The chair, Robert DeFelice, opened the meeting @ 6:00 PM.  Present:  Mark Peterson, Pete Thompson, John Mock, Gail Guertin, Samantha and Samantha Gordon,  Our BOS liaison arrived @ 6: PM.   It was moved by Thompson and 2nd by Mock to accept the minutes of 1-31-22.  The minutes were accepted with the revision of Employee income and COLA distribution.  The chair urged the members to read other minutes (BOS, CC, PB/ZBA, and Library. These minutes would better prepare committee members when discussing the financial planning process.


BOS liaison comments:

  1. CC had been considering purchasing property off North Road and had asked the BOS to place it on the warrant. There will be no such purchase; hence, there shall be nothing in this regard on the town warrant.
  2. The leaf blower purchase has been approved by the BOS for $10,000. The money used will be from the COVI relief monies that allows for maintenance of culverts under ARCUP.
  3. The BOS will meet on Friday, 2-11-22, the day after the budget hearing on Thursday.
  4. Regarding the CC, there is a CR revolving fund to be set up in 2023 to allow a phone to be used to make a contribution to the CC walking/hiking trails. There would be a 2.^% administrative charge on this and the contribution, normally tax deductible, under this methodology, would not be.  There was the additional point raised that current taxpayers hiking this area would be hit twice – fees and property taxes.

The chair passed out the following items:  Agenda, the Town Warrant, 2021 and 2022 budget figures, this year’s annual contribution to the CR and the value of each CR.


The Committee then began to review the Warrant Articles, each article was read in full:

  1. Article 4 – Solid Waste. ‘To see if the town will vote to appoint the’ BOS to expend from SW/TS CR established in 1982 for repairs, improvements, and equipment purchase. Historically, a hearing was required and the voters would be able to vote on said items, unless it was an emergency.  Currently, the BOS may act on the recommendation of that department head.  EX:  if a new dumpster is required then the BOS may buy a new dumpster.  The BOS is looking to expend this CR to allow full flexibility to use this CR.  Historically, no department or authority, outside the voters regarding monies that are not in the General Fund., value $400,000. The only exception is the welfare CR.
  2. Article 5 – To establish a CR for the Mastin Cemetery for engineering, site work, and to raise and appropriate $60,000 to be allocated  to this fund.  Unencumbered funds  are carried over to the following year.  Money raised and appropriated is money allocated, but not spent. Questions raised:  what is the total amount?  How many years?  Is there a cap?  This information is required before a recommendation. The BOS as agents to expend funds – time limits, purpose limit?  This $60,000 is from unassigned fund balance and not taxaton.
  3. Article 6 – Master Plan Non-Capital (not an physical asset or equipment – an idea) CR annual contribution $3,000 for ten years, when a new Master Plan is needed.  The BOS act as agents to expend funds as the PB goes to submits the plan for BOS approval.
  4. Article 7 – $50,000 for site work, lighting, fencing @ the Grist Mill Parking lot. This also includes a sidewalk and  does not yet involve the land to the rear of this lot. The money is to come from unassigned fund balance and not from taxation. There is now a requirement that any changes to town property require an engineering stamp.
  5. Article 8 – $25,000 ‘for the purpose of engineering design and site assessment for repairs to the Corporation Hill Road/Lane River embankment and replacement of the bridge.’ The money is from unassigned fund balance and no monies from taxation.  There was some discussion, last
  6. 2


year 2021, $20,000 was spent for engineering studies for this project.  In addition there was a brief historic summary of how long the town has been dealing with this project.  Originally, the bridge was an auto bridge and it was replaced with a wooden walk bridge.  The wood lasted only a few years.  In addition, the bridge support were falling into the Lane River and was becoming unstable and potentially dangerous.  Other than the protection of the river bed and the boulders surrounding it, what is the nature and purpose of this project:  river stability, an effective and safe footbridge, maintaining the bucolic nature of the area?  Approximately, $150,000 has been spent relating to this project over the years.

  1. Article 2 – Budget Committee recommendation of $2,650,174 for the 2022 annual budget; this recommendation is amended to read $2,647,474 a reduction of $2,700 relating to the police department.  There was discussion on salaries and hourly incomes.  The total increase of salaries in 2021 was $140,000.  While the budget committee has no say in salaries, should not this be offered to the voters of the town of Sutton?


The chair asked our BOS liaison to provide the committee with the following information:

  1. 20 year history of the Grist Mill Bridge and embankments.
  2. Total cost for the renovation and repair of the Newbury Road.
  3. Cost estimate of all work related to the Mastin Cemetery.


The final Budget Committee recommendations will be made after the deliberative session following the Thursday 7:00 PM budget hearing.  The chair reminded the members the following:  (1) If up to date figures are not provided by each department, then the committee must rely on the figures provided by our auditor.  This is a default position to figures utilized for 2021.  (2) Any area not discussed in the hearing cannot be discussed  at the deliberative session.  (3) Library salaries are determined by the library trustees.


It was moved by Gordon and 2nd by Peterson to adjourned the meeting @ 8:15 PM – no dissent.  The committee will next meet @ 6:30, Thursday evening on 2-10-22 @ the Town Hall prior to the budget hearing @ 7:00 PM.  Upon completion of the hearing, the committee will enter into its deliberative session and make their recommendations.


Respectfully submitted,



Robert W Wright Jr.