Present: Pemberton, Karvelis, Thompson
Also present: Police Chief Fuchs, Finance Director Gniadek (by phone), 10 members of the public and a representative of the Redding Pilot.
First Selectman Pemberton called the January 12, 2015 meeting to order at 7:35 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to approve the minutes of the January 12, 2015 meeting as submitted. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Board of Selectmen add to the agenda discussion and action on the following:
- Appointment of John Fisher to the Water Pollution Control Commission
- Consideration of the Police School Safety Officer part time position
- Executive session discussion of Meadow Ridge litigation
- Executive session discussion of contract negotiations with the Dispatcher contracts
Motion by Mr. Thompson, seconded by Mr. Karvelis. Approved. Unanimous.
FY 2015-16 BUDGET DISCUSSION AND ACTION
First Selectman Pemberton reported that a grant request was received from the Redding/Easton Boys’ and Girls’ Club (REBGC). Scott Smith, president elect of the Club, stated that the Club in interested in doing more for the children, especially teens, at the facility. The grant request will allow for the expansion of programming at the facility.
Mr. Karvelis asked if the same request was being made of the Town of Easton. The response from Club members was that once the grant request from Redding was secured, they would approach Easton with a similar request.
Mrs. Pemberton noted that the budget proposal includes grant requests that include the services to women and children in Danbury, based on the number of Redding residents who receive services. The amount budgeted could be increased to include the REBGC, or diverted from the current recipients. No action was taken.
Mr. Gniadek joined the meeting by phone at this point.
The discussion of the budget continued with a review of adjustments to the budget. These included:
- Ban Principal: this is an addition to the budget, $54,200
- SSO position: discussion of the proposed School Safety Officer followed. Chief Fuchs described the part time position: a special officer working 4 days/week for 7 ¼ hours/day & no benefits, for safety coverage at Redding Elementary School. The estimated annual cost would be $27,720. Currently the role is being filled with a rotation of offices on duty. He noted that the cost of this position would be offset by a comparable decrease in holiday time and overtime. The position would provide a contiguity of coverage, something that desirable to the administration of the school. Chief Fuchs stated that this would provide greater operational efficiency and address scheduling issues. Mr. Thompson questioned the savings in overtime and holiday pay. Chief Fuchs added that the proposal would provide the schools with the same safety and coverage as originally intended.
- Reduction in part-time police dispatcher salary account: Chief Fuchs noted that this reduction does not make sense. The funds are needed to provide coverage for the open shifts.
- Mark Twain Library grant: The request was for a 7% increase in the Town’s contribution to the library. Mrs. Pemberton suggested that this is greater than the overall increase in the library’s operating budget of 4.5%, and a lower request amount should be considered. Pam Robey, representing the Mark Twain Library, addressed the board regarding the request and needs for the funding. No decision was made
- Part-time Social Worker: Mrs. Pemberton noted that the $45,000 is a place holder for a part time social worker position, contingent upon consideration of the final report from the Mental Health Task Force. A public forum to present the results is planned for Wednesday, February 11, 2015. Rosalind Kopfstein, a member of the Task Force, noted that the recommendation for the part-time position is for a person who would fill a needed gap and would make appropriate recommendations and referrals, Board members felt that further discussion after the report if finalized would be beneficial in making a decision.
- Heritage Center programming reduction: Mrs. Pemberton noted that a $3,000 reduction in the account is appropriate to meet the current needs. That account has been underspent in recent years. Mrs. Pemberton added that the Director of Heritage Center has been directed to plan for having Heritage Center open for programs and services on Fridays. The intent is to rearrange the staff schedule to accommodate this without an increase in staff hours. The hours for the van driver have been increased to 40 hours, to allow van service to operate on Fridays. The intent is not to reduce program and services, but increase availability.
- Capital Nonrecurring Account: The Board of Finance has asked that the budget include $60,000/year to cover the next revaluation process.
- Highway Department: the allocation for a lift gate truck has been pushed out a year, but there is a need to add replacement of a dump truck. The suggestion to reduce tree work was not considered as it was deemed necessary by Public Works Director Hanson. The allocation for drainage and catch basin is work that is not included in the road reconstruction project.
- Park & Recreation: a number of improvements were included in the budget proposal. Mrs. Pemberton suggested that these be done over a 2 or 3-year period. Director of Park & Recreation, Rob Blick, noted that the tennis courts surface is a safety issue and that should be done in the first year. Following discussion, the allocation was reduced to $23,500, to include the tennis court resurfacing, improvements at Topstone Beach, and renovation of the Topstone bathrooms.
- RCC Field #2 Turf surface project: Mrs. Pemberton noted that the bid package for this project has been advertised and bids are due March 2, 2015. This will provide a definite cost of the project. Letters of commitment from groups who have pledged funds are being sought. Barry Blades of Blades & Goven will be available at the March 5 Board of Finance budget presentation to answer question. The State grant for the project expires in July, and if the project is not approved for funding, the remaining funds will be returned to the State.
- Planning Department: the Historic Review Committee has requested funding for consultant fees, beyond the Planning Department consultant line item. The allocation of $5,000 would be for consultant fees associated with the evaluation of properties that are historic and slated for demolition.
- Old Town House Repair Work: The exterior of the building is in need of painting and some carpentry work. In addition, the windows, which contain antique glass, are in need of restoration. A matching grant is available. Mrs. Pemberton suggested budgeting $7,500 for the work that would include a matching grant and this would take care of the exterior paint/carpentry and one window restoration.
The budget was not finalized at this time. A special meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 8 am to finalize the budget.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen reappoint Rich Regan to the Water Pollution Control Commission. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen reappoint D. Todd Eubanks to the Water Pollution Control Commission. Thompson, Karvelis. Approved Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen appoint John Fisher to the Water Pollution Control Commission. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen appoint Margi Esten to the Board of Assessment Appeals. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Teen Center Subcommittee: The Board of Selectmen received a report at the December meeting regarding the need for and desires to establish a teen center for Redding teens.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen empower a subcommittee to study the feasibility of establishment and implementation of a teen center in Redding, with a report and recommendation by March 1, 2016. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Board of Selectmen appoint Joe Dolan as chairman, and John Board as a member of the Teen Center Subcommittee. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Update on Town Deer Management Program
Mrs. Pemberton reported that the Town deer bow hunt operated from October 9, 2014 to January 31, 2015. She is in the process of polling participants regarding their involvement, hours spent hunting, and other information. There were 30 registered hunters and 15 properties for the hunt. The application process for the deer hunt was handled this year by the First Selectman’s office.
Update on CDC Integrated Tick Management Study
The result of the CDC survey of deer presence was reviewed. It appears that there are more deer present than the targeted of 12 per square mile.
Update on DEEP revised MS$ Permit
Mrs. Pemberton reported that DEEP has issued a revised draft permit that mitigates financial inpace to the town.
Update on West Redding Train Statin Signage
The issue with the signage of the West Redding Train Station was reviewed. Currently, Metro North list Redding as the stop, but the actual station signage states West Redding. Metro North has suggested changing the name at the station to conform to the Metro North identification. Mrs. Pemberton requested and received information on what it would cost to change the Metro North identification. The estimate is $50,000. No action was taken.
Meeting date change
The March meeting date was changed from March 16 to March 9, 2015.
Motion: move that the Board of Selectmen change the March meeting from March 16 to March 9, 2015. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Board of Selectmen recess to executive session for a discussion of Dispatch Contract negotiations, Gilbert & Bennett pending litigation and Meadow Ridge pending litigation. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Chief Fuchs was invited to be present for the first item.
The meeting recessed at 10:10 pm
The Chair reconvened the meeting in public session at 10:45 pm
Motion: move to adjourn the meeting. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous
The meeting adjourned at 10:45 pm.
Submitted by Mary Maday, Recording Secretary