Present: Alvarez (Chairman), Clark, DeSalvo, Dolan, Mazzucco, Yonkers
Also present: two members of the public, First Selectman Pemberton, Selectman Karvelis, Finance Director Gniadek, Treasurer O’Donnell, Tax Collector Moisio, and a representative of the Redding Pilot
Chairman Alvarez called the meeting on May 6, 2014 to order at 8:02 pm in the Redding Community Center.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance accept the minutes of the March 24, 2014 meeting as submitted. Mazzucco, DeSalvo. Approved. Unanimous.
TAX COLLECTOR REPORT
Mrs. Moisio noted the goal for fiscal 2013-14 was to collect $45,081,167 in taxes, and as of today, $45,530,293 has been collected. Of that amount, she attributed $330,000 to the collection of back taxes & interest.
Mrs. Moisio also reported that the outstanding taxes for the GLDC parcel total about $3,300,000; that number includes the amount of taxes, interest and lien fees. A discussion of the status of the project followed. Mrs. Pemberton noted that the State DECD Grant for $5,600,000 is still a work in progress, but the State is very interested in the successful completion of the wire mill project.
FINANCE DIRECTOR REPORT
Mr. Gniadek reported that the FEMA reimbursement money ($225,000) arrived last month and has been allocated to the appropriate accounts.
Mr. Gniadek recapped the estimated end-of-year balances and explained which accounts were over or under budget. He estimates that there will be an unexpended balance at the end of fiscal 2014 of about $100,000. This excludes any potential savings from the budgets of the Redding Board of Education and Region 9 Board of Education, and any additional taxes collected by the Tax Collector.
Treasurer O’Donnell provided a written report and noted that the current cash balance was $15,244,813. The transition from Union Savings Bank to Webster Bank is moving forward. The lockbox has been set up and the grid of the various accounts has been completed. The transfer will be fully in place by the end of this fiscal year.
Three additional eCDs have been purchased with an average yield of 48 basispoints, bringing the total to $1,960,000. She is continuing to follow the availability of additional eCDs with an acceptable rate.
AUDIT SELECTION COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION
Mr. Alvarez reported the Audit Selection Committee, made up of himself, Mr. Dolan, Finance Director Gniadek, representatives of the Town of Easton Board of Finance, the Easton BoE, the Redding BoE, Region 9 BoE, and Director of Finance for the schools, completed the process of selecting an auditing firm for the two towns and schools. The Committee recommended McGladrey LLP as the auditor for a three year contract with two additional two-year extensions.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance approve the engagement of McGladrey LLP as the auditor for the Town of Redding in accordance with the recommendation of the Audit Selection Committee. Mazzucco, Yonkers. Approved. Unanimous.
The Redding budget referendum was approved 676 to 247. The Region 9 budget referendum and Roof Project were also approved by the voters.
Mr. Gniadek provided a draft worksheet for the mill rate calculation. The expenditure total approved is $47,466,321. The amount to be raised by taxes is $46,259,977, which is net of revenue from town services, state grants, interest income, delinquent taxes, supplemental vehicle tax, Unassigned Fund Balance (amount the Bd. of Ed. hopes to save), and Committed Fund Balance, and less the tax refunds, Fire/EMT Benefit, Elderly Benefit and WPCC loan. It was noted that there has been an 8% increase in the Elderly Benefit as a result of many residents learning about the benefit and applying for it this year. The calculation for the mill rate sets the rate at 28.91 for fiscal 2014-15. This rate is a slight reduction from the current mill rate of 28.95. Board members discussed this and were in agreement on the rate.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance set a mill rate for fiscal 2014-15 of 28.91, as recommended by the Finance Director. Mazzucco, Dolan. Approved. Unanimous.
Peg O’Donnell, Chestnut Woods Road: Mrs. O’Donnell asked if there was a plan underway to address the issues of the school budget & the MBR (Minimum Budget Requirement). Mr. Alvarez responded that the plan is not yet in place, but he would work with Redding BoE Chairman Gaspar to set something in motion.
Jeanne Wendschuh, Deer Spring Road: Mrs. Wendschuh asked if the mill rate calculation worksheet was available to the public. Mr. Gniadek responded that now that the mill rate was set, the draft copy of the worksheet was final and available to the public.
Mr. Mazzucco asked First Selectman Pemberton for an update on the GLDC project. Mrs. Pemberton responded that the State (DECD) has scheduled a meeting next week to review the contract for the $5,600.000 grant for the River Wall Project and Intersection #3, and she believes they will set a specific date for the completion of the grant award. Mrs. Pemberton felt that it would not be productive to take action at the present time to enforce collection of outstanding taxes and charges, and that it would be in the best interest to wait to see what deadline the State might set. She indicated the State is very interested in seeing the project move forward, both from a housing aspect, but also from a historic aspect, and the State grant is important to the viability of the project. Mrs. Pemberton will provide updates on the status of the project at the Board of Finance meetings.
First Selectman Pemberton asked when the Board of Finance would discuss Capital Requests and move those forward for approval. She noted that the Town has a 4-year Roadway Project to move forward and the Board of Education has submitted projects to be approved. Mr. Alvarez responded that these capital requests should be reviewed by the Long Term Capital Plan Committee. Mr. Gniadek will schedule a meeting of that committee soon.
Mr. Alvarez suggested that the meeting scheduled for May 19 be cancelled.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance cancel the scheduled May 19, 2014 meeting. Mazzucco, Yonkers. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Finance meeting be adjourned. Dolan, Mazzucco. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 8:54 pm
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary