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Budget & School Committee

Minutes, November 16, 2020

Deputy Town Clerk Stu Marckoon called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.


Attending via zoom conference were:  Tiffany McMullen, Robin Veysey, Greg Hiltz, Mark Harris, Merle Bragdon; Administrative Assistant to the Selectmen Stu Marckoon. 


Officer Selection 2020/21 Season – Robin nominated Merle as the chair.  Mark 2nd.  Merle suggested that Tiffany should move up from the vice-chair post, there was no 2nd.  Vote in favor of Merle being the chair was 4-0 (Bragdon abstained).


Vice Chair – Merle nominated Tiffany as the vice-chair.  Robin 2nd.  There were no other nominations.  Vote in favor was unanimous.


Secretary – Merle nominated Stu Marckoon to serve as the committee secretary.  Robin 2nd.  Vote in favor was unanimous.


Minutes – June 3, 2020 – Mark moved to approve the minutes as distributed.  Robin 2nd, noting there were some minor typos.  Stu said he would attempt to find and fix them. Vote in favor was 5-0.


Budget ReviewsAdministration – Stu reported that the biggest issue for the upcoming year is health insurance coverage as his coverage is migrating from his wife’s employer to the town due to retirement as of January 1, 2021.  He noted that the Selectmen will meet on Thursday to discuss the options.  He said the number plugged into the plan includes spousal coverage at this point at 80% with no salary increase for the next year, but there has been no action by the Selectmen.  Merle noted this will be an issue for the current budget as well. 


Merle said the insurance issue should be separate from the salary issue.  He said he’d like to know what other towns of a similar size do in regard to coverage.  He said the Budget Committee ought to wait and see what the Selectmen decide.  Robin asked if negotiations take place between the employee and the Selectmen.  Stu said that’s correct.  Mark said the Budget Committee can wait for the discussion with the Selectmen coming up.  Greg said he prefers waiting for more information.  Tiffany said the employment contract and insurance coverage should be separate matters and suggested seeking other plan costs as well.


There was a brief discussion about more hours to utilize the assistant clerk, and a proposed budget increase to do so. 


The committee suggested that basing the compensation for facilities maintenance on actual hours could further reduce the line down to $6,000 based on past years. 


Merle suggested combining some of the items in the administrative expenses line such as utilities instead of the separate budget lines.  A brief discussion followed.


The committee suggested lowering the Property and Casualty line to $12,000 based on the current year actual expense.


Code Enforcement Stu explained the current compensation agreement between the CEO and the Selectmen, offering a base pay and $25/hour in excess of 24 hours bi-weekly, in addition to the local share of the plumbing permit fees.


Waste Disposal – Stu reported that the Selectmen are working with CES Engineering on a transfer station redesign in order to compact both trash and recycling to reduce transportation frequency and costs. 


Future Meetings – The Committee agreed to meet on Monday November 30 and December 14 at 6:30 PM.  Given the pandemic situation, the meetings most likely will continue to be held via Zoom.


Other – Mark asked about the capital needs schedule and in particular a future fire truck purchase.  Stu said the town has opted to borrow for fire apparatus for the past several purchases given low interest rates instead of tying up funding in a sinking account.   He said the next truck to be replaced most likely will be the 1995 pumper, as that is now 25-years old, but in good condition.


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:18 PM


Respectfully submitted,




Stu Marckoon, Secretary