Finance Board/Select Board Budget Meeting Minutes 03/20/2018

Town of Otis

Finance Board/Selectboard Budget Meeting

March 20, 2018


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


Also Present:  Derek Poirier, Sonia Morrison Kobrin


Meeting called to order at 5:35 pm and is being recorded.

Purpose:          Review Budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2019



There was initial discussion about where to take the money from for the Eversource Mower.   The initial plan was to take the money out of Highway Expenses and when the check from Eversource came in, put the money back into the Highway Expenses account.


Pg 42  #70  Highway Road Machine Maint:  Each Highway truck has a two-way radio and radios run about $600 each, plus there are repairs during the year.  The radio line item is to replace radios when needed.  Derek is also comfortable with the $30,000 he budgeted for Equipment Repair.  Budget PASSED for $58,400.


Highway Capital Expenses:

Purchase and install Repeaters:  Derek felt this should be a general capital expense because this would benefit Fire, Police and the Rescue Squad as well as Highway.  He thinks we would need one or two repeaters to get coverage across town.  Berkshire Communicators provided a cost printout of what we might need.  Coverage with our current radios is very spotty.  The Select Board had too many questions that Derek couldn’t answer.  The Select Board asked for more information such as who could provide this, how it would be configured, what equipment would have to be purchased at what cost, etc.

2002 International Dump Truck Replacement:  Minor replacement parts are becoming obsolete for this vehicle.  A new Mack would run about $310,000 and a new Western Star would run about $264,000.  Pricing includes extended warranty.  We have problems with the Western Star we just bought and Derek has heard other departments have had problems with their Macks, so it’s a toss up as to what we get.  Other manufacturers are more expensive.

Loader/Backhoe Unit:  Derek’s proposal is for a used machine.  The Select Board pointed out we never know what we are getting by purchasing used.  They asked to see price estimates for a new machine.  Derek is guessing that should be around $110,000.

New 2 Yard Sander/Spreader Unit:  Derek plans to replace one he has on a pickup.  The old unit is 12 years old.  This was approved for $6,000.


Pg 7    #5  Audit:  The auditors said we will need $2500 to $3000 and the MLP will be a separate audit financed via MLP funds.  We currently have $22,000 in FY 2018 funds which is enough to cover FY2018 and FY2019.  For FY2019, budget PASSED for $0 and for FY2020, we will plan to budget for $12,000.


Pg 14  #60  Cemetery:  This includes upkeep of two storage sheds.  Gravestone repair is an ongoing expense.  PASSED at $11,450.00.

Pg 16  #6    Conservation Commission Expenses:  Stipends should be funded for five full members at $1200 each and one alternate at $600.  PASSED at $10,200.

Pg 19  #78  Council on Aging:  Mileage expenses are for transporting seniors.  PASSED previously.

Pg 20  #85  Cultural Council:  The breakdown of the grant money distributions was provided to everyone.  PASSED previously.

Pg 22  #46  Emergency Management:  Contingency is used for matching grant funds if needed.  Current year budget is over by $776.28.  Skipped – needs further discussion.

Pg 37  #93  Health InsuranceSkipped – needs further discussion.  Deductible pool is still under discussion.

Pg 46  #86  Historical Commission:  Miscellaneous expenses are for printing, postage, etc. of recording assets.  PASSED at $4,523.42.



Meeting is suspended at 6:58 pm and will be continued after the Select Board meeting is adjourned.

Meeting reopened at 8:14 pm after the Select Board meeting was adjourned.


Categories Skipped over:

Pg 11  #44  Building Inspector Salary

Pg 17  #7    Conservation Commission Salary

Pg 27  #47  Fire Department Expenses

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


The lot survey done by Berkshire Geo-Technologies for splitting the lot from the school for the town will be paid from the Town Hall account, 015192.400.  Both boards determined there was enough left in that account to cover remaining expenses as well as this bill.

Both boards requested they meet with the Fire Department and Rescue Squad for either the March 26th or March 27th Budget meetings.  Becky will schedule them.  The March 26th Budget meeting will begin after the All Boards meeting is adjourned so Lisa will advertise it for 7:00 pm so everyone has time to either take a break or go right into the budget meeting.

It was also noted that the previous discussion regarding the Eversource mower was not correct.  The amount of $26,000 should be removed from the Road Improvements line item of the Highway Expenses account (Pg 39 #67) and when we get the reimbursement check from Eversource, that money needs to be deposited into a new Revolving Account that is set up for Highway.  We need to check this year’s actual expenses for Highway Expenses with Heather.


Next Budget meeting will begin with Page 47, category #50  Inspectors, account number 015249.000.


Meeting adjourned at 8:35 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 20, 2018 will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A newer draft of the preliminary writeup of proposed Capital Expense items for FY2019 will be filed with these meeting minutes.