Date: November 10, 2020
To listen to a recording of this meeting please click https://fccdl.in/e6ZMCkGxbh
Present: Trish Fryer, Ann Kuendig (via online), Joyce Stevens
Ann called the meeting to order at 6:00pm.
Minutes Approval: Ann made a motion, seconded by Joyce, to accept the Minutes of October 15, 2020. Joyce said she hadn’t had the opportunity to review them. The approval of the Minutes was tabled to the next regular meeting scheduled for November 19th.
Ann opened the discussion of budgeting with the General Fund. Trish went over how she color coded the items to be addressed. Ann asked if Trish could start with the Income Items first, then move to the Expense items.
· Dogs – Trish felt that the income from licenses and the State rabies fee/neutering surcharge would be about the same, $400.00anticipated.
· Liquor Licenses – would decrease due to the closing of the Casa Bella. Reduced to $350.00anticipated.
· Town Clerk Fees – increases dramatically this year due to property transfers and researchers. Ann felt that the office might be closed again in January due to the increase in COVID cases. However, Trish felt that the anticipated budget amount should remain at $6000.00. There was some discussion regarding the Town Clerk’s $5/hour fees. The Board felt that her time was worth more than $5/hour. Trish explained how she felt that the current fee was acceptable. Ann said she would get some guidance from VLCT.
· Interest: Checking/CD’s – Trish said that the interest rates are funky right now. She reduced the anticipated amount by $500.00 to $5,000.00.
· Interest: Restricted Funds - Trish said the Restricted Funds CD renews in 9 months, so the Town might get more interest. The past two times renewed for 9 months have been the best. Interest rate has dropped from 2.23% to .75%. Anticipated is $344.00.
· Photocopies – Same as last year $30.00.
· Victim’s Compensation Fund – consists of a portion of the marriage and dog licenses that go to the State and a portion comes back to the Town. It’s like a Town Clerk fee.
· Record Preservation – This is not budgeted for. $1.00 of each recording fee goes into this fund.
· Current Use Payment – Trish received a document with the figure of $12,457.00.
· Undesignated Funds – These are end-of-year monies that can be rolled over into the new year. The anticipated amount won’t be known until later this year.
· Overpayments – These are not budgeted but are usually a wash as the overpayment is the sent to the property owner, etc.
· Delinquent Tax Penalty – This becomes a payment to the Delinquent Tax Collector and is also usually a wash.
· HUD-DR2 and FEMA Buy-out Program – Pertains to 236 Lower Michigan’s buy-out and demolition.
· Road Fines – These are unknown and not budgeted for. They are a small amount which is dependent on what type to ticket is issued by the Sheriff.
· Bank Loan Note – The $400.00 was a donation and it went out to pay on the loan for the fire truck.
· Late April ’19 Flood – Monies taken from the loan for the repairs on Parmenter Place and Tweed River Drive.
· Late April ’19 Flood – Anticipated budget amount is $7,045.70, which is interest only to date. This should change with the lump amount the Town is putting on it. The loan is currently due in May 2021. It was felt that the outstanding balance wasn’t too bad. The loan, however, will have to be rewritten due to the anticipated work on Upper Michigan Road. It was noted that the Cemetery project was reimbursed by FEMA before work is completed and was going to be included in the payment to the Loan. Trish said that the payment check to Mascoma would have to be rewritten less the $11,660.91. The $11,660.91 will be kept in the General Fund for the Cemetery project.
· Payroll Expenses – This will be adjusted when salaries are discussed.
· Rutland County Tax – No figure available yet.
· Federal Excise Tax – Remains at$5.00.
· VLCT Unemployment Trust – The anticipated budget amount of $764.00is an increase from last year by $3.00. Joyce said that Workers Comp and the Unemployment Trust are two different items. Trish said she would look into this for clarification. She said that Scott (who cleans the Town Office) was out of work due to COVID as well as the Librarian. She noted that the Unemployment Trust fee may go up.
· VLCT Insurance Package – This isn’t available yet.
· Due & Contributions – These are typically groups that request money. Stagecoach is expanding its services to possible include Pittsfield. Trish suggested waiting a few more meetings until more requests are received. Ann said that the Board usually only considers those groups that submit written requests and outline how many Pittsfield residents benefited from their services.
· Solid Waste Management Fee/Program Fee – Bethel’s fees have risen by $650.00 to$6,700.00. There is no mention of an increase in hours. Trish said the Alliance fees are based on a per capital 549 from the 2018 Census. Joyce questioned perhaps changing to the Rutland District as most people seem to go there and not to Bethel. This matter was discussed several years ago. Pittsfield residents would have to buy a pass which would also allow them to use the Rutland facility. Trish felt this was worth looking into. A.B.L.E. recently sold their route to Casella who picks up at the Town Office Building and Town Garage every two weeks. Joyce said she would contact Killington and Rutland to obtain their fees and hours as well as the procedure to join.
· Refuse Removal – Increased to $725.00.
· Legal – This has usually been budgeted at $5000.00. Board agreed to this line item
· Ambulance – This has increased by $546 from last year to $33,306.00.
· Printing – Includes Town Report, envelopes, receipt books, etc. for the office. Keep at $1900.00.
· Advertising – Board agreed to reduce the anticipated amount by half to $500.00. No major advertising is anticipated.
· Rutland County Sheriff – Trish felt that the Town didn’t need to budget for this year.
· Drop Box – There is no need to budget for this as the Town is being reimbursed by the State. The State has given no date yet. Trish noted that property tax payment can be put in there and the box is able to be closed so that nothing can be put in after a particular date, which the Board felt was good.
· Maintenance – Fire Alarm – This hasn’t been performed yet and has always been a separate line item.
· Town Office Building – This includes cleaning supplies, repairs done within the building, etc. Painting would be included unless the Board would want it as a separate line item as part of the Capital Improvement Plan. Ann said that the wood in the roof cupola needs to be repaired. It was felt that we needed to stay on top of maintenance of the Town Office Building as it is 10 years old.
· Town Hall – would include similar items as the Town Office Building. Ann said she would like to look at the 2018 expenses as that was when the building was closed, and budgeted amounts cut.
· Ann also said she would like to look at maintenance items versus Capital investments in each building: Fire Department, Town Hall, and Town Office Building and Garage. Trish thought that painting would be included here. Joyce said that she didn’t want to include painting this year on Town Hall until it is planned. She suggested putting some in the Reserve Fund. She said that the Board should plan on painting the Town Office Building next year but not the Town Hall. As for the Fire Department and Town Garage, Ann and Joyce will speak to them regarding a Capital Improvement Plan and what their future needs might be. Ann wants to be sure that Mona is included in these discussions. In the meantime, she will speak with George regarding the Garage.
Ann made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:15pm. Joyce seconded.
The next meeting will be held on Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 5pm at the Town Office Building.
Martha L. Beyersdorf, Secretary
Approved: November 19, 2020
Ann Kuendig Joyce Stevens Mona Colton