Board of Selectmen Meeting
Monday, January 22, 2018
7:30 p.m., Town Hall Hearing Room
Present: Julia Pemberton, First Selectman; Peg O’Donnell, Selectman; Michael Thompson, Selectman.
Also present: Joanne Perlman and Amy Alcott, Registrars; Aimee Pardee, WEO/ZEO; members of the public; reporters; videographers.
1. Call to Order
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:54 p.m.
2. Approval of Minutes
No Minutes at this time.
3. Presentation from advocates of a proposed ordinance banning the use of fracking waste in Redding.
Kelly Harran of Poverty Hollow Road, Redding, gave a PowerPoint presentation explaining why the proposed ordinance was important to enact to protect the Town’s environment and protect groundwater from potential contamination from fracking waste, both solid and liquid.
Ridgefield and Weston are said to be close to passing a similar ordinance. Town Counsel is reviewing language in the proposed ordinance. Ms. Harran reported that 34 towns across the state have enacted the ordinance with similar language as is being presented.
Toby Welles, Planning Commission Chair, made a statement in favor of the ordinance noting that it is in conformance with the Town Plan of Conservation & Development. David Pattee, Conservation Commission Chair, spoke in favor of the ordinance noting the Commission’s charge of protecting the watershed, wetlands and watercourses in Redding. Mr. Pattee commented that there seems to be a lot of leeway for the DEEP to enact a regulation that allows certain types of waste and excludes others. Mr. Pattee is wary of leaving an important topic like this to the bureaucrats.
James Miller, Meadowbrook Pond Road, questioned if Town Counsel wrote the ordinance. Kelly Harran replied that the language in the proposed ordinance was provided by Riverkeeper. Mr. Miller stated that his sister purchased mineral rights of property to prevent slant drilling on her property.
M. Thompson asked whether the proposed ordinance bans transportation of fracking waste on Redding roads and raised the issue of what entity has jurisdiction to do so – federal, state or municipal government.
A Special Town Meeting will be held 2/13/18 (see below.)
4. Discussion and possible action to set a date for a Special Town Meeting to consider and vote on:
a. Adoption of changes to the Land Use Applications ordinance and changes to the land use fee schedules previously presented to the Board of Selectmen.
b. Funding for the WPCC modernization plan for the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
c. Adoption of an ordinance banning the use or storage of fracking related waste in Redding.
On the motion of P. O’Donnell and the second of M. Thompson, the Board voted unanimously to set the date of February 13, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at the Redding Community Center for a Special Town Meeting for the following purposes: to consider and vote on funding for planned upgrades to the Redding Wastewater Treatment Plan in the amount of $796,212 to be financed through a combination of a municipal lease and unassigned fund balance; to consider and vote on an ordinance (fracking waste ban) prohibiting the storage, disposal, or use of waste from oil and gas exploration or extraction activities or any derivative thereof in the town of Redding; to consider the adoption of changes to the Land Use Applications ordinance and changes to the Land Use Fee Schedules.
5. Discussion of 2018-2019 Budget
Registrars Amy Alcott and Joanne Perlman were present to review their proposed budget and changing scope of their job. The need for on-going training and the challenges in training part-time employees were discussed. P. O’Donnell suggested using Town committee newsletters as a way to let residents know of openings.
A Special Meeting will be scheduled to review the budget line by line. J. Pemberton noted the possibility that the Town may not receive the second half of State funds for roads, therefore, a provision will need to be put in the budget. The condition of roads has deteriorated quicker due to extreme weather. J. Pemberton has reviewed information about a piece of equipment that makes filling potholes more efficient and has forwarded the information to the Highway Superintendent for review. Residents can email or report concerns via the Town website.
J. Pemberton stated that the State Trooper program may not be a viable option, however, staffing levels at the Police Department will be reviewed. P. O’Donnell noted the challenge for the Board of Finance with numerous interests competing for funds.
a. Appointments: Reappointment of David Anderson to Board of Ethics and the appointment of Jenifer Wyss to the Zoning Board of Appeals to fill a vacancy.
On the motion of P. O’Donnell and the second of M. Thompson, the Board voted unanimously to reappoint David Anderson to the Board of Ethics.
On the motion of M. Thompson and the second of P. O’Donnell, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Jenifer Wyss to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
b. Update on Long Ridge Road Realignment Project Public Information Meeting.
J. Pemberton provided an update on the Long Ridge Road realignment project. The project will be federally reimbursed at 90% and the remaining 10% will be reimbursed by the State. The issue of gate placement still needs to be resolved.
c. Update on status of the investigations of civilian complaints and the Chief of Police.
Julia Pemberton reported that the remaining interview, Douglas Fuchs, is delayed due to an injury sustained by Atty. Patrick McHale.
7. Public Comment
Re: voting personnel discussed in Item 5, Jean Wendschuh suggested that such positions should be regionalized due to the part time hours and required knowledge.
8. Board Member Comment
On the motion of P. O’Donnell and the second of M. Thompson, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 9:32 p.m.
Kristi C. Reilly