MAYOR AND COUNCIL BUDGET WORKSHOP
MAY 18, 2020
Mayor Cerino called the workshop session to order at 6:08 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers David Foster, Thomas Herz, Ellsworth Tolliver (via speakerphone) and Meghan Efland, W. S. Ingersoll (Town Manager), Amanda Miller (Treasury Specialist), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and John Dolgos (Chief of Police).
Ms. Miller stated that after making some adjustments and cuts there was now revenue over expenses in the amount of $75,445.00. She said that funding for Main Street has been extended and an additional $55,500 in permit fees to the Town two additional unexpected large projects have come to light. Music in the Park was removed from the budget for this upcoming year.
Ms. Miller stated that there will be money coming from the General Fund via the reimbursement from the USDA funding and if the Council allowed it, she could use $40,000.00 to allow up to a 5% raise for the employees.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he did speak with Mr. Schumann and there was no savings by going to bi-weekly for recycling.
Ms. Miller stated that there was still a twelfth officer in the budget and the figures she used for raises accounted for all employees.
Mayor Cerino asked if it were possible there could be a savings if all officers were the three vacant police positions were not filled this upcoming year. Ms. Miller stated that there would be and the figures that she used for those vacant positions accounted for pension and insurance as well as the annual salary.
Ms. Miller stated that income taxes are budgeted at $450,000.00 and they had received $392,000.00 as of March 31st which made her and Mr. Ingersoll comfortable in the fact that this was a conservative number. She said that she also has Highway User Funds lower than she expects to receive. The property tax figures are based upon last year and funds always trickle in from late payments, noting that they received $80,000 in late payments this year. Corporate taxes have also been figured in.
Ms. Miller stated that she dropped figures for Redspeed tickets, parking tickets and the Farmers Market.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that more so than ever he thought that things should be reviewed again in December, at which time revisions to the budget could be made.
Mayor Cerino stated that the COVID-19 numbers would likely decline due to the nice weather, but it may spike again next winter causing another shutdown. Mr. Ingersoll stated that if staffing became an issue in any department they would use retirements to bring employee numbers down by not replacing those positions.
Mr. Herz stated that the Main Street budget has been zeroed out and asked why. Ms. Miller stated that they have not spent any money or asked for the $5,000.00 funding that was in the budget. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town spends a great deal of money supporting Main Street over the year.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Ms. Miller has done a great job “beating the bushes” and there has been other offers of ways to help with additional revenue. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Utilities Commission is healthy and some of the salaries of Town Hall staff is partially paid by them.
Ms. Efland stated that half of the downtown businesses have reopened. Ms. Miller asked if the same level should be kept for Main Street. Mayor Cerino stated that he thought they should keep Main Street in the budget at $1,000.00.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that in looking at the raise scenario some of the money that was used to pay back general fund from the USDA grant would help. Mayor Cerino stated that he would be comfortable giving 2% raises this year and revisiting the figures in December.
Ms. Miller stated that she has all vacancies in the police department are in the budget at $45,000.00. Mayor Cerino stated that there had to be a cushion for the Marina in case the Town had to cover any expenses.
Mayor Cerino stated that he would like to investigate installing the speed cameras. Chief Dolgos stated that they must technically make a “school zone” on Washington Avenue. The High Street and Morgnec Road location could be up and running within 45 days with any luck.
Ms. Miller stated that the Bayside HOYAS submitted a budget request for $1,000.00. Mayor Cerino stated that he would be comfortable putting the HOYAS in for $500.00. The Council agreed.
Mr. Herz asked about how the request for internet with Atlantic Broadband and County IT landed. Mr. Ingersoll stated that Atlantic Broadband has been unresponsive, and he would like to speak with Think Big about purchasing the equipment in the current year budget. Chief Dolgos stated that their internet was now up and running, a point that could result in future savings on phone use.
Mayor Cerino summed up the meeting by saying that they would include 2% raises and revisit the funding situation in December and the Constant Yield would be observed at $.4332 to stay current with constant yield taxes. There would be no cuts to any services.
Rev. Tolliver moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:44 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor