I. TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING
Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. at the East Windsor Town Hall
Mr. Filipone called the Joint meeting to order at 7:53 p.m. at the East Windsor Town Hall, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook.
BOARD OF SELECTMEN
Edward Filipone, First Selectman
Kenneth Crouch, Deputy First Selectman
Thomas Sinsigallo, Selectman
Gil Hayes, Selectman
BOARD OF FINANCE
Paul Catino, Chairman
Mary Szabo, Town Treasurer
Mr. Filipone took a moment to advise both Boards of the scheduled Prayer Vigil for Javed Akhter.
1. Discussion/Action re: Purchase New Vehicle for Senior Transportation – Discussion to be outlined in detailed minutes.
Mr. Catino expressed concern that this item was to be discussed at this meeting. It is his understanding, and his Board’s understanding, that at this meeting the only item to be addressed is the Board of Selectmen’s Budget recommendation. Also Mr. Catino expressed that the Board of Finance had requested a written, organized report. It was determined that the report regarding this item was given to the Board of Finance, but members indicated it was their intent to discuss it at a future Board of Finance meeting, not tonight, and as such the materials had not been distributed to all Board of Finance members. To follow up to that the Board of Finance had concerns that this item was not posted properly and could not be added to this meeting to be discussed.
After some extensive discussion, it was determined that this item was posted in the appropriate time frame and could be discussed.
Tracy Lachat of the Senior Center was present to discuss the item. The Board’s went forward with discussing this item, although Ms. Lachat assumed everyone at the meeting would have already reviewed the detailed report. Ms. Lachat provided details such as the mileage of each vehicle and expense of maintenance costs. The grant was applied for in 2005, and Ms. Lachat had been working with the former First Selectmen, Ms. Roberts, for about a year and a half on this project. Ms. Lachat believes this item has been to Town Meeting. It is for a $40,000 grant, the Town portion is an additional $11,285. It is for a 14 passenger vehicle – 12 people, 2 wheelchairs. She stated that time is of the essence, this item has been in the
planning stages for a year and a half and the purchase order is needed for the Town portion. A letter from the Department of Transportation was received and stated the Town is definitely getting the grant and it is hopeful this will be complete by the end of the May. Ms. Lachat stated the Department of Transportation needed an answer the following day.
Ms. Szabo, Town Treasurer, stated that in C&R there is $40,000 allocated to Greater Hartford Transit Bus. It was stated that the $40,000 was not used because Greater Hartford Transit is not in the business of vehicles anymore. Ms. Szabo stated, she cannot issue the p.o. unless the monies are in place.
There was a considerable amount of time spent on what organizations were involved in this grant. It was discussed that the Greater Hartford Transit no longer funds vehicles. The grant at issue is the only way that vehicles are grant funded and there is new criteria for how these vehicles are funded. It was explained that the Department of Transportation open the doors to allow entities to ride on the coat tails of the bid process done by Greater New Haven. This is all Department of Transportation monies. The $40,000 in C&R for the former Greater Hartford Transit is to be used, as well as an additional $11,000 needed to get remaining monies.
Mr. Catino again stated that the supporting paperwork is not in front of the Board of Finance as they requested. He stated there are three items that need to be expressed to the Board of Finance in this request: 1. The need to replace the van; 2. The funding specifics; and 3. The ability to operate. Mr. Catino also wanted to view the grant letter.
Considerable time was spent gathering paperwork from people present, including from Ms. Elizabeth Burns. Mr. Catino read what was provided to him and the signed copy of the paperwork was just received the previous Friday. Why was there a need for the quick turn around? Mr. Catino read the paperwork to his Board and time was spent gathering details. He also found language (page 2, section 4) that referenced the Town has 90 days from the date of receipt of the signed paperwork. Mr. Catino felt that meant an immediate answer from the Board of Finance was not required. He asked Town Staff (Ms. Burns) to verify that statement in the contract, that indeed there was a 90 day period of time for this item to be completed. Upon inquiry,
Ms. Lachat indicated the cost of the vehicle is $51,200 – 80% of which, not to exceed 40,000, is covered by the Grant. Ms. Lachat detailed issues with the current fleet and why another vehicle is necessary. There is no need for an additional driver, the one who operates the existing bus to be replaced will drive the new vehicle.
More questions were volleyed as to why the Board of Finance was just hearing about this item and clarification regarding the confusion of why monies were set aside for Greater Hartford Transit and why the Board of Finance finds themselves unprepared and surprised by this issue. Also there was concern that if this grant has been worked on for a year and half with Ms. Lachat and the former First Selectman, Ms. Roberts, why was the need for the additional monies for the Town portion of the grant not put into the CIP. Ms. Lachat stated she thought that the monies were set aside. Members of the Board of Finance further expressed their displeasure that they were caught unawares of this item to be discussed tonight, and that while the materials had
been received to be distributed to the Board of Finance, they were not disseminated to BOF members as it was unclear that this item was to be discussed at this Joint meeting. As such, the Board of Finance was reluctant to do anything tonight, as they were not prepared for such a decision, and they are reluctant to take any action at an upcoming workshop as there is no recording secretary, and the docket for that workshop is full.
At this point several members of the Board of Finance and the First Selectman apologized to Ms. Lachat, who was visibly upset, regarding the tone the meeting had taken. Mr. Filipone made it clear that he did not enjoy a Town Employee being put in this position, that he had put forth the appropriate communications to members of the Board of Finance so that all the sticks lined up for a successful discussion on this issue tonight. Again apologies were given to Ms. Lachat, and it was indicated the Department Head is the person who should be fielding these questions.
BOS MOTION: To recommend to the Board of Finance execution of a P.O. to Matthew’s Buses with the following conditions: $40,000 from the Department of Transportation and the balance from the Town of East Windsor.
Made by Mr. Crouch, seconded by Mr. Sinsigallo
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR. MOTION CARRIED.
2. Recommendations for the 2007-2008 Budget
Paperwork was distributed to all present that outlined the Board of Selectmen recommendations. Mr. Filipone went through the “Town of East Windsor 2007-2008 Budget by Line Item” which showed the amount requested and the Selectmen recommendations. Changes were made to 1035, 1050, 1125, 3190, 5210 and 6305, as reflected in the sheets provided. The Board of Selectmen also outlined that $6,000 had been cut from Emergency Management 2170 tonight at a prior meeting. Those numbers are not reflected on the paperwork, but the Selectmen indicated that those changes made by the Selectmen amount to the $31,429,138 Selectmen recommendation. It was also noted that the Selectmen motion at the previous meeting had a math error and the intended amount to recommend to the Board of Finance was $31,429,138.
There was an inquiry as to why the Unemployment (7350) had been cut. This item will be researched, as the Board of Selectmen members did not understand why the figures on the sheet showed a cut.
Ms. Szabo provided the correct principle and interest figures to both Boards, which were just received from Webster Bank. Also the Treasurer circulated a Revenue sheet with mill rate calculation. The Boards were advised to use the new figures and disregard the old. Mr. Catino was looking for a rationale as to what was cut and why. Mr. Filipone indicated that the Selectmen looked at what was presented and only made a few changes.
BOF MOTION: To adjourn at 9:15 p.m.
Made by Ms. Nelson, seconded by Ms. Farmer
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR. MOTION CARRIED.
BOS MOTION: To adjourn at 9:15 p.m.
Made by Mr. Sinsigallo, seconded by Mr. Crouch
ALL MEMBERS IN FAVOR. MOTION CARRIED.
Cynthia D. Croxford