and any approved amendments recorded.

Members in attendance: Chair Sue Kraabel, Secretary Karen Moran, Joan Karpf, Dan Walker, Mark Catalano Select Board Representative, Vice Chair Linda Dowling. Bill Vecchio was excused due to illness.

Chair called the meeting to order at 7:05.

Minutes of December 22, 2011
Chair suggested adding a clarification to page five, section discussing the Chamber of Commerce, last sentence: There was no change made to the amount for 2012, as was approved by the Budget Committee on December 7, 2011.

Chair noted within the Police line item breakdown that account 01-4210.10-208, noted as Time Warner $700 should be 01-4210.10-209 and the Grafton Dispatch should be listed as 01-4210.10-208 with an approved amount of $800.

Joan motioned to accept the 12/22 minutes as amended, Linda seconded, all were in favor.

Chair noted that the Comstar expense listed in line 01-4150.10-808, which was the 20% general fund portion, should be reduced to $1. The Ambulance account 02-4150.10-808 approved for 2012 by the Budget Committee for $7,300 represents 100% of the anticipated expense. After brief discussion, Karen motioned to reduce line 01-4150.10-808 to $1, Joan seconded, all were in favor.

Regarding General Fund Revenue budget for 2012:
01-3120.01 Current Use Change Penalty $1,000 estimated based on actual to date
01-3185.01 Timber Tax $1,000 estimated based on actual to date and poor logging weather conditions
01-3185.05 Excavation Tax $0 based on actual to date
01-3186.10 Payments in Lieu of Taxes $60,000 based on prior budget and actual to date
01-3190.01 Interest on Property Tax $30,000 based on prior budget and actual to date
01-3190.02 Interest & Cost on Redemptions $0 based on prior budget and actual to date
01-3190.03 Yield Tax Interest $0 based on prior budget and actual to date
01-3210.10 UCC Filings and Certificates $0 based on prior budget and actual to date
01-3220.10 Motor Vehicle Tax $165,000 based on prior budget and actual to date
01-3220.11 Motor Vehicle titles $500 based on actual to date
01-3220.12 Motor Vehicle Agent Fees $2,300 based on actual to date
01-3230.02 Planning Board Fees $2,000 based on reimbursable expenses within PB budget
01-3230.03 Zoning Board Fees $251 based on reimbursable expenses within ZBA budget
01-3290.08 Cable Franchise Fee $12,500 based on actual to date
01-3290.10 Dog Licenses $400 based on actual to date
01-3290.30 Marriage Licenses $75 based on actual to date
01-3290.50 Vital Statistics $45 based on actual to date
01.3290.60 Third Party Review $1,000 based on reimbursable expenses in Property Inspections budget
01-3290.70 Building Inspections $0 based on actual to date
01-3351.30 Rooms & Meals Tax $30,000 based on actual to date of $35,232 and expectation that state may reduce the distributed amounts in coming year(s)
01-3353.10 Highway Block Grant $25,000 based on actual to date
01-3359.30 Rail Fund $2,000 based on prior budget and unknown formula used by state to provide this revenue
01-3401.10 Police Revenue $1,000 conservatively based on prior budget figure. Actual to date reflects insurance proceeds from accident that totaled the Tahoe and much of the equipment in it.
01-3401.20 Fire Revenue $1,000 based on average of prior two year’s actual period to date figures and prior budget
01-3401.30 Highway Revenue $0. Actual to date reflects insurance proceeds received from the collapsed salt shed
01-3409.07 Ambulance Billing $0 based on passage of warrant article relative to reallocation of ambulance revenue
01-3502.01 Interest on Investments $1,000 based on actual to date
01-3509.10 Other Miscellaneous Revenue $5,000 based on actual to date
01-3509.12 Town Clerk Miscellaneous Revenue $100 based on prior period to date actual
Karen motioned to approve the above revenue budgets, Linda seconded, all were in favor.

