Town of Chilmark Finance Advisory Committee January 27, 2010 Meeting Minutes
Committee Members Present: Marshall Carroll, Frank LoRusso, John Maloney, Bill Randol, Sarah Mayhew Shipway, Frank Yeomans.
Others Present: Melanie Becker, Tim Carroll, Jennifer Christy, Todd Christy, Emily Day, Warren Doty, Keith Emin, Frank Fenner, Andy Goldman, T.J. Hegarty, Chuck Hodgkinson, Rick Karney, Sarah Kuh, Nina Lombardi, J.B. Riggs Parker, Isaiah Scheffer, David Vigneault.
Chairman Marshall Carroll called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
Dukes County Health Care Access Program Budget Hearing
Program Director Sarah Kuh presented the FY11 budget for the Dukes County Health Care Access Program. Ms. Kuh explained that each year Dukes County’s contribution of roughly $90,000 to the Health Care Access Program has decreased, subsequently the towns agreed to share in the difference. In FY11 Dukes County will contribute 30% and the towns will cover the other 70% of the $88,863.94 county funding; the County will decrease contribution by 10% each year. Ms. Kuh also requested a warrant article to make up for the loss in grant funding of $62,204.76. Each town’s share of the loss in grant funding is based on equalized valuation and Chilmark’s FY11 contribution will be 15.07% or $9,374.26. The second warrant article request, with regard to the portion of the budget made up from all
of the Island towns’ total contribution, is based on the 50/50 formula of population and land value, which will be an annual request and could also be incorporated into the budget rather than a warrant article if the town preferred. The total budget contribution from all the towns combined is $61,136 of which Chilmark’s share is 10.73% or $6,559.89.
In summary, the Health Care Access Program asked for two articles to be placed on the Annual Town Meeting warrant for $9,374.26 and $6,559.89. The FINCOM members and the Selectmen agreed to keep the requests as warrant articles this year and discuss with the Board of Health about incorporating this request into the budget in the future.
Dukes County Regional Housing Authority Budget Hearing
David Vigneault, Executive Director of the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority (DCRHA), presented the FY11 budget request. Mr. Vigneault explained that the $221,865 FY11 budget request is to cover the administrative offices, employees’ salary and benefits. Chilmark’s share of the DCRHA operating budget request is 10.73% or $23,806 (up from $407 dollars in FY10) is based on the 50/50 formula of population and land value in each town. Mr. Vigneault reported that the sixty-one units, in four towns that are owned and operated by the DCRHA have a $1.4 million budget that pays for itself through grant funding and loan work, but no revenues are collected for employee salaries or benefits.
Dukes County Integrated Pest Management Program Budget Hearing
T.J. Hegarty requested a warrant article of $4,949.15 for Chilmark’s share of the FY11 Integrated Pest Management Program budget. Mr. Hegarty explained that this budget request benefits pest management control at the town’s beaches, harbor and school. In addition residents are charge $55.00 for the service, with a 10% discount for seniors, and there is no charge for residents who cannot afford it.
Town Clerk (161) Budget Hearing
Town Clerk Jennifer Christy presented the FY11 budget. Ms. Christy explained an increase in the budget for Election Workers (5258) due to the second election cycle and an increase in Postage (5344) because of the large number of absentee ballots requested this year. Ms. Christy said a substantial increase in Other Supplies (5589) was attributed to software maintenance costs for the State mandated Automark voting machine for the disabled. The Selectmen have made a request to the Secretary of State to not use the Automark machine for local elections because it is not being utilized by the Town, as there is no present demand or need, making the annual cost to maintain the machine an erroneous expense. The FINCOM members requested Ms. Christy reduce the Other Supplies (5589) line item from $1,200 to
$200. The Salary (5109) line was amended to reflect the appropriate compensation grade and step, which is grade 9 step two at $26.36 an hour for 1096.2 hours a year totaling $28,896.
Zoning Board of Appeals (176) & Site Review Committee Budget Hearing
Chuck Hodgkinson, Administrative Assistant to the Zoning Board of Appeals (176) & Site Review Committee presented the budget for FY11. Mr. Hodgkinson reported that the budget was level funded with the exception of his step increase. Mr. Carroll brought attention to nothing being budgeted for Professional Development (5303) and that funding in this line will be required when new members are appointed to the board. There was discussion about creating a general budget item for professional development.
