Tuesday, June 21, 2016

MARCH 22, 2016

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Attendance:  Chairman John Grabowski, Robert Brinton Jr., John Ford IV, Sharon Huxley, Sally Huyser, Chip Spear  
Visitors:  Dana Menze, Bob Davis, Coleen Murray, Sue Carpenter, Dorothy Seaton, Alan Green, First Selectwoman Derrylyn Gorski, Selectman Clark Hurlburt, Thomas Broesler, Tim Sharon, James Bruni, Adam Carrington, Chuck Doerrlan, Inez Kelso, Chris Pittenger
Chairman Grabowski called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m.  The meeting was held in the Conference Room of the Bethany Town Hall.
First Selectwoman Gorski explained the details of the Carrington Land Acquisition to the Board of Finance.  Previous to the holding of this meeting, the Board of Selectmen met to approve the resolution for the Special Town Meeting, date set for April 7, 2016 for the land acquisition, pending approval of the resolution by the Board of Finance.  Following discussion the Board of Finance on a motion by Sharon Huxley and seconded by Sally Huyser moved the following resolution:
RESOLVED THAT, the Town of Bethany adopts a resolution to purchase a conservation easement and development rights for 46.67 acres on 115 Atwater Road (Hiram D. Carrington Jr. Family Trust) and 86.32 acres on 144 Bethmour Road (Edyth Carrington ½ interest and Hiram D. Carrington Jr. Family Trust ½ interest) for a total purchase price of $760,000.  The purchase is to be funded through the Town’s contribution from the Land Acquisition Fund in the amount of $216,000 which includes up to $5,000.00 for closing costs, the CT Department of Agriculture’s contribution in the amount of $190,000 and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Contribution to be through the Connecticut Farm Land Trust in the amount of $359,000. 
The vote taken was unanimous. 
Chairman Grabowski called for a motion to approve the minutes of the previous meeting of March 1, 2016.  The following changes were made as amended by Robert Brinton Jr.  Robert Brinton Jr. requested correction of the minutes regarding approval of the January 25, 2016 minutes to add that the auditor reviewed a list of recommended improvement to Internal Controls with the Board of Finance. The vote was also modified for approval of the minutes to two abstentions and three yes votes.
Chairman Grabowski called for a motion to approve the minutes of the March 8, 2016 meeting.   The motion was moved by Robert Brinton Jr. and seconded by John Ford IV.  John Ford IV then moved to add that he was the temporary chairman for this meeting.  The vote was called.  There were five yes votes and one abstention that of Chairman Grabowski as he was absent from the meeting.
Chris Pittenger presented the Bethany Community School budget to the Board of Finance.  The Board had prepared three budgets.  One with a 5% increase, another with a 3.87% increase. With the decreasing enrollment and a few staff modifications the Board of Education was able to submit a budget with no increase over last year even though there were contractual salary increases.  Robert Brinton Jr. questioned how many out of district students there were.
Alan Green reported that the money appropriated for tree removal in the 2015-16 budget has been spent.  When the balance in the Ice and Snow account is known perhaps some of the surplus could be used for further tree removal.  The salary increase figured in the budget for fiscal year 2016-17 is 3%.   Alan reported that the wall repair at the Town Recycling Center, approved as a Capital items last year will soon be repaired. 
Board members discussed with First Selectwoman Gorski and Finance Director Thomas Broesler future Capital Expenditures that could be financed through bonding since interest rates are low.  The items were as follows:
Highway Department – Salt Shed, Dump Truck, Skid Loader, Radios, Pay Loader
School – School Roof (Town’s Portion)
Fire Department Radios
First Selectwoman Gorski has checked with the State of Connecticut regarding use of the LOCIP grant money to be used for Town Hall renovations.  They have indicated that this would be an approved expenditure.
Chairman Grabowski reports that the Amity budget final number will increase by 2.56% over last year.  The Board of Education pasted it at the last meeting.  That would mean the increase to Bethany would be $51,692.  The Finance Committee is still working to get them to further reduce it to under 2%. 
The next meeting of the Board of Finance will be April 5, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
Adjournment was called at 9:40 p.m. after a motion was moved by Sally Huyser and seconded by Chip Spear.
                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,
                                                                                                June G. Riley
                                                                                                Clerk, Board of Finance