FY22 Transfers Approved

The Rochester Finance Committee took care of some housecleaning items for Fiscal Year 2022 with Finance Director Suzanne Szyndlar during its public meeting on Monday night.

            Two year-end transfers were unanimously approved by vote, one for $96,872.80 and another for $30,632.

            The latter was handled first and was relatively simple, as $30,632 was moved from the Reserve Fund for the treatment of snow and ice. Szyndlar explained that even if it is not a snowy year, the Highway Department still needs to treat Rochester’s roads with salt and sand.

            The Finance Committee did not hesitate to support the transfer of $96,872.80 from Highway Department salaries, group health and Medicare budgets to salary budgets for assessors, tax collector, Police and Fire, EMT, Building and Electrical inspection services, gas, and library and for sick leave and town insurance. However, the motion was not voted upon without some informative discussion.

            Finance Committee Chairman Kris Stoltenberg asked Szyndlar if the Police Department’s needs emerged by surprise. Szyndlar said yes, indicating that Chief Robert Small has recently dealt with the challenge of changing personnel, “a couple of officers out,” part-timers covering overtime shifts and an officer having left for another town, necessitating coverage while hiring a replacement.

            Rochester had a treasurer retire this year so it was necessary to cover the transition with an $11,095 transfer, part of the overall $96,872.80. The $11,095 figure was the result of turnover with key department heads requiring coverage, training of replacement, overlapping employment and accrued benefits predetermined by contract.

            The increase in the cost of fuel necessitated an extra $20,000, and group health insurance is based on an estimate, reaching in excess of $63,000.

            Earlier in the day, Szyndlar was appointed by the Select Board to the Board of Assessors to fill the term of Debra Lalli, who retired from her position. Ironically, Lalli was a candidate to continue serving on an appointed basis, but the Select Board chose Szyndlar, the former town administrator/town accountant now working three days per week in the newly created role of Finance director. She will serve the term on the Board of Assessors until the next town election.

            “I’m very aware of what I just jumped into,” said Szyndlar, who will be attending board meetings with Board of Assessors Chairperson Jana Cavanaugh and board member Diana Knapp.

            In conclusion, Szyndlar reported to the Finance Committee that “revenues look very strong for FY22 as I’m closing the books.”

            Stoltenberg asked about process going forward, and Szyndlar said that henceforth Town Administrator Glenn Cannon will be the point person for the committee’s budget-based correspondence.

            The next meeting of the Rochester Finance Committee will be scheduled in December when the committee begins its winter-long process of budget review for FY24.

Rochester Finance Committee

By Mick Colageo

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