FINANCE COMMITTEE - Agendas & Minutes

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA / July 15, 2021, at 6:30 pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 2:00 pm on 7/13/2021 (bg)  Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

Call to Order

  • Review of any minutes from previous meetings

  • FY21 -- Final Interdepartmental Budget Transfer(s)

  • Carry Forward Account Balances

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

Public Comment

Adjourn

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA / July 1, 2021 at 6:30pm  REVISED 

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 3:30pm on 6/28/2021 revision posted at 4:40pm on 6/29/2021

Call to Order

  • Annual Reorganization of the Committee

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Review Accountants Report

  • Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

  • Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

  • 7 Town Advisory Updates – Ms. Conner

  • Sewer & Water Accounts Status – Ms. Rice

  • Treasurer Replacement

  • Committee Vacancy

  • Sub-Account Tracking Improvements

  • Library Repairs

  • Payments from Revolving & Gift Accounts

  • Carry Forward Account Balances

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

Public Comment

Adjourn

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA / June 14, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 11am on 6/10/2021 

Call to Order

  • Reserve Fund/Interdepartmental Transfers

    • Transfer Station Expense

    • Police Wages

    • Any other unanticipated expense

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

Public Comment

Adjourn

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / June 14, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 10am on 7/09/2021 

Members                    Absent                   Other                                                                                                          

Shaun Galliher           Nancy Smith         Bob Graves, Town Administrator

Russ Parks                  Heather Brown     Dick Scialabba, Select Board Chair                                                      

Bonnie Conner                                           Susan Rathbun, Chief of Police                                    

Mary Rice                                                    Viv Mason

Chris Pike                                                    Scott Rodman

Jim Chivers                                                  Bill Pike

The meeting was opened at 6:30 pm.

  • Chairman Galliher reported the results of the Town Election; Shaun Galliher, Russ Parks, and Heather Brown will be returning. There is still one opening on the Committee and he will notify the Select Board to post this vacancy.

  • Chairman Galliher reported that the Town of Dalton is looking for a Road Superintendent and is actively pursuing our Road Boss, Bud Hall. He feels this is very unprofessional and unethical on the part of the Town of Dalton. The Committee strongly agreed and would hope this would stop. The Committee has high regard and deep respect for Bud and the work he has done for our town, and we hope he does not leave.

  • The Committee discussed the monies requested from Chief Rathbun, for the Police Officers Salary Account. At our last meeting, the Committee voted on transferring $8,000. from the Reserve Fund to this account. The Chief had requested $20K to fund this account by the end of June. That transfer and one for the Transfer Station of $6K basically depleted the Reserve Fund, leaving a balance of $3,848.00. Inter department transfers are allowed during the last few weeks of the Fiscal Year, which would be the only way we could cover these extra costs. The additional monies we need are $12K for the Police Officers Salary Account, and $12,362. for the Transfer Station.

  • The Committee asked Chief Rathbun for an explanation of how this account went so much over without our Committee being informed sooner. Although she did acknowledge that she should have reported this sooner, she was able to explain that most of it was due to overtime required for several incidents in Town. She also explained contractual issues that our Committee was unaware of.

  • A motion was made and seconded to transfer the balance of $3,848.00 from the Reserve Fund, and $6,926.50 from the Health/Life Insurance account to the Police Salary Account. The motion passed unanimously. This transfer, along with the remaining balance in the Salary account of $1,225.50 will total the amount requested of $12,000.00.

  • Chairman Galliher suggested that we track the overtime separately so we can anticipate any issues before June. He also suggested that the Finance Committee be more involved with contract obligations so we can be better prepared in the future so this does not happen again.

  • Chief Rathbun also reported that Officer Jed Henry will be leaving in July and that she has been actively recruiting another candidate to fill the roster.

  • The Transfer Station account also needs additional funds to cover the deficit. A motion was made and seconded to transfer $12,362.00 from the Health/Life Insurance Account to the Transfer Station Account. The motion passed unanimously.

  • Chairman Galliher reported that our Treasurer/Collector Diane Sturtevant will be leaving on August 27, 2021. He suggested we combine her position and the assistants for one full-time 40-hour position going forward.

  • A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 7:43 pm. The motion passed unanimously.

The next regular meeting of this Committee is July 1, 2021, at 6:30 pm in the downstairs Community Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA / June 3, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 5:40pm on 6/1/2021 

 

Call to Order 

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Review Accountants Report

  • Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

  • Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

  • 7 Town Advisory Updates – Ms. Conner

  • Sewer & Water Accounts Status – Ms. Rice

  • Reserve Fund/Interdepartmental Transfers

    • Transfer Station Expense

    • Administrative Assistant

  • Revolving Fund Increases

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

 Public Comment

Adjourn

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / June 3, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 10:06am on 7/09/2021 

 

Members                    Absent                   Other                                                                                                          

Shaun Galliher           Nancy Smith         Bob Graves, Town Administrator

Russ Parks                                                  Dick Scialabba, Select Board Chair                                                                          

Mary Rice                                                    Viv Mason, Select Board

Chris Pike                                                    Susan Rathbun, Chief of Police

Jim Chivers                                      

Heather Brown

Bonnie Conner

 

The meeting was opened at 6:32 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the May 13, 2021 Finance Committee meeting as written. The motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Galliher presented a request from Police Chief Susan Rathbun for a Reserve Fund transfer of $20K to cover the Police Salary Account to the end of the year. He also has a request for a transfer from the Reserve Fund of $18,361.13 for the Transfer Station. The current balance in the Reserve Fund is $17,848.00, clearly not enough to fund both requests.

The Committee and Chief Rathbun discussed the issues that drove these overages. Overtime was the main driver but other issues contributed also including the following; pay out of time earned to an officer that left the department, and a new holiday called Juneteenth that was approved as a Massachusetts holiday and must be paid per the officers contract. This was not funded in the current budget, nor is it funded in next year's budget since it was not known until now.

Chairman Galliher reported that inter department transfers are allowed in the last few weeks of the Fiscal Year. The Committee discussed several accounts with balances and ultimately decided to transfer amounts to cover the current payroll of Police Salaries, and an amount to fund some of the bills for the Transfer Station account.

A motion was made and seconded to transfer $8,000.00 to the Police Salary Account. The motion passed unanimously. A motion was made and seconded to transfer $6,000.00 to the Transfer Station Account. The motion passed unanimously.

The Committee agreed to meet again on Monday, June 14, 2021 to discuss and vote on transferring additional funds to these two accounts. Town Administrator and Chairman Galliher need more time to make a proper assessment of where to recommend what accounts we can transfer these funds from.

Bob Graves reported that the East Washington culvert replacement is not going forward due to residents complaining about the work and not wanting it done. A group had attended the last Select Board meeting expressing their concerns. The plan was to replace as many culverts as possible with work to be done with our Highway crew under Ch. 90. We already have most of the culverts. This would involved grinding the areas where culverts are installed and using that material to form a good base coat for future work. The plan was to return the road to dirt with a good solid base as recommended by engineers and the company that just re surfaced Old Windsor Road. This work would put us in a better position to apply for any future grants. The Select Board felt they could not move forward with that much opposition.

Jim Chivers, School Building Committee, reported that the new school is on schedule to open in September. A lot of the finish work is now being completed.

Bonnie Conner: Seven Town Advisory Committee has had no contact from the School Committee although they voted to form this committee 8 months ago.

Mary Rice: Water/Sewer, reported that there are seven (7) on the continuous leak report for 22-35+ days and three (3)new ones for one week. Three (3) of these are at Camp Emerson and are concerning since they have had leaks there before and asked the Town to abate them. Bob Graves had notified them separately of his concern. The breakdown of bills that are currently overdue is as follows; 21 Water, 36 Sewer (not specified if Sewer 1 or Sewer 3), 21 Water Meter, 19 Water users fees for a total overdue of $30,206.73. Any bills not paid by the next billing period will be put as a lien on their Real Estate. She also reported that the Select Board, at their last meeting, voted on a motion from member Viv Mason, to reappoint the Water/Sewer Committee. That motion passed unanimously by the Select Board. This Committee had been disbanded at the request of the then W/S Administrator, who has since resigned. The Committee was formed by the late SB member Laurel Scialabba and met weekly for several years in an advisory capacity to the W/S Commissioners.

Chairman Galliher reported the need to increase the amounts of revolving funds for the Wiring Inspector and Plumbing Inspector. They are performing an increased amount of work that surpasses the current amount allocated. A motion was made and seconded to increase the revolving funds for Wire Inspector and Plumbing Inspector to $6,000.00. The motion passed unanimously.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 8:10 pm. The motion passed unanimously. The next meeting of this Committee is June 14, 2021 at 6:30 pm in the downstairs Community room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING AGENDA / May 13, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 1pm on 5/11/2021   Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

Call to Order

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Review & Discuss FY22 Budget Inputs

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

Public Comment

Adjourn

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING MINUTES / May 13, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 9am on 6/22/2021 

 

Members                                   Absent                                      Other                                                                                                                                            Shaun Galliher                          Nancy Smith                            Bob Graves, Town Administrator   

Heather Brown (remote/in person)                                         Dick Scialabba, Select Board Chair

Russ Parks                                                                                    Viv Mason, Select Board                            

Bonnie Conner                                                                                                                                                     

Mary Rice                                                                                    

Chris Pike

Jim Chivers

 

The meeting was opened at 6:32 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the May 6, 2021 meeting as written. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote.

Bob Graves presented the “Draft Warrant” revised since our last meeting on May 6th. The Committee will review, discuss, and vote on each article. That vote will be noted on the final and official Warrant presented at the ATM.

Bob Graves noted that he has not yet received the amount we will get in Ch. 90 funds. He will, therefore, draft the article on the ATM Warrant to read that the vote will be to “accept” the Ch.90 funds. He should be able to announce the actual figure at that meeting.

Articles 1 through 8. Motions were made and seconded to approve articles 1 through 8 excepting Article 7 that was deleted and not voted on.  After discussion the motions passed unanimously by a roll call votes.

Articles 9 through 25. Motions were made and seconded to approve Articles 9 through 25 excepting Article 18 that was deleted and not voted on. After discussion the motions passed unanimously by regular vote as the person on remote was now in attendance at our meeting.  The remaining Articles do not require a vote by the Committee.

