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.

Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | 12/10/20

The Litchfield Budget Committee met tonight (12/10/20) and all members were in attendance.

Mr. Cutter shared correspondence which included scope of December 17th meeting, town budget report, amended minutes, and correspondence and questions between the committee and school district officials.

November 19th minutes were approved and December 3rd meetings were deferred to the next meeting.

Prior to voting, the school district principals provided updates on their budgets and explained how they addressed proposed cuts from the last meeting.  

School Budget Review Process:

-The following accounts were reviewed by committee members and voted on by the committee members. 

-HR / Salary & Benefits
-Bottom Line Voting

-A total of $551,318.50 was reduced by the budget committee to the full school district budget over the last two weeks of voting.

-Mr. Leary shared the board of selectmen are meeting next week to review warrant articles for review.

Member Input / New Business:

The next Budget Committee meeting is scheduled for December 17th to review warrant articles from the town and school. 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 | 12/3/20

The Litchfield Budget Committee met tonight (12/3/20) and all members were in attendance.

Mr. Cutter shared correspondence which included budget report from the town, NHMA updates, LMS renovation plans, draft minutes from 11/19. 

November 19th minutes were tabled until the next meeting.

Prior to voting, the school district responded to questions from the 11/19 meeting, including CTE costs, and various items from the schools.

School Budget Review Process:

-The following accounts were reviewed by committee members and voted on by the committee members. 

-CHS
-LMS
-GMS
-Curriculum
-IT
-SPED
-Food Service
-Facilities
-Business
-Transportation
-SAU & School Board
-HR

-A total of $85,000 was reduced by the budget committee to the full school district budget. 

-Mrs. Fordey shared that Facilities Improvement has started and she will provide updates as their work continues.

Member Input / New Business:

The next Budget Committee meeting is scheduled for December 10th 7:00pm. The committee will review Salaries & Benefits and vote on those items.  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 | 11/19/20

The Litchfield Budget Committee met tonight (11/19/20) and all members were in attendance.

Mr. Cutter shared correspondence which included budget report from the town, meeting agendas from previous weeks, school budget account information, amended minutes, accounts to be reviewed on 11/19, confirmation of deliberate session dates, and the resignation of Mrs. Harrison as the school board rep to the budget committee. 

October 15th minutes and October 22nd minutes were approved as amended.

Budget Committee opening remarks were provided by Mr. Cutter.  Committee members spoke to their overall thoughts on the process over the last couple of weeks.  Most committee members spoke to the need to continue improving the process and continued sharing of information between the school board and the budget committee. 

Dr. Jette provided and overview of the school district’s process and their work to bring forth the budget for review, including dollars returned this year due to schools being closed in the spring. 

School Budget Review Process:

-The following accounts were reviewed by committee members and

-CHS
-LMS
-GMS
-Curriculum
-IT
-SPED
-Food Service
-Facilities
-Business
-Transportation
-SAU & School Board
-HR
-Salaries & Benefits

-Mr. Cutter shared an overview of the FY 22 Litchfield School District Budget Analysis file that he created and shared with the budget committee and school board. 

Member Input / New Business:

The next Budget Committee meeting is scheduled for December 3rd at 7:00pm, which continues the school budget review process, as well as voting on the school budget.  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 | 10/29/20

Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | 10/29/20

The Litchfield Budget Committee met tonight (10/29/20) and all members were in attendance.

Mr. Cutter shared correspondence which included budget report from the town, budget member requests for items from the town, approved amended minutes, rec commission field bid, and school district expense reports. 

Town Business Updates Included:

-The following accounts were voted on by committee members for   

-Mosquito District 4411.2
-Other Insurance 4196
-General Government Building 4194.10
-Health Department 4411.10
-Ambulance 4215
-Fire 4220.10
-Hydrants 4220.90
-Code 4241.20
-Emergency Management 4290.10
-Police 4210.10
-Police Support 4210.50
-Animal Control 4414.10
-Personnel 4155

-The committee also reviewed projected revenues for 2021, as well as the current default budget and tax cap. 

School Business Updates Included:

-Mrs. Harrison provided an update on the budget process.  The board will be reviewing the budget this weekend as it is currently being prepared by the Superintendent and Business Administrator, with scheduled review next week. 

Member Input / New Business:

-Mrs. Harrison shared with the committee her desire for all groups to be on the same page working toward a common goal.  She reiterated that she supports the Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator in doing what they are elected / hired to do. 

The next Budget Committee meeting is scheduled for November 5 at 7:00pm, which continues the budget review process, focusing on the school budget.  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 | 10/22/20

Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | 10/22/20

The Litchfield Budget Committee met tonight (10/22/20) and all members were in attendance.

Mr. Cutter shared correspondence which included budget report from the town, questions from various committee members on line items in the budget, IT Manager contract, and updates with the library. 

October 1st minutes and October 8th minutes were approved as amended. 

Town Business Updates Included:

-The following accounts were voted on by committee members for   

-Town Meeting 4130.30
-Town Clerk 4140.10
-Accounting 4150.10
-Sanitation 4321.10
-Road Agent 4311.10
-Road Maintenance 4321.10
-Street Lighting 4316.30
-Accounting 4150.10
-Revaluation of Property 4152.10
-Town Meeting 4130.30
-Legal 4153.10
-Planning 4191.10
-Zoning Board 4191.30
-Cemeteries 4195.10
-Advertising Regional Associations 4197.10
-Vendor Payments 4445.20
-Patriotic 4583.10
-Conservation 4611.20
-Debt 4723.10
-Parks and Rec 4520.10
-Library 4550.20
-Info Tech 4150.20  

Member Input / New Business:

– Mrs. Fordey was appointed by the committee to serve on the School District Facility Planning committee as the budget committee representative. 

The next Budget Committee meeting is scheduled for October 29 at 7:00pm, which continues the budget review and voting 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 | 10/15/20

The Litchfield Budget Committee met tonight (10/15/20) and all members were in attendance.

Mr. Cutter shared correspondence which included enrollment confirmation from the school district, 2021 draft warrant articles, edits and modifications to October 1 minutes. 

October 1st minutes and October 8th minutes were deferred pending review of edits until next week.   

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. 

            -Health Department – 4411.10
            -Ambulance – 4215.10
            -Fire Administration – 4220.10
            -Fire Hydrants – 4220.90
            -Code Enforcement – 4241.20
            -Emergency Management – 4290.10
            -Police Administration – 4210.10
            -Police Support Services – 4210.50
            -Animal Control – 4414.10
            -Personnel Administration – 4155.10

-The committee also reviewed the preliminary revenue estimates and preliminary default budget calculation.   

Member Input / New Business:

-Mrs. Douglas asked a question in regards to an overspend on staffing for GMS in the school budget, and Mrs. Harrison explained that was a manual entry error and the explanation would be forwarded to the committee.

The next Budget Committee meeting is scheduled for October 22 at 7:00pm, 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 | 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 | 10/1/20

Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | 10/1/20

The Litchfield Budget Committee met last night (10/1/20) and all members were in attendance.

Budget Committee Meeting – Oct 1, 2020

Mr. Cutter shared correspondence which included links to the draft budget, swearing in of Mr. Scott Taylor, and meeting agenda for this week. 

September 24th minutes (as amended) were deferred until next week for review and approval.   

Town Business Updates Included:

-Mr. Cutter turned it over to Mr. Brown to begin the budget review process…Mr. Brown took the first few minutes to provide a high-level overview of how the BOS put together the budget, the current spend against the Tax Cap, and their plans over the coming weeks to continue to review all accounts with department heads. 

-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. 

            -Town Meeting 4130.30
            -Town Clerk 4140.10
            -Tax Collection 4150.40
            -Sanitation Administration 4321.10
            -Road Agent 4311.10
            -Road Maintenance 4312.10
            -Street Lighting 4316.30
            -Accounting  4150.10
            -Revaluation of Property 4152.10
            -Board of Selectmen 4130.10
            -Legal Expenses 4153.10
            -Planning Board 4191.10
            -Zoning Board 4191.30
            -Cemeteries 4195.10
            -Advertising and Regional Associations 4197.10
            -Welfare Vendor Payments 4445.2
            -Patriotic Purposes 4583.10
            -Conservation 4611.20
            -Debt Service 4711.10

Member Input / New Business:

-None.

The next Budget Committee meeting is scheduled for October 8 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. 

Litchfield Budget Committee | Meeting Summary | 9/24/20

The Litchfield Budget Committee met tonight (9/24/20) and all members were in attendance.

Mr. Cutter shared correspondence which included reports from the town and school, draft budget for 2021, and interest from community members in the open seat on the committee. 

August 27th minutes (as amended) were accepted by the committee and passed 7-0-1. 

Mr. Cutter shared the resignation of Mrs. Burke from the Budget Committee and thanked her for her years of service. 

Mr. Cutter introduced three candidates to replace Mrs. Burke until March 2021.  Mr. Scott Taylor, Mr. Jeff Towne, and Mr. Derek Barka. Each candidate had an opportunity to introduce themselves, share their backgrounds, and why they want to be a member of the budget committee.  Committee members asked questions to each candidate. 

After interviews and nominations were complete, Mr. Scott Taylor was nominated and voted to fill the vacant position until March 2021. 

Town Business Updates Included:

-Mr. Leary shared that 2021 budget was shared by Mr. Brown to the budget committee.  He also provided an update on the Tax Cap that will be reviewed later this evening.

-Mr. Cutter provided an overview of the budget process, including the draft budget from the Board of Selectmen.  The committee reviewed, at a high level, the current proposed budget against the Tax Cap, as well as current spending year-to-date.  Discussions around state and federal aid, as well as cost savings through the end of the year took place.

School Business Updates Included:

-Mrs. Harrison shared the opening of school, and the special meeting from 9/16 that approved the one-time funds for the Capital Expense Fund.  She also provided updates on various projects in the district, include HVAC work at CHS, electrical work / repair at GMS, and the canopy work at LMS. 

Capital Improvement Planning Committee:

-Mr. Cutter provided an update on the public hearing yesterday for the CIP, and the presentation to the Board of Selectmen next week.  Discussions on the process for the CIP took place, including how the Board of Selectmen utilizes the plan to inform their decisions and help determine what, if any items, to put forward for warrant articles.

Member Input / New Business:

-Mr. Cutter gave an overview of the budget process through the end of the year, including upcoming weekly meetings and departments and line item review of budgets.   

The next Budget Committee meeting is scheduled for October 1 at 6:30pm, which begins 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.