The April 11, 2016 Town Meeting was called to order by First Selectman Pemberton at 7:42 pm in the Redding Town Office Hearing Room.
Present: First Selectman Pemberton, 45 members of the public, representatives of the Redding Pilot & Hello Redding and the videographers.
Election of Moderator:
Richard Emerson was nominated by Leon Karvelis to be the Moderator for the meeting. This nomination was seconded by Patricia Moisio and unanimously approved by those present.
Mr. Emerson presided over the remainder of the meeting. He called on Mrs. Grande, Redding’s Town Clerk, to read the Warning of the Meeting.
WARNING –NOTICE OF SPECIAL TOWN MEETING
The Legal Voters in the Town of Redding, Connecticut, and those entitled to vote therein are hereby warned and notified to meet at the Special Town Meeting to be held at the Redding Town Hall, 100 Hill Road, Redding, CT on Monday, April 11, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. for the following purposes:
“To consider and authorize:
- Funding of the Annex Building & Schoolhouse repairs from the Capital Nonrecurring account for an amount not to exceed $99,000, and;
- Funding for the 2017 Property Revaluation from the Capital Nonrecurring Account in the amount of $180,000.
- To approve and adopt a resolution authorizing First Selectman Julia Pemberton to execute on behalf of the Town of Redding an Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Agreement and a Conservation and Public Recreation Easement and Agreement with the State of Connecticut for financial assistance to acquire permanent interest in the land known as the Biehn Property, Redding, to be managed as permanently protected Open Space, and;
- To approve and adopt the Health Department Ordinance”.
To do any and all things legal and necessary to accomplish the above named purpose and to take any other action that may legally come before the meeting.
DATED at Redding, Connecticut this 28th day of March, 2016.
BOARD OF SELECTMEN
Julia Pemberton, First Selectman
Leon Karvelis, Selectman
Michael Thompson, Selectman
Mr. Emerson noted that he had received certification of publication of the Legal Notice and directed that it be filed with the minutes of the meeting.
Motion: move to accept the Call of the Meeting as read. Motion by Patricia Moisio, seconded by David Pattee, and unanimously approved.
Mr. Emerson called for a motion on item #1.
Motion #1: Funding of the Annex Building & Schoolhouse repairs from the Capital Nonrecurring account for an amount not to exceed $99,000, Motion by Joseph Buonomo, seconded by Charley Couch.
There was no discussion on the motion
Vote on Motion #1: Approved. Unanimous.
Motion #2: Funding for the 2017 Property Revaluation from the Capital Nonrecurring Account in the amount of $180,000. Motion by Joseph Bonomo, seconded by Charley Couch.
Discussion: Easton Ragsdale asked why the revaluation expense was not included in the regular operating budget. First Selectman Pemberton responded that each year, for three years, the operating budget included $60,000 for the revaluation process. This action is required to expend the funds.
Vote on Motion #2: Approved. Unanimous.
Motion #3: To approve and adopt a resolution authorizing First Selectman Julia Pemberton to execute on behalf of the Town of Redding an Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Agreement and a Conservation and Public Recreation Easement and Agreement with the State of Connecticut for financial assistance to acquire permanent interest in the land known as the Biehn Property, Redding, to be managed as permanently protected Open Space. Motion by David Pattee, seconded by Wally Pearlman.
Discussion: James Miller asked for a description where the property is located. First Selectman Pemberton provided the description that was included in the grant application for funding. The property is located at 18 Hill Road, or the Southeast corner of Route 53 & 107. The purchase is being funded through a grant of $170,000 to the Town for the purchase, $170,000 from the Redding Land Trust and $60,000 from Aquarion Water. She noted that the property is an important water resource and open space.
Stuart Green commented on the beauty of the property and importance to trail opportunities.
Jeanne Wendschuh asked what is meant by permanently protected open space. Michael Lavelle, the Town’s attorney, responded the Town is acquiring title to the property and granting permanent easements. These easements are a requirement of the grant. The Town of Redding is giving up the right to develop the property. Mrs. Wendschuh asked about the impact on the Town’s taxation. Mrs. Pemberton responded that currently the property tax is about $9,000 yearly. With the change, there will be no property tax revenue for the town. Mrs. Pemberton added that the parcel, if developed, would likely only yield one buildable lot due to the complexity of the topography.
Easton Ragsdale asked who would be the owner of the property. Mrs. Pemberton responded that the property will be co-owned by the Town of Redding and the Redding Land Trust, with a permanent easement granted to the State of Connecticut and a secondary easement granted to Aquarion.
James Capro questioned why the property could not be developed, with at least one property so the Town could get some property taxes. Mrs. Pemberton responded that two appraisals of the property showed that the parcel could only yield one parcel; another appraisal indicated the possibility of 4 parcels. Any parcel would be extremely difficult to build on due to the topography, and would require extensive access easements to the individual parcel.
Vote on Motion #3: Approved. Unanimous.
Motion #4: To approve and adopt the Health Department Ordinance. Motion by James Miller, seconded by David Pattee
There was no discussion.
Vote on Motion #4. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Special Town Meeting be adjourned. Motion by Leon Karvelis, seconded by Patricia Moisio. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 7:57 pm.
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary