Present: Ketcham, Pemberton, Takacs
Also present: four members of the public, Recycling Center Coordinator Kulowiec, Finance Director Gniadek, Police Chief Fuchs, and a representative of the Redding Pilot.
First Selectman Ketcham called the January 14, 2013 meeting to order at 6:05 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to approve the minutes of the December 17, 2012 meeting as submitted. Pemberton, Takacs. Approved. Unanimous.
DISCUSSION OF 2013-14 BUDGET
Recycling Center: Mr. Kulowiec provided information on a proposed new fee structure for the transfer station. A new scale will be used to weigh bulky material that was previously estimated. He noted that the fee is not changing, but making the 10 cents per pound for the scale-weight fee official. The fee is comparable with neighboring towns.
Mr. Kulowiec proposed a new $7.50 per yard fee to dump wood chips to cover the cost of having them hauled away. With the storms over the past two years, wood chips accumulated faster than the need for them by residents and some needed to be hauled away. This fee could be waived should the quantity of woodchips on site decrease to an acceptable quantity.
Mr. Kulowiec also proposed a new limit for the amount of paper brought to the twice-yearly Paper Shred Day. The purpose is to allow residents the opportunity to dispose of paper safely, and this past year some brought loads of paper from their offices & businesses. The change is to specify residential paper, no business or home office material, and a limit of 5 file boxes per resident per event.
Motion: move to approve the new fee schedule as proposed for the Transfer Station. Takacs, Pemberton. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move to approve a new fee for the Transfer Station, $7.50 per yard to dump wood chips. Takacs, Pemberton. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move to approve a residential 5-file box limit per resident for the Paper Shredding Day at the Transfer Station. Pemberton, Takacs. Approved. Unanimous.
Board members discussed other areas of the proposed budget and had some follow-up information from the budget workshop.
Mark Twain Library: question regarding their fuel oil increases. Mr. Gniadek has sent a communication to the Library requesting information on fuel usage amounts and suggesting that their usage be added to the Town’s oil purchase to save money.
Police Department: the proposed budget increase has been reduced from 8.3% to 6.4%.
Education: Superintendent of Schools Josefsberg submitted a letter that indicated the Board of Education is addressing school security with proposals:
- material steps to better secure the physical environment
- a review of emergency protocol and procedures by the ER9 staff
- work in collaboration with the Police Department
Dr. Josefsberg anticipates there may be some corporate contributions to pay for some of the security initiatives. $135,000 is estimated to be needed to implement the most immediate security improvements, and he indicated the Board of Education would prefer a special appropriation to fund the security improvements rather than incorporate them in the operating budget.
The addition of a School Resource Officer was also discussed. This position would be an addition for the Police Department and the cost would be carried in that operating budget. Discussion followed. The Board of Selectmen was in agreement that the additional staffing (SRO) should be in the proposed police department budget
The Board of Selectmen agreed to move forward with a request for the funds for the first phase of school security enhancements. In addition, there is a need to fund the police overtime budget. That current year budget line had been fully expended as a result of the support to Newtown in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.
The Board of Selectmen will schedule a joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen, Board of Education, school administrators, and Board of Finance to discuss the details of the request so that all understand exactly what is proposed and the amount of funding needed to fund the first phase of school security enhancements. The proposed joint meeting date is January 28, 2013, the date of the next regularly scheduled Board of Finance regular meeting. Upon agreement of the request by the Board of Finance, the Board of Selectmen will schedule a Town Meeting for mid-February for consideration of the funding request.
DISCUSSION ON CGI COMMUNICATION COMMUNITY VIDEO NETWORK PROGRAM
CGI Communication Community provides cities and towns with a video produced to promote the city/town. They have a working relationship with the National League of Cities. The video is designed to represent the city and includes sponsorship by the business community to fund the service. The video is hosted on their server, can be accessed by the Town’s website and the website, relocate.org. Discussion centered on the advertising that accompanies the video and the 3-year contract. Mrs. Pemberton suggested that a video could be done independently by a community volunteer or working with high school students in their photography/video program. The selectmen were in agreement with the concept of a video, but would prefer to do it in-house. Mrs. Pemberton will follow up on this issue.
Motion: move that the Board of Selectmen appoint Liz Leonard as a full member of the Board of Assessment Appeals. Pemberton, Takacs. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Board of Selectmen appoint Regina O’Brien Heald as an Alternate to the Planning Commission. Takacs, Pemberton. Approved. Unanimous.
The appointment of a resident to the Western Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau was tabled pending confirmation with the person nominated.
Costa Lane issue: Mrs. Ketcham noted that a letter from Attorney Neil Marcus was received on January 10, 2013 requesting the Board of Selectmen consider the petition to accept Costa Lane as a town road. The process to accept the road as a town road includes acceptance at a Town Meeting. Acceptance of the road is required for an application before the Planning Commission for Costa Stergue to move forward with a plan for a subdivision. The selectmen agreed to accept the petition, and will move the process forward upon confirmation by the town engineers, Milone & McBroom, that the road is acceptable.
Motion: move that the Board of Selectmen accept the petition for the acceptance of Costa Lane as a town road and a date for a Town Meeting will be determined at the Board’s next meeting on January 28, 2013. Ketcham, Takacs. Approved. Unanimous.
Jeanne Wendschuh, Deer Spring Road: Mrs. Wendschuh requested that when the proposal for the School Resource Officer is presented that the costs for the position include salary and all costs including pension benefits.
James Miller, Middlebrook Pond Road: Mr. Miller asked how the school security enhancements and the school resource officer (SRO) would be funded. Mrs. Ketcham responded that it is likely that the SRO would be funded from the General Fund and the equipment cost would be funded through the Capital Nonrecurring Account, but the final decision rests with the Board of Finance.
Paul Degener, Portland Hill Avenue: Mr. Degener, speaking for the Portland Avenue neighbors, questioned the need to activate the new traffic signals at Route 107 and Portland Avenue. He added that when the neighbors were apprised of the plan to install the traffic signal they were told the signals would not be activated until the G&B project work was underway. Mrs. Ketcham responded that the town does not control the activation of the traffic signal, which it is the responsibility of the CT DOT, but she will forward the question and concern to the CT DOT.
Motion: move to adjourn the meeting. Takacs, Pemberton. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 7:40 pm.
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary