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North Adams City Council Finance Committee Budget Meeting

April 24, 2019
Meetings & Notices

North Adams City Council Finance Committee
Budget Meeting
Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 6:30 p.m. – City Council Chambers

Call to order
Approval of minutes
Discussion: Budget overview
Discussion: Unclassified
Discussion: Capital
Discussion: Interest/Debt
Discussion: Revenue
Adjournment


cc: Mayor Thomas Bernard
Michael Canales
North Adams City Council Finance Committee Meeting for Fiscal 2020, Meeting #1, April 24, 2019
 Call to Order at 6:29 p.m.
 Committee Attendance: Committee Chair Harpin, Councilor Cohen, Councilor Wilkinson
 Other Counselors present: Council President Bona, Councilor LaForest
 Approval of minutes: none to approve
 Discussion: Budget overview – Mayor Bernard states: This draft budget may have changes in numbers from state and debt consolidation. Major highlights include:
 $152k increase from last year.
 Public schools has bulk of budget.
 Finance Team has Power Point with pie graphs. (see attached).
 No increase for water/sewer and no use of reserves.
 Staffing accounts for all increases in non union staff.
 A one FTE Airport Maintenance position for new building at Airport.
 Phase increase with OT in Public Service and Fire Dept.
 Higher than projected injured on duty in previous year.
 Health Insurance used average cost used which was an underestimate in previous year.
 Spending freeze on departments.

 Discussion: Unclassified
 Capital – higher utility costs.
 Community Discussion:
 Mr. Sapienza - questioned solar credits. Mr. Canales state we have $150k to 200k on regular basis. We sold some at end of last year and city will be selling 20k to Hoosac Water this year.
 Mr. Cardimino - what was the LED savings? Mayor Bernard stated 100k
 Councilor Bona - how much do we save 150k to 200k savings.
 Councilor Cohen - asked utility savings in school department move? Mr. Canales said it was a savings of $100k to school department.
 Councilor LaForest - $150k – 200k extra credits and only selling 20k. Mr. Canales stated they are regularly tweaking and maximizing credits.
 Mr. Smith - wants to know if the credits are actually a pre paid expense because every year its over produced. Mr. Canales stated the credits could be sold or applied to an expense.
 Councilor Harpin - why is paving for pot holes is low by $10k based on prior year actuals. Mr. Canales agreed and looking to tighten it up this budget line as cold patch doesn’t last. Like to wait to use the hot patch but doesn’t get available until May. Going to review line item with Mr. Lescarbeau.
 Councilor LaForest - wanted to know what YTD 2019 Capital, Mr. Fierro said $683k. (page 16 in monthly report).
 Mr. Caridmino – did we over budget for gas? Mayor said yes based on fluctuations and use.


 Discussion: Interest/Debt
 One million in debt fell off debt this year. This is why modest increase with not capital increase.
 Community Discussion:
 Councilor Harpin - what does the short term debt consist of? Mr. Canales stated it consists of: Damn study - $660k, sweeper and computer water upgrades from 2017. It’s about $1 million in total. Mr. Canales can get a report. Currently, not looking for any additional debt.
 Councilor Cohen - are we looking at energy efficiency in trucks/cars? Mr. Canales state we will get a new truck for police/fire as one now in service is beyond repair.
 Councilor LaForest - can we purchase military vehicles? Mr. Canales stated most are really big vehicles like hum V and hard to maintain and mileage.
 Councilor Bona – opportunity for public safety building, how would we secure the loan? Mr. Canales it would have to come back to Council. And we could use money from sale of land.

 Discussion: Revenue
 Mayor the State Aid is most recent numbers and most conservative as possible. Brought in revenue from Airport, along with expenses.
 Councilor Wilkinson – why is there such a big drop in other revenue. Mr. Canales said from subsidized drugs of retirees,
 Councilor LaForest – Cannabis tax of 15k, how was that number estimated? Mayor says it’s a place holder and does expect applicant to work through process and revenue within 2020.
 Councilor Cohen – What doe the line AVGAS represent? Mayor Bernard said it’s for Airport, sale of the fuel.
 Mr. Smith - why not anymore nonrecurring? Nothing planned this year. No anticipated.
 Mr. Sapienza - City selling airport fuel to pilots? Yes. We make a profit off sale of fuel per Mr. Canales.
 Councilor Cohen – Will .75 cent mark up on fuel be fixed? Is authority of airport commission per Mr. Canales.
 Mr. Cardimino - is fuel price competitive. Mr. Canales, we’re at lower end but we get more traffic.
 Mr. Gilman – stated volume at a higher price ends up being same profit.
 Councilor LaForest – is airport breaking even? Eventually will in next few years per Mr. Canales but we’re growing with multiple building.
 Councilor LaForest – Charges on public safety/public service. It’s dropped.? Going to look into it. Building permits per Mr. Fierro, like projects like Tourist.
 Mr. Smith - Investment income? Are we doing less investment? Mr. Fierro, kept it flat and conservative on revenues.
 Councilor Harpin – In discussing fees in Public Safety with changes to ordinances, city has not reviewed in over a decade? Mayor Bernard said it was an issue he would address next year.
 Mr. Gilman - Classification for new position at Airport what are qualifications? Mr. Canales indicated position will be require a hoisting license.
 Mr. Sapienza – Is gas company fees for Officers? No per Mr. Canales
 Mayor Bernard – long term overview is revenue conservative. Levy limit is getting tighter and tighter. Next year will talk over future year capital planning. We do have retirement of debt but no additional capital. Looking to review Cannabis revenue, Classification plan and fee structures. Across the board we are low and non competitive on fee structures. FY21 will talk about constraints as we approach levy ceiling, retirements and replacements to maximize each position and strategic planning over next few years.
 Councilor Harpin – Wanted to know financing for emergency for structural repairs.
 Councilor LaForest - wanted update on RFP’s? Cumberland Farms – one more extension option as they’ve done redesign. Smaller footprint and looking for June. B&B went to Adams as they had a good deal. They may still purchase Salt Shed. Notre Dame taking additional time and extension to second quarter to do due diligence.
 Councilor Wilkinson - next option date for railroad museum? Mayor Bernard said contract expires May 11. Will extend to June 30. They’re trying to figure out time, may be another year. Developing a new agreement but will charge a fee to extend.
 Councilor Bona – Windsor Mill do we have a plan? Mayor said several and conversations with Mass Development. Are we using mill? We may have a city tag sale. Also Sullivan School will go out with RFP as well.
 Tammy Daniels – Does the city own the Windsor Mill? Mayor’s understanding that it reverted to city.
• Motion to adjourn by Councilor Wilkinson, second by Councilor Cohen. All in favor, all agreed.
• Meeting Adjournment 8:06 p.m.
• Please note: I have no discussion notes on Unclassified Expenses and suggest adding to meeting agenda of May 15th.
• Reports Requested:
 TIF Compliance
 Airport Capital Expenditures
 Airport Profit and Loss Statement
 Skating Rink Profit and Loss Statement
 Windsor Lake Profit and Loss Statement
 Solar array energy credits
 Three year Capital Project goals
 Updated Reserve Account Balances
 Updated Stipends payments
 Chapter 90 funding


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