TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
BOARD OF FINANCE MEETING
November 15, 2006
The Board of Finance meeting was called to order at 7:45 p.m. at the East Windsor Town Hall.
Paul Catino, Chairman
Noreen Farmers, Secretary
Mary Szabo, Town Treasurer
APPOINTMENT OF ALTERNATES
No alternates needed, full board present.
Regular Meeting - October 18, 2006
Motion: To approve the minutes of the October 18, 2006 regular meeting.
Ms. DeSousa / Ms. Farmer
Vote: 5-in favor / 1 abstention
Discussion: None. 1 abstention due to a Board member who was not present at the previous meeting.
Packet regarding communications with Chief of Police.
See a copy of the attached report marked as Exhibit A attached hereto and made a part hereof.
The Audit report should be ready and we should be able to get Joe from Scully & Wolf out for the December meeting if able to get the Management discussion and analysis done over the weekend.
A Board of Finance member brought to the attention of the board that they had an opportunity to meet with Mary and go over the reports. Will use the Police Department as an example, the numbers we see in the YTD expended for Salary and OT (Variable and Fixed) are not accurate and do not reflect the real world. Adjustments are going on to impact the numbers. The Results found indicated more of a concern as to where we’re going and the ability to fund that department. EAC short $25,000 and the reason is due to the departure of two (2) police officers. This is a legitimate action item against the contingency fund. Fixed and Variable Overtime overrun by $8,000 on fixed and the variable is headed for over $53,000. With the shortfall with the two (2) police officers it looks to be
headed for over $86,000 of overrun on salaries.
The Board needs to understand the numbers
2) Concern for where the Police Department funding is going.
The law clearly states that you cannot overrun your department budget. The Police Department should take the remainder of the contingency with provisions.
There are some anticipated retirements within the next year and possibly with Senior Officers.
The Chairman wants a chance to explore their expenses. There was further discussion on some money that was paid out for officers. Humphrey dollars were all paid in 2006. Scavotto will be paid out in 2007, actually the bulk of it paid in 2007. The question arose as to where the money is for the officers we didn’t hire. It should cover the Scavotto money.
Mill Pond has paid no money so far for this year. The Officer has been paid out of the salary line so far for this year.
The School Officer has been taken out of the salary line. We do have a grant and Mary takes out quarterly. This will cause that line to fluctuate during the quarter until the dollars are taken out.
It was addressed that the Scavotto separation date was 6/8 and it was impossible to ask for an added appropriation at that time. We can make a transfer from the General Fund. Scavotto received an Employee Separation and was paid for time he had accrued. The Town has a liability for sick days.
The big issue is that Mill Pond is not paying for their officer. The Treasurer has communicated with them. Believes that the contract was for three years. Term of the contract was 6/15/04 for 2005-2006 and 2006 – 2007. They are still in their contract. Figures for 2006-2007 is $88,382 which they pay $17,497.50 quarterly. The money goes directly to the Treasurer.
The Treasurer will send a memo to the Police Department indicating that no money has been received YTD from Mill Pond.
There are other problems with communications – the Treasurer’s office does not know who is terminating, who is hired, when an officer is leaving, where to send the COBRA info, etc. There is a legal issue with getting the COBRA information out to employees.
Consistent disorganized process and paper trail inconsistent. 3-tier:
Project Manager for Grant
Marie – Financial Manager
The Treasurer will write up the things that she needs to request from the Police Department for the Board of Finance so they can address it.
It was further mentioned that the process that is currently in place would work well if it flowed properly. The Board of Finance requested that the Treasurer write up the process.
The money flow is a concern because we don’t see the money sometimes. The Officers in the school is a grant through the Federal Government and it goes through an electronic transfer directly to the checking account.
The question arose as to what the penalty was for taking the Officers out of the school, if on grant. What requirements are there under the grant if we take him out and relocate him? When did the grant begin and what are the terms of it.
The Legal Fees are running real high, but the Board of Selectman and Board of Finance were given a heads up.
The other grants that we are dealing with are:
FEMA – snow removal $12,500.
CDBG – complete $390,000 Open Space
We purchase the property and then get reimbursed by DEP.
We will exceed our interest income - $61,600 from the State we were not counting on and CL&P money for the streetlights.
There are good funds in the C&R fund.
Motion: To approve the Treasurers report as presented.
Ms. DeSousa / Ms. Farmer
REQUESTS/RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN
To recommend that the Board of Finance address the Broad Brook Fire Department issues of repairing the existing Tanker or replacing it with a Rescue Pumper.
Present was Cal Meyers for the Broad Brook Fire Department. Mr. Meyer’s explained that there are two (2) trucks that are over 20 years old in disrepair.
1) The first problem is that they need more money for a rescue truck and are hoping that money was put in the capital improvements to purchase a new one. The truck in question was not a high quality truck and would only last about 20 years. It is a 1986 Emergency/Rescue truck and the usage has increased since it was bought.