The Committee recognized the hard work on this budget by Bob Graves and our Chairman Shaun Galliher, and we thanked them both.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 8:02 pm. The motion passed unanimously. Our next meeting of this Committee is Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 6:30 pm in the downstairs Community Room at Town Hall. The ATM is Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 7:00 pm in the Kittredge School Gym.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING AGENDA / May 6, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 7:30pm on 5/3/2021  

 

Call to Order

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Review Accountants Report

  • Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

  • Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

  • 7 Town Advisory Updates – Ms. Conner

  • Sewer & Water Accounts Status – Ms. Rice

  • FY21 Finance Communications to Boards & Committees

  • FY22 Budget Review

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

 Public Comment

 Adjourn

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING MINUTES / May 6, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 3:300pm on 5/17/2021  

Members              Absent                       Other        

Shaun Galliher                                        Bob Graves, Town Administrator

Heather Brown                                       Dick Scialabba, Select Board Chair

Russ Parks                                               Viv Mason, Select Board     

Bonnie Conner     

Mary Rice

Chris Pike (remote)

Jim Chivers

Nancy Smith

 

The meeting was opened at 6:32 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the April 29, 2021 meeting as written. The motion passed by a roll call vote.

Bob Graves reviewed the Expense Report and reported a few areas of concern. Those accounts are as follows;

Assessors – are “trending “over due to an increase cost for the software program, but this may be due to how the billing was structured with our Accounting Firm RRG.

  Transfer Station – this account is also trending over due to several things. One is that the hauler fees have increased by 93%. Recycling is not like it used to be due to China accepting less material, causing more to be hauled away. Also, during the pandemic, bag tags were suspended and didn't contribute to the costs. They are now available online. Cassella took over the hauling and the price has increased. We need to be looking at increasing fees and bag tag costs to reflect these increases.

The Schnopp Road Project – All the paperwork is close to being ready for submission as soon as the Grant is available to apply for. This could be decided in July and work could begin as early as next Spring, if we are awarded it.

Jim Chivers, School Building Committee, reported that the building project is coming along nicely. There have been no other costs out of the Contingency Fund. Most of the windows are now installed leaving a few more to be done.

Bonnie Conner, Seven Town Advisory Committee, has not heard about any meetings yet.

Mary Rice, Water/Sewer, reported that the “continuous leak report” for April, shows a slight increase in the list of users. One that is concerning is Camp Emerson, with two buildings on the report. Several others are repeats. There are 41 users behind in their bills for a total amount over due of $32,840.38. Viv Mason, Select Board/Water Sewer Commissioners, pointed out that the penalties are being added monthly. Amounts unpaid by the next billing period are put as a lien on the property owners Real Estate bill. When the Real Estate bill is paid, the lien is automatically paid first, leaving some owners to owe on their property taxes.

Chairman Galliher has sent out the yearly memo on the Reserve Fund rules to each department head with a budget. It is the expectation that department heads will monitor their accounts and reminding that that it is illegal to spend monies they don't have.

Bob Graves and Shaun Galliher went over the Semi Final Draft ATM Warrant, noting and explaining some additional information. Some of the issues discussed by them and the Committee are as follows;

  Chapter 90 amount is not known yet.

  Assessors Salary Account is reduced to reflect the work now being done by the Assessing Company and no longer performed by the elected Assessors. We all recognize that we need a local presence on the board, and a motion was made and seconded to approve $500 for each of the three elected Assessors. The motion passed by a roll call vote. The only duties required of our Assessors would be the review all abatements and attend weekly meetings in Town Hall for the public.  The Assessing firm RRG is requesting $1000.00 to upgrade the software to allow for citizens to look up and print their own abbutters list as needed. There is a computer and printer already set up for citizens to use.

  Health and Dental – Bob will contact Diane, Town Treasurer, this week for the figures.

  Accounting increase is due to a software increase and out sourcing the payroll.

  Highway Department increase is due to salary increases, summer road wages and a new hire.

  Vocational Tuition has increased due to the addition of two (2) students. Apparently the students did all the paperwork required in a timely manner, but either the Vocational School or CBRSD dropped the ball and did not notify the Town by the deadline. We would all like the Superintendent to attend our meeting and explain why this has happened for the second year in a row. We all want to send a clear message that this is not acceptable as far as budgeting purposes and the one that suffers if we do not approve it, is the student. The deadline had been extended from April 1 to May 1 but these two (2) requests came in after that deadline.

  Water/Sewer rates had been reviewed by Dave Prickett Consultants and they suggested increasing Sewer 1 and 3. However, Bob will contact him again as we feel they do not have the proper information as to how these accounts are split. Sewer 3 is now in a deficit and the surplus needs to increase so we can perform some of the projects suggested by Dave Prickett. Currently, Water is in good shape and we can do one project for $30K this year. Although Sewer 1 has a healthy surplus and should need no increase, Sewer 3 does not and we cannot do any Sewer projects this year.

  New Highway Truck that costs approximately $250K was initially going to be funded by Free Cash. The Committee discussed several Lease options and decided that a 5 yr. Lease would be the best option. That would leave more in Free Cash that could be allocated to Stabilization accounts.

Other accounts reviewed by the Committee without changes were the Cemetery Trees, Town Trees, Plunkett Lake weed treatment, sale of old Nursing Home, adjustment to the Marijuana by-law,

increasing the Revolving account for the Wire Inspector, Covid monies for the capping of the Landfill, and road work. The Skyline project has been approved for June and will be awarded in the Fall. Work could start early Spring of next year.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 8:15 pm. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote. Our next meeting of this Committee is Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 6:30 pm in the downstairs Community Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING AGENDA / April 29, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 1:10pm on 4/27/2021  

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

Call to Order

•Review minutes from previous meeting

•Review & Discuss FY22 Budget Inputs

Any other business not reasonably anticipated

Public Comment

Adjourn

 

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING MINUTES / April 29, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 12:30pm on 5/8/2021

Members                                   Absent                                      Other                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Shaun Galliher                      Nancy Smith                        Bob Graves, Town Administrator   

Heather Brown                                                                            Dick Scialabba, Select Board Chair

Russ Parks                                                                                     Viv Mason, Select Board                            

Bonnie Conner                                                                                                                                                     

Mary Rice                                                                                    

Chris Pike (remote)

Jim Chivers

 

The meeting was opened at 6:30 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the April 15, 2021 meeting as written. The motion passed by a roll call vote.

Chairman Galliher reported that most budget figures are in and a few have changed.  We will hold off on voting until the draft budget, containing all the updated figures, is complete.

Bob Graves had looked into an outside payroll service that was discussed at our last meeting. One requirement would be that the employee have direct deposit.  We would be billed monthly and the cost would be approximately $300. per pay period.  The Committee discussed how Stipends for the Fire Department would be handled and he was assured that is doable.  This would allow more time for our Treasurer/Collector to work on Tax Titles.

Some other items are as follows;

   Lake Management salary account, which was strictly for Conservation work, is now back in the Conservation budget.

   Police officers contract calls for an Increase of 5% for full time officers and 15% for part time officers that puts us more in line with other Towns and about the middle of the salary range.  Full time officers also receive an annual adjustment to their base pay of either 2.5% or 5%  for having the college degree. The Police Chiefs contract increases by 10% as the Chief's contract requires that any increase that the officers get are also applied to the Chief's contract.

   Ambulance coverage (24 hrs) is unchanged from $2,000.  That amount is for maintenance and also  guarantees that if a person calls for an ambulance, one will be sent as insurance companies are billed for the service provided.  Peru and Middlefield are also included and charged this amount.

   Vocational tuition is still pending. We had 11 last year and this year looks like possibly only 6, 3 to McCann and 3 to Smith.

 

 

   Highway wages are up due to annual increases for employees and needing a new full time hire to replace a full time employee going to part time at their request.  The position will include the new hire having mechanical skills to perform equipment maintenance and repair. Cost for those employees working on Water/Sewer maintenance also increases as more hours are needed for system maintenance and employee cross training.

   Health Insurance has under run for the year and will be level funded.

   Unemployment requested was $3000., but only $500 has been expended to date.

   Liability Insurance – no quote yet.

    Water/Sewer Accounting wages will all go up a bit to cover administrative support needed due to the increased demands in State reporting.

The Committee discussed  how to use our Free Cash as we have many more projects that need funding than the money we have.  Free Cash for this year is $482,510, with Covid Relief an additional $188K.  The consensus is to put the Covid monies  toward the cost to cap the landfill that is estimated at $200K bringing that cost down considerably.

Bob has received, from the Arborist,  a list of Town trees in need of attention.  The list is very specific as to location , which ones are extremely high hazard risk (and should come down asap), moderate or low risk.  The Committee agreed to increase that account from $10K to 15K.

Bob Graves is checking on proposals to Lease the new truck over a period of 3 to 5 years as the cost is too much to purchase it outright for $250K.

The Fuel Meter will be put out to next year in hopes of securing a grant.

Fire Department Tanker, although needed, is just not possible this year.  Money can be put into Capital Stabilization to possibly be used in the future toward it, but cannot be specifically earmarked for that purpose.  The floor in the Fire House needs replacement.

Engineering for a new spillway at Plunkett Lake was discussed.  The estimated cost to replace it is $750K. For $15K to $20K we could do the Hydrology Study and with that completed, may be able to secure a higher Grant amount. The Dam does not appear to be in imminent danger and Dam Safety does not seem overly worried.  There is one section on the far left side and the area below that, that needs some repair.  Bud Hall and crew have removed many trees in that area.  It has been discovered that the batter boards that were replaced recently, were constructed with the wrong steel, bolts and couplings which may have contributed to their failing.  All earthen dams in the State have been marked “deficient” and “high hazard” because of their construction.  There should be a “Town wide” discussion about Plunkett lake and how the Town wants to proceed in the future.  There is limited access for the public and parking is a problem.

The Committee also discussed the settling pond, that is now leaching into the lake.  The Town can remove 99 cubic yards, per year, without an excessive permitting process.  The owners on the lake can also do the same in front of their properties.  There is a new Lake Management Committee and this should be discussed by them as well.  It should be noted that no one that lives on the lake, gets charged more in property taxes than anyone else in Town.  We believe there is an “Association” but it is unclear

 

 

what they do or provide for residents at the lake

There is enough in Water Surplus to do one project suggested by Dave Prickett Consultants, for $30K. Sewer projects and equipment purchases must be deferred until surplus is available.  The Consultant is working on a recommendation for revised rates for water and sewer users.

Police Reform, Bridge program, for this year will be $11K.  This is for a part time officer to participate in training that will elevate him to the full time qualifications required.  This is done alphabetically and we have one that will qualify for this year.  It's possible that the other town that this officer works in, will agree to pay for part of that training.  This should be discussed with that officer and the other Town.

So far, the above mentioned projects will cost approximately $417K, out of the $482, leaving $65K.  Its possible that some adjustments (such as a lease for the truck) could leave more monies available to go into Capital Stabilization.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 7:56 pm.  The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote.  Our next meeting of this Committee is Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 6:30 pm in the downstairs Community Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Mary A. Rice, Secretary

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING AGENDA / April 15, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 6:30pm on 4/12/2021   amended 8:45am on 4/14/2021

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

 

Call to Order

 •Review minutes from previous meeting

 •Reserve Transfer Request – Highway Dept.

