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Minutes of Board of Finance – Special, 01/28/2013

AGENDA: Board of Finance – Special

RECEIVED 01/31/2013 11:22am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Minutes

Present:

Board of Finance: Alvarez (Chairman), Dolan, Guffey (7:42 pm), Mazzucco

Board of Selectmen: Ketcham, Pemberton, Takacs

Also present:   Redding Finance Director Gniadek, Police Chief Fuchs, School Finance Director Sullivan, School Superintendent Josefsberg, Redding Board of Education members Gaspar, Sobel, Ajavananda, Irwin, Goldberg, Barickman, D’Agostino, 12 members of the community and a representative of the Redding Pilot.

Mr. Alvarez began the meeting at 7:36 pm.  He deferred action items until a quorum of the Board of Finance was present.

BOARD OF FINANCE

TAX COLLECTOR’S REPORT

Mr. Gniadek provided the Tax Collector’s report.  As of January 1, 2013, 60.8% of the budget had been collected, compared with 60.1% the previous year.  As of today, 84% of the budget has been collected.

FINANCE DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Finance Director Gniadek provided an update on revenue and expenses projected to the end of the fiscal year.

Revenue is projected to end the year with an above budget balance of $75,842.

  • Municipal Revenue Sharing       $58,417
  • Conveyance Fees           40,000
  • Zoning Fees                         5,500
  • Park & Recreation Dept.  (28,075)

Total                   $75,842

Expenses, projected to the end of the fiscal year, are projected to be below budget:

  • Police Overtime         $ (66,000)
  • Park & Recreation Dept     (14,890)
  • General Insurance                     8,500
  • Sand (Highway Dept)                 10,000
  • Leased Vehicles             18,000
  • Fuel oil                            19,000
  • Interest Payment                    25,200
  • Employee Benefits                  29,900
  • Revaluation                        35,000
  • All other expenses                 (2,310)

Total                   $ 62,400

Mr. Gniadek also reported the Poverty Hollow Road Bridge project, approved at a Town Meeeting for $301,350, came in at $254,053, $47,297 under budget.

BAN RENEWAL

Mr. Gniadek reviewed the amount of the BAN to be renewed:

  • $1,750,000, renewal of old BAN Road Reconstruction project (50% of approved $3,500,000 approved 9/27/2011)
  • $1,750,00, remaining 50% of Road Reconstruction project
  • $254,053, Poverty Hollow Bridge Project (approved 5/27/2011 for $301,349, completed under budget at $254,053

The Board of Finance was in agreement to move forward with the renewal of the Ban for $3,754,053 at this time.

Board of Finance member Guffey arrived during the discussion of BAN renewal, 7:42 pm

CALL TO ORDER

Mr. Alvarez called the Board of Finance meeting to order at 7:45 pm

Mrs. Ketcham called the Board of Selectmen meeting to order at 7:45 pm

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance approve the minutes of the December 17, 2012 meeting as submitted. Mazzucco, Dolan.  Approved. Unanimous.

PUBLIC COMMENT

James Miller, Middlebrook Pond Road: Mr. Miller suggested that consideration be given to the other public & municipal buildings in Redding when discussing the security initiatives.

SCHOOL SECURITY INITIATIVES AND FUNDING

Redding Board of Education members Sara Sobel and Kim Ajavananda, along with Police Chief Fuchs presented information on school security, current security measures in place and proposed initiatives. Phase one of physical enhancements for the school buildings include improvement in surveillance, communication and initial (non-structural) physical enhancements. The presentation included the proposed addition of a School Resource Officer (SRO) and a youth officer for the police department.

The SRO position would become effective immediately.  In addition two police officers would be hired, one to backfill the position of the officer moved to the SRO position, and the other to increase day shift patrol staffing (a combination Youth Officer and Detective).

Chief Fuchs addressed the staffing of the Police Department.  He provided information on staffing levels and SRO staffing of surrounding towns.  In addition, he showed statistics that suggested that increased police presence has decreased the number of motor vehicles accidents, vandalism and burglary.  The proposed structure would provide the schools with an SRO and would provide improved police presence to the community.

