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Finance Committee Minutes 04/04/2012
TOWN OF HARWICH
FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
Griffin Room, Town Hall
Meeting 6:00 PM
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

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


I.      Call to Order
Skip Patterson called the meeting to order at 6PM.

II.     Request(s) for Transfer from Reserve Fund
None

III.    Monomoy Regional School Building Committee – Design and Budget
Dan Tavares, Dr. Carolyn Cragin and Ed McManus presented.
•       The Finance Committee stressed that they want to support the project and want the regionalization to succeed.  However, as a town, we are faced with only 2 votes, one being a potential override.  The committee needs facts to demonstrate that support.
•       Skip provided the attendees of the meeting with a cost comparison of the building project to the Ashland regionalization budget.
•       Dan Tavares and Ed McManus advised that a comparison cannot be made between Harwich and Ashland based on differences such as:
o       Ashland did not include an athletic field which they are adding now
o       The Ashland numbers are real numbers and Harwich numbers are a high estimate as a placeholder for the ATM
o       Ashland did not have Demo work as they were working with an empty site
o       Ashland did not have the cost of a septic system but did have the cost of sewer hook up
o       Ashland does not have high wind codes for windows
o       Many new building codes have been implemented since Ashland was build in 2003
•       Ideally Harwich would have had a real cost estimate before Town Meeting, however, we do not
•       A meeting will be held on July 25, 2012 with the Board of Directors and the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to determine what grants we will be able to get.  Meanwhile, the work being done now includes the site survey, geo-schematic survey and the hazmat survey.
•       Once these meetings, surveys and a review with the architect are completed, a detailed project budget will be completed.  The MRSD is confident that the amount will be less than $68 million.
•       David Ryan wanted to ensure that everyone understood that the vote on the warrant was to authorize the Town to borrow up to $68 million for the project
•       David Whitcomb, Chatham, noted that Chatham voted to support this project to expand student opportunities and this included the Athletic Field.
•       Linda Cebula noted that ineligible costs of the $5 million are:
o       Removal of Asbestos Tile
o       Demolition of the existing High School
o       Computers
o       Legal Fees
o       Moving Fees
o       Septic System may or may not be eligible
o       The total cap is 8%
•       Dan Tavares noted that we are out of sequence based on the ATM date.  We should have started 9 months ago to have a real cost estimate ready for the meeting.
•       Dr. Cragin noted that some of the existing fields are being used in the new plan however, the 5% reimbursement we get is only applied to the cost of the building if we use a model school for our school
•       Jeff Dykens noted that under the MSBA every school starts with 31 points them more is added based on income.  Chatham and Harwich are wealthy towns so we get less funding than other schools.
•       It was noted that initially the MRSD asked for $55 million for the project plus $10 to14 million for the remodel of the Chatham Jr. High School.  That would be a total of $65 to 69 million.  The remodel of the Chatham Jr. High School is no longer needed.
•       The MSBA reimbursements may not be as high as schools received prior to 2009.  This is due to the fact the MSBA began in 2007 and spent 2 years cleaning up and setting the process going forward.  Beginning in 2009 they had a 3 year moratorium to hold the original percentage allocated prior to 2007.
•       All agreed that we have to be conscious of how it appears vs how it is.
•       All agreed that to sell and support this, we must have data and not just words.
•       The Finance Committee and the MRSD Building Committee will meet on April 24, 2012 for an update.

IV.     Vote Articles Remaining
None

V.      Executive Session
None

VI.     Updates from Town Administrator/Finance Director
None

VII.    Old business
None

VIII.   New business
The Finance Committee meetings for April 18 and 21, 2012 are cancelled.  A meeting will be posted for April 24, 2012.

IX.     Adjourn
7:30 PM
















 
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