Chichester Board of Selectmen
November 18, 2008
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman DeBold, Selectman MacCleery, Selectman Jordan and Administrator Lisa Stevens. Others present: Budget Committee members; Lisa Drouse, Bruce Dyke, Lucille Noel, Norm Larochelle, Jason Weir, John Martell and Scott Martson
Chairman DeBold opened the meeting at 7:00pm.
The evening began with an opening statement from Chairman DeBold stressing the importance of focusing on the fact that the town portion of the tax rate ( as exemplified in his pie chart handout) represents $.20 for every dollar and doesnít want the group to balance the budget on the backs of the town budget.
Norm asked the general question as to why the same amount of time and energy is not spent on the school budget. Jason responded that he has gone to the School Board offering oversight from the Budget Committee and the School Board was not interested. Jason asked what COLA increase was settled upon by the Board. The Board has not had any further discussions on this since sending the directive to the departments of a 3.5% increase.
Chairman DeBold discussed the list of questions on the budget forwarded to the group via e-mail and suggested that in his opinion the committee should have met as a group prior to consolidate their questions and then send them out to the various departments. Lisa Drouse apologized if any offense was taken to her list questions, she stated the email was not meant to be derogatory but rather a tool to streamline the process, these questions came up during her review of the budget packet and she needed clarification before making a decision on dollar amounts. This sparked a brief discussion on the use of the new Budget Justification Form.
Town Clerk/Tax Collector
Present: Evelyn Pike
The group increased line #4150-46; Liens/Deeds/Mortgage Fees, from $3000 to $3600.
Present: Carolee Davison, Lisa Prizio, Ina Hilliard
The group discussed the trusteeís proposal to increase the hours worked by the librarian thus triggering qualification of benefits. The trusteeís are also proposing a warrant article to renovation the bathroom in the library and install a water softener system. This project is not reflected in the updated Capital Improvement Plan because the cost is under the $10,000 threshold. Funding for this renovation will come from the withdrawal of Capital Reserve money.
Present: Carolee Davison
The group discussed the new line proposed for mileage reimbursement due to making the weekly bank deposits.
November 18, 2008
Present: Richard Pratt & Elizabeth Collins
The budgets for general expenses and the costs associated with the Community Building were discussed.
The committee members proposed an updated fee schedule for use of the building be worked on to offset energy and cleaning costs.
Present: Gil Vien & Joanna McIntosh
A general discussion on types of costs and repairs for each cemetery maintained took place. It was suggested to realign the numbers to more accurately reflect the actual expenses to each cemetery. The realignment recommended was ñ
Leavitt - $5600
All others $3300
Present: Bob Mann
Mr. Mann presented a flat line budget. No major projects are planned for 2009.
Present: In the absence of the PB Chairman, Ex-Officio DeBold reviewed the budget proposal.
More explanation is needed to justify the increase of $500 in line #4191-15; Professional Fees.
Zoning Board of Adjustment
The group felt it prudent to leave line #4191-20; ZBA Expenses, at the current rate of $500.00 until a more detailed review of actual expenses determines which ones are strictly fee based.
Present: Richard DeBold
The budget represents a slight reduction from 2008. The commission has submitted a warrant article for $25,000, to include field surveys, engineering and design necessary to develop plans for the addition of new recreational facilities at Carpenter Park, as identified in the Town Recreational Master Plan and the CIP.
The topic of COLA increases for employees was once again mentioned. The consensus of the group was not to increase them further. Jason offered to review the Wages, Salary & Benefit Survey Book to ensure that no department or position was falling out of line compared with similar towns our size and the surrounding towns most apt to lure employees away. The group has worked diligently in the past to bring all position up to a fair and competitive wage.
November 18, 2008
Bruce mentioned that the police cruiser now placed in the operating budget should not be a factor in the computation of trying to flat line the police budget. The Chief was commended for preparing the budget as directed however the group was not in favor of reducing services to account for the added increase of a replacement cruiser and did not believe the budget as submitted was feasible. The group agreed and the Administrator was directed to speak to the Police Chief about the following recommendations ñ re-submit
a budget proposal- try to flat line; keep the midnight car-try not to cut services.
The Budget Committee left the meeting at 10:00pm.
GENERAL BUSINESS/BOARD DISCUSSION:
Concern was raised regarding work performed for the highway department by an outside contractor. The majority of the Board was of the opinion the Road Agent had been told not to spend any unnecessary money that all work was to be done in-house due to the state of the budget. Lisa was directed to review the memo sent to the Road Agent and any corresponding minutes that discussed this issue. The Board will clarify with the Road Agent at next weeks department head meeting.
The Board received a bid in the amount of $1600 for Forestry III. The Board had previously accepted a bid from Craigís List that turned out to be invalid. Motion Selectman Jordan with a second by Selectman MacCleery to accept the bid from Paul Sanborn in the amount of $1600, for Forestry III, sold ëas is, where isí. All insignias are to be removed before transferring the property. All were in favor, motion passes.
Selectman MacCleery informed the Board members of a request he received from Jaan Luikmil, on behalf of the Old Home Day Committee. The OHD would like to place a holiday tree at Carpenter Park. The Board approved this request. Selectman MacCleery will notify Mr. Luikmil.
The Board discussed the letter received from the Department of Revenue informing the Board of inconsistencies noted with the recent update work on property assessments. Lisa was directed to contact Purvis & Associates and schedule a meeting to discuss this matter.
An employee has asked for clarification regarding the holiday benefits listed in the Personnel Manual. The Board reviewed and discussed their interpretation and agreed there was ambiguity in the way it was written. The Board approved payment of the July 4th holiday to the employee. Going forward the policy will be amended to add specificity removing doubt as to its intention of holidays awarded.
Again the Board discussed the Building Inspection position and Lisa updated the Board on her findings relative to fees charged by other towns that also have impact fees. No decision was made this evening.
Mail and correspondence were reviewed. Accounts payable and payroll were signed. Being no further business, Chairman DeBold adjourned the meeting at 11:15pm.
Lisa Stevens Approved As Corrected
______________________ _______________________ _______________________
Richard DeBold, Chairman Stephen MacCleery Jeffrey Jordan