Finance Board / Select Board Budget Meeting Minutes 03/13/2019

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Town of Otis

Finance Board/Selectboard Budget Meeting

March 13, 2019


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


Also Present:  Diane Dyer, Celeste Watman, Keith O’Neil, Derek Poirier


Meeting called to order at 5:31 pm and is being recorded.

Purpose:          Review Budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2020


Pg 58  #610  Library:  Walter immediately recused himself from the Finance Board so he could answer questions on the Library budget as their Treasurer.  The bulk of the discussion was regarding the Technology/Computer Maint. Line item.  Bill stated that our computer maintenance contract also covered the Library computers so they should find out the cost of classes alone from their IT guy.  The hope was this would cut the cost of the budget expenses.  SKIPPED – still discussing Technology line item.


Pg 49  #440  WWTP:  PASSED at $66,450.00 pending potential salary changes.  Most costs are fixed.


Safety Officer discussion:  Keith is currently our Safety Officer handling the new DLS OSHA requirements for the town.  He figures with the new rollout we will have a lot of expenses for the first few years and then he hopes the costs will begin to level out over time.  There was also discussion about hiring a float person to cover WWTP, Highway, and Maintenance when an extra person is needed for OSHA requirements.  This person possibly should at least have a Grade 3 license to cover the WWT plant and a CDL license for Highway.  This will definitely need to be a new department for FY2021, but it could be setup now.  The proposal is to include $5200 for a Safety Officer stipend and $2800 for expenses, for a total of $8000.  Individual budgets this year should also be including line items for personal protective equipment specific to those departments so they remain OSHA compliant to ANSI standards.  Keith is looking into any grant money available for upgrading to the new OSHA requirements as well.


Safety Department may be added for $8000 depending on how the total budget stands.


Pg 36  #422  Highway:  The presented expense budget is approved at $228,300.  SKIPPED – needs salary discussion.  Derek felt his salary recommendations were good as presented.  Derek had a list of Capital Expense items.  The first list was eight paved roads in town that Derek considers in dire need of repair.  The total estimated cost to reclaim and repave the eight roads is approximately $3 Million.  This does not include the money needed for tree trimming and culverts.  With this year’s Chapter 90 money we have about $250,000 available in July for repairs.  Derek wants the Select Board to understand Chapter 90 money will never be enough to improve our roads and to think about what they would like to do.  The second list has one specific capital expense item:  replace the town grader, which is becoming mechanically unreliable and has obsolete parts.  Replacement cost with plow and wing setup including our trade is approximately $400,000 which includes a factory six year powertrain and hydraulic extended warranty.


Pg 39  #423   Highway Snow Removal:  The presented expense budget is approved at $121,000.  SKIPPED – needs salary discussion.


Salary discussion:  After discussion back and forth, the Selectmen decided the COLA rate would be set at 2.5% for the new fiscal year, and they would allow up to 5% for exceptional work.  They also began deliberating on what to do with the Selectmen’s Secretary position since that person is retiring.  One option is to replace that position.  Another option is to absorb those responsibilities into both the Town Administrator and Town Administrative Assistant positions.  The budget reflects funding for both options at the present moment.  The selectmen will think this over and discuss in future.


Pg 28  #215     Otis Rescue:  The $9000 increase is due to insurance costs and is a fixed cost.  PASSED at $220,000.00.


Accounts still needing approval:


Pg 1    #122   Board of Selectmen:  SKIPPED – no salaries have been discussed as yet.

Pg 3    #123   Town Administrator:  SKIPPED.

Pg 6    #135   Accountant:  SKIPPED.

Pg 7    #136   Audit:  SKIPPED.

Pg 10  #145   Treasurer:  SKIPPED.

Pg 12  #146   Town Collector:  SKIPPED.

Pg 15  #151   Legal:  SKIPPED.

Pg 17  #161   Town Clerk:  SKIPPED.

Pg 21  #171   Conservation:  SKIPPED.

Pg 26  #210   Police:  SKIPPED.

Pg 31  #241   Building Inspector:  SKIPPED.

Pg 33  #292  Animal Control:  SKIPPED – no budget submitted.

Pg 35  #300  Schools:  SKIPPED.

Pg 36  #422  Highway:  SKIPPED.

Pg 39  #423  Highway Snow Removal:  SKIPPED.

Pg 41  #429  Maintenance:  SKIPPED.

Pg 47  #433  Health and Sanitation:  SKIPPED.

Pg 57  #543  Veterans:  SKIPPED.

Pg 58  #610  Library:  SKIPPED.

Pg 60  #630  Recreation:  SKIPPED – Programs need to be split out.


The boards still need to meet with Recreation, Transfer Station, Police, School, and Jim, Keith, and Derek to continue discussion of the Safety Department.  Becky noted the School will be here for the budget meeting scheduled on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 5:30 pm.  It was decided to continue meetings into next week and Lisa will post agendas for Tuesday March 19, 2019 and Wednesday March 20, 2019 at 5:30 pm, and Monday March 25, 2019 after the All Boards will be a final meeting if we still need to have another meeting.




Meeting adjourned at 8:02 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis


List of Documents


  1. Bill’s spreadsheet summarizing the new department numbers, their titles, and what page to find them on will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. Becky’s email from earlier today regarding tonight’s budget meeting will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. Derek’s list of roads and capital expense request will be filed with these meeting minutes.