Suncook Valley Regional Town Association
Meeting Date: March 19, 2014
Minutes Prepared By: Bruce Dyke
In Attendance: James Barnard – Town of Barnstead - Selectman
Betsy Bosiak – Town of Epsom – Selectman
Bruce Dyke - Chichester Town Organization Committee
David Jodoin – Town of Pembroke – Town Administrator
Gerard Leduc – Town of Pittsfield – Selectman
Gordon Preston – Town of Barnstead - Selectman
Kate Walker – Town of Allenstown – Selectman
Location: Town of Chichester – Grange Hall
1. The meeting was called to order at 7:05pm by Bruce Dyke
2. A motion was made by Gordon Preston to accept the minutes from the January 28, 2014 meeting as presented and was seconded by Jim Barnard. Minutes were approved with five “yes” votes and two members abstaining.
3. The group discussed the current status of the Group Health Insurance Cooperative Agreement and the most recent efforts specific to the Town of Allenstown’s Employee Benefit Study Committee. At this time, all SVRTA towns (except Northwood) have provided formal notification to Allenstown’s BoS indicating the desire to participate in provider meetings and plan quoting as part of the EBSC process. Towns must also provide authorization to Healthtrust authorizing them to release claims history and plan data specific to the SVRTA towns (collectively) for use during the quoting process. Those requests should be forwarded to Shaun Mulholland (Allenstown’s TA) who will forward all the Healthtrust as part of this effort. Three meetings with different providers have been scheduled for early April and
each SVRTA town participating has identified a representative to attend the meetings and provide feedback to their respective BoS.
On a somewhat related topic, David Jodoin noted that Pembroke is in the process of switching their property, liability, workers comp and unemployment insurance over to Primex and are going to realize over $30k in annual savings. It was suggested that the SVRTA investigate potential group efforts in that area as well. Bruce noted that he was recently contacted by a vendor we had spoken with in 2011 regarding this very issue and he will see if the vendor is interested in re-quoting these coverages.
4. Each town provided a brief summary of 2014 Town Meeting results as follows:
Allenstown – Proposed school budget (which had been cut by $1M) failed and default budget was passed. It was noted that the default budget was $130k higher than the original school budget before it was cut by the $1M. No info. Was readily available concerning the town operating budget.
Barnstead – Operating budget which was flat over last year’s passed. All but two
Warrant articles also passed.
Chichester – Town budget passed with additional $140 (approx.) in road repair
budget, which was added-in on the floor of the meeting. Most warrant articles
also passed. School operating budget also passed as presented, but 2-year
collective bargaining agreement with teachers was defeated.
Epsom – Operating budget is up approximately 5%, but proposed school budget failed, which results in default budget.
Pembroke – Operating budget was up slightly over last year (adding 19 cents to tax
rate). School budget was up 4%. All Warrant Articles passed as well as bond
vote for $1.2M in road projects involving Pembroke Hill/Route 3.
Pittsfield – Town budget remained flat and most Warrant Articles passed.
5. It was noted that the Towns of Pittsfield an Barnstead remain in discussion regarding
the potential consolidation of Police and Fire Department services. Discussions thus
far have been positive and constructive.
6. David Jodoin noted that welfare laws in the state are changing which impacts when
towns are obligated to provide assistance to people who are non-residents of the
town. An informational meeting is being hosted by the Town of Tilton on March 29th.
7. The date for the next meeting will be Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 7pm and will
be hosted by the Town of Epsom at their town offices.
8. A motion was made to adjourn the meeting by Gordon Preston and seconded by Betsy Bosiak. The meeting adjourned at 8:05pm.