TOWNSEND -- As the beginning of fiscal year 2013 approaches, the Finance Committee is preparing for a fresh start while at the same time closing out the current budget period.
The committee welcomed a new member, Colin McNabb, during the June 21 meeting. McNabb is also a member of the Capital Planning Committee.
"We're really glad you came on the committee," Chairman Andrea Wood said to McNabb.
John Whittemore returned for another term. He is also on the Board of Assessors and is the fence viewer for Townsend.
Wood, who has been serving as acting chairman, was named chairman, John Whittemore as vice-chairman and Carolyn Smart as clerk.
One vacancy remains to be filled on the seven-person committee. Paul Nicoli and Carolyn Sellars left the board when their terms expired this year.
The town's new website is up and the committee discussed how to best use their page.
At this time, there is no way for people to make comments to the committee through the web page, Smart said.
"Do we want a mailbox and each of us can get into that?" Whittemore said.
"If we have recurring questions we'll know we're not making things clear. I think it would be very good," Wood said.
Sending alerts through the web could let people know when specific budgets are under discussion, she said.
The committee may request a small budget during the fall town meeting.
"If you are going to make me clerk, we're going to have to go with
"I think it's more important to get training," Wood said.
"I think we should have a small budget," Whittemore said.
The committee voted to rescind a reserve fund transfer of $10,100 approved at an earlier meeting with no discussion. The Fire Department originally requested the transfer to cover a payment on an ambulance and would transfer the amount back into the reserve fund from the ambulance receipts.
That type of transaction was not allowed by the Mass. Department of Revenue, so a transfer directly from ambulance receipts was approved at the spring town meeting to pay the bill, Town Administrator Andy Sheehan said.
"We were told that this type transaction is just a simple bookkeeping adjustment," Wood wrote in a follow-up email.
The committee unanimously approved three new municipal transfers.
The Board of Health requested a transfer of $154 from communications to salary and wages. "She (Carla Walter, health administrator) put in extra hours at the landfill and she'd like to be paid for it," Wood said.
The Highway Department requested a transfer of $5,000 from overtime to equipment repair. Because of the mild winter, there was money left in the account, Wood said.
The Police Department requested $10,000 to be transferred from salary and wages. It will be transferred to three different lines: $2,500 to energy, $2,500 to communications and $5,000 to professional services.
"He's been short on his expenses for some time," Wood said.
The Police Department transfer request has not been approved by the selectmen yet, Smart said.