Town of Sutton
Sutton Budget Committee

Draft Meeting Minutes for Monday, October 17, 2022 at 6:15 p.m.


Present – Bob Wright, John Mock, Gail Guertin, Samantha Gordon, Bob DeFelice, Walter Baker

Absent – Bruce Kozikowski (excused)

In Audience – Mike McManus, Mark Peterson

Call to Order – Meeting commenced at 6:16.

Agenda Discussion
Previous Minutes ·         It was moved by Bob W to approve the Sept. 26 meeting minutes. Gail seconded. The motion was unanimously approved.
Welfare Budget ·         This budget is remaining the same next year.

·         The capital reserve (CR) cap will be changed to $30,000 instead of $20,000 in order to account for increased need due to potential economic and cost of living factors. This is just a safety net to cover us for the foreseeable future. This doesn’t increase our overall budget, as $5,000 will be added to the CR this year, same as last year.

Rescue Budget ·         We’ve been putting $1,200 into the budget each year for ambulance services (002 | Support Ambulance) needed when New London is not available, but has not been needed, so this is being removed.

·         The EKG CR has reached its cap, so no additional monies are needed for that this year.

Fire Department Budget ·         The budget is increasing tentatively due to electricity. The estimate is an increase of $700 (from $4,200 to $5,500).

·         Towards the end of the year, the fire department is in the habit of allocating any remaining budget to upcoming expenses, such as replacement of safety equipment and other necessary items at the end of their life. These are necessary expenses that they push off until there is room in the budget.

·         Capital Reserves:

o   990 – This was supposed to be the year that they purchased the new Scott Air Packs. However, they heard recently that the cost has increased from $127,000 to $187,000 – but fortunately, they do not need to replace them for 3-4 more years. So this year we will continue to add $37,000 this year in order to keep up with anticipated costs. Cory is double checking on the anticipated cost and lifetime, in order to help determine the department’s best course of action.

o   986 – Rescue vehicle CR contribution will remain the same.

o   999 – Rescue Equipment CR contribution will remain the same.

o    992 – Fire/Safety Building CR. This CR was not originally created for the construction of a building; it was originally created for renovation and then was repurposed at town meeting for land acquisition and planning. Last year we requested a plan from the department in order to justify the continued large contributions to the CR account and to frame the “end game” of these savings, but it has not yet been provided. At this point, we feel the need to provide a cap for this fund – we have to look at the best interests of the budget and need to have a goal or plan in mind based on the purpose of the CR. Potentially recommending a cap of $800,000 on this, as this is a comfortable place to start with land acquisition and planning for the fire/safety building. Aaron was on board with reducing this CR to $50,000 this year (per Mike McManus).

·         Cory will be returning to the selectboard to provide an update on 990 and to discuss the CRs.

Capital Reserves in General ·         Bob D. has had conversations with all departments about decreasing CR contributions where possible this year, in order to control our budget and tax rate in preparation for potential recession year(s). This may help cushion the taxpayers as well as possible during potential times of lower income or higher expenses.

·         CRs are basically savings accounts to plan for future town expenses, so contributions here are designed to keep the tax rate level when necessary and foreseeable expenses arise. However, we are looking critically this year at opportunities to contribute less where possible in the short term, as a potential relief valve for taxpayers. These contributions can then return in full when the economy stabilizes and the town can continue towards its long-term goals.

Upcoming Schedule ·         10/24/22 – Next week we will discuss the Conservation budget.


Next Meeting – The next meeting of the budget committee will be on 10/24/22 at 6:15 at the fire station.

Adjournment – Bob W. motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:33 p.m. Gail seconded. Unanimously approved.


Respectfully submitted,

Samantha Gordon