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Minutes of Board of Selectmen Special Meeting, 06/15/2020

AGENDA: Board of Selectmen Special Meeting

RECEIVED 06/22/2020 12:14pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Board of Selectmen
Special Meeting
Tuesday, June 15, 2020
Via Zoom


Present: Julia Pemberton, First Selectwoman; Peg O’Donnell, Selectwoman; Michael Thompson, Selectman.

Also present: Members of the public joined the meeting in addition to members of Town staff.

1. Call to order

The First Selectwoman called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

2. Approval of Minutes

Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded to approve the 5/18/20 Minutes.

3. Board Member Comment

No comments.

4. Public Comment

No comments.

5. Redding Transfer Station: municipal recycling and waste disposal operations
Discussion with Jen Heaton Jones, Executive Director of the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority (HRRA)* on current and future challenges to successful operations (market conditions, capital infrastructure, etc.)

Jen Heaton-Jones from HRRA was present via video. She reviewed the increasing costs of disposal and long-term challenges. Ms. Heaton-Jones noted that there is a prevalence of incorrect recycling leading to contamination. Other challenges include generation of waste in excess of what the state can handle and due to the current market, not enough monetary return. Additionally, The Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA), who represents 51 municipalities in modernizing the state’s solid waste disposal practices, may be closing.

Options to achieve a reduction in waste and an increase in recycling were reviewed including a pay as you go system or a bag system. P. O’Donnell questioned if private haulers are required to follow the same rules as the transfer station. Ms. Heaton-Jones confirmed that they are and offered to educate residents on how to recycle properly.

Mr. Thompson questioned ways to recycle more efficiently. Redding is currently in the Phase 1 pilot program in which glass is not included. A guide to recycling will be posted on a webpage that HRRA will put on their site. Ms. Heaton-Jones suggested additional information be added to the Redding town website.

6. Sustainable CT Membership
Discussion and possible action to adopt a resolution authorizing the First Selectwoman to submit an application to join the Sustainable CT program.

First Selectwoman Pemberton reviewed the benefits of becoming a member of Sustainable CT. She noted that Redding has already done many of the action items. There is no charge to join but it will require a sustainability team.

Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded to authorize the First Selectwoman to submit an application to Sustainability CT based on the discussion of the resolution and terms described.

7. TAN Resolution: regarding BOS authorization, in concurrence with the BOF, to issue up to $5,000,000 tax anticipation notes of the town to fund current expenses and obligations of the town for fiscal year 2021.

J. Pemberton reported that the Board of Finance authorized the resolution to obtain a tax anticipation note on 4/22/20 for cash flow to operate town government if taxes collected from July-October are not sufficient to cover the first few months of the operating budget. The interest on late taxes will be 3% for three months then it will revert to 18%. A fire tax bill and personal property tax bill will be sent separately.

Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded to authorize the Board of Selectmen to issue up to $5,000,000 tax anticipation note.

8. Utilities Task Force: review & adopt amended committee charge

First Selectwoman Pemberton reviewed the utilities task force charge as written in 2015. She discussed and proposed amending the charge of the task force to “explore the use of solar power for town services.” The change would go into effect for one year starting July 1, 2020. Chris Tse, Richard Stein, and Jim Lang will be the on the tax force.

Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded to approve rewriting the Utilities Task Force committee charge to begin on July 1, 2020 and end June 30, 2021.

9. Employee Compensation

J. Pemberton reported that the town employee wage increase will be 2 ½% and no stipends were approved. She stated that Doug Hartline has received a recurring stipend budgeted for his dual role as Health Officer and Emergency Management Officer.

Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded to approve a stipend of $1,000 for Doug Hartline.

10. Administrative

a. Appointment: Jen Wastrom to the Western CT Tourism District

Mrs. O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded to appoint Jen Wastrom to the Western CT Tourism District for a period of three years.

b. Station Road Bridge Update

Per J. Pemberton, a construction date is expected soon. The project is scheduled to take four weeks at the most and is scheduled to be completed by the opening of school. Detour signs will be installed.

c. Norwalk River Valley Trail Update: Redding Mile

A contract from Timber & Stone is pending.

d. COVID 19: Redding response & reopening plans

J. Pemberton reported that town wide COVID 19 testing yielded no positive results for 180 tested residents. Guidance for employees and residents was reviewed. Phase 1 will allow opening municipal buildings for employees only on 6/22/20. Phase 2 will allow appointment only access for the public on 7/6/20.

Topstone Park has opened for residents to swim by advance reservation only.

11. Public Comment

No comments.

12. Adjournment

First Selectwoman Pemberton reported that a peaceful vigil was held with 100 residents in attendance due to the unrest as a result of the murder of Mr. Floyd. Acknowledgement of the history of events in Redding history was made.

Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m.

Submitted by:
Kristi C. Reilly

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