WSWMD FINANCE COMMITTEE

THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 2020

WORKING SESSION – 6:00PM

CONFERENCE ROOM, WSWMD OFFICES, BRATTLEBORO 

MINUTES

 

MEMBERS PRESENT: Merrill Mundell, Chair, Wilmington; Patrick Moreland, Brattleboro; Russ Hodgkins, Westminster [via teleconference].

 

MEMBERS ABSENT: Jim Damato, Readsboro.

 

WSWMD STAFF PRESENT: Bob Spencer, Executive Director; Vicki Hayes, Office Manager/Bookkeeper [via teleconference]; Wendy M. Levy, District Clerk.

 

OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE: Doris Knechtel, BOS Newfane; Irvin Stowell, BOS Townshend.

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

Chair Merrill Mundell called the meeting to order at 6:03pm.

 

  1. CHANGES AND/OR ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA

 

There were none.

 

  1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES — NOVEMBER 14, 2019

 

Merrill asked the Finance Committee to approve the minutes from the November 14, 2019 meeting.  There were no amendments and no discussion.

 

MOTION BY PATRICK MORELAND TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 14, 2019.  RUSS HODGKINS SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED 3-0.

 

III. APPROVAL OF CHECK REGISTER — JANUARY 2020, FEBRUARY 2020 

 

Bob Spencer led the discussion on the January 2020, check register and noted there was nothing unusual to discuss.  Bob mentioned the payment on the loader would hereafter be made via electronic funds transfer to avoid WSWMD paying late fees.  Merrill Mundell asked about the payment for water testing, and said it seemed expensive. Bob said it is a mandatory annual testing of all wells and includes a report.  

 

Vicki Hayes led the discussion on the February 2020, check register, and noted there was nothing unusual.  Patrick Moreland agreed. 

 

MOTION BY PATRICK MORELAND TO APPROVE THE CHECK REGISTERS FOR JANUARY 2020 AND FEBRUARY 2020.  RUSS HODGKINS SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED 3-0.

 

  1. REVIEW OF FINANCIALS — JANUARY 2020, FEBRUARY 2020

 

Some highlights from the financial statements:

Bob reported revenues for cardboard have been down, but lately have been going up.  This explains why WSWMD is below the revenue side of the budget for the fiscal year.  

Bob noted Greenbacker will send a check soon for RECs (renewable energy credits) for Q3, in the amount of $44,000.  The Q4 will come later, and should bring revenues above the $50,000 budgeted amount. 

Vicki said other revenues should increase soon.  She reported a deficit for the current month, but expressed confidence in ending the fiscal year without a deficit.  Patrick asked if there was anything in the budget WSWMD could delay to ensure it breaks even. Vicki replied that she is confident WSWMD will end the fiscal year with a surplus, and she detailed some of her strategies for doing so, and noted possible challenges.

Bob reported a recent new revenue stream: purchase of annual access stickers  and day passes by customers who had not yet purchased the required stickers (effective July 1, 2019).  The scale-house staff implemented a mandatory check-in for all users, including those going to the recycling bins with no trash and therefore not going across the scale.  The result: within one ten-day period, from sale of the passes, staff brought in approximately $1,800.  

Vicki mentioned a refund of approximately $600-$700 over payment of  workers’ compensation insurance, and a $1,000 grant from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) to cover the cost of two new exterior security cameras.   

Bob noted WSWMD capitalized new infrastructure items: the addition of catch-basins surrounding the Swap Shop, which was a necessary repair.

 

MOTION BY PATRICK MORELAND TO ACCEPT THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR JANUARY 2020 AND FEBRUARY 2020.  RUSS HODGKINS SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED 3-0.

 

  1. WAGE AND SALARY REVIEW UPDATE

 

Bob reported WSWMD participated in the request for proposals (RFP) process for the wage study led by the Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD).  Bob said they received five proposals from the RFP, Vicki reviewed them, and they narrowed them down to three. Bob said he and Vicki recommended the proposal from Municipal Resources, as did both CSWD, and Addison County Solid Waste Management District,.  Bob noted Municipal Resources has conducted hundreds of these studies in New England, and mentioned the company’s efficiency, which keeps costs low. WSWMD’s share of the study’s cost is $2,500. Patrick approved of the cost.  

 

Bob said he wants the BOS to approve participating in the wage study because it could lead to adjustments in WSWMD’s wage scale. 

 

Bob shared some of the details of Municipal Resources’s proposal, and said WSWMD will receive a copy of the results in July for next year’s budgeting process.  Bob noted the company’s references checked out very well.  

 

MOTION BY PATRICK MORELAND THAT THE FINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMEND  THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ENDORSE THE WAGE STUDY. MERRILL MUNDELL SECONDED.  MOTION CARRIED 3-0.

 

  1. HEALTH CARE BENEFIT UPDATE

 

Vicki reported that in response to questions about staff Medicare benefits as compared to health insurance premiums, she has saved WSWMD about $7,600 this year.  Everyone thanked Vicki.

 

VII. AUDIT REVIEW

 

Vicki reported the audit came back “squeaky clean,” with no issues.  

Bob reported WSWMD can borrow against its post-closure fund, according to the audit, something he requested from the auditors.  

Bob reported the audit process was fast, due to Vicki being very organized.  He added the auditors asked him some questions, and it was a good process.  

Bob noted he uses the audit in WSWMD’s grant applications.  He said the cost of the audit was $8,300. Vicki noted the cost is worthwhile, especially because she can ask the auditors questions throughout the year.  

 

VIII. DISCUSS CAPITAL PLAN/BUDGET FY22

 

Bob said WSWMD needs a capital plan, especially for planning for organics.  Patrick agreed, and said it would be worthwhile for the entire organization.  Vicki said she and Bob will be updating the business plan for the composting operations, and she asked for help with it.  Patrick said he will help, he can commit to a few hours per week, and recommended the capital plan working group should have regular communications with the Finance Committee for the next few months.  Patrick also recommended the Finance Committee meet monthly for the next few months.  

 

Bob said he is evaluating the costs of increasing the capacity of the composting operation, which will require a change in WSWMD’s permit with the state.  He has already begun working with the state on this. Bob noted some possible issues with the current composting permit since the permit capacity is in cubic yards, but WSWMD utilizes tons as measured on the scale.  A discussion ensued on ways to measure the quantities of incoming food waste and other organic materials, the ramifications of a new permit for a larger composting facility, and the next steps in the process.  

 

Bob said in April he will complete a cost-analysis, and then the group can decide whether to consider a new permit for a larger facility, or to cut back on collections and announce the facility is at-capacity.  

 

Patrick requested Bob bring details to the BOS on the options of maintaining the existing facility, or expanding it.  

 

Merrill asked if it were possible to move the compost facility to the MRF building.  Bob replied that this wouldn’t be cost-effective. Merrill asked if WSWMD could open an additional compost facility.  Bob replied that it would be possible, but it would need a permit, and it would need to be on a parcel other than WSWMD property.  

 

Irvin Stowell noted the state is requiring municipalities to compost organic materials, but their regulations limit the size of the facilities.  

 

A discussion ensued on options, and whether WSWMD should challenge the state’s calculations as per the engineer’s information.  Many were in agreement with challenging the state’s calculations, and Bob agreed to pursue this.

 

  1. EXECUTIVE SESSION (IF NEEDED)

  

There was none.

 

  1. NEXT FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING

 

6pm on April 9, 2020, at the WSWMD offices.

 

  1. OTHER BUSINESS AS LEGALLY ALLOWED

 

There was none.

 

XII. ADJOURNMENT

 

MERRILL MUNDELL ADJOURNED THE MEETING AT 6:50PM.

 

Submitted by Wendy M. Levy, District Clerk.

 

This represents my understanding of the above dated meeting. If you have any changes, please submit

them at the next Finance Committee meeting.