BOARD OF FINANCE DRAFT MINUTES
MARCH 10, 2020
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The following Board members were present: John Grabowski-Chairman, John Ford, Sharon Huxley, Catherine Erickson, Sally Huyser and Lars Demander.
Also in attendance were: First Selectman Paula Cofrancesco, Finance Director Sheila Lane, Facilities Director Rod White
Visitors: Lina Frazer
1. Chairman John Grabowski called the meeting of the Board of Finance to order at 7:05 p.m. The meeting was held in the Selectman’s Conference Room of the Bethany Town Hall.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Grabowski called for a motion of approval for the minutes of the Regular Meeting of February 11, 2020. The motion of approval was moved by Member Ford and seconded by Member Huyser. There were no changes to the minutes. Members Huxley and Erickson abstained. Voting for: Grabowski, Ford, Huyser, Demander. Unanimous approval.
Chairman Grabowski called for a motion of approval for the minutes of the Special Meeting of February 28, 2020. The motion of approval was moved by Member Huxley and seconded by Member Erickson. There were no changes to the minutes. Voting for: Grabowski, Ford, Huxley, Huyser, Erickson, Demander. Unanimous approval.
3. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
Chairman Grabowski reported on the following:
· Attended Amity Finance Committee meeting on March 9th and will try to attend Amity Board Budget Workshop meeting on March 11, 2020.
· The Amity Board of Education reviewing the 3 tiers to see what they can change due to increase in their budget.
· Debt service will be deferred to next year.
· Schools removing Student Resource Officers and replacing with armed Security Guards.
· $779,396 is the current surplus.
· Bethany Board of Finance needs to schedule a special meeting before April Budget Hearing.
4. FIRST SELECTMAN’S REPORT
First Selectman Cofrancesco reported on the following:
· Had a preliminary meeting with BETA, and they did a powerpoint presentation. They charted Bethany with a 66.2 rating for the roads, but after we did Phase 1 the rating jumped to 75.01. We will have a maintenance plan for the roads so that they won’t deteriorate. Information on new road work completed will be given to a BETA staff representative assigned to Bethany who will enter the information on the site, which keeps information updated. The Highway Department is starting catch basin work on the roads that will be paved.
BOARD OF FINANCE
MARCH 10, 2020
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· First Selectman Cofrancesco noted that in early December 2019 she asked Janice Howard, Director of Parks and Recreation, to take on the responsibility of managing the reservations for the Lodge and Pavilion at the Veterans Memorial Park. First Selectman Cofrancesco is requesting the creation of a stipend of $1,500.00 starting the 2020-2021 fiscal year to pay Janice for this added responsibility she took on. Also requesting a payment of $100.00 per month for December 2019 to June 2020 to cover her work when she took on the responsibility initially. Discussed with Finance Director Lane, and there is money in the contingency fund.
The Board discussed and proceeded to deliberate. It was moved by Member Erickson and seconded by Member Huxley to make a motion to create a stipend for the responsibility to manage the reservations for the Lodge and Pavilion at the Veterans Memorial Park and to pay the monthly rate for December 2019-June 2020. If the responsibility moves to another person then the stipend would move to that person. Voting for: Grabowski, Ford, Huxley, Huyser, Erickson, Demander. Unanimous approval.
· Bethany Volunteer Firehouse flooring discussion with Rod White. Chairman Grabowski stated Mr. White needs to obtain bids so that numbers can be on Town Meeting call for Town to approve; and money would be used out of general fund. First Selectman Cofrancesco to check with Town Attorney if this item can be added to Budget Hearing call. Also, discussed electrical issue at Town Hall and need to get numbers for the Town Meeting. This electrical work needs to be done before generator connected.
· Town Attorney Vin Marino and a few other attorneys have parted ways with Cohen and Wolf and started their own business. We will reengage Town Attorney Vin Marino and his new group, and they will have a new business name as our Town Counsel.
5. FINANCE DIRECTOR’S REPORTS
Finance Director Lane stated audit should be completed by next week.
A. MONTHLY ENDING REPORT FOR FY 2019-20
Finance Director Lane distributed to the Board copies of the following reports:
· 2020 Detail Expenditure Year Analysis
· 2020 Expenditure Summary by Month
· Five-Year Capital Plan – 2020-21.
Some items discussed were:
· Solar panels on Town Hall and Firehouse. Concern regarding the 20-year contract lease to own the solar panels, which the Town is paying for. Need to have Town Counsel review lease. First Selectman Cofrancesco will investigate.
· Planning and Zoning Budget missing from Town Budget, i.e., Town Plan of Conservation and Development, which is required to redo every ten years.
· There is an issue with the Bethany Volunteer Fire Department well.
BOARD OF FINANCE
MARCH 10, 2020
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6. ADDRESS CONTROL ISSUES
No updates to report.
7. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON FOLLOW UP TO BUDGET PRESENTATIONS ON FEBRUARY 28, 2020
Some items of discussion were:
· Financial Director Lane stated she made all changes that were discussed at the Budget Workshop on February 28, 2020.
· Town Hall repairs bumped up due to electrical upgrade of $70,000.
· Solid Waste higher due to higher cost to dispose of recycling.
· Highway Department – discussed Sweeper rebuild and Fuel System upgrade monies be expended from snow and ice surplus. The Board proceeded to deliberate.
It was moved by Member Erickson and seconded by Member Huxley to authorize that the cost for the Sweeper rebuild of $14,375 and the cost for the Fuel System upgrade of $14,000 for the Highway Department be expended from current year surplus for snow and ice. Voting for: Grabowski, Ford, Huxley, Huyser, Erickson, Demander. Unanimous approval.
· Fire Department – discussed request for Command vehicle and utility vehicle. Fire Department will need to justify need for both vehicles at the Budget Hearing on April 20, 2020.
· Chairman Grabowski requested that all department heads attend Budget Hearing so they can answer questions from the public. First Selectman Cofrancesco will send message out.
· Member Huxley mentioned that there is a State Statute that every department has to report their actual expenditures.
The Board will schedule a Special Meeting for Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. in the Selectmen’s Conference Room to continue discussion on Budget and have Audit presentation and vote.
8. ANY OTHER MATTER PROPER TO COME BEFORE THE MEETING
At 9:10 p.m. there being no further business, it was moved by Member Huyser and seconded by Member Erickson to adjourn the regular meeting. Unanimous approval.
Antonia R. Marek