Present: Pemberton, Karvelis, Thompson
Also present: Treasurer Meehan, Police Chief Fuchs, five members of the public, representatives of the Redding Pilot and News Times
First Selectman Pemberton called the March 14, 2016 meeting to order at 7:32 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to approve the minutes of the meeting of February 16, 2016 as submitted. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
DISCUSSION AND ACTION ON BUDGET FY 2016-17
First Selectman Pemberton noted that the Board of Finance did not request adjustments to the proposed budget. As the proposed budget now stands, with technical edits and adjustments for the debt financing per the Board of Finance, the budget is $14,287,132 representing a 0.89% increase over the current year budget. The Redding Board of Education will meet on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, to revisit their budget as requested by the Board of Finance. The Region 9 Board of Education finalized their budget last week with a 0.59% increase. The increase for the town of Redding is -0.3%, and 1.5% for Easton.
The Board of Finance will meet on March 28, 2016 to finalize the budget.
DISCUSSION AND ACTION ON DATE OF ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen schedule the Annual Town Meeting on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 3:00 pm in the Hearing Room of the Town Office Building. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
The Board of Selectmen will consider a date for a referendum vote at the meeting.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON FIRE DEPARTMENT/EMS RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION PROGRAMS
Mrs. Pemberton reviewed the Town benefits that are currently available to the fire department volunteers. These benefits are intended to attract and reward volunteers for their service to the community. She provided research material that included what other towns in Connecticut offer their volunteers. Currently Redding provides abatement against their taxes based on service as determined by each fire district.
Glenn Johnson (West Redding FD), Mike Heibeck (Georgetown FD) and Bennett Pardee (Redding Ridge FD) were present and discussed the issues with the Board. Mr. Johnson noted that many of the volunteers work two jobs and still have time to volunteer and some volunteers do not reside in Redding He feels the tax abatement is a good incentive, but additional volunteers are needed. He suggested encouraging town employees to become volunteers who are available during the day, with an understanding that they would be able to leave their jobs if they are needed. Other benefits could be free Topstone passes or Recycling Center passes.
Recruitment of new members consists of encouraging those in the scout groups, fund raisers, word of mouth, advertising, social media and website information. The EMT course offered at Joel Barlow High School continues to be a good source of EMTs.
West Redding currently has a core group of about 20 volunteers, with many more on their roster. Georgetown has about 25 active volunteers and Redding Ridge has about 25, with another 45 very involved. West Redding and Redding Ridge cooperate on a paid day crew, alternating service. West Redding has a 12 hour day and the Ridge has a 9 hour day. Mr. Pardee noted that, for the past 15 years, the paid crew consists of members of their volunteer core. Georgetown has a paid day 2-member crew working 6 am to 6 pm. Call volume for Georgetown is about 736/year, West Redding & Redding Ridge is about 436/year. Other benefits and options for benefits were discussed.
The Board of Selectmen suggested that a task force be established to review the benefit program and should include representatives of the three Fire Districts, Board of Selectmen, & Board of Finance. The Board will formalize the process at their April meeting.
DISCUSSION AND UPDATE ON 2017 PROPERTY REVALUATION
Mrs. Pemberton reviewed the various phases of the 2017 property revaluation process. Currently, the process is in Phase 1, data collection. This phase is expected to take one year and includes a visual inspection of the interior of homes. Letters will be sent to homeowners requesting an appointment for the inspection. The process will be complete for the tax bills issued on July 1, 2018.
DISCUSSION AND ACTION ON SPECIAL TOWN MEETING
A Town Meeting will be scheduled to approve funding for the Annex Building and Umpawaug Schoolhouse repairs, the 2017 Property Revaluation funding, and approval of the Health Department Ordinance.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen set the date of April 11, 2016, at 7:30 pm to consider and authorize the funding for the Annex Building & Schoolhouse repairs and 2017 Property Revaluation from the Capital Nonrecurring Account, and to approve the Health Department Ordinance. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move to add to the agenda an appointment to the Ethics Committee. Thompson, Karvelis. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen reappoint Dan Barrett as a full member of the Board of Ethics. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen appoint Richard Emerson as an alternate member of the Board of Ethics. Thompson, Karvelis. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen appoint William Whitehead Jr. as an alternate member of the Zoning Commission. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen appoint Andrew Carman as a full member of the Board of Ethics upon the expiration of the term of Henry Bielawa. Pemberton, Karvelis. Approved. Unanimous.
Burt Webb: Mr. Webb commented on a situation that involved the changing of building lighting to LED lighting in the schools in Redding and Easton. He commented that the Director of Finance failed to go out to bid for the project as required by state statute. He also stated that the project totaled about $750,000.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen recess the meeting to executive session for a discussion of personnel matters. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Police Chief Doug Fuchs was invited to be present.
The meeting recessed at 8:46 pm.
The meeting was reconvened in public session at 10:44 pm.
No action was taken.
Motion: Move to adjourn the meeting. Thompson, Karvelis. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 10:45 pm.
Submitted by Mary Maday, Recording Secretary