 •Police Budget Review

 •Review & Discuss FY22 Budget Inputs

 Any other business not reasonably anticipated

 Public Comment

 Adjourn

 

Agenda amended to add Reserve Transfer request

 

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING MINUTES / April 15, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 12:30pm on 5/8/2021

Members                                   Absent                                      Other                                                                                                                                             Shaun Galliher                                                                              Bob Graves, Town Administrator   

Heather Brown                                                                             Dick Scialabba, Select Board Chair

Russ Parks                                                                                     Viv Mason, Select Board                            

Bonnie Conner                                                                             Susan Rathbun, Chief of Police                                                                         

Mary Rice                                                                                      Dick Eastland

Chris Pike (remote)

Jim Chivers

Nancy Smith (remote)

The meeting was opened at 6:31 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the April 1, 2021 meeting as written. Jim Chivers pointed out an error in the minutes, they were corrected and the motion was revised to accept the amended minutes of April 1, 2021. The motion passed, one abstained, by a roll call vote.

Chairman Galliher presented a request for a Reserve Fund Transfer to cover the cost of the new  highway truck.  The quote was received in January, the truck was ordered in July after the ATM and the price had increased.  A motion was made and seconded to approve a Reserve Fund Transfer of $2152.00 for the new highway truck. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote.  Chairman Galliher also pointed out that the truck has been delivered to the Town, but is not yet lettered.

The Committee reviewed the Police Department budget with Chief Rathbun. The new Police Reform Bill will require approximately 11K per officer for the new training requirements. All part time officers will be required to complete approximately 200 hours of training with 120 of those hours on line.  They will need to complete in person, training with a cruiser, ammunition. And other training requirements. The other expense with be covering shifts when they are at training.  This will be done alphabetically per year.  One of our officers will be required to do it this year, but the cost may be shared with other town he works for. The training for current part time officers is referred to as “the bridge”.

Dick Scialabba, Select Board Chair, reported that the Police Officers now have a signed contract for one year. The next contract will be negotiated by the Town Administrator.  Chairman Galliher will do the math and report at our next meeting how this will impact the budget.

Chief Rathbun agreed to send the monthly STAT reports to members of the Committee.  She currently posts them on Face Book, but many Committee members do not do Facebook.

Bob Graves reported on other budget items as follows;

    He met with the Maverick Group that is currently scanning/copying all blueprints the town has.

    Vocational tuition is $18,679. each for this year's 6 students.

    Lake Management is still waiting for the quote on additional treatments at Plunkett Lake.

    Sports & Recreation cost covers the $36.00 per month for Eversource at the AA Field.

    Plunkett Lake Dam redesign could cost 10K, and the actual work could be $400K. If we have the engineering in place, we could apply for a grant, that would be available February 2022.

    Plunkett Lake Beach Committee has not yet submitted a quote for the pavilion they would like. They are working on a three (3) year plan for this property.

    Outsourcing of Payroll has yet to be quoted. Tax Title will be carried forward, very little has been expended. This was carried forward previously as well.

    Electrical Inspector rolling account is currently underfunded. There is a request for additional funding, but there is some confusion about how this account is structured. Bob will check with legal and get back to us at our next meeting.

     Jim Manning, Chairman of the Library Trustees, had presented to Bob, pictures of the structural issues. He is working with Viv Mason, Select Board, on a “memo of understanding” that will spell out what the Library Trustees and the Town are responsible for.

    Bob thought the money we are getting from the government for Covid relief should be earmarked for the landfill. It may not cover the whole cost of $200K but the $180K would be substantial.

    The Board of Health has suggested a by-law to address the dilapidated buildings in town. The first proposal was to tear it down and charge the homeowner but that could result in huge liability for the Town should there be hazardous materials in that building.     

Chairman Galliher reported that the State has changed some rules on Capital Stabilization and he will look into those changes.  The estimated Free Cash this year could be 450K, and the Committee needs to discuss what Capital Plan items we should address.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 8:25 pm. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote. Our next meeting of this Committee is Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 6:30 pm in the downstairs Community Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING AGENDA / April 1, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 1:30pm on 3/30/2021   

 

Call to Order 

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Review Accountants Report

  • Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

  • Police Negotiation Status

  • Winter Roads Accounts Status

  • Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

  • 7 Town Advisory Updates – Ms. Conner

  • Sewer & Water Accounts Status – Ms. Rice

  • FY21 Finance Communications to Boards & Committees

  • FY22 Budget Review

  • Police Reform Legislation Impacts

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

 Public Comment

 Adjourn

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING MINUTES / April 1, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 9am on 4/19/2021 

 

Members              Absent                   Other                                                     

Shaun Galliher      Heather Brown      Bob Graves, Town Administrator

Heather Brown      Nancy Smith         Dick Scialabba, Select Board Chair (remote)

Russ Parks                                              Viv Mason, Select Board       

Bonnie Conner                                      Ray Bolduc, Select Board                    

Mary Rice                 

Chris Pike

Jim Chivers

The meeting was opened at 6:50 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the March 25, 2021 meeting as written. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote.

Chairman Galliher reviewed the Expense Report and saw nothing outstanding. The Winter Roads overrun is $18,769, to date which is way below previous years. Landfill Expenses are up probably due to the suspension of the sale of bag tags during the pandemic. They are now available on line and we should see an increase in revenue from them.

Bob Graves has prepared a spreadsheet, highlighting areas that have not yet been decided. One is the Capital Expenditures. The Board of Health will not be presenting a proposal for a rolling account. Upon further investigation, they have determined that it would not be in the Town's best interest to go in that direction. The Town could be held liable if there is asbestos, or possibly other contaminants that the Town would need to mitigate and it could be very expensive.

Bob also said the parties interested in marijuana cultivation are moving forward with the process. The town Insurance for liability and workers comp has increased 8% and there is a plan to add additional 10%, with no explanation. Bob will look into that issue.

Bob reported that Bud has been in touch with Hill Engineering to take a look at the batter boards at the Plunkett Lake Dam. There are some funds in the Infrastructure and Engineering account to possibly redesign the spillway. If it could be fixed temporarily we could possibly have more time to apply for a grant to fix the problem. Ray Bolduc reported that there are 3 boards and the water is up to the 2nd one. Bud is letting water out in the hopes to prevent the boards from breaking and breaching the dam.

Ray reported that the Police negotiations are close, but not yet completed.

Mary Rice reported that the current Water Department continuous leak report has only four (4) households on it for March. The Governor has not allowed shutoffs for non payment during the Covid pandemic and it was not known how many are behind in payments. The balances must be paid before the next billing period, and the fines continue for every month overdue. She will get that information for our next meeting.

Bonnie Conner, Seven Town Advisory Committee has heard nothing about any scheduled meetings.

Chairman Galliher met with Police Chief Susan Rathbun to discuss the new Police Reform and how it might effect our Town. She said they have canceled the part time training academy as all officers must complete the full time training requirements. This situation creates many questions on how the Town will proceed. The State has created this with no financial relief for Towns, and our State Representatives have not been responsive. This is going to be a huge issue for all small towns across the State.

Lake Management is waiting for quotes for the new treatment plans.

Chairman Galliher made a strong statement that any employee requesting an increase should come to the Finance Committee and that a member of the Select Board should not be reaching out to the employee. He hopes this will not happen again in the future.

The Committee discussed the possibility of outsourcing the payroll. This would allow the Treasurer to focus on the tax titles. Many businesses and Towns already do this and it is cost effective and assures continuity going forward. Bob will look into this and get back to us. There are several Pittsfield area firms that do this.

The Committee asked how many employees are on the Town Insurance. Bob will check with Diane and get back to us.

Jim Chivers, School Building Committee, reported that the new school is on track and work is progressing on the interior. The classrooms are being sheet rocked and the plumbing is near completion. The Contractor has had over 300 accident free days. The ventilation system has been redesigned to include better air exchange within the building, per the new Air Handling requirements. He also reported that to date, they have used some of the contingency fund for the updated ventilation system, but there is still quite a bit remaining.

Bob has an estimate for the trees at the cemetery for $23,000.00, but not on the other town trees yet. He is preparing the Draft Warrant and hopes to put the old Nursing Home property out to bid, to get it back on the Tax roll. Vocational student list will be finalized April 1, and the tuition is not yet known. Dave Stuart will get back to Bob with quotes for work requested at the Plunkett Lake Beach area. We should prioritize the projects for the Capital Expenditures.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 7:37 pm. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote. Our next meeting of this Committee is Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 6:30 pm in the downstairs Community Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING AGENDA / March 25, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 4pm on 3/21/2021   updated on March 23 at 8:30am

Public may attend meeting by zoom. Register in advance for this meeting:

 

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcqdeuvqz8sE9XGQvYxr_oM9WuTD_N5Ngsr

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

 

 Select Board and Finance Committee continue FY22 Budget Discussions

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated 

  • Public Comment

  •  Adjourn 

  • Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING MINUTES / March 25, 2021 at 6:30pm   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 8:15am on 4/12/2021   

 

Members                   Absent                    Other                                                                                                          

Shaun Galliher           Jim Chivers              Bob Graves, Town Administrator

Heather Brown          Chris Pike                 Dick Scialabba, Select Board Chair (remote)

Russ Parks                  Nancy Smith            Viv Mason, Select Board              

Bonnie Conner                                             Ray Bolduc, Select Board                                       

Mary Rice (remote)                                       Jack Adams

 

The meeting was opened at 6:50 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the March 4, and March 13, 2021 meetings as written. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote.

This meeting is to discuss the FY22 Budget inputs. Bob Graves presented the following;

•Cemetery – the trees are in bad shape and some need to come down. Bob got a quote for $23,900 which includes removal and trimming to stabilize others. He will get a more detailed estimate of what is needed.

•CBRSD – Capital assessment is approximately 300K, the educational amount is $2,466,553.

•Vocational – Bob does not have the final figures yet, but it looks like we have six (6) possible students down from eleven (11) or twelve (12) last year.

•Assessors – They are looking into the overlay impact due to the new utility assessment.

•Plunkett Lake Beach – Dave Stuart, Beach Committee, is getting quotes for a pavilion, and bathroom facilities and has offered to attend one of our meetings to discuss it. The Committee discussed the issue of liability and Bob explained he has looked into this in other towns. Signs will be posted “Swim at your own risk” with posted hours that will limit the Town liability. The Health Department tests the water at the beach every two weeks throughout the summer months.

•Health Insurance – Bob had discussed this with Diane Sturtevant, Town Treasurer but the actual number of employees involved is unclear as some have different plans. Bob will get more information.

•Electric/Wiring - The inspector has requested an increase in the revolving account to cover an increase in requests and more permits being issued. This will alleviate the lag time between the fee and the homeowner paying it. A fee increase was also discussed. Chairman Galliher pointed out that anything above $7,500 goes to the Town. He will get more information.

•Schnopp Road Project – The cost estimate does not include two (2) small culverts that are needed at intermittent streams, and one (1) large one. We may need to add funding to cover these.

•Highway wages – One employee will be going from full time to part time and there will be a new hire to cover the full time position.

•Assessors salaries – We will include wages for two Assessors and since there is currently one one, we will include the second position on the ballot in May.

•Select Board salaries- Viv Mason proposed they be increased by $1,000. each. The last increase was in 2007. This position has evolved into more and more hours needed to get the work done that the town requires.

 •Town-wide mowing – The contract has been awarded to Gary Daniels who has been low bidder for many years. Bob is proposing to bid this next year as a three year contract instead of yearly.

•Vocational Transportation- Dufour has been awarded the contract for two (2) vocational schools at $76,194.00.

•Lake Management – It is reported that there are two (2) new weeds at Plunkett Lake that need to be treated. It is estimated to be a three (3) year program. There are also weeds covering the entire bottom of the lake. They will be getting quotes for these projects

•Recreation Association – The request is for $4,500. This covers the electric bill and the porta potty at the baseball (AA) field.

•Water/Sewer – Maintenance issues may have to be put out till next year as there is not enough money in the surplus to cover them. Sewer III is currently running in a deficit and rates must be increased to cover expenses. Dave Prickett Consulting will be contacted to review and recommend the increase needed. Water Surplus has enough money to cover the estimated 30K for mapping recommended by Dave Prickett.

•Board of Health – Fred Sears, Board of Health Agent, has requested that a rolling account be set up to address the dilapidated buildings in town. He is working on getting an estimate.

•Police Officers Contract – Negotiations are ongoing , therefore we have no figure yet. Bob reported that the Police Reform mandate required by July 1st may be pushed out a bit due to the time frame to complete the training requirements.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 7:21 pm. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote. Our next regular meeting of this Committee is Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 6:30 pm in the downstairs Community Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING AGENDA / March 13, 2021 at 8:30am   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 10am on 3/8/2021 

Public may attend meeting by zoom: 

                                              FY22 Budget Meeting with Select Board and Finance Committee

                                                              08:30 AM - 02:30 PM (we may end early)

                                                         To see the schedule for the meeting, click here.

 

This is a business meeting. The public may listen at will and speak with the permission of the chair.

 

To attend via Zoom:     You will need to register to get the direct link to the meeting – so that we have a good registration list.

The link is https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIkduyqrzIsH92sqoc7RI-D9grilzt_Mpwj

The Meeting ID is: 869 1521 9659

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Via Conference call:       The number is 413-449-5095; code 706954#

SELECT BOARD & FINANCE COMMITTEE JOINT MEETING MINUTES / March 13, 2021 at 8:30am   

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South Street, Hinsdale MA

​Posted at 4:10pm on 3/28/2021

 

This meeting is to discuss the FY22 Budget proposals. This meeting was posted as available on Zoom and Conference call.

 

Members                                          Select Board                                                                                                          

Shaun Galliher, Chair                       Bob Graves, Town Administrator

Heather Brown , Vice Chair             Dick Scialabba, Chair

Jim Chivers                                         Viv Mason

Chris Pike                                           Ray Bolduc

Russ Parks                                                       

Nancy Smith

Bonnie Conner

Mary Rice

 

The meeting was called to order by the Select Board Chairman, Dick Scialabba, at 8:44 am.

Eight department heads are scheduled to attend this meeting to present their proposals and answer any questions regarding the same.

Bud Hall – DPW and Water/Sewer

Chief Ralph Cormier – Fire Department

Diane Sturtevant – Treasurer-Collector

Dawn Frissell and Marylou Galliher – Town Clerk's office

Tom Butler – Library

Andy Hagadorn and Monica Monferret – Lake Management (via zoom)

Officer Elizabeth Zipp – Animal Control

 

Other proposals that were discussed are as follows;

Assessors – RRG

Accountant- Charlie Brown

Board of Health – Fred Sears

Building Inspector – Paul Green

Conservation – Caleb Mitchell

Transfer Station – Barry O'Keefe

Tree Warden – Barry O'Keefe

Cemetery

Other issues discussed are as follows; Legal, Cannabis operations, Audit, Town Report, CSX, Fuel Metering, Green Energy, Emergency Management, CBRSD, Vocational, Landfill capping, Council on Aging, Dave Prickett's proposals for Water/Sewer, Old Town Hall, Plunkett Lake Beach, Oil Tank at Town Hall, E. Washington Road, Middlefield Road, TIPS program for Rt. 143, and the Capital Plan.

Shaun Galliher reported that the Free Cash is $482,510. The Covid-19 Aid for the Town is $188,531 that will go into the General Fund, and there are no restrictions on how to spend it. CBRSD reported $14,740 credit to Hinsdale that will be applied to reduce the Operating Cost.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 2:40 pm. The motion passed unanimously. The next meeting of the Finance Committee on this Budget is Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 6:30 pm. In the Town Hall Community Room.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary A. Rice, Finance Committee Secretary

 

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA / March 4, 2021, at 6:30pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

posted at 9:15am on 3/2/2021

Call to Order

 

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Review Accountants Report

  • Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

  • Route 143 TIP status

  • Police Negotiation Status

  • Winter Roads Accounts Status

  • Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

  • 7 Town Advisory Updates – Ms. Conner

  • Sewer & Water Accounts Status – Ms. Rice

  • Sewer & Water Evaluation & Maintenance Proposal

  • FY21 Finance Communications to Boards & Committees

  • New Growth

  • Cannabis Host Agreement(s) status

  • FY22 Budget Planning & ATM Scheduling

  • Library Heating

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

Public Comment

Adjourn

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / March 4, 2021, at 6:30pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall

posted at 4:10pm on 3/28/2021

 

Members                  Absent                   Other                                                                                                          

Shaun Galliher                                          Bob Graves, Town Administrator

Heather Brown (remote)                         Dick Scialabba, Select Board (remote)

Jim Chivers

Chris Pike (remote)               

Russ Parks  (remote)                                                     

Nancy Smith (remote)

Bonnie Conner (remote)

Mary Rice (remote)

 

The meeting was opened at 6:33 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the February 4, 2021 as written. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote.

There were a few items on the Expense Report that were discussed by the Committee. The Police Department Expense account indicated a minus balance, but it was a posting error only. The Town Hall Renovations are almost completed; Heating and Cooling project is still being worked on; Winter Roads overrun is the lowest in a long time at approximately 30K; Town Waste is up about 8%, and we have received the quote for next year; Bag tag sales have resumed on line; Community Center columns will be completed as soon as the weather allows; Health and Life insurance is showing a healthy balance which indicates it may have been over budgeted last year (Bob will get more information for this budget).

Bob Graves said the budget is in good shape for next year and we need to decide what Capital Projects we want to complete this year. He said most budget requests are reasonable but most also want raises. All departments have been good about submitting their budgets.

Bob and Bud Hall have talked with DOT about the TIPS program. The new requirements include bike lanes, sidewalks and many other things that really don't apply to the Rt. 143 project. It is reported that Governor Baker is coming out with a new program for rural areas that have State numbers, such as Rt. 143. Bud is getting some cost estimates so he will be able to jump on it as soon as it comes out.

Bob reported that June should be when the application for the Schnopp Road project is available. We also need to look into how to proceed on the portion of that road that is in Peru, Raymond Road. He will contact Caleb, the Town Administrator in Peru, for his input. Foresight is working on the submission plans. Bob and Bud have been discussing the East Washington Road issue. It may be more cost effective to grind it down and restore it to a dirt road. We already have approximately 23 culverts, and Ch. 90 monies could be used to do this.

Bob reported that several applicants for Cannabis operations in Town, are moving forward.

Jim Chivers, School Building Committee, reported that the project on schedule. The Committee voted on additional monies to up grade the Air Distribution System. It will be upgraded with filters , more controls and better air exchange. This will be an addition cost of approximately 170K to 200K that will be paid out of the existing reserve fund at no additional cost to the Town.

Bonnie Conner, Seven Town Advisory Committee said no meetings have been scheduled as of yet. The School Committee did or is forming a subcommittee to look into the Charter, but have not yet scheduled any meeting.

Mary Rice reported on Water/Sewer issues. The Continuous Leak Report shows eight (8) properties over 35 days, and three (3) new ones. Some of these are repeats, with a few new ones. There is a meeting of the Water Sewer Commissioners scheduled for Friday, March 5, 2021 at 1:00 in the Town Hall downstairs meeting room. Dave Prickett will be on Zoom for this meeting, and will discuss three maintenance options for the sewer system to consider for the ATM.

Bob reported that the Select Board has voted to move the ATM to Wednesday, June 9, 2021. The annual election will be on Saturday, June 12, 2021.

Bob reported that he had talked with Jim Manning, Chairman of the Library Trustees, about the change of the heating system from oil to propane. He will get more information from Jim about the progress.

Bob also reported that Greg Boino, CBRSD, notified him that they received a grant and the SB needs to accept it. This will be approximately 49K applied as a credit to operating expenses for Hinsdale.

Chairman Galliher reported that the Audit is complete and looks good for the Town.

Bob will check with the Assessors on the status of the new assessment for Eversource. They should have paid it and had 30 days after that, to appeal it if they chose to.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 7:21 pm. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote. Our next scheduled meeting is our annual all day budget meeting on Saturday March 13, 2021 starting at 8:30 am in the downstairs Community Room at Town Hall. The next regular meeting of this Committee is Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 6:30 pm also in the downstairs Community Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA / February 4, 2021, at 6:30pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

posted at 8am on 2/2/2021

Call to Order

 

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Review Accountants Report

  • Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

  • Route 143 TIP status

  • Police Negotiation Status

  • DPW Staffing

  • Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

  • 7 Town Advisory Updates – Ms. Conner

  • Sewer & Water Accounts Status – Ms. Rice

  • Sewer & Water Evaluation & Maintenance Proposal

  • FY21 Finance Communications to Boards & Committees

  • Utilities Personal Property Appraisal Status

  • Cannabis Host Agreement(s) status

  • FY22 Budget Planning & ATM Scheduling

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

 

Public Comment

Adjourn

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / February 4, 2021, at 6:30pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

posted at 9:16am on 3/8/2021

Members                    Absent                Others

Shaun Galliher                                         Bob Graves, Town Administrator

Heather Brown (remote)                       Dick Scialabba, Select Board (remote)

Jim Chivers                                               Viv Mason, Select Board Chair

Russ Parks (remote)

Chris Pike (remote)

Bonnie Conner (remote)

Nancy Smith (remote)

Mary Rice (remote)

 

The meeting was opened at 6:33 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the January 7, 2021 Finance meeting as written. The motion passed unanimously with a roll call vote.

