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Minutes of Board of Selectmen, 11/16/2020

AGENDA: Board of Selectmen

RECEIVED 11/19/2020 2:16pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Board of Selectmen
Tuesday, November 16, 2020
7:30 p.m.
Via Zoom


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

Also present: Members of the public joined the meeting.

1. Call to order

The First Selectwoman called the meeting to order at 7:34 p.m.

2. Approval of Minutes -Minutes of October 19, 2020

Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded the motion to approve the 10/19/20 Meeting Minutes.

3. Public Comment
Sarah O’Dell noted her concerns regarding the delay in COVID-related communications to residents. First Selectwoman Pemberton reported that information re: COVID exposure is received at the same time that parents receive the information. Efforts will continue to provide timely information to the two new tabs on the town website, COVID-19 DATA and COVID-19 INFO.

Nancy Pelz-Paget asked if the recent surge involved a cluster. Mrs. Pemberton stated that a contact tracer obtains the information which remains confidential other than basic information for a small group of first responders. Emergency Management Director Sean McKenney reported that there is no evidence of clusters at this time. Mr. McKenney noted the five-day lag time between the state department of public health reporting results back to the town. Schools are notified within 24 hours.

Dan Souza encouraged a balance between safety and precaution with privacy protection. Julia Pemberton reiterated that the town follows all CDC and CT Public Health recommendations and specific locations of positive COVID cases are not made public. Mr. McKenney stated that since this is a public health emergency, precautions are required in all areas. As of today, there are 16 positive cases and no known hot spots. Carolyn Baker stated that the schools are doing a good job communicating information. She encouraged more specific information regarding clusters to be made public. Ms. Baker thanked the Board of Finance re: retirement trust.

4. NRVT/DOT Lease

Town Attorney Steve Stafstrom reviewed the NRVT project status and the three contracts involved, the DOT contract for leasing the land, Stantec for the environmental study and Timber + Stone for trail construction.

Mr. Stafstrom noted the addition of an indemnification clause and insurance provision in the DOT lease. Mr. Thompson confirmed that these are typical provisions. Mrs. O’Donnell confirmed that the addition of the insurance provision will not measurably increase the town’s insurance.

Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded the motion to authorize Julia Pemberton to execute the DOT lease on behalf of the town.

5. Discussion and Possible Action: OPEB Trust Ordinance

First Selectwoman Pemberton reviewed the OPEB Trust Ordinance as presented at the Board of Finance meeting. The next step is for the Board of Selectmen to draft an ordinance.

Mr. Stafstrom noted that many communities are using this option as a way to invest current funds for future obligations.

6. Discussion and Possible Action: Blight Ordinance

Mrs. O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded the motion to refer the proposed Blight Ordinance to the Zoning Commission.

7. Discussion and Possible Action: Dog Leash Ordinance

First Selectwoman Pemberton recommended a revision to the existing Open Space Ordinance. Since the Conservation Commission is in charge of open space, they will be requested to review and comment on a revision.

Mrs. O’Donnell asked if the community center, town hall and town green for example would be considered areas where an ordinance would apply. Bruce Given noted the state law and recent Land Trust decision to require leashes and suggested the town adopt a similar ordinance. It was confirmed that a revision to the current Open Space Ordinance would require a town meeting via ZOOM.

Stuart Green noted that any review by the Conservation Commission would focus on the conservation and protection of habitat and trails.

Mrs. O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded the motion to refer the proposed amendment to the Open Space Ordinance to the Conservation Commission.

8. Public Safety Radio/Communication Project Update

First Selectwoman Pemberton reviewed the timeline as confirmed by Norcomm. Installation of the console is on track for completion by the end of December. Receipt of additional equipment is pending however this will not cause a project delay. Bennett Pardee suggested utilizing a project manager to guide the process.

Steve Gniadek has been given the go-ahead to secure the T1 lines.

9. FY-2021 Budget Season Calendar

The budget season calendar was reviewed. J. Pemberton will add anticipated extra meetings to the calendar.

10. Covid-19 Update

New pages have been added to the town website and will be updated on a daily basis. There are 4 new positive cases. Mrs. Pemberton commended Doug Hartline for his diligence on this project.

Margo Gross suggested utilizing CERT teams if needed. Mr. McKenney stated that there hasn’t been a need yet, however he will discuss the possible need with Mr. Hartline.

Mr. Thompson questioned the status of Park & Recreation programs. J. Pemberton confirmed that all indoor programs are on hold with the exception of extended day programs when school is in session.

11. Other Business

Mr. Stafstrom provided an update re: Nancy Burton pending litigation. The Board reiterated their offer to work with Ms. Burton to resolve the issue and re-home the goats.

12. Public Comment

Jim Lang noted that Guilford separates commercial and residential cases re: blight ordinance. He commended the Board on bringing issues to resolution.

Margo Gross noted concern re: COVID and college students. Statewide protocol was issued by the Governor today. Per J. Pemberton, infractions can be issued for not following the protocol.

13. Executive Session: Pending Litigation:
A. Redding Life Care (Meadow Ridge)
B. Burton, Nancy v. Pemberton, Julia, First Selectman

Mrs. O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded the motion to go into Executive Session along with Mr. Stafstrom at 9:15 p.m.

The Board came out of Executive Session at 10:03. No action was taken.

14. Adjourn

Mrs. O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded the motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:04 p.m.

Submitted by:
Kristi C. Reilly

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