Present: Alvarez (Chairman), Clark, DeSalvo, Dolan (7:32 pm), Mazzucco, Yonkers
Also present: three members of the public, First Selectman Pemberton, Selectman Karvelis, Selectman Thompson, Finance Director Gniadek, Treasurer O’Donnell, Tax Collector Moisio, & the videographers
Chairman Alvarez called the meeting on August 25, 2014 to order at 7:30 pm in the Hearing Room of the Redding Town Hall.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance accept the minutes of the July 28, 2014 meeting as corrected. Mazzucco, Yonkers. Approved. 3-0-1. Mr. DeSalvo and Mrs. Clark abstained.
Correction: page 1, under Tax Collector Report, last sentence: “The amount of the Town Benefit for that year was $2,430.00 per real estate parcel”.
Mr. Dolan arrived, 7:32 pm
TAX COLLECTOR REPORT
Mrs. Moisio reported that 51.5% of the total Grand List taxes have been collected. The collection rate is running slightly behind the collections in the previous year. Currently GLDC owes the Town $2,500, 000, of which about $1,000,000 is for interest and lien fees.
FINANCE DIRECTOR REPORT
Mr. Gniadek reported on the following:
- Fuel prices: the price for gasoline was locked in at $3.04/gallon (compared with $3.22 last year). Heating oil has been contracted at the same prices as last year, $3.15/gallon.
- Asset Sales: a Highway Department tractor with flail mower was sold for $18,400. A replacement and more versatile mower was acquired in 2013. A roll-off dumpster at the Recycling Center was also sold for $1,000. The dumpster was no longer needed.
- Nutmeg Network: The Town received a state grant for $19,900 to physically connect the Town Hall building to the Police Station. Once completed, the Town Hall building will have the ability to link to the state-operated PSDN (Public Safety Data Network).
- WPCC Repayment Agreement: The Repayment Agreement between the Water Pollution Control Commission and the Town was signed. The $237,350 (amount needed by WPCC to meet the current year operating expenses) has been included in the mill rate calculations, & transfers up to that amount do not require additional approval of the Board of Finance. In his monthly reported to the BOF, Mr. Gniadek will include amounts requested, along with the remaining balance, as transfer payments occur. He added that $60,000 was transferred to the WPCC earlier today.
Mr. Mazzucco asked about the status of lien priority of the WPCC in the Georgetown Land Development project. First Selectman Pemberton noted that the WPCC liens are junior to the tax liens. Discussions are continuing and she is hopeful there will be progress soon. There are plans to hold a public meeting at some time in September to review the status, the process underway and lien priority.
Mr. Alvarez asked for a status on the audit process. Mr. Gniadek reported the auditors were on site for a preliminary review and they will be back in late September for more work.
Treasurer O’Donnell provided a written report on the status of funds and investments. She noted that the transition to Webster Bank still underway, with the closing of accounts and required paperwork involved in the change. The Town currently owns eight CDs with a value of $1,961,371. The plan is to increase that amount to $5,000,000, adding two more CD’s each month until the goal is reached.
The current BAN (Bond Anticipatory Note) is set to be rolled over into a new BAN for $7,873,000. That amount includes new borrowing of $1,935,000 for the next year of road reconstruction and $300,000 for the new police communications tower.
BOARD OF EDUCATION SURPLUS FOR FY 2013-14
Mr. Alvarez discussed the anticipated unexpended budget balance with School Finance Director Sullivan and BOE Chair Gaspar. Their estimate is currently just under $100,000. Mr. Alvarez noted that another meeting on the MBR (Minimum Budget Requirement) issue is planned and the budget surplus will be discussed further at that time.
Mr. DeSalvo provided some preliminary enrollment information for the schools, as of August 25, 2014.
- Redding Elementary School, projected 486, currently at 489
- John Read Middle School, projected 515, currently at 510
- Joel Barlow High School, projected1053, currently at 1061.
ELDERLY TAX BENEFIT COMMITTEE
Mr. Dolan is in the process of collecting information on how neighboring towns established their committee to review or create an elderly/senior tax benefit. He noted that the goal or purpose of the committee needs to be clearly defined.
Mrs. Yonkers asked for a report from the Tax Collector and Assessor on their plans to inform and enforce the ordinance that is currently in effect. That report should include the notifications that will be sent out, the explanation of the benefit, the paperwork that will be required of the applicant. Mrs. Moisio suggested that Mr. Gniadek facilitate a meeting to work on the report.
First Selectman Pemberton noted that she had information from Town Counsel regarding the town benefit and will forward that to board members. She noted that the application process for the town benefit needs clarification and improvement.
Rosaline Kopfstein, Chairman of the Commission on Aging: Mrs. Kopfstein stated that members of the COA would be happy to discuss and be a part of the committee to review the town benefit package. She would be happy to put the item on the COA meeting agenda for discussion.
Board members were in agreement that a committee to study the town benefit should consist of a cross section of the entire community.
Janet Metzger, Dayton Road: Mrs. Metzger commented that any change in the town benefit should have the support of the seniors in the community. The Commission on Aging stands as a representative of the seniors in the community, and the members are willing to work with the Board of Finance on the issue.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance meeting be adjourned. Mazzucco, Yonkers. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 8:15 pm
Submitted by Mary Maday, Recording Secretary