2) The 1974 Diamond Rio Tanker has become a problem over the last 2 months. The truck has oil in the anti-freeze and vice versa. Due to the age of the truck, to properly fix it would require replacing the motor with a factory rebuilt, which would then require some special items such as a radiator which is not available any more. The repairs are so expensive because they are so labor intensive. Due to the age of the truck, repairing it would not be worth it because there are other problems and/or other problems can arise. The Broad Brook Fire Department is requesting a total replacement of the truck instead of spending $30,000 or more just to fix the tanker and then there is still no rescue truck.
Would like to take the $30,000 and put it down as a down payment and replace both of the trucks with one (1) truck which has both tanker and rescue capabilities. The truck they are looking at was 10% cheaper 1 year ago.
Some areas of the Town do not have hydrants and the need a large tank capability. They are working with WHPFD on the number of rescue trucks. Looking at a joint replacement schedule for both Fire Departments.
$31,000 was a formal estimate for the repairs to the 74 Tanker which included engine, radiator, clutch, piping.
The Board asked how many calls does the Tanker respond to and the answer was ½ - ¾ of the calls. The last two (2) fiscal years it responded to over 500 calls.
There was a new body put on the truck in 1987 to carry hoses and it has a Class A bumper. The truck is able to carry everything; it was modified to use for other purposes.
The Rescue truck goes to every call. It runs to medical calls and fire calls.
The Fire Department currently has a 1990 Mack, 1986 GMC Rescue, 2001 10 Wheeler HME, 1974 Tanker and an Army Truck – State of CT Hummer.
The 1985 Chevy GMC is on the Capital Improvement list for both Fire Departments. Engine 239 – 1990 Mack/Ranger will become the Town spare, but will be housed in Broad Brook until needed.
The price on the new truck they are looking at is $560,000. There are no grants for this. The Rescue truck alone would be $490,000 to replace and a Tanker with a 2500 gallon tank would be $295,000 alone. They are looking at 1 truck to replace both trucks for $560,000.
There are 6 pumpers that would reduce to 5, 2 for each fire department and 1 spare.
The $195,000 debt service for the WHP truck is believe to be almost done. The Board would like to wait until the service dept is done and propose to the town a new truck and pick between the two departments which truck to buy. The Board suggests that we fix the current truck.
There is a timeframe for this. They would need to put a deposit down and go to bid. It would take 12-16 months for delivery before they would actually get, which would bring them to the WHP service debt being paid off.
In order to repair the tanker, a motor has to be found or manufactured and they build them on a need be basis. It won’t be back until the end of February beginning of March.
The Board asked if there were any used vehicles available instead of a new one. And also questioned if there was any Homeland Security money available. And it was discussed that the Homeland Security money is drying up.
The Fire Department has spent in repairs over the past 4-1/2 years on 8 trucks in the fleet - $96,144. Of that, $12,800 was spent to fix the tanker and $21,384 was spent to fix the rescue truck which is 1/3 of the budget. In 1999 the Tank pump was replaced and cost over $20,000.
The Board asked the Fire Department – What are you willing to give up if they need to over the next 12 months? The fire department responded that they will slide the pick up truck into the future. But they can only speak for Broad Brook as no one is here for WHP.
The Board advised that the fire departments need to get out to the people and convince them of what we need and to get the people to vote yes. The Budgets that are being passed are bare bones.
The options are to repair vs. replace. $31,000 is available to go to the Town Meeting.
The Board feels that we go to Town Meeting to fix the tanker and then look at putting a new truck into the CIP during the budget process for next year.
Motion: To recommend to Town Meeting a transfer of $35,000 from Contingency account number 1-01-50-8410-8-890-0000-0 to the Broad Brook Fired Department account number 1-01-15-2150-8-861-0000-0 for the purpose of repairing the 1974 Diamond Reo Tanker.
Ms. DeSousa / Ms. Nelson
Discussion: The public should be aware that this is an important issue and the Fire Department is currently without a Tanker.
To recommend to the Board of Finance an added appropriation of
$19,000 to the Unemployment Compensation line.
Two prior employees are on Unemployment. Scavotto was contested and was awarded unemployment after the penalty period. The maximum is $12,480.
The Dial-A-Ride driver quit and is not eligible for 6 weeks and his compensation will be around $5,000 - $6,000.
The Board of Selectman is just asking for what exposure we have for right now in this fiscal period.
Motion: To transfer of $19,000 from Contingency account number 1-01-50-8410-8-890-0000-0 to the Unemployment Compensation line account number 1-01-35-7350-2-215-0000-0.
Ms. Nelson / Ms. Sorenson-Duray
VOTE: 5 in favor / 1 opposed
Discussion: This amount should cover both parties unemployment expense through the end of the year.
None for discussion at this time.
Agriculture Land Development Rights
George Grant – Tabled, as Mr. Grant was not present.
Motion: To adjourn meeting at 10:32.
Ms. Nelson / Ms. DeSousa
Lori P. Holden