Suncook Valley Regional Town Association
Meeting Date: April 25, 2012
Minutes Prepared By: Bruce Dyke
In Attendance: Jim Barnard - Town of Pittsfield – Selectman
Betsy Bosiak – Town of Epsom - Selectman
Bruce Dyke – Chichester Town Organization Committee
Nancy Tanner– Town of Chichester – Town Administrator
David Kerr – Town of Barnstead – Selectman
Mike Paveglio – Town of Chichester – Selectman
Gordon Preston – Town of Pittsfield – Resident Rep.
Sandra McKenney – Town of Allenstown – Selectman
Location: Allenstown Police Dept.
Minutes Approved: TBA
1. The meeting was called to order at 7:05pm by Bruce Dyke
2. The draft minutes of the November 16, 2011 meeting were reviewed and comments/changes were solicited. A motion was made by David Kerr to accept the minutes as presented and seconded by Sandra McKenney. The minutes were approved without further discussion by a vote of five “for” and three abstentions.
3. The group discussion options specific to the upcoming expiration of the Health Insurance Cooperative Agreement that is now completing its second, two-year contract. Since the group has seen value in the arrangement to this date, it’s believed the respective Boards of Selectmen would support a similar, on-going arrangement. With that in mind, Bruce indicated that he had spoken to Melcher & Prescott about conducting another analysis of current benefit plans and quoting the plans to different carriers. Melcher & Prescott is interested in doing the analysis again for the SVRTA and has indicated the price of $5,000 would remain the same as before.
It was suggested that one or more Town Admins might be able to do a similar analysis, but then it was noted that due to the confidential nature of the information involved, it would probably be easiest to engage a broker for the project. Those present at the meeting felt there was good support for the analysis project and would present the issue at their next respective BoS meeting.
Bruce explained that the last time this process took place, each town split the $5,000 cost based on the number of employees eligible to receive benefits. It was agreed that each town interested in participating would send Bruce the number of eligible employees and he in turn would advise each town of their expected share of the project cost for review/approval by their BoS.
Once approved, Bruce will advise the Local Government Center of the project and coordinate getting letters of authorization to LGC so each town’s employee insurance data could be shared with Melcher and Prescott.
The timing of this project is critical. The analysis ideally should be completed no later than the second half of June in order for the SVRTA to determine if they want to continue with LGC’s plan or possibly pursue another option (LGC requires a commitment by late July).
4. Gordon Preston and Jim Barnard indicated that towns such as Gilmanton or New Durham may be interested in joining the SVRTA and may be especially interested in participating in the group insurance cooperative agreement. They were going to contact each of those towns to determine if a serious interest still exists, understanding that they must join the group quickly given the previously mentioned time constraints. As part of that discussion, Betsy Bosiak asked if prior efforts to expand the group had been made and the group described the general goal of keeping the group comprised of towns that are regionally contiguous and with similar demographics.
5. The group discussed the possibility of pursuing group discount rates for items such as heating oil and road salt for next winter. However, it seems that most towns have actually already purchased their salt for next year (and had a lot left over from our mild winter). In addition, the group felt it would be best to wait before pursuing a potential heating oil agreement, in order to see how the market plays out over the next few months.
6. The topic of fire department turn-out gear was discussed and although there doesn’t appear to be a good option for a bulk purchase of that equipment, Mike Paveglio had suggested that towns be polled for the types of recurring purchases they make on an annual basis to see if other opportunities exist. The topic of vehicle tires was raised as a good potential for bulk purchase. Bruce will remind each town to poll their departments for any suggestions and consolidate a list for discussion at the next meeting.
7. Bruce indicated that he had been contacted by Glacial Energy who is still willing to offer a group rate contract to the SVRTA for electricity. Nancy Tanner indicated that Chichester had been contacted by another electric wholesaler and that there seemed to be some opportunity for savings. The group suggested obtaining updated annual electric rate information from each town and sending our requests for proposals to electric wholesale providers to determine how much opportunity for savings exists in this area.
8. Betsy Bosiak polled the group to determine how much emergency management/disaster related supplies each town generally maintains as that has been a topic of discussion in Epsom. Each town seems to have varying amounts of equipment and resources and it was suggested this may be an area where further analysis should be done as each town likely doesn’t need the same set of equipment and supplies.
9. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, May 17th at 7pm, at the Epsom Town Offices.
10. A motion was made to adjourn the meeting by Jim Barnard and seconded by Nancy Tanner and passed unanimously by the group. The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.