February 23, 2005
The Board of Selectmen held a regular meeting on this date at 7:00 p.m. at the Stonington Police Station Community Room. Present were First Selectman William S. Brown, Selectman Stephen E. Bessette and Selectman Peter L. Balestracci. Also present were George Sylvestre, Director of Administrative Services; Maryanna Stevens, Director of Finance; William Stewart, Superintendent of Highways; David Erskine, Chief of Police; various members of the public and the press.
(1) Call to Order
Mr. Brown called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
(2) Finalize and forward to Board of Finance the CIP for FY 05/06 – 09/10
Mr. Brown introduced Mr. Sylvestre and Ms. Stevens and thanked them for the excellent job they have done on the CIP. Mr. Sylvestre reviewed the finalized CIP spreadsheets (attached) and the Mil Rate Analysis sheets for the Board members.
A motion was made by Mr. Bessette, seconded by Mr. Balestracci and unanimously voted to approve the finalized CIP for FY 05/06 through 09/10 and recommend funding priorities A through C.
(3) Memorial Day Parade
Mr. Brown read a letter dated February 7, 2005 from the Westerly-Pawcatuck Veterans’ Board of Control, requesting permission to conduct their Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 30, 2005. They also request the participation of the Town of Stonington.
A motion was made by Mr. Balestracci, seconded by Mr. Bessette and unanimously voted to grant permission for the Memorial Day Parade on May 30, 2005 as outlined in the Westerly-Pawcatuck Veterans’ Board of Control 2/7/05 correspondence.
(4) Bid Awards / Letters of Agreement
a. Police Body Armor
A memo dated February 14, 2005 was received from Police Sgt. Bruce Smith, indicating the Board of Police Commissioners’ recommendation to award the bid for replacement body armor to low bidder Security Uniforms of New Britain. Brief discussion was held.
A motion was made by Mr. Balestracci, seconded by Mr. Bessette and unanimously voted to accept the recommendation of the Board of Police Commissioners and award the bid for replacement body armor to Security Uniforms of New Britain as outlined in Sgt. Smith’s 2/14/05 memo.
(5) 9-1-1 Street Numbering
The Planning and Zoning Department forwarded the following recommendation for assigning a street number in accordance with the Street Naming and Numbering (Emergency
9-1-1) Ordinance. The Assessor concurs with this recommendation.
82 Cove Road, Stonington, CT 06378
A motion was made by Mr. Bessette, seconded by Mr. Balestracci and unanimously voted to assign this street number as recommended by the Planning and Zoning Department.
a. Memo from tax collector re: possible ordinances
A memo dated February 4, 2005 was received from Gisela Harma, Tax Collector, asking the Board to consider creating ordinances for the following:
· Allowing collection of taxes in one installment unless the total real estate or personal property bill is greater than $100.00.
· Allowing the waiver of refunds in amounts under $2.
· Allowing the tax collector to require taxes to be paid by cash, certified bank check or money order if a delinquent taxpayer requires a clearance for the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. If the delinquent tax is paid by personal check, there should be a waiting period for the issuance of a clearance to allow the check to clear the bank.
Brief discussion took place about current policies regarding payment of taxes by cash, debit, and/or credit cards.
A motion was made by Mr. Bessette, seconded by Mr. Balestracci and unanimously voted to request that the Town Attorney prepare draft language for these ordinances as requested by the Tax Collector.
b. Letter to Westerly Town Council re: joint meeting
A copy of First Selectman Brown’s February 7, 2005 letter to the Westerly Town Council was received by the Board and read aloud by Mr. Brown. The letter is an invitation for a joint meeting between the Stonington Board of Selectmen and the Westerly Town Council to discuss matters of mutual interest, at 7:00 p.m. on April 13, 2005 at the Stonington Police Department. Mr. Brown commented that the Westerly Town Council has accepted the invitation. After the meeting, the Board and the Council will tour the Police Station.
c. Letter to WPCA
A copy of a letter dated February 4, 2005, written by Former First Selectman James Spellman and addressed to the WPCA, was received by the Board. Mr. Spellman’s letter outlines his concerns regarding the WPCA facilities plan.
(7) Re/Appointments Boards and Commissions – None.
(8) Old Business – None.
(9) New Business – None.
(10) Comments from the Public
Ed Hart, Taugwonk Road, Stonington, submitted a letter dated February 23, 2005 to the Board regarding the WPCA Wastewater Facilities Plan presented at public hearing on 2/2/05. He urged the Board of Selectmen to take a position against having the WPCA submit the subject plan to the Connecticut DEP for review and approval at this time.
(10) Comments from the Public (cont’d.)
Gail Shea, River Road, Pawcatuck, commented that she agrees with Mr. Hart and supports his letter and requests that the Board of Selectmen take a position against the WPCA plan. She also submitted a copy of a letter dated December 18, 2004, addressed to First Selectman Brown, regarding the Pawcatuck River Harbor Management Commission. She reiterated the concerns expressed in her letter and reiterated the request in her letter to take some major corrective action regarding the Commission’s “mode of operation”.
Tom Haggerty, River Road, Pawcatuck, voiced his concerns regarding the WPCA Wastewater Facilities Plan and urged the Board to weigh in against the plan and get the WPCA to not submit the plan to DEP. He stated that once the plan is submitted, we’re saying “this is our plan”. He stated that the Board of Selectmen should take the lead on this and not let this plan be submitted.
Gail Shea commented that if the WPCA plan goes to the DEP and is approved, then comes back and gets voted down, it will still be the “master plan”.
Mark Tebbetts, Pawcatuck, commented that until recently he was the Pawcatuck River Harbor Master. He stated that he is tired of the untruths being told about him by some members of the Pawcatuck River Harbor Management Commission. He expressed his concerns about the way the Commission is operating, and stated that the Commission cannot be allowed to continue like this, as it creates problems with moorings and enforcement of regulations. He recommended a thorough review by the Selectman’s Office of the administration of the Commission, and stated he thinks he deserves an apology from the Commission. Mr. Brown commented that he attended a Pawcatuck River Harbor Management Commission meeting about four weeks ago and spoke to the Commission members regarding concerns that have
been expressed by other individuals.
Further interaction between the Board and audience members took place regarding the audience’s dissatisfaction with the proposed WPCA facilities plan.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the regular meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.
Kathy A. Kent