Present at meeting:
1. Minutes from Meeting of September 4, 2002
2. Additions / Deletions to the Agenda
4. Fire Truck Bid: We have received (as of this draft) one bid for purchase of the 1977 International Pumper Fire Truck. The bid will be sealed until the meeting. I recommend the Board consider the bid carefully: if it is drastically low, I recommend declining the bid and re-advertising.
5. Mowing Machine Bid: We have received (as of this draft) two bids for this mowing machine. I recommend selling it to the highest bidder.
6. Winter Sand Rules and Regulations: In consultation with Public Works Foreman Mike Thornton, I recommend the following rules for winter sand use by contractors:
A. No sale of winter sand to contractors from the Town Pile once constructed.Motion:________________________________________________________________________
Motion Made By:___________________ Second to Motion: ________________________
Motion Passed / Failed by vote of :__________________________________________________
7. Public Works Garage Update: Please see attached letter to contractor Bob Ifill. Our floor problem has been resolved, and the remaining work will be completed soon. Our Public Works Department is in the process of moving into the facility. I will have more for you at the meeting.
8. Recycling Center Update & Fee Change Recommendations: 1. The data requested by the Board on volumes will be available at the meeting. Through a concerted effort by the staff at the recycling center, our public works department, and myself, much progress is being made on getting the recycling center cleaned out, better organized, and more user friendly.
In regard to the rate charged to outside communities to receive loose bundles of recyclable goods, I recommend increasing the rate from the current $32.50/ton to $100/ton. At the current volumes, I believe this would be sufficient to make receipt of such material worth our while. The alternative would be to reject these volumes, which would result in a much higher cost for both counties. I still believe these extra revenue would work well to off-set the extra labor costs we have incurred in getting better equipped to receive our current volumes.
9. Special Town Meeting Warrant: This warrant will be available at the meeting for your consideration and possibly for your signature.
10. MMA Tax Reform Proposal: 1. This item was tabled at the last meeting, but the Board was given a great deal of information on this proposal. I have included some more information in this agenda packet, including a possible resolution of support for the proposal. The resolution is important as it will allow non-election staff such as myself to collect signatures on a citizen's initiative petition to have the proposed question placed on the ballot in November 2003. The core of the proposal is to mandate that the legislature pay fully 55% of the annual cost for K-12 education. This is the current intent of the law, but the reality is that the State only pays around 43%, depending on the year. It also provides for 100% of all special education costs by the State. This will result in a shift of $200 million from the property tax burden to the sales and/or the income tax burdens. The legislation also calls for the legislature to take action to adopt a comprehensive tax reform plan over the next couple of years. MMA has a variety of component pieces to comprehensive tax reform which the legislature may or may not be interested in when the time comes. The current proposal also provides an incentive for the creation of cost-saving initiatives by school districts, municipalities and counties. The proposal is relatively simple, is just (it only solidifies an intention already written into law), and is a competitive proposal to the so-called Polesky tax-cap petition.
The Town of Greenville should support this legislation because it will put more money into our schools from sources other than the current property tax base. Each year at budget time, both the school board and the Board of Selectmen lament the high-cost of education. Two major drivers for this high cost are the mandated costs of special education and also the lack of full-funding of the current state funding formula for education. In short, we continue to pay through our local option budget costs which should have been borne by the State through payments of General Purpose Aid (GPA). If this proposal were to pass, both of these cost drivers would be limited in their impact to Greenville. The concept of a citizen's initiative is apparently necessary as the Legislature has yet to effectively reduce the property tax burden. This legislation will do so.
The one element NOT included in this proposal is a cap on spending at the local level. I am personally very opposed to any such cap on spending which would be imposed by the STATE on MUNICIPALITIES. If the voters of Greenville wanted such a cap, they could propose and implement it. Each year, the voters in Greenville work with the Board of Selectmen and myself to craft a budget they can live with. When the Town is faced with higher mandated costs (nondiscretionary), we cut spending on discretionary items. The Legislature can do the same thing if faced with a mandate by the people to increase their share of education spending by $200 million. I urge the Board of Selectmen to carefully review this proposal and to adopt it through a resolution.
11. Request for Tax Abatement – Greenville Housing Corporation: Attached please find a letter of request for a tax abatement from the Greenville Housing Corporation for the taxes paid by the corporation over the past three years. The reason for the abatement request is that the GHC recently received a ruling from the IRS, declaring their corporation a non-profit 501-c-3 since May 1974. Legal counsel has previously advised the Board of Assessors and the GHC that such an abatement would not be in order for a variety of reasons. I recommend that the Board have our counsel draft a letter of response to the GHC in regard to their abatement request.
12. Additions to the Agenda (if any):