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Suncook Valley Regional Town Assn. MInutes 10/21/2010
Meeting Date:  October 21, 2010

Minutes Prepared By:  Bruce Dyke

In Attendance:

Jim Barnard – Town of Barnstead – Selectman
Bruce Dyke – Chichester Town Organization Committee
Stephanie Gray – Town of Strafford – Selectman
David Jodoin – Town of Pembroke – Town Administrator
David Kerr – Town of Barnstead – Selectman
Gordon Preston – Town of Barnstead – SVRTA Representative
Ed Vien – Town of Pittsfield – Selectman
Robert Blodgett – Town of Epsom – Selectman
Paul Skowron – Town of Pittsfield - Town Administrator
Location:  Barnstead Town Hall
Minutes Approved: 11/1/2010

1.      The meeting was called to order at 7:00pm by Bruce Dyke

2.      The draft minutes of the July 28, 2010 meeting were reviewed and comments/changes were solicited.  A motion was made by Bob Blodgett to accept the minutes as presented and seconded by Ed Vien.  The minutes were approved without further discussion by a vote of 8 “for” and 1 abstention

3.      Bruce introduced William Bald, from Melcher & Prescott, who had been contracted by all of the SVRTA towns (except Northwood) to conduct an analysis of current employee health insurance plans among the towns against industry norms.  In addition, M&P put the renewal of our plans out to bid with four carriers.  Bill provided a presentation to the group with regard to their findings.  Since all vendor quotes had not been receieved in time for the meeting, a follow-up conference call with the group will take place over the next week to review final numbers.  However, based on initial feedback, it appears that LGC and Primex will be the most competitive bids.  

Items of particular interested that were raised during the presentation included the option to start taking advantage of “wellness programs” and safety committees being offered by LGC as well as Health Re-imbursement Accounts where are becoming a common approach to reducing healthcare premiums.

4.      The group discussed the possibility of obtaining a cooperative-based quote on property and casualty insurance for each town.  It was noted that towns don’t all share the same renewal dates, so coordination of any type of migration to a cooperative arrangement in that area would have more challenges, but could still be achieved.  Dave Jodoin offered to share a spreadsheet template for use by all towns to collect property, vehicle and liability insurance data.  Each town could complete the template with their respective data, which could serve as a starting point for potential group quoting.  Dave will forward the template to Bruce for distribution among the group.

5.      Bruce raised the issue of potential bulk quoting of road salt and sand for the group, but it was agreed that the time frame for doing that for the upcoming winter had already passed, as most towns have already either bought materials for the winter or have entered into contracts.  This issue will be addressed earlier next year in hopes of obtaining group savings for the 2011/2012 winter season.

6.      Dave Jodoin discussed Pembroke’s efforts to address on-site diesel storage rule changes that will be going into effect in a couple years.    He was going to share details regarding that with the group (he’ll forward info. to Bruce for distribution).

7.      The issue of salt storage sheds was also discussed.  Dave Jodoin indicated that Pembroke was planning to build a salt shed late this year or early next year.  Barnstead and Pittsfield also indicated they were interested in constructing a salt shed and it was suggested the towns share data in terms of quotes, etc. as it may be possible to obtain a group discount if all towns agreed to construct similar units from a single vendor.

8.      Jim Barnard indicated that Barnstead was in early discussions with the Belknap County Sheriff’s office regarding the possible outsourcing of police coverage/operations to the county, as it was believed the level of service would be increased for potentially less cost to the town.  More updates to follow in future meetings.

9.      Bruce asked the group to outline overall operating budget goals for 2011 with regarding to target budget increases (if any) and employee COLA/merit salary increases:

-       Allenstown:  Information not available.  
-       Barnstead:   Still in discussions, but will likely strive for flat budget
-       Chichester:   Target is 2% decrease in Ops budget, COLA increases TBD.
-       Epsom:   Target is flat ops budget with no COLA increase.
-       Northwood:  Information not available
-       Pembroke:   Target is flat ops budget with 2% COLA and up to 1% merit
-       Pittsfield:   Undetermined.
-       Strafford:  Target is flat ops budget and 3-5% COLA.
10. The next meeting will be held Monday, November 1, 2010 at 6:30pm.  The meeting will be conducted via conference call and the access details will be provided a few days in advance of the meeting.
11. A motion was made to adjourn the meeting by Stephanie Gray and seconded by Bob Blodgett and passed unanimously by the group.  The meeting adjourned at 8:40pm.  

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