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Quarterly Financial Reviews from Mendon Departments

Mendon department heads came before the Board of Selectmen to provide a quarterly financial review to the Board of Selectmen during an October 15 meeting. In attendance were Senior Center Director Amy Wilson Kent, Highway Surveyor Alan Tetreault, Taft Library Trustee Susan Darnell, Police and Fire Chief Ernest Horn, Finance Committee Chair Rich Schofield, and Assistant Assessor Jean Berthold.

With the budget process for the next Fiscal Year officially underway, the Board wanted to hear from department heads as to how their current budgets were holding up four months into the fiscal year.

Berthold kicked off the discussion stating that receipts "were holding up pretty well." She also reported the second distribution of the town's meals tax brought in $26,170, making the total amount received thus far at $53,582. It is estimated that the meals tax will bring in approximately $85,000 to the town annually.

While Berthold's information was positive, Selectmen Michael Goddard described it as a "temporary enthusiasm" as he predicted Fiscal Year 2014 to be more difficult financially for the town than the current year.

Next, Wilson Kent reported that to date the Senior Center's budget was "on track." She said thanks to the Friends of the Mendon Elders fundraising efforts, costs related to the senior van were being defrayed, including $300 a month for gas. According to Wilson Kent, rides to medical appointments are on the rise and additional grants are being sought to help with the van.

Tetreault told the Board that 22 percent of the Highway's budget has been spent thus far, most of it on road repair and maintenance, and that for now he doesn't foresee any big problems with his budget. He said he's been preparing for the upcoming winter season as much as possible. "The salt shed is full," he said, adding that he has 5,000 gallons of liquid de-icing materials ready.

Darnell discussed the Taft Library's budget, stating it too was on target. She said thanks to the Friends of the Taft Library, $2,100 was raised for this year's popular Summer Reading Program. However, Darnell added that once again staff needed to apply for a state waiver in order for the Library to keep its certification.

According to Police and Fire Chief Ernest Horn, the Public Safety budgets are "tracking well, except for vehicle maintenance." Horn explained that a number of public safety vehicles are in need of replacement or major repair. He added that many of the vehicles' mileage are at the highest he's ever had at 200,000 miles and are therefore becoming unreliable.

Per Finance Committee Chair Rich Schofield, all preliminary level serviced budgets were expected to be handed in by each department no later than November 1 for the Fiscal Year 2014 planning.




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