Village of Mantua
Finance Committee Meeting
October 18, 2008
Call to Order- 8:01 A.M.
Roll Call: Ben Prescott, Jim Rogers, Roger Hawkins was absent
Others: Jenny August, Clerk-Treasurer, Harry Buchert, Police Chief, Ed Trego, Village Administrator, Giles Seith, Council Member
Motion to approve Minutes from Sept. 13th Finance meeting by Jim Rogers Seconded by Ben Prescott.
- Review of the legislation for the October Council meeting. Discussion ensued about 2008-39. Ben and Jim both disagreed that the money collected from the removal of the Income Tax credit should go to the Police Department. They expressed that the purpose of removing the credit was to get the General Fund out of the red and start paying off debt. Ben said Harry must cut his budget. Harry wanted to be sure everyone knew that 2008-39 which dedicates the revenues for Police only, was approved by the Safety Committee. Ben said we need to take that money and pay St. Gobain. Jim and Ben both object to this legislation. Ben said after we make our December payment to OWDA, we will be looking at paying some of the CT bills. Ben said we need to talk to St. Gobain. Jim commented that Council directed the Mayor to do that. Jenny suggested that someone else do it. Ben said maybe he and Jenny will go. Jim said he would like to go also. Jenny mentioned that we owe St. Gobain another $6,000 for 2007 now as well as the 2006 amount of $95,000. Discussion about how they are still paying taxes to Mantua. Possibly as a part of Eaton.
- 2008-42 will be an Identity theft policy for the Village that Tom is still working on. Harry said he will be putting it in the handbook if needed. Ed explained what he thinks it is. He said he sent it to Tom because it affects Utility billing people first. It is a Federal Law to have protection by November according to the Municipal League.
- Jenny stated that the Village could be liable for about $6,000.00 in Comp time, since Ben wanted to know. Ben thinks we need to take another look at how much time can be banked up in each category; vacation, comp time, etc. Harry said we just changed it to unlimited three meetings ago. Harry and Ed explained how everything is accumulated. Jim suggested we add a line item in the budget so we can pay this when the time comes. Harry said how sick leave is paid is now a negotiable item, instead of a portion being paid out. Ed said overtime is unavoidable when you are lacking in staff and people canít take time off. Ben said we need to make sure we are absolutely fair to the employees. Harry says the Police Dept pushed their employees to take their time within the year. Ben suggested that is you accumulate 240 hours you should just be paid for it.
- Jenny said funds are still all in the black. Total receipts were 96,530, and expenses were 87,000, so we did real well. Jenny said she would like Ben to sign the bank reconciliation every month.
Bills of Resolution-
- Harry discussed line 16 in the bills. This was a medical procedure that a laid off employee had done because he was told he had coverage until the end of the month. The insurance didnít pay it because coverage actually stopped the day of termination. Harry said it would be the right thing to do to have the Village pay the bill. He is willing to take it out of Dispatch Operating. Ben said we should pay it.
- Jenny said line 47 & 48 are Mayors expenses that her Mayors fund will cover.
- Line item 65- Solicitorís bill. Ben said the Auditor told us to not use him anymore this year. We need to stop calling him. Harry said the prosecutor can try our cases, but we donít get any money from fines. Discussion about pulling his contract and seeing about the 11 free hours per month. Ben said we will have to split this bill up between departments. Ed requests a copy of Tomís bill every month. Harry said we should set a certain amount of money per case instead of hourly when we negotiate the next contract. Jim suggested that I call Tom for a copy of Tomís contract. Jenny said Nita recommends that we do a resolution to split the contract.
- Motion to approve the Bills of Resolution by Ben, seconded by Jim.
- Ben wants it in place and in use before the Auditors come back.
- Jenny showed a basic purchase requisition she made in excel that can be either faxed or e-mailed. Ed and Harry were asked to review it and make suggestions.
- Ed said we will still get phone calls for a P.O.
Ben asked Ed if it is true that we wonít have enough money to pay the sewer debt next year. Ed said it is true, and we donít have enough to pay it this year. Ben said we will have to raise water & sewer rates. Ed said the saving grace will be to get the County to start paying. Ed said every time we leave the bargaining table, we are in less position to bargain. He said the Mayor asked Huff (Portage County) to bear the costs and fees incurred by the Village since it is for the betterment of the County. Ben says rates were supposed to be raised incrementally and they were not. Ben said we have a contract to pay the bill. We have to raise the rates. Ed said we need to have a focus such as Harry does with the Income Tax, because if you raise the rates, people will have a fit. Ed says we should have $150 to $165 thousand a year from the Shalersville project, and millions in tap in fees. Ben said he spoke with Larry Solack and he said No Way will there be a Jedd with Mantua. Ben thought he may have just been politicing.
Harry reviewed the spreadsheet he created for salaries for himself and Ed and what he thought would be fair. Harry said if we might be cutting staff next year, their will be overtime. Ed said he always gave the guys overtime opportunities first before he took it himself. Ed said we should have an understood amount of overtime built into the salary, for example 100 hours, and then any hours after that should be extra. After lots of discussion relating with Longevity and overtime, it was decided that there would not be a big benefit in changing it at this point. Jim asked if we are committed to doing this? Harry said it doesnít need to go to Council, it only needs the Mayors approval. Jim said if policy is in place to cut overtime, the Department heads should be minimizing it. We could at least let the auditors know that we looked into it, and have discouraged overtime. Ben asked what is the deal with Paul. Ed said for now he is willing to stay on part time. Ed discussed mandatory hours to be in compliance with MPDES requirements. Ed said the wastewater plant could be sold to the County, as in we will lose it by not being compliant. We are on a Federally protected river and we must be where we need to be with staffing. He is talking to a guy that has a CDL and a good track record, and thinks we could start from scratch with him and educate him with licensing.
Ed suggests we look into a private audit instead of a state auditor. Jenny said a private auditor is $100.00 per hour, where the state auditor is $35.00. Harry said since we are in ďwatchĒ we may need to stay with Ed Rance.
Raises for 2009- Harry asked about 2009 raises. Ben said it will be discussed.
Ed said he has a computer he would sell the Village that is in real nice shape. Donna Maynardís computer needs upgraded. Harry asked if it could be justified with Security because he has the money in Police Capitol. Ed thought it would run around $900.00 to $1100.00 dollars. Ed needs something a little better than the normal because he runs PC anywhere on his computer to check plants. Jim asked if we ever got our other key. Ed said it is still sitting on a desk because our Auditor directed us to put the escrow money for the wastewater project into debt instead of operating, and now the integrator, mercury variance and other projects are on hold because the money is stuck into debt services. Ed said he got a letter that we are now in violation with the state.
- Jim asked Jenny to pull together all of the invoices and receipts from the Shalersville project for Tom and for CT Consultants so we can present them to the County.
- Ed said he spoke with Rich Iafelice about a payment plan for the debt.
- Harry said we need to have Ed Rance clarify whether his recommendations are backed by the ORC.
- Ed asked Jenny to straighten up the funds for the truck payment before doing appropriations. Ben suggested we have a special workshop for Appropriations.
- Ed mentioned that we are out of money for Village Hall wages.
- Ed said we need to show carryovers for next year. Ben said that is why we will be doing temporary appropriations.
- Ed discussed a water line break in the North end of town last night.
Motion to Adjourn at 9:54 A.M. by Jim Rogers, seconded by Ben Prescott. Both Ayes on vote.
Ben Prescott, Chair of Finance
Jenny August, Clerk-Treasurer