Fire Commissioners – March 5 2015 – Meeting Minutes

Cotuit Fire District – Board of Fire Commissioners

Notice of meetings of District Department and all District Boards
As required by Chapter 28 of the Acts of 2009 which amends MGL Chapter 30 A

March 5, 2015 Special Budget
Meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners

Attendance: Fire Commissioner Mycock, Fire Commissioner Hadley, and Chief Christopher Olsen

Absent: Fire Commissioner Nailor

Amy Cates recording

Commissioner Mycock reminded everyone that this is a draft budget. Last year the budget was presented differently with the new employees already in the budget as opposed to a special warrant article. Should be able to compare last year with this year on a favorable note. At this moment, still don’t have a union contract.

Chief presented the first draft for FY16 budget. By-Law states that it must have at least four different items on the budget starting with Labor and Salaries, Maintenance, Operational Expense, Miscellaneous, and Special Appropriations,

Labor and Salaries goes from line 5113 to 5122 and at 5120 it goes into one lump sum-otherwise we at CFD break it down by line. Chief also put FY14 and FY15 to compare. The salaries show increases (though don’t have a union contract yet) and are following the last contract we were in. Labor and salaries are contractual. Chief has two schools of thought. Chief followed what was done in the past to prepare us for the budget that is the step increases. Commissioner Mycock feels it is required of us to need to know answers because if don’t have a contract; to be giving increases in his opinion doesn’t make sense. Commissioner Mycock feels we have exhausted old contract and need to make new contract to move ahead. Chief said then only salaries would be affected like in FY15 so that would stay the same. Commission Mycock said to go through both options and review. Chief is doing a step increase for FY16 that is in the current contract which includes subtle changes such as certain FF/Paramedic get increases for every year at CFD which was agreed upon by the board and union for negotiations and has been there since day one. Once reach top step, no longer able to get an increase. Hadley asked if had another line could be added that reflects which step the individuals are in.

5113 reflects the Chiefs salary. On line 5122, Commissioner Mycock asked why the jump up in salary. Chief would like to increase AA hours- currently is 15 hours part time right now could still keep her part time, maybe give her 20 or so. Commissioner Hadley responded to keep her below 25 hours from being a full time employee and getting benefits.
Altogether, $894,494.46 is the total increase including the contractual step increase of $26,583.77.

Overtime numbers increased to $422,008.77. This also includes $22,000 for recruit class, Commissioner Mycock asked what happens if need another FF—Chief didn’t budget for that as he is looking for academy trained people in the future or a call FF that is ready to move up, will approach and ask for that to be reviewed.

Sick leave-numbers are higher due high call out sick volume. Plus, hired two new FF have to accommodate time for them if needed. Commissioner Hadley asked if a policy is in place that if someone calls out for more than 3 days they bring in a Doctor’s note—Chief responded that yes that policy is in place. Plus, if they call out more than 8 days a year he will send a letter asking if everything is ok. However, according to the contract as long as they have a Doctor’s note it is their sick time to use. Commissioner Mycock feels the problem is the accumulated sick days-Commissioner Hadley agrees though this current meeting is not the time to discuss this topic. So sick leave increased up to $87,000 form $72,000 due to new FF and current increases.

Vacation pay went up because again new FF and current increases from $90,000 to $92,000

Holiday pay went up with hiring of new FF

Union leave went up because of price changes

Call FF has not had much of an increase over the past few years. Kept numbers strong for additional CF and education/training $110,000.

Labor and Salaries total $1,427,003.23 increased $26,504.89 for FY16

Maintenance for grounds, building and vehicles, protective clothing, uniforms, office, increased to $6,700. Examples of some maintenance needs are line 48 for CFD building needs new doors, and trim. Current vehicles need repairs. Protective clothing needs to be bought. Chief would like to start buying 2-3 new turn out gear slowly as opposed to buying them all at once. (1,800-2000 apiece and have to be replaced every 10 years) plus don’t have second set-they expired this year. Commissioner Hadley asked if someone leaves do they turn the gear in—Chief answered yes they must turn it in.

Operation Expense-increase of $32,200 in fuel, CF department, replacing Scott packs (2-3 a year)

Dues and membership –increased by $800 in case have need for BFA and Cape EMS to train us on site

Training and education-big jump $6,000 had paid for officers exam that a FF wasn’t able to attend and would like to budget to retake as is in contract. Will approach the Board at another time about this as was in contract to have officers’ exam every three years

Insurance increase-we paid more than what had in budget for line items. Have used insurance a bit more this year along with attorneys, and injury

Technology $2,000 extra to get the Fire House software update-this will help with daily logs, all access to vital information off site, and will store all vital information in a cloud to prevent loss of information if the computer system crashes. Currently have internet backup. Commissioner Mycock asked how computers were—Chief said maybe replace one or two next year.

Miscellaneous expense of $1,000, which always has to be there

Operating increase of $32,200 total operating budget of $65,404.89
Total budget went from $1.7 million $1.8 million

Special Appropriations– is used for big items to purchase. One item is the Chiefs vehicle, which has been an ask for a few years now (has almost 96,000 miles on car) Another is $550,000 for fire engine however, would like to discuss with the Board about possibly leasing a fire engine. The leasing options have been discussed in the Truck Committee (which Commissioner Hadley is a part of) Pricing for the first year is $120,000, and about $75-80,000 afterwards for 4 or 5 years for a lease to own. Many local fire stations are leasing from Pierce, Emergency One. Ferrara or a custom engine from Supine. Commissioner Hadley asked to have a comparison made by listing each company, vehicle options, and pricing to review. Chief said the truck committee would look into it. Commissioner Mycock would like to move towards looking into to how much it would cost to buy versus lease then consult the Treasurer thru the Prudential Committee so they can advise how to finance it. Commissioner Mycock feels leasing is the best option, but would like to review both options, and Commissioner Hadley would like to keep one of our engines (the best one) and rehab it. With a purchase of a new fire engine the total Appropriation is $391,404.89.

Committee will review budget and discuss at meeting on March 19, 2015 at 1:00

Chief mentioned the Prudential meeting on 3/23 and was decided that the Chief will give them a draft of the budget. Discussion was made to possibly have a shorter meeting to discuss budget just before Prudential Meeting with open and closing of meetings done correctly—still undecided.

Public Sections not listed on Agenda-no comments

Motion Made by Commissioner Mycock to adjourn the meeting, was seconded to end the meeting

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