Minutes Accepted and filed with the Town Clerk on February 17th, 2009 by a vote 4-0
7:00 p.m. – February 3, 2009
Sutton Town Hall, Selectmen’s Meeting Room
Members in Attendance:
Michael Chizy, Chairman; John Hebert, Vice-Chairman; Richard Hersom, Clerk; Kevin Geraghty, Member; Ryan Fattman, Member
Also in Attendance: James Smith, Town Administrator; Debbie Jacques, Administrative Secretary
Chairman Chizy calls the meeting to order at 7:00 followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
No comments under Public Forum.
Selectman Geraghty motions to approve January 20, 2009 minutes, Selectman Hersom seconds, and passes 4-0-1
Common Vic for new owner of Jims Pizza, Emad Saad: TA Smith presents a new application for a Common Vic. License for Emad Saad. The new owner, although invited, is not present for this agenda item, hearing no discussion, Selectmen Geraghty motions to approve the license, Selectmen Hersom seconds the motion all in favor passes 5-0
Common Vic for new owner of Kings Campground, Lester Szawlowski: TA Smith presents a new application for a Common Vic License for the new owner of Kings Campground. The new owner, although invited, is not present for this agenda item, hearing no discussion Selectman Hersom motions to approve the license, Selectman Fattman seconds the motion all in favor passes 5-0
Update on State FY2009 & FY2010 cuts to Local Aid: TA Smith discusses the results of the recent 9C cuts made by Gov. Patrick for the current FY09 Budget. TA Smith informs the BOS that the municipal side will take the full hit of cuts and the school department will be left harmless. These cuts amount to $94,674., some of the cuts are as follows: a freeze on a highway position, a part time Assessors position left vacant, lower heating costs for the Town Hall and lower legal costs. The identified appropriations will be frozen in Munis so they can not be spent. TA Smith is working with Kopelman & Paige to discuss the options of a special Town Meeting to approve these cuts. It may be held the same night of the May Town Meeting. For FY2010 there is a $274,000.00 cut from the State. TA Smith has pared down $250,000. on the town side
budget. Every town department has been cut. One of the areas that has a dramatic impact to the FY10 budget is the increased number of pupils (22 additional) attending Blackstone Valley Technical High School amounting to an additional $220,000. totaling over $1,000,000. to BVT. TA Smith informs the BOS that the Governor is proposing new revenue from an additional 1% meals tax on meals & lodging state wide, if passed this would result in an additional $110,000.00 per year of revenue to Sutton. Also mentioned was the proposal to eliminate the Telecom Exemption, this has been around since 1913 and would mean an additional $30, 000.-$35,000. to the Town of Sutton. Selectman Hersom questioned if the FY10 amount cut ($274,000.00) could increase if the economy continues to decline. TA Smith does not have the answer. Rick also asks if there has been any talk on easing up on or modifying unfunded mandates, TA Smith replies, not in the big mandates such as special ed and transportation
but TA Smith does say that in President Osama’s stimulus package there are funds earmarked for Sutton Schools. TA Smith mentions that he has been asked to be on a Legislative Committee thru the MMA so if he hears of changes he will inform the BOS of them. Selectman Geraghty asks “when is the right time to use the rainy day fund”, TA Smith replies, that fund is there to provide financial stability in an absolute crisis and also represents the Town when we are in the bond market. If this is spent down, when will the revenue come back to replace what is spent. TA Smith says that the lottery aid is 11% less now then in 2002. At this time Superintendent of Schools Dr. DiBella comes up to the desk to join in the discussion. Dr. DiBella begins by saying she appreciates the schools not being touched in the 2009 cuts, she informs the BOS that herself, Sue Rothermich and Jim Smith have been in meetings sharing numbers and the news is not good. She says there are
challenging times ahead. Selectman Hersom asks how she expects to maintain staff and programs, Dr. DiBella replies that she is reviewing numbers, looking at future enrollment as well as 2 teachers retiring. Selectman Hebert asks if she feels the school buses bought are cost effective, she replies yes, they are a great savings. TA Smith will be presenting the preliminary FY10 budget at the next BOS meeting on February 17th.
Town Administrator Update:
- Cell Towers: David Maxson of Broadcast Signal Labs has been retained to analyze Cell Tower feasibility. A plus would
be if Shaw property could be a cell tower site. That would be monthly income to the town.
- RFP for the ELC roof: 14 responses received, the design Selection committee will get together, review the submittals and choose the finalists.
- RFS for the Owners Project Manager for the Middle School/High School: will be run on February 4th with bids due on March 11th
Gravel Pit: Andrews Survey has been hired to survey the gravel pit and develop a land description with metes and bounds. This will be advertised in late February with bid openings in March/April.
Selectman Geraghty recognizes Julie Winn for scoring 1000 points in last weeks Basket ball game.
Selectman Chizy comments on more towns putting up wind turbines. He also takes this time to thank Representative
Callahan and Senator Moore for coming to Sutton 2 weeks ago to update the board on the economy.
Selectman Chizy reads an email from the Senior Center regarding the Food Pantry need. They are asking for canned beef stew, canned meats and canned fruit.
Selectman Geraghty moves that the Board enter into Executive Session to discuss Collective Bargaining under M.G.L. Chapter 39, S.23B #3, with the intention of returning back to open session for the purpose of adjournment, Selectman Hersom seconds all in favor passes 5-0