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Finance Board Minutes 01/22/2015

         Town of Holland, MA—Finance Board      
                               Meeting Minutes

                                            January 22, 2014  

Call To Order
The Chairman called to order a meeting of the Holland Finance Board at 7:35 PM on January 22, 2014 in the Holland Town Hall.

Roll Call
Finance Board Members present:  Andrew Harhay, Ernest Fancy, John Ebersold, John Phelps and Mike Brady.  Attending for the Selectboard were Jim Wettlaufer and Lynn Arnold.

Approval of Minutes                                                                                                                                                         
The draft minutes of the January 15, 2014 had been previously distributed for review. Ernie Fancy noted that the minutes should have indicated the Tantasqua OPEB liability to be ~ $240M rather than ~ $28M.shown in the draft minutes. The minutes were amended and unanimously approved by attendees of that meeting.

New Business
  • Review of the Police Dept. Budget Proposal: Chief Haughey could not attend tonight due to illness; the Police Dept. review will be rescheduled.
  • Capital Stabilization Fund Proposal: The Chairman proposed that Holland establish a Capital Stabilization Fund to enable the purchase of Police, Highway and Fire vehicles that cost under $100K; the ‘savings’ plan should enable the Town to avoid interest payments on these smaller vehicles. Attendees were provided a spreadsheet showing the expected cost of vehicle purchases over the next 15 years and that the Fund would be sustainable with an input of ~ $50K per year.
  • Elementary School Preliminary Budget: The Chairman had attended January 16, 2014 meeting of the Holland School Committee, which included a review of information to date on the development of their FY15 budget. Depending on the amount of School Choice funds directed to capital improvements, the budget increase could be from ~ 2.3% to ~ 4.4%.
Open Issues
General Discussion of FY15 Budget Items:
  • The Chairman provided a very preliminary appropriation estimate for FY15, based on the just released Governor’s local aid figure of $1,257,796. That amount would provide an aid increase of only ~ $48,063 over FY2014.
  • The Chairman also provided an expenses estimate based on requests made by the various departments and committees. As is typically the case, the elementary and regional school final requests will be major factors in determining the difficulty of balancing the overall Town budget. The potential decrease in employee health insurance costs would help to mitigate the effect of increases in other areas.
  • There was discussion on the need to get further information from the Collector on his request for a significant percentage increase in expenses. The Chairman indicated that he would send the Collector an e-mail requesting the necessary detail.
Next Meeting
The next meeting is planned for February 5, 2014. The primary item will be review of the Fire Department and Board of Health budget proposals for FY15. If Chief Haughey is available, the Police Department proposal might also be reviewed.

The Chairman adjourned the meeting at 9:00 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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