Saturday, May 17, 2014

Southbridge Town Council Meeting Agenda - May 19, 2014


TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

COUNCIL CHAMBERS, TOWN HALL

May 19, 2014 –immediately following 6:30 Public Hearing

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 AGENDA  

1. Pledge of Allegiance

2. Roll Call

3. Consider and accept Town Council Meeting Minutes of Monday, May 5, 2014. 

4. Subcommittee Reports:
      (a) General Government
      (b) D.P.W.
      (c) Education and Human Services
      (d) Planning and Development
      (e) Protection of Persons and Property
      (f) Town Manager Search Committee

5. Chairman’s Announcements

6. Town Manager’s Announcements

7. Swearing In / Presentation
      a) Airport Update – Ron Plouffe, Airport Manager

8. Citizens Forum

9. Vote to appoint James A. Dyer of Southbridge to the Library Board of Trustees
for a one-year term effective immediately through June 30, 2015 due to member resignation.

10. Vote to give permission for the installation of a playground at West Street School contingent on  all concerns and liabilities being met.

 11. Vote to change the name of the Veterans Conference Room to the Laurent “Larry” E. McDonald Veterans Conference Room.

12. Vote to adopt the FY 2015 Town of Southbridge General Fund operating budget per the attached  voting document in the amount of $47,702,369.00 to be funded as follows:

Raise and Appropriate                                                         $43,922,244.00

Transfers from Other Available Funds:
            Sale of Street List Books                                                          500.00
            Cable Operating Account                                                   124,649.00
            Septic Loan Program                                                             6,046.00
            Debt Service Reserve                                                         672,500.00
            Perpetual Care Interest                                                          2,000.00          
            Polling Hours                                                                              96.00
            Armory Debt Service Reserve                                              56,544.00
            Access Road Debt Service                                                 270,690.00
            Library Incentive Grant                                                         15,000.00
            Landfill Reimbursement Fund                                                56,000.00
            Sale of Lots and Graves                                                         1,100.00
Subtotal Transfers from Other Available Funds                    1,205,125.00

Other Transfers:
            Landfill Reimbursement Fund                                             575,000.00
            Landfill Royalty Fund                                                      1,100,000.00
            Free Cash                                                                          900,000.00

Subtotal Other Transfers                                                         2,575,000.00  

TOTAL GENERAL FUND BUDGET                                $47,702,369.00

11. Vote that the amount of $3,209,985.00 is appropriated for the FY 2015 Sewer Enterprise Fund  Budget to be raised from sewer user charges and other departmental revenues.

 12. Vote that the amount of $3,145,690.00 is appropriated for the FY 2015 Water Enterprise Fund  Budget to be raised from water user charges and other department revenues.

13. Vote to appropriate $375,000.00 from the Landfill Royalty Receipts Reserved Account #6790 in the  FY 2015 Contributory Retirement Account.

14. Vote that the sum of $125,000.00 shall be appropriated from the Landfill Royalty Receipts Reserved  Account #6790 as the first payment into the OPEB Trust Fund for FY 2015.

15. Vote to re-authorize the “Leased Properties Revolving Fund” under the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 44, Section 53E½ to pay repairs, improvements, expenses and utilities for all town owned leased property except 115 Marcy Street, from lease payments to be deposited in the account, with all expenditures to be approved by the town manager and total expenditures from the account not to exceed $100,000.00 per year.

16. Vote to re-authorize the “Day Care Center Leased Properties Revolving Fund” under the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 44, Section 53E½ to pay repairs, improvements, expenses and utilities for all town owned leased property except 115 Marcy Street, from lease payments to be deposited in the account, with all expenditures to be approved by the town manager and total expenditures from the account not to exceed $100,000.00 per year.

17. Vote to re-authorize the “Southbridge Airport Leased Properties Revolving Fund” under the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 44, Section 53E½ to pay repairs, improvements, expenses and utilities for the leased property at the Southbridge Municipal Airport, from lease payments to be deposited in the account, with all expenditures to be approved by the town manager and total expenditures from the account not to exceed $100,000.00 per year.

18. Vote to re-authorize the “Municipal Hearing Officer Revolving Fund” under the provisions of  Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 44, Section 53E½ to pay expenses associated with the  administration and collection of fines in violation of M.G.L. Chapter 148A and Chapter 115 of the  Acts of 2009, such fines to be deposited in the account with all expenditures to be approved by the  town manager and total expenditures from the account not to exceed $5,000.00.

19. Vote to re-authorize the “Southbridge Middle / High School Store Revolving Fund” under the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 44, Section 53E½ to pay expenses associated with the school store from receipts to be deposited into the account, with all expenditures to be approved by the school superintendent and total expenditures from the account not to exceed $30,000.00 per year.

20. Vote to amend Schedule 1 to approve a 2.0% increase and other positional changes as proposed  May 19, 2014 to be effective July 1, 2014.

21. Vote to amend Schedule 5 as proposed May 19, 2014 to be effective July 1, 2014.

22. Vote to transfer $420,191.53 from the following accounts to the Snow and Ice General Fund  accounts to fund the final FY 2014 snow and ice expenditures:  
            Stabilization Fund       $392,806.71
            Free Cash                      27,384.82
                                                                         2/3 Roll Call Vote

23. Vote to transfer $3,500.00 from Town Council Reserve Account #1.132.5781 to Veterans Benefits Account #1.945.5771.0.596 to pay benefits for the month of June.

24. Councilors Forum

24.[sic] Discussion of next meeting date – Monday, June 9, 2014 at 7:00 PM in Council Chambers

25. Adjournment

6 comments:

  1. At first glance item 12 appears to be a reduction in Mr. Reed's proposed budget of over $1.9 million. It also appears to be a significant enough reduction that it would result in a reduction in the tax rate of around 6% based upon the revenue and tax base assumptions used in Mr. Reed's initial presentation. If I'm correct in this, it would return the tax rate to the FY 2013 level at about $18.47 per thousand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If my math is correct, then the council deserves to be applauded for this accomplishment. I hope that someone will indicate where the changes were made to achieve this result.

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    2. I hope that this isn't a one time, knee-jerk response resulting from fear of the town meeting petition.

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  2. Seems to me the people who should be applauded are the ones who started the Town Meeting Petition. But beware, even if the budget is reduced, doesn't mean taxes will be reduced. The tax rate is set in November. Then there's next year's budget. Will the manager double the increase to make up for this year? Keep up the pressure Southbridge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although the tax rate is set in November or December, it is entirely dependent upon the budget adopted in May. Take the two and a half minutes needed to watch THIS exchange among Councilor Vandal, Chief Assessor Cournoyer and former Town Manager Clark during last year’s meeting setting the tax rate.

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    2. As regards your giving credit to the petitioners, I mention this as one potential factor. But there are other factors. One is the apparent fact that Councilors are awakening to the fact that they have to consider the tax impact when they vote the budget. Councilor Vandal appears to have finally grasped this. That may also be true for the newer councilors. I have addressed this misconception (from which you apparently also suffer) repeatedly over the last three years .

      Another factor is that we have only an interim Town Manager. This would reduce the usual contentiousness among councilors that results from those who feel that they must support the TM’s budget or weaken his position. Also, as an interim TM, Reed lacks the leverage a permanent TM would have to lobby for his budget.

      Finally, the petition would hardly result in a more knowledgeable approach to budgeting. The petition calls for a 15 member Finance Commission. This FinCom would advise the town meeting on various budget items. However, all members of the FinCom would be appointed by one person, the Town Moderator. How vulnerable is that to being manipulated?

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