Chairman Galliher reported that he had reviewed the Accountant's report and asked if the Committee had any questions. Mary Rice questioned the “salary” account for Lake Management. Bob Graves explained that it is Caleb Mitchell's (conservation) account for work with Lake management issues. Chairman Galliher reported that Winter Road Maintenance is at 62K, which is low for this time of year, and that could be a good thing. Town Waste is up to 73% due to an increase in hauling fees created by lack of recycling resources. The recycling is now going into the regular trash, causing more trash hauled. Russ Parks reported that he has seen pick-up trucks loaded with bags, at the transfer station. Chairman Galliher pointed out that the Town is working to fix that and that bag tags have not been sold since October creating free trash disposal. That issue is being worked on to sell them on line and that should be up and running very soon.

Bob Graves reported on the TIPS program. He found that former Road Superintendent Ray Huntoon, did indeed submit the documents and they were received by DOT. When he went to resubmit them with updated information he found the DOT rules had changed. He is working with DOT and will meet next week on a conference call with them. He was assured this can be worked out between the Town and DOT. He will update the Committee at our next meeting.

Bob and the Select Board are in negotiations with the Police Association. The Committee discussed some options for the Board to consider.

Bob reported that he has received proposals drafted by Dave Prickett concerning the Sewer and Water maintenance issues and is waiting for the Commissioners to set a meeting.

Bob reported on the Cannabis issues as follows;

   An agreement has been reached with the Zach Family that has moved its operation from Peru Road to Bullards Crossing. This agreement has not yet been signed.

  Silver Therapy (Viner) he believes will be a tough sell to the Town, but indicated they are moving forward with it although he has not heard anything for several weeks.

  Dave Duquette and a group from Storrs CT, he believes has not moved forward as of yet.

  Jodi McCarthy – Green Patriot are looking for locations and it is not clear if they have found one yet.

Bob will send out the proposed schedule for the Saturday March 13th budget meeting.

Bob reported that Jimmy Fox would like to semi-retire and work part time. He would like to keep Jim on board and would like to replace the full-time position with someone with mechanic skills.

Jim Chivers, School Building Committee, reported that work is ahead of schedule on the new High School. Dry wall is being put up in the classrooms, they are getting ready to install the floor in the Auditorium.

Bonnie Conner, Seven Town Advisory Committee has heard nothing about any meetings. However, Viv Mason reported that a subcommittee is being formed and will get in touch with the Towns to participate.

Mary Rice reported on Water and Sewer. The Continuous Leak report has 10 people on it, with 6 repeats and 4 new ones. She questioned why our Town Hall is on it again. Bob reported they are in the process of replacing old toilets and working with a plumber. Of the 693 bills that went out on January 4, 2021, 195 are now past due. The first penalty billing will be sent out soon.

Bob reported that the Assessors have submitted a revised bill to Eversource, based on an outside firm that the Town hired to do an audit. That amount is $106,296.33.

Bob reported that the Library is replacing the heating system with propane and questioned if the current propane contract with Osterman would apply. Mary Rice, a Library Trustee, will reach out to Chairman Jim Manning and have him contact Bob.

Bob presented a rather vague proposal from Colonial Power to supply power to low-income families at a reduced rate. This is early information and will be updated as information is made available.

The Committee discussed the Ashmere Lake betterment fees placed on lots that cannot be built on. This was determined when the project was laid out and the Building Inspector is the enforcement officer.

Shaun Galliher reported that the Select Board has reached a contract agreement with Bob Graves and he will be with us for another three (3) years.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 7:28 pm. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote. The next meeting of this Committee is at 6:30 pm March 4, 2021 in the Community Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA / January 7, 2021, at 6:30pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

posted at 5:35pm on 1/4/2021

 

Call to Order

 

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Review Accountants Report

  • Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

  • Police Negotiation Status

  • Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

  • 7 Town Advisory Updates – Ms. Conner

  • Sewer & Water Accounts Status – Ms. Rice

  • Sewer & Water Evaluation & Maintenance Proposal

  • FY21 Finance Communications to Boards & Committees

  • Plunkett Gate Valve Repair

  • Utilities Personal Property Appraisal Status

  • FY22 Budget Planning

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

 

Public Comment

Adjourn

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / January 7, 2021, at 6:30pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall

posted at 10:10am on 2/7/2021

 

Members                    Absent              Others

Shaun Galliher                                       Bob Graves, Town Administrator

Heather Brown                                      Dick Scialabba, Select Board (remote)

Jim Chivers

Russ Parks (remote)

Chris Pike (remote)

Bonnie Conner (remote)

Nancy Smith (remote)

Mary Rice (remote)

The meeting was opened at 6:32 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the December 3, 2020 Finance meeting as written. The motion passed with a roll call vote, with one abstaining.

Chairman Galliher reported that he did not see any outstanding issues with the Accountants report and the Committee agreed.

Bob Graves reported that the gate valve at Plunkett Lake has been repaired and paid for by the Insurance claim. However, other costs such as the engineering costs will be ours. He estimates it will be about 15K. Training on the valve is yet to be scheduled and will possibly be next week. The valve is left about 1/2” to 1” open to try to maintain a neutral level with the flow in and out.

Old Dalton Road bills have been submitted to the State. There was a contingency held back to address minor fixes. One of them is a 30' to 40' rise near the culvert that the company will fix in the Spring.

Another issue Bob is working on is the return of our deposit with CSX for approximately 18K. They required that amount to do work on the road under the underpass. Bob does not believe there was any issue and is attempting to get it returned.

The “Schnopp Road” engineering study is now being done by Foresight Land Services. A traffic study

will be done for the Grant Application and it will be noted that because of Covid-19, there is no regular school traffic to report in this study.

Bob suggested based on a recent meeting of Town Managers, that we think about moving the ATM out to June 16th or 23rd, sooner than later. Chairman Galliher would prefer to wait a bit longer, possibly March or April to make that decision. Some committee members agreed. We will keep that issue on our meeting agenda going forward, for discussion.

Russ Parks asked if there is any information of vaccines for the Town. Dick Scialabba reported that the Board of Health is working with Emergency Management on this issue. Our First Responders, Fire Department, EMTs and Police Officers will be making appointments for next week that will be done at the BCC Field House in Pittsfield. Board of Health Agent Fred Sears will keep Bob informed. He also suggested the State website for more information and you can also contact Mr. Sears.

Bob Graves reported that the Select Board has started budget talks with the Police Association and that we should expect some increases in wages. He noted that we should be “fair and equitable” in discussion on wages.

Chairman Galliher also noted that the Select Board is in negotiation with Bob Graves, our Town Administrator. He also reported a 1% increase in the County Retirement assessment, which is low compared to other years.

Jim Chivers said there was a meeting scheduled for the School Building Committee, but was canceled and not yet rescheduled. He did report that the progress is still ahead of schedule. He noted the following; Sheetrock is being installed in the auditorium, the locker room walls, roofs are done, framing of the office areas is being worked on and plastic is being put up to keep the heat in for the workers.

Bonnie Conner has not yet been notified of any meetings of the Seven Town Advisory Committee.

Mary Rice reported on the current Continuous Leak Report for December 2020. There are 10 properties listed with 6 being repeats and 4 new ones. The bills are out and due on February 3, 2021. This should be the last bill for the meters. Chairman Galliher will send out the proposals from Dave Prickett on maintenance issues for water and sewer that should be addressed going forward. He asked everyone to look them over for discussion at our next meeting. He feels we should be putting money into these issues yearly to maintain our systems.

Chairman Galliher will address the Utilities and Personal Property issues at our next meeting. Viv Mason, Select Board Chairperson, has been working on these and is not at this meeting.

Bob Graves will send out our Budget Planning Calendar by next week. He suggested we hold our Saturday meeting on the 2nd Saturday, not the First one. That would be March 13, 2021.

Dick Scialabba answered Russ Parks question about Wired West and the payments for the electricity in the Fire House. He said it is now MBI and yes, they are paying the bill for their portion of the electricity. Recently they received a check for $2,000. with another amount of $1,000. expected.

Chairman Galliher said we should be seeing some revenue from the Bullards Crossing Marijuana operation and the Solar Farms that are now up and running.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 7:02 pm. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote. The next meeting of this Committee is February 4, 2021 in the Community Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA / December 3, 2020, at 6:30pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 70695

posted at 6:35pm on 11/30/2020 and again 8am on 12/2/2020

Call to Order

 

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Review Accountants Report

  • Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

  • Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

  • 7 Town Advisory Updates – Ms. Conner

  • Sewer & Water Accounts Status – Ms. Rice

  • FY21 Finance Communications to Boards & Committees

  • Plunkett Water Level – Pump Cost

  • Utilities Personal Property Appraisal Status

  • FY22 Budget Planning

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

Public Comment

Adjourn

 

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / December 3, 2020, at 6:30pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall

posted at 9:35pm on 1/8/2021 

Members                        Absent                     Others

 

Shaun Galliher              Heather Brown        Bob Graves, Town Administrator

Bonnie Conner (remote)                                 Viv Mason, Select Board Chair     

Russ Parks                                                         Dick Scialabba, Select Board (remote)

Chris Pike                                 

Jim Chivers

Mary Rice (remote)

Nancy Smith (remote)

 

The meeting was opened at 6:34 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the November 5, 2020 meeting as written. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote.

 

Chairman Galliher reported there was nothing notable on the Accountant's report and the Committee members agreed.

 

Bob Graves reported on the issues at Plunkett Lake concerning the water level in the lake. The residents were first concerned with the low level earlier this summer due to lack of rain and heat. Recently there was too much water and with the gate valve repair delayed, the Town rented a pump for 5k to draw it down. Within 3 days, it filled back up again. We are waiting for the parts, that should be here next week. Meanwhile, Caleb Mitchell, Conservation Commission, extended the deadline for the draw down. We felt it was smarter to wait for the part than disturb the batter boards. The Select Board plans to request engineering funds tor a new spillway which would include a better batter board system.

 

Bob reported that the Transfer Station had a favorable inspection for the second year in a row. He attributes this to the outstanding job that the attendant Barry O'Keefe does. Bag tags will be available for on line purchase sometime in February. They will be able to be purchased online and mailed out.

 

Lake Management was inquiring about the dredging which had not been done, and was taken out of the budget last year. Bob will put it back in the budget for next year.

 

Bob also reported that Cathy Turner has volunteered her time to scan documents into our new scanner and he greatly appreciates it.

