BOARD OF FINANCE
MARCH 15, 2011
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Attendance: Chairman Brunwin, Chip Spear, Robert Brinton Jr., John Grabowski, Sally Huyser joined the meeting at 8:40 p.m.
Visitors: Cinda Buchter, Buff Bachenheimer, Claude Errera, James Foley, Debbie Demander, Kathleen Schurman, Robert McSherry
Members of the Bethany Library Association Board were present to discuss the budget. James Foley explained that the library is not up to speed electronically. They have no website. The State of Connecticut gives a grant to the library, proportionately to what the town provides per capita. James indicated that the contribution of the Town of Bethany to the Clark Memorial Library is in the bottom ten in the State of Connecticut. The recent fund raiser brought in $15,000 to help offset budget shortfalls. The Board of Finance agreed to review the budget submitted by the
Bethany Library Association Board and to get back to them with any questions.
The budget for the Bethany Volunteer Fire Department was reviewed by the Board of Finance. Chief McSherry explained that the solar panels on the firehouse room have helped reduce the cost of electricity. The other contributing factor is the automatic shut off switches that have been installed, turning off lights when the room is empty. The solution for poor emergency communications within the town is still being investigated. The State of Connecticut is saying that all towns must have adequate communications in place by 2013. The only Capital Expenditures request for the upcoming fiscal year is for the refurbishing of the 1989 pumper truck.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was moved by Chairman Brunwin and seconded by Stephen Squinto to approve the minutes of the meeting of March 8, 2011. There were no changes to the minutes. The minutes were then approved on a unanimous vote without change.
First Selectwoman Gorski discussed with the Board of Finance the budget for Police/Constables. The State of Connecticut will charge towns 100% of overtime rate for a trooper in the future. The Town of Bethany has hired two constables with full police powers, as they are police in other towns. Their rate is considerably less than that of a State Trooper. Since the vehicle being used by them is not in good repair, having been purchased several years ago as a used vehicle from the Town of Naugatuck, First Selectwoman Gorski is requesting that the town purchase a used SUV, to be used by the constables when they are on duty. The Police Revenue account, where money taken in for special duty work, i.e. tree trimming, utility work is deposited, should have a surplus which could offset the cost of such a vehicle. TFC Merriam estimates that such a vehicle should cost between $20,000 to $25,000.
First Selectwoman Gorski reports that Aetna Insurance is the low bidder for health insurance, if they meet all the criteria for union contracts.
The Board briefly discussed ways to reduce the budget for the Elementary Board of Education. If the requirements for health insurance are met by Aetna, than an $89,000 reduction can be made in the Board of Education budget. The Board of Finance would also like the Board of Education to consider reducing the number of administrators.
Adjournment was called at 9:50 p.m. after a motion was moved by Chip Spear and seconded by Robert Brinton Jr.
June G. Riley
Clerk, Board of Finance