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Public Budget Informational Meeting

Public Budget Informational Meeting

Presented by the Selectboard and Treasurer

February 29, 2024

Draft, page 1 of 1

Present:

Selectboard: Fred Blanchard, Sheila Duranleau (Chair), AJ Galfetti

Town officials: Josh Bell (tree warden), Scott Blanchard (treasurer, delinquent tax collector), Peter Carbee (planning), Lois Deberville (town clerk), Ben Tiefenthaler (FEMA admin)

Visitors: Billy Donovan, Ethan Pratt, Bob Sherman, Sarah Teel, Kara Williams

Zoom (identified): Judy & Rob Perdue, Ryan Bresette, Norm

Introduction by Sheila, in part:

“I can just start off by saying, I know that this budget is a higher increase than we’ve had in many years. But we haven’t really had a real budget in many years. Because we haven’t had supporting documentation for the selectboard to actually build a meaningful budget in the past years.

If you look at the individual categories, there’s some ups and downs in them. The ups are very small in a lot of the individual categories although they do add up.We really have not even budgeted for what we should budget for. We should have a building reserve fund. We should have an equipment reserve fund. We should have a technology reserve fund. We should have a Grant match reserve fund.

We should start planning for things that pop up unexpectedly or maintenance and repairs. If you read the letter that I wrote in the town report, you will see that for many, many years we have deferred a lot of things that should have been put in place in order to run this town in order to run this office in order to you know, have the people who do the work have the tools that they need to do the work? We shouldn’t expect people to come here and use computers that don’t have the right software or use printers that don’t work or not even be able to scan something.

We need to give people the proper tools to do the work that they need to do.This budget is higher, as I said, then it’s been in the past. Most of that increases in road road maintenance and highway staff.”

Ben inquired on different line items, including highway and health insurance, not disagreeing with them but rather wanting to better understand them. 

Sheila addressed line items regarding office expenses, AJ and Fred addressed highway line items.

Scott answered questions on the finances, the payroll accounting, and other financial aspects. The town anticipates being able to bring some of the accountants’ roles in-house. 

Scott discussed what auditors’ roles would be if the town could find someone (s) to fill the position (s). It could cost upwards of $50,000 to have an accounting firm audit our books.

The full audio transcript can be found on Zoom, Meeting ID: 816 8286 7094.

Respectfully submitted, Lois Deberville, Town Clerk

This is a draft subject to amendment/approval at an upcoming selectboard meeting.

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