Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Dec 18, 2015

Work Session Minutes Dec 18, 2015


TOWN OF LITTLETON
10:30 AM
BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S MEETING
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2015
TOWN OFFICE CONFERENCE ROOM
125 MAIN STREET, LITTLETON, NH

Present: Town Manager Andrew Dorsett, V. Chairman Schuyler Sweet, Selectman Ed Hennessey, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings, Finance Director Karen Noyes

Sweet called the work session to order at 10:30 AM

Andrew Dorsett went through the cuts and additions he had made to the proposed budget since the last meeting with the budget committee. Dorsett said they cut $248,578 and if you subtract the debt service that is 1.3% of the increase. It is only a 2.82% increase and 4.12% with the bonds. The changes were highlighted on the report the board was provided with. The board of selectmen’s mileage was taken out because Milt was no longer the board representative to Calex and boat registrations were taken out because it has been on the books for three years. Training for the certified manager training was taken out for Karen to sign up for but they are going to try and get a scholarship. They increased the training for human resources and they added $10,000 for the two union contracts to negotiate next year. The compensation for adjustment of wages was dropped by $13,000. They reduced building maintenance. The cemeteries asked for a 1,500 for a budget increase. Noyes said they reduced the request by $500. The police department budget this is where most of the change is coming from. The two officer’s salaries and related costs has been moved to two separate warrant articles. The retirement has been reduced as they have a Sargent is retiring. The part time officer is still in the budget but we reduced the hours and the hourly wage. Dorsett said they also moved the cruiser as a warrant. Dorsett said he would like to develop an equipment plan that would back up into an equipment fund. The fire department is having changes in staff. We have been able to realize a savings because we are not filling positions immediately. Ed Hennessey said the budget committee is trying to encourage not filling the positions immediately. Dorsett said the call firefighters have other jobs and are not always available due to work commitments.

Noyes said there was a change to the health insurance. Dorsett said the fire department budget is smaller than the default from last year. Noyes said they were also cutting the paramedic training in half. Dorsett said there were no changes to public works. There was a change to the highway department due to changes in staff positions. No changes to welfare. Noyes said there is a reduction in the street lighting improvements. There are no changes in the solid waste budget. Ed Hennessey asked if the board would be involved with the suggestion from the budget committee to increase printing and other fees. Dorsett said the board would vote when the list of fee increases have been put together. Dorsett then covered the library budget. The staff increase they are asking for in the library has been put on as a warrant article to be fair to the other department’s additional staff requests. Dorsett said the parks and recreation had a reduction in electricity and water. Noyes said one member of the budget committee questioned the new advertising line. Dorsett said his take on that is that it is a revenue generating line. Ed Hennessey asked about the airport. Dorsett said he had to check on whether or not it is a contract or an agreement. Hennessey said they should look at the contract and consider eliminating the amount from the budget. Hennessey said they should cut the board’s salary to five hundred each and retain the five hundred for the chairman. The salary is currently $2,500 each with a $500 stipend for the chairman. Noyes asked if they would bring that up at their meeting on December 28th. Hennessey then asked about the wage band and if there was one in existence. Noyes said the last one was done in 2001 and was never acted upon. They could never get it pass the Town Manager at the time.

The board then moved onto the warrant articles. Hennessey said the warrant article for Saranac Street in the amount of $100,000 should be taken off the warrant. Noyes said that if the $900,000 bond for the River District passes it will have a large payment due in 2017. Dorsett said as far as the bond goes it would pay for the work that needs to be done now whereas if the warrant fails the Town will have to pay significantly more to do the necessary work. Noyes said the fire department heating system and the oil tank mitigation is something we can’t do anything right now. The feeling was to start a capital reserve fund to help cover some of the costs. Dorsett said it is similar as the highway department that also has a propane system that is made to work with the pellet system. Dorsett moved onto the salt shed and stated that every year we wait to install the shed the cost of salt will continue to be high. Last year they asked for $20,000 and by asking for $40,000 they can build it in 2016. Dorsett said it would be to our advantage to build it next year. The rest of the requests are self-explanatory. There is also a request for a new entry level truck driver. The police department warrant articles were reviewed along with the transfer station safety improvements. Hennessey asked if the roads were in the order of priority. Sweet said some of these roads are particularly bad. The board considered combining the roads into one warrant article. Noyes said that if you combine them you stand the chance of losing all of them. Dorsett moved down the warrant article list to the Opera House Maintenance. There are two warrants for the Opera House. One is for the venue and the other is for the building. Dorsett said he has been meeting with the Opera House Commission and they only want to deal with the venue. The Opera House committee is basically the group that used to take care of the rest of the building. There are some issues regarding drainage in the basement and ice accumulating on the roof.

The board then reviewed the Energy Conservation Committee warrant articles that had a tax impact. The parks and recreation had a warrant for an equipment replacement fund. This would be to add to the fund that was created in 2013. There is also a warrant for paving areas at Remich Park. There is also the continuation of the building replacement fund. The nonunion wage scale is for the nonunion employees and the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk is an elected position and will need the warrant article to set the starting rate and the cap for the position. The petitioned warrant articles will be voted on after the deadline of January 12 submission date. Sweet said they are scheduled to meet next Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at 9:00 AM. Hennessey said he could not make that meeting at 9:00 AM and asked if they could meet at 10:30 AM instead. Dorsett said he would check with Milt Bratz.


Hennessey made the motion to adjourn. Sweet seconded the motion. The motion passed 2-0. The work session adjourned at 11:49 AM.