 

Jim Chivers reported on the progress of the new school. He said there have been 201 days of no covid or accidents on site. The roof is on and the 2nd floor areas are now being worked on. The good weather has helped with the concrete pours. It is starting to look like a building and everything is going well.

 

Bonnie Conner, member of the Seven Town Advisory Committee has not yet been informed of any meeting.

 

Mary Rice reported that the Water Department Continuous Leak Report had 7 names on it, compared to over 20 in previous months.

 

Chairman Galliher had sent out a memo to Committee members concerning the procedures for the Reserve Fund requests. The Committee were all in favor of this and it will now be given to every department head with a budget.

 

Chairman Galliher reported that there should be more information this month on the Utility Assessments. He said a revised bill should be sent out as soon as possible as the report was not generated in time for this tax bill, but the money should be collected in this tax year. Bob and Shaun discussed the possible changes is the Assessors members as to meetings and hours needed. They will try to research the Town Charter to see if Assessors can be appointed or to they need to continue to be elected.

 

Bob will send out budget sheets and schedules around the first of the the year. Our yearly budget meeting is tentatively going to me Saturday, March 6, 2021. Shaun will confer with Bob on some of the issues that should be included.

 

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 6:54 pm. The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote. The next meeting of this Committee is Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 6:30 pm in the Community Room at Town Hall.

 

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA / November 5, 2020, at 6:30pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

posted at 1:05 pm on 11/2/2020

Call to Order

 

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Review Accountants Report

  • Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

  • Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

  • 7 Town Advisory Updates – Ms. Conner

  • Sewer & Water Accounts Status – Ms. Rice

  • Police Dept. – Add 3rd full time officer

  • FY21 Finance Communications to Boards & Committees

  • Committee Vacancy Status

  • Plunkett Gate Valve Repair

  • Plunkett Spillway

  • Cherry Sheets COVID Expenses

  • Utilities Personal Property Appraisal

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

 

Public Comment

Adjourn

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / November 5, 2020, at 6:30pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall

posted at noon on 12/4/2020

 

Members               Absent                   Others

Shaun Galliher     Heather Brown    Bob Graves, Town Administrator

Bonnie Conner     Nancy Smith        Viv Mason, Select Board Chair

Russ Parks                                           Dick Scialabba, Select Board

Chris Pike                                             Susan Rathbun, Hinsdale Police Chief

Jim Chivers

Mary Rice

 

The meeting was opened at 6:30 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the October 1, 2020 meeting as written. The motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Galliher asked if there were any questions on the Expense Report. The same question of the Water Sewer wage account came up again, Chairman Galliher will check on that for our next meeting.

A question was asked about the Wired West facility within the Fire House, Dick Scialabba will look into that issue and get back to our Committee.

Bob Graves reported that the Old Dalton Road project will be completed next week. The Town will be purchasing 2 more computers so Town Committees can do Zoom meetings. The drawdown at Plunkett Lake will take place after Thanksgiving, when the gate valve is scheduled to be repaired. There still seems to be a question on the loss of water in the lake over the summer. Bob explained that there was a significant drought that contributed to this along with normal evaporation. He and Lake Management are looking into other possible causes. Repairs to the spillway need to be done. This was addressed in 1990 and basically put off. This may take several years to fix this problem.

J

im Chivers, School Building Committee, reported that the new school is ahead of schedule. Completed are the pre cast walls in the Gym, the roofs are on, the siding is on and the interior walls are being prepared for drywall. The plumbing work was delayed due to an unforeseen issue and has now resumed. The entire building will be buttoned up soon.

 

Bonnie Conner, member of the Seven Town School Advisory Committee, has not yet been notified of a meeting.

 

Mary Rice, reported on the status of the August Water Sewer billing. There were 51 residents that have open balances that total $28,265.56. Due to the State Covid-19 guidelines, water shutoffs were not done and this balance will now be a lien on their Real Estate bills. This lien will include the late fees.

 

The Water Sewer Commissioner met on October 21, 2020. They approved and abatement for Camp Romaca of $3,700 (of a $9,000. bill approximately). This was a request by the Camp for “some” relief since the Camp was unable to open this year due to Covid-19. They also added wording to the Sewer Connections Policy to require anyone connecting to the Sewer 3, where there are high pressure lines, have a licensed and insured contractor, approved by the Town, do the installation at the expense of the property owner Bud Hall is still working on the issue of the Camp Taconic flow meter that is still not working.

 

Chief of Police Susan Rathbun requested an addition to the full time officers. The candidate is fully trained, has been working part time, and would be an added benefit to the Town as a full time officer as it would greatly improve response time. The funds are there to address the salary. A motion was made and seconded to approve this appointment, the motion passed unanimously.

 

Chairman Galliher reported that the Town Insurance will cover the repair of the gate valve at Plunkett Lake that was damaged by vandalism early this summer. The State Cherry Sheets have not yet been finalized, and there is still no State Budget. The firm hired to appraise the Utilities has submitted a report that will be reviewed and assessed by our Assessing Firm. Since the Tax Rate had already been set, it is expected the benefit of additional income, will be in the next Fiscal Year. That, added with the additional income from the Cannibus and Solar operations, will have our revenue looking good.

 

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 8:12 pm. The motion passed unanimously. The next meeting of this Committee is Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 6:30 pm in the Community Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA / October 1, 2020, at 6:30pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

posted at 9:05 am on 9/29/2020

Call to Order

 

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Review Accountants Report

  • Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

  • Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

  • 7 Town Advisory Updates – Ms. Conner

  • Sewer & Water Accounts Status – Ms. Rice

  • Tax Classification Result & Rate

  • FY21 Finance Communications to Boards & Committees

  • Committee Vacancy Status

  • Plunkett Gate Valve Repair

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

Public Comment

Adjourn 

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / October 1, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room downstairs, Town Hall

posted at 9:15am on 11/9/2020

Members                       Absent                                     Other                                                                                                                                Shaun Galliher                          Chris Pike                                Dick Scialabba, Select Board

Jim Chivers                     Nancy Smith                                                       

Russ Parks                                                                                   

Mary Rice                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Bonnie Conner 

Heather Brown  (remote)

                                                                                                

The meeting was opened at 6:35 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the September 3, 2020 meeting as written. The motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Galliher asked if everyone had reviewed the Expense Report and had any questions. Several members had noticed that the Sewer 1 full-time wage account was 50% expended.  Chairman Galliher suspected that the wrong account number was used and that it is an error. He will get that answer for our next meeting.

Chairman Galliher announced that the pole has been removed, finally, at the intersection of Maple Street and Old Dalton Road. The final finish work will resume after Columbus Day.

Jim Chivers, School Building Committee, reported on the progress of the new school. Everything is on or ahead of schedule. So far, no contingency funds have been needed. He expressed concern that the new building will have all the necessary air filtering systems installed, due to the ongoing Covid-19 issue.

Bonnie Conner, Seven Town Advisory Committee, has to date, schedule no meeting.

Mary Rice had nothing new to report on the Water Sewer project as there have been no new meetings of the Commissioners.

Chairman Galliher announced the new tax rate has been set at $14.33 per $1000.00 valuation, an increase of $1.12 over last year's. This is mostly due to the new school building, but most likely would have increased approximately $.25 due to ongoing Town projects.

The cost of the repair of the gate valve at Plunkett Lake has been submitted to the Town's Insurance Company but no word back yet if they will cover it. The gate house had been broken into and the valve broken earlier this summer.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 6:59 pm. The motion passed unanimously by roll call vote. The next regular meeting of this Committee is November 5, 2020 at 6:30 in the Community Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA / September 3, 2020, at 6:30pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall

posted at 9:45 am on 8/31/2020

 

Call to Order

 

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

  • Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

  • 7 Town Advisory Updates – Ms. Conner

  • Sewer & Water Accounts Status – Ms. Rice

  • Additional Vocational Student

  • Free Cash Certification

  • FY21 Finance Communications to Boards & Committees

  • Committee Vacancy Status

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

 

Public Comment

Adjourn

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / September 3, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room downstairs, Town Hall

posted at 10am on 10/11/2020

Members                          Absent            Other   

Shaun Galliher                                         Bob Graves, Town Administrator

Chris Pike                                                  Viv Mason, Select Board Chair

Jim Chivers

Russ Parks

Mary Rice

Bonnie Conner (remote)

Heather Brown

Nancy Smith

 

The meeting was opened at 6:32 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the August 6, 2020 meeting as written. The motion passed with one abstaining.

Bob Graves reported that there has been a delay in the work on Old Dalton Road due to the coordination of Eversource and Verizon to move the wires on the pole at the intersection of Maple Street. The base coat is down and paving will begin on Tuesday. They will be off for 3 weeks and then back on the project. There is an issue with the side drop off going down the hill and something needs to be done as it is steeper than anticipated.

The Schnopp Road project is moving ahead with the engineering. Bud Hall met with Warner Brothers concerning the condition of East Washington Road. It is their opinion it would be better to reclaim the blacktop and revert back to a dirt road. That would provide a better surface and be easier and less costly to maintain. The issue of the 22 or 26 culvert would still need to be addressed. Some are minor fixes, some are major.

The Gate Valve at Plunkett Lake has been tampered with and broken by an intruder into the gate house. The locks have since been replaced and the valve will be repaired. This did not cause any water to leak out of the dam. There has been a concern by residents that the dam is leaking because the lake is do low. This has been investigated and determined not to be the cause of the low water. There was not as much winter run off, the valve was fixed in May which caused some water drainage during that process, we did not have much rain, and the summer was hot creating more than usual evaporation.

The new Assessing firm is going well. Dick Scialabba, Select Board, was appointed temporary Assessor as a quorum is needed to sign documents and set the tax rate. Two of the previous Assessors had resigned which left one Assessor for the Town. Dick has had to take courses to qualify to do this even temporarily. The Assessing firm will be here Tuesday to put all the property valuations into the computer. The previous Assessors had not done that all year, and it needs to be completed. The on line access seems to be going well and they are making appointments to meet with residents in person to address any concerns or questions.

Russ Parks reported that Eversource has replaced the one missing light pole on Main Street, and repaired another one.

Bonnie Conner has not heard of any scheduled meeting of the Seven Town Advisory Committee.

Mary Rice reported that the Water Sewer Commissioners held a meeting on August 27, 2020. Since she was unable to attend the first part of that meeting, she reported only on the part she attended. There was a proposal to eliminate the next meter charge of $62.50 that would appear on the January 2021 billing and issue a credit to users. This would be the final payment on the five (5) year repayment schedule although there is now enough income from the meter charge, to pay off the loan. The loan however, cannot be paid off early and will be paid at the end of this fiscal year. There was a solid opposition to this proposal from residents that are all on the Water system. Their opinion was that the monies should stay in the Water Surplus Account for future replacement of the meters or any other project deemed necessary. Dave Prickett, the consultant hired by the Town, had put this plan together several years ago with the goal to get a health Surplus and possibly lower the annual rates paid by the users. The Commissioners took no vote on this issue.

Mary also reported that after the deadline of August 9th to pay the Water Sewer bill, 140 are past due. $4,120 was added to their bills in penalties and the amount now due with penalties is $74,392.78. At the end of FY20 (June 30, 2020) 37 residents had outstanding balances totaling $31,584.08. This amount went into tax lien and will appear on their FY2021 tax bills for collection.

Bob Graves reported that the new chipper, authorized at the ATM, will be delivered tomorrow.

Jim Chivers, School Building Committee, reported that the project is moving along. All underground plumbing, grading, sidewalks, curbing and parking lot are near completion.

Bob Graves had received the list of Vocational students from the CBRSD office. Several students were listed for more than one school, one student is no longer attending a Vocational school, and the student that was discussed at a recent Select Board meeting had been on the list originally. Bob notified the parent of this student that he has been approved to attend this year. There were 12 students budgeted for, and we now have 10. It is his understanding that they will start in person, with alternate classroom and shop days.

Chariman Galliher reported that Free Cash has been certified at $482,510.00.

Bob Graves reported that a large tree came down in the Maple Street Cemetery and the monies in the Perpetual Care account were used to remove it.

Chairman Galliher and Bob Graves reported that there have been no responses to the vacancy on our Committee to date.

Bob Graves said the appraisal firm hired for the utility company is moving forward. The vacancy on the Highway Department has two applicants that will be interviewed this week. Heather Brown reported that the Fire Department was unable to secure the Grant for the Tanker but can apply again next year. The award of the grant is based on the number of calls to the department and it was just shy of that threshold.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 7:23 pm. The motion passed unanimously by roll call vote. The next regular meeting of this Committee is October 1, 2020 at 6:30 in the Community Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA / August 6, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall

posted at 1:30pm on 8/3/2020

Please note: This is a hybrid meeting, with attendance both on-site and via telephone/conference call. To join by phone, please dial 413-449-5095; and then enter code 706954. You will be asked to identify yourself for the minutes.

 

Call to Order

  • Review minutes from previous meeting

  • Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

  • Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

  • 7 Town Advisory Updates – Ms. Conner

  • Sewer & Water Accounts Status – Ms. Rice

  • FY20 Budget Final Results

  • FY21 Finance Communications to Boards & Committees

  • Committee Vacancy

  • Approval of annual dues for Assoc. of Town Finance Committees

  • Any other business not reasonably anticipated

 

Public Comment

Adjourn

 

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / August 6, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room downstairs, Town Hall

Members                              Absent                                                  Others                                                                                                                               

Shaun Galliher                    Nancy Smith                                        Jack Adams                                                                  

Chris Pike                             Heather Brown                      

Jim Chivers                                                                                

Russ Parks                                                                                   

Mary Rice                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Bonnie Conner                                                                                                     

 

The meeting was opened at 6:35 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the July 2, 2020 meeting as written. The motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Galliher reported that the Old Dalton Road project is progressing on schedule and is going well.

Jim Chivers, School Building Committee, reported that the highest beam was placed on the new school building, with a small ceremony of invited guests.  Chairman Galliher pointed out that although he did receive an invitation to attend, our Select Board did not.  The Committee was clearly disappointed that our Town Select Board was not asked to be there.

Mary Rice reported that the Water Department current Continuous Leak Report had more people on it than the previous one.  It is expected that will be corrected when the Commissioners notify the residents that they have a leak.  The numbers of residents on the Water and Sewer system are as follows:

       Water                                322

       Sewer 1                            306

       Sewer 2 (Beachwood)      28

       Sewer 3                            339

Boris will be sending her the number of residents that have outstanding balances next week, after the deadline for paying the bill.  She will have that report for our next meeting.

Chairman Galliher reported that Bud Hall has ordered the new truck and chipper that were funded at the ATM.  Unfortunately, the chipper is not here yet, which was clearly needed after this last storm.

The Committee discussed drafting up procedures for the Reserve Fund, and posting them to the Web site.  Chairman Galliher also reported that he has not seen a posting on the Web for the vacancy on our Committee due to Dick Scialabba leaving for his elected post on the Select Board. He will contact the Select Board again.

A motion was made and seconded to approve payment of the yearly fee for membership in the Association of Town Finance Committees.  The motion passed unanimously.

The Committee discussed an email from the Select Board regarding adding a vocational student  that very recently applied.  It is the position of the Committee not to approve this because it was not submitted by the March deadline to apply, and the April 1  deadline for approval by the School District.  There has been a long established process, some are noted above, for this to qualify for approval.  It appears, in the application, that many of these steps were not taken. These deadlines allow us to include the costs in our ATM budgets.  Chairman Galliher will ask for some clarification from the Select Board. Because this was not on our agenda we were not able to take a formal vote.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 7:17 pm.  The motion passed unanimously by roll call vote.  The next regular meeting of this Committee is September 3, 2020 at 6:30 in the Community Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA/ July 2, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room downstairs, Town Hall

posted 1:45pm 6/29/2020

Teleconference
 

Call to Order

•    Reorganization of the Committee
•    Review minutes from previous meeting
•    Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves
•    Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers
•    7 Town Advisory Updates – Ms. Conner
•    Sewer & Water Accounts Status – Ms. Rice & Mr. Parks
•    FY21 Annual Town Meeting Results
•    FY20 Reserve Fund Transfer (Street Lights) and others if necessary
•    FY20 Budget Final Results
•    FY21 Finance Communications to Boards & Committees


Public Comment

Adjourn

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

 

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / July 2, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room, Town Hall

posted 5:50pm 8/9/2020

Members                       Absent                         Other                 

Shaun Galliher             Nancy Smith               Viv Mason,  Select Board Chair 

Chris Pike                                                            Ray Bolduc, Select Board

Jim Chivers                                                          Bob Graves, Town Administrator

Russ Parks                                                           Lynne Baumgartner, Administrative Asst. (remote)                                                                        Heather Brown   

Mary Rice                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Bonnie Conner  

The meeting was opened at 6:40 pm.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the June 4 and June 18, 2020 meetings as written. The motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Galliher announced that we need to do our annual re-organization the Committee. A motion was made and seconded to nominate Shaun Galliher, Chairman. The motion passed unanimously. A motion was made and seconded to nominate Mary Rice as Secretary. The motion passed unanimously. A motion was made and seconded to nominate Heather Brown as Vice Chairman. The motion passed unanimously.  All accepted their position.

Bob Graves reported that he received a resignation letter from Assessors Peter Persoff and Dick Roussin. Assistant Assessor, David Zagorski, was not reappointed, his last day was June 30, 2020. The Select Board met with our new Assessing firm on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 and the meeting went very well. They will be getting the website up and running very soon.

Bob Graves presented a request to pay David Zagorski a months pay.  Viv and Bob explained that if it were not for Covid-19 delaying the Annual Town Meeting from the middle of May until June 24, 2020, Dave would have been notified immediately after that meeting when the funding for his position was not approved by Town Meeting vote.  A motion was made and seconded to approve a transfer of $1,185.60 from the Assessors Expense, and the balance of $2,373.40 to be line item transferred possibly from the Library Assistants salary account to the Assessors Salary Account. This would be a one time only  occurrence due to the unusual circumstances caused by the Covid -19 pandemic.  The motion passed with one opposed.

Jim Chivers, School Building Committee, reported that progress is actually ahead of schedule because the school has been closed and there is limited traffic.  He gave some detail on that progress to the Committee.

Mary Rice reported on the Water Sewer status. The Water Sewer Commissioners (currently the SB members) met on January 24, 2020 and voted to send letters to residents listed on the monthly Continuous Leak Reports, that they are now notified of this and must correct it or will face a fine. Over the past three to four years has been up to 35 on the monthly report, and since letters went out it is now down to 5 or 6.  This report is generated by a continuous flow through the water meter. It could be a leaky toilet or faucet causing this and does not indicate an excessive amount.  

The Water Sewer Commissioners met again on June 10, 2020 and appointed Scott Forgey to replace Dalton Noel who left for another job.  At this meeting they also approved an abatement for Camp Emerson of $4k. This was due to a sizable leak at the Camp, that would have been noticed quicker had it not happened during the annual flushing of hydrants. This was the amount requested by the Camp that was not the full amount generated by the leak.  

Mary will give an overview of this ongoing project concerning improvements and rate structure, at our next meeting and will update monthly as information is generated. This project involves approximately 700 residents and the Finance Committee should be informed on a regular basis.  If there is a failure of the users to pay for these systems, the burden will fall on the entire Town.

Bonnie Conner, our Finance Committee representative on the 7 Town Advisory Committee, has not yet been notified of a meeting.

Chairman Galliher reported that Charlie Brown, Town Accountant, is working on the end of the year reports. There has been one request for a Reserve Fund Transfer for a deficit in the Streetlights Account. A motion was made and seconded to approve a Reserve Fund Transfer for $1,000. into the Streetlights Account. The motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Galliher is going to provide information on the description and rules for the Reserve Fund and distribute it to every department.  It will also be posted on the Town Website.

Chairman Galliher accepted the resignation of Dick Scialabba from the Committee. Dick was elected as a member of the Select Board at the election on June 27, 2020.  He will notify the Select Board of the vacancy and we will encourage anyone interested to apply to the Select Board or Finance Committee.  This will be an appointment to a one year term to fill the vacancy and that person will be up for election next May.

Viv reported the Select Board had received a letter from Al and Tracy Lussier offering to pay the $300.00 increase in the CSX rental property for the next two (2) years. It was also reported that Gaston Robert, who installed the Gazebo, said it would fall apart if anyone attempted to relocate it to the Plunkett Lake beach, as had been discussed in previous meetings.

Chairman Galliher read a letter the Committee received from Dick Roussin regarding the change in the structure of the Assessors office.

The next scheduled meeting of this Committee is August 6, 2020.  A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 7:25 pm.  The motion passed unanimously. 

