Present: Alvarez (Chairman), DeSalvo, Dolan, Mazzucco, Yonkers
Also present: Finance Director Gniadek, Treasurer O’Donnell, Tax Collector Moisio, First Selectman Pemberton, Selectman Karvelis, Selectman Thompson and six members of the public. The meeting was video recorded by Bob Moran
Chairman Alvarez called the November 25, 2013 meeting to order at 7:31 pm.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Motion: move to nominate Mr. Alvarez for Chairman and Mr. Dolan for Vice Chairman. Motion by Mr. DeSalvo, seconded by Mr. Mazzucco. Approved. Unanimous.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to approve the minutes of the meeting of October 28, 2013 as submitted. Mazzucco, DeSalvo. Approved. Unanimous.
APPROVAL OF CORRECTION OF September 23, 2013 MINUTES
Motion: move that the minutes of the meeting on September 23, 2013 be corrected and approved. Yonkers, Mazzucco. Approved. Unanimous.
Correction: page 2, the motion to approve Funding of Capital Projects omitted one of the items being approved.
DISCUSSION AND ACTION ON FUNDING OF BOARD OF SELECTMEN APPROVED CAPITAL PROJECTS
The four capital projects approved by the Board of Selectmen were reviewed.
- Stepney Road Bridge $ 739,000
- Highway Dept Garage Addition 300,000
- Transfer Station Dumpster Roof 192,845
- CC Field Maintenance Equip Bldg 71,000
- CC Permanent Gym Storage 55,000
Mr. Alvarez noted that since each of the projects has a useful life of more than 25 years, long-term financing would be appropriate. Treasurer O’Donnell stated that the Town has a BAN that is due to roll over in December, and that would be a good time to include the additional funding.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance recommend the four projects, Stepney Bridge Project, Transfer Station Dumpster Roof, Community Center Field Maintenance Equipment Building, and the Community Center Permanent Gym Storage for short-term borrowing pending long-term financing. Mazzucco, DeSalvo. Approved. Unanimous.
The correct motion should read as follows:
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance recommend the five projects, Stepney Bridge Project, Highway Dept. Garage Addition, Transfer Station Dumpster Roof, Community Center Field Maintenance Equipment Building, and the Community Center Permanent Gym Storage for short-term borrowing pending long-term financing. Mazzucco, DeSalvo. Approved. Unanimous.
Len Barry, Picketts Ridge Road: Mr. Barry asked that the Board of Finance consider incorporating the capital project expenditure requests in the operating budget, or bring them forward for approval along with the operating budget approval. He asked specifically that the road maintenance be included in the operating budget, commenting that the Redding roads were in bad shape and needed attention. Mr. Alvarez invited him to attend the Board of Selectmen Budget Workshop on January 10, 2014.
APPROVAL OF 2014 MEETING DATE CALENDAR
The meeting dates for 2014 were reviewed.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance approve the meeting dates for 2014 as submitted. Mazzucco, DeSalvo. Approved. Unanimous.
TAX COLLECTOR’S REPORT
Tax Collector Moisio reported that, as of today, 53.8% of the budgeted taxes had been collected. Mrs. Moisio is working with Assessor John Ford on the “orphan” parcels of land to determine ownership. In one case, the parcel is used as access to four properties, in another a well serving an adjacent home is on the parcel. She will have more information at the next meeting. Mrs. Moisio reported that the Tax Reminder notices will be mailed out next week.
FINANCE DIRECTOR REPORT
Mr. Gniadek highlighted his written report.
- Revenues: Mr. Gniadek reported the Building Department fees are at $85,000 for the first four months, compared with $55,000 last year at the same time. The Department’s annual budget for revenue was set at $176,000.
- Audit Report: Mr. Gniadek reported the draft report will be sent out early next week to board members. He asked that questions be submitted prior to the December 16 joint meeting with the Board of Selectmen and Board of Education. He also suggested that the board schedule a special meeting that night at 7:00 pm to review the Audit Report with representatives of Blum Shapiro.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance schedule a Special Meeting on December 16, 2013 at 7 pm for the purpose of review and discussion of the 2012-13 audit report. Dolan, Mazzucco. Approved. Unanimous.
- Budget work for fiscal year 2014-15 has begun. The Budget Calendar and instructions were distributed. The Board of Selectmen Budget Workshop is scheduled for Friday, January 10, 2014. Mr. Alvarez suggested the Board of Selectmen consider rescheduling that meeting for a Saturday to allow for greater attendance.
