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January 21, 2009 Meeting Minutes
Attachments:
Attachment NameAttachment SizeAttachment Date
Size: 48K
Last Updated: 2009/1/29
Size: 61K
Last Updated: 2009/1/29
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLANNING COMMITTEE
January 21, 2009

Page 1 of 4
TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING

The meeting was called to order at the East Windsor Town Hall at 5:30 p.m. on January 21, 2009.

ATTENDANCE
Denise Menard, First Selectmen, Chairman
Dale Nelson, Vice Chairman
Mark Simmons
Blaine Simpkins
Rand Stanley
Joseph Pellegrini
Len Norton
Marie DeSousa  (arrived 5:55 p.m. – scheduled)
Also in attendance:  Catherine Cabral, Town Treasurer

PARKS AND RECREATION

Ms. Green came before the committee to detail the Parks and Recreation projects.  Of note, the recreation management software project was removed as it was not within the CIP parameters and, in fact, there was another avenue taken for this concept.

BOUNDLESS PLAYGROUND

Ms. Green detailed that she received a $25,000 grant from a Foundation and with a grant comes restrictions and deadlines, therefore the priority on some projects has changed.   The Parks and Recreation would like to start Phase I in Spring.  Ms. Green explained the parameters and features of a boundless playground for the special needs of all children.

Ms. Green would like this project completed in conjunction with parking lot at annex as there is a need for handicap accessible parking lot.   This is a total $250,000 project – there is currently $25,000 for grant and matching $25,000 from town.   Ms. Green explained the scope of the grant projects in other towns.  

Ms. Green detailed community workshops to be held prior to breaking ground on this project this,  as well as the efforts for a community design for the playground, so the town residents have  involvement in the design of the playground. This community workshop of residents will include a portion for input from  kids.  There is fundraising and other grants to be applied for as well.  Gametime designs this and does community design for the playground, so the town has involvement in the design of the playground.  A community workshop of residents is held – including a portion for kids and a workshop for parents where they do the same thing.

It was inquired, due to economic constraints, if this project had to cut amount and make over four years, is that doable?  Ms. Green indicated probably not – it has to be as close to the amount requested so she can order the pieces for the playground.   The match for the grant received can be for services done in house. i.e. staff time and efforts in this regard.

There is no time limit to this grant.  It can be restructured if need be and the Foundation will assist Ms. Green with that.  The foundation understands the challenging economic times.

EQUIPMENT PURCHASE

Ms. Green detailed the equipment requests and detailed that often times maintenance is done in house to provide cost savings.  The sand pro drags the beaches and all of the Board of Education properties for baseball fields, as well as Osborn little league complex.   

The snow blower attachment would be for the 345 mower so that the shoveling and physical aspects that come with shoveling can be minimized.  Currently the Parks Groundkeeper has an extensive list of sidewalks to shovel and this equipment could provide for more timely snow removal.  Turfpro is a local distributor who has a State contract.  The tractor is used in all parks to move big items (i.e. garbage cans) and different projects, such as brush removal, at the school.  Ms. Green was asked if she had looked at other brand rather than John Deere.  It was mentioned that another town agency recently purchased equipment that was significantly less money than the John Deere quote.  Ms. Green indicated that she can have the grounds keeper investigate.  It was inquired if Lomac has a state contract – but Ms. Green did not know, but she would find out.  

Ms. Menard mentioned knowing that the maintenance position at Parks will be working in combination with Public Works would there still be need for this equipment requested.  Currently there was no duplication of equipment noted.

FOUR SEASON STORAGE / OFFICE SPACE

Ms. Green indicated this has been a repeated request. Currently there is $30,000 to this project allocated.  This would allow for the Park to be the main hub of activity and it would also free up the public works garage, where material is stored.  Ms. Green detailed the various areas of storage – at the annex on the second story, at the park (referred to as the Garcia building), the attic over the snack bar.  Currently this agency is creative as to where storage is.  Also there is maintenance materials at the town Garage.  It would make this agency more efficient if all items could be stored at one central location and make operations more smooth for the residents.  Ms. Green provided pictures of the structure.  It has bay doors for entrance and exit of equipment and an office facility.  100 amp service – did not include the office, the amp service would have to go up.  Originally this was a three season quote, and now, due to the needs of the town, they have now gone with the four season building idea.  It is hard to get quotes for those kind of services.  It was mentioned by a member that this building may also help deter vandalism as there would be more permanent presence at the park.  

