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Minutes of Town Board Meetings

Minutes of May 2, 2006

May 2nd, 2006

Carroll Budget Committee
Minutes of May 2, 2006

Meeting was called to order at 6:35 p.m. by the Chair. In attendance: Linda Dowling, Tom Gately, Karen Moran, Bonnie Moroney, Carmine Fabrizio, Ken Mills, Pam Walsh

Infrastructure task force (ITF) letters were sent to Bill Dowling, John Goodney, Claire Gritzer, Jeff Duncan, Art Savona, Billy Rines, George Brodeur, Sue Mcqueeney. Bill, John, Art, Clair were present. George and Sue declined, Jeff willing to be an alternate. Chair read the article approving the ITF, stated the Budget Committee is interested in roads, water and present building needs (not proposed safety complex). Summarize the potential capital needs and prioritize those. Claire asked about the master plan and was told to address questions to Evan Karpf. The update in process to the master plan should be presented to the town for approval.

Art Savona spoke regarding the selectmen’s meeting of 5/1/06 and the apparent moving of money by A. Strasser should be reviewed. Department heads are responsible for specific line items. He spoke of pitting money concerns against safety concerns, and the division in attitude of Bretton Woods because of personal agendas. Maintain the focus on the whole town of Carroll.

John Goodney inquired what the ITF is to do, and was told to focus on prioritizing what capital improvements need to be done in what timeframe. A request for chalk was also made.

Claire Gritzer would like ongoing input from the Budget Committee. Linda said the ITF report was not due until November. Tom Gately and Karen Moran indicated that the free-flow of communication is important. ITF was invited to any Budget Committee meeting for questions, updates, etc. Linda provided a sample of the timeline and priority worksheet being used by the Building Committee (Exhibit 1).

Linda indicated that each department should have a long term plan, such as that in place for the ongoing replacement of police cruisers and fire trucks/ambulances. Karen noted that capital plans for replacing roads and water are more long range than 3-5 years. Art indicated that the ITF will have to talk with all department heads to understand what needs to be done. Discussion ensued about establishing Capital Reserve Funds.

Karen made motion to accept the minutes of the 4/4/06 meeting, Tom seconded, all in favor.
Linda reviewed a memo sent by her to the Board of Selectmen regarding a $60,000 shortfall (Exhibit 2). Bonnie asked Al Strasser to address the rumor, and provided a 2 page memo from him. (Exhibit 2a). Said memo to be discussed at the June 2006 meeting.

Karen addressed the memo sent by the Chair to the Selectmen regarding road closures, which resulted in the re-opening of the dead-ended Fieldstone Lane. (Exhibit 3) Karen reminded Chair that the statutory reference used was incorrect, with 42 additional parts of RSA 231 prior to the section referenced. Karen inquired why, after communicating with Chair and members that the town had complied with RSA 231:8, had public discussions, and had the matter reviewed by town counsel, the Chair did not correct the memo. Chair said she meant to address the request by John Foster regarding the abandonment of Riverside Drive, and had not meant anything for Fieldstone Lane. Karen reminded all that the Budget Committee is not the elected body of the town, nor the legal overseer of the town, and that lack of clarity, and misinformation detailed in the memo has caused a safety liability issue, which was the original reason to dead-end Fieldstone Lane in 2003 was petitioned. Karen expressed concern that the Chair did not write the memo to address her concern about Riverside Drive, rather, spoke of an unrelated road, and that the corrected information was not provided to the Select Board. Karen again reminded the Committee that we are not attorneys for the town and do not have reason to write such memos.

Discussion regarding the Insurance Services Office (ISO) review of the mileage from the fire station to Bretton Woods. With the abrupt reopening of Fieldstone Lane, (based on Exhibit 3) the distance is shortened by 300’. Discussion ensued about the ISO potentially stating that such distance will not matter in rate setting by insurance companies.

Discussion ensued regarding the cash-flow shortfall, where the town cash is or has been spent. The payment to WMRHS of $428,000 was discussed, with questions of where the collected school revenue is vs. how much has been paid and why we are paying late and incurring penalties.

Discussion turned to cash in general. Committee is unsure of how many bank accounts (checking-savings-any other) exist, how often they are reconciled to the general ledger sub-accounts which should exist for every cash source. Bonnie provided reconciliations from Karen Horsch, Treasurer, for month end 3/31/06. (Exhibit 4) Discussion ensued about the need for actual bank statements and general ledger account balances, as the reconciliations are not supported with source documents. General Fund, Fire Department and Ambulance Apparatus Fund, Water Department Enterprise Fund, and the Recycling Center Fund were part of the monthly summary of balances. Because we do not have the general ledger balance sheet, Committee could not compare the reconciliations to the financial records of the town.

Exhibit 5, Article 15 expenses for the years 2003- 2005, was presented. Karen asked in what line item the expenses were posted. Discussion ensued about the reason for the review, and lack of source documents and full audit of expenses. Discussion continued about the tax rates per town, and Carroll’s is the lowest. Per pupil cost not relevant to calculation. Tom made motion to table review of the expenses, Karen seconded, all in favor.

Discussion about Karen Carew, CPA in town office for accounting through present and staff training. Lack of accurate balance sheet information is ongoing. Karen asked in what account the expenses to pay the CPA are being booked, and it appears they are posting to the Deputy Town Clerk 01-4130-10-137 line item.

By-laws were discussed with no changes recommended.

Chair informed the Committee that $200 has been paid to Notchnet for minutes to be posted on the town’s website. Line item on budget worksheet is 01-4150-10-113, Budget Committee Clerk Salary.

Ken stated that Bonnie be reimbursed for seminar expenses and mileage incurred to attend seminars for Select Board training. Karen made motion that Bonnie be reimbursed, Carmine seconded, all in favor. Committee indicated that Town Officers Expenses, line item 01-4150-10-800 should be debited for the reimbursement.

Discussion ensued about the need for annual audits regardless of where records are maintained.

Department of Labor payroll audit and $1,500 fine, request for waiver made by A. Strasser discussed. Policies and procedures and items to address (22) with progress reports and timelines for completion required by 6/1/06. Discussion ensued about faulty wiring at the town hall.

Regarding the $900 storage container for 20oz plastic bottles, cost will be saved in less than 2 years, not amortized as in Select Board minutes.

Pitney Bowes postage machine lease signed for 5 years beginning in June, $92 per month, or $1,104 per year-solid line item expense.

Regarding the review schedule for expense items, it was determined that those department heads responsible for the revenue accounts should also be asked to explain those specific line items, so that the Committee can be educated about the revenue accounts.

Discussion ensued about employee insurance increases. Contribution increased from 15% to 20% based on increased rates and decision of Selectmen. Committee was not provided with the letter signed by selectmen, so line item was not increased. This could have occurred up to and including the Deliberative Session, but because the information was not provided, the line item was not changed, basically negating the salary increase approved at town meeting. Ken motioned to have correspondence regarding money which comes into the town be copied to Budget Committee. Karen seconded, all in favor.

Bonnie will ask town office staff to review the bank statements and recons and make copies available for the Committee.

Next meeting will be held at the town hall on Tuesday June 6, 2006 at 6:30p.m.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30.

Respectfully submitted:
Karen Moran, Secretary