The Town Council of the Town of Tiverton, County and State aforesaid held a Special Council Meeting on Wednesday, the 29th day of January 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the Tiverton Town Hall, 343 Highland Rd.




Council President Hilton, Councilor Clarke, Councilor Cook, Councilor Driggs, Councilor Edwards and Councilor Perry

Vice-President deMedeiros was absent

Town Administrator Jan Reitsma, Town Clerk Mello were also present


Council President Hilton called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.




Overall Discussion, Review, and Potential Preliminary Votes on FY 2020/2021 Budget, Including Individual Line Items, as Previously Submitted by Town Administrator


Administrator distributed backup documentation on capital expense for public safety and fire department.


Council President Hilton suggested Council focus on the relatively easy budget accounts beginning with Town Administrator, Clerk, Board of Canvassers, etc. and leave bigger departments and capital for next meetings.


Administrator stated difficult budget involving landfill closure and recycling center.  Recommends Council resolution using casino money directly to pay capital for relief. Per Charter this is preliminary budget and final budget will be submitted to Budget Committee in March.  Too early for Department Heads to estimate revenue also due later in March. State aid will not be known until March or April.


Councilor Driggs concerned with no concept on revenue it is difficult to set budget expense numbers. Questioned long term capital plan.  Administrator updated.  Salary increases reflective of contracts.  Dept Heads proposed 2% but subject to change.


Councilor Hilton addressed in July the State Department of Revenue published all municipal tax rates in Rhode Island. Tiverton was ranked 26 of 39 communities in RI.


Debt Service

Administrator suggested holding off on debt service until Treasurer can make meeting.


Town Council Accounts

Councilor Hilton suggested leaving Contingency Account as is for now.  Salary amounts for AFSCME and Teamster recently settled contracts included in that account.  Administrator added once the salaries are taken out it will only leave about 20k in that account.


Town Clerk – Nancy Mello

Clerk submitted slightly different budget to Budget Committee than reflected in Administrator recommendation, increasing Deputy Clerk Salary from 1.75% to 2%. Clerk salary 2% increase.  AFSCME staff salaries in contingency account not yet disbursed to departments. Longevity down due to change in staff, supplies up by $1000.  Computer service account under Administrator. Copy machine by lease contract.

Overall 2.38% increase. Small increase in recording, currently running short. Overtime used for Council meetings.


Board of Canvassers

Increase in restricted election account due to presidential primary and general election.  Current restricted account will be used for Presidential Preference Primary in April. Slight increase in supplies and computer service due to added cyber security requirements and State mandates for elections.  General primary will be held the day after Labor Day and that will require a lot more overtime to open schools and staff for setup.



Remains level funded.


Probate Court

Software up $300. Vender was bought out by new company and that is the contractual amount.  Supplies and recording had not been increased in several years and needed for increase in volume of probate.  Judge salary level funded several years.


Administrator addressed IT Consultant account increase. Currently working with Dave Robert looking for most cost-effective way to change to cloud based.  Current windows 7 operating system is security issue, need to go to windows 10. Gradually upgrading PC’s.  Funding for this is also in capital account.


Councilor Clarke questioned cost recently spent on police and fire computer upgrades.  Councilor Edwards questioned the electric accounts with new supplier and if that would impact cost.  Administrator conversion to LED and street lighting had complications with National grid.  Retro in buildings, not sure how successful.  Cost electric going up.  Edwards addressed School Department is looking at solar on roofs of schools, should address on municipal buildings.


Administrator stated police pension legal services factored in legal account. Councilor Edwards stated police pension attorney should be paid by Plan. Need good advice on investments, should pay for itself. Used to have legal service attendance at meetings.  Town went out for RFP and at least 2 responded.  Administrator will check with Solicitor if need to go back out for RFP.


Legal Services

Prosecutions are down. Labor will be needed to begin police contract that expires 7/1/21. Chance could reduce this amount. Rewrite code is 15k, need Planner.


Tax Collector – Toni Lynn McGowan

Based on 5-year historical comparison.  New programs, higher level of responsibility. Administrator informed increased salary last year as Collector was under paid.  This year requesting 3% increase. Works 25 hours. Consulting services up $1000, paid to collection service for delinquent tax accounts.  Last year averaged $6400 in collections. Consultant firm is paid 20% of their collections. DMV works with municipalities to block vehicle registrations for delinquent taxes.


Tax Collector requesting capital funds for upgrade of software.  Microsoft won’t support existing Vision program used by Collector and Assessor after end of this year.  Requesting 30k next fiscal year but expect total cost around 60k. Amount to be set aside in restricted account and complete funding in following year. Collector does not take health care, just life insurance. Discussed increase of hours.


Tax Sale

Account remains level.



Library Board of Trustees will be voting on their budget on February 10th.  Council will address

at next meeting.


Next meeting will be scheduled on February 4th. Added accounts to address on that date will be Treasurer, Land Use, Building, Planning, Tax Assessor, Senior Center and DPW.


Capital will be addressed separately at end of process. Operating budget increase proposed is 2.9%.  Need to look for opportunities to cut operating and capital expenses.




Councilor Perry motioned to adjourn, seconded by Councilor Driggs.  Motion passed unanimously.


The meeting adjourned 9:25 p.m.


A True Copy.


ATTEST:   _______________________________

                         Nancy L. Mello, Town Clerk


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