BOARD OF SELECTMEN
FEBRUARY 24, 2014
Present: James Wettlaufer, Michael Kennedy, Lynn Arnold
Wettlaufer called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM
MOTION 02242014-1: To accept the February 4, 2014 minutes. Motion made by Arnold, seconded by Wettlaufer.
VOTE: ALL in favor
Informed the Board and town he is running for State Senator, hoping to fill the seat Senator Brewer left open following his retirement. He is interested in having the same type of relationship with the towns as Senator Brewer did.
Bob Clark/Brimfield Ambulance
The Select Board asked Bob Clark, a representative from Brimfield Ambulance to attend the meeting and explain the significant financial increase from FY14 of $56,646.60 to FY15 of $66,646.60.
Clark explained how the financials of the Brimfield Ambulance have declined over the past few years. Donations have declined and the past plant sale fundraiser was a disaster. Currently they have two ambulances and they were using one for transports, but ultimately it did not work out.
Wettlaufer asked Clark if the treasurer of Brimfield Ambulance would allow the town to review the financials. Clark said he would have those forwarded the following day.
Clark was asked about payments through insurance and he said Brimfield Ambulance only gets paid 50%-80% of what they bill to insurance. It was asked if they had contracts with insurance companies, which Clark stated they do not but could certainly look into that possibility.
Clark was asked where the additional $30,000 will be used and he stated it will be used for operational costs. He was asked if grants had been looked into for additional funding and Clark stated grants are typically used for new ambulances. According to Clark, asking the town for additional money is Brimfield Ambulance’s last resort.
Fire Department Captain Jim Gagne stated he had reviewed the figures and talked with other ambulance services and does not understand the drastic increase. He asked Clark what the services collection rate is. Clark was unsure but they do use a collection service that specializes in medical collections. Gagne mentioned the National Bundled Program which ultimately increases collection rates, which is something the service could look into as well.
Fire Chief Foster added that on average in 2011 the town paid approximately $536 per call, in 2012 $427 per call and in 2013 $456 per call. He asked the Select Board if this type of service is something that falls under 30B Procurement laws. Wettlaufer stated he believes it does not fall under the procurement laws.
Members of the Finance Board, Andy Harhay and Ernie Fancy asked how can the town be assured the cost of the service will not be increased drastically again in the future? What will the increase be over the next three/five years? Clark assured everyone they would not be asking for another $10,000. Following the $10,000 increase for FY15, the increase will go back to the 2.5% increase.
Police Chief Contract
Police Bryan Haughey was in attendance of the Select Board meeting but prior to signing his contract, he was called out on duty. The signing of his contract will be postponed to the next meeting.
Hamilton Dam Phase I report
McClure Engineering submitted a Professional Service Agreement for the Hamilton Dam Phase I report. McClure had prepared the previous report in 2012 and the cost will not exceed $3,000. This type of service does not need to go out to bid, plus the amount of the scope of work is well below the threshold which would require it to go out to bid.
MOTION 02242014-2: To accept and sign the Professional Service Agreement that was prepared by McClure Engineering, Inc. for the Hamilton Reservoir Phase I Report. Motion Made by Wettlaufer, seconded by Arnold.
Massachusetts Broadband Institute
Mass Broadband Institute is looking for assistance from the town in the next phase of their work which includes mapping locations of DSL. Other than the two locations already on the map, no other DSL terminals are known by the Select Board, or any members of the community that were in attendance of the meeting. The Board was reaching out to anyone who was watching the meeting to contact the office if they know of any other DSL locations in town. .
Warrants in the amounts of $21,692.97 – Payroll and $134,719.73 – Vendor were signed and delivered to the Treasurer
Motion 02242014-3: To adjourn the meeting at 7:40 PM. Motion made by Wettlaufer, seconded by Kennedy.
VOTE: All in favor