Monday, March 27, 2017

FEBRUARY 21, 2017

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Attendance:  Chairman John Grabowski, Sharon Huxley, Robert Brinton Jr., Sally Huyser, Melissa Spear, John Ford IV
Visitors:  Colleen Murray, Superintendent of Bethany Elementary School, Susan Carpenter, Olga Simoes, Christopher Pittenger, Thomas Broesler, Robert McSherry, Tim Sharon, Robert Davis and 14 parents of students at the Elementary School.
Chairman Grabowski called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m.  The meeting was held in the Selectmen’s Conference Room in the Bethany Town Hall. 
Superintendent Colleen Murray and Christopher Pittenger gave a presentation on the Elementary School budget.  They explained the special programs and how they were able to keep expenditures down without cutting too deep into quality of education.  Most increases are due to contractual obligations. The total request for the 2017-18 fiscal year budget is $6,654,933 or $124,395 more than last year, for a 1.9% increase.  This budget was approved by the Board of Education before the Governor’s budget had been published with a $1,500,000 decrease in educational grants to the Town of Bethany from the State of Connecticut.  The Board of Finance is requesting that the Board of Education provide enrollment numbers and cost per student to them for the new budget. 
Melissa Spear had just attended a presentation in Hartford regarding the Governor’s budget where suggestions were made to reduce costs in school districts, i.e using one superintendent for more than one town.  
Chairman Grabowski reported that the Amity Finance Committee will hold a special meeting on Thursday to address the Governor’s budget cuts.
Chief Robert McSherry presented the Fire Department budget.  The only increase over last year is a $6,000 request for an administrative assistant to work in the office to complete clerical work.  No Capital Expenditures were requested for next fiscal year.   No plan was submitted for future years however he did indicate that perhaps there would be a request for a new fire truck in the 2018-19 budget. 
Chairman Grabowski called for approval of the minutes of the meeting of February 14, 2017.  A motion of approval was made by Robert Brinton Jr and seconded by John Ford IV.  Robert and Sharon opened discussion regarding amending of the minutes.  It was determined that approval would be tabled until the next meeting.  Robert agreed to get modification to the secretary for amending the minutes for the next meeting. 
BUDGET 2017-18
The Board discussed briefly where they thought budget cuts could be made.  The Board requested updated budget draft from Tom Broesler for the next meeting.  The Public Works and Library will present their budget at the next meeting.
Adjournment was called at 8:50 p.m. after a motion was moved by Sally Huyser and seconded by Robert Brinton Jr.  The vote taken was unanimous.
                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,
                                                                                                June G. Riley, Secretary