BRISTOL BOARD OF SELECTMEN
January 28, 2010
PRESENT: Chairman Paul Fraser, Jeff Shackett, Joe Denning, Don Milbrand; Town Manager Paul Weston, Executive Assistant Kelly Lacasse, Assessing Assistant Christina McClay.
Selectman Alpers was absent.
At 6:02 PM Chairman Paul Fraser called the meeting to order.
Review of New Ambulance Fees
Chief Yannuzzi presented new rates for ambulance fees to the Board. A recent meeting with Comstar provided some information which led to the proposed changes, mainly due to a decrease in Medicare reimbursement rates. Through this proposal, Bristol will be increasing our fees 14% to maintain the same revenues. However, the changes would not affect fixed income patients. Chief Yannuzzi recommends these changes to the Board. Upon discussion of the Selectmen, Shackett motioned to accept the new rates as proposed by the Fire Chief, 2nd by Denning. Motion passed with a vote of 4-0.
Minot-Sleeper Library Presentation
Deb Gilbert and Barbara Greenwood gave a presentation on the proposed renovation and expansion of the library, proposed within a warrant article for $1,740,897. The historical background, fundraisers, events, circulation totals, volunteer efforts, recent repairs and a proposed design for the renovations were reviewed for the Board. Trustee Chair George Corrette discussed the bond facts with the Board, noting that this project has been ready since 2004. Each year that passes adds additional costs. Selectman Shackett responded to the presentation, thanking them for their presentation however adding that this project is not a high priority nor can the Town afford it this year. Further discussion on costs and alternative plans to this continued. Selectman Shackett motioned to put this project on as a warrant article with a ten year bond, with a Public Hearing to be held on February 18th, 2nd by Denning. Upon vote of the Board, motion passed 4-0.
Purchase/ Lease of a Backhoe at Highway Department
Mark Bucklin, Highway Superintendent, and the Town Manager presented a proposal to lease/purchase a new backhoe. The current backhoe has been valued at $12,000 for trade-in which can be used as payment for the first few months. The proposal is to immediately lease the equipment until the budget has been set at Town Meeting with a non-appropriation clause in the contract. If however the amount is not appropriated within the article at Town Meeting, then the equipment would be returned and the Town would consider renting a backhoe. Any money paid towards lease will be applied to the purchase amount. The proposed total lease/purchase cost would be $83,500, with one half of the cost paid June, 2010, and a second payment for one half the cost to be paid in June, 2011. Selectman Shackett motioned to authorize the Town Manager to purchase the Nortrax John Deere 310 SJ for $83,500, with payments in 2010 and 2011, with a non-appropriation clause as part of the contract; and Mark Bucklin is to negotiate with Nortrax to take possession of old equipment in lieu of down payment. 2nd by Denning, upon vote of the Board motion passed 4-0.
Town Manager Weston recently interviewed another candidate for the Part-time financial consultant position. Although this person is capable of performing the duties, their rate is $70 per hour and would be used on an as-needed basis. Selectman Denning felt the individual’s background was not appropriate for this job and suggested we look at Crane & Bell’s proposal. Town Manager Weston recommended to the Board to pursue the proposal from Crane & Bell. With $15,000 in the budget line for this, another $15,000 is needed to pursue the contract with Crane & Bell, for $30,000. The Board discussed the options, and advised the Town Manager to find the money in the budget. Town Manager Weston added that he has looked into restructuring the accountant position to allow time for other projects since the office is overwhelmed. His Executive Assistant has offered to take on Personnel duties to assist. Selectmen directed the Town Manager to develop a plan, find the additional money to support hiring Crane and Bell, and bring back a proposal for engaging their services.
Cash Flow Report
The Accountant prepared a cash flow report from 06/2009 through 06/2010 for the Board, indicating that by March the Town could have serious cash flow problems. Selectman Shackett was concerned with how this would be handled and whether a TAN would even help the situation from creating a constant imbalance cycle. Town Manager Weston mentioned that he advised staff to put a hold on all discretionary expenditures, postpone purchases, and is looking into adopting strategies to handle the cash flow. With the next tax rate setting in November, the Town could be looking at an increase in the tax rate. Chairman Fraser inquired on what projections the report was based from. Selectmen would like to see the discretionary spending shown on the report, along with payroll and fixed costs.
ADP / Payroll Proposal
At the last Selectmen’s meeting, the Board requested information on whether an outside payroll company could provide payroll services cost effectively for the Town. The Accountant contacted a firm and obtained a quote. The Town’s current payroll system is complex, which may not be easily handled by an outside payroll firm. The Accountant reported back that this would not be cost effective or efficient for the Town, would still require journal entries into the general ledger to complete payroll, and no money is budgeted for such a plan. Also, an informal survey of five communities similar in size to Bristol noted that 4 out of the 5 towns are processing payroll in house, and the fifth is having repeated turnover for the position of payroll clerk.
SRTS Engineering Agreement between Town and KV Partners, LLC
Town Manager Weston reviewed the contract details for the Safe Routes to School Project with the Newfound Area School District for design of the renovation of the Middle School driveway and parking lot area. The project is grant funded, however initially the Town would have to pay $89,100 which would be reimbursed monthly. The Selectmen reviewed the contract and signed them. The design is scheduled to begin in February with surveying as a first item. Selectman Denning motioned to enter into a contract with KV Partners LLC, 2nd by Milbrand. Upon vote of the Board, motion passed 4-0.
Selectman Denning discussed the Library project, indicating that he would like to see that happen here in Bristol. He also stated that the Town Manager’s budget is the Board’s budget and should be labeled as such.
Selectman Milbrand discussed the NRPA/ Communications Department offering to work on the policies and clarify details of the communication efforts locally. He thanked Gylene Salmon, Paul Weston and Department Head’s for completing the Department of Labor requirements within the recent safety audit on time.
Chairman Fraser inquired about the Joint Loss training. He also thanked Gylene for spearheading the coordination of the inspection and addressing issues. The inspection report received today showed approval from DOL Inspector Roy bringing Bristol into compliance. Also noted were the comments received about lack of budget column from Selectmen. The MS-7 should reflect the Selectmen and the Budget Committee budgets and needs to be completed soon. Back in August, the Selectmen gave recommendations to the Town Manager and also later met with the Budget Committee to discuss. Communication efforts and the Town Crier have recently spotlighted businesses in Bristol which received some comments. Chairman Fraser added that he liked seeing recognition of local businesses.
The Board reviewed the proposed Municipal Budget as proposed and finalized by the Budget Committee. No changes were made, and the Manager was instructed to have the columns within the MS-7 (Selectmen and Budget Committee) to be identical. A motion was made by Mr. Shackett, seconded by Mr. Milbrand, to recommend a gross budget of $5,601,020. The Manager was further instructed to load the Budget in the Annual Report which follows the MS-7 to delineate the Town Manager’s budget. This Motion passed, 4 – 0 in favor. The Board authorized the Town Manager to pay the Life and Disability bills for January and research the contractual agreements with employees (both contracted and implied contractual terms). Selectman Shackett inquired on the financial implications of not funding these benefits as they are contracted. The Town Manager will find funds to cover these costs in the budget due to the Board’s authorization to fund Life and Disability insurances. The Town Manager has been instructed to work with Department Head’s on their budgets to have a plan in place should their budgets not pass. Selectmen continued to review other budget changes and discussed line items with the Police Chief.
The Board reviewed warrant articles. Articles two through seven were all recommended by the Board which came from the Planning Board.
Article Seven (Adoption of the National Building Codes)
The Manager was asked to research if the Board of Selectmen can make a recommendation on Article 7 (adoption of the National Building Codes), as this article was placed on the warrant for a ballot vote by the Planning Board. A motion was made by Mr. Shackett, seconded by Mr. Milbrand, to not recommend this article, if the Manager determined this to be permissible. The vote was 2 in favor, 2 against, and the motion failed.
Article 8 (Library renovations and addition)
A motion was made by Mr. Denning, seconded by Mr. Milbrand to recommend this article. The vote failed 2 for, 2 against, with Mr. Denning in favor, and Mr. Milbrand and Mr. Shackett against.
Article 9 (Revolving fund for police details and grants)
A motion was made by Mr. Milbrand, seconded by Mr. Denning, recommending this article. Upon vote, the proposal failed as all four Selectmen voted to not recommend the article. This article will be deleted from the warrant.
Article 10 (Bristol Square Project, funded with a NHDOT Transportation Enhancement Grant)
Upon motion of Mr. Shackett, seconded by Mr. Denning, and a 4 -0 vote in favor, the Selectmen recommended this article.
Article 11 (Overall Municipal Budget)
Upon motion of Mr. Shackett, seconded by Mr. Denning, and a 4 -0 vote in favor, the Selectmen recommended this article.
The Manager explained that Town Attorney Bernie Waugh stated we must include on the warrant an article authorizing the long term lease of the water tank land off North Main Street, thus a motion was made by Mr. Denning, seconded by Mr. Milbrand and a 4 – 0 vote in favor was taken to recommend this article. (Subsequent to the meeting, it has been discovered the Town had previously authorized the Selectmen to lease land, thus this article was removed from the Warrant).
Water Quality Project (Sewer to the Lake Project)
Bond Counsel Attorney David Barnes recommends we include an article on the warrant on this project to avoid the necessity of requesting a special town meeting in front of a judge. He suggests including an article and continuing the town meeting to an April or May date certain to vote on the project when Federal funding is known would be a better way to do this. Upon motion of Mr. Denning, seconded by Mr. Milbrand, and a 4 – 0 vote in favor the Selectmen recommended this article. The Budget Committee will be required to convene a meeting to vote on this article.
Land Use Fees
The Manager delivered a notebook on a comprehensive review of land use fees done by Land Use Office Michelle Bonsteel and asked the Selectmen to study it for the next meeting. Mr. Shackett asked the Manager to determine the number of permits issued, the number of hearings held during 2009, the total revenue and cost of the land use office, and the activity of the office.
Mr. Richard Walenda noted the warranty on the Old Town Hall furnace should be determined, as we have just installed a new gun; no one will vote for the Library proposal as the Trustees were told to raise their own funds years ago.
Ms. Kathleen Girona offered her paper to assist in getting the word out on the upcoming town meeting.
Mr. David Carr stated the Budget Committee tried to balance the budget, and if all the anticipated revenue is collected the Town will expend $400,000 more than what is taken in.
Mr. Steve Favorite spoke on the Mica building, noting the place was sold but the taxes have not been paid; the river side of the building is getting worse; and we have had problems with the owner not removing the dumpster and lumber pile out of the Central Street right-of-way to accommodate plowing of snow. The Manager was requested to look into these matters on non-payment of taxes and whether there is any way to require a bond.
Upon motion of Mr. Shackett, seconded by Mr. Denning, and a roll call vote with 4 – 0 in favor, the Board went into non-public session per RSA 91-A.