Finance Board / Selectboard Budget Meeting Minutes 03/20/2019

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Town of Otis

Finance Board/Selectboard Budget Meeting

March 20, 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:  Patricia Richard, Bill Dyer, Dan Hamill


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

Purpose:          Review Budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2020


Pg 60  #630  Recreation:  Patricia and Bill discussed specifics about the proposals in the Programs line item.  Patricia noted that at a recent Rec Commission meeting advertising and reimbursement for a water safety instructor was approved.  Tubing vouchers for Butternut were successfully tested this past year and are planned for next year.  Several new workshops were added, and some classes will become year-long instead of seasonal.  $3100 was budgeted for equipment which will be used for Town Beach upgrades, including sand replenishment, adding horseshoes, and possibly renting kayaks.  This would also require an attendant at Town Beach for collecting the rental charge, the distribution of equipment to 18 and older, and a liability release would also be part of the rental.  Continuing Education includes costs for CPR classes for staff and the annual conference for MA Parks & Recs.  The Program Supervisor salary request was up quite a bit in trying to keep up with comparable salaries in MA Parks & Recs.  Program Supervisor salary was approved at 4% for $21.70 per hour with a base of 29 hours per week up to 32 hours per week.  The overall budget is up about $8000, so it may need to be revisited if cuts are needed.  SKIPPED – waiting on total budget figures.


Pg 26  #210  Police Dept.:  Dan’s budget kept the Interim Chief’s hours at 34 hours per week, increased the shared pool of hours for the on call officers from 24 hours to a total of 32 hours per week to cover for weekends, and allowed for 21 hours per week for the benefitted part time office position.  On call officers were recommended for a 5% increase to $18.75 per hour and the benefitted part time position at a 2.5% increase to $18.81 per hour.  There was a lot of discussion as to what to do about hourly wage increases.  The Select Board decided to give 4% across the board – $19.08 per hour for the benefitted part time position and $18.57 per hour for the on call officers at a total of 32 hours per week.  There was still a question on the Training line item.  A Capital Expense request was requested for equipment upgrades in accordance with the Officer Safety Plan.  Otis is one of the last police forces to not have tasers.  A five year agreement for leasing this equipment would include training, batteries, and equipment upgrades as safety requirements are changed.  Body cameras are also part of the equipment listed in the Officer Safety Plan.  Because this appears to be an ongoing addition to the budget, the Select Board requested this become a new budget line item.  The Select Board still has not determined if this will be included in the budget yet.   Dan also requested establishing a Revolving Fund for payment of Police Details instead of officers having to wait months for detail payments.  SKIPPED – waiting for clarification on Training.



Accounts still needing approval:


Pg 1    #122  Board of Selectmen:  SKIPPED – awaiting decision on Selectmen’s Secretary.

Pg 3    #123  Town Administrator:  SKIPPED – needs salary discussion.

Pg 26  #210  Police:  SKIPPED – waiting for clarification on Training.

Pg 58  #610  Library:  SKIPPED – need clarification on Technology line item.

Pg 60  #630  Recreation:  SKIPPED – will be reviewed further if cuts need to be made.


The boards still need to meet again with Jim, Keith, and Derek to continue discussion of the Safety Department.  Monday March 25, 2019 at 7:00 pm after the All Boards meeting adjourns will be an additional meeting and is posted.  Wednesday March 27, 2019 will also be posted just in case we need to have another meeting.



Meeting adjourned at 7:53 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis


List of Documents


  1. A copy of Derek’s list of Failed Paved Roads and updated budget numbers will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. Becky’s email discussing Capital Expenses, Free Cash, and Stabilization funds will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A spreadsheet of all Capital Expenses (so far) created by Becky will be filed with these meeting minutes.