Litchfield Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | August 26, 2021

The Litchfield Budget Committee held a meeting at Town Hall on August 26 at 7pm.  The current members are Andrew Cutter (Chair), John David Son (Vice Chair), Keri Douglas, William Hayes, Derek Barka, Scott Taylor, Kate Stevens, Christina Harrison (School Board Representative), and Robert Leary (Selectmen Representative).

Public Input

There was no public input at this meeting.

Business Reports

Updates on town business was provided by Mr. Leary.  Town departments have begun their budget presentations to the Board of Selectmen.  The budget committee expects a preliminary 2022 draft town budget in September.

Mrs. Harrison sent a school business summary to the chair as she could not make the meeting in order to conduct interviews for a new middle school principal.  The school district has already begun contract negotiations with the both the teachers and support staff unions.

There are multiple open positions at each school listed at https://sau27.tedk12.com/hire/index.aspx.  If interested please do not hesitate to apply.  

A memorandum of understanding detailing the expectations between budget committee and school board will be discussed at the next committee meeting.  The school district bus contract and potential cost reduction from combining the middle school and high school regular service is also expected to be discussed.

Next regular Budget Committee meeting is Thursday, Sept 23, 2021 at 7pm.  

Town Budget Presentations to the committee begin Thursday, Sept 30, at 7pm.

Residents are encouraged to attend Budget Committee meetings in person at Town Hall.  Public input is also invited before meetings via email to Andrew Cutter at acutter@litchfieldnh.gov.  Emails must include the commenter’s first and last name and address. 

As a reminder, Budget Committee responses to posts on social media are limited.  Past meetings can be viewed on the LitchfieldTV Youtube channel.

Litchfield Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | May 27, 2021

The Litchfield Budget Committee held a meeting at Town Hall on May 27, 2021 at 7pm.  The members in attendance were Andrew Cutter (Chair), John David Son (Vice Chair), Keri Douglas, William Hayes, Kate Stevens, Christina Harrison (School Board Representative), and Robert Leary (Selectmen Representative).

Public Input
There was no public input submitted to the committee.

Committee Updates

Michelle Flynn submitted her resignation as recording secretary for the committee. Matthew Sullivan was confirmed by the Board of Selectmen as the committee’s minute recorder going forward.

Scott Taylor was sworn in to a one-year term on the Budget Committee.

Regular town and school budget updates were submitted by the town bookkeeper and school business administrator.

A request by Mr. Tyler Stefano to extend the bike path to Weatherstone Drive was received and forwarded to the Town Administrator

  • Town Business Report provided by Mr. Leary
    • Baron’s Appliances is proposing a warehouse facility in the northern commercial district to be accessed off of St. Francis Way. In order to build, a variance must be approved by the Zoning Board of Adjustment at the July 19, 2021 meeting.
    • PFOA and Pennichuck water issues are still ongoing
    • Memorial Day Parade is planned
    • Page Road and Town Hall paving are complete
  • School Business Report provided by Mrs. Harrison
    • LMS canopy is complete except for landscaping
    • LMS energy efficiency project is moving on to window replacements to be completed this summer
    • Portables still on track to be removed by July 1st
    • LMS roof project slated to begin in the fall due to material backorder
    • $56.5k CARES funds have been spent
    • SR2 funds are being applied for to close academic gaps and for roof funding
    • SR3 funds are to be applied for once applications are open
    • Support staffing issues are being addressed by introducing a referral and hiring bonus program
    • All building projects are planned to include maintenance contracts
    • Business Administrator report to be available for the next meeting to answer committee questions
  • Capital Improvement Committee Update provided by Mr. Cutter
    • Next CIP meeting is July 19, 2021
  • Facilities Improvement update provided by Mr. Son
    • No new updates aside from those provided by Mrs. Harrison

Public Input Member Input / New Business –
The Budget Committee Bylaws were updated to include language on how the Communication Archivist shall respond to social media comments and questions and to clarify the appointment of new members to vacant positions on the committee.

Next Budget Committee meeting is Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 7pm.

Residents are encouraged to attend Budget Committee meetings in the Town Hall meeting room. Public input is also invited via email to Chair Andrew Cutter at acutter@litchfieldnh.gov. Emails must include the commenter’s first and last name and address. 

Past meetings can be viewed on the LitchfieldTV Youtube channel.

Litchfield Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | April 22, 2021

Litchfield Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | April 22, 2021

The Litchfield Budget Committee held a meeting at Town Hall on April 22, 2021 at 7pm.  The current members are Andrew Cutter (Chair), John David Son (Vice Chair), Keri Douglas, William Hayes, Derek Barka, Scott Taylor, Kate Stevens, Christina Harrison (School Board Representative), and Robert Leary (Selectmen Representative).

Public Input

Mrs. Jen Bourque commented that she had contacted Mr. Cutter about a vacancy on the board and disagreed that only Mr. Scott Taylor was being considered tonight for the position.  She stressed that her disagreement is with the process of filling the vacancy, not Mr. Taylor.  She requested the committee to post the vacancy and consider all applicants next meeting.  Later in the meeting she thanked the committee for discussing the process in which vacancies are filled and suggested considering looking at the bylaws in a “can we do this” rather than “should we do this” way moving forward.

