REDDING BOARD OF FINANCE
June 27, 2016
Board of Finance: Alvarez (Chairman), Dolan, Mazzucco, O’Donnell, Yonkers
Also present: Finance Director Gniadek, First Selectmen Pemberton, Selectman Thompson, Tax Collector Moisio, Treasurer Meehan, four members of the public, a representative of the Redding Pilot and the videographers
Chairman Alvarez called the meeting to order on June 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm in the Hearing Room of the Town Hall.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance accept the minutes of the May 10, 2016 meeting as submitted. Mazzucco, Yonkers. Approved. Unanimous.
TAX COLLECTOR REPORT
Tax Collector Moisio reported that tax collections for FY 15-16 are just over the budgeted amount. 63 property parcels (this excludes the GLDC parcels) are not paid. Many of the Motor Vehicles tax bills have been returned as undeliverable, primarily due to the DMV issues. Her office will be going through all of the returned bills to make sure that the addresses are corrected.
The Suspense List was submitted for approval. This is the list of uncollected tax bills for personal property, motor vehicle and supplemental motor vehicle, from the 2012 Grand list. She noted that she anticipates payment of some of them. The Suspense List was signed by Chairman Alvarex
FINANCE DIRECTOR REPORT
Mr. Gniadek reported the Expense and Revenue Variance forecast for variances over $5,000 for FY 2015-16. On the Revenue side, tax collections, building fees, investment income, and conveyance/recording fees are forecasted with favorable balances. Zoning fee transfer station fees, Park & Rec, Pilot State Aid, and ECS State Aid are unfavorable.
On the Expense side, he anticipates favorable balances for Medical insurance, Pension Plan, gas/diesel, Park & Recreation, Police Department overtime, transfer station salaries, demo removal and recycling fees, and unemployment compensation, Treasurer fees, interest on ST Notes, retirement of notes, Paramedic Alliance and General Legal will be unfavorable.
Overall, Mr. Gniadek anticipates ending the fiscal year with a surplus to the budget.
Mr. Gniadek noted that the WPCC has used only $210,000 of their allocated $249,850. Jim Miller of the WPCC noted that the Wastewater Treatment Facility operation has a significant saving in energy use since the new membrane system was installed. In addition, the replacement of the drum screener was funded through the WPCC regular operating budget. Mrs. O’Donnell noted that the WPCC has been careful with the use of the Town’s money. Mr. Miller added that the operator, Veolia, is continually looking for cost savings measures.
Treasurer Meehan reviewed the current status of the Town’s funds. She commented that given the current issues in Britain, she does not anticipate interest rates going up any time soon.
REPORTS FROM BOARD MEMBERS
Mr. Alvarez asked for a board member(s) to work with the Redding Board of Education regarding the flow of financial information from that board to the Board of Finance. Mr. Mazzucco and Mrs. O’Donnell volunteered for that duty.
Dr. Yonkers has attended the Region 9 Board of Education Financial Advisory Committee meetings on behalf of the Board of Finance. That Committee is tasked with reviewing financial matters prior to them going the Board of Education.
Mrs. O’Donnell questioned why the Board of Finance meetings are at the end of the month when some of the data reviewed is almost a month old. Discussion followed. Mr. Alvarez commented that Board of Finance meetings follow the Board of Selectmen meetings, so that any issued addressed by the BoS can be dealt with by the BoF. Mr. Alvarez added that if the need arises, a special meeting can always be scheduled.
Motion: move to add to the agenda a discussion of the Fund Balance. Mazzucco, O’Donnell. Approved. Unanimous.
DISCUSSION OF FUND BALANCE
Mr. Dolan noted that the GFOA best practices call for a two month balance. The current Town Investment Policy states a minimum amount, but not a maximum amount. Discussion followed.
Mr. Mazzucco suggested that the Investment Policy be amended to reflect the minimum balance and a long term goal of increasing to a 2-month balance. Mr. Mazzucco will craft a motion for review and consideration at the July meeting.
James Miller, Middlebrook Pond Road: Mr. Miller asked for details on the average home value used for the Elderly Tax Benefit. Mrs. Moisio responded that Assessor Ford would have that information. Mr. Miller also commented on the cost of electricity and whether the transmission cost was the best available. Mr. Gniadek responded that the current commitment with Transcanada for transmission is locked in until December of 2017. He will check to see if better rates are available and the penalty for breaking the contract with Transcanada.
Jeanne Wendschuh, Deer Spring Road: Mrs. Wendschuh commented that the GFOA gives the 2-month of expenses for the Fund Balance as an example, not a definite number. They also provide a number of ways or systems for towns to determine what is best.
Motion: move to recess to executive session for a discussion of employee wage adjustment. Mazzucco, Yonkers. Approved. Unanimous.
Mrs. Pemberton and Mr. Thompson were invited to be present.
The meeting recessed at 8:27 pm
The Chair reconvened the meeting in public session at 9:00 pm
Motion: move to approve the transfer out of the Town’s 2016-17 contingency account, an amount of up to $89,000 to cover the wage increases for the 2016-17 fiscal year in accordance with the recommendation made by the Board of Selectmen. Mazzucco, Yonkers. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move to adjourn the meeting. Mazzucco, O’Donnell. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:01 pm.
Submitted by Mary Maday, Recording Secretary