Finance Board/ Selectboard Budget Meeting Minutes 04/03/2019

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Town of Otis

Finance Board/Selectboard Budget Meeting

April 3, 2019


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


Also Present:  Larry Gould


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

Purpose:          Review Budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2020



2.5% Override Discussion:  Becky explained what numbers she used to calculate the 2.5% override dollar amount.  The major question was what the base number was because last year’s budget was more than the base number.  The FY 2020 budget is less than $100,000 over last year’s Article 2 amount, so we should be within the calculated amount for the 2.5% override.


Pg 35  #300  Schools:  Lisa apologized for not including the School Committee figures and the Scholarship Committee figures in the total budget for Schools.  The actual budget total should be $2,425,379.00.  PASSED the budget at $2,425,379.00.


Pg 60 #630  Recreation:  This was previously approved for $76,520.80.  Bill believes that since the Rec Center can be perceived as a Health Club, we should have an AED there just in case.  Since the Police Dept. has one that is still working and is going to be replaced, we can put the old Police Dept. AED unit in the Rec Center.  This was confirmed with Dan Hamill via phone.  There was discussion as to whether to cut the proposed kayak and horseshoe programs, but they are included in the approved budget number.  PASSED previously.


Pg 36 #422  Highway:  This budget was previously reviewed and finalized for $393,108.14.  PASSED previously.


Capital Expense Discussion:  Don had presented his proposal at the meeting on Wednesday March 27, 2019.  Our roads need a lot of work and we don’t have the money to fix them.  Tyringham Road is the worst and will cost about $290,000 to repair.  We have about $250,000 in Chapter 90 money, so that leaves $40,000 to get from Free Cash.  Then he proposed paying off the rest of the money owed on the Fire Truck, pay off the backhoe, finance a new grader, and a few other items.  A lot of the items on the Maintenance wish list can be done this year.  So the Capital Expense breakdown is:

Stabilization:               $1,259,171.31

Free Cash:                   $   983,754.00


Fire Truck:                  $   222,194.00     Payoff loan balance

Dump Truck:              $     91,000.00     First of 3 payments

Rescue Truck:             $     95,000.00

Backhoe:                     $   136,254.00     Payoff loan balance

Tyringham Road:        $     40,000.00

Fire Alarms:                $     15,000.00

WWTP Paving:          $     65,000.00


Total to expend from Free Cash:                    $   664,448.00

leaving $319,306 in Free Cash


There would also be a separate article to authorize purchase and financing for $390,000 for a new grader.


Pg 58 #610  Library:  The Technology Computer Maintenance Contract already includes the Library.  We still do not have a firm figure for classes only from the Library’s vendor.  In order for the Library to maintain its state certification, the town needs to contribute 1.25% above last year’s budget, so $65,100.00 was approved for the Library.  PASSED at $65,100.00.


Pg 16 #158  Technology:  Due to the figures above, Technology needs to add $4000 to their approved budget.  New budget PASSED at $60,300.00.


Pg 26 #210  Police:  Tasers and bodycams will be held off for a year so more research and potential grant opportunities can be found.  The budget numbers were reviewed once more and we currently have a working total budget of $138,093.24, but it is not yet finalized.  Bill will verify with Dan tomorrow.


Pg 15 #151  Legal:  The budget will remain as is at the approved total of $48,500.00.  There was discussion as to whether to add the legal books back in, but after researching the costs from Matthew Bender (Lexis Nexis), it was decided the cost was not worth the few times the books would be needed.  The information is available online now, although its takes a little more research to get the same information.


The reworked budget numbers are now at $5,585,762.60, which is just under $65,000 more than last year’s budget.



Accounts still needing approval:

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

Safety is going on as a separate account for the budets.


Meeting adjourned at 6:44 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis




List of Documents


  1. Lisa’s email stating corrected budget amounts and total budget amount will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. Becky’s email with the Levy Limit calculation, Stabilization, and Free Cash figures will be filed with these meeting minutes.