Friday, February 15, 2008
Shorts from the Finance Committee, February 11
Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie and Financial Director Larry Barton met with the Finance Committee (FinCom) on Monday, February 11, to discuss FY09 budget proposals for various departments and Town Hall. McKenzie said that with the exception of insurance costs, they could live within the budget guideline and forego the additional sums proposed if necessary.
· Insurance. The largest single item was $1,033,000 for group health insurance, an increase of 11%. The town pays 50% of an employee's health insurance. McKenzie noted that the group insurance costs can change during difficult economic times, because more employees sometimes sign up for health insurance if their spouses are out of work. She also noted that insurance costs have risen faster than employee salaries, and that while the town's municipal pay scale may be competitive, she has found employees sometimes take jobs elsewhere because most other towns pay 75% - 90% of healthcare insurance.
An additional $150,000 above guideline has been proposed for unemployment payments in case any layoffs are needed, particularly at the Carlisle School which is proposing a budget that is $480,000 above the levy-limit guideline. It was pointed out that these two items are interconnected, because the more employees the town has, the greater the expected health insurance costs.
· Inspectional services. Last year the town began using a portion of the fees deposited in the Inspectional Service's revolving account to defray the cost of inspections. However, the budget does include funding for a part-time secretary.
McKenzie announced that the town is advertising for a new Building Commissioner. John Minty, who also works for Concord, was recently appointed Carlisle's Acting Building Commissioner after serving many years as an assistant. McKenzie said that Concord has set the condition that Carlisle must use all of Concord's inspection department if Minty is to continue. This arrangement was not accepted by Carlisle; however, Minty has agreed to stay on until a replacement is found.
FY09 Budget Data for Various Town Hall & General Expenses
Item FY09 Percent Additional
Guideline Change Proposed
Treasurer $135,090 -19.9% 0
General Expense $189,176 4.3% 0
Historic Commission $2,250 0 0
Zoning Board of Appeals $4,287 0 $102
Selectmen $44,416 0 $920
Housing Authority $500 0 0
Copy Machine $8,897 0 103
FinCom Reports $7,275 0 0
Flag & Clock Care $1,600 -1.5% 0
Miscellaneous $16,502 0 $60
Town Administrator $162,958 4.3% $800
Town Accountant $59,991 0.8% $1,077
Town Hall $190,499 2.7% $2,000
Other* $1,898,261 10.2% $150,406
Building Inspector $33,348 -34.2% $1,470
Gas Inspector 0 0 0
Plumbing Inspector $512 0 $438
Wire Inspector 0 0 0
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