- CCM Legislative Update: Mr. Gniadek provided information from the CCM Legislative Update. He called attention to page 17, Public Act 13-60 Financial Efficiencies which specifically mentions a new requirement for Board of Finance related to budgets.
- Board of Education Enrollment: Board members were also sent the November 2013 Board of Education Enrollment Projection Report for review.
Treasurer O’Donnell submitted a written report of the Town’s cash balances. The cash balance in the General Fund was $11,865,574. The cash balance in the Capital Nonrecurring is $859,797, and that reflects encumbered items, RES/JRMS Security Upgrades &School Improvements.
- BAN: The rollover of the current BAN and recently approved funding is scheduled to close on December 19, 2013.
- Four additional electronic CDs (General Fund) have been purchased. One will replace a Reserve Fund CD that matures on November 29. These will be funded as of November 21. The maturing CD will pay $882 of interest to the Reserve Fund.
- FICA: Stone Castle Partners offers a FICA product which requires a $1,000,000 investment, this is another alternate investment.
- Mrs. O’Donnell was asked to prepare a spread sheet that reflected both the laddering of investments and the investment goals and the Town’s monthly requirement for funds. Mr. Alvarez, noting that some Reserve Funds are encumbered, offered to help.
- Peoples Bank offers a money market account, but requires a $2,000,000 deposit.
- Banking relationship: The committee (Mrs. Moisio, Mr. Gniadek and herself) are completing this work. A few items remain to be ironed out to assure the comparison of services and fees are comparable. In the meantime, Mrs. O’Donnell has changed the signatories on the Town’s accounts to reflect the current administration.
Dr. Yonkers and Mr. Mazzucco provided a report on their meeting with several members of the Redding Water Pollution Control Commission (WPCC). Dr. Yonkers noted that the loan to the WPCC to cover operational and capital needs is just below the amount that GLDC owes the WPCC for operations. Each month, GSTD (Georgetown Special Taxing District) is billed for $23,975. The amount is the “delta” payment agreed to by contract for the operation of the plant until the GLDC project is up and running. GSTD has not made the “delta” payment since 2009, and the total due as of November 1, 2013 is $1,234,497.18. To date, the Town loan to the WPCC is $1,105,000 less $4,286.25 FEMA check, for a total of $1,100,713.75. Mr. Mazzucco noted that, since GLDC owes more than $2,000,000 in real estate taxes, secured by a first lien, the lien for the “delta” amount is jeopardized further.
Dr. Yonkers suggested consideration be given to finding revenue from other sources to offset the operational costs of the plant. Rich Regan, Chairman of the WPCC noted that the plant capacity is governed by contractual agreements. The original plant was expanded and paid for in Phase 2 for Meadow Ridge. The Georgetown usage allocation was increased in that expansion to 30,000 gallons per day. The Meadow Ridge allocation is 45,000 gallons per day. Phase 3, paid for by GLDC, expanded the plant and added 170,000 gallons for that project. The total capacity of the current plant is 245,000 gallons per day, and the plant is currently functioning at 50,000-60,000 gallons per day.
Discussion of the GLDC project followed. The current valuation of the GLDC property was also discussed. Mrs. Moisio noted that the property consists of 111 individual parcels of property, all a part of by the approved Master Plan. The Town of Redding has placed a lien on the property for unpaid real estate taxes and for the amounts owed to the WPCC. Assessor Ford is compiling valuation data for the GLDC property and this will be sent to board members.
The WPCC was asked to investigate the option of accepting waste from outside septic haulers. They were asked to return to the January meeting with information regarding that option, including permitting issues, cost to retrofit the plant to accept outside waste, and potential revenue stream.
Board members discussed the potential of incorporating the WPCC operation into the Town’s operation budget. First Selectman Pemberton stated that she has requested that the WPCC budget be reviewed along with the other department budgets for review and discussion at the January Budget Workshop.
Request for additional loan: Mr. Regan noted that, in general, the operation cost of the plant requires an additional $50,000 per quarter above usage fees. The WPCC requested an additional $75,000 loan to cover operation costs and the final costs of hauling related to the membrane project.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance approve an installment loan of $75,000 to the WPCC to cover the additional wastewater hauling costs and operational costs. DeSalvo, Mazzucco. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance meeting be adjourned. DeSalvo, Mazzucco. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 9:09 pm
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary