These two emails from Mike with his update on money warrant articles –
Information is coming in fast and furious as we approach town meeting. Fortunately, it’s just about all good news. The following are proposed changes to the articles and budgets that you should take into account. Some of them you will need to amend your votes.
- Article 29. The Council on Aging has decided to withdraw its article seeking funding plans for an addition to the CENTER at Medfield. This was for $100,000 to come from funds the COA already had on hand so it doesn’t change the tax levy. This will be added to the Consent Calendar as a dismissal.
- Article 28, Park & Rec is changing the wording of Article 28 to make it a “programmatic and financial needs analysis for a Park and Recreation facility instead of for plans for a new facility. They originally were looking for $100,000, which dropped to $40,000 and then went up to $60,000. The monies will come from Park & Rec Revolving Funds so it will not affect the tax levy.
- Article 37, which sought $50,000 from the Sewer Enterprise Fund for complying with the federal EPA Stormwater Permit application and implementation will be added to the Consent Calendar as a dismissal. I thought it was for a discharge permit for the Wastewater Treatment Plant, but it’s for a federally mandated Stormwater Permitting process that is townwide and not just for the treatment plant. The funds will be requested next year from the General Fund. The application is due in September of 2017.
- We met with our Property and Casualty and Worker’s Compensation insurance carrier this week and will need to make the following changes to the Insurance Budgets
Worker’s Compensation: reduce the requested appropriation by $32,937 to $230,000. A couple of our bad claims, which stay on the books for three years from the date of filing, are coming off, which will reduce out Experience Modification Factor and, consequently, reduce our Worker’s Compensation premiums.
Liability: increase the requested appropriation by $10,000 to $208,000. Next year we will have additional premium payments for the Public Safety Building, which is scheduled to com on line in October and for the new artificial surface at the High School multi-purpose field, which is scheduled to come on line by the opening of school in September.
- The House of Representative budget, which passed this week raised the minimum per student Chapter 70 Education Aid from the $20/student that the Governor included in his budget request, to $55/student. This, if it’s the final figure, would result in an increase of about $87,000. However, the Senate will not pass it’s budget until May and then a conference committee will be appointed to work out the differences. To be conservative, I’m sticking with the Governor’s lower figure for Chapter 70 Education Aid. If the figure comes in higher we can adjust the local aid amounts prior to setting the tax fy17 tax rate.
- Joy pointed out that we are raising $7,154 in the Water Enterprise Fund and $33,400 in the Sewer Enterprise Fund or a total of $40,554. to cover the Water and Sewer OPEB liabilities. This allows us to reduce the amount be taken from General Fund free cash to fund the OPEB liability to $121,947 from the original amount of $162,947 and still appropriate $400,000 to the OPEB Trust.
- I think it’s pretty safe to assume that we will have no more snow this season, so we can remove the $50,000 we are still carrying for a snow deficit expense.
- That’s all for now, but don’t be surprised if there are more changes next week. On Tuesday the bids for the School field will be opened so that may result in some additional changes. I’m attaching an update on the tax levy calculation based on the above. The net result is a decrease of $172,000 in the additional free cash we will need to use to balance the budget. If the House Chapter 70 Education vote stands, this would reduce this to just over $100,000. Enjoy the weekend weather and let’s hope there’s more good news. Please let me know if you concur with the above recommendations..
Things are changing faster than I thought. Two minutes after I sent you my email on the budgets, I got an email from our insurance carrier that we would be receiving a participation credit on our Liability Insurance coverages, As a result we can leave that requested appropriation at $198,000 rather than increasing it to $208,000. Mike S.