Several questions were asked by members of the public and members of the Redding Board of Education members.

  • Question of potential availability of Grants: Chief Fuchs responded that they have searched for grants but none have been found.
  • Question of staffing/training:  Chief Fuchs responded that a new hire must be trained and that takes about 12 months.  If he hires a certified person, the training period is shortened considerably.  He added that SRO’s are now in high demand and training programs for the SROs are increasing their availability to meet the demands.
  • Question regarding availability or increase in school psychology staffing:  The school administration reviewed the staffing of the schools with psychologists and guidance counselors.  They do not have plans to increase that staffing at this time.
  • Question regarding police staffing levels compared with surrounding towns:  Chief Fuchs reported the staffing ratio (police to population) for Redding is currently 1.3%, compared with Wilton at 2.4%, Easton and New Canaan at 2%, Bethel at 1.9%, Newtown and Ridgefield at 1.8%, and Weston at 1.6%.  While Redding is currently at 1.3% with 12/13 officers, the full complement of 15 officers would bring the Town to 1.6%.
  • Question regarding SRO or police staffing at Joel Barlow High School:  Dr. Josefsberg stated that he does not foresee a request coming from the Region 9 Board of Education regarding police staffing for the high school.  Chief Fuchs stated that the Redding Police Department has a responsibility to provide law enforcement to the high school.
  • Question regarding current staffing of a police officer at each of the two schools: Chief Fuchs responded that the plan is to continue the presence of an officer at each of the two schools until the end of the current year.  As the SRO position is filled and the physical security measures are put in place that level of police presence will decrease.

BOARD OF SELECTMEN

The Board of Selectmen discussed the security initiative proposal at the Budget Workshop held previous to the meeting and felt it was a reasonable way to address security and safety at the schools. Mrs. Ketcham noted that the Board of Selectmen was in support of moving the request for funding forward to the Board of Finance for consideration.

BOARD OF FINANCE

The Board of Finance reviewed the summary of  security costs for the schools:

Actual labor cost:  for assistance to Newtown from December 14, 2012 to January 6, 2013, $9,353.95 and police coverage at John Read Middle School and Redding Elementary School (two officers, overtime), from December 14, 2012 to January 20, 2013, $18,331.43:  TOTAL, $27,685.39

Estimated Labor Costs for JRMS & RES:

  1.   Two officers OT from January 22, 2013 to June 21, 2013, $101,904.32; one new SRO from March 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013;
  2.   1 new SRO (School Resource Officer, March 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013, $29,015;
  3.   1 new Youth Officer, March 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013, $29,015

Facility Security Upgrades, Phase I for RES & JRMS, $135,000.

Mr. Alvarez suggested that the actual labor costs and estimated labor costs ($187,619.71) through the end of the fiscal year be funded through the Unassigned Fund Balance, and the Facility Security Upgrades ($135,000) be funded though the Capital Nonrecurring Account.  Mr. Alvarez stated that one of the purposes of the Unassigned Fund Balance was to handle unforeseen expenditures.  Since the Town Of Redding has a healthy Unassigned Fund Balance reserve, these unforeseen expenditures can be funded without significantly comprising our reserve balances.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance recommend to the Board of Selectmen the funding of $187,619.71 for the actual labor costs and estimated labor costs through June 21, 2013 for the Police Department as discussed through the Unassigned Fund Balance and the funding of phase 1 of security upgrades for the two schools of $135,000 from the Capital Nonrecurring Account.  Dolan, Mazzucco.  Approved. Unanimous.

