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Minutes of Board of Finance, 03/28/2022

AGENDA: Board of Finance

RECEIVED 04/12/2022 9:58am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Town of Redding
Board of Finance Regular Meeting
Monday, 3/28/2022
7:30PM Via Zoom

Filed subject to approval.

Present:
Dr. Kimberly Yonkers, Chair
Ward Mazzucco, Vice Chair
Jamie Barickman
Rob Dean
Jenifer Wyss
Karen Gifford

Also Present:
Members of the Public
John Ford, Assessor
Wes Higgins, Treasurer
First Selectwoman Julia Pemberton
Chris Parkin, Redding Board of Education Chair
Dr. Jason McKinnon, Superintendent of Region 9 Schools

Chair Yonkers called the meeting to order at 7:31PM.

1. To Approve the Minutes of the BOF Meeting Held on Tuesday, 3/22/2022

Motion:

Mr. Barickman made a motion to approve the minutes of the BOF meeting held on Tuesday, 3/22/2022. Vice Chair Mazzucco seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

2. Public Comment

Chair Yonkers opened the floor to Public Comment

Rob Blick stated his support for the replacement of the Community Center Tennis Courts.

Jonathan Hopkins stated his support for the education budget.

Trisha Doyle stated her support for the education budget.

Kristen Anstett stated her support for the education budget.

John Reilly stated the education budget should be decided by the voters.

Motion:
Mr. Mazzucco made a motion to amend the agenda of the Monday, 3/28/2022 BOF meeting to include an update on ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) after the Meadow Ridge Grand List Adjustment item. Ms. Wyss seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

3. Meadow Ridge Grand List Adjustment

First Selectwoman Julia Pemberton addressed the BOF and provided background on the history of the Meadow Ridge Grand List Assessment.

John Ford addressed the BOF. The total amount that the Town of Redding must pay back to Meadow Ridge $2,650,000. This will be paid back over three years. The pay schedule is as follows:

– $1M credit in year one with an additional $280-$300k due to the reduction of 2021 Grand List to $92,000,000.
– $1M credit in year two
– $650k in year three

Mr. Ford explained how he calculated the year one payment and the Grand List adjustment. Discussion followed concerning this calculation and how this will affect the Grand List in future fiscal years.

4. ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) Discussion

Wes Higgins addressed the BOF. He explained the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) working group and the work that it has done to date to consider potential projects and inform residents of the possibilities for funding of additional projects.

Discussion followed concerning proposed Capital Projects for FY 2022-2023 and the use of ARPA to fund these.

5. Budget Discussion

Board of Selectman

First Selectwoman Julia Pemberton addressed the BOF. Discussion followed concerning the police overtime budget. There was also discussion about the FEMA Reimbursement for Tropical Storm Isaias and Covid-19 and where it should be allocated when received.

Chair Yonkers suggested tabling the BOS budget discussion until the next BOF meeting to allow for additional details and changes to be finalized.

Board of Education

Chair Yonkers asked about the Self-Insurance Fund and if the State Insurance Fund would be a better financial decision moving forward. Discussion followed about the process for changing the BOE’s healthcare plan.

Vice Chair Mazzucco asked Dr. Jason McKinnon and Chris Parkin how the BOE could reduce the proposed FY 2022-2023 budget increase from 3.62% to 2%. Discussion followed about various cuts to services that would have to happen to meet this number.

Vice Chair Mazzucco asked Mr. Parkin about the difficulties surrounding Extended Day accommodations. Mr. Parkin stated Covid restrictions have been providing obstacles to fully accommodating Extended Day. Discussion followed concerning future changes that will open facilities for Extended Day usage.

Mr. Barickman encouraged the BOE to find solutions to mitigating the long-term cost increases in Special Education. Mr. Dean stated that the conflict between Special Education and General Education is a larger education problem that needs to be addressed.

Vice Chair Mazzucco asked Dr. McKinnon about Special Education prevalence rates in Redding compared to surrounding communities. Dr. McKinnon stated the special education prevalence rate in Redding is 15.4%. The Connecticut average is 16.3%. Discussion followed concerning measures to control special education costs and build capacity for future growth in need.

Ms. Gifford asked Dr. McKinnon about potential Capital Projects that were addressed at a previous presentation and levels of importance. Dr. McKinnon elaborated on several of the projects noted on this Capital Improvement Plan. These items are for future consideration.

Vice Chair Mazzucco asked Mr. Parkin if the budget presented is the final number. Mr. Parkin stated the number presented is the final number.

Chair Yonkers asked Dr. McKinnon and Mr. Parkin about the Title 1 grant, IDEA special education grant, and the ARPA funds. Mr. Parkin said Title 1 and IDEA grants are always in the budget. The other items, ARPA & ESSER, are one-off funds.

Mr. Barickman asked Mr. Parkin about student population increases. Mr. Parkin and Dr. McKinnon discussed the demographic changes in various grades and how this affects the education budget.

Motion:
Vice Chair Mazzucco made a motion to approve a proposed BOE budget for FY 2022-2023 of $23,800,000. Ms. Wyss seconded the motion. Discussion followed concerning this budget proposal. Vice Chair Mazzucco withdrew his motion.

Chair Yonkers asked First Selectwoman Julia Pemberton and the BOE to review their proposed budgets and find areas that could be reduced.

Chair Yonkers suggested that the BOF table discussion on the Consolidated Budget.

Consolidated Budget

This item was not discussed.

6. Other Business

Chair Yonkers suggested the BOF table discussion on the meeting calendar.

The next meeting date is Monday, 4/4/2022 at 7:30PM via Zoom.

7. Public Comment

Chair Yonkers opened the floor to Public Comment.

Kristen Anstett, 60 Whortleberry Road, thanked the boards for their service. She stated that sensitivity needs to be applied to discussions surrounding Special Education.

Brenda Phelps, Indian Hill Road, stated her concern about the Tennis Court replacement and cutting personnel at the schools.

Carolyn Baker, 15 Indian Hill Road, stated her concern over the scrutiny of the BOE budget versus the BOS budget.

Sofia, stated her support of teachers and education staff. She asked the BOF to support the BOE budget.

Motion:
Mr. Barickman made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Gifford seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:16PM.

Submitted by,
Zachary Smith

 

 

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