Warrant Article Review:
1. Regarding the $8,736 from the Landfill Closure CRF, Dan motioned to approve, Joan seconded, all in favor.
2. Regarding the $1,500 Household Hazardous Waste, after brief discussion, Dan motioned to approve, Joan seconded, all were in favor.
3. Regarding the $1,000 for maintaining the old landfill, Dan motioned to approve, Joan seconded, all were in favor.
4. Regarding the $20,000 for tipping of bulky waste, $ from the Recycling Equipment SRF, Dan motioned to approve, Joan seconded, all were in favor.
5. Regarding the authorization for the Carroll Conservation Commission to retain unexpended portion of the 2012 budget, Dan motioned to approve, Joan seconded, all were in favor.
6. Regarding the purchase of a new dump truck $78,880 from the Highway CRF, after a brief discussion of what to do with the old truck (run until falls apart), Dan motioned to approve, Joan seconded, all were in favor.
7. Regarding the $11,000 for Property Inspector salary, to come from the Planning SRF, Karen motioned to approve, Joan seconded, all were in favor.
8. Regarding $31,000 for a new salt shed, with $17,545 to come from the New Land and Buildings Capital Reserve fund and the remaining from unreserved which is where the insurance proceeds are. Question arose regarding the previous shed cost (estimated at $23,000), but new one is different, stronger construction with stronger guarantees. Karen motioned to approve, Dan seconded, all were in favor.
9. Regarding $9,500 transfer of water revenue into the Water Dept CRF, after brief discussion, Joan motioned to approve, Dan seconded, all were in favor.
10. Regarding the Community Resources warrant articles (as noted on the handout provided to the Committee on 12/22/2011), inclusive of the so-called “feel good” articles, discussion took place regarding the need for the organizations to provide information to the town overall so that people who may want or need to use the services, know what is available. Suggestion was made to put the letters from the organizations, requesting the donations from the town, on the bulletin board and/or website so that everybody knows what the town is being asked to support and why. Linda motioned to approve articles 15-25, Dan seconded, all were in favor.
11. Regarding the revised article relative to the New Straw Road $189,996 and discussion of when the bank CD would be available to use (June 2012), Joan motioned to approve the article as re-written, Karen seconded, all were in favor.

There were five warrant articles provided by Mark, relating to the Fire/Ambulance:
Listed as #5
Regarding reallocation of the ambulance revenues from the 80/20 split to 100% to the SRF, lengthy discussion took place regarding the positive impact having the ambulance revenues used for operational costs and future apparatus purchases. Negative impact of not using the SRF in the 2012 year to offset same, despite the general fund losing the 20% revenue (and expense which was less than revenue). Joan noted she considered it an injustice to reduce the revenue without offsetting the expense. Mark suggested he could circulate an email asking the other Selectboard members if they would consider using some of the SRF in 2012 rather than waiting until 2013. Linda suggested that when a SRF is established, the town typically has to wait a year to fund it, but this is a unique situation in that the funds exist, the town is simply changing the structure of the CRF/SRF mix. Mark noted that the Selectboard and fire chief have had many conversations about how to best provide a clear and open picture of how the department can function to the advantage of the taxpayers, and cautioned that too many drastic changes in one year might undermine the advances made so far. He is hopeful that the town will approve the articles and we will have a year’s worth of accounting history to be able to put forth a Special Revenue Fund warrant article to cover ambulance costs in 2013. Joan understood the conversation, restated her concern of the revaluation and the potential impact on taxpayers. Mark noted that the Selectboard cannot reasonably ignore the fact that people’s lives are impacted by the decisions that are made. Joan noted that the fire truck lease/purchase financing was an excellent example of how to use the CRF and operational budgets. She stated that she focuses like triage, in that she understands all that was said, but is focused on the next tax rate setting session in late 2012. Mark noted accounting has been established to document and have a basis for reviewing the ambulance costs, and he has to look out a number of years. He also stated that his focus has to be on the bigger picture of what impacts the town property tax bills, with the clear focus on the school portion of the tax rate. Chair agreed, and said this has been discussed since the Committee first met in April. Discussion then took place regarding the culture of years gone by when apparatus and equipment were difficult to get and maintain, mistrust among a variety of interested parties, Fire Dept/Ambulance feeling of lack of support from the town, etc. Dan noted, that as a former member of the Fire Dept here and in another town, the members are basically volunteers, and they should not feel as though they have to generate their own revenue. Chair suggested that Mark not circulate the email wondering about using the SRF this year, as there have been several adjustments made to the Fire/Ambulance in one year.
Chair ended the discussion and asked if there was a motion on the table. Karen motioned to approve the article altering the ambulance SRF split from 80/20 to 100%, Dan seconded. Mark, Dan, Karen, Sue voted yes, Joan and Linda voted no.

Regarding #7 closing the Emergency Van CRF and Fire Equipment CRF and placing said funds in the general fund, Dan motioned, Karen seconded. Mark, Dan, Karen, Sue voted yes, Joan and Linda voted no.

Regarding #8, the establishment of a new CRF in the amount of $25,000, Dan motioned, Karen seconded. Mark, Dan, Karen, Sue voted yes, Joan and Linda voted no.

Regarding a “Proposed New Article” which places the resulting $106,000 CRF after deposited in the general fund in #7, establishing the new CRF per #8, and paying the final lease payment for the fire truck in the amount of $65,000 per warrant article approved in 2008, into the SRF Dan motioned, Karen seconded. Mark, Dan, Karen, Sue voted yes, Joan and Linda voted no.

After review of the warrant articles, the revenue budget lines in which the funds would be placed were reviewed as follows:
01-3912.10 Special Revenue Fund $31,000 represents the total of warrant articles for $20,000 disposal fee of bulky waste, to be funded from the Recycling Equipment Special Revenue Fund and $11,000 for the Property Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer salary, to be funded from the Planning Special Revenue Fund

01-3916.10 Transfers from Trust Funds-this line means the money voted and approved to pay for warrant articles funded from Capital Reserve Funds. The money is moved out of the CRF into the General Fund from which the checks are literally drawn. The amount budgeted for 2012 is $409,025 offsetting the warrant articles which sum to the same amount. Specifically:
$8,736 for groundwater monitoring at the old landfill-$ from Landfill Closure Trust Fund
$1,000 for maintenance of the old landfill-$ from Landfill Closure Capital Reserve Fund
$78,880 for highway truck $ money from Highway Capital Reserve Fund
$17,545 for new salt shed, with $13,455 from unreserved fund balance where the insurance proceeds are held. The $17,545 will come from the New Land and Buildings Capital Reserve fund
$107,044 reclamation of New Straw Rd $ from Major Road Improvements Capital Reserve Fund and the remaining will come from tax for total cost of $189,996
$196,000 will come into the general fund from the closing of the Fire Equip CRF and Emergency Van CRF
Which will then be offset with the final lease payment (approved per warrant article 2008 $65,000) and the establishment of a new CRF Emergency Vehicle Maintenance Capital Reserve Fund in the amount of $25k with the rest appropriated to the SRF which will be used in future to offset operational costs and apparatus purchases.

Discussion took place regarding the format of information for the public hearing Wednesday January 4. The Budget Worksheets are what people are used to seeing, if the Budget Committee figures could be included, that would be preferable. Chair asked if the Excel spreadsheet could be consolidated to show department totals, Karen said yes. About 20 handouts, in addition to the 7 for the committee, should be available.

Mark noted the Selectboard is meeting on Tuesday January 3 to review and finalize the warrant articles.

Linda’s ride arrived and she left the meeting at 10:20pm.

Sue suggested for the 2012/2013 budget process, the Selectboard should try to have information to the budget committee sooner.

Discussion took place regarding the public input at the public hearing, and if a change would be considered if information materially altering the budget committee’s understanding and/or assumptions was provided. While the committee has worked to provide a budget to the town, reflecting efforts to maintain services at the lowest cost to taxpayers, material information would be considered if provided.

Discussion took place regarding Greg Hogan being asked to come to the January 11 hearing to explain the New Straw Road reclamation process and savings involved.

Joan noted that the budget process should include capital plans in addition to the financial aspect, Mark reiterated the outlook beyond one year. Karen noted financial planning has to be ongoing and all encompassing.

Joan provided a handout of key words and phrases relative to mission statements, policies, and philosophies. Karen thanked her and noted using a couple of the phrases in conjunction with each other would be a concise way to explain the committee’s efforts.

With nothing further, Karen motioned to adjourn at 10:35, Joan seconded, all in favor.

The next meeting of the Carroll Budget Committee will be the noticed Public Hearing on January 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm.


Respectfully submitted:
/s/ Karen Moran, Secretary