BOARD OF FINANCE
MARCH 12, 2019
Page 1 of 3
Attendance: Katie Erickson, Sharon Huxley, Sally Huyser, John Ford IV, Betsy Thornquist
Visitors: First Selectwoman Derrylyn Gorski, Selectman Clark Hurlburt, Paula Cofrancesco, Fran Doba, Alan Green, Lars Demander, Sheila Lane
The regular meeting of the Board of Finance was called to order at 7:10 p.m. by Temporary Chairman John Ford IV. The meeting was held in the Selectmen’s Conference Room of the Bethany Town Hall.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Temporary Chairman Ford called for a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of March 5, 2019 special meeting. The motion of approval was moved by Sharon Huxley and seconded by Sally Huyser. Katie Erickson moved to amend the minutes by adding the following:
Chief Cogill asked that the Board of Finance find funding in some way to ensure long term sustainability of the Bethany Ambulance Corp by funding $40,000 annually. If approved this would be designated in a special account to be spent on daytime staffing only.
The vote taken for approval as amended was four yes votes and one abstention that of Bethany Thornquist as she was not present at that meeting,
PUBLIC WORKS BUDGET
Public Works director Alan Green presented the budget for the Highway Department. He had compiled a list of roads that need major work on them. He had a list of newly re-constricted roads that will be chip sealed. He has budgeted $650,000 for major road repair in his operating budget for fiscal year 2019-20. He spoke to the Board of Finance about bonding for more extensive repair that is needed. Board members questioned whether it would be an advantage to hire more than one contractor for major road repair. More roads could be completed in a shorter span of time, especially if the money was available from bonding. Alan indicated that he would look into it.
Sharon Huxley opened discussion on the budget for tree removal. In the past the expense has been budgeted and charged to the Contracted Services account. Some years this money has not been used completely for tree work, but instead for other expenses. Eversource has removed trees that were in line with the electrical service wires. The money saved was then used for other expenses. She would like a better accountability on how much has been spent to date of the money appropriated.
Betsy Thornquist would like to know when road materials have been used for other appropriations, where they were moved to?
Katie Erickson would like to get an assessment on trees left to be taken down. Alan indicated that this might be hard to do but he would try.
Sharon Huxley would like to see appropriation for tree removal put into Contingency. She would feel better about it. There would be more control of the expenditure by the Board of Finance.
Betsy Thornquist felt that $50,000 should be put into Contracted Services and $100,000 put into Contingency. Alan commented how helpful Eversource has been to the Town during the recent storms and had saved the Town money.
Alan is requesting $80,000 to be appropriated as a Capital Expenditure for a boom truck to help in day to day small limb removal. In the next three years two of the plow trucks will have to be replaced
The repaving of the Elementary School and Town Hall parking areas were briefly discussed.
Fran Doba explained to the Board of Finance recent upgrades and changes that have taken place to our computer network and telephone service. At this time she does not have a completed budget. Sharon Huxley asked if the support for the GIS system was included in this budget. Fran will verify that before the budget is final.
FIRST SELECTWOMAN’S REPORT
First Selectwoman Derrylyn Gorski attended the Public Hearing in Hartford last week regarding School Regionalization, as being recommended by the new session of the State of Connecticut Legislature. First Selectwoman Gorski talked to George Logan our State Senator and House Representative Lezlye Zupkus regarding this proposed change. Since the teacher salaries are not the same in each Town because of Union Contracts, this could cause an increase in the education budgets of some towns. The benefit of regionalization could be sharing of special education resources which could be a savings to school budgets.
Paula Cofrancesco Bethany’s Board of Education member to the Amity Board of Education, indicated that their board would be taking a pro-active position. Much more information will be needed before a change like this is made.
FINANCE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Sheila distributed several financial reports for the Board to look over.
AGENDA FOR MEETING OF MARCH 9, 2019
The Board will continue to finalize the budget next week. The Board of Finance requested that Sheila provide them with last year’s year to date report, as well as the present year today report.
Katie Erickson reported that she will begin workshops on developing system controls after the budget has been completed.
Adjournment was called at 9:15 p.m. after a motion was moved by Betsy Thornquist and seconded by Katie Erickson. The vote take was unanimous.
June G. Riley
Clerk, Board of Finance