Unapproved Meeting Minutes
Tuesday May 14, 2019
I. Call to order
D. Ulmer called to order the regular meeting of the Board of Finance at 7:30 PM on May 14, 2019 at Ridgefield Town Hall Meeting Room, 400 Main St., Ridgefield, CT.
Board Members D. Ulmer, J. Mancini, A. Freidenrich, S. Connelly, D. Moccia were in attendance
II. Comments from the Public- None at this
III. Approval of Minutes:
January 15 is still outstanding
March 19 changes made:
• III Treasurers Report by Molly McGeehin: "Currently investing money from bond issuance in December."
• IV Tax Collector's Report by Jane Berendsen Hill- "Prior year collections were swayed by tax sales."
• V. Board of Education- "D. Moccia questioned that the substitute report no longer lists the number of substitutes."
• Expenses- "A settlement" instead of "A recovery." O. T= Overtime
Motion to approve as amended by J. Mancini, seconded by A. Freidenrich.
March 25 changes made:
• D. Ulmer called to order the Public Hearing at East Ridge School.
• $1.84 million allocation to roads infrastructure.
• Page 2, Steve Jameson, HSA instead of HAS
• III. Dave Ulmer- "There is a substantial overage." "Spending change vs FY09 for FY20."
• IV Public Comments-We will see a $1 million drop.
• Emails to the BOF members (title change)
April 10th. A. Freidenrich moved to approve and D. Moccia seconded.
Send minutes to D. Ulmer for March 26, 27,28, April 1, 2 for his review and corrections.
Motion to approve sending minutes for review by A. Freidenrich, seconded by D. Moccia. All in favor.
IV. Treasurer's Report-none at this time
V. Tax Collector Report-Jane Berendsen-Hill
Doing very well; May is proceeding well; close to $2 million. Delinquent notices have been sent with intent to lien letters to follow. No problems/complaints at this time. The suspense looks correct. There are 329 tax bills totaling $91,334.05 which represents an increase from last year's personal property and motor vehicle suspense transfer of $87,231.25. Proposing to transfer 33 real estate tax bills to suspense. The taxes on these properties total $49,974.69. This brings the total of proposed suspending to $141,308.74. Request to add $141,308.74 to suspense. Many businesses on the delinquent list are out of business and it's difficult to collect on personal property taxes.
Motion to approve transfers by D. Moccia, seconded by A. Freidenrich. All in favor.
VI. BOE Financial Report-Dawn Norton
As of March 31, 2019 BOE, has expended or obligated $91,795.682 of $95,000,000 budget which represents approximately 97% of the appropriation. Expecting a second ECR reimbursement from the state in late May. Currently planning on spending all of the budget. Financial concerns being watched are Special Education, Legal, Health Insurance, Dental and Vision plans. Electric is locked at $.08990/kwh until August 2019 and purchase made of a second 110,000 gallons of oil at $1.89/gallon. Vision and dental are self-funded plans and still within budget for health plans.
Items that could positively affect the budget:
• Outplaced students returning to Ridgefield
• Short/long term disability and Worker's Comp claim reimbursements
• Continued positive medical claims
• Unpaid leaves of absences.
Items that could negatively affect the budget:
• Increased number of settlement and/or outplacements.
• Due process cases
• Unforeseen plan expenses (boilers, pumps, drain lines etc.)
• Substitute teachers
• Higher legal expenses
• Higher claims experience
• Spring storms
Para's are not in the budget; some salaries are due to positions not filled right away. Two assistant supervisors were not hired right away which caused a savings. Special Ed is difficult to evaluate. Para's are needed but not budgeted for; trying to be optimistic. Some liabilities were under budget. The next report will be in May, available for June meeting. D. Moccia asked for the number of certified subs. Dawn will get that information from Personnel. Pay for subs is $90.00 per day up to $110.00 with additional duties. Tutors-additional help for children, not necessarily special ed. Tutors are also used for homebound students.
VII. Controller's Report-Kevin Redmond
Revenue- Still at $1.30 million, holding steady. Golf could be worse, could be better but weather is a concern. People walk instead of taking a cart. There's concern with using carts since the courses are muddy due to excessive rain. Ambulance revenue is down; trying to improve. Volume is the same, trends are more due to deductible plans. Some insurance companies pay people individually; we need to collect that money. The ambulance company CAG receives 3% collection fee which is very low. If no improvements made within 6 months, may put this out to bid.
Expenses-Same issues as in the past. Much noise due to personnel changes. Some are over and some are under budget. At the end of the year, expect to be slightly under budget.
Legal-favorability due to conservation settlement.
Fire will be over in overtime and over for call centers; expenses are frozen. There is an opportunity for money received from FEMA.
VIII. Old Business-None at this time
IX. New Business-Funds received from the town anonymously. A. Freidenrich is concerned due to possible corruption. Moving forward, how does the town feel about receiving anonymous funds?
Anonymous funds can't be tracked. Per Rudy Marconi, sources were not negative. Should there be a dollar limit placed on anonymous donations? Large anonymous donations cold cause a conflict of interest due to ethics.
*Recess at this time.
X. Return from recess 9:22 pm.
Reconvene town meeting from May 6, 2019. Votes tallied. Moderator for meeting nominated by Wendy Lionetti nominating Jane Berendsen-Hill, seconded by D. Ulmer. All in favor, 0 opposed.
Head moderator, Ellen Belok, 8 Peaceable Ridge, Ridgefield, CT. 06877. Results of votes:
Question #1-yes 1395, no 325
Question #2-yes 1149, no 576
Question #3-yes 1498, no 221
Questions #4-yes 1297, no 415
Question #5-yes 1345, no 371
Question #6-yes 1328, no 381
Question #7 yes 1441, no 278
Question #8 yes, 1468, no 248
Question #9 yes, 1273, no 439
All votes passed. BOF to reconvene to set the mill rate. Motion to reconvene by D. Moccia, seconded by A. Freidenrich. All in favor.
XI. Mill Rate: D. Ulmer "I move that the tax rate for the Town of Ridgefield be 28.12 mills on the Grand List of October 1, 2018 and that said taxes shall become due and payable on July 1, 2019. Each motor vehicle tax bill shall become due and payable July 1, 2019. Each real estate and personal property bill in excess of $100.00 may be paid quarterly. If any quarterly installments shall not be paid within thirty (30) days after the same becomes due, then the unpaid quarterly tax thereof shall be subject to interest at the rate of eighteen (18) percent annually or one and one-half (1.5) percent each month, or part thereof, from the due date, or a minimum interest fee of $2.00 (CGS §12-146). Each motor vehicle tax bill shall be paid in full by August 1, 2019, and if not so paid, interest shall be charged at one and one-half (1.5) percent each month, or part thereof, from July 1, 2019 or a minimum interest fee of $2.00 (CSG §12-146)."
Vote: 5-0. Motion Approved by D. Ulmer, seconded by S. Connelly.
D. Moccia thanks all voting committee and BOF members.
Motion to adjourn at 9:29 p.m. by D. Moccia, seconded by J. Mancini
Motion to adjourn Jane Berendsen-Hill, K. Redmond moved, S. Connelly seconded, all in favor.
Next meeting June 18, 2019
Respectfully Submitted by,