Friday, February 1, 2008
Shorts from the Selectmen, January 22
The Board of Selectmen discussed FY09 proposals for several components of the town operating budget, all of which will also be reviewed by the Finance Committee (see article above.)
· Insurance and Retirement. Group insurance, blanket insurance and payments to the "underfunded" and "underperforming" Middlesex County retirement fund will use up most of the increase allowed under Proposition 2-1/2 in the levy limit "no-override" budget for FY09. Hult noted the difficulties controlling these expenses facing Carlisle as well as other cities and towns throughout the state.
Finance Director Larry Barton also reported that the cost of unemployment insurance for FY09 could not be estimated without knowing more about staff reductions at the school, in particular the actual positions being cut. The number will probably at least double when finally adjusted.
· Department of Public Works budget. A part-time employee who has left the DPW will not be replaced, which will allow salaries to be "level-funded."Supervisor Gary Davis will also draw on the Household Hazardous Waste Fund (which receives fees for Transfer Station stickers) to cover costs to dispose of any hazardous waste not accepted at the incinerator (e.g. batteries, computers, televisions, tires).
The Snow and Ice line of the DPW budget for FY08 has probably already been exceeded by about $3K, Davis estimated. Hult praised the "extraordinary" work of the DPW keeping streets clear during December's storms.
· Treasurer budget. Barton will reduce the treasurer's budget by over $33K in FY09, by not replacing a staff member who has retired and cutting the line for bonding expense. Doing the work while short one full-time worker is possible due to greater efficiency resulting from investments in training, education and systems development over the past few years, he added.
· Inspectional services. Estimates for the FY09 cost for inspectional services (building commissioner, plumbing and electrical inspectors) are still uncertain, given that the town still lacks a "firm" agreement with the Town of Concord for the use of their building commissioner as acting building inspector for Carlisle following the recent retirement of Bob Koning.
· General expenses and Town Hall. General expenses, which include legal and actuarial services, are budgeted to increase by 4.3%, as is the budget for the Town Administrator. Town Hall expenses for items such as: utilities, building maintenance, telephone, supplies, contracts, custodian and computer maintenance are to increase by 2.7%.
· Roads. McKenzie notified Selectmen of requests for Great Brook Path and Koning Farm Road to be accepted at Town Meeting. The roads will be referred to the Planning Board for a "nonbinding" recommendation.
· Appointments. Selectmen appointed Dale Ryder to the Highland School Building Study Group, Vincent Chant as Electrical Inspector, and John Minty Jr. as Acting Building Commissioner.
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