Friday, January 16, 2004
Shorts from the Finance Committee, January 8
• CCHS budget shortfall. CCHS has submitted a $260K supplemental request for the current fiscal year, FY04, (of which $74K would come from Carlisle) to cover a shortfall in special education as a result of a lost lawsuit. According to Town Treasurer Larry Barton, "This is a currently reasonable estimate, but the number could be as high as $510K." Chair Lisa Jensen-Fellows asked that the school try to nail down the number and look at funding the deficiency from their own errors and deficiencies account.
• State funds for SPED. $90K received by the Carlisle Schools from the "circuit breaker" state reimbursement for special education (SPED) costs will help fund the "No Child Left Behind" budget.
• Capital requirements. Long-Term Capital Requirements Committee member Deb Belanger reported that capital requests total $614K. The committee will prepare Warrant Articles for the top priority requests totalling no more than $142K. The high school is in the process of preparing capital and maintenance plans.
• Small capital items. For FY05, a seperate fund is being established for small capital items. These items will not be counted in the departmental guidelines. The Town Administrator will prioritize requests and propose a budget.
• Overfunded accounts. Jensen-Fellows has researched past years' overfunded overlay accounts, which cover unpaid taxes and abatements. The FinCom hopes to apply this "found money" to the budget.
• Health insurance eligibility. Bret Bero questioned whether the Town Moderator and other officials who receive stipends qualify for town health insurance. McKenzie conceded that although no one has taken advantage of this, it could be a risk. She will review.
• Lawsuit expenses. Planning Board Chair Louise Hara requested a transfer from the reserve fund to pay the town's wireless consultants for extra time as a result of their being subpoenaed by AT&T to give a deposition in a suit against the town. McKenzie opposed full payment as the request did not come from the town. The FinCom did not take action.
• Department revenues. Departments were reminded to be prepared to discuss revenues from fees and other sources when they present their budgets.
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