Board of Finance Special Meeting
Monday, December 18, 2017
6:30 p.m., Redding Community Center
Present: Dr. Kim Yonkers, Chair; Ward Mazzucco; Susan Clark; Robert Dean; Jamie Barickman; Edward Miller, seated at 6:38 p.m.
Also present: First Selectman Julia Pemberton; Selectman Peg O’Donnell, at 6:43 p.m.; Michael Thompson, Selectman; Director of Finance Steve Gniadek; Treasurer Wes Higgins; members of the WPCC; members of the public; videographers.
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
1. Funding Options for Capital Projects.
Steve Gniadek reviewed the potential funding options for capital projects. Funding was discussed as it relates to the scope of the WPCC project. First Selectwoman Pemberton noted that the Local Capital Improvement Projects grant may be used to fund the John Read bridge replacement and thus may not be available for the WPCC project.
Mr. Gniadek reported that 5-7 years is the estimated useful life of the WPCC membrane replacement. Jim Miller stated that he did not state a useful life figure. Mr. Gniadek noted that it is fiscally conservative to obtain a funding term that correlates to the length of the equipment.
First Selectwoman Pemberton questioned why the unassigned fund balance isn’t a better option. Mr. Mazzucco noted his concerns re: state aid reduction. A list of capital projects for FY 18-19 were delineated by First Selectwoman Pemberton. Mr. Miller suggested 3-5 year financial planning which was confirmed by First Selectwoman Pemberton.
On the motion of Mr. Mazzucco and the second of Mr. Dean, the Board voted unanimously to supplement to the prior motion of 11/27/17 (which recommended the expenditure requested by the WPCC) to finance the capital portion of $688,000 with a 5-year municipal lease in accordance with the term sheet that Steve Gniadek provided dated 12/11/17.
Mr. Higgins questioned the lease rate. Mr. Gniadek responded that it is based on a swap rate of 2.14% but may change depending on when the agreement is signed. Mr. Miller stated that the Board should comply with the Town bidding policy. Mr. Gniadek will attempt to secure additional quotes. Mr. Gniadek spoke to the benefit of a municipal lease and the amount to be financed was confirmed as $688,000.
On the motion of Mr. Mazzucco and the second of Ms. Clark, the Board voted unanimously to amend the motion to add to the end “or any better municipal lease terms that Mr. Gniadek may locate and the balance above $688,000 (reflecting the costs incurred by the Town while the sewage treatment plant was shut down) would be drawn from the unassigned fund balance.” Mr. Dean concurred with the amendment.
2. To review FY 2016-17 CAFR Audit Report (Scott Bassett-RSM, LLC)
Scott Bassett from RSM, LLC was present to review the audit report, still in draft form. Mr. Mazzucco suggested accelerating the process next year so the review is of the final report instead of multiple draft reports.
On the motion of Mr. Mazzucco and the second of Ms. Clark, the Board voted unanimously to approve the CAFR Audit Report as presented subject to minor corrections by the Board of Finance, Auditor, Director of Finance or consultants. Members and consultants were asked to provide comments to Mr. Gniadek within the next few days.
3. Public Comment
Jenifer Wyss noted receipt of the draft Audit Report today and would like the opportunity to review in full and made additional changes regarding her concerns.
On the motion of Mr. Mazzucco and the second of Mr. Barickman, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn the Special Meeting at 7:42 p.m.
Kristi C. Reilly