Tuesday, June 18, 2019



APRIL 2, 2019

Page 1 of 4



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


Visitors:  First Selectwoman Derrylyn Gorski, Sheila Lane, Roderick White, Fran Doba, Clark Hurlburt


Chairman Grabowski called the meeting of the Board of Finance to order at 7:06 p.m.  The meeting was held in the Selectmen’s Conference Room of the Bethany Town Hall.


BUDGET 2019-20


The Board reviewed each line item of the budget with Sheila and noted a few changes from the last presentation.   Workmen’s Compensation Insurance was reduced by 10% because of a good record.  Liability insurance remained flat.


The Board wanted to add a comment to the Land Use line (377) to clarify the salary increase for Land Use Administrative Assistant.    


The Board questioned how many Town Hall Computers would be replaced?  There will be twenty-six new replacements. 


The Board determined that $100,000 would be put into the Land Acquisition Fund for fiscal year 2019-20.


Chairman Grabowski reports that Amity Regional has a surplus of $292,599 at this time for fiscal year 2018-19.  Unlike other years when the surplus was returned to the Towns proportionately, they may use it for repairs before the end of the fiscal year.




Items listed on the 2019-20 request list are the 6 yard dump truck with plow, pumper/rescue truck, generator for Town Hall, repair to the Annex, wheel chair ramp repair at Town Hall, Alarm Monitoring & Hardware upgrades at school, generator for Town Hall and repaving of the Town Hall and School parking areas. 


The Board discussed the bond issue for road repair.  The pros and cons of putting the paving of Town Hall and School parking areas in the bond issue or taking it out of the General Fund balance was discussed.  No decision was made at this time.




Roderick White was present to answer questions about the Annex repair and generator for Town Hall.  Rod feels that $20,000 would put the annex in useable condition for Park and Recreation’s use for this summer.  PCB removal in the windows will cost approximately $10,000.  If the building was to be torn down, PCB removal would have to be done anyway for the environment.  It was suggested that the Public Hearing address the matter with regards to total renovation which would cost about $235,000 to $250,000.  The complete renovation would include putting in handy-capped bathrooms.   Since the building could be used for programs for camp this summer with minimal changes, a motion was moved by Sharon Huxley to authorize taking $10, 120 from Contingency Fund toward this project.  Betsy Thornquist seconded the motion.  The vote taken was unanimous




The following letter was discussed by the Board members:


36.9- Current mill rate

36.4- Use fund balance to reduce mill rate by .5, balance the budget and pave parking lots out of Capital Fund- fund balance reduced to 15.34%

35.9- Use fund balance to reduce mill rate and balance the budget, but put paving of parking lots in the road bond.


Current(36.9)____36.4_______  35.9___



1. Ranch,   1680 sq. ft.-   3 Bedrooms, 2½ Baths on 1.5 acres. Appraised value: $299,309/Assessed value: $209,520           $ 7,731               $ 7,627               $  7,522


2. Colonial, 3164 sq. ft.- 4 Bedrooms, 3  Baths on 2.5 acres. Appraised value: $441,597/Assessed value: $309,120             $11,407              $11,255              $11,097


3. Colonial, 4176 sq. ft.- 4 Bedrooms, 3½ Baths on 2.2 acres. Appraised value: $554,414/Assessed value: $388,090           $14,321              $14,126              $13,932


4.  Cape,     4460 sq. ft.-  4 Bedrooms, 4 Baths on 2.85 acres. Appraised value: $620,339/Assessed value: $434,240            $16,023             $15,806             $15,589 





April 2, 2019


To:          Chairman John Grabowski and members of the Board of Finance


From:    Derrylyn Gorski, First Selectman


Re:         FY 2019-2020 Budget


Finance Manager Sheila Lane has provided the BOF with the budget scenarios as requested- using the fund balance to balance the FY 19-20 Budget and using the fund balance to balance the FY 19-20 Budget AND to pave the BCS and Town Hall parking lots, bringing the fund balance to 18.66% and 16.49% respectively.


