March 8, 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; John O’Brien; Dudley Wheeler; Bryan Bentz and Kevin Burns. Maryanna Stevens, Director of Finance was also present.
Mr. Frishman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Board of Education
Mr. Frishman welcomed Michael McKee, Superintendent of Schools, Frank Connolly, Business Manager and members of the Board. Mr. McKee introduced three new members of the Board of Education, John Bolduc, Chairman; Gail MacDonald and Ed Haberek.
Ms. April Smith started by stating that 77% of the increase is salaries and benefits. She added that these are all contractual, no new positions, Other items addressed in the proposed 06-07 budget were fuel cost increases and the use of school facilities for community and town programs. Ms. Smith stated that there is an 18% increase to just put the keys in the door; this does not include staff or students.
Members commended the Board of Education on an outstanding presentation.
The following areas were addressed, going out to bid for fuel as opposed to piggybacking with other Towns, staffing adjustments and fund reallocations to improve student achievement for K-1.
Members were concerned that reductions and eliminations in the budget were being pushed onto the parents, i.e. School supplies, extracurricular activity transportation and field trips. Mr. McKee replied that extracurricular activities, sports, band, etc. are not primary for students learning. The Board thanked the Board of Education and again complimented them on the budget.
Mr. Frishman called a brief recess.
Presentation – Stonington Borough
Andrew Maynard, Borough Warden, Mr. Callahan, Burgess and Mr. O’Callahan, Borough resident were present to discuss Town funding to the Borough for Streets’ maintenance. Mr. Maynard stated that neither the Town nor the Borough were able to locate the formula that was orally agreed to back in 1988 for funding for the streets and sidewalks. Mr. O’Callahan started the presentation by stating that 15 years ago the Town gave $23,000 to the Borough. There are currently 5.4 miles of highway. The presentation covered the Borough budget, benefits to the Town and street department financing. Members thanked Mr. O’Callahan for an informative presentation. Mr. Wheeler as subcommittee to Highways will meet with the Town Engineer and Town Highway Superintendent to discuss further.
Bid Waiver – Emergency Management
Mr. Burns explained the Bid waiver request from First Selectman Bill Brown for the purchase of a Hydraulic generator for the Pawcatuck Fire Co. and a Public works communication system. The Town has received grant funding from Homeland Security. Mr. Wheeler made a motion to approve the bid waiver request for purchase of a Hydraulic generator for the Pawcatuck Fire Co. and a Public works communication system. Mr. Bentz seconded and voting was unanimous.
Director of Finance
Mrs. Stevens discussed with the members, using the proposal by the Governor,
the 2005 Grand List pulling out Class I vehicles and its implications. A brief discussion ensued with regard to collection rate and revenue from previous years for over projections.
Mr. Wheeler made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 22, 2006 meeting with a few wording changes. Mr. Burns seconded the motion and voting was unanimous.
Mrs. Stevens provided for the members a 2006 budget timeline prepared by Administrative Assistant Kathy Kent.
Mr. Wheeler reported that he met with Bill Stewart, highway Superintendent regarding the sweeper bid wavier discussed at the previous meeting. He was informed that the company with the lowest cost would not come to service Stonington. All members agreed to place this on the March 15th agenda.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. O’Brien made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Rines seconded the motion and the meeting was unanimously adjourned at 9:40 p.m.
Andrew W. Rines