Village of Mantua
Finance Committee Meeting
May 17, 2008
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Ben Prescott, Jim Rogers, Roger Hawkins, Clerk-Treasurer Jenny August
OTHERS PRESENT: Mayor Hawkins, Ed Trego
CITIZENS: Norm Erickson, Linda Clark
CALL TO ORDER: 8:00 a.m. by Chairman Prescott
MINUTES APPROVED: Motion to Approve by Ben, seconded by Jenny. All ayes.
BILLS OF RESOLUTION: Discussed the bills of resolution. We discussed the solicitor’s bill, the bill from Summa Insurance and outsourcing of mowing. Linda Clark questioned wages charged to the Park. She questioned why we pay for mowing when we have mowers. Ed said we absolutely don’t have staff. Linda questioned the Verizon bill and wanted to know who has cell phones and wondered if we negotiate that yearly. Linda questioned who has Health Insurance and when the Mayor was added.
Jim made a motion to accept the bills of resolution. Seconded by Ben. All ayes on vote.
NEW BUSINESS: Discussed Income Tax credit and possibly placing a levy on the ballot to increase income tax to 2%. Discussed the Mantaline Income Tax refund and Ben said to be sure to put it on the amended Bills of Resolution for Council.
Forecast for Local Government Services. Nita will be here Monday, May 19th to start her evaluation of Mantua. Discussion of paying outstanding bills that LGS wants paid. Donna stated that she talked with Tim O’Brien discussed our debt. Donna spoke with Betsy also Nita regarding the CT debt, and she told her that as long as we are showing monies coming in to offset what we owe them, than we don’t have to set up a payment schedule. Donna mentioned that a portion of the Enertech settlement was earmarked for the CT bill, and Ed said none of CT’s bills are related to the Enertech Settlement.
Donna said she has been unable to negotiate with St. Gobain because she is waiting on a payment plan to offer them. Jenny said there is nothing appropriated and we should ask them to forgive the debt first. Donna felt that we would have done something about appropriating by now.
Discussed coming up with the Purchase Requisition. We discussed all purchases going through the Clerk’s office. Ed said he used to be in charge of Central Purchasing and would like to get back to that.
Ben wants to amend the handbook to not allow pay advances. Jim said not to take it out, just don’t approve it. There may come a time when there is legitimate need and we may all want to do it.
Discussed splitting Jenny’s salary between Administration, Water & Sewer. Ed said money that used to come to Water-Sewer is now going to General Fund and that is what has driven the rates up. Ed would like to see what percent of my time is spent on water & sewer and split it accordingly. Discussed splitting the Insurance & Bonding bill between departments as well.
Discussed the Shalersville development. More discussion at the coming workshop. Jim asked if Enertech settlement will be applied to Sewer Debt. Donna said the money will not be released until David Benjamin files a settlement at the court house. Then we should get a check for David for $1000.00.
Roger questioned the need for weekly cleaning service in the village hall. He recommended that we have it done every other week to reduce that obligation by half. Jenny mentioned that Lisa has a contract and didn’t think she always cleaned every week.
Linda Clark asked if Lions are paying for electricity at the park. Ed said the Village pays for all utilities. The Potato Festival invested somewhere around $8000.00 for fixing up the old water building. Then the old pump house was getting fixed up by Mike McCauley for selling refreshments at the park, and his help dwindled away and it sat empty until the Lions came along a few years ago and brought it up to speed. They only use it for a two to three month period and their use is not that big. Ed recommends getting rid of the pop machine to save electricity. He said it is an extra 2-3 hours per week labor and it is more of a convenience for people than a money maker. Linda said we should still charge the Lions something. Ben wondered if the minimal amount of electricity should be offset by how much they do for the village, and all of the work they did on that building.
Linda questioned how we purchase our gas, and if we compare and who can use it for what purpose. Ed says he gets prices, but they change quickly and there are delivery charges as well. Linda asked if it wouldn’t be more economical for Ed & Donna to be moved up to this building. Ed said absolutely not.
Linda wondered if people are looking at all of the bills? Ben said no, because Ed and Harry look at their bills, and Sue and Jenny look at them also, and that is enough. Ed suggested we return to Central Purchasing because he negotiates deals. He said he gets things cheaper than the clerk’s office. He said he gets salt cheaper than the county. Jim said it would all tie in with the requisition system. Needs more discussion. Ben has issues of who is controlling this. Jim said since it is certified by the clerk, the clerk’s office should be in charge. Ed said he would like to be in charge of requisitions at least within his own department.
Roger questioned a bill from an electrical contractor. Ed explained it is for a booster station. Roger would like to get more involved in process analysis. He has the ability & software.
Ed wants to finish inventory of pop and then eliminate the pop machine.
Ed requests by e-mail to Rich Iafelice that CT Consultants gets a work authorization before performing any more work. Rich noted in his response that he would be happy to do that but needs to know what projects he will be doing. Ed said he is working on Buchert Park, Glacial Esker, Franklin St. Storm Sewer, a Mercury Variance, and general consulting services. Rich estimates an average of $7500 budget for this year. Ed said there is no money appropriated to move forward with the Storm Sewer project. Ben said the auditors said not to do the project. Ed said he is short $2700.00 in appropriations for the truck payment. Ed said he meets with Love Insurance every year and reviews the insurance contract, and this year he had no opportunity to review it. We renewed without any input from him and that is not financially good. Jenny said he should have been included and she would put in a call to Heidi. Ben said it could be a case of new people and we can let Ed know from now on when something like this comes up. Jenny said she requested a break down of the bill so the charges could be shared by other departments.
Ed recommends that we get the pressure problem taken care of on Fernway. He thinks EPA will mandate to have it done. Ben said he agrees, but doesn’t know where we will get that money. Ed is concerned about funds lacking for mowing this summer in the parks and cemetery. Jim asked if Kevin Poland has given us an answer on the money. Donna said he claims to have lost the paperwork. Jim says we need to present him with a budget of what we spend and what we need. Donna said she made Tom aware of this situation.
Donna requested that we put in a line item for pre-payment of taxes. Ben replied that Jenny and I have already discussed this and Jenny discussed it with Janet Esposito, and she said to use every dime we can get our hands on to get out of debt. Janet also said it is not uncommon for large companies like St, Gobain to forgive a debt like ours. Ben said someone needs to go try talking to them.
Donna asked about what we determined that the Fire Department is paying for water. Jim said they only pay for household use. Jenny said Betsy does pay a water bill every billing cycle. Roger said we still need to know their usage because maybe the insurance company could be charged for putting out a fire.
ADJOURN: Motion to Adjourn at 9:47 by Jim, seconded by Roger. All ayes on vote.
Ben Prescott, Chair of Finance
Jenny August, Clerk-Treasurer