The Finance Committee on July 25 came together to discuss and vote on inter-departmental money transfers to pay for budgetary overages that require balancing as the fiscal year draws to a close. Town Administrator Michael Gagne asked the FinCom to move $128,388 from the health insurance account to cover other municipal expenses.
From the documented list, Gagne asked for $2,060 for clerical assistance to the Board of Selectmen, $14,253 to pay for additional staffing hired to cover the Building Department due to illness of staff member, an additional $7,179 was needed for electrical expenses incurred for street lighting when fees changed, and hydrant rentals from the Town of Fairhaven was an additional $1,715.
The veterans benefits line item saw an overage of $17,603, but Gagne clarified that 75 percent of the total $117,603, of which only $100,000 had been budgeted, was reimbursed by the state, leaving the smaller sum pending.
Parks, which Gagne said included property known as the Holy Ghost Grounds on Park Street and now owned by the town, required repairs and improvements. These repairs mean that the main building may now be used by groups wanting to hold events or by the town itself such as the Recreation Department. The amounted needed to balance and close out the books was $7,400.
Additional and unplanned expenses associated with employment benefits were $20,200, which Gagne described as sick time and vacation buy-outs.
Vehicle lease obligations amounted to $3,168 for the Animal Control Department and the Council on Aging. And, the last sum being transferred from the health insurance account was $54,062 needed to cover health insurance deductible fees outside of health insurance coverage.
The committee moved to transfer the monies.
Requested transfers from the Reserve Fund in the amount of $81,537 covered such line items as $18,830 for legal costs, $20,870 for computer system upgrades, and $37,702 for sufficient repairs to keep the current town hall “livable”.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Finance Committee will be scheduled soon.
Mattapoisett Finance Committee
By Marilou Newell