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06-17-09 Minutes


June 17, 2009                                 



            The Board of Finance held a special meeting on this date at the Wequetequock Fire Department meeting room.  Members present were Glenn Frishman, Chairman; Andrew Rines, Secretary; Dudley Wheeler; John O’Brien; Bryan Bentz and Kevin Burns.    Also present Maryanna Stevens, Director of Finance, First Selectman Edward Haberek and Town of Stonington staff and residents.


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


*Change to Agenda order*


Update on Town Dock Fuel line

Joe Bragaw, Public Works Director was present to give the Board a heads up to recent events at the dock.  There has been a fuel leak in the lines, DEP was notified and are watching closely.  Mr. Bragaw reported that the Town is working with SNEFLA and the contractor to take care of in best possible way.  He added on a positive note that the Underground Storage Tank improvements were going on which was favorable to the DEP.


Previous minutes

Mr. Wheeler made a motion to accept the minutes of the April 29 meeting. 

 Mr. Rines seconded the motion and voting was unanimous.


Appointment of Auditor

Maryanna Stevens, Director of Finance suggested reappointment of the current auditors who have done a good job for the past four years.  Mr. O’Brien made a motion to confirm and approve this recommendation to reappoint McGladrey & Pullen as auditors to the Town of Stonington.  Mr. Bentz seconded the motion and voting was unanimous.  Mrs. Stevens and members agreed that this will be the final year and she will prepare an RFP for a new auditor in January.



Finance Director

Mrs. Stevens provided for the First Selectman and copied to Board of Finance members a list of anticipated budget transfers for FY 08-09.  There was a year-end purchase order due date of June 12, 2009; this includes all encumbrances she has received to date, she is still waiting on some departments.

 Members questioned Jason Jones, IT Manager about the $8400 shortfall in the Telecommunications line.  Mr. Jones stated that this was a culmination of enhanced maintenance costs and increased telecommunications upgrades.  Mr. Frishman asked Mr. Jones to provide a very detailed breakdown of the overage.

Members discussed briefly the fact that Hartford has yet to complete their budget.  Mr. Haberek stated that he attended a CCM meeting and it is thought that a budget might not be in place until August.  Mr. Frishman thought it would be a good idea for the Board of Education to wait before spending the state money they have been promised.


WPCA – Operational review of Wastewater Facilities

Mr. Raymond Smedberg was present to summarize his operational review.  The review is based on site visits to the wastewater facilities, along with a detailed review of relevant documents, reports and operating budgets.  He added that he has spoken with WPCA representatives and its Board of Commissioners, the Board of Finance and the contract operator.  He stated that Harold Storrs, WPCA Director was an invaluable principal point of contact.  There were five areas of focus in his review: 

·         Agreement between the Town’s WPCA and the Contract Operator

Mr. Smedberg stated that the agreement is typical of contracts of this nature between public and private partners for provision of municipal services.  There are certain key issues that can become problematic with agreements of this nature however.

·       Staffing

He feels that the staff appears to be knowledge and motivated with a good morale and high level of interest in their work.  There are ongoing education and training activities. 


  • Operation

Overall the wastewater system is operated well and is currently under no regulatory enforcement action. 


  • Maintenance

The wastewater system facilities are maintained in good condition given their age and condition.  General housekeeping and cleanliness are good, conditions are indicative of effective operation and maintenance programs.


  • Operating costs and benefits

Comparative estimated cost figures for private operation of the Town’s wastewater systems continue to show a cost savings over municipal operation.


To close, Mr. Smedberg stated that the 20-year Facilities plan is very valuable and should be used to address immediate and prepare for future occurrences at plants.  Mr. Frishman asked if the term had been extended.  Mr. Haberek replied that yes it has.

Mr. Wheeler made a motion to approve payment totaling $7,846.78 for the Operation review of Contract Operation of the Town of Stonington Wastewater Facilities invoice for the period of April 1 thru May 22, 2009.  Mr. O’Brien seconded the motion and voting was unanimous.


Additional Appropriations/Budget Transfers/Bid Waivers

Mr. Bragaw requested a bid waiver for Pavement Treatments, i.e. Chip Seal; Bituminous in-place paving, ($61.50); Milling & reclaiming (30%) and asphalt pavement crack sealing.  Gorman Group is usually used and is a reliable contractor.  Mr. Rines made a motion to approve the bid waiver for Gorman Group.  Mr. Bentz seconded and voting was unanimous.

At this time, Mr. Burns asked Mr. Bragaw about the portable generator.  Mr. Bragaw stated that it did not start but he is aware that he has additional information previously requested to submit to the Board.


First Selectman Haberek requested a budget transfer of $15,000 to offset the monies previously spent on the engineering aspect of the Underground Storage tank improvement project.  This includes but is not limited to the removal and replacement of the underground fuel lines for the Town Hall oil storage tank, Public Works garage fuel storage tank the Town Dock fuel storage tank.  Mr. Burns made a motion to approve the budget transfer of $15,000 from the Professional Services –Engineering review account (10153-80191) to the Professional Services account (10153-80166).  Mr. O’Brien seconded the motion and voting was unanimous.


First Selectman Haberek had provided correspondence to the Board requesting a budget transfer in the total amount of $200,000 for a fire and emergency assistance alarm system at Edyth K. Richmond. Mr. Haberek reported however that he was recently made aware of jurisdiction restrictions regarding the use of Municipal complex LoCip funds.  The Board asked Mrs. Stevens to look at CIP accounts that might be eligible for LoCip monies thus freeing up money for the Edyth K. Richmond needs.  This item was tabled to the next meeting.


Request from William King, BOE Operations Manager for a bid waiver for the modifications of the emergency lighting system at Stonington High School.  This will save the Town, as it will create a single source vendor for the electrical system changes who will be responsible for any follow up issues.  Mr. O’Brien made a motion to approve the bid waiver request for the SHS Electrical modifications.  Mr. Rines seconded the motion and voting was unanimous.


Request from William King, BOE Operations Manager for a bid waiver for the Resurfacing of the track at Stonington High School.  This will save the Town considerable warranty battles, as this is the original installer of the track.

 Mr. Burns made a motion to approve the bid waiver request for the Resurfacing of the SHS track.  Mr. Bentz seconded the motion and voting was unanimous.


Request from First Selectman Haberek to purchase a KIP 3000 imaging machine to expand the capabilities of the Town’s GIS and Document Imaging programs.  This was tabled at the last meeting; Mr. Bentz verified that the machine is a wise purchase.  Mr. Bentz made a motion to approve a bid waiver for the purchase and an additional appropriation of $9500. Mr. Rines seconded and voting was unanimous.


At this time, First Selectman Haberek informed the members of an in-house meeting held at Town Hall to discuss workforce support.  He stated that with the addition of the Assistant Assessor position in the Assessor’s Office he would like to move the Part time clerk currently in the Assessor’s office in the morning and the Planning and Zoning office in the afternoon to Full time in the Planning and Zoning Office.  Mr. Haase, Planning Director stated that the office is busy.  Members did not agree with this transfer of personnel.  Mr. Rines asked that they provide a detailed plan for this change, to include a body count along with the duties of the staff in each department.



Mr. Rines thanked Marsha Standish, Assessor for the October 1, 2008 Net Grand List information with the Board of Assessment Appeals adjustments.


Letters were received from both Mystic & Noank Library and Westerly Public Library requesting restoration of $10,000 each in funding taken during the budget process.  The Board members expressed their regret that they were unable to restore these funds as the budget has passed and it was unfortunate that they were not in a position to make any adjustments. 


Subcommittee reports

Mr. Bentz reported that he met with Paul Picard the tech representative for the BOE who would like to lease computers.  After a brief discussion it was determined that this was not possible through CIP since the line request was not presented in this manner during the budget process.  Mr. Bentz stated that he would look into this further.


Mr. Rines stated that he would like to put together a formal policy for the Debt reserve.  Mrs. Stevens stated that she has started this process and is currently working with George Sylvestre on the Risk Management side.


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 9:17 p.m.


                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

                                                                        APPROVED JULY 15, 2009        

                                                                        Andrew W. Rines

lp                                                                     Secretary