Mrs. Michelle Flynn had emailed the committee but did not wish for it to be read.  She also disagreed with the process being followed to fill the vacancy.

Mr. Scott Taylor expressed interest in the vacant position and believes his past performance on the committee shows he is well suited for the position.

Open Position Appointment

The committee discussed the process to fill the open seat.  It was determined all bylaws have been followed correctly and while in the past it was the will of the committee to post an open position for applicants concurrently, it is not required.  Mr. Scott Taylor was appointed to the Budget Committee for a one year term with a vote of 7-1-0.

  • Town Business Report provided by Mr. Leary
    • Paving by Continental Paving to begin.  Town Administrator Troy Brown worked with the Town of Hudson to pay to pave their portion of Page Rd at the same time to keep the entire road length in good condition.
    • Conservation Commission elected Matt Lepore as Chair and welcome new member Jayson Brennan
    • Painting of old Town Hall to begin soon
  • School Business Report provided by Mrs. Harrison
    • Estimated CARES funds for ventilation, targeted programming, mediation to close education gaps over the past year, technology improvements.  Potential to cover new LMS roof, main office improvements, and kitchen expansion.  A list of year to date expenses to be provided to the committee.
    • 5th grade portables to be removed.  Estimated $44k/yr savings in energy costs and improves student safety
    • School meals still being reimbursed by federal government but food services is working at a deficit due to loss of revenue from reduced snacks and a la carte sales
  • Capital Improvement Committee Update provided by Mr. Cutter
    • CIP discussed the use of funds from the American Rescue Plan
    • Chief Sargent presented an update on a grant for the police department
  • Facilities Improvement update provided by Mr. Son
    • Met and reviewed a thermal imaging report that showed the inefficiencies in the school buildings, LMS HVAC system
    • Discussed GMS architect next steps

Public Input Member Input / New Business –

The 2021-2022 Budget Committee calendar was approved by a vote of 8-0-0.

The Budget Committee Bylaws were discussed and expected to be updated at the next meeting to clarify the notification of previous candidates when a seat becomes vacant on the committee.  Social media responses by the social media archivist position will also be clarified.  The committee will review the bylaws at the May meeting.

The committee went into non-public session and adjourned from there.

Next Budget Committee meeting is Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 7pm.

Residents are encouraged to attend Budget Committee meetings by webex or phone.  Remote attendance information can be found on meeting agendas posted to the Town’s webpage.  Public input is also invited via email to Andrew Cutter at acutter@litchfieldnh.gov. Emails must include the commenter’s first and last name and address. 

As a reminder, Budget Committee responses to posts on social media are not permitted.  Past meetings can be viewed on the LitchfieldTV Youtube channel

Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | 1/7/21

Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | 1/7/21

The Litchfield Budget Committee met tonight (1/7/21) and all members were in attendance.

Mr. Cutter shared correspondence which included updated school district budgets, library correspondence, weekly town budget reports, draft minutes, draft budget hearing PowerPoint, and budget hearing planning session agenda and format.

December 10th and 17th meetings were approved by the committee.   


Reports

Mrs. Varick from the town library asked for an additional $7,905 to the town library budget, specifically for costs associated with heating oil and health benefits, bring the total library budget to $305,453.  The committee voted to add the additional funds back to the budget. 

-Request from Zoning board to restore $700 to the budget.  There was no motion to add the dollars.

-Town Bottom Line Voting – $7,203,793.  The committee voted to approve the bottom line budget as presented.

-Town Warrant Article Voting:
            -Article #3 – Police Contract – recommended 8-1-0
            -Article #4 – Town Clerk – not recommended 4-5-0
            -Article #5 – Health Services – recommended 8-1-0
            -Article #6 – Road Improvements – recommended 8-1-0
            -Article #7 – Plow Truck Purchase – recommended 7-2-0
            -Article #8 – Property Revaluation – recommended 8-1-0
            -Article #9 – Health and Dental Care – not recommended 4-5-0
            -Article #10 – Fire Station Bond – recommended 9-0-0

-School Bottom Line Voting – $23,715,016.  The committee voted to approve the bottom line budget as presented.  

-School Warrant Article Voting:
            -Article #1 – School Budget – recommended 8-1-0
            -Article #2 – Tech Integrator – not recommended 4-5-0
            -Article #3 – Tech Integrator – not recommended 4-5-0
            -Article #4 – Capital Improvement – recommended 7-2-0

-Budget Hearing Preparation – Chairman Cutter explained the process for January 14th Budget Hearing, which will be fully remote. 

Member Input / New Business:

– Mr. Taylor asked for the school to provide an update on how much of last year’s budget was returned to the town and how much was encumbered. 

-Dr. Jette spoke about warrant articles 2 and 3 and the school district and board process in having the Tech Integrator positions brought forward via warrant articles. 

The next Budget Committee meeting is the Budget Hearing scheduled for January 14th at 7pm.  This meeting will be virtual, and notices have been made available to the public via local media outlets and the town website. 

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