Present: Pemberton, Karvelis, Thompson
Also present: ten members of the public, a representative of the Redding Pilot and videographers.
First Selectman Pemberton called the May 19, 2014 meeting to order at 7:30 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to approve the minutes of the April 15, 2014 meeting as submitted. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move to approve the minutes of the April 15, 2014 meeting as corrected. Thompson, Karvelis Approved. Unanimous.`
Correction: page 2, first motion under Administrative Matters: change Board of Education to Board of Selectmen.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON CAPITAL PROJECTS: Police Communications Tower
Police Chief Fuchs reviewed the status of the current communications tower at the Police Department. The current tower is old and is overloaded. The tower serves as the communication hub for the Police, Fire, EMS, and Highway Department. Should the tower fail, communication services would be compromised. The Police Department has a back up system, but communication for Fire & EMS would be diminished. The cost estimate for a replacement tower, a monopole system at 120 feet is just under $300,000.
Ron van Ostendorp of the Redding Ridge Fire Department and Mike Heibeck of the Georgetown Fire District both spoke in support of the need for and importance of the communication tower. Discussion of changing the fire departments changing from a low band frequency to a high band frequency was discussed and determined to be a very expensive proposition, and such a change would take time and funding approval. The West Redding Fire District communicated their support for the new tower via email.
Mrs. Pemberton noted that the approval process for a new tower will include review by the Long Range Capital Planning Committee, Planning Commission, Board of Finance, and a Public Hearing.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen approve the proposal for replacement of the Police Department Communication Tower as presented for consideration by the Long Range Capital Planning Committee and recommendation to the Board of Finance for funding. Thompson, Karvelis. Approved. Unanimous.
PARK & RECREATION: REPORT ON FIELD CONDITIONS AND USAGE
Park & Recreation Director Rob Blick provided a review of the current athletic field conditions and the process of opening and closing fields for use. The P&R Department maintains the three fields at the Redding Community Center and partially maintains the Redding Elementary School and John Read Middle School fields. Mr. Blick reported the RCC fields are in very good condition, the JRMS field is in fair condition and the RES field is a “packed” surface. Pesticides have not been used on the RCC fields; the weeds are controlled through the program that includes aeration, seeding, fertilizing and frequent mowing.
The use of the fields is handled by the P&R Department, with user groups applying for use. The Lacrosse and Soccer groups are the two primary user groups. The fields are opened in the Spring in early April, depending on weather conditions. The fields are closed whenever the fields have standing water or saturated surface. The user groups have been very cooperative in recognizing those conditions and do not want the surface damaged or endanger the athletics. Mr. Blick noted that the conversion of RCC #2 to a turf surface would provide greater flexibility and usage time for all athletic groups.
Paul Degener, Chairman of the Park & Recreation Commission, commended Mr. Blick for his oversight of the fields and for keeping them in good condition.
Mrs. Pemberton suggested that an update of the usage study for the fields would be helpful. The STEAP Grant awarded to the Town for the athletic fields has a current balance of $347,920. Those funds are set to expire on July 7, 2015 if not used. Mrs. Pemberton will check to see if a further extension is possible. Since the original grant was for a turf field at JRMS and was repurposed for a turf field at RCC #2, she suggested consideration the possibility for repurposing the grant for improvement of the existing field rather than a turf surface. She has also talked with Joe Dolan on reactivating efforts for private fundraising for a turf surface field. An update on usage of the fields would be helpful, especially in light of the declining school age population in Redding. Milone & MacBroom will also be contacted for an update on the original study that they did.
a. Authorizing Resolution: Webster Bank. Town Treasurer Peg O’Donnell reported that the transition of the Town’s financial banking to Webster Bank is moving along. The lockbox has been set up and the grid of accounts has been approved. The Master Services Agreement is being reviewed by town counsel. The goal is for transition on July 1, 2014. She is still working out the details on compensating balance and fees, and there will be training for those involved in the banking processes. Mrs. O’Donnell requested the Board of Selectmen sign an Authorizing Resolution and the documentation was reviewed.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen approve the Authorizing Resolution with Webster Bank as presented. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move to add to the agenda an item, Approval of Resolution for Connecticut State Library Grant for Historic Document Preservation Grant for Town Clerk. Thompson, Karvelis. Approved. Unanimous.
DISCUSSION AND APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION
The Resolution for the Connecticut State Library Grant for Historic Document Preservation Grant for the Town Clerk’s office was reviewed.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Selectmen approve the Resolution authorizing the Connecticut State Library Grant for Historic Document Preservation as presented. Thompson, Karvelis. Approved. Unanimous.
b. Update on Redding Ridge Cell Tower: Mrs. Pemberton reported the Connecticut Siting Council has submitted the documentation for the Redding Ridge Fire District cell tower proposal. She anticipates a formal hearing on the matter will be scheduled for a June date and will be in Redding. She noted that the Planning Commission had requested an additional propagation study be to done at a lower height and this has not yet been completed.
c. Update on HVECO Merger: Mrs. Pemberton reported the merger of HVECO (Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials) with SWRPA (South Western Regional Planning Agency) is moving along.
Motion: move to appoint Lynn Valenti to the Park & Recreation Commission. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Motion: move to appoint James Bacon to the Planning Commission as a full member and Michael Nostin to the Planning Commission as an alternate member. Karvelis, Thompson. Approved. Unanimous.
Jeanne Wendschuh, Deer Spring Drive: Mrs. Wendschuh asked a question regarding the Town Ordinance regarding HVECO. Mrs. Pemberton responded that the ordinance would be replaced with a new one for the merged organization.
Peg O’Donnell: Mrs. O’Donnell reported that the town has a BAN (Bond Anticipation Note) due to roll over in September and given the low interest rates, long term financing should be considered. This information should be a part of the conversation for the Long Range Capital Planning Committee when they meet on Wednesday.
Motion: move that the Board of Selectmen recess to the conference room for executive session to discuss employee compensation. Thompson, Karvelis. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting recessed at 9:17 pm
The meeting was reconvened in public session at 9:46 pm.
No further action was taken.
Motion: move to adjourn the meeting. Thompson, Karvelis. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 9:46 pm
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary