Budget Committee | 6/27/19 Meeting Summary

The BC met last night @ 7PM. All members were in attendance and the following actions were taken and points discussed:

Litchfield Budget Committee Meeting – June 27, 2019

1) New Hampshire Municipal Associating Budget Law Training. NHMA provided an overview of budget law for the Committee and reviewed various RSA’s that dictate the laws & process the Budget Committee must follow. The role of the BC includes:

  • Review current year expenditures
  • Review proposals, request information
  • Prepare budget
  • Schedule & hold budget hearings
  • Forward final proposed budget to governing body
  • Does not control spending
  • 10% rule in towns with official budget committee
  • Budget can not surpass YoY increase >10%
  • In 2017 Litchfield passed a local tax cap on the town side where the budget can not exceed an increase >$175k.

2) Acceptance of 5/23/19 Meeting Minutes
3) LEA Teachers Contract Update

  • The Superintendent provided the BC with an update on teachers contract.
  • On 6/27, the School Board held an Emergency meeting and voted to approve a renegotiated collective bargaining agreement with the LEA.
  • Terms of the new agreement include:
  • A total 3 year cost of ~$854k. This is a reduction from the failed March 2019 warrant article which was ~$1.1MM.
  • Year 1 would reflect a 1% Cost of Living (COLA) increase, Year 2 = 1.5% COLA increase, Year 3 = 1.75% COLA increase
  • Primary renegotiated points to support the decrease in cost are:
  • Health insurance is more in line with industry standard and shifts from ‘Cadillac Plan’ to a deductible/co-insurance based plan
  • No make up in step increases to account for past years where there was no contract
  • Longevity payments have decreased

Next steps are for the Superior Court to review the petition for a Special Election as well as for the Budget Committee to formally vote to recommend/not recommend the contract. The Budget Committee will have a special meeting planned for the evening of Monday August 5th to vote on the LEA ContractThe Superintendents goal is to have the special election at the end of September. Working back from that timeline, there will be a deliberative session planned for early September and the BC vote should be recorded by August 9th.

4) School Update

  • A review of year end encumbrances were performed. Total encumbrances = $197,593
  • Estimated fund balance (as of 6/19/19) = $331,845.77

5) Town Update

  • Two lawn mowers were purchased to replace failing equipment

6) School Capital Planning Committee Update

  • The BC discussed member participation on the School Capital Planning Committee. While the Committee is very much in favor of the Capital Planning charter and putting together a district wide strategic plan, the BC voted 2-7-0 to not participate in this committee. Reasoning for the failed vote was primarily related to maintaining independence as a Committee as well as how effective one member would be speaking on behalf of the BC, when the BC has not met to discuss.

Note: Any public comments or questions can be addressed to the Budget Committee during the next public meeting, a special meeting to vote on the LEA Teachers contract, planned for August 5th. Budget Committee responses to questions are not permitted via social media.

As shared by Andrew Cutter via Facebook on 6/28/2019.

Litchfield Budget Committee Meeting Agenda – June 27, 2019

AGENDA

7:00 pm

Call to Order
– Pledge of Allegiance

7:03 pm

  • Review / Additions to Agenda
  • Committee Meeting Immediately following the NHMA Workshop

7:05 pm

NHMA Workshop

8:45 pm

Public Input

8:55 pm

Review / Acceptance of Minutes
– May 23, 2019

9:00 pm

Correspondence

9:05 pm

Reports
– Town Business
– General Update

– School Business
– General Updates
– Teacher’s Contract Update
– End of Year Encumbrances

9:35 pm

Member Input / New Business

  • Budget Committee Participation on the Capital Planning Committee

9:45 pm

9:50 pm

Public Input

Adjourn

Next Committee Meeting: Thursday, August 22, 2019

BOS and BC Joint Meeting – June 17, 2019

Public Meeting Notice
Joint Meeting of the Litchfield
Board of Selectmen and Budget Committee

The Litchfield Board of Selectmen and Budget Committee will meet at the Litchfield Highway Facility on Monday, June 17, 2019 at 6:00PM. The purpose of the meeting is to tour the facility, equipment and vehicles.

Budget Committee | 5/23 Meeting Summary

The Budget Committee met this evening and the following was reviewed:

Acceptance of 4/18 meeting minutes. Pass 5-2-0

Correspondence Summary

  • Fire Station IT & overall project expense summaries were provided
  • School District Business Administrator reports for April and May were received

Town Business

  • 64% of operating budget has been expended YTD
  • Town audit is near completion with final/formal results expected in September
  • All planned highway paving projects are now complete
  • Tax bills will be sent out this week (SORRY FOR THE BAD NEWS!)
  • The Fire Chief applied and received a 40k grant for equipment and furniture for our new emergency response center in the new fire station

School Business

  • The Budget Committee confirmed a five year First Student contract is now in place. New buses will be rolling throughout town for the next school year. The new buses will all be equipped with internal and external cameras, which will hopefully deter and catch any stop sign runners. 
  • School enrollment currently stands at 1,321 students. 
  • Kindergarten current year has 87 students. Thus far 60 are registered for next year. IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO, PLEASE ENROLL YOUR K STUDENT(S). Information can be found at: http://www.litchfieldsd.org/StudentRegistration.aspx
  • A new LEA negotiated contract is complete with the School Board. The contract is under review currently with the LEA. 
  • End of year fund projection is currently at 487k. The school board is planning ~197k in encumbrances. The list has not been voted on or finalized at this stage.

Member Input/New Business

  • Next Budget Committee meeting will be on 6/27. This meeting will largely be focused on NHMA training – This is an open session and all are welcome to attend. At the conclusion of the training, an abbreviated Budget Committee meeting will be held.
  • Mr. Cutter’s analysis of the school budget was also reviewed. Mr. Cutter commented that he felt the school budget for next year was 1MM higher than needed and the town budget is 300-500k higher than needed – based upon actual spend and historical account based trending. Refer to information shared with the community under the 4/18 Meeting Summary.
  • The School Board desires to establish a Capital Planning Committee to specifically put together a 3 to 5 year building plan. The Budget Committee discussed if one member would be involved, as per the School Board request. This will be decided at the 6/27 meeting.

Note: Any public comments or questions can be addressed to the Budget Committee during the 6/27 public meeting. Budget Committee responses to questions are not permitted via social media.

As shared by Andrew Cutter via Facebook on 5/23/2019.

Litchfield Budget Committee Meeting Agenda – May 23, 2019

Meeting Notice
May 23, 2019 at 7 pm
Town Hall Meeting Room

Agenda
7:00 pm           Call to Order
Pledge of Allegiance
7:05 pm           Public Input
7:10 pm           Review / Additions to Agenda
7:15 pm           Review / Acceptance of Minutes
– April 18, 2019
7:20 pm           Correspondence
7:30 pm           Reports

  • Town Business
    1. General Update
    2. Fire Station Update
      • IT Contract
    3. Water Update
  • School Business
    1. General Update
    2. Business Report
    3. End of Year Projections

8:15 pm           Member Input / New Business
– 06/27 NHMA Training
– Analysis of School Budget

8:45 pm           Public Input
8:50 pm           Adjourn

Next Committee Meeting: Thursday, June 27, 2019

Budget Committee | 4/18/19 Meeting Summary

The Budget Committee met this evening. Attendees included: K. Douglas (Chair), A. Cutter (V. Chair), J. Martin, B. Hodgkins, W. Hayes, R. Meyers (SB), B Lemire and R Leary (BOS)

A review an acceptance of minutes from the January 10th and February 9th meetings occurred – both with a 4-0-3 vote. The March 28th minutes were also accepted as amended with a 7-0-0 vote.

Correspondence was reviewed which included distribution to the committee of town and school budget analysis along with information on police cruiser purchase cycle and rotation of vehicles.

Additional agenda items and discussion points included:

  • Acceptance of Budget Committee by laws (7-0-0)
  • Process to post BC updates via social media has been reviewed with the IT Manager
  • NHMA Training (scheduled for June 27th BC meeting)
  • Budget Review Calendar
  • IT Expenses and Access
  • Submitted questions and responses provided by the Town Administrator
  • School budget review has been postponed to the May 23rd meeting – providing ample time for all committee members to receive and review analysis

Budget Files Reviewed:

*Due to file layout and size, the town and school analysis files are in MS Excel format.

Budget Committee | 3/28/19 Meeting Summary

The BC met last night @ 7PM and the following actions were taken and points discussed:

  • Welcome to members. Mrs. Douglas was nominated as chair in a 6-1-2 vote. Mr. Cutter was nominated as vice chair in a 7-0-2 vote
  • During Public Input, an inquiry was made on the failed teacher contract and better understanding why previous no vote BC members made that decision and what would help sway their votes to yes 

Town Update as presented by Selectman Leary and Selectman Lemire

  • Unanticipated water and fuel costs at new FD for the first part of this year
  • Temporary heating in place at Talent Hall. New heating system being planned for summer installation
  • New Police Officer was hired
  • The BOS has not had discussion regarding the future state of the current FD 

School Update as presented by Representative Meyers

  • ALICE Training has been completed
  • Homeland Security review and plans underway for new entrance at LMS 

Election Results were reviewed by the BC

  • The budget calendar was presented by the Chair. The Committee to finalize the anticipated review/voting dates at next meeting
  • The BC bylaws were reviewed by the committee. Annual acceptance of the bylaws is scheduled for the next meeting
  • The BC discussed social media posts and process. Mr. Cutter was selected to post BC updates through the LitchfieldNH FB page and then share it with the What’s Up FB page. Commentary is welcome on all posts, however, specific questions to the BC will be addressed at our next scheduled meeting. Anyone is also welcome to send inquires to the BC at BudComm@litchfieldnh.gov. (As the process to post on the LitchfieldNH page needs to be ironed out, this post will be directly made to the Whats Up page)
  • Mr. Cutter presented an overview of town related budget vs actual expenses from 2004 through present. The committee will review and Mr. Cutter will share a school overview at the next scheduled meeting
  • The next BC meeting will be on April 18, 2019

As shared by Andrew Cutter via Facebook on 3/29/2019.