Town of Sutton
Sutton Budget Committee

Draft Meeting Minutes for Monday, January 30, 2023 at 6:15 p.m.


Present – Bob Wright, Gail Guertin, Samantha Gordon, Bob DeFelice, Walter Baker (ex officio)

Absent – Bruce Kozikowski (excused)

In Audience – Mike McManus

Call to Order – Meeting commenced at 6:22.

Agenda Discussion
Previous Minutes ·         Bob W. made a motion to approve the 1/16 minutes as presented. Gail seconded. Unanimously approved with the below edit:

o   Chair Bob D. would like to make sure that we note that Adam did a fantastic job in the presentation that he prepared for the 1/16 meeting.

Updates ·         The budget committee has not yet received updates from the Fire Department regarding the questions on the cost and replacement schedule for the Scott Air Packs.

·         The selectboard has not heard anything back about the request for funding by the YMCA recreational swim group folks.

·         The Kezar Lake Protective Association is planning to do a citizens’ petition warrant article for $2,000 funding of the lake host program. Bob D. recommends that they do this each year that they would like funding; it can’t be a renewable fund because the town needs to actively decide to raise and appropriate funds for this purpose each year.

Budget Review ·         Bob W. wants to emphasize the effect that salary changes have on the police retirement contribution (1-01-4155-230) which increases significantly each year – this is partially because the state used to contribute but no longer does; the state still mandates the amount of contributions required.

·         The chair shared that the selectboard put in a $0.50 per hour pay increase annually for each of the highway department employees; this is contrary to the rules because step increases have to be based on individual performance. Step increase schedules would also require a hearing before being implemented. Additionally, a set pay increase like this would make individuals ineligible for the cost of living increase, because it is a dollar figure instead of a percentage.

Mike & Wally arrived at 6:48 from the selectboard meeting.

·         Solid waste wages decreased because of changes to their hours. Their requirements may have changed and that will be discussed with the selectboard prior to finalizing their budget next week.

·         Bob W. plans to vote “present” on the vote for the warrant article for the Sutton Historical Society. Their line item (1-08-4520-801) has been reduced to $600 so that their funding can come from a citizen’s petition warrant article. He has a conflict of interest so he will not vote yea or nay, but he cannot fully recuse himself because we would not have a quorum.

·         The library line items for this year’s “actual” spending is largely missing. They have not yet provided end of year reports on spending in these areas. As a result, we are obligated to zero out these budget lines.

o   Gail moves to zero out Library line items 109, 340, 341, 410, 411, 430, 555, 556, 560, 561, 600, 670, 902. Bob. W seconds.

o   Based on the agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) between the library and the town, the library does not need to provide unused funds from these line items back to the town at the end of the year. However, they do need to report on the spending of these funds. They have also not provided the state-mandated information on what they received in funding and grants, as well as the purpose/allocation of those funds per the donors’ or grant requirements. By failing to provide this information, the library has prevented the town from closing out its books and making determinations for the 2023 budget year.

o   If the library provides the details by Feb. 5 in order for the chair to prepare the information for our next meeting on the 6th, then we would be able to reinstate the amounts in this budget.

o   Wally votes present, and the motion is unanimously approved.

·         Tree maintenance was bumped back up to $10,000 because the funds are needed for urgent work in the interest of public safety.

·         Mike has additional information on the lifespan of the 10-wheel truck. Some towns do not have the information yet or do not keep accurate track, but the town of Hopkinton is getting 1-1.5years additional lifespan. It also appears to have better fuel efficiency.

Warrant Articles ·         The selectboard previewed the warrant articles tonight. The budget committee may see a preview at the next meeting (or perhaps not until the 9th).
Upcoming Schedule ·         2/6/23 – This meeting will involve finalizing our numbers, voting on budgets, and preparing the presentation for the budget hearing.

·         2/9/23 – This will be the date of the budget public hearing. Committee members should be there at 6:30 and the hearing will begin at 7 p.m. The chair will have the report of budget line changes for each department for review and voting.


Next Meeting – The next meeting of the budget committee will be on 2/6/23 at 6:15 at the fire station.

Adjournment – Bob W. motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:05 p.m. Sam seconded. Unanimously approved.


Respectfully submitted,

Samantha Gordon