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Finance Board Minutes 02/12/2015
         Town of Holland, MA—Finance Board      
                               Meeting Minutes

                                            February 12, 2014  

Call To Order
The Chairman called to order a meeting of the Holland Finance Board at 7:33 PM on February 12, 2014 in the Holland Town Hall.

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

Approval of Minutes                                                                                                                                                         
  • The draft minutes of the January 22, 2014 had been previously distributed for review; the minutes were unanimously approved as written.
  • Since the February 5, 2014 meeting was cancelled due to a snowstorm, there were no draft minutes for review.
New Business
  • Review of the Community Center Budget Proposal: Paula Bak
The Community Center requested a FY15 budget of $43.2K, which is a 14.8% over the FY14 budget of $37.7K. The increase primarily reflects additional staff hours to provide an additional 10 hours per week of evening and weekend programs for seniors and the entire Holland community.
  • Review of the Council on Aging Budget Proposal: Christine Haller and Cindy Clark
The COA has asked for the FY15 budget to be increased by ~$1.5K, from $6.2K to $7.7K. The entire increase would be used to reimburse for car mileage for one additional Senior Companion. This is part of the outreach program to visit homebound seniors and drive seniors to medical appointments.
  • Review of the Police Dept. Budget Proposal: Chief Haughey could not attend; the Police Dept. review will be rescheduled.
  • Brimfield Ambulance Request: A letter was received from the ambulance service on 2/11/14  indicating that they will need to increase the Town of Holland’s FY15 payment by $10,000 (+17.7%), rather than the anticipated $1,416 (2.5%) increase; the FY14 cost of the service to Holland is $56,646. The costs for Wales and Brimfield will increase by a similar percentage. No reason was provided for the significant increase, although the letter indicated that a member of their Board of Directors would be available to come to a meeting and address the situation. Finance Board and BOS attendees agreed that it would be best to have the ambulance representative come to a televised BOS meeting, so that the community could hear first-hand the reason(s) for the significant increase.
Open Issues
General Discussion of FY15 Budget Items:
  • 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.
  • The Chairman distributed a summary of the FY14 pay rates for the various appointed Town positions; this is for the member’s use in considering requests for FY15.
  • The Chairman also distributed a summary provided by the accountant showing the various sources for the $108,319 Free Cash amount.
  • 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
        February 26, 2014 – Review of the Library Budget Proposal

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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