Friday, February 5, 1999
Secretarial services and water tests push BOH budget beyond guideline
"They didn't read my memo," explained finance committee chair Charles Parker. Representatives of the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School failed to appear at the January 25 FinCom hearing. "They read the first few lines and then filed it away," said Parker who informed the audience that they are now scheduled to appear February 1.
Skip Saunders of the Carlisle Board of Health gave the first budget report at the January 27 FinCom hearing. "We are requesting that the BOH budget be set at $39,602 for FY00," said Saunders. "This represents a three-percent increase over the current budget for FY99, plus an additional $4,680 to cover estimated secretarial assistance to the BOH."
Saunders stated that the BOH has finally reached the point where it too must adopt the practices established for most other town boards. "We need secretarial assistance to augment the services of our agent, Linda Fantasia," said Saunders. "While she has exhibited exemplary performance, dedication, stamina, and helpfulness, the number of issues, visitors, and challenges over the past year and projected for the future are more than she can handle alone." The $4,680 is based on an estimated ten hours per week of secretarial support at $9 an hour.
Saunders explained that the BOH budget, while remaining within the three percent guideline on an overall basis, proposes that the salary for the BOH agent be increased by four percent. "This number is still inadequate, but is proposed as an interim measure while the town personnel board investigates a more equitable policy."
Some of the issues confronting the BOH are related to Title 5 state regulations for septic systems. Saunders admitted that Title 5 is not so new any more, but the applications which utilize new technology are becoming more complex. This year has also been particularly busy with remediation of oil-related problems.
In addition, the long-standing BOH requirement for residents to remove underground oil tanks reached its conclusion last year. "There are some residents who need further encouragement to comply with the town's regulations," said Saunders. "Our records show 365 oil tanks, but only 340 have been removed."
The BOH is also involved in sorting out several complicated water supply issues that have not previously faced the town. "There are some multi-family dwellings whose water flow rates can overwhelm their well capacities," said Saunders. "Town regulations are antiquated and were written on the presumption that each dwelling would serve only a single family."
Saunders also mentioned that the tradition of not charging schools and churches for food service inspections requires that the budget include sufficient money to cover these expenses.
"Lastly," said Saunders, "the water quality issue has not been resolved for the town." He explained that costs for water tests are not included in the BOH budget because it has been treated as a separate Warrant article. "We estimate the request to be $10,000."
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito