Budget Commission considers East Providence Finance, HR, Planning requests

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EAST PROVIDENCE — Following a number of previous discussions on the topic, the East Providence Budget Commission gave its final approval of Finance Director Malcolm Moore’s department reorganization plans.

The Commission did so at its meeting Thursday, Feb. 14, in Room 306 at City Hall.

Since coming on board late last summer, Mr. Moore had been evaluating the structure of the Finance Department and ways to go about making it a more stream-lined, efficient organization.

After a couple of attempts to gain Commission consent on a plan, Mr. Moore finally received acceptance Thursday.

As part of the restructuring, the hiring of a new purchasing agent was approved. The process well underway, Mr. Moore, new Human Resources Director Kathleen Waterbury and state advisor Heather Martino recommended the hiring of Gerald Leach for the position. Mr. Leach, of Woonsocket, scored the best through the interview and evaluation process. He would be hired at a salary of some $63,000 a year with a total package, including benefits, of roughly $97,000.

In addition, Finance will in the future have a Deputy Director, second in command of the department to Mr. Moore. The person will be hired at a salary rate of about $74,000 and a total budgetary impact of just over $111,000.

A Senior Accountant position to be filled would have a total annual budgetary impact of just over $96,000. The position of Treasurer to be filled comes as an annual total cost of just over $120,000. And the total package for a system technical manager position would cost just over $76,000.

In all, Mr. Moore’s reorganization plan has a projected savings to the city from the previous structure of just over $30,000 per year.

HR emergency hire

Ms. Waterbury received Commission approval Thursday for the temporary hire of a clerk in the Human Resources Department. The immediate need occurred due to the recent long-term leave of absence of an existing employee.

The temporary worker would assist in benefits administration. Former city employee Margaret DiIorio was expected to be hired for the job per the “75-Day Rule” for retired employees. She would receive pay between $5,400 and $9,450 depending on the numbers of hours required.

Another Finance note

Mr. Moore, during his bi-weekly update of city cash flow, told the Commission East Providence secured an initial $5 million in a draw-down Tax Anticipatory Note (TAN) account with Webster Bank on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Another $5 million is expected to be drawn in early April.

Mr. Moore said cash flow into the city remains on track and steady. He also remained confident the total borrowing of TANs for city operations should remain in the $20 million range for Fiscal Year 2012-13.

Planning note

Besides receiving approval to attend to repairs at the Looff Carousel, the Budget Commission backed another request from the Planning Department.

Planning can finalize the sale of a property it refurbished with grant money at 78 Anthony Street. The Planning Department used a combination of state and federal grant monies, including assistance from R.I. Housing, to rehabilitate the house. Renee Francis won a lottery conducted by the Department, which was open to moderate income purchasers.

Accessor request

City Tax Accessor Steven Hazard’s request to hire an appraiser with specific expertise on the subject was accepted by the Commission. The appraiser will be brought in at a cost of $18,800 to give the city guidance on how to evaluate taxation of 782 acres of Exxon-Mobil waterfront property.

Next meeting

The next Budget Commission meeting takes place in Room 306 of City Hall Thursday, Feb. 28, at 3 p.m.

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