BOARD OF FINANCE
MAY 2, 2017
Attendance: John Grabowski, Chairman, Robert Brinton, Jr., Sally Huyser, Melissa Spear, Sharon Huxley, John Ford IV.
Visitors: Colleen Murray, Tim Charron, Sue Carpenter, Andre Puleo Ordonez, Dawn Stark
Guests: First Selectman, Derrylyn Gorski, Finance Manager, Thomas Broesler
Chairman Grabowski called the meeting to order at 7:11PM.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Grabowski called for a motion to approve the draft minutes of the meeting of March 28, 2017. The motion was moved by Robert Brinton and seconded by Sally Huyser. Robert Brinton suggested amendments to these minutes as follows: “The BOF discussioned options if the state budget were not completed before the Annual Town Meeting,
we should add and
added the amount of any expected school building grant reimbursement to the
list of information requested.” Under
the Chairman’s Report: “ I believe
that Bethany’s share of Amity’s budget for next year is expected to be
$99,166 less than this year and tht the Amity Board voted to postpone an HVAC
replacement project and to return 100% of this year’s surplus to the towns next
year (the total expected surplus is about $800,000).” to approve the minutes with the changes as
submitted by Mr. Brinton. The minutes
were approved with changes on a unanimous vote.
Chairman Grabowski called for a motion to approve the draft minutes of the meeting of April 6, 2017. A motion was moved by Robert Brinton and seconded by Sally Huyser. The minutes were approved on a unanimous vote without modification.
Chairman Grabowski called for a motion to approve the draft minutes of the meeting of April 11, 2017. A motion was moved by John Ford and seconded by Melissa Spear. The minutes were approved on a unamimous vote with one (1) abstension and without modification.
Chairman Grabowski tabled the approval of the draft minutes of the April 24, 2017 Budget Hearing.
Chairman Grabowski reminded the Board that the Amity Budget Referendum is Wednesday, May 3, 2017. He stated that the objective for this night is to finalize what will be presented to the electorate at the Annual Town Meeting on Monday, May 15, 2017 at 7PM. Melissa Spear asked for a copy of the Power Point Presentation that was used at the Public Hearing. Chairman Grabowski said he will provide it to the Board.
TAX COLLECTOR’S BUDGET
Robert Brinton asked that since the Assistant Tax Collector received an increase due to State Certification in FY16-17, should there be a budget decrease in FY17-18 as the incoming assistant will likely not be certified? First Selectman Gorski said she would like to leave the budget as is in order to hire a Certified Assistant Collector if the opportunity presents itself.
LAND ACQUISITION FUND
Melissa Spear suggested and Sally Huyser agreed that there was enough support at the Public Hearing on April 24, 2017 in favor of raising the Land Acquisition Fund to $100,000 and recommended that the Board do so. They agreed that the matter should be decided by the electorate at the Annual Town Meeting. There was no further discussion.
GENERAL SALARY INCREASES
The Board questioned how salary increases are determined. Mr. Broesler stated that the salary increases for DPW are based on the negotiated contract. But for non-bargained for employees, the percentage of increase, if any, is recommended by the Board of Finance and voted on by the electorate. It is applied uniformly across the board to all non-bargained for employees. There are no “merit” increases per se. However, if an employee receives state certification pertaining to his or her job, an increase is then recommended. Robert Brinton said that the auditors commented that they were unable to obtain a list of town employee salaries. Mr. Broesler said he was never asked to provide a list of salaries to the auditors.
First Selectman Gorski said that she reduced this line item for the 2017-18 budget to $516,150 down from $552,500.
AMITY REGIONAL H.S. BUDGET REFERENDUM
The Special Education aid to the town by the state is included in the dollar amount being voted on in Wednesday’s referendum. This money will be reimbursed to the Region once received by the town. It will be added to Revenues and then offset as an Expense. Going forward Mr. Broesler said he will create separate line items for Special Education in Expense and Revenue. He said it will be Amity’s responsibility to return any unused funds to the state if this aid is not fully used as expressly granted.
Sharon Huxley asked for assurance that Tree Service and Contracted Services line items would be carried throughout the 2017-18 budget as separate line items and not totaled together under Contracted Services. Mr. Broesler assured her it would be separated in 2017-18.
Mr. Broesler said there is $900,000 in the fund balance that can be used to fund the Land Acquisition Fund or any other non-recurring expense. Robert Brinton recommended that one-third to one-half be used for some non-recurring expenses.
PROPOSED MILL RATE
Chairman Grabowski recommended waiting until the next Board of Finance meeting on June 13, 2017 to set the mill rate as there should be additional information from the state to work with by then. He recommended the proposed mill rate of 37.9 as called out on the proposed budget for 2017-18 as soon as revenues are known.
Chairman Grabowski called for a motion to approve the proposed budget for FY 2017-18. A motion was moved by Sally Huyser and seconded by Melissa Spear. The motion was approved by a vote of 5 to 1 with Robert Brinton voting No.
Chairman Grabowski called for a motion to approve the use of LoCIP financing for capital projects unless LoCIP funding is cut by the state. A motion was moved by Sally Huyser and seconded by Robert Brinton. The motion was approved unanimously.
The Suspense List was tabled until the June meeting.
The next meeting is Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 7PM.
Adjournment was called at 8:10PM after a motion was moved by Sally Huyser and seconded by Melissa Spear.
Frances K. Doba
Substituting for June G. Riley, Clerk, Board of Finance