BOARD OF SELECTMEN

The Board of Selectmen discussed a date for a Town Meeting to approve the funding request and for the acceptance of Costa Lane as a town road pending recommendation from the Planning Commission.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen set a Town Meeting for Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm in the Redding Community Center for the approval of funding of $187,619.71 for the actual labor costs and estimated labor costs through June 21, 2013 for the Police Department as discussed through the Unassigned Fund Balance and the funding of phase 1 of security upgrades for the two schools of $135,000 from the Capital Nonrecurring Account, and for the acceptance of Costa Lane as a town road, pending recommendation from the Planning Commission. Pemberton, Takacs.  Approved. Unanimous.

BOARD OF FINANCE

DISCUSSION AND ACTION ON BOARD OF EDUCATION CAPITAL REQUEST FOR 2012-13 AND 2013-14

The Board of Education reviewed their 5-year capital requests.  The requested funding for the items in the 2012-13 year and consideration of the items in the 2013-14 fiscal year.  School Finance Director Peggy Sullivan reviewed and explained each of the items.  Mr. Alvarez questioned which of the items needed funding at this time for work to be done in April school break or summer months. Mrs. Sullivan listed those items:

  1.   RES, Preschool playground improvements, $45,000
  2.   RES, Bathroom upgrades (completion of project), $165,000
  3.   JRMS, Roof repairs on entry canopy, $45,000
  4.   JRMS, Renovation of Woodshop to use as Combined Tech Room (program change), $60,000
  5.   JRMS, Bathroom upgrades (completion of project), $135,000
  6.   JRMS, Locker replacement (phase 1 of project), $84,000
  7.   RES, High efficiency outdoor lighting upgrade, $34,385 (Mrs. Sullivan anticipates rebates of $51,000 for this work and work on the HVAC system that has been completed)

Mr. Alvarez suggested that the funding of the outdoor lighting upgrades could be from the Unassigned Fund Balance given that the rebate monies would offset the cost.  He suggested the other six items, totaling  $534,385 be funded through short term borrowing pending long term financing, with each of the six items listed and voted on separately.

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance recommend to the Board of Selectmen to send a funding request to a Town Meeting to approve the funding of light upgrades at RES for $34,385 from the Unassigned Fund Balance, and the following items

  1.   RES, Preschool playground improvements, $45,000
  2.   RES, Bathroom upgrades (completion of project), $165,000
  3.   JRMS, Roof repairs on entry canopy, $45,000
  4.   JRMS, Renovation of Woodshop to use as Combined Tech Room (program change), $60,000
  5.   JRMS, Bathroom upgrades (completion of project), $135,000
  6.   JRMS, Locker replacement (phase 1 of project), $84,000

To be funded by short term borrowing pending long term financing, with each of the six items listed and voted on separately at the Town Meeting. Mazzucco, Dolan.  Approved. Unanimous.

BOARD OF SELECTMEN

Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance add to the agenda for the Town Meeting for February 13, 2013, the approval of the funding of school items as recommended by the Board of Finance, the funding of light upgrades at RES for $34,385 from the Unassigned Fund Balance, and the following items

  1.   RES, Preschool playground improvements, $45,000
  2.   RES, Bathroom upgrades (completion of project), $165,000
  3.   JRMS, Roof repairs on entry canopy, $45,000
  4.   JRMS, Renovation of Woodshop to use as Combined Tech Room (program change), $60,000
  5.   JRMS, Bathroom upgrades (completion of project), $135,000
  6.   JRMS, Locker replacement (phase 1 of project), $84,000

To be funded by short term borrowing pending long term financing, with each of the six items listed and voted on separately at the Town Meeting. Pemberton, Takacs.  Approved. Unanimous.

BOARD OF FINANCE

TOWN CAPITAL 2013-14 FUNDING

Finance Director Gniadek reported the Town’s capital requests have not been finalized as yet and would not be ready for the town meeting on February 13, 2013.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Jamie Barickman, Board of Education member:  Mr. Barickman asked that the Board of Finance publically voice their support of the increased level of police staffing when considering the budget for next year.

ADJOURNMENT

The Chairman of the Board of Finance adjourned the meeting at 9:36pm.

The Chairman of the Board of Selectmen adjourned the meeting at 9:36 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Maday, Recording Secretary