3 Important entities share information
The Budget Committee’s first session of December was a full agenda, lasting just over two hours on Tuesday night. Jessica Bunker, the Executive Director of the Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce discussed two different chamber programs with the committee. Mary Menzies from the Littleton Community Center also spoke to the committee, as well as Chief Joe Mercieri and Captain Chad Miller from the Littleton Fire Department.
The Chamber of Commerce.
The downtown beautification projects, and their community events programs were discussed by the Chamber. Jessica Bunker shared that both of these programs align with the Chamber’s mission to help to “create a region unified by positive and sustainable growth through community and economic development“.
The downtown beautification project includes the flowers and flags on main street, the piano project, and general “marketing” or branding of the Main Street community to townsfolk and visitors alike. The success of the beautification project helped Littleton recently be named as one of the Best Main Streets in America.
The Gathering of the Jack-o-Lanterns and the Holiday parade are the two specific events that the Chamber hosts as events each year. The Gathering was a huge success this year with thousands of people attending and viewing the special event. Individuals from around the region joined through the mid day and into the evening to enjoy the festivities.
The chamber is presenting the town with two warrant articles this year. The first one is to raise and appropriate $11,150 to support the downtown beautification efforts. The second is to raise and appropriate $2,655 to support the community events programs. In total the Chamber will be requesting $13,805. This is nearly $2000 less than last year’s request.
Community Center Budget
Mary Menzies, the Treasurer of the Littleton Community Center joined the committee to help answer questions the board had about the Community Center. She shared that there are no specific warrant articles to present to the town this year. The standing appropriation of $35,000 will be asked for, however, no special warrant articles will be needed. She stated that this $35,000 covers about half of the operating budget of the building and it’s staff and upkeep. Nearly 26% of the budget is covered by rentals, another 53% is covered by town appropriation, and the remaining budget is covered through donations.
Recent improvement projects on the building have included electrical updates, roofing projects and a boiler replacement. The project’s cost were covered through a bequest from Francis and Mary Heald. A capital improvement plan was suggested to help offset future needs of the building. The Annex building is a work in progress as the historic assessments of the building must be completed before anything can be done.
Fire Department Budget
Chief Joe Mercieri from the Littleton Fire Department spoke along with Captain Chad Miller about some of the initiatives and focuses for the department. In addition, Karen Noyes, the Town Finance manager presented data pertaining to the budget for the Fire Department. Topics reviewed were CBA changes, full and part-time positions, their increase in rates of pay, insurances and .retirement.
There were some training costs that fluctuated, both up and down, for a total reduction of nearly $2,000. Chief shared the cost savings through having a selective hiring process. Potentially by avoiding individuals needing FF1 training, and leaning more on certified or pre-certified individuals, they can be more prudent with training funds. As a follow up, the Chief spoke of the importance of the CTC. The Career Center offers students as interns that come in as FF1 students learning on the job. Also covered were the increases in equipment and protective gear. Equipment costs increased more than expected due to changes in regulations
Other topics discussed with Captain Miller and Chief Mercieri were Callex and EMS services, joint calls with Police and Fire. They also discussed attaining “seed money” to cover matching funds on a grant for a new fire truck.
Full meeting coverage is available below.