ENGINEERING STUDY FOR A POOL FACILITY

Ms. Green detailed that this is a request that is a wish list sort of item, but it is one that has been presented before.  Ms. Green detailed the various ideas that have been mentioned for this project.  This study would investigate all of the avenues suggested and determine if the concepts are feasible, where the pool facility could be located.   The pool use and programs would be for all residents, including youths and seniors.    It was asked if the reservoir would be closed if this pool facility were approved and implemented by the town.  Ms. Green detailed the ongoing difficulties with the reservoir including the algae issues, dragging the pond, weather condition factors, etc.  It is likely that the reservoir would close if the pool facility was in place.  It is a manmade pond, so the water source could be closed.  


COMMITTEE DISCUSSION OF ALL PROJECTS

The Treasurer plugged the current request figures as was done historically and presented the Board with the data.  (A copy of this dated draft initial document is attached to these minutes)  The reserves amounts are what was on the request forms submitted by the agencies.  The total reserve amount is not all this year, some is for future years.  That reserve is not all usable for 2010.  The Treasurer went with last year form and discussion ensued regarding the form and how the figures on the form came to be.  

The Committee also discussed the idea of rather than funding the projects – do it by setting a certain budgeted dollar amount for CIP and how to fit projects into a picture with a specific budgeted figure.  This would provide a Plan that the town could implement and put in place.  The economic times were taken into account and how to proceed with this CIP.  The State funding and what the state representatives can provide for information as to what East Windsor is to expect from the State budget funding was discussed briefly.  It was noted that that missing piece makes it difficult for towns to plan.  

It was felt that a policy needed to be put in place to present to the Board of Finance.  It was felt this Committee to could make a recommendation when it makes is presentation. It would make the CIP’s job easier if they knew what they could work with.  It was also felt that it should not be just for this year, but a forecast of funds and look ahead down the road.   It could be done by a percentage of the mill – a percentage of the budget every year or a dollar amount every year.   It was also mentioned that other towns do bonding for CIP projects and this is an option to discuss as well.  There are costs associated with bonding (long term / short term) and overall debt considerations.  It was felt that maybe looking at other avenues for one-time projects and explore the bonding avenue, in order to get these projects done.  Then bigger projects get completed and it is more of a planning rather than a reaction to emergencies.  Also the bond considerations and the state of the market and how ratings are affected should be considered when thinking this idea.

It was felt that the myth with residents that the CIP is a “wish list” needs to be eliminated.    The Board discussed that East Windsor needs a five year plan that is in place and is built on from year to year.  The shared services through out the town were discussed including the common goals of many agencies and the strides the Town has made to unify in purchases and work together.  It was also stated that if an item is funded specifically – that item should be purchased, not changed midstream for another project that is considered a priority.  It was felt that policy and procedures should be in place.  It was stated that CIP items are specific line items and they are signed off by the First Selectman.  

The idea of setting one million figure on CIP was discussed or maybe put in place a graduation of percentage for funding the capital projects.  It was thought that maybe a policy could be in place to bring the town where it should be over the course of the next few years, and when projects are up to date and the town is catching up then the CIP can go back to a lower figure.   The effects of the budget on local businesses was also discussed so the CIP committee needs to look at how this plan effects all aspects of town life, residentially and commercially.  The historical practice of using other town funds (sewer fees) to fund the CIP will be researched.  

It was suggested the members do homework and review the presentations to date and opinions and ideas as to how to go forward.   It was thought members should look at projects that are definitely needed and the members discuss priority items.

The next meetings will be held on Wednesday Jan 28 at 6:00 and February 2nd at 6:00.  

Respectfully submitted,


Cynthia D. Croxford
Recording Secretary  
Attachment