As I said at your meeting last week, I believe we should use the fund balance to reduce the mill rate.  When we decided to keep the fund balance higher than our Financial Policy of 10%-14% the Boards of Selectmen and Finance did that jointly because of the uncertainty of then Gov. Malloy’s proposal to pass Teachers Retirement System (TRS) liabilities as well as normal costs to the municipalities.  His proposal would have billed Bethany $774,000 to fund TRS.  That threat no longer exists.


Gov. Lamont’s original proposal was for municipalities to pay 25% of the pension costs for current teachers earning the state median teacher salary of approximately $77,000.  Bethany’s teachers earn approximately $75,000. That impact to Bethany would have been $42,000 in FY20 and $87,000 in FY21- a far cry from Gov. Malloy’s $774,000.


That proposal was amended in Committee and there is no longer a proposal to pass on the TRS to the municipalities.


With the parking lots’ paving costs in the road bond, reducing the mill rate by 1 mill- from 36.9 mills to 35.9 mills would leave the fund balance at 16.3%, still higher than our policy.


Adding the parking lots paving costs as a capital item paid out of the fund balance, you could still reduce the mill rate by .5mill- from 36.9 to 36.4 leaving a fund balance of 15.34%.

Adding the parking lots paving costs as a capital item paid out of the fund balance, you could still reduce the mill rate by .5mill- from 36.9 to 36.4 leaving a fund balance of 15.34%.




The Board of Finance modified a few budget line items.   Sally Huyser then moved to approve the Expenditure side of the budget at $24,005,828 and the Revenue side of the budget at $23,772,531.  Betsy Thornquist seconded the motion.  The vote taken was unanimous.




The Board discussed paving of the School and Town Hall parking lots in this fiscal year, by taking the funding from the General Fund rather than including it in the Road Bond project, since the balance in the General Fund is 20.4% of budget.  It is estimated that the total cost for the project would be $446,540,000.  At the conclusion of discussion Sharon Huxley moved to transfer $447,000 from the General Fund to the Capital Expenditure Fund so that paving could begin before the end of the fiscal year.  The motion was seconded by Sally Huyser.  The vote taken was unanimous.









Chairman Grabowski called for a motion of approval for the minutes of March 26, 2019.  The motion of approval was moved by Sharon Huxley and seconded by Sally Huyser.  Sharon Huxley then modified the minutes as follows:


It was the consensus of the Board of Finance that the salary for the possible extra teacher, that may be needed for next year at the Community School, if the enrollment increases much more, should be put in the Contingency Fund so that the bottom line of the Elementary School budget does not increase if it is not needed.


The amended minutes were then accepted on a vote of three yes votes and two abstentions those of Betsy Thornquist and Katie Erickson.




Sheila Lane spoke to the Board regarding the financial package she has chosen for the bookkeeping system.  The package will cost approximately $20,785 for the software.  There is $7,406 in the Capital

Fund toward this purchase.  The Town would need to appropriate $14,000 to make this purchase possible.  Betsy Thornquist moved to take $14,000 out of the Contingency Fund to purchase a financial computer package for the Town.  The motion was seconded by Katie Erickson.  The vote taken was unanimous.




The Old School House is needing some repair.  The estimated cost of repair is $6,000.  This request was submitted by the Elementary School as a Capital Expenditure for next fiscal year.  The request is under $10,000,  which usually is the cutting off line to be classified as a Capital project.  Following discussion Sally Huyser moved a motion to take $6,000 from the Contingency Fund during this fiscal year to repair the Old School House.  Sharon Huxley seconded he motion.  The vote taken was unanimous.




Adjournment was called at 9:00 p.m. after a motion was moved by Sally Huyser and seconded by Betsy Thornquist.  The vote taken was unanimous.


                                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,


                                                                                                                June G. Riley

                                                                                                                Clerk, Board of Finance