Finance Board/ Select Board Budget Meeting Minutes 04/10/2018

Town of Otis

Finance Board/Selectboard Budget Meeting

April 10, 2018


Present:           Don Hawley, Bill Hiller, Gary Thomas, Becky Stone, Terry Gould, Michael Ernst, Walt Engels


Others:            Larry Gould, Chris Bouchard


Meeting called to order at 8:00 pm and is being recorded.

Purpose:          Review Budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2019


Capital Expenses:

Becky provided an updated list of the proposed Capital Expenses.


Maintenance Paving Projects:  All three projects had been tabled for FY 2019 and will be addressed for the following fiscal year.

Maintenance Fire Alarm Updates:  This project will is tabled until we decide what we are doing with Repeaters in town – the Select Board wants everything to be compatible.

Maintenance Fire House Fencing:  The Select Board decided it would be less expensive to take the fencing down rather than replace it with vinyl fencing.

Highway’s 2 Yard Sander/Spreader:  Highway believes they will have money to fund this request but they may have to encumber Snow and Ice funds for it.


Capital Expenses remaining for discussion are Fire Dept. Radios, new Highway Dump Truck, Highway Repeater request, and a new Highway Loader/Backhoe unit.


Fire Department Radios:  An itemized list of the doing the complete project at once, instead of over the projected four or five years, was presented to the boards.  This will save approximately $4000 on the total project.  This capital expense request was APPROVED for $39,035.50.  Bill would like to see quotes from Harris and Motorola as well.


Highway Dump Truck:  This is to replace the 2002 International which is getting difficult to find replacement parts for.  Derek had a quote of $271,940 for a new dump truck configured with what he needed and can finance it over three years.  Assuming a finance amount of $90,000 each year, this capital expense request was APPROVED.


Highway Repeater Request:  This request was tabled until we can see the coverage from Becket’s repeater service area on Johnson Road.  The service area map will determine where we still may or may not need coverage and that will determine where we may or may not need to put up additional repeaters.


Highway Loader/Backhoe Unit:  Derek had previously submitted a quote of $136,254 for a new machine with financing options.  Assuming a finance amount of $50,000 over three years, this request was APPROVED.


Free Cash is currently at $591,329.09.  We have the following obligations from Free Cash:

Fire Dept KME truck, pmt 4 of 5       $111,097

Broadband note:                                 $  32,250

Fire Dept. Radios above                     $  40,000

New Highway Dump Truck               $  90,000  estimate

Above – pmt 1 of 3

New Highway Loader/Backhoe          $  50,000  estimate

Above – pmt 1 of 3


Total proposed Free Cash spending:   $323,347


If everything is approved at Annual Town meeting, Free Cash will then be lowered to



This figure remains above the threshold that Don is comfortable with reducing Free Cash to ($260,000).


There are two other obligations to consider:

The short term serial note for the Wind Turbine principle and interest of $37,415 will be paid from Wind Revenue.

The Wind CREB bond principle and interest of $466,000 will be paid from elsewhere.


The MLP Fiber budget was also presented and APPROVED for $62,500.  Since $20,000 was already moved into this account at Special Town meeting, we only need to finance it for $42,500.


The Solar projects in town were also discussed.  These projects are debt incurred by the town for a total amount of around $266,000.  These cannot be paid from the Turbine contingency fund as we were led to believe.  This will need to be voted on at Town Meeting to expend the funds.  Larry suggested we pay for this from Free Cash.  Free Cash will be getting a deposit of $380,000 in CEC grant money hopefully before Town Meeting.  This will cover the amount needed to pay for the solar projects so far.  We can later use MLP wind revenue to reimburse the CEC grant money back into Free Cash.  The Turbine contingency fund has approximately $900,000 in that account.  Larry wants to use that money to buy down our 10 year service agreement with Vensys, as well as spend it on other infrastructure costs that the turbine will require (gates, guardrails, sitework, etc.)  This expenditure is permitted under the rules.  Anything not spent for the turbine from this account must be paid back to the principle borrowed for the turbine.  Michael suggested we upfront payment on the front 10 year service agreement and get a written acceptance of a discount on the back-end 10 year service agreement, since that is expected to cost more.  Larry has started a preliminary budget of what is needed to complete the project.


The completed Town Budget for FY2019 is currently $5,499,898.63 and is currently almost the same amount as last year’s approved budget, which is certainly within the 2 ½%.



Meeting adjourned at 8:55 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis


List of Documents



  1. A copy of Becky’s Capital Requests as of 4/10/2018 will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the Fire Department’s itemized Radio request will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the MLP Fiber budget will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the Town of Otis Expense Report as of April 10, 2018 will be filed with these meeting minutes.