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Minutes of Board of Finance, 01/25/2021

AGENDA: Board of Finance

RECEIVED 01/27/2021 12:44pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

TOWN OF REDDING
BOARD OF FINANCE REGULAR MEETING
MONDAY, 1/25/2021
7:30PM ZOOM
MINUTES

Filed subject to approval.

Present:
Dr. Kimberly Yonkers, Chair; Ward Mazzucco, Vice Chair; Jamie Barickman; Rob Dean; Ed Miller; and Jenifer Wyss

Also Present:
Steve Gniadek, Finance Director; Pat Moisio, Tax Collector; Wes Higgins, Treasurer; First Selectwoman Julia Pemberton; Members of the Public; Etc.

Chair Yonkers called the meeting to order at 7:30PM.

1. To approve the minutes of the BOF meeting held on Monday, 12/14/2020

MOTION:
Mr. Mazzucco made a motion to approve the minutes of the BOF meeting held on Monday, 12/14/2020. Ms. Wyss seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

2. Public Comment

Chair Yonkers opened the floor to Public Comment.

There was no public comment.

3. Tax Collector’s Report

Pat Moisio addressed the BOF.

The Town of Redding ended December 2020 with 64.7% of taxes collected. This is 0.4% higher than last year.

As of today, 79.2% of taxes have been collected. There is one week left in January for collections.

GLDC still owes $15,674 in sewer taxes.

The Town of Redding is in good shape compared to the rest of the US currently.

4. Finance Director’s Report

Steve Gniadek addressed the BOF.

Grants Update

Cares Act (Covid) – The Town of Redding received $50,478 from the State of CT. We have receipts for $13,958 which leaves a balance of $36,520 to be used on other Covid-related costs as incurred.

Cares Act (Covid) Schools – $79,559 have been received.

Cares Act Health Department – The Town of Redding Health Department has received $14,659 for employee costs related to vaccine administration. Doug Hartline has solicited 5 retired MD’s for Vaccine Administration. They will need to be covered by the Town’s liability insurance and CIRMA will provide a rider for this.

TAR 2nd Installment – The Town of Redding has received $134,426.

LoCip – The Town of Redding applied for reimbursement for the Station Road Bridge costs totaling $380,030 out of the approved amount of $409,105.

OPEB Contract

The consulting contract with DiMeo Schneider & Associates, L.L.C. has been reviewed by Town Counsel. The recommended changes have been incorporated and the document has been circulated to the BOF, BOS, and Treasurer. Once the OPEB Trust Board is setup via Town Ordinance, they will have the authority to approve it.

Georgetown Wire Mill

Upon recommendation by PKF O’Connor Davies, the Town will set up a Special Revenue Fund Bank Account, separate from the General Fund, to capture Revenues and Expenses associated with the foreclosed site (anticipated to be finalized on Tuesday, 2/16/2021).

2021-2022 Budget Workshop

The annual Selectman’s Budget Workshop was held on Friday, 1/8/2021 as a hybrid Zoom meeting. Most department heads presented in-person at Town Hall. The BOS has scheduled a Special Meeting on Tuesday, 1/26/2021 at 4:00PM to discuss the budget.

2021-2022 Medical Insurance

The Town currently has a 4% increase budgeted for Medical Insurance. Connecticare has offered a renewal at a 5% reduction compared to current year rates. The Town of Redding has accepted this offer.
2020-2021 Revenue

The Town Clerk Conveyance and Recording Fees are currently $130k over the total budget for FY 2020-2021. Zoning and Building Permit Revenues should finish ahead of budget, as they are currently at 94% and 72% of budget halfway through the year. On the negative side, Extended Day revenue is only at 5% of the budget. The Expenses incurred by Extended Day are not at the level they usually are due to Covid.

Unemployment Compensation

The Town of Redding is receiving a 50% rebate from the State of CT for unemployment compensation.

Jenifer Wyss asked Mr. Gniadek about Covid expenses and what qualifies as an expense. Mr. Gniadek said the first round of reimbursement for the State defined the expenses. The Town has everything that applies documented and ready for auditing.

Chair Yonkers asked who will be collecting rent from the current tenants at the Georgetown Wire Mill. Mr. Gniadek said the Town will handle this. This will be the revenue side of the fund, and the expense side will be items like property maintenance.

5. Treasurer’s Report

Wes Higgins addressed the BOF.

The Town is in a strong liquidity position. The operating cash on 12/31/2020 was over $20m. The Town is $5M ahead of FY 2019-2020.

The interest income is meager currently. The banks are offering 7 basis points while the State of CT STIF is offering 14 basis points. $8m was moved to the CT STIF to capture those additional basis points.

Mr. Barickman asked about refinancing. Mr. Higgins said the Town can refinance its current bond in 2024.

6. OPEB Trust Update

First Selectwoman Julia Pemberton addressed the BOF.

The BOS passed a motion at the December 2020 meeting that approved the ordinance for the OPEB Trust. This ordinance will be sent to a special Town Meeting for approval. Following this, the OPEB Trust Board can be established.

Discussion followed concerning next steps.

7. Fire/EMS Abatement Ordinance

First Selectwoman Julia Pemberton addressed the BOF.

The Town of Redding offers up to $1,000 of tax abatement for Volunteer Firefighters and EMS. The Volunteer Firefighters and EMS must submit to the Tax Collector their hours worked. There are three levels of abatement: $500, $750, and $1,000. This program costs the Town of Redding $50k. There is now a need to increase this abatement from up to $1,000 to a $2,000 maximum to help maintain the Volunteer Fire Departments. Discussion followed.

MOTION:
Mr. Mazzucco made a motion to make a recommendation to the BOS in favor of the $2,000 tax abatement for the Volunteer Firefighters and EMTs. The BOF recommended that the BOS hold a Town Meeting to approve the tax abatement. Mr. Miller seconded the motion. Discussion followed. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

8. Other Business

There was no other business discussed.

9. Public Comment

Chair Yonkers opened the floor to Public Comment.

There was no Public Comment.

MOTION:
Mr. Barickman made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Mazzucco seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35PM.

Submitted by,
Zachary Smith

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