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02-22-06 Minutes

                                                February 22, 2006

        The Board of Finance held a special meeting on this date at 7:30 p.m. at the Wequetequock Fire Department meeting room.  Members present were Glenn Frishman, Chairman; Andrew Rines, Secretary; Dudley Wheeler, John O’Brien; Kevin Burns and Bryan Bentz.  Also present William Brown, First Selectman; George Sylvestre, Director of Administrative Services and Maryanna Stevens, Director of Finance.

Mr. Frishman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Budget Hearings
Sewer Enterprise
Members welcomed James Sisk, Chairman, WPCA, Harold Storrs, Director and Lynn Young, board member.  Mr. Storrs provided the members with handouts outlining the proposed 06-07 budget request of $250,000 for the Town Share.  Mr. Sisk stated that about half the residents are provided with Sewer use.  He likened it to Education needs for the Town, not everyone uses it but it is a much needed infrastructure.  Mr. Frishman commented on the cash balance plummet from July ’05 to December.  Mr. Rines asked how much the user rate had changed; the reply was 30% in 4 years.  Mr. Storrs also provided a Sewer use rate comparison for area towns.  Stonington is collecting at about 99%.  Members then discussed differences over the past seven years.

General Government
First Selectman Brown provided for the members a summary of increases showing the proposed 6.41%.  Mr. Sylvestre stated that the greatest impact was through Health insurance and the Pension plan.  Members discussed various items in the budget, Debt Service, Payments to Other Civil Divisions, i.e. Borough of Stonington, Capital Improvements.  Mr. Frishman asked Mrs. Stevens to prepare some options for the future to level off the debts, equalizing the mil rate to debt service.  

Director of Finance
Mrs. Stevens provided for the members a Mill rate analysis; she added that she did not yet have the Grand List.  The current value of a mil, $2,009.570.  Members discussed the minimal impact to the Grand List for 2006-07.  

Bid Waiver
Highway Department
Request from William Stewart, Superintendent of Highways to waive a bid and hire Capital Sweeping at $90.00 an hour to supplement Town sweeper.  Mr. Wheeler stated that he would like more information before the Board made a decision; he added he would contact Mr. Stewart and members agreed.

Previous minutes
Mr. Rines made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 8th meeting with an informational wording correction to a comment by Mr. Wheeler.  Mr. Wheeler seconded the motion and voting was unanimous.

Mr. Bentz and Mr. Burns reviewed the Outside Agencies regarding their 06-07 budget requests; Mr. Bentz stated that there were no big changes and added that he and Mr. Burns plan to discuss further prior to deliberations.

Subcommittee reports
Mr. O’Brien commented on an unfavorable letter he read in the Westerly Sun regarding the lighting at the High School.  He added that it will cost an estimated $10,000 to correct the problem and a new contractor will be hired to complete the job.

Mrs. Stevens provided for the members information requested regarding Emergency Management aid to the Ambulance companies, she stated that Mystic River receives $8000. but does not have a figure for Stonington Ambulance.

There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. Wheeler made a motion to adjourn.  Mr. Burns seconded and the meeting was unanimously adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

                                                Respectfully submitted,

                                                Andrew W. Rines