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Board of Finance Minutes11/21/2017
Minutes of the Board of Finance meeting held on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall.
Present:~~~~~~~~~~ Regular Members:~ Andrew Russell, BJ Bernblum, H. P. Garvin, III,
                Janet Sturges, David Woolley
Alternate Members:~ Adam Burrows, David Kelsey, Anna Reiter                     

Bonnie A. Reemsnyder, ex-officio
Mary Jo Nosal, Selectwoman
Nicole Stajduhar, Finance Director
Timothy C. Griswold, Treasurer                          
Absent:~~~~~~~~~~~ Regular Members:~  
~Alternate Members:~~
Guest:          Joseph Centofanti, CPA, PKF O’Connor Davies,   LLC
                Melinda Kronfeld, Old Lyme Assessor
                Maria Basileo, Resident (journalist student)


Mr. Russell called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  He congratulated new board member, Anna Reiter and other members who ran to extend their term of service.  Mr. Russell reported that he received Mr. Kerr’s letter of resignation from the board since he has just been elected to the Board of Selectmen.  Therefore, he called a Special meeting for Tuesday, December 19th at 7:15pm, before the Regular meeting at 7:30pm for the purpose of filling the vacancy on the board.  That will be the only item on the agenda.  Because of Mr. Kerr’s absence, Mrs. Sturges made a motion, seconded by Mr. Garvin to seat Mr. Kelsey in Mr. Kerr’s place.  Motion carried.

Annual Financial Report Draft for Year End June 30, 2017

Mr. Centofanti reviewed highlights of the Town’s June 30, 2017 audit results.  He described the strict governmental standards that must be followed for municipal audits.  The assets of the Town exceeded its liabilities at the close of the 2017 fiscal year by $30,867,492.  Of this amount, $11,709,604 (unrestricted net position) may be used to meet the Town’s ongoing obligations to citizens and creditors.  The Town’s total net position increased by $3,146,991.  The most significant reasons for the increase were the positive general fund operations and capital purchases in excess of depreciation expense.  As of the close of the current fiscal year, the Town’s governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of $11,682,563, an increase of $924,666 in comparison with the prior year.  The most significant reasons for the increase were the positive general fund operations.  At the end of the fiscal year, unassigned fund balance for the general fund was $8,606,041, or 24.8% of the total budgetary general fund expenditures and transfers out.  The Town’s total long-term debt decreased by $310,000 (11.2%) due to annual scheduled debt service payments.  New major fund is the Sound View Bike Path Improvement fund.

Mr. Centofanti stated that the Town does not have a formal disaster recovery plan.  Without a formal, comprehensive disaster recovery plan, the Town might not be able to recover its EDP capabilities in a timely manner in the event of a data center catastrophe.  It was recommended that a disaster recovery plan be developed to address situations across the full range of system downtime.  Formal contracts should be entered into with the recovery location and periodic testing should be performed once a year.
Board of Finance Meeting                                                                November 21, 2017

Assessor – Melinda Kronfeld

Ms. Kronfeld introduced herself and explained her goals for the Assessor’s office. The plan over the next couple of years is to bring properties up to date prior to revaluation to make the process easier and reduce some of the data collection hours during revaluation.  She explained that technology makes automation and data distribution easier and the accuracy is essential in assessments, which eliminates appeals and adjustments.  She would like to expand public awareness of resources, GIS, encouraging tax payers to review their information.  Lenders and Insurance companies also utilize the town’s information for their records which is helping to gain more accurate information.   Ms. Kronfeld explained that a State funded program (circuit breakers) for homeowners over 65+ which offers possible tax credit will most likely be eliminated, however, the State will be retaining the administration of the program.  The town has a total of 54 taxpayers currently receiving a tax credit and the request for reimbursement for 2016 was $36,461, and, OPM indicated will be eliminating the reimbursement for 2017.

New Business

Renters Rebate:  Mrs. Reemsnyder reported that currently there is money in Office of Policy Management (OPM) to cover the renter’s rebates that were due in October.  However, the monies allocated are approximately $12 million short.  It is their understanding that the state will allocate an additional $6 million to cover half of the difference and cities and towns will be responsible for the balance.   For 2016, the town had 44 renters rebates, in the amount of $22,000.

Approval of October 17, 2017 Minutes

The minutes of October 17th were reviewed.  The only correction noted was to move Mr. Kelsey’s name from Regular Member to Alternate Member.

There being no other corrections noted, a motion was made by Mrs. Sturges, seconded by Mr. Woolley to approve the minutes, as modified.   Motion carried.

Review of Monthly Financial Reports

Mrs. Stajduhar outlined the Financial Report Notes for October 2017.  Under Revenues, the Property tax, total tax collections were $202,000.  The new Webster account interest income was $12,000.  Under Other Funds, Sound View Improvement Project received $16,000 of Grant reimbursement.  

Expenditures included Land Use Engineering $3,500 for Traffic Study for service station improvements proposal on Halls Road.  Public Works Equipment/Vehicle Repair and Maintenance line had an $8,628 repair for the roadside mower.  Under the Emergency Service Retirement, $8,950 was paid to Robinson & Cole for legal services to terminate plan.  Other funds included the Building Improvement Fund, which paid out $56,574 to Martinez Painting for outside painting of the Town Hall.  Mrs. Stajduhar distributed the Road Improvement Expenditures and explained the differences of the Reconstruction Fund and the General Fund Overlay.  Because of a misclassification of a paid invoice, the Overlay Fund is overspent by $131,450, and Avenue G is scheduled for an overlay estimated at $65,000, the amount needed is $196,450.
Board of Finance Meeting                                                                November 21, 2017

Mrs. Stajduhar stated that an additional appropriation of $200,000 needs to go to Town Meeting.  The Boards of Selectmen and Finance recommend that it goes before Town Meeting in January.

The percentage of general government budget spent to date is 33.1% and does not include Capital or RSD#18.

Mrs. Stajduhar reported that the Deputy Registrar was budgeted for 100 hours and actually worked 160 hours.  Mrs. Stajduhar spoke with the Registrars and Mrs. Reemsnyder, and they all agree that with the many legislative changes and growing responsibilities expected of Registrar of Voters, a part-time Administrative position should be considered in the future.  The Registrars in office are fairly new and the functions of the Registrars have greatly increased with State and Federal regulations imposed.

EMS has a new responder vehicle and it is presently housed outside.  The vehicle and its contents need to be stored inside because of salines and medications that are stored within the vehicle.  The EMS met with Facility Manager, Mr. Parcak, to come up with a solution.  There was a discussion about using a bay within the Fire Department and moving the Fire/Police boat and Antique Fire Truck used for parades into a rented facility.  A concern over the safety  of the stored vehicles (mice damage to wires, etc.,) was discussed as well as the cost of adding on another bay or a garage for additional vehicles and equipment.   Obtaining two rental bays would be more cost-effective as the boat would only need to be stored inside for 4-5 months.

Mrs. Reemsnyder distributed the Statutory Formula Aid within the State budget.  She detailed the impact of the budget cuts for the PILOT programs: State-owned real property, Colleges & Hospitals, Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan fund grants, Town Aid Road grant, local Capital Improvement (LOCIP), and grants for Municipal projects.   Mrs. Reemsnyder stated that the town anticipated the cut in State assistance and budgeted accordingly.

Old Business

Project Management Report Template:  Mrs. Stajduhar discussed the formatting of expenditures and revenues for all future projects, including the new Cross Lane Playground Budget.  Mr. Burrows suggested that all formatting documents should include the producer’s name or initials as well as the date included at the bottom of every page to avoid confusion on which updated or changed copy is being reviewed.  

Bid Policy:  Mrs. Reemsnyder distributed a revised Bid Policies document that was discussed at the Board of Selectmen meeting.  On page 1, 2nd paragraph, Mr. Kelsey requested that the 2nd sentence be removed from the document.  There was also discussion on the sole source vendor and Mrs. Reemsnyder stated that the Board of Selectmen reviewed #D under definitions, reading, “Sole source vendor is a vendor whose services or products are unique, with no other qualified provider reasonably available, such vendor to be approved by the Board of Selectmen to provide those unique goods and/or services for the Town.”  The Selectmen discussed with the town auditor and felt that was sufficient.  Under Procedures, on page 2, #3 stated that the process of both an RFP and/or RFQ, made the process an encouragement and not a requirement.

