Approved Minutes of the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC)

Temple Town Hall

July 9, 2024


Members present       Others present

(in alphabetical order)      Ted Petro (select board)

Steve Andersen     

Rae Barnhisel  

Charlene Eddy

Paul Quinn


Meeting called to order at 7:04 pm

A.     Minutes:

May 28, 2024 meeting minutes approved as amended. Letter to Select Board regarding the Chris Weston clean-up still pending further information. Letter to Select Board regarding additional detail on OHRV donation approved and signed. June 25, 2024 minutes with attachments amended and approved. 

B.     Old business:

Members discussed a timeline for budget preparation and presentation to the public (see working draft attached).

C.     New Business

Members discussed the BAC’s meeting with the select board the previous evening in which Andersen, Barnhisel, and Quinn were present.

i)        Andersen had pointed out to the select board that the current voucher system has the select board sign off on expenses that have already been paid and therefore provides little oversight. He suggested that a system that relies on purchase orders or requisitions might be preferable.

ii)       Quinn reported on the warrant articles the select board was working on: new forestry truck, new photocopier, new mower (estimated at $4000), and an engineering study of the West Road “bridge.” Andersen had suggested adding a postal meter to the list. There was disagreement as to whether the select board was formally requesting that the BAC help investigate the items. Barnhisel and Petro thought the select board had not requested BAC involvement, but rather was keeping the BAC up to date. Andersen and Quinn thought the select board had specifically requested assistance. Petro pointed out the problems in having both boards simultaneously investigating issues. Eddy and Barnhisel felt a dual investigation would waste the BAC’s time.

(1)   Discussion on the forestry truck included concerns that the current forestry truck was a donation to the town via fund-raising rather than through appropriations based on need. Members felt the town should have no obligation to ensure such a vehicle exists without full justification.

(2)   Discussion on the photocopier included an offer by Quinn to look into the needs of the town and help determine a cost structure. Members felt it a good idea to have members individually looking into how much items cost since the BAC would have to assess the proposals at a later date.
There was discussion on the BAC’s recommendation to weigh in on monetary appropriations at the annual meeting and the question of how the BAC would “quantify need” when faced with a vote to recommend a specific item at the town meeting.

(3)   Discussion on the mower included Andersen’s request to get involved in investigating the item and the appreciation by the BAC members that it would be presented to the town as a warrant article rather than be embedded in the Highway Dept.’s budget.

(4)   Discussion on the West Road “bridge” included Andersen’s comment that Brian Kullgren wants to be involved in the process and would contact Tim Fiske, Road Agent. Barnhisel (planning board member) told the BAC that Fiske appeared before the Planning Board on April 16, 2024, with questions on which bridge to repair with the $60,000 appropriated through a 2024 town warrant article (Article 10) in anticipation of a state grant. Since repairing any of the 3 bridges that need repair (Powers Road, Putnam Road, North Road) would increase traffic and speed on those roads, the Planning Board chair suggested repairing West Road since traffic was already heavy on that road. T. Fiske had told the Board that the West Road “bridge” was not considered a bridge by the state because of its size. The previous evening, select board member Sherry Fiske, told the BAC that a study would be needed to declare the West Road a “bridge.” Barnhisel expressed concerns that the $60,000 appropriation was causing the town to spend money and effort without a stated need, that repairing a “bridge” that was not considered a bridge and ignoring bridges that needed repair was a waste of grant money, and that repairing the “bridge” on West Road would also result in faster speeds and more traffic. Petro encouraged the BAC to meet with T. Fiske. The BAC agreed to invite him to their next meeting July 23, 2024, to explain his rationale for wanting to expend the bridge grant monies on West Road.


Meeting adjourned at 9:15 pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Rae Barnhisel

July 23, 2024