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Minutes of Board of Selectmen Special Meeting, 12/21/2020

AGENDA: Board of Selectmen Special Meeting

RECEIVED 12/23/2020 1:53pm
Kathleen R. Miserendino - Redding Deputy Town Clerk

Board of Selectmen Special Meeting
Tuesday, December 21, 2020
7:00 p.m.  Via Zoom

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

Also present: Town Counsel Steve Stafstrom; members of town boards and commissions attended the meeting in addition to members of the public.

  1. Call to order
    First Selectwoman Pemberton called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.
  2. Approval of Minutes
    Mrs. O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded the motion to approve the 11/16/20 Meeting Minutes.
  1. Connecticut DEEP Brownfields/Brownfield Programs: Mark Lewis
    –Brownfields Coordinator
    –CT Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection FAQs

    Mark Lewis, Brownfields Coordinator and Ray Frigon, Assistant Director Remediation were present from DEEP. The municipal brownfield liability relief program was reviewed. Mr. Lewis summarized that the liability protection provides exemption from standard property transfer requirements and assists with the plan to facilitate a cleanup for eventual re-use.

    The DEEP website has new information re: grants and loans for brownfield assessment and cleanup. The site map from the remediation action plan was screenshared and the hot spot of metals contamination noted. All areas of contamination will be capped.

    Thompson questioned if the liability relief plan includes federal liability.  Mr. Lewis suggested use of an environmental attorney and noted the need to get a Phase 1 survey within 6 months prior to taking the title.

    First Selectwoman Pemberton reiterated this is not a superfund site. Mr. Frigon noted the importance of the two main criteria concerning contaminants: direct exposure and pollutant mobility, subject to RCRA requirements.

Dan Souza, 81 Fire Hill Road questioned what the magnitude of remediation will be. Mrs. Pemberton stated that it will depend on what the use will be. Mr. Frigon stated that the most restrictive work is residential use.

The Board was referred to Jeff Wilcox as a reference due to his “encyclopedic knowledge” and planning grants will be an option once there is a title.

  1. Discussion and Possible Action:
    OPEB ordinance

Per Mrs. Pemberton, a draft ordinance has been received and reviewed.  Mr. Stafstrom confirmed that he has reviewed the document.  Dr. Yonkers reviewed her questions which have been addressed in the current draft.

Due to the expiration in February of the Executive Order re: virtual special town meetings, a late January date will be proposed. Mr. Thompson confirmed that the Board of Finance has reviewed the draft.  Mr. Stafstrom stated that the Board of Selectmen enables legislation to create the trust.  The ordinance creates the trust board which will be comprised of existing Board of Finance members.

Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded the motion to take the proposed ordinance to a vote at a special town meeting, date TBA and pending final review by the Board of Finance.

Dog leash ordinance: revision to Open Space ordinance to include leash requirement
The draft Amended Open Space Ordinance was reviewed.  It was confirmed that fines cannot be issued if this were a rule rather than an ordinance. Mr. Thompson suggested the addition of language addressing control of animals other than dogs.

Mr. Thompson motioned and Mrs. O’Donnell seconded the motion to approve the proposed change to the Open Space Ordinance and move to a vote at a special town meeting, date TBA.

Blight ordinance
The proposed ordinance as presented by Enhancing Redding’s Future was reviewed. Concern was noted re: sensitivity to unfair housing practices and high-density properties. Mrs. O’Donnell suggested additional time for more residents to review the proposed ordinance.

Mr. Thompson suggested redrafting the ordinance to clean up the substance and to establish a five-person board. It was confirmed that the Planning Commission has jurisdiction over Scenic Roads, however the Board of Selectmen can overrule.

Chris Hesketh-Tutton questioned who will submit the final draft.  Mrs. Pemberton replied that the Board of Selectmen will submit.

Mrs. O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded the motion to send the draft Blight Ordinance to the Planning Commission for review.

Fire and EMS Ordinance: increase tax abatement from $1000 to maximum of $2000 per CT PA-00036
First Selectwoman Pemberton reviewed the tax abatement, originally proposed for FY 20.  Mrs. O’Donnell noted her appreciation for the fire and EMS volunteers.  Mr. Thompson suggested discussing with the Board of Finance.  The proposal will be forwarded to the Board of Finance for inclusion on their agenda.

  1. Public Comment
    Chris Hesketh-Tutton noted his support of the proposed tax abatement.
  2. Discussion and possible action: To set a date Town Meeting to consider adoption of ordinances.
    Pemberton will request a virtual special town meeting to be set up for late January.
  3. Administrative:
    Approve calendar for 2021 BOS meetings
    O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded the motion to approve the 2021 meeting calendar.

    Executive Order No. 9R – property tax low interest or tax deferment program
    Per Mrs. Pemberton, the low-interest tax deferment program will be extended.

    An update was sent out today via email.  The vaccination plan is fluid and recent
    changes by the CDC were noted.  All updates will be on the town website.

    Public safety radio communications project
    First Selectwoman Pemberton reported on the successful test of the system.  The consoles will be installed at the Police Department the first week in January due to a 10-day delay because of COVID. Mrs. Pemberton is still seeking a project management consultant.

  4. Other Business
    No items.
  5. Adjourn
    Mrs. O’Donnell motioned and Mr. Thompson seconded the motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:17 p.m.

Submitted by:
Kristi C. Reilly