February 11, 2009
The Board of Finance held a regular 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. Rines called the meeting to order at 7:33 p.m.
Mr. Burns addressed the audience to quell rumors with regard to personnel cuts. He stated that the Board of Finance submitted a request to the First Selectman to conduct a complete operational review of all functions under his purview. This request was in concurrence with all members of the Board of Finance but he stated that he personally believes that several positions should be reviewed, specifically the Recycling/Solid Waste Manager, Town Engineer, Assistant Assessor, Assistant Building Official, and positions in the Planning department. He ended by reiterating that these are his possible solutions to reduce the budget and have not been supported or even discussed with fellow Board members at this time.
Conservation Commission-Survey costs – Stanton Simm came before the Board to ask for their approval to utilize funding they have available to purchase open space property on Pequot Trail. The survey costs are estimated at $2500.00. The owner of the property wants to grant a 148-acre easement. Mr. Bentz made a motion to approve spending the survey costs for the property at Pequot Trail. Mr. Rines seconded and voting was unanimous.
Bid Waiver-Emergency Signal Pre-emption System replacement
Mr. Bragaw stated that the Stonington Borough Fire Department has requested the Town replace the equipment at the intersection of North Water Street and Route 1 destroyed about 8 years ago due to a lightning strike. He has received two price quotes and would need an additional appropriation of $6800. as well as a bid waiver.
Mr. Wheeler questioned why the Town was responsible if the Fire trucks are not Town owned property. He referenced Item#4 of the Cost Sharing agreement between the State and Town. Members agreed to table this item and forward to the Town Attorney for clarification.
Budget Hearings FY 2009-2010
Solid Waste - John Phetteplace, Recycling/Solid Waste Manager provided for the members a calculated cumulative savings spreadsheet from 1993 to present attributed to the pay as you throw program. The Town savings over this time adds up to over $5 million. Also discussed, the recycling market, seeking bids for yellow bags, tub grinder, single stream recycling and the number of households (less than 8000) currently serviced by the two providers. Mr. Phetteplace added that revenues are in good shape. Members thanked Mr. Phetteplace.
Water Pollution Control Authority – Jim Sisk, Harold Storrs, and Jim Petrosky were present and discussed with the members their amendment to their original budget submission reducing the total FY 09-10 request to $429,712. Also discussed, DEP grant reimbursement, Wastewater Facilities plan, and the decline in sewer use in the Mystic district. Mr. Sisk added that a request has been filed for the Mystic plant as shovel ready.
Schedule C – Mr. Rines as subcommittee representative stated that he was very pleased with the reasonable requests made by the departments.
Items discussed Town Hall/Human Services Phone system, new Police cars, Handgun replacement, Technology upgrade and the Lantern Hill bridge replacement, which Mr. Bragaw was happy to say that at least a dialogue has been started with Ledyard.
Finance Director – Mrs. Stevens informed the members that Moody’s Investors Service has assigned an upgraded Aa2 rating to the Town. She was told that the healthy, stable fund balance and continuously conservative budgets were contributing factors.
Mrs. Stevens also informed the members that she was looking for an RFP for banking services, as she was not pleased with Bank of America. Members supported her decision and Mr. Frishman commended Mrs. Stevens.
Nothing to report.
Review audit -
Mr. O’Brien reviewed the auditors report. Most of the discrepancies are in segregation of duties. Mrs. Stevens added that she has yet to complete an Accounting manual as requested.
Nothing to report.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. Burns made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Rines seconded the motion and the meeting was unanimously adjourned at 9:27 p.m.
Andrew W. Rines