Oct 20, 2015

Budget Committee Minutes Oct 20, 2015

Budget Committee: Steve Kelley, Diane Cummings, Muffy Copenhaver, Dann, Ron Bolt, Evan Nelson, Rudy Gelsi, Carolyn Murro, and George Kirk
Town: Milt Bratz, Karen Noyes, Andrew Dorsett, Paul Smith
Media: Darin Wipperman, Courier
Purpose: Initial Town Budget Presentation

  • The minutes of the 15 October meeting were approved as submitted.
  • The Mission Statement will be reviewed at the next meeting and should be amended to make mention of the use of Alternate members.
  • A discussion ensued about the conditions under which a member can abstain from a vote. All we asked to give this some additional though before the next meeting.
  • Steve will contact LATV to arrange for Channel 2 filming of future meetings.

Town Budget Overview:
Town Manager Andrew Dorsett provided a brief statement on the budget which stressed the need to provide cost effective services appropriate to maintain a town of the superior quality. The budget is one vehicle to prioritize goals.
Andrew added that the Moore Dam Committee would have an initial meeting on 21 October to discuss a new assessment for the property, currently set at $177M. Milt Bratz indicated that the one-year extension to the agreement between the Town and TransCanada has lapsed, and a new agreement needs to be negotiated.
Finance Director Karen Noyes explained that considerations in the budget process include: previous approved budget; contractual obligations; departmental concerns, including safety; departmental goals; and, increases or decreases in rates for such things as insurance.
The Town is planning to file the MS-1 (town property values) report with the NH Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) on 26 October, with hopes for setting the tax rate in early November.
Diane implored the Town budget team to meet with their school counterparts in an effort to coordinate their efforts and to gain an understanding of the total picture potentially facing the taxpayers.

Default Budget
Karen then provided the committee with the following handouts:

  • Departmental Budget Schedule
    • October 20th – Executive, Town Clerk, Tax Collector, Planning & Zoning, Finance, Personnel Administration, Welfare, and other small budgets.
    • October 27th – Transfer Station, Fire Department
    • November 3rd – Highway Department, including sewer, and Parks & Recreation
    • November 10th – Police Department and associated budgets
    • December 1st – Follow-up questions, budget review, warrant articles
    • TBD – Library, Opera House, Cemetery, etc.
    • Committee requested testimony from the Chamber of Commerce and Mt. Washington Airport
  • Overview of Some Changes from 2015 to 2016
    • Health Insurance contribution by all employees will be standardized at 12.5%
    • Generally much more favorable fuel costs
    • Small increases in retirement costs, workers compensation, and unemployment
    • No change in life insurance
    • Anticipating a 30% increase in disability insurance
  • A draft of the 2016 Default Budget
    • Currently $227,389 above the 2015 approved budget
    • Biggest increase is in debt service (mostly from HD purchases)
    • Anticipated revenue is down about $100K
  • Bond/Loan Outstanding Debt out to 2028
  • Wages and Salaries for all Town employees
  • Trust Funds and Capital Reserve Funds, for both Town and School
  • Fund Balance History
  • Overview of 2015 Undesignated Fund Balance – estimate as $432,589.33

Next Meeting: 27 October, 4 PM, Community Center
Ron Bolt, Secretary