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Minutes of Region 9 Board of Education Special Meeting, 10/21/2021

AGENDA: Region 9 Board of Education Special Meeting

RECEIVED 10/25/2021 8:30am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Filed subject to approval

October 21, 2021– 7:00 p.m.
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Meeting ID: 849 6883 8827       Passcode: 927498
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Board members: Johnston, Graziano, D’Agostino, Denny, Lehberger, O’Brien, Pampel, Williams
Administration: McKinnon, Petruzzelli


T. Johnston called the Region 9 Board of Education Special Meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.




Dr. McKinnon reported that during early 2021 (winter/spring), the Joel Barlow High School boilers required maintenance and repair. One boiler needed a new fuel pump and the other boiler cracked a section. During maintenance and repair, the contractor reported heavy scaling inside the boiler which means the boiler sections were clogged with debris. There is a contract with a Connecticut Combustion Corporation from June 29, 2021 to address these boiler issues with a new boiler. The Board was not aware of this contract or the need for a new boiler until late September 2021. The new boiler will be installed in October 2021 and will function as the primary boiler and the primary source of heat for JBHS. The other two boilers will be chemically cleaned and operate as secondary and redundant sources of heat. There is an ongoing review of this matter and an audit of the procedures related to this boiler project.


Dr. McKinnon reported the previous Director of Finance & Operations (Clarence Zachary) approved a purchase order in the amount of $225,360 to Connecticut Combustion Corporation for a new boiler at JBHS. This equipment was not budgeted in the Region 9 2020-2021 operating budget or capital plan. Unbeknownst to the Board, the cost of the boiler was encumbered to the 2020-2021 General Fund in account 2600-4312 named Cleaning and Repair Services. The District’s audit firm recommended that the boiler not be paid from the Cleaning and Repair Services 4312 account, and funds should be transferred from unexpended accounts in 2020-2021 into a new “Boiler Project” account that solely describes where the boiler cost is reflected in the budget. Mr. Petruzelli reported the Capital Fund will have approximately $300,000 in it after the HVAC and Gymnasium Improvements Project is completed. The Board already transferred 1% of the 2021-2022 unexpended funds into the Capital Fund which is the maximum allowed for Regional Districts by the state.

Region 9 has unexpended transportation funds in 2020-2021 because the district was only contractually obligated to pay 77.4% of daily transportation expenses on days when schools were closed due to COVID-19. JBHS had 31 days of remote learning where buses did not transport students. JBHS did not conduct Extended School Year (ESY) sessions for the summer of 2020. And, other schools were closed during the pandemic so the District did not transport special education students out of the District which saved money.

Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education authorizes the Director of Finance & Operations to transfer $225,360 to the new account 2600-709 Boiler Project from accounts 1200-510 Special Education Transportation ($189,855.48) and 2700-510 Student Transportation ($35,504.52) pending review of final unexpended funds. (Graziano, Lehberger). Passed. Unanimous.

Dr. McKinnon reminded the Board that during the June 22, 2021 Board Meeting funds budgeted for the Health Care Reserve Fund remained in the Region 9 2020-2021 budget and claims were lower than expected during that year. During the June 22nd meeting, the Board passed a motion to allocate $100,000 to the Pension Fund and $241,331 to the Capital Reserve Fund from 2020-2021 unexpended funds. It was concluded that once all final invoices and health claims were paid, an amount to be returned to the towns and an amount to be transferred to the Health Care Reserve Fund may be determined. The current Health Care Reserve Fund balance as of September 30, 2021 is $637,919.35. Dr. McKinnon recommended that the Board consider the 2020-2021 unexpended funds of $949,677.75 to transfer a portion to the Health Care Reserve Fund for 2021-2022 school year. Discussion followed. It was determined that no further action will be taken until the total unexpended funds amount for 2020-2021 is finalized.


Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education Special Meeting to be adjourned. (O’Brien, Williams). Unanimous.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:41 p.m.

Submitted by Todd A Johnston
Chairperson, Region 9 Board of Education