Present: Alvarez (Chairman), DeSalvo, Mazzucco, Yonkers
Also present: Finance Director Gniadek, First Selectman Ketcham, Selectman Pemberton, Treasurer O’Donnell, Tax Collector Moisio, five members of the public and a representative of the Redding Pilot.
Chairman Alvarez called the June 24, 2013 meeting to order at 7:34 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to approve the minutes of the May 20, 2013 meetings as submitted. Mazzucco, DeSalvo. Approved. Unanimous.
TAX COLLECTOR’S REPORT
Tax Collector Moisio reported the collection is 100.26% as of today. The new tax bills were sent out and most were delivered on Saturday/today.
The Suspense List was reviewed and approved. The listing is for unpaid taxes older than three years. While these are suspended, the list is turned over to a collection agency for further collection efforts. Totals for the Suspense List: Real Estate, $13,441.63; Motor Vehicle, $7,606.18; Personal Property, $1,949.03.
FINANCE DIRECTOR REPORT
Mr. Gniadek reported on the following:
- Revenue: The Town Clerk Conveyance revenue is $60,000 favorable. The Park & Recreation Summer Camp and Topstone is about $130,000 below budget, but the Director noted that due to the late school ending; camp and Topstone revenue is just beginning to come in this week.
- FEMA: Storm Sandy reimbursement for $74,000 of which $18,900 was transferred to the Water Pollution Control Commission. Additional reimbursement is anticipated.
- Leased Equipment: new equipment lease costs are below budget for the current year, with a year-end surplus of approximately $39,000. Mr. Gniadek recommended a payoff of one of the equipment leases from the unexpended balance.
Motion: Move that the Redding Board of Finance, subject to approval of Town Counsel, authorize a portion of the unexpended $39,000 in the Equipment Lease Account be used to pay off one of the current equipment leases for $29,930. Mazzucco, DeSalvo. Approved. Unanimous.
- Bank Services: Mr. Gniadek, along with the Treasurer, Tax Collector and school Central Office representative interviewed TDBank, Webster Bank, Union Savings, First Niagara Bank and Fairfield County Bank in June. The group plans to meet again next week to make a recommendation to the Board of Finance. Mr. Alvarez requested that the group inform the Board of Finance about the factors it considered when it reaches a decision on which bank to use.
- Highway Department Union Contract: the approval of the five-year contract is expected by the end of the month, retroactive to July 1, 2012. Retro pay will be processed this month, and the transfer from contingency to salary approved by the Board of Finance last June is sufficient.
- Audit: A planning meeting was held on May 29, 2013. The draft audit report is scheduled to be presented at the October Board of Finance meeting.
- Redding Board of Education: Detail information was not available, but the Director of Finance, Peggy Sullivan, had reported the fiscal year would be completed with no surplus. Any unexpended funds would be transferred to the Health Insurance Reserve Fund.
Treasurer O’Donnell submitted a written report of the Town’s cash balances. The cash balance in the General Fund was $11,024,859. The cash balance in the Capital Nonrecurring Fund was updated to $961,729, reflecting approved encumbered items.
Mrs. O’Donnell reported $245,000 has been invested in a 6-month CD at 36 basis points with Bank of the Valley and $245,000 in a 12 month CD at 56 basis points with One West Bank. No fees were incurred with these two investments since this is considered a trial period. Mrs. O’Donnell is monitoring these transactions, noting a complexity of paperwork and newness of investment option, before investing additional funds. Mr. Alvarez reminded the Treasurer that the low point in the General Fund last year was in excess of $7,000,000, so she should consider investing much more of the Town’s funds at higher rates, in laddered CDs.
DISCUSSION OF TAX APPEAL PROCEEDS
The Town received $1,034,109 as a result of the favorable decision on the appeal regarding the Meadow Ridge Health Care facility. The Board of Finance members discussed options for the use of the funds. Mr. Alvarez asked Mr. Gniadek for a report on what the impact would be if the funds were used to pay down the principal on the long term debt. Mr. Gniadek’s report included a payment schedule for payment over a 3-year, 5-year and 7-year period. This could be done with the establishment of a Debt Services Account. Discussion included other options for the use of the money. The goal for the use of the fund is to determine the best way to give a permanent benefit back to the taxpayers.
The Board of Finance will consider the options and have further discussion at the next meeting.
Mr. Mazzucco commented that he feels that more information is needed for the Board of Finance to evaluate and approve the Redding school budgets. He asked that the board consider the way information is received and how to get additional information regarding that budget. While some reports are forwarded to the board, a narrative accompanying them would be helpful. Mr. Alvarez will discuss the issue with the Redding school Director of Finance and Operations.
Peggy O’Donnell, Chestnut Woods Road: Mrs. O’Donnell suggested that when the board considers the use of the $1,000,000 (tax appeal funds), they consider the current list of long-term capital plan needs.
James Miller, Middlebrook Pond Road: Mr. Miller reminded the board that the money for the Roadway Reconstruction project will end with the next fiscal year, and the board should consider the need for additional funding for roadway reconstruction with the use of the appeal money.
Motion: move that the Board of Finance recess to executive session for a discussion of Employee Wage Adjustments. Mazzucco, DeSalvo. Approved. Unanimous.
Mrs. Ketcham and Mr. Gniadek were invited to be present.
The meeting recessed at 8:32 pm.
The Chairman reconvened the meeting in public session at 8:50 pm
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance approve the transfer of $138,917.35 from Contingency Account to the Salary Account for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Mazzucco, DeSalvo. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance meeting be adjourned. Mazzucco, DeSalvo. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 8:50 pm
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary