CLARKSBURG -- The condition of the police department's garage, the creation of a revolving fund and the purchase of a new laptop were topics of a joint meeting of the Selectmen, Finance Committee and Chief of Police Michael Williams.
Finance Committee member Mark Denault said until more of the town's budget becomes clear, Williams' "wish list" items, like addressing issues with the police department's garage, couldn't be approved.
"I don't think anyone here will argue with you that if it doesn't get fixed, it'll fall down," Denault said, referring to the garage. "Whether there's money to do that this year, I don't know."
Selectmen Chair Carl McKinney said at the Wednesday meeting that using a group of volunteers to replace shingles on the roof and paint the building would greatly reduce the cost to the town.
"I think we can get the number down to $500 or $600," he said.
Denault expressed concern over a request for funds to fix a leaking foundation wall in the police department portion of the Town Hall.
"I think if it could be funded, it should be funded through the Town Hall expenses and not the police department," he said.
Another item of discussion was the purchase of a new laptop for the police department. Town Administrator Thomas Webb said the town had received a $2,500 Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) which could be applied toward the cost of the laptop. The grant must be used by May,
Williams said while the grant wouldn't cover the cost of the higher-end laptop he had researched -- a ToughBook with a five-year warranty -- it would cover a mid-range model with a three-year warranty. All in attendance agreed the department should act on the grant money before May.
"We can always look at a warranty later to cover that," Denault. "That grant will expire before town meeting, and you will lose that money."
A discussion on police officers being paid for traffic details led into talks on the creation of a revolving fund for the police department.
When officers are contracted by utility companies like Verizon to do traffic details, Williams explained, the money goes directly to the town's treasurer. He said 10 percent is deducted for an administrative fee for the town and deposited into the general fund before a check is cut for the officer.
However, Williams said some officers go two months without being paid.
McKinney said every fee collected, along with every payment from a contractor, could be put into a self-sustaining revolving fund. The town could use the fund to pay officers before contractors pay the town.
"Otherwise, we're going to be spending money the town doesn't have if we're cutting them a check," McKinney said.
Finance Committee members Denault, Laurie Aubin and Rebecca Buck were in agreement that the revolving fund was a good idea, as it would help ensure officers receive timely payment.
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