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Finance Committee Minutes 03/19/2012
                                                                                TOWN OF HARWICH
Griffin Room, Town Hall
Joint Meeting with Board of Selectmen, 7:30 PM
Monday March 19, 2012

Present: Skip Patterson, Chairman, Pete Watson, Noreen Donahue, Pam Groswald, Bill Greenwood, Dana DeCosta,
Not present: Rich Larios, Jon Idman, Open Position to Replace Peter Hughes

  • Call to Order
Larry Ballantine, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, welcomed the Finance Committee to the joint meeting at 7:25PM.

  • Monomoy Regional School District Budget Presentation
Dr. Carolyn Cragin presented the updates to the Monomoy Regional School District Budget.  A handout was provided to indicate the reductions and the future adjustments still to be made. The original budget was $34,922,499 and reductions have been made to reduce the budget to $34,147,510.  

The transition grant requested was $500,000 and the MRSD had expected to receive $300,000 which is the amount given to the Ayer/Shirley regionalization.  However, we have been given $204,000.  Dr. Cragin has spoken to Representative Sarah Peak and Dan Wolfe to encourage this amount to be increased to $300,000 and is waiting for their additional review and decision.  We should receive further information by April 2, 2012.

David Ryan then presented a summary of a budget comparison for FY12 as requested which was the FY 12 budget for Harwich and the FY12 budget for Chatham combined and compared to the FY13 budgets for the MRSD.  Feedback was that the comparison is still confusing and that a simplified comparison will be needed to ensure everyone understands the situation prior to voting in May.

The budget is challenging for 2013 and 2014 but will reflect savings in 2015.  A five year operating budget would help to demonstrate this and to gain support for the MRSD.

The original shortfall for the Harwich portion of the budget was $2.4 million and this has gone down to a $1.2 million shortfall.  This is still a very sizeable shortfall and it is important to consider all options available to bring the budget in line.

Hugh Drummond, a resident of Harwich, has analyzed the numbers and is concerned with the split for Harwich.  He passed out his analysis to Jim Merriam who will copy and share with both the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee.

The current split being used in the budget planning is 72% Harwich and 28% Chatham.  This is based on a 3 year rolling average of all school age children in both towns.  Ed McManus noted that the split for Harwich is high, however the benefit is participation by the state in the building of the new High School.
All agreed that we need to support this project as it is beneficial to the Town beginning in year 3.  But we also need clarifications in the budget as noted and options available to address the shortfall as supporting data to sell the project.

  • Other Financial Discussions

  • Executive Session

  • Adjourn

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