The Litchfield Board of Selectmen will attend the Budget Committee Meeting on Thursday, June 27, 2019 at 7pm. The meeting will be held at the Town Office Conference Room. The purpose of the meeting is to participate in the Budget Committee Training Workshop conducted by New Hampshire Municipal Association.
The Fund Balance Policy outlines five different funds:
Non-Spendable Fund Balance: Trust Funds, nobody can spend these funds.
Restricted Fund Balance: Grants come in for a specific purpose, and are restricted to that purpose.
Committed Fund Balance: Town Meeting where the residents approve funding for a capital project. The funds are restricted for that purpose.
Assigned Fund Balance: Encumbered funds, funds dedicated to a specific project.
Unassigned Fund Balance: Funds used to help fund a one-time capital project expense. (Liquid Cash)
Once a year a balance is set up by the auditors. They will determine what the balance is. This fund balance is a collection of funds collected in excess of what the town planned and any funds that were turned back.
This fund balance may be used by the Selectmen only by the approval of a town meeting.
The Unassigned Fund Balance in 2018 was $1.9 million. This fund is an important part of the town’s cash flow.
The town has established a guideline of 8% – 12% of the funds that are the general appropriations for the town, school, and county government.
The auditors requested the town create a write-off policy. This policy was created in June 2016.
This policy outlines the procedures that the Finance Department and other departments, including the Town Administrator must follow.
This policy is used, most of the time, for Special Detail and ambulance bills.
Litchfield has a third-party collection agency.
After the town has tried everything possible to collect the funds, the town turns to the collection agency.
The collection agency receives a commission on anything they are able to collect.
The town keeps the outstanding amount due on the books for three years. After three years, the amount is written-off.
The auditors decide the amount that the town is able to write-off. Even though the amount has been written-off, the third-party collection agency will try to collect the funds.
Recruitment Process – Police Chief
Selectman Webber met with Chief O’Brion and other law enforcement officers.
Selectman Webber discussed the policy and procedure for hiring a Police Chief.
The belief is a department that runs well, the town should promote from within its own department.
The Selectmen agreed that promoting from within would be the proper way to proceed.
Promoting from within would:
Help with moral
Keep the money spent on training within the town of Litchfield
Captain Sargent is a candidate for Police Chief and he will be attending the FBI Academy soon.
Motion ( Selectman Lynch / Selectman Leary ) I move the Board of Selectmen promote a police officer from withinthe Litchfield Police Department as the town’s next Police Chief.
Vote: ( 3-0-0 ) The motion carried.
Approval – MS-4 Stormwater Permit Certificate
Troy Brown requested the Selectmen authorize him to be able to sign the following items:
Stormwater pollution plans
Annual monitoring reports
Discussion: Selectman Lynch requested that Town Administrator Troy Brown provide the forms to Selectman Lynch before Troy signs off on the document.
Motion ( Selectman Leary / Selectman Lynch ) I move to authorize the Town Administrator position to review andapprove stormwater pollution prevention plans, inspection reports, annual monitoring reports, training records, and other reports as required by the MS-4 Permit, with the condition that Selectmen Lynch will be able to see them prior to signing.
The contract is for three years, but the first year is already under contract.
For the years 2018 and 2019, the cost will be $20,500.
For the year 2020, the cost will be $21,000
Motion ( Selectman Lynch / Selectman Leary ) I move to authorize the Town Administrator to sign a three-yearcontract with Melanson Heath, for the years 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Vote:( 3-0-0 ) The motion carried.
Approval – Fire Department Weekend/Holiday Stipend
The fire department weekend / Holiday Stipend is a practice that is already in place, but it has been omitted from the pay scale. (Appendix A)
Weeknights after the full-timers go home, we have an individual who will cover from 4 pm until 8 am. This employee receives a $20 stipend to be on-call.
The requirement is the employee is within a 10 to 15 minute response time.
If the employee gets called out, the employee receives their hourly rate.
Weekend Days and Town Holidays, the employee receives a $50 stipend.
Motion ( Selectman Leary / Selectman Lynch ) I move to update Appendix A wages of personnel policy with on-callofficer stipends as follows, weeknights 1600 hours to 0800 hours is $20. Weekend days and Town Holidays are $50.
Vote: ( 3-0-0 ) The motion carried.
Special Meeting – Tour Highway Department
Troy Brown would like to set up a time for the Board of Selectmen to go down to the highway garage and have Kevin Brown give us a tour.
The tour would include the entire facility and all the equipment.
Selectman Webber suggested including the Budget Committee in the tour of the highway department.
Selectman Leary wondered if the wounds from the Jack Pinciaro resignation are still too raw.
The Selectmen agreed to set up a time for a tour and will invite the Budget Committee to attend.
Authorization – Recruitment of Seasonal Highway Laborer
The last two years the town has not had a seasonal highway laborer.
The Highway Department is down one man with Jack Pinciaro’s resignation.
The town needs to find a seasonal employee to help with the lawn mowing and other maintenance issues.
The pay would be $12 an hour and last for about 10 weeks.
Motion ( Selectman Leary / Selectman Lynch ) I move to authorize the Town Administrator to recruit and hire a seasonal laborer in a position for the highway department at $12 an hour.
Vote: ( 3-0-0 ) The motion carried.
Discussion Items – Full-Time Road Agent and Truck Driver
With the resignation of Jack Pinciaro, the position of Road Agent is a priority.
The Selectmen agreed to look at the job descriptions.
Troy Brown will work on updating the job descriptions.
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.
Board of Selectmen approved the lease agreement for $1,000 per year.
River Access Park Name – John Bryant River Access
The Recreation Commission worked with the Conservation Commission in discussing changing the name of the River Access to John Bryant River Access. Mr. Bryant was a big supporter of recreation and one of the main supporters in getting River Access for Litchfield Residents. In recognition of all the hard work and years of community service, the Board of Selectmen renamed the Litchfield River Access to John Bryant River Access.
Non-Union Performance Review Process
Board of Selectmen approved no more than 3% wage adjustments for outstanding job performance by non-union employees.
Police Chief Recruitment Process
BOS appointed Chairman Webber, Chief O’Brion and Troy Brown to develop and recommend recruitment process.
The Budget Committee met this evening and the following was reviewed:
Acceptance of 4/18 meeting minutes. Pass 5-2-0
Fire Station IT & overall project expense summaries were provided
School District Business Administrator reports for April and May were received
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
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.
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 5year 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.