Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | 10/8/20

The Litchfield Budget Committee met tonight (10/8/20) and all members were in attendance, with the exception of Mr. Hodgkins.

Mr. Cutter shared correspondence which included zoning and planning board notices, MS4 reports, edits to minutes, questions for the town budget, and school district reports. 

September 24th minutes (as amended) were approved, and the October 1st minutes were deferred.  

Town Business Updates Included:

-The following accounts were presented by Mr. Brown and the department heads and discussion took place on various line items in those accounts with questions from members of the committee. 

            -Parks and Recreation – 4520.10
            -Library – 4550.20
            -Information Technology – 4150.20
            -Mosquito District – 4411.20
            -Health Agencies – 4415.10
            -Insurance – 4196.90
            -General Government Facilities – 4194.10

 -Chairman Cutter reviewed the remaining schedule for October, including items to review next week, and the schedule to vote on October 22nd and October 29th.

Member Input / New Business:

-Mrs. Fordey asked a question regarding school enrollment numbers that appear to calculating incorrectly on the spreadsheet presented.  Mrs. Harrison agreed to share and review with school leadership. 

-Mrs. Douglas asked a question regarding salary lines in the school budget line and what appears to be an overspend.  Mrs. Harrison confirmed this was a manual entry error and would be resolved.

-Mr. Leary shared updates from the BOS and warrant articles, including the recommendation to withdraw 6 due to budget concerns.

The next Budget Committee meeting is scheduled for October 15 at 6:30pm, which continues the budget review process.  A formal agenda will be provided as soon as it is finalized.

As a reminder, Budget Committee responses to posts on social media are not permitted. 

Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | 8/27/20

Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | 8/27/20

The Litchfield Budget Committee met tonight (8/27/20) and all members were in attendance.

Mr. Cutter shared correspondence which included draft minutes from June, school district financial reports, revised audited financial records, NHMA workshop, school district expense reports for end of year and July 2020. 

June 25th minutes (as amended) were accepted by the committee.

Town Business Updates Included:

-Mr. Leary shared that budget season is underway at the various departments.  More are planned for the next meeting, and those will be shared with the Budget Committee.  Re-opening of Town Hall will be presented at the next meeting.  Mr. Leary gave a high-level overview of the town audit.

School Business Updates Included:

-Mr. Myers gave an overview of the school business update, which included the LMS project. HVAC work is underway and final expenditures are being put together.  All 3 buildings are expected to be good by back to school.  Around $708,000 in the unassigned fund balance will be returned.

-Discussion around Special Election format on September 16th, in person vote of people in attendance to appropriate money from the state for Capital Reserve that is earmarked for infrastructure as one-time monies.  Dr. Jette, Mr. Myers, and Cory provided updates and answered questions from budget committee members. 

-Mr. Son asked a question on school district end of year expenses…

-Dr. Jette provided an overview of the HVAC work at all 3 buildings, answered questions from committee members and discussed the impact of the vote and the use of the funds for this work.

Capital Improvement Planning Committee:

-Mr. Cutter provided an update from the planning committee which included reports from all town departments.  A survey to be sent to the town at the end of the month, presentation to the Planning Board, Town Meeting, and presentation to Board of Selection, with all meetings taking place in September. 

Member Input / New Business:

-None at this time. 

The next Budget Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 24th  at 7pm.  A formal agenda will be provided as soon as it is finalized.

As a reminder, Budget Committee responses to posts on social media are not permitted. 

Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | 6/25/20

Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | 6/25/20

The Litchfield Budget Committee met tonight (6/25/20) and all members were in attendance.

Mr. Cutter shared correspondence which includes school board reports, minutes from May, town budget updates, and budget committee calendar for 20-21. 

5/28 Minutes (as amended) were accepted by the committee.

Town Business Updates Included:

-Mr. Leary shared updates from the town, which included assessments for the town.  A representative from Avitar Associates will attend the next selectmen meeting.  Town Hall is slowly opening this month. 

-Ms. Fordey shared questions that were raised regarding the town weekly budget expenditures.  Those questions were around funds for ballots that were low, which will be offset by state funds.  Also, a new line item was created for Covid-19, which is used to track expenses for Covid-19 and expect 100% reimbursement for items in this account. 

School Business Updates Included:

-Ms. Harrison provided updates from the School Board, which included the re-opening task force that begins meeting next month to determine opening for the fall.  Surveys will be going out to parents, students, and staff to continue to collect feedback.  An estimate of $734,00 is to be refunded to the town. 

-Ms. Harrison also provided an update of the year-end expenditures which included approximately $363,000 in expenses for projects that includes LMS Canopy, CHS Mobile Bleachers, GMS Chromebook Expansion at 3rd Grade, and a new locker room floor at LMS. 

-Mr. Son asked a question around CARES funds from the federal government and how those funds can support end of year expenses for remote learning.  Ms. Harrison said the school board is still awaiting guidance on how those funds can be spent, but they will be receiving $75,000. 

Member Input / New Business:

-Mr. Cutter shared the newest version of the BC Meeting Calendar for 2020-2021 and asked for member feedback and input.  The calendar as presented was agreed upon by the committee.

-Mr. Son asked a question around providing support during town meetings, especially if we have to continue in a virtual environment.  He suggested we ensure we have the tools and infrastructure to allow citizens to join remotely for discussions and provide input as we move through the budget process. 

-Mr. Cutter shared updates on the By-Laws adoption, which was presented at the last budget committee meeting. A vote took place to approve new bylaws around social media and communication and passed 7-1-0. 

-Mr. Cutter shard updates from the Capital Improvement Planning Committee, which included potential land acquisition, replacement of fire pumper truck and fire engine, and a potential new police station.  All of these items would have to be presented to the board of selectmen for review prior to review of the budget committee.  Next month will include discussions around a new school, the police station, and additional department and committee updates.

The next Budget Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 27th at 7pm.  A formal agenda will be provided as soon as it is finalized.

As a reminder, Budget Committee responses to posts on social media are not permitted.