Finance Board/Select Board Budget Meeting 03/27/2018

Town of Otis

Finance Board/Selectboard Budget Meeting

March 27, 2018


Present:           Don Hawley, Bill Hiller, Gary Thomas, Becky Stone, Terry Gould, Michael Ernst, Walt Engels via cell phone (remote participation)


Also Present:  Chris Bouchard, Rich Phair, Jim Ebitz


Meeting called to order at 5:30 pm and is being recorded.

Purpose:          Review Budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2019


Pg 27  #47       Fire Department ExpensesThe pager line item is for replacing regular radios and radio equipment during the year as needed.  The Protective Gear line item is for planned replacement of three sets by pieces needed (helmets, boots, coats).  Rich and Chris asked if the stipend amount, which was level funded, could be evenly distributed by all qualifying members meeting the criteria, instead of a designated dollar amount.  The Select Board approved this new distribution method for stipends and also PASSED the budget at $43,290.


Fire Dept. Capital Expenses:

Radios:  The Fire Dept. has proposed a four-year capital expense project for acquiring new digital radios for the department, both 300W and 50W.  P25 is the new national FEMA compliant radio level.  They are proposing P25 digital-capable Kenwood radios, which should be equivalent to military specifications and should last up to 15 years.  Overall, they will need a total of 23 pagers and 12 portable radios as well as for both Fire Houses.  Engine One is already equipped with this radio.  This should cost about $13,000 per year and these were priced off the state contract.  The Select Board asked if they could also present figures for doing the whole project at one time.  The Select Board would like to compare the two costs and are hoping there may be some savings if everything is done once.  Skipped – needs further discussion.


Pg 58  #51  Otis Rescue Squad:  Jim Ebitz presented the Otis Rescue Squad budget and noted the only increase to the budget was to fund one additional person for the weekend either as permanent part-time or as per diem.  This would be for eight hours of coverage.  Currently, they are only covered for weekend days.  Jim also stated that the Rescue Squad is planning on replacing the ambulance within the year.  They believe they have enough money allocated for this.  The Finance Board reminded Jim they would like to see the latest Form 990 filed for the Rescue Squad.  PASSED at $211,000.


After additional discussion, both boards decided to post an additional budget meeting on Monday, April 2, 2018 at 6:00 pm so they can hopefully finish up on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 5:30 pm.  Jack and Heather are confirmed for Tuesday’s meeting.


Pg 22  #46  Emergency Management:  The first line item should be budgeted at $13,000.  The BlackBoard Connect line item should be $3000, so the budget was PASSED at $19,500.


Pg 12  #45  Asst Building Inspector Salary:  Becky distributed an explanation of how the Assistant Building Inspector gets paid.  This budget has been increased from $3500 to $4000 so Gary can cover for Larry’s vacation.  PASSED at $4000.



The meeting was closed at 6:49 pm and may be reopened after the 7:00 pm Select Board meeting is adjourned.

This meeting was reopened at 7:48 pm after the Select Board meeting was adjourned.



Highway Capital Expenses:

Grant for Repair & Rebuild Tyringham Road:  Derek said he needed to have Select Board approval to apply for a $1 Million grant for this project.  All Select Board members were present and all three unanimously approved Derek begin paperwork for this grant application.

Loader/Backhoe Unit:  Derek got pricing for purchasing a new unit outright.  A JCV Backhoe will cost $136,254 if purchased new with an extended warranty.  That is a five year warranty with complete coverage.  This is off a contract and can be financed.

2002 International Dump Truck Replacement:  A completely configured Western Star Dump Truck with an extended warranty will cost $271,940.  The extended warranty covers different things for different time lengths.


Budgets Remaining for COLA discussion:

Pg 11  #44  Building Inspector Salary

Pg 17  #7    Conservation Commission Salary

Pg 35  #66  Health WWTP Chief Operator

Pg 41  #69  Highway Labor:  Derek mentioned one of his employees will look for another job if he does not see a substantial increase.

Pg 44  #72  Highway Snow Removal Labor

Pg 45  #73  Highway Super Salary

Pg 52  #16  Maintenance LaborSkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 53  #17  Maintenance Super SalarySkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 54  #18  Asst Maint Super SalarySkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 60  #21  Planning Board ClerkSkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 62  #54  Police Chief SalarySkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 63  #53  Police Dept. LaborSkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 66  #89  Recreation SalariesSkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 75  #23  Selectmen’s SecretarySkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 81  #27  Town Accountant SalarySkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 82  #28  Town AdministratorSkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 84  #30  Town Clerk SalarySkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 86  #32  Town Clerk Elections SalariesSkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 89  #34  Town Collector SalarySkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 91  #36  Town Hall Admin AssistantSkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 94  #39  Town Treasurer SalarySkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 101 #41 ZBA ClericalSkipped – needs further discussion.



Categories Skipped over and still needing approval:

Pg 47  #50  Inspectors:  The Select Board would like to bring Jack and Heather in to discuss.  Skipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 51  #15  Maintenance ExpensesSkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 61  #52  Police Dept. ExpensesSkipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 69  #74  Sanitation InspectorSkipped – needs further discussion.



Capital Expenses are still under discussion.

Maintenance, Police Dept., and Jack Conboy and Heather remain for the April meetings.


Meeting adjourned at 7:55 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis


List of Documents



  1. A copy of the B & H Expense Report as of March 27, 2018 will be filed with these meeting minutes.