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Minutes of Board of Finance Special Meeting, 12/18/2019

AGENDA: Board of Finance Special Meeting

RECEIVED 12/24/2019 12:27pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

BOARD OF FINANCE
SPECIAL MEETING
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2019
6:30PM  – REDDING COMMUNITY CENTER

Filed subject to approval.

Present:
Ward Mazzucco, Vice Chair; Jamie Barickman; Jenifer Wyss; Ed Miller; Dr. Kimberly Yonkers, Chair (6:42PM); Rob Dean (7:16PM)

Also Present:
Steve Gniadek, Finance Director; First Selectwoman Julia Pemberton; Scott Bassett, RSM; Dr. Tom McMorran, Superintendent of Region 9; Selectman Michael Thompson; BOE Members; Members of the Public

Vice Chair Mazzucco called the meeting to order at 6:30PM.

1. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE BOF MEETING HELD ON MONDAY, 11/25/2019
MOTION:
Mr. Barickman made a motion to approve the minutes of the BOF Meeting held on Monday, 11/25/2019. Ms. Wyss seconded the motion. There were three yes votes (Mazzucco, Barickman, and Wyss) and one abstention (Miller). The motion carried.

2. FUND BALANCE LOAN FOR PD RADIOS
First Selectwoman Pemberton offered to show the BOF a video created by Steve Schnell of the Redding Police Department on the topic of the radios. Mr. Mazzucco said due to time constraints, there will be a short discussion instead of viewing the presentation.

Vice Chair Mazzucco asked First Selectwoman Pemberton what was approved at the budget referendum. First Selectwoman Pemberton said the entire communications project was approved. The Town is responsible for the infrastructure as well as the radios for the Police Department.

First Selectwoman Pemberton said a purchase order has been placed for the Police Department radios. The Fire Districts have ordered their radios as well. There will be significant cost savings due to placing these orders before the end of the year because of a time-sensitive deal.

First Selectwoman Pemberton said the infrastructure component of the project cannot be completed until a lease can be obtained for the communication tower. Discussion followed concerning the cost and implementation of this lease.

MOTION:
Mr. Miller made a motion to transfer $300,000 from the General Fund to the Capital Project Town Fund for Police Department Radio Equipment. This will be reimbursed by issuance of a BAN in the future. Mr. Barickman seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous (Mazzucco, Barickman, Miller, and Wyss), and the motion passed.

Mr. Barickman asked First Selectwoman Pemberton the lifespan of the infrastructure. First Selectwoman Pemberton said the lifespan would be at least 10-15 years for the infrastructure, but as long as the technology is used, the infrastructure must be maintained. Discussion followed concerning the tower lease and how a 20 year bond applies to technology that only lasts 10-15 years. Mr. Gniadek said the Town has bonded for infrastructure or other capital items in the past that only have a lifespan shorter than the bond length.

Chair Yonkers arrived at 6:42PM.

Vice Chair Mazzucco asked the BOF about the Monday, September 28, 2020 meeting and if it can be changed.

MOTION:
Vice Chair Mazzucco made a motion to change the Monday, September 28, 2020 BOF meeting to Monday, September 21, 2020. Chair Yonkers seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

Vice Chair Mazzucco asked the BOF about changing the January 27, 2020 BOF meeting.

MOTION:
Ms. Wyss made a motion to change the Monday, January 27, 2020 BOF meeting to Monday, February 3, 2020, subject to Mr. Dean’s availability. Mr. Miller seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous (Yonkers, Mazzucco, Barickman, Miller, and Wyss), and the motion carried.

3. TO REVIEW FY 2018-2019 CAFR AUDIT REPORT

Scott Bassett from RSM addressed the BOF.
The BOE had a personnel change with their accountant. This caused some delays in the audit.
There were no major adjustments to accounting standards this year. This will change in the upcoming years.
The Connecticut Municipal Retirement System (CMERS) had its rate of return adjusted, resulting in major contribution changes for the Town and employees. The net pension liability for the Town of Redding increased by over 100%, increasing from $5m to over $10m. This will be an increasing cost for the Town over the next couple of years. Mr. Basset flagged this as something that the town should watch.

The Other Post-Employment (OPEB) liabilities for the Town didn’t change much except for the Connecticut Teacher’s Retirement Board (TRB) plan. Benefit terms changed and this had a direct effect on financial statements. The balance of this liability is approximately $3 million and Mr. Bassett felt that this was also an issue the Town should watch.

The layout of the audit was explained.

The BOE Internal Service Fund, the fund used for Medical Self-Insurance, performed better in FY 2018-2019. Mr. Bassett noted that last year the Medical Self-Insurance was in the negative although it was replenished by excess funds from savings in the prior year. This is also an issue the Town needs to carefully monitor.

Discussion followed on CMERS and the impact to the Town.

Mr. Mazzucco asked about management suggestions. Mr. Bassett had none.

Chair Yonkers asked Mr. Bassett about the Internal Service Fund. Mr. Bassett said that the BOF should request a quarterly report for the Internal Service Fund from the BOE. Chair Yonkers requested that Mr. Gniadek provide this information to the BOF quarterly.

Rob Dean arrived at 7:16PM.

MOTION
Vice Chair Mazzucco made a motion to approve the CAFR as presented for the year ending June 30, 2019, subject to any minor revisions to the report the auditors or the BOF will make. The revisions will be reported to the BOF. Discussion followed. Chair Yonkers seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous (Yonkers, Mazzucco, Barickman, Miller, Wyss, and Dean), and the motion carried.

4. FORMAT AND CONTENT OF BOF MEETINGS

There was no discussion about format and content of BOF meetings.

Chair Yonkers adjourned this portion of the meeting at 7:21PM.

5. PUBLIC COMMENT

Chair Yonkers called the meeting to order at 7:37PM.

Chair Yonkers opened the floor to public comment.

Mary Dale Lancaster, Mine Hill Road, is the Commission on Aging Chair. She discussed the Redding Community Center and its need for renovations and expansion.

Kathy Brand, Redding resident, discussed space concerns.

Janet Metzger, former COA chair, discussed the necessity for changes at the RCC.

First Selectwoman Pemberton addressed the COA’s concerns. Discussion followed.

Selectman Michael Thompson thanked the COA for attending and invited them to the budget meeting.

Christopher Tse, 111 Gallows Hill Road, said he is encouraged that the BOF wants to address communication between the boards.

6. JOINT MEETING WITH THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN AND BOARD OF EDUCATION TO DISCUSS FY 2020-2021 BUDGET

Chair Yonkers addressed the audience. She presented notes from the discussions held with the Schools Consultant. Discussion followed on how to increase communication between the boards and improve budgeting.

Dr. McMorran presented for the BOE. He discussed how personnel costs and special education make up the majority of costs for the schools. Cost-saving measures like regionalization and start time changes were discussed.

First Selectwoman Pemberton presented for the BOS. She discussed the real estate market and increasing commercial development in Redding.

Chair Yonkers adjourned the meeting at 10:05PM.

Submitted by,
Zachary Smith

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