Conservation Committee (171) Budget Hearing
Chuck Hodgkinson, Administrative Assistant to the Conservation Committee (171) presented the budget for FY11. Mr. Hodgkinson reported that the budget was level funded with the exception of his step increase and Advertising (5306) in anticipation of public hearings for Town permits.
Community Preservation Committee (179) Budget Hearing
Chuck Hodgkinson, Administrative Assistant to the Community Preservation Committee (179) and Chairman Andy Goldman presented the budget for FY11. Mr. Hodgkinson reported that despite his step increase the budget had decreased by almost 3%. Mr. Hodgkinson explained that if the CPC administrative expenses are less than 5% of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) revenues collected in a year, then the administrative expenses can be funded through the CPA fund. Therefore, Mr. Hodgkinson budgeted at 4.9% of the projected CPA revenue for FY11. Mr. Hodgkinson reported that $600,000 from the FY10 CPA fund has been allocated to fund a portion of the construction costs for the Middle Line Road rental duplexes (tax collected revenue from October 2009 and balance of what will be collected in May 2010). The CPC has received 100% matching from the State to what is collected for the CPA fund, but this year Mr. Hodgkinson budgeted for an anticipated 15% in State matching (77% was matched by the
State in FY10).
Mr. Hodgkinson presented the following five warrant articles and explanations requested by the CPC for the Annual Town Meeting:
1. Article # : To see if the Town will vote to approve the following request of the Community Preservation Committee: To see if the Town will vote to reserve from the Community Preservation Fund FY 2011 estimated annual revenues up to the following amounts for community preservation projects: $19,600.00 for Open Space Reserve Fund; $19,600.00 for Historic Resources Reserve Fund; $19,600.00 for the Housing Reserve Fund; and $137,200.00 for the Community Preservation Budgeted Reserve
Explanation: The Community Preservation Act mandates that a Town must reserve a minimum of 10 percent of its projected revenues for each of the three categories—Open Space Reserve Fund; Historic Resources Reserve Fund and the Housing Reserve Fund. The balance of the funds is placed in the Community Preservation Budgeted Reserve (Budgeted Reserve) Fund. The Budgeted Reserve funds may be allocated to any future CPA funded project in any category with Town voter approval. While Chilmark received 77 percent of the FY 2009 CPA tax collections this year -- much more than the statewide average of about 50 percent – we have conservatively planned on a state matching level of 15% or, $25,000 of the FY 2010 CPA tax revenue.
2. Article # : To see if the Town will vote to approve the following request of the Community Preservation Committee: To see if the town will vote to appropriate from the Historic Resources Reserve Fund the sum of $30,000.00 to restore Chilmark’s historic stone walls along the roadsides.
Explanation: This program has restored and preserved several of Chilmark’s unique and historic stone walls along the major roadways in Town. The Historical Commission will oversee choice of specific stone walls for preservation and the use of funds. Town residents are encouraged to contact the Historical Commission if they would like to have their stone walls along the roadsides evaluated and considered eligible for restoration funds.
3. Article # __: To see if the Town will vote to approve the following request of the Community Preservation Committee and the Housing Committee: To see if the Town will vote to appropriate a total of $55,000.00 from the FY 2011 Community Preservation Budgeted Reserve Fund to replenish the funds in Chilmark’s Housing Year-Round Rental Conversion Program that is managed by the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority.
Explanation: The current appropriation is projected to be depleted in the fall of 2010. This program is exclusive to Chilmark tenants and is administered by the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority. It is not a part of the Island Affordable Housing Fund program.
4. Article # __: To see if the Town will vote to approve the following request of the Community Preservation Committee: To see if the Town will vote to appropriate a total of $5,545.00 from the Historic Resources Reserve Fund to partially fund the replacement of the windows on the original Dukes County Courthouse building.
Explanation: The original section of the Dukes County Courthouse was built in the 1860’s and is listed on the National Historic Register. The County of Dukes County is requesting CPA appropriations from all six towns. The total cost to replace the 21 windows on the original section is $51,680. Chilmark’s contribution is 10.7 % of the total cost and is based upon the 50/50 formula (50% equalized valuation and 50% population ratio).
5. Article # __: To see if the Town will vote to raise such sums of money as will be necessary to defray town charges and to make appropriations for the ensuing year, as printed under Department Budgets – Salaries and Expenses totals, provided that the amount set forth under the Community Preservation Committee (179) shall be funded from the Community Preservation FY 2011 Community Preservation Budgeted Reserve.
Explanation: This is for the annual administration expenses for the Community Preservation Committee.
Housing Committee (185) Budget Hearing
Todd Christy, Administrative Assistant to the Housing Committee (185) and Chairman Andy Goldman presented the budget for FY11. Mr. Christy explained that the budget had been decreased or level funded with the exception of his step increase (5108) and the Housing Assessment (5700). The Housing Assessment (5700) pays for Chilmark’s rental assistance program. David Vigneault from DCRHA mentioned that a representative from Chilmark is needed to serve on the DCRHA Board. Mr. Christy has been attending the DCRHA board meetings and Mr. Vigneault said he would be happy to have Mr. Christy serve as the Chilmark representative if possible.
Parks and Recreation Committee (650)
Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Committee, Andy Goldman, presented the one budget item for the department, which is the cost of mowing Peaked Hill Pastures baseball field (5399) for $1,000 a season.
Shellfish Department (299)
Shellfish Constable Isaiah Scheffer presented the FY11 budget for the Shellfish Department. Mr. Scheffer explained that the most significant change in the budget stems from relieving the duties of the Propagation Officer and combing that position with that of the Shellfish Constable and creating the position of the Assistant Constable. Over the last year Mr. Scheffer has revised the budget and shifted money to different line items that were more appropriate, but the budget has not had a significant increase. Such as adding from the existing budget funds $2,000 to Shellfish Propagation (5252) and decreasing Purchase of Seed (5311) by $2,000 because the natural seed set has been very plentiful. Mr. Scheffer also explained that certain items were not paid for out of the correct budget item in the past
and the Treasurer said it was the department head’s responsibility to code their bills correctly for the Accountant. Mr. Scheffer gave a brief report on the condition of Tisbury Great Pond that has received great benefit by a grant from the Eddy Foundation to restore the oyster reef, which has produced a very strong seed set. Mr. Scheffer complimented and thanked Rick Karney for his help in securing the grant and for his diligent hard work on the project.
It was asked what Professional Development (5303) classes Mr. Scheffer budgeted for and he said that he and the Assistant Constable will attend a shellfish conference run by the federal government in Milford, Connecticut. Mr. Doty said the Shellfish Advisory Committee members have strongly encouraged Mr. Scheffer to attend professional development classes, which are sometimes partially paid for by the Menemsha Fisheries Development fund. Mr. Doty discussed that the Shellfish Department has two projects underway in two separate ponds, but only one boat, which has created the need to rent a second boat. Mr. Doty asked Mr. Scheffer to
determine the total cost to rent a second boat, so it can be incorporated specifically in to the budget.
Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group Budget Hearing
Rick Karney, Director of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, presented the FY11 assessment, which has been level funded for the past few years thanks to grants. Mr. Doty referred to the oyster restoration project on Tisbury Grant Pond stating that it was made possible by two grants totaling $16,000 awarded to Chilmark and West Tisbury; however, Mr. Kareny, out of strict fiscal responsibility, only spent $10,000 on the first year of the project. Mr. Doty reported that a balance of $6,000 was available to fund the second year of the project, but a warrant article of $2,500 would be needed to cover the additional cost.
Highway Department (422) Budget Hearing
Keith Emin, Highway Superintendant, presented a level funded budget for FY11. Mr. Emin made a request to amend Catch Basin Cleaning (5253) to $3,000 due to the need for biannual cleaning.
Snow and Ice (423) Budget Hearing
Keith Emin, Highway Superintendant, presented a level funded budget for Snow and Ice for FY11. Tim Carroll reminded everyone that the Snow and Ice budget is the only budget in which more money can be spent than what was appropriated with funding from free cash or the tax RECAP. It was also noted that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not allow the Snow and Ice budget to be lowered once it has been raised.
The minutes were deferred until February 3, 2010.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Nina M. Lombardi.
Approved February 3, 2010.