Mar 18, 2018

Finance Committee of the North Adams City Council

March 30, 2016
Meetings & Notices

Wednesday March 30, 2016

The Finance Committee will meet on Wednesday March 30, 2016 at 5:30pm in City Council Chambers


1. FY’16 year to date update
2. Status of reserves
3. Overview and first discussion on the CIP
4. Update on development of FY’17 budget

Lisa Blackmer

cc: Councilors

Wednesday March 30, 2016

The Finance Committee will meet on Wednesday March 30, 2016 at 5:30pm in City Council Chambers


1. FY’16 year to date update:

February marks two thirds of the way through the fiscal year (66%).

Local receipt revenues are generally on target. The major contributing factor to the shortfall in estimated local receipts this fiscal year is the Transfer Station which is offset by the decrease in expenses: solid waste out (expense) = approximately 80% of solid waste in (revenue).

On the salaries side Police and Fire salaries are pacing at combined $225,000 over budget due to greater than anticipated IOD and OT. On the other hand, Highway and Cemetery salaries are pacing at a combined $50,000 under budget. Therefore, the net effect of all is around $175,000 over budget in total salaries by fiscal year end. However, two thirds of the way through the FY it looks like there will be turn backs (unused appropriations) in Veterans Benefits and Health Insurance of approximately $280,000.00 that can be used to offset the projected salary deficits. We continue to monitor and develop our mathematical approach to forecasting public safety salaries.

2. Status of reserves:

Municipal Access Tech. 167,300.00
Parking Meter Reserve 131,000.00
Landfill Reserve 161,400.00
Cemetery Lots 79,424.00
Tinker Trust 44,610.00
Stabilization 141,500.00
Free Cash 787,752.00
Total: 1,512,986.00

North Adams City Council
10 Main Street
North Adams, MA 01247

Finance Committee

Meeting Minutes for March 30, 2016
Members Present: Councillors Blackmer, Bona & Boucher
Administration Present: Mayor Alcombright, Auditor Fierro, and Administrative Officer Canales.
Other Councillors Present: Councillor Buddington
Press from iberkshires and the Berkshire Eagle

The Mayor and Staff went over the handout given out.

#1. The Public Safety overages are due to injured on duty and the corresponding needed overtime. We had budgeted for 2 in each department year round. This year we have had more injuries and more severe injuries lasting longer.

It was asked why there was a turn back on Veterans benefits. It was explained that we budgeted based on past history and the numbers had come down some.

#2 Our reserves are looking better. The transfer station has “righted itself”. We are taking in less money, but are paying less to haul away. It has been cleaner than it has been. There is talk of closing it Mondays since there fewer commercial haulers.

They do not anticipate having to transfer from reserves at year end.
We will pay for a new cruiser out of parking meter reserves and make some improvements to Center St.

They expect to move the money from “Free Cash” to “Stabilization”. The Stabilization account requires a 2/3 majority of the City Council to spend.

Councillor Bona inquired where the funds were coming to repair the lights on Main St. It was explained that insurance was covering that and that we would be using summer help to paint them.

Mr. Crandall asked if the free cash was from the $750 thousand extra that we got last year. It is not.

Councillor Buddington asked about free cash and how it works. It is a timing issue. If it is there at the end of the fiscal year then it becomes unavailable until the new free cash balance is certified.

#3. There was a discussion of the HWQD and that it is more efficient than it used to be.

Discussion of the Cadillac tax that will hit all employers in the future as a result of the ACA. This is a tax on employers on the cost of their health plans over a certain amount. We are working with our Federal Legislators to slow his down/get rid of it. Undue impact on the North east.

Discussed the impact of the Conte Bond payments. Right now it is interest only for 158k. Mr. Canales will get the number for the entire payment and when it starts.

Councillor Buddington asked if we fix the Sewer, will it reduce I&I, Yes.

Mr. Trottier asked about the School Project and if it is over budget. It was explained that it is in the range and it will be a coupleof months before we get the final numbers.

#4 Discussion of the CIP:
Some items will be part of the budget, some completed in house by staff, others will be bonded, and others will be grant funded. If priorities and funding mechanisms change then we will change the CIP. The money from the study came from or CBDG grant.

Questions were asked about our water and it has been tested and is fine.