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

       

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA/ June 18, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room downstairs, Town Hall

posted 4:05pm 6/15/2020

Teleconference

Call to Order

Reserve Fund Transfer Request – FY20 Police Wages

Public Comment

Adjourn

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

 

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / June 18, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room, Town Hall

posted 3:50pm 7/3/2020

Members                              Absent                                    Other                                                                                                                                         

Shaun Galliher                    Nancy Smith                           Viv Mason,  Select Board Chair      

Chris Pike                                                   
Jim Chivers                                                                                 
Russ Parks                                                                                   
Heather Brown
Mary Rice  (remote)                                                                                                                                                                                                
Bonnie Conner (remote)                                                                                                       
Dick Scialabba 

The meeting was opened at 6:33 pm.
Chairman Galliher explained the request for a Reserve Fund Transfer of 11K to cover Police Department Asst. Salaries.  Primarily this is due to unforeseen expenses such as  the turn over in the department that required additional training.  Another factor is an item in their contract that adds a stipend for an officer getting additional educational degrees.
A motion was made and seconded to approve a Reserve Fund Transfer of 11k to the Police Department Assistant Salaries Account.  The motion passed unanimously by a roll call vote.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 6:44 pm.  The motion passed unanimously by roll call vote.  
Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

 

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA/ June 4, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room downstairs, Town Hall

posted 1:30pm 6/1/2020

Teleconference

Call to Order

Review minutes from previous meeting

Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

FY21 Budget Discussions and Recommendations for Annual Town Meeting

Public Comment

Adjourn

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

 

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / June 4, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room, Town Hall

posted 3:00pm 7/3/2020

Members                               Absent                                  Other                                                                                                                                         Shaun

Shaun Galliher                      Chris Pike                            Viv Mason,  Select Board Chair                                                                   

Nancy Smith (remote)                                                       Bob Graves, Town Administrator  

JIm Chivers                                                                          Rich Kardasen, Select Board (remote)

Russ Parks  (remote)                                                         Lynne Baumgartner, Admin Assnt                                                                                                    Heather Brown

Mary Rice  (remote)

Bonnie Conner (remote)      

Dick Scialabba (remote)

The meeting was opened at 6:32 pm.
A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the May 21, 2020 meeting as written.  The motion passed unanimously by roll call vote.
Bob Graves reported the construction on Old Dalton Road has begun this week, starting at Maple Street end.  One issue arose about a culvert near the Dalton Town line that is not on the original engineering drawing.  That is being looked into by all parties involved.
Jim Chivers, member of the School Building Committee, reported the progress on the new building.  There are no issues and work in progressing.  The workers are adhering to the Covid-19 guidelines.  According to Tom Callahan, they may be making changes to the design of the building due to the Covid-19 issues.  No interior work will be done until winter, but talks are now underway.
Chairman Galliher announced that the Seven Town Advisory Committee has been re-activated.  Viv Mason, Select Board Chair, is now a member and they are looking for a member of the Finance Committee.  We have one member that will consider joining that committee.
Chairman Galliher and the Committee reviewed and discussed each article on the ATM Warrant.  All articles were approved by the Committee except for a section of Article #4., the CBRSD Assessment.  This is an increase of approximately 100K over last years assessment.  A motion was made and seconded not to recommend the assessment.  The motion passed by a roll call vote with seven (7) yes, and one (1)no.  Chairman Galliher noted that the Select Board will vote on all the Warrant Articles at their next meeting on Wednesday, June 8, 2020.  
Bob Graves reported that our School Committee Representative, Dick Peters, will attend that meeting with, and introduce, our new Superintendent.

Chairman Galliher and Bob Graves will work on a handout for the ATM with explanations on several articles.  This may be posted on the website to give all voters time to review the Warrant Articles, and the explanations ahead of the meeting.
Our next meeting will be the Annual Town Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 7:00 pm in the Kittredge School gymnasium.  Bob Graves will post Covid-19 guidelines on the website next week.  Everyone will be required to wear a mask and social distance, and the gym will be set up accordingly.  Our Board of Health agent, Fred Sears, will work with Bob on those guidelines.  
Chairman Galliher will call another meeting if it is needed, before the ATM. The next regular scheduled meeting of this Committee is Thursday,  July 2, 2020 at 6:30 pm. In the Town Hall Community room.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 7:46 pm.  The motion passed unanimously by roll call vote.  
Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA/ May 21, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room downstairs, Town Hall

posted 3pm 5/18/2020

Teleconference

Call to Order

Review minutes from previous meeting

Reserve Fund Transfer Request - Medicare

Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

FY21 Budget Discussions

Public Comment

Adjourn

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

 

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / May 21, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room, Town Hall

posted 7:50pm 6/52020

Members                                                                                                                                  Absent                                                                Other                                                                                                                                        

Shaun Galliher                                                 Viv Mason,  Select Board Chair                                                                  
Nancy Smith (remote)                                    Bob Graves, Town Administrator  
Jim Chivers                                                       Rich Kardasen, Select Board (remote)
Russ Parks  (remote)                                      Ray Bolduc, Select Board  (remote)                    
Heather Brown
Mary Rice  (remote)                                                                                                                                                                                               
Bonnie Conner (remote)                                                                                                      
Dick Scialabba (remote)
Chris Pike (remote)

The meeting was opened at 6:30 pm.
A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the May 7, 2020 meeting as written.  The motion passed by roll call vote, with one abstaining.
Chairman Galliher presented a request for a Reserve Fund Transfer, submitted by Diane Sturtevant, Town Treasurer.  The request is for a transfer of $1,500.00 to cover additional Medicare costs incurred by detail officers.  This money will be recouped with the 10% administrative fee charged to the company or companies requesting the detail officers.  The motion was made and seconded to approve this transfer and it passed by a roll call vote with one abstaining.

Bob Graves reported that the Town is able to sign up  for the Cares Act reimbursement for Covid-19 related expenditures up to $160,020. 
Bob Graves reported that the Town of Adams will apply for a Community Block Grant that will be available to local private businesses.  They will include Hinsdale in this application.  He encourages private business owners to check out the Town of Adams website for more information.
Bob had additional information on the Liability Insurance offered by MIIA  and VFIS.  Originally the cost was the same but subsequently MIIA lowered their price by $2,025.00.  There is a difference in coverage as well.  MIIA will not cover Firefighters over the age of 70yrs, VFIS will cover them, but not the Town.  The Committee discussed the options but took no vote at this meeting.

Dick Scialabba reported that there is no good news on the Grant application for the Fire Department Tanker, but also that no decision has yet been made.
Jim Chivers, member of the School Building Committee, went over the report sent by Tom Callahan.  There have been no recent meetings, but one is scheduled for some time in June.
Bob Graves reported an agreement with Dufour on the Vocational Transportation of 25% of the total for the remainder of the year.
The proposal for switching to an outside Assessing firm will cost approximately 74K compared to approximately 90K to keep as is, which is a significant savings to the Town.
State Aid for next year is anticipated to be reduced by 10% or 40K and will be a tough year financially.  On the up side, anticipated revenue from several projects in town (solar and cannabis) may ease that somewhat.
Bob Graves reported that the issue of selling the Old Town Hall, or not, will not be on this Town Warrant mainly due to the Corona Virus issue. He would like the public to have a conversation about it and be fully informed before a vote is taken.
Chairman Galliher reported that we will discuss and vote on the CBRSD  budget at our next meeting.  It has been reported that Dalton Finance Committee recommended to level fund it.  Our assessment increased about 100K from last year's.
Bob Graves reported that our Annual Town Meeting is Wednesday, June 24th, and many precautions will be taken to insure everyone is protected as much as possible against the spread of the Corona Virus.  The State has exempted towns from the 10 person rule for gatherings.  He also said the Warrant must be posted by June 8th or 9th.
The Committee discussed the new school being built for the new normal of social distancing.  There will be no interior work until Winter, and it is unclear as to how this will proceed.
The next scheduled meeting of this Committee is Thursday,  June 4, 2020 at 6:30 pm. In the Town Hall Community room.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 7:55 pm.  The motion passed unanimously by roll call vote. 
Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA/ May 7, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room downstairs, Town Hall

posted 3pm 5/4/2020

Teleconference

 

Call to Order

Review minutes from previous meeting

Review Accountants Report

Town Administrator Comments/Status – Mr. Graves

Status of school building project – Mr. Chivers

FY21 Budget Discussions

Public Comment

Adjourn

Public may attend meeting by phone:  413-449-5095; code 706954

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES / May 7, 2020 at 6:30pm

Community Room, Town Hall

posted 7:50am 5/23/2020

Members                           Absent                                                                Other                                                                                                                                        

Shaun Galliher                  Heather Brown                      Viv Mason,  Select Board Chair                                                                  
Nancy Smith (remote)                                                      Bob Graves, Town Administrator  
Jim Chivers                                                                         Rich Kardasen, Select Board
Russ Parks                                                                          Ray Bolduc, Select Board  (remote)                    
Mary Rice  (remote)                                                          Lynne Baumgartner, Admin. Asst (remote)                                                                                                                                     
Bonnie Conner (remote)                                                                                                      
Dick Scialabba (remote)
Chris Pike

The meeting was opened at 6:30 pm.
A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the April 30, 2020 meeting as written.  The motion passed by roll call vote, with two (2) abstaining.
Chairman Galliher went over Charlie Brown's Expenditure Report noting a few items such as;
  Town Hall Renovations – work yet to be done on columns outside the PD, sign outside.
  Health & Life Insurances -  possible over by 10K, may need transfer
  Medicare – also may need transfer to cover (but will be recouped with 10% charge) due to outside detail by PD.
All other accounts seem to be in line with expected.
Bob Graves reported that the ATM and Election may need to be rescheduled to the end of June, not sure at this point where any of the Towns stand with this issue.  Waiting on the State to set guidelines.  Still wanting to hear about our request for extension on recapping the Landfill.  
Bob and the Committee discussed complicated issues with Ipswich Pharmaceuticals.  The company has changed ownership, but the same people are running it.  Planning Board is looking into all this as far as permits, Host Community Agreements and related issues.
Bob reported that two or three months ago the Solar Farm on Old Dalton Road was moving ahead, but has not heard anything from them recently.


Jim Chivers, member of the School Building Committee, referred to Tom Callahan's report on the progress so far.  There also have been no safely issues in the last 38 days.  The actually are a bit ahead of schedule because there is no school in session and less public traffic.
Chairman Galliher reported that we will have a budget in place, and we can discuss the school budget at our next meeting.  The Committee discussed the school issue and raised a concern that we may have a new school building but are unable to use it due to the future possibility of social distancing, block scheduling and virus related issues.  Viv Mason suggested that they leave the old building there as they may indeed need it in the future.
Bob Graves reported that he has not heard back from Dufour, although he calls constantly and leaves messages, concerning our Vocational Transportation bill.
Bob Graves reported that the Town has received the check for the copier of $14,194. that Lynne was able to secure through a Grant.  The Town officials and the Finance Committee extended their appreciation to Lynne for all her hard work in getting this Grant.
The next scheduled meeting of this Committee is Thursday,  May 21, 2020 at 6:30 pm. In the Town Hall Community room.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 7:12 pm. The motion passed unanimously by roll call vote. 
Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary