Board of Selectmen Meeting
Tuesday, June 21, 2021
7:30 p.m. via Zoom
Redding Town Hall Hearing Room/ZOOM
Present: Julia Pemberton, First Selectwoman; Peg O’Donnell, Selectwoman; Michael Thompson, Selectman; members of the public on ZOOM.
1. Call to order
First Selectwoman Pemberton called the meeting to order at 7:33 p.m.
2. Approval of Minutes
Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded the motion to approve the Minutes of 5/17/21. The motion passed unanimously.
3. Public Comment
John Reilly was present via ZOOM. Mr. Reilly noted the eventual need for replacements for Town Clerk and Tax Assessor should the incumbents choose to retire and suggested expanding the pool of applicants beyond Redding as appointed rather than elected positions.
Mr. Reilly also suggested changing the name of Board of Selectmen to Board of Selectperson.
4. Discussion and possible action on Gilbert & Bennett Factory Pond Dam Inspection proposal-Tighe & Bond.
Daniel Valentine from Tighe & Bond was present via ZOOM. Mr. Valentine reviewed the high hazard (Class C) classification of the dam according to DEEP criteria. The classification relates to the risk if the dam were to fail. The dam is currently out of compliance since the inspection is required every two years. The last Emergency Action Plan was updated in 2017. First Selectwoman reported that repairs totaling $250,000 were made at that time.
The approximate cost for the inspection is $3500 and the Emergency Action Plan is projected to cost $3000. Both items will take approximately one month from site visit to draft.
Mrs. Pemberton noted that there is $58,000 in a special revenue fund from the current tenants at the Wire Mill. Mrs. O’Donnell stressed the need to have monthly reporting for public knowledge. First Selectwoman Pemberton confirmed a special accounting procedure for the transactions.
Mrs. O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded the motion for the Board of Selectmen to authorize the First Selectman to execute the contract with Tighe & Bond in the amount of $3500 to perform a dam inspection and $3000 to update the Emergency Action Plan pending review by the Board of Finance. The motion passed unanimously.
Mrs. Pemberton reported that the contract will also be reviewed by Town Counsel. Mr. Valentine confirmed that Tighe & Bond will submit the contract to DEEP following the draft review.
Mrs. O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded the motion to move Administrative item 9 (a) to the fifth item. The motion passed unanimously.
9(a) Radio Project:
Radio Consultant Paul Zito was present via ZOOM. An update was provided noting that all major construction is done and the project is in good shape. The system will likely be live in early July. The landfill location will be ready in a few days and a delay in Branchville will not interfere with the system start date.
Mr. Thompson questioned the Branchville delay and it was confirmed that it is a legal issue that is being resolved. First Selectwoman Pemberton thanked Mr. Zito and Norcom for their work on this project.
5. Discussion and possible action on an RFQ/RFP to conduct a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment of the Gilbert & Bennett Wire Mill property.
First Selectwoman Pemberton stated that the proposed assessment is going out to bid. The Brownfield Municipal Grant Program application was submitted and a decision is due this month. The maximum grant amount is $200,000.
A licensed environmental professional will be looking at the site and the prior assessments will provide an historical viewpoint. Possible options for the town will be reviewed after the assessments are compiled and reviewed. A charrette will be held at a later time.
6. Discussion and possible action to approve a contract between the Town of Redding and Redding Police Dispatchers local (Unit #40-The United Public Service Employees Union).
Mrs. O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded the motion for the Board of Selectmen to provide funding for and otherwise approve the tentative agreement for a successor collective bargaining agreement with the police dispatchers’ bargaining unit. It is further moved that the First Selectman is designated with the authority to execute the final written contract document on behalf of the Board. The motion passed unanimously.
7. Discussion and possible action: Employee Compensation FY 2021-2022
First Selectwoman Pemberton reviewed the proposed stipend for Doug Hartline and Jean Winters.
Spending guidelines re: American Rescue Plan are pending. Mrs. Pemberton stated that the Executive Board of WestCOG is proposing using a Regional Services Planning Grant to assist towns in establishing guidelines for recovery funds.
Mrs. O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded the motion to change Administrative Item 9 to 8 and add an Executive Session to the end of the agenda. The motion passed unanimously.
b. Covid-19 Update
One new case has been reported in the last two weeks. Vaccination rates in the state and town were reviewed.
c. Governor’s Executive Orders
Implementer language for hybrid meetings needs to be clarified as it relates to electronic equipment and the role of the town in providing access to the meetings.
d. State Budget
e. Legislative Session Wrap
The controversial zoning bill re: as of right accessory units was reviewed. Workplace housing and incentive housing zones are also a priority.
f. ARP funding update
g. Playground update
Mrs. Pemberton met with parents last week and an additional meeting is taking place next week on site. The goal is to get something in the ground by the fall.
h. Blight Ordinance
No action has been taken. The Planning Commission had postponed discussion until a public forum could be scheduled. Mr. Thompson questioned the status of The Redding Grange. First Selectwoman Pemberton has a meeting on 6/22/21 re: Grange.
First Selectwoman Pemberton thanked participants and local businesses involved in the concert at the Georgetown Bible Church. Anyone interested in future events at the church, the Grange or has an interest in sustainability should contact Mrs. Pemberton.
The Area 9 Cable Council has reappointed Bob Moran to another two-year term. Appreciation for Mr. Moran’s contributions was noted.
Mr. Thompson responded to the earlier comments from Mr. Reilly, noting that electing Town Clerk and Tax Collector provides accountability to the tax payers and maintains local control over both positions. First Selectwoman Pemberton noted that Redding does not have a Town Charter but operates pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes. She indicated that the Town would have to adopt a Town Charter form of government in order to make the positions appointed rather than elected. The Selectmen complimented Michele Grande (Town Clerk) and Pat Moisio (Tax Collector) on the work they have done and continue to do for Redding.
Mrs. O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded the motion to go into Executive Session at 8:58 to discuss employee compensation. The motion passed unanimously.
The Board came out of Executive Session at 9:40 p.m. No action was taken.
Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded the motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:41 p.m. The motion passed unanimously.
Kristi C. Reilly