Special Town Meeting
June 27, 2012
Guardrails, Cemetery Commission, Town Survey
Town Hall roof design & Road Maintenance Program
First Selectwoman Derrylyn Gorski called the Special Town Meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. There were approximately 50 in attendance.
The First Selectwoman called for nominations from the floor for a Moderator. There was a motion by Jean Swanson, duly seconded to nominate William Blake. There were no further nominations.
The Moderator read the notice of the meeting. He announced that Resolution #5, Road Maintenance Program, will not go forward tonight because the persons responsible were not available to speak.
1. Be it resolved that the authorization approved at the Town Meeting held on May 21, 2012 to expend from the Reserve Fund for Capital Recurring Expenditures of up to Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00) for guardrails for Hoadley Road/Wooding Hill Road by the Board of Selectmen for the Highway Department be amended at the Special Town Meeting of June 27, 2012 to add guardrails for Valley Road.
Russ von Beren - 134 Wooding Hill Road – Will all four corners of Hoadley/Wooding Hill Roads be replaced? And where on Valley Road?
Alan Green, Highway Foreman – Valley Road is being done to repair what is already there – about 75 ft. of rail and then a little further an additional 20 ft. At Buttonball Corner, 400 ft. will be replaced down to the bridge, then over the bridge toward Hoadley Road 125 ft. will be replaced. Coming down the one-way part of Wooding Hill is an additional 90 ft. The historical society requested that a parking area be kept for anyone wanting to walk the area where the Old Hoadley Mill is.
Aileen Magda, 28 Deerfield La – Will the cost remain at $15,000? Foreman Green - Yes it will be under.
Melissa Spear – 350 Amity Rd – Will the same steel be used on Valley Road? Yes. Galvanized steel.
Jim Rawson – 15 Falcon La – Did we ever get left over guardrails from the state? No.
Cathy Cole- 483 Downs Rd – When cars damage the rail, does the owner’s insurance pay? Some have not been replaced after this happened. Why not?
Pual Ford – 8 Valley Rd - made a motion to call question, duly seconded by Audrey Eisenstadt.
Barrie Collins- 339 Brooks Rd – Why are we replacing with steel? It is not aesthetic. Foreman Green stated because it is cheaper and will eventually blend in with the environment. The color will be brown not silver.
There were no further comments. The vote taken to pass the resolution was unanimous.
2. Be it resolved by the electors of the Town of Bethany at its duly warned Special Town Meeting held June 27, 2012 that the Town of Bethany establish a Cemetery Commission pursuant to the powers granted to the Town of Bethany in Connecticut General Statutes 7 – 148 by adopting the following ordinance:
A. There is hereby established a Cemetery Commission for the Town of Bethany which shall have as its object the oversight of the cemeteries operated by the Town of Bethany pursuant to rules and regulations adopted for the cemeteries by the Board of Selectmen.
B. Membership: The commission shall consist of seven regular members who are electors of the town of Bethany and who are appointed by the Board of Selectmen.
C. Term of Office. The members of commission shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen as follows: three members for a term of three years, two members for a term of two years and two members for a term of one year. Thereafter, each member or successor shall be appointed to serve a three-year term. The Board of Selectmen may fill any vacancy or remove any member for cause.
This ordinance shall take effect 15 days after publication pursuant to Connecticut general statutes 7 – 157
A motion was made by Russ von Beren, duly seconded by Audrey Eisenstadt to approve the resolution.
Ann McDonnell – 5 Rowe Ct – Is there any way that the commission can also take the money and grant the deeds?
Will Brinton – Chairman of ad hoc committee - hopefully once the Cemetery Commission is approved we intend to pursue that. We will be an advisory body to the Board of Selectmen who has official oversight to town property. Hopefully this will go on for perpetuity.
R. von Beren - feels the commission is a good idea. It will be an improvement to the town.
Jean Swanson – 352 Amity Rd - made a motion to move the resolution to a vote, duly seconded.
There were no further comments. The vote taken to pass the resolution was unanimous.
3. Discussion and review of the town wide Survey.
Michael Vigeant, Center for Research spoke about the survey. A long term Financial Planning Study was done. Why pay for a survey? It’s a science providing actual data based on what the masses want. We are a local firm located in Meriden. The survey was done between June 11 and June 21. There were 402 participants. Heads of household were asked to do the survey if possible. The number one response in order of priority was maintaining the quality of the school system, a close second was management of raising tax rates and mainly spending for essential projects, third, was keeping the rural character of the town. Residents were not adverse to an increase in businesses in town if the businesses were to go through a design review process. Many would be willing to regionalize town services with neighboring towns if it meant slowing the rate of tax increase. Town service – largest percentage desired an increase in road maintenance, followed by education, library services, town services and improving municipal facilities in that order.
A. Magda – was called 1st week of survey but got a second call and a third call. Another resident was told they did not have a record of being called. Answer – Supervisor re-asked a hand full of questions to make sure the answers were consistent. In some cases there was a glitch in the computer and some of the answers were missing. He explained that there is a cleaning phase and match up.
Roger Hathaway - 350 Amity Rd - what percentage was surveyed? Answer - 2500 households, 402 surveyed. Was it based on land lines? A combination of both. What was the average age? We screened out those under the age of 20. 10% were under 45, 23% between ages of 46 & 55, 29% between ages of 56 and 65, 21% between the ages of 66 & 75, and 13% over 75 or refused.
M. Spear - I would like to see the data that shows a contradiction between no increase in taxes and wanting an increase in services. Questions can be passed to the Board of Finance and we can do additional analysis with additional cost.
R. von Beren – Would it have been better to send the questionnaire and give people a chance to think about it. M. Vigeant - Highly motivated will answer, those who are angry probably won’t.
Jamie Stirling – 20 Miller Rd – anything relevant for us to know about the town? Vigeant - The tax issue, 44.3% was number one concern. Usually that number is lower. Residents really took the time to think about and answer the questions. In Bethany, if done the right way, residents are not opposed to business.
What is the cost of the survey? First Selectwoman Gorski answered approximately $7,500.
George McDonnell – 5 Rowe Ct – It seems like you reached about 20%. I believe that through the mail would have given a higher percentage. Vigeant – the results would show increased or inflated percentages. We make sure that each neighborhood is reflected.
Bart Piccirillo, 36 Bachelor Oak Rd – Will the Town get the raw data? Yes.
R. von Beren - Was it sent out to bid? We got two quotes.
4. Discussion and review of Roof Design for South End of Town Hall
Rob White, architect for roof bid and also a resident of Bethany gave his presentation. There is poor drainage, standing water, joints patched with tarring over gym and kitchen. Main objective is to eliminate flat roofs and bring a new roof design respecting the existing building. The goal is to bring some unity back to the building.
Kris Sullivan – 783 Amity Rd – Is there any consideration for keeping the existing windows? White - Light is a consideration but the roof is a more pressing issue.
White stated there are 3 layers of asphalt done in the 50s and 60s. Basically, we are building over an existing roof. Aesthetics should be apparent in any good design but the goal is to properly shed water away from the building. Is there a cost benefit to a pitched vs. gabled roof? Gabled is a relatively easy design. Cost has been a consideration - pitched is less expensive.
J. Rawson – how is integrity of the building itself? White - Technical engineering will need to be done. The masonry walls from a structural end tend to be more than sufficient. An engineer will need to make those connections and look at the existing structure.
A. McDonnell – The outside of the building will look beautiful but look at the ceilings and walls. First Selectwoman Gorski stated that we have approval from the town meeting to replace the roof.
W. Brinton - love idea of pitched roof. But by losing windows we lose lighting. As registrars, we know there is very little cross ventilation. During summer months it gets very hot in the gym. There should be plenty of ventilation for this room.
Trudy Molsick - Tuttle Rd - What is the roof pitch? 5-12? Could they pitch a little more and put in a dormer looking window? White stated that it is a possibility.
J. Rawson – feels there would be better insulation with the pitched roof.
5. Discussion and review of Road Maintenance Program
Road Maintenance Program will be rescheduled due to the unavailability of those to discuss the program.
There were no further comments. A motion was made by S. Thornquist, duly seconded by A. Magda to adjourn the Special Town Meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:29 p.m.
Nancy A. McCarthy, CMC