MINUTES OF BOARD OF FINANCE
July 25, 2016
Present: W. Alvarez, Chairman; S. Clark; W. Mazzucco; J. Dolan; K. Yonkers ; P. O’Donnell
Also present: Finance Director Gniadek; Treasurer Meehan; Selectman Karvelis; Redding Board of Education Chairman Sara Sobel; a representative of The Redding Pilot; videographers; members of the public.
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF MEETING HELD JUNE 27, 2016
On the motion of K. Yonkers and the second of W. Mazzucco, the motion to approve the June 27, 2016 Minutes was approved as corrected: Page 2, second paragraph under “Tax Collector Report”, last sentence, change “Alvarex” to “Alvarez”; Page 3, first and second paragraphs under “Discussion of Fund Balance”, change “investment policy” to “fund balance policy”. S. Clark abstained.
- TAX COLLECTOR REPORT
Mr. Gniadek summarized an email from the Tax Collector’s office noting a total of $7.9 million with a large escrow payment outstanding.
- FINANCE DIRECTOR REPORT
For FY 2015-16, Mr. Gniadek noted receipt of a check from FD#2 and a revised projected negative variance of $7,000 in the Paramedic Alliance Account. Year-end estimate for expense savings is approximately $300,000.
The cemetery grant was not approved, however, extra funds have been budgeted and approved.
Eversource is contracted to complete interior and exterior lights at the Town Hall to LED in addition to interior lights at the Police Department. The net cost is $15,000 and will be spread out over 48 months as a no interest loan on Eversource bills. The Community Center was completed in 2015. The WPCC has agreed to discuss and review any potential savings at the Sewer Plant.
The audit process for FY 16 will begin in August
- TREASURER REPORT
Meehan noted receipt of a Mark Twain Library grant. The average daily balance was reviewed.
Mr. Alvarez asked Treasurer Meehan to provide any reports to be discussed at the BOF meeting to Finance Director Gniadek so he can 1) disseminate at the same time with other materials and, 2) also be timely posted on the website.
- FUND BALANCE POLICY REVIEW
Mr. Mazzucco reviewed his draft amendment to the fund balance policy re: Government Finance Officers Association recommendations for a fund balance of at least two months’ of operating expenses instead of the current fund balance of 6% of the previous year’s operating budget. Discussion followed.
The draft motion will be revised and discussed at the August meeting.
- REPORTS FROM INDIVIDUAL BOARD MEMBERS AS ASSIGNED
Mr. Mazzucco reported that he will be meeting with S. Sobel, Gwen Denny, and P. O’Donnell in an effort to standardize and expand the annual delivery of information from school administration to the Board of Education and the Board of Finance to aid in the budget process.
On the motion of W. Mazzucco and the second of P. O’Donnell, the Board voted unanimously to add Declining School Enrollment as Agenda Item #7 and move Correspondence and Administrative Matters to #8.
7. DECLINING SCHOOL ENROLLMENT
Methods that neighboring towns are utilizing to address similar enrollment declines were discussed, including the hiring of a consultant. Mr. Karvelis suggested hiring a demographic consultant as opposed to an engineering consultant.
Sara Sobel reviewed past enrollment and current enrollment projections for this year, noting that the Board of Education relies on annual updates from its expert on demographics. K. Yonkers questioned whether the number of students departing has been considered.
Mr. Mazzucco reported on a conversation with First Selectmen Julia Pemberton, who was on vacation and unable to attend, in which she indicated that she was already working with Dr. McMorran and the Long Range Planning Committee on ways of dealing with declining enrollment, with respect to the needs and the resources of both the town and the school system. She anticipates discussing the issues further at a future meeting of the Board of Finance.
The Boards of Education of Redding, Easton and Region #9 will be included in future discussions with J. Pemberton.
- CORRESPONDENCE ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
J. Miller clarified the distribution charge for the new LED lights. Mr. Miller referenced an article re: ADA compliance and noted the relevance of the article to the Board of Selectmen, Board of Education and Board of Finance.
On the motion of K. Yonkers and the second of W. Mazzucco, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m.
Kristi C. Reilly