Friday, March 8, 2019


FEBRUARY 19, 2019

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Attendance:  Chairman John Grabowski, Katie Erickson, Sharon Huxley, John Ford, Betsy Thornquist, Sally Hauser

Visitors: Fran Doba, Sheila Lane, Dr. Jennifer Byars, Michael Battista, Paula Cofrancesco, Terry Loomis, First Selectwoman Derrylyn Gorski, John Accaballo

Chairman Grabowski called the meeting of the Board of Finance to order at 7:04 p.m.  The meeting was held in the Selectmen’s Conference Room of the Bethany Town Hall. 


Dr. Jennifer Byars, Superintendent of Amity Regional District #5 presented their budget to the Board of Finance.  The total expenditures have increased by $903,770 or 1.84%.  Salaries and benefits are higher by $670,376.  Benefits are higher by $269,797.  Improvements to buildings and sites increased by $133,000.  Debt Service decreased by $36,366.  Special education transportation and tuition decreased by $350,441.  The full time equivalent positions is a net increase of 6.7 FTE.  The position of security guards has been increased by 3.8 FTE.  One FTE Para educator for special education has been hired.  One FTE certified teacher is proposed.  Other changes proposed are to increase a 10 month associate principal position to a 12 month position and to continue to support the testing center interventionist added in the current year.  When Dr. Byars finished her presentation Board of Finance members questioned why is there such a built in surplus?  Dr. Byars indicated there is always a question about the self- insurance for medical. They want to make sure there is adequate coverage.  The future plan is to bring more special education students back in house.


First Selectwoman Gorski spoke to the Board regarding repair of roads.  It is estimated that the cost to repair all roads needing work would be $7,800,000 to complete.  Alan Green has put together a list of the roads.  Perhaps the Town should consider bonding for such a large project over a period of a few years.  Interest rates are down.  They could be financed over a fifteen year period. 


Sharon Huxley moved a motion to move the Audit up on the agenda as the auditor was present.  Betsy Thornquist seconded the motion.  The vote taken was unanimous.

John Accabello of the auditing firm of MAWC, LLC Shelton, Connecticut

  presented and explained the management letter and suggestions that it contained.  Members were given a draft copy of the audit. 


Two employees of the Highway department were not put on the State MERS plan in the correct time period.  As a result with recent calculations the Town owes the State of Connecticut $16,246.77 for the contribution. Following discussion a motion was moved by Sharon Huxley and seconded by Katie Erickson to pay the bill from the Emplotees Pension line item and to transfer $16,246.77 from the Contingency Fund to reimburse this line item.  The vote taken was unanimous. 



A motion was moved by Sally Hauser and seconded by Betsy Thornquist that the Board of Finance of the Town of Bethany appoint Sharon Huxley and Katie Erickson and/or as Trustees and Signatories of the Dr. Plummer Fund held by the American General, and that they be empowered to transfer, deposit, expend or sign any documents required by the same by American General and the Dr. Plummer Fund.  The vote taken was unanimous. 


The CFC Park has requested that they be granted the Tax Incentive Program.  In consulting with Mario Panograsso this would affect the 2017 Grand List by increasing it 30% or $157,347.  If approved the CFC Park would be given a break of $67,434 over a three year period.  The motion of approval to approve this request binding approval by the Board of Selectmen was moved by Betsy Thornquist and seconded by Sharon Huxley.  The vote taken was unanimous.


Chairman Grabowski called for a motion of approval for the minutes of the meeting of October 9, 2018.  The motion was moved by John Ford IV and seconded by Sharon Huxley.  The vote was called.  There were five yes votes and one abstention that of Betsy Thornquist, as she was not a member of the Board at the time. 

Chairman Grabowski called for approval of the minutes of the meeting of January 15, 2019.  The motion of approval was moved by John Ford IV.  Sharon Huxley seconded the motion.  The vote was called.  There were five yes votes and one abstention that of Sally Huyser as she was not present at that meeting. 


Chairman Grabowski reported that the Amity surplus was $1,175,250 at the end of January. 


A suggestion regarding budget presentation for next year, some Towns are making presentation all on the same day and then the Board can make cuts and decisions after that.  This could eliminate so many special meetings and possible complete the budget process faster.


Adjournment was called at 9:15 p.m. after a motion was moved by Sally Huyser and seconded by John Ford IV.  The vote taken was unanimous.


                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,


                                                                                                June G. Riley

                                                                                                Clerk, Board of Finance