Present: Alvarez (Chairman), DeSalvo, Dolan, Guffey, Mazzucco, Yonkers (7:36 pm)
Also present: Finance Director Gniadek, Treasurer O’Donnell, Tax Collector Moisio, Rich Regan and Todd Eubanks of the Water Pollution Control Commission, and a representative of the Redding Pilot.
Chairman Alvarez called the May 20, 2013 meeting to order at 7:31 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to approve the minutes of the April 22, 2013 and May 7, 2013 meetings as submitted. DeSalvo, Mazzucco. Approved. Unanimous.
TAX COLLECTOR’S REPORT
Tax Collector Moisio reported she is almost at 100% of budget collected. The budget is 99% of the total grand list. She expects to reach 100% by the end of the fiscal year.
The settlement of the assessment appeal by Redding Life Care is complete, and payment is expected soon. A demand letter has been sent to Redding Life for payment of the $1,044,779 with a due date of May 31, 2013.
FINANCE DIRECTOR REPORT
Mr. Gniadek reported on the following:
- FEMA: Storm Sandy reimbursement has been updated to a total of $286,000, with $267,000 for the Town of Redding and $19,000 for the Water Pollution Control Commission. Of the total Town reimbursement, approximately $90,000 is for equipment usage (non-cash expenditure). The staff is currently gathering information for the February 2013 Blizzard Charlotte for FEMA.
Mr. Alvarez suggested the Board of Finance consider allocating an additional $150,000 to the receivables account for fiscal 2013-14 to reflect the anticipated FEMA reimbursement. This addition would reduce the normalized mill rate from the May 7, 2013 set rate of 29.047 to 28.95 (a 1.25% increase over current mill rate). Discussion followed.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance consider the addition of a line item for $150,000 of FEMA reimbursement for the calculation of the mill rate, resulting in a mill rate increase of 1.25% over the normalized mill rate of last year, with a mill rate of 28.95 for fiscal 2013-14. Dolan, DeSalvo. Approved. Unanimous.
- Cell Tower: Work on the cell tower at the Highway Garage site will begin June 1. The Town will receive $2,150/month ($25,800/year) from AT&T beginning on June 1. The payment will increase 3% /year for the five-year contract. The lease is automatically renewable for 4 additional 5-year terms. An additional one-time payment of $5,000 will be received July 1, 2013 to cover leasing and attorney fees.
- Property transfers: April property transfers totaled $5,400,000 versus last year April of $3,900,000.
- Digital Image Storage: The office is in the process of setting up a process to scan all accounts payable documents with the ultimate goal of going 100% paperless. A DATTO backup system was implemented this year for back up to the cloud. Mr. Gniadek noted that approval of the new system has been approved by the town auditors, Blum Shapiro.
Treasurer O’Donnell submitted a written report of the Town’s cash balances. The cash balance in the General Fund was $13,877,787. The cash balance in the Capital Nonrecurring Fund was updated to $986,200, reflecting approved encumbered items. Mrs. O’Donnell included a report of Aggregate Debt service prepared by Phoenix Advisors. The report shows the debt due by fiscal year, as the board requested. Mrs. O’Donnell reported that she, the Tax Collector and Finance Director are continuing to explore banking options. A very important factor in choosing a bank for the town is customer service. They have selected five banks and will set up meetings to discuss banking services with each. They would be welcome a representative of the Board of Finance to participate in those meetings and discussions.
Mr. Alvarez questioned the number of individual bank accounts that the Town holds. Currently there are about 50 different accounts. Mr. Alvarez questioned whether the number of accounts could be consolidated and handled through the internal accounting system.
Mrs. O’Donnell has two CD requests out with StoneCastle Partners (which acquired eCDMarket). The requests are for a 6-month CD at 45 basis points and a 12-month CD at 58 basis points. The closing date is May 24, 2013. Pending how the system works, further investment of funds will move forward.
Mr. Mazzucco left the meeting during the above discussion, 8:00 pm.
Chairman of the WPCC, Rich Regan, provided an update on the finances of the WPCC. He requested an additional “loan” of $50,000. The current bank balance is very low, and the next billing cycle is not until July. Mr. Alvarez questioned whether the WPCC had considered going out to bid on the plant operations. Mr. Regan responded that this was reviewed 3-4 years ago at the request of GLDC and the report found the current operation, Veolia, was a very competitive operator. The WPCC is also considering replacement of the current membranes (which are nearing the end of their useful life), with a slightly different one, with possible savings. Another change suggested by the operator was made in the type of chemical used and this resulted in a $5,000/year savings. Currently the plant is staffed with two people; DEEP would like to see a staff of three. Mr. Alvarez encouraged the WPCC to consider going out to bid for operator services and hopefully reduce the cost of plant operation.
Motion: move that the Board of Finance authorize an additional loan of $50,000 to the WPCC for operational costs. DeSalvo, Dolan. Approved. Unanimous.
BOARD OF EDUCATION CAPITAL PROJECT REIMBURSEMENT PROCEDURE
Mr. Gniadek proposed a change to the process for capital project financial management. Currently his office handles the purchase orders and payment of invoices. His change moves the purchase order function and invoice payment from his office to the school office. This would simplify the process. Monies would be transferred to the school account as needed.
ALLOCATION OF $100,000 ADDITIONAL REVENUE IN 2013-14
This item is to specify the allocation of the$100,000 of additional revenue discussed the night of May 7, 2013 when the budget was approved and a mill rate was set.
Mr. Alvarez noted the $30,800 for the Cell Tower at the Highway Garage site. Mr. Gniadek was asked to adjust the expected revenue for the Conveyance Fees, Recording Fees, Building Inspection, and Zoning fees proportionally to what they are budgeted for to make up the remaining $69,200.
Mr. Alvarez commented that he had been asked if the Board of Finance wished to take a position with regard to the issue of the ordinance to establish a Police Commission Board. Board members discussed the matter.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance does not feel a separate Police Commission Board is in the best fiscal interests of the Town of Redding. Yonkers, DeSalvo. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance meeting be adjourned. Dolan, DeSalvo. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 8:36 pm
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary