There is perhaps no issue more important to voters than how you spend their money. This workshop will focus on developing a budget process and preparing, formulating, and communicating a town budget, the legal requirements for approving municipal bonds, and timely information about municipal bonds and stormwater funding opportunities. Selectboard members, town managers, town administrators, treasurers and finance directors, and other municipal officials who are involved in municipal budgeting and financial planning are encouraged to attend. Come learn what your town can do to ensure a sufficient return on taxpayer dollars.
8:30 Registration Opens (light breakfast provided)
8:55 Welcome and Overview
Abby Friedman, Director, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center
9:00 The Budget Process – Steps In Creating the Municipal Budget
Municipal budgets are one of the more important and fundamental responsibilities of local officials. This session will introduce budget concepts and best practices in the context of taking you step-by-step through the budget formulation process including following a budget calendar, establishing budget parameters, forecasting revenues and analyzing expenditures, facilitating the creation and review of department budgets, and putting it all together.
William Hall, Senior Financial Consultant, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center
10:30 Communicating Your Budget
Creating a budget is only half the battle. Now you need to pass it, which takes buy-in from the both the municipality’s legislative body and its voters. Because people don’t tend to support what they don’t understand, your budget needs to be more than just an Excel spreadsheet with the occasional graph or chart. It needs to be a communication tool. This session will introduce you to some best practices for how to communicate your budget.
Trevor Lashua, Town Administrator, Town of Waitsfield
11:30 Clean Water State Revolving Fund Opportunities
The passage of Act 185 this year amended the purposes of the Vermont Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Program and the types of municipal projects that are eligible for its low-interest loans. For many years, CWSRF loans have funded municipal wastewater systems, combined sewer overflow abatement, stormwater and wastewater separation, stormwater treatment, and other watershed projects. Under Act 185, CWSRF loans can be used for natural resources projects that protect and improve the quality of the waters of the state. DEC staff will summarize the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program and how it benefits municipalities.
Terisa Thomas, Water Infrastructure Finance Supervisor, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
1:00 The Vermont Municipal Bond Bank: A Resource for Municipalities
The Vermont Municipal Bond Bank provides municipalities with access to long term and low-cost financing. In this session, we will review the VMBB’s lending services, financial planning assistance, and the processes for loan application and repayment.
Michael Gaughan, Executive Director, Vermont Municipal Bond Bank
2:15 Municipal Bonding Legal Requirements
Municipalities commonly bond to borrow money to fund public infrastructure projects, and to do so they must work with bond counsel. The opinion of bond counsel is a form of assurance for issuers and investors alike that all legal requirements have been met and that the bond can go to market. In this session, we will summarize the legal and procedural requirements for municipal bonding, the bond authorization procedure, and the role of bond counsel.
Paul Giuliani, Esq., Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC
3:15 Conclusion and Completion of Evaluations
Payment may be sent in advance. If payment is not received by the registration deadline an invoice will be mailed. Checks should be made payable to VLCT and sent to 89 Main St., Suite 4, Montpelier, VT 05602.