Present: Alvarez (Chairman), Dolan, Guffey, Mazzucco (7:34 pm), Yonkers
Also present: ~~Finance Director Gniadek, Treasurer O’Donnell, Tax Collector Moisio, First Selectman Ketcham, Selectman Takacs, Selectman Pemberton, Assessor Ford, six members of the public, and a representative of the Redding Pilot.
Chairman Alvarez called the February 25, 2013 meeting to order at 7:30 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance approve the minutes of the January 28, 2013 meeting. Dolan, Guffey. Approved 3-0-1. Ms. Yonkers abstained.
Chairman of the WPCC, Rich Regan, was present and requested $100,000 funding to meet operating expenses. Mr. Regan indicated that the last time he requested funding was in May 2012 for $50,000, and in the interim $4,286 was received from FEMA for Hurricane Irene, leaving an outstanding loan balance to the Town of approximately $285,700. Due to Superstorm Sandy, WPCC had incurred additional expenses of $25,000. Mr. Regan reported that the WPCC currently has a balance of $8,000 and does not expect additional monies until the next billing cycle at the end of March which will be for $90,000. Mr. Regan indicated the shortfall in expenses is approximately $160,000 to $200,000 per year. Mr. Alvarez noted that the Board has loaned the WPCC $90,000 in 2010, $100,000 in 2011, and $100,000 in 2012.
Ms. Yonkers voiced concern regarding the process by which the WPCC requests funding from the Board suggesting that there needs to be structure in the budgetary projections presented to the Board. Mr. Gniadek noted that WPCC funding is not a part of the General Fund but set up as a liability to WPCC and a receivable by the Town.
Mr. Alvarez stated that it would be preferred that the WPCC be funded smaller amounts and then report back on a quarterly basis.
James Miller, member of the WPCC, noted that there have been recent significant expenses not in the usual course of business, i.e. payments to Call Before You Dig resulting from the Georgetown Intersection project amounting to $10,000 and additional costs for broken membrane parts.
Motion: move that the Board of Finance authorize an internal loan of $75,000 to the WPCC to cover expenditures. ~Mazzucco, Dolan. Approved. Unanimous.
Mr. Mazzucco arrived at 7:34 pm, during the discussion above.
2011 GRAND LIST
Assessor John Ford submitted a report showing the change from 2011 to 2012 in the Grand List. Mr. Alvarez questioned the effect of revaluation on the Grand List. Mr. Ford stated that without the revaluation the Grand List would have decreased approximately $2 million or 0.1%. The change with the revaluation is a decrease of 18.46%, so in effect the change of the revaluation is a decrease of 18.54%. The only further official adjustment would be after the March session of the Board of Assessment Appeals.
Mr. Dolan questioned what the effect would be to the Motor Vehicle Grand List should the Governor’s proposal be passed. Mr. Ford indicated that approximately 90% of the Motor Vehicle Grand List would be lost should the legislation be passed and the balance of the Motor Vehicle Grand List would be readjusted. The effect or implementation of the legislation would not have an impact until July 2014.
TAX COLLECTOR’S REPORT
Tax Collector Pat Moisio reported that as of the end of January 93.9% of the budget was collected, and as of today, 98.3% has been collected which is a $761,000 shortfall. In comparison, last year was at 99% collected. There are 188 parcels not paid, which does not include the 115 parcels of GLDC. There is approximately $3 million outstanding relating to the development not being completed and the assessment appeal. In regards to Motor Vehicle tax situation, the Tax Collector’s Association will be meeting on March 14th.
FINANCE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Mr. Gniadek gave a final accounting for the Town Meeting adjustments that were voted on and approved on February 13th relating to the security issues for the schools and Newtown. Per municipal accounting procedure these amounts are added to the current year budget (Total $187,620), which represents 0.4% of the current budget. This figure is primarily based upon salary and overtime for four months.
Mr. Gniadek addressed some key items that would be affected in the event that the Governor’s proposal is passed:
- A municipal sharing account, an additional conveyance fee the State collects and passes back to the Town, and not currently budgeted, would be taken away by the proposal. For reference, $58,000 was received this year from this conveyance fee sharing.
- PILOT (Payment in lieu of taxes), which is money that the State calculates for State properties within a given Town (i.e. Putnam State Park and Huntington State Park), whereby owned by the State but on Town property. The proposal is to eliminate the $183,000 revenue to the Town’s General Fund and increase the ECS Grant for the schools by the same amount which must use the money for education purposes.
- The Town Aid Road Grant, which the Town currently receives $133,000 from the State for road reconstruction would be doubled to $266,000. There is currently a balance of $130,000 in the TAR account.
No BOE report is available for this month. Mr. Alvarez will contact Peggy Sullivan for updated report.
Mr. Guffey commented as to the appropriateness of the budget for the SRO’s to be on the Town budget opposed to the BOE Budget. The Town Budget meeting is scheduled for March 7th, 2013.
Treasurer O’Donnell submitted a written report of the Town’s cash balances. The cash balance in the General Fund is $19,413,976. The cash balance in the Capital Nonrecurring Fund is currently $1,233,986, before encumbered items of $323,153 for approved projects. Ms. O’Donnell will transfer the $75,000 to the WPCC tomorrow. There is a BAN rolling over at the end of this month. Currently there is $1,750,000 outstanding for road work, which is expected to begin in April. There is approved $750,000, as well as approval for the Poverty Hollow Bridge Rehabilitation and the Town Hall Sprinkler System for $400,000, and capital expenditures approved last week of $534,000. The total that can be borrowed is $4,434,000. The Poverty Hollow Bridge Rehabilitation expenditure of $247,000 came in significantly under budget and therefore will require less to be borrowed.
Mrs. Ketcham noted that the Highway Superintendent and Foremen are doing a Town-wide road assessment plan of the roads for long-range planning and will report to the Board of Selectmen.
Mr. Alvarez recommended that the Treasurer should borrow only $4,281,000 on the next BAN, because of the savings on the bridge and the deferral of work on the Sprinkler System.
Ms. O’Donnell noted that she is still in the process of setting up the “online” electronic CD option but has not had the opportunity to have the Selectmen sign the paperwork for the enrollment process. When the program is in place, banks will be able to bid for the Town’s deposits, and the Town will be able to place funds with various banks without the need to execute new paperwork. Mr. Alvarez pointed out that it would be good to implement the new system so that the bank could “ladder” the maturity dates of its funds and increase its interest income.
BOARD MEMBER REPORTS
Mr. Dolan indicated that in discussing long-term financial planning with Mr. Takacs for the Fields Committee that there is a forthcoming change in the status of the State STEEP grant dollars. There is approximately $350,000 remaining in the account which may potentially be pulled by the State at the end of July unless a project is started or a renewal is submitted by May. Mr. Dolan indicated that there are pledge dollars of approximately $50,000 to $70,000 which is in addition to the $100,000 from the soccer club, which would all give approximately $520,000. The last figure for the cost of the field was $890,000 leaving a shortfall of $370,000 if trying to fund the entire project with State and private funding.
James Miller, Middlebrook Pond Road: ~Mr. Miller asked if there have been any changes in the Town’s banking partner based upon previous discussion by the Board of Finance several months ago about the changing fee structure from our current banking partner, Union Savings Bank. Ms. O’Donnell indicated that it is going out to bid this Spring because she has not had time to check the fee structures at other banks. Currently, there is no cost to our banking relationship and there are no others with competitive rates. Mr. Alvarez pointed out that the compensating balance requirements have increased.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance meeting be adjourned. Mazzucco, Yonkers. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 8:35pm.
Krista Gramer, Recording Secretary