Budget Meeting Minutes November 28, 2022, @ 6:00 PM
In-Person & Zoom
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BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Angela Sanborn, Ann Golob, Mike Fitzpatrick (phone), Jeffrey Chevalier, and Katy Johnson-Aplin.
OTHERS PRESENT: Jay Wilson (Road Foreman), Melissa Brown (Treasurer), and Wannetta Powling (Administrative Assistant).
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 6:05 p.m. by Chair Angela Sanborn.
MEETING WARNING: Powling confirmed that the meeting was properly warned.
ADDITIONS/ AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA: Johnson-Aplin requested to add the auction information for the sale of the F-550 truck to OLD BUSINESS.
NEW BUSINESS: Capital Budget: For the past several years, money for Town Office renovation needs has been budgeted; the account currently has $115,000. Over the years’ different options have been discussed. The final plan focuses on renovations to the meeting room, to add walls between the Treasurer, Zoning Administrator, and Administrative Assistant and to improve the heating system. The estimates include:
- Contractor Randy Leavitt provided an estimate for the meeting room renovations ($ 23,750) which included the installation of new flooring.
- Jeffers Plumbing & Heating provided an estimate to install six or seven energy-saving mini-splits for heating and air conditioning ($ 37,000).
- Hiring an electrician to install new wiring and hook up was estimated between $ 8,000. -$ 10,000.
- Additional upgrades and expanding security cameras for more detailed views of the building, parking lot, and Route 30 will also be added to the scope of work.
The total figures for the Town Office renovations will be discussed again on December 5th at the regular Selectboard meeting during the Administrative Assistants report.
- Open Items from the November 14 meeting included a funding request from the Planning Commission; these figures have since been provided.
- Information on unemployment insurance rates and worker’s compensation rates; will not be available until the employee reviews are completed and raises are determined. Sanborn asked if the evaluations could be completed in the next two weeks before the December 12th budget meeting.
- Annual Town Report expense; Powling provided the two-year contract for Repo Publishing for $ 3,280. An additional $ 1,000.00 is going into postage for mailing the reports before Town Meeting Day.
- Professional Audit expense – Brown provided the Auditor expense of $ 18,500.00.
The following items were tabled until the next budget meeting on December 12th.
- Articles including Social Appropriation Donations.
- Law Enforcement budget.
Dedication – Recommendations were made, and an agreement was reached; work will begin on writing the dedication.
Closing Bid at the Auction for F-550 Truck $25,400
Wilson said that the auction had closed at 5:00 pm on the truck. The final closing bid was more than they had anticipated; his recommendation was to accept the closing offer of $25,400. The winning bidder will pay the auction fees incurred with the listing. Wilson said he was impressed with the listing; they came to the garage and took all the necessary photos, and did an excellent job with the listing.
Golob made a motion to accept the offer of $25,400 for the F-550 truck. Johnson-Aplin seconded. Motion passed 5/0.
Follow-up items from 11/14/22 Budget Meeting:
- Brown will confirm with VLCT (Vermont League of Cities and Towns) that 10-15% is still considered the correct percentage amount to maintain for a town surplus of our size.
Brown confirmed with VLCT (Vermont League of Cities and Towns) that 15% is considered the correct percentage amount to maintain for a town surplus of our operational budget size. This is equivalent to approximately $260,000.
Next step: The Selectboard will discuss this information at the December 5th regular meeting and determine if they should make a policy for maintaining 15% in a surplus budget account or ask for voter approval as an article at Town Meeting.
- Powling will contact WCHS (Windham County Humane Society) to confirm whether Newfane still receives any of the fees from Newfane dogs that are impounded. CLOSED. Information added to budget.
- Powling will ask Jay Wilson to follow up on the estimate for the Town Office renovations from Levitt and Litchfield. These renovations including the installation of mini-splits for heating and air conditioning will allow for the long-term conservation of energy and significant potential savings. CLOSED. See notes above.
- Powling will contact Bahman Mandavi and get budget information for the redesign of the town website to make it more user-friendly.
Powling emailed Bahman Mandavi for information to redesign the town website to make it more user-friendly. Mandavi explained that he could not provide an estimate for a town website redesign without having a good idea of what was wanted. Golob mentioned that she could make time available in the new year to gather information from each department, including what forms, procedures, and supplementary information they would make open and available to the public. Once we have a more definite idea of the changes needed to improve the website, we can proceed with putting out an RFP for web designers to bid on implementing the changes.
Next step: Item to be added to Selectboard agenda in January 2023.
- Powling will present the recommendations and budget information from Walter Hagedorn for the Town office gardens. CLOSED. Information added to budget.
- Further information is needed from Road Foreman Jay Wilson on anticipated revenue from the sale of equipment, including the 550 one-ton truck. Powling will request this information. CLOSED. See notes above.
- Several items were put on hold until Powling was available to provide further information. These included: funding request from the Planning Commission; updated information on unemployment insurance rates and worker’s compensation rates; annual report expense; professional audit expense. CLOSED. Information added to budget.
- Sanborn and Wilson will talk to Judge Barnett about the possibility of moving the monument located on Jail Street further back to protect it from snow plows. Added 11/14/22. Open.
- Johnson-Aplin brought up several suggestions for celebrations of Newfane’s 250th It was agreed that she would compile a list of potential expenses so we could evaluate how to include them in the budget or if a separate fundraising effort should be launched. Added 11/14/22.
No updates at this time but the Treasurer confirmed with VLCT that expenses for an event of this type can be added to the town’s budget.
Next step: Item to be added to Selectboard agenda for the December 5th meeting.
- Treasurer Brown discussed the US Bond Bank where the town has a remaining $36,000. There was a discussion about how we could use these funds to repay the principal on the South Newfane bridge loan. Brown will discuss further with the Bond Bank and get back to the Selectboard to confirm that this can be done.
Brown discussed the US Bond Bank. Newfane has a remaining $36,000 balance on the South Newfane bridge loan. Brown suggested that for the next three years, they repay 12,500 to close this loan. CLOSED.
No new items were added to the follow-up list at this meeting.
Chevalier made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.