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Finance Board Minutes 03/03/2014
Town of Holland, MA—Finance Board      
                               Meeting Minutes

                                             March 3, 2014  

Call To Order
The Chairman called to order a meeting of the Holland Finance Board at 7:30 PM on March 3, 2014 at the Holland Town Hall.

Roll Call

Finance Board members present:  Andrew Harhay, Ernest Fancy and John Phelps.  Selectboard members present: Jim Wettlaufer, Michael Kennedy and Lynn Arnold.

Approval of Minutes     
The draft minutes of the February 12, 2014 had been previously distributed for review; the minutes were unanimously approved as written.

New Business

Review of the Fire Department Budget Proposal: Chief Paul Foster and Captain Jim Gagne reviewed the Fire Department’s proposed FY15 budget. Total expenses were held at the $45,000 approved for FY14, while it was requested that compensation be increased by ~ 35% for all department personnel. The Chief and Captain indicated that Holland was not keeping up with the compensation that other area towns provide for fire responders. The overall budget being requested by the Fire Department for FY15 is $78,506, an increase of $8,392 (12%) over FY14. The Department also recommended that the 1988 2,000 gallon tanker be replaced with a new truck having a 3,000 gallon capacity. The Department plans to upgrade Station 2 by cleaning diesel fume deposits off walls, adding insulating and painting. Michael Kennedy suggested that Green Grant funds might be available for improving the energy efficiency of the building.
Brimfield Ambulance Budget Proposal: There was a discussion of options that might be available to Holland for ambulance service, given the financial difficulties being experienced by Brimfield Ambulance that have resulted in their increasing assessments to all towns by ~ 20%. The BOS will take the lead in arranging a meeting with selectmen from Wales and Brimfield and Captain Gagne will contact fire officials in those towns to get their inputs.
Review of the Police Dept. Budget Proposal: Chief Haughey could not attend; the Police Dept. review will be rescheduled.

Open Issues
General Discussion of FY15 Budget Items:  The current draft of expenses vs. revenues has us in deficit by ~ $83,000. Although revenue-side State aid has not yet been finalized, some cuts will likely have to be made in order to provide a balanced budget to the Annual Town Meeting.
Articles for ATM: Finance Board members again reviewed the wording of the six articles proposed for presentation at the May 2014 ATM. The members at the meeting voted unanimously to have the Board sponsor each of the articles.
Open Forum: The Chairman indicated the dates for school committee budget hearings.
Holland Elementary will be on March 13, 2014.
Tantasqua will be on March 18, 2014.
Vice-Chairman Fancy will attend both hearings for the Finance Board.

Next Meeting

        April 2, 2014


The Chairman adjourned the meeting at 9:40 PM.

Minutes submitted by:  Andrew Harhay, Chairman

cc:  Board of Selectmen, Town Clerk, Treasurer, Collector, Assessors, Accountant

Town of Holland 27 Sturbridge Road, Holland, MA 01521
Phone: 413-245-7108 Fax: 413-245-7037
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