Town of Holland, MA—Finance Board
April 2, 2014
Call To Order
The Chairman called to order a meeting of the Holland Finance Board at 7:30 PM on April 2, 2014 at the Holland Town Hall.
Finance Board members present: Andrew Harhay, Ernest Fancy, John Ebersold John Phelps and Mike Brady.
Selectboard members present: Jim Wettlaufer, Michael Kennedy and Lynn Arnold.
Approval of Minutes
The draft minutes of the March 3, 2014 had been previously distributed for review; the minutes were unanimously approved as written.
Review of the Police Department Budget Proposal: Chief Haughey was not available at the start of the meeting, but did join us briefly at ~ 8 PM. Three issues were discussed:
Is there a need to replace the Police Explorer SUV? The Chief indicated that the vehicle is ~ 9 years old, has ~ 90,000 miles on it and appears to need (at least) a total exhaust system replacement. The Highway mechanic has been asked to inspect the Explorer closely and determine the cost of necessary repairs.
The Chief suggested that the four laptops currently used in our police vehicles need to be replaced. He will investigate the cost for replacements and perhaps might be able to purchase a few out of the FY14 budget.
It was asked whether the purchase of new handguns for all of our officers – as suggested last year – needed to be pursued in the near future. The Chief indicated that parts for current weapons remain available, so he sees no need to budget for these in FY15.
General Discussion of FY15 Budget Items: The 4/1/14 draft budget showed a deficit of ~ $48K. Tentative adjustments were suggested to a number of Operating Budget line items to eliminate the deficit; the key lines reduced were in stabilization and 32B; the latter was reduced due to the new premium schedule just provided to the Treasurer. There was also ~ $5.1K added to Holland’s estimated revenue based on an increase in the HWM proposed budget.
Library Budget: Yesterday the Trustees provided a letter to the Finance and Select Boards requesting an increase in the Library Director’s salary based on a survey of ten area-towns with populations similar to Holland; the letter was supposed to have been delivered in late February but, was not, due to an oversight. The Boards felt that the Trustees should have made their request when we met with them on February 26th and decided not to add new funding requests at a time when we are primarily looking for cuts.
Community Center Budget: Paula Bak sent a request for an additional $3,000 to pay for a new sign at the entrance and thought it might best be installed in conjunction with the upcoming paving the parking lot. All of the Selectboard’s discretionary funds from special grants have been expended for the current fiscal year.
Pension and OPED Liabilities: The Chairman distributed copies of a newspaper article discussing the major shortfalls being recognized in a increasing number of municipality and State governments, with Detroit recently having to declare bankruptcy, in large part due to staggering liabilities in these areas. Holland’s most recent Basic Financial Statements audit by James Lowe CPA, Inc. indicated that our OPEB liability at the end of FY12 was ~ $1.1M.
April 16, 2014
`The Chairman adjourned the meeting at 9:55 PM.
Minutes submitted by: Andrew Harhay, Chairman
cc: Board of Selectmen, Town Clerk, Treasurer, Collector, Assessors, Accountant