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North Adams City Council Finance Committee Budget MeetingMay 01, 2019
Meetings & Notices
North Adams City Council Finance Committee
Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 6:30 p.m. – City Council Chambers
Call to order
Approval of minutes
Discussion: Public Safety
Discussion: Public Service
cc: Mayor Thomas Bernard
North Adams City Council Finance Committee Meeting for Fiscal 2020, Meeting #2, May 1, 2019
Call to Order at 6:30 p.m.
Committee Attendance: Committee Chair Harpin, Councilor Cohen, Councilor Wilkinson
Other Counselors present: Councilor LaForest, Councilor Hopkins
Approval of minutes: none to approve
Discussion: Public Service –
Councilor Cohen asked if there will there be a high turnover of employees? Mr. Lescarbeau said yes there has been in last 5 years and will be a few more in next few years. Not having a problem replacing. All have required licenses. Will have retire from highway. Mayor said there is marginal savings in payroll but not on benefits from retirements
Airport – Councilor Harpin, can we have one position instead of one full time and one part time? Mayor, no we need both due to certifications.
Councilor Wilkinson, why is there an expense on fuel? Mr. Canales stated putting in expense and offset by revenue of sale of fuel. We are selling at a lower price to get more sales. Mr. Gilman said profit margin at higher fuel price would be the same.
Councilor Laforest asked what is Misc purchase? Lescarbeau stated it’s for repairs, consumables. How many laborers, Tim said 2.
Cemeteries – per Mr. Lescarbeau putting all OT in same place in Highways for year.
Councilor Harpin- will seasonal employees be paid at minimum wage? Mayor said yes.
How many guys, need two.
Council on Aging – Council Harpin asked about letter received from Gail Nelson at Friends of the Council on Aging regarding security monitoring service that city should pay for. Mr. Canales said he would look into and let us know.
Highways – Councilor Harpin asked why we have expense for building maintenance for first time? Is it things that need to be capitalized? Mr. Lescarbeau said it’s maintenance items that are not capitalized and he’s not sure how much he’ll need as it’s his first year in new building so estimated 10k.
Councilor Harpin stated there is 15k in signs and pavement marking which hasn’t been used in previous years. Would like to see better speed limit signs which include solar signs that flash speed limit as drivers go by. There’s one near Cole Ave in Williamstown.
Snow & Ice – Councilor Cohen asked if 200k is enough for snow ice. Don’t want to jump all at once per Mayor. It’s closer estimate and will adjust more each year.
Councilor Cohen asked what does snow and ice consist of? Mr. Lescarbeau said it’s equipment, sand and salt, sanders, snow plow parts, tires. Last year we used 3500 tons of salt. EPA says we can’t use sand.
Councilor Wilkinson, it’s DOT sand which has less fines in it.
Sidewalks - Councilor Cohen, what about sidewalks? Safety issues like Church, Ashland streets? Mr. Lescarbeau said working on college area for walkability.
Councilor Harpin – the sidewalks in Greylock area are in horrible shape, specifically Phelps ave and surrounding streets where kids walk to school. Mr. Lescarbeau said they’re working on it and wants to get a sidewalk paver this year.
Mr. Lescarbeau - bad weather not necessarily just snow can be a ice/sleet issue to call out.
Councilor Laforest the highway line seems low. This is for repairs of trucks so newer trucks.
Councilor Harpin – Do you predict need for any future trucks. Mr. Lescarbeau said Yes and Mayor said coming to Council soon with request.
Library – Councilor Wilkinson said level funded, looks ok.
Councilor Laforest – what is mission for library? Salary raises looks low and does this reflect new librarian. Mayor, it’s an administrative function. Which is 1 percent increases, budget was recommended by Mindy.
Councilor Wilkinson we’re on waiver, mayor said yes state board had to accept.
Mr. Gilman, how many Library employees. Mr. Canales said, 4-5 PT, 5 FT
Parks and Recreation – Councilor Cohen what are duties of park and rec? Per Mr. Lescarbeau they take care of fields and parks, empty trash.
Councilor Laforest, Union higher in collective bargaining. Park rec line in labor is high for labor. Mr. Canales said it’s step raises.
Councilor Harpin, $600 is park rec commission which is stipend for minutes in meeting? There was no actuals in 2018. Can we take out? Mr. Lescarbeau said it was for scheduling. Take out? Mr. Canales checking.
Councilor Wilkinson asked why increase in grounds? Mr. Lescarbeau said for skate and spray park. Mayor said taking a pause on parks for a few years in Comm Development grants.
Windsor Lake - Councilor Harpin, why are we paying for trash removal? Tim said we generate too much trash on weekend to keep up.
Councilor Cohen, did we get new person cause salary went down? Yes.
Veteran Services- Mayor said benefits is estimated and it could come down. Meeting all obligations to our veterans.
Councilor Laforest – actuals are based on state? Mayor said yes.
Water – Mr. Lescarbeau said laborer is down cause of retirement.
Councilor Cohen asked if OT to go into same pool also. Mr. Lescarbeau said yes.
Mr. Lescarbeau said equipment is for new hand held for meter readings. System is getting obsolete. Will be cap expense.
Councilor Laforest – are we meter to meter? Mr. Lescarbeau said we have mixture.
Councilor Cohen why OT in water filtration? Mr. Lescarbeau said their nonunion
Councilor LaForest asked how many people in water filtration? Mr. Lescarbeau said 2.
Mr. Gilman asking about hydrants in west end, what are plans to fix them? Mr. Lescarbeau said they were doing 10 a year and west end on list this year.
Councilor Cohen any other issues in water filtration? No, new system working great per Mr. Lescarbeau.
Mr. Lescarbeau the chemical does vary from year to year depending on rain and weather. So some years are more than others.
Public Safety – no questions Admin level funded per Councilor Wilkinson
Councilor Cohen, Animal control is at different part of building for utilities? Mr. Canales said not yet but working on it and not completed. Will work with Williamstown to share costs. Meeting with them soon. What is outcome?
Councilor Wilkinson, are we going to tear down last Animal control building? Yes
Fire – Councilor Cohen forest fire supplies? Chief said PPE this is remaining after grant. Have another grant out for fire gear. Safety issue.
Councilor Laforest – where are we in union contract? Mayor year 2 of 3 year.
Councilor Laforest – how many employees are on medical? Chief said 2 and hope for them to come back. Have 25 firefighters.
Councilor Cohen what is turnover? – Chief said a in 4 to 5 years will be turnover high.
Training is ongoing said chief.
Health – Councilor Cohen where is most of OT? Mr. Miranti said festivals.
Credit card fees? This is for transfer station per Mr. Fierro.
Police – Councilor Cohen why no training pay? Chief absorbed in other line.
Councilor Wilkinson, sergeants budget down? Chief said we are running down 1 sergeant with offset to one more Detective.
Councilor Laforest – staffing issues within force. Does this budget help? Is this figure going to help? Chief said yes and Mayor agreed.
Mr. Jeaske - Are we going to replace roof on building? Mayor said have to work with state to get authorization and planning for new facility.
Councilor Laforest – is the appeal next week? Yes.
Public Property – custodians are based here and there are 2 FT, plus supervisor. They do all buildings including Johnson and Sullivan school. Councilor Cohen asked – why isn’t this in with Mr. Lescarbeau? Mr. Meranti said all public buildings are with him and inspections
Councilor Wilkinson, redevelopment authority are they doing that? Yes this is all public property including Heritage Park.
Councilor Laforest – increases are from what? R&M is repair and maint. Large increase.
Councilor Harpin – why are we paying for trash? Mr. Meranti because it’s a dumpster and wouldn’t be able to move dumpster. It would be investment.
Wire and Alarm – none
Mayor budget will go down will now be at under ¼ percent increase.
Councilor Laforest – When will we get the budget updates? Will they be color coded?
Motion to adjourn by Councilor Cohen, Second by Councilor Wilkinson. All in favor yes.
cc: Mayor Thomas Bernard