Board of Finance Meeting                                                                November 21, 2017

Other Business:

Mr. Russell requested that the Schedule of Meetings and Budget Specialist Assignments be sent to the board members.  He asked that everyone review the list, and make changes and revisions before the December meeting.

New Business

Road Improvement:   Mrs. Stajduhar informed the board of a coding mistake in the Public Works Road Expenditures account.  She explained that there are two accounts; a Reconstruction fund and an Overlay General fund, and a reconstruction project (Saunders Hollow) was posted incorrectly to the Overlay fund resulting in an over-budget of $131,450 within that line.  When Mrs. Stajduhar spoke with Mr. Adanti to clarify the line items, he explained that he has recently received an estimate on an overlay for Avenue G ($65,000), that needs immediate attention.  Therefore, additional appropriation of $200,000 will be included in the Town meeting.  

Other Business

Nothing to report.

Selectman’s Report

LED Light Conversion:  Mrs. Reemsnyder stated that all but five lights are installed.  There are some lights that are installed, but need further wiring from Eversource.  Work orders have been submitted with Eversource to energize them.   The maintenance contract is set at $1 per month, per light, and will be signed shortly.  Mrs. Reemsnyder stated that any lights that are not working should be reported to the Selectman’s Office to be addressed by Tanko Lighting, the installation company.

Route 156 Sound View Improvements:  Mrs. Reemsnyder stated that the paving was completed, and expect the lines to be completed by the end of this week.  The final walk-through that was scheduled for Monday, October 23rd could not take place because the final banner poles and street sign were not installed.  Presently, the poles are in, but the base covers are not installed nor are the actual street signs.  Therefore, the final walk through date has not been finalized.

Blight Ordinance/Pump Station Lease:  Mrs. Reemsnyder reported last meeting that Town attorneys Mike Carey and Eric Callahan met with the Board of Selectmen to review the details of both the blight ordinance and the Pump Station land lease.  Town officials, Keith Rosenfeld, David Roberge and George Calkins, joined the meeting regarding the blight ordinance, which helped with clarification and limitations according to state statutes.   Mike Carey will be sending the updated draft ordinance, which will be presented at a public information meeting and ultimately to a Town Meeting.  The lease for the pump house was also discussed in detail, with some changes being made by the Selectmen.  The new draft was just received and

Board of Finance Meeting                                                                November 21, 2017

those changes will need agreement from the beach communities.  It is also being reviewed by WPCA Chair.  
Once a “final” draft is completed, it will be available for review and a Public Hearing and Town Meeting are required.  Currently, the Ordinance and Lease are still in the process of being reviewed and finalized.

Cross Lane Playground:  The playground equipment is scheduled to arrive at the end of November.  The site work has been completed, and paving will take place soon.  Mrs. Reemsnyder explained that the paving is done where surface tiles are to be installed, which will make it ADA Accessible.  Once the paving is completed, the equipment and tiles will be delivered and installed. Completion is targeted for mid-December.

Police Services Options Committee:  Mrs. Reemsnyder stated that the Board of Selectmen discussed forming a committee to look at the option of forming Police Services with East Lyme, list the pros and cons of both models and research any other options that might be available to provide the best police services for the town.  Mrs. Reemsnyder reported that there are a few vacancies on various Boards and Commissions and forms to request to be on a board are in the Selectman’s Office and on the Meeting Calendar board in the lobby hallway.

Mr. Russell stated that the next meeting of the Board of Finance will be Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 7:30 pm.  The Election of Chair will be the first item on the agenda.  Mr. Russell wished everyone a very happy Thanksgiving.

A motion was then made by Mrs. Sturges, seconded by Mr. Kelsey to adjourn the meeting at 9:45 p.m.  Motion carried.

Respectfully Submitted,

Michele E. Hayes

52 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371  (860) 434-1605

Town Hall Hours  Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM