AYER -- The Finance Committee talked about bringing a minimal budget proposal to the Board of Selectmen that would accommodate the operational needs of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board.

"I proposed at our last meeting that we look at fall Town Meeting to replace a small part of the budget so they could be a little more self-sustaining," said Chairman Scott Houde.

The proposal would consist of $1,500 to $2,000 for services, supplies and miscellaneous expenses of both boards.

FinCom clerk Pauline Conley suggested that if the committee decides to propose a budget, members should ask the boards how much money they require.

"I think it would be an excellent idea to ask the boards what they need," said Houde.

Voters eliminated the ZBA's and Planning Board's budgets in May. This eliminated the salary of administrator Susan Sullivan.

The ZBA is getting administrative support from selectmen. Town Administrator Robert Pontbriand or selectmen's secretary Carly Antonellis will attend ZBA and Planning Board meetings.

Houde said he reached out to former selectman Carolyn McCreary for guidance on the matter since she made the motion to cut the budget at last Town Meeting. He McCreary had a lot of support when she made the motion on Town Meeting floor.

"She seemed to lead the core for last Town Meeting in the spring, and if she doesn't want them to have a budget, I would respect that," he said.


Houde went over other matters, such as updates on the townwide curbside pick-up that was tabled Tuesday by selectmen.

He also briefly discussed a department-forecasting system that member John Kilcommins was working on. It is a set of questions he created to send out to town department heads as part of the fiscal 2015 budgeting process.

"I don't want to go into further detail until John comes back since he is taking the lead and he is not present right now," said Houde.

Houde aid he would put the department forecasting on the next agenda.

The next Finance Committee meeting will be Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.

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