Selectmen and TA Update – June 10, 2019


Board of Selectmen Meeting – June 10, 2019

Review and Approval of Consent Items

  1. Meeting Minutes – May 13 and June 1
  2. Treasurer Reconciliation – April
  3. Tax Credits & Exemptions – (1)
  4. Land Use Change Tax (1)
  5. A/P Manifest – 05/21/19 – $211,195.17, 05/28/19 – $330,492.11,  06/4/19- $947,878.99, & 06/11/19 – $19,530.63
  6. P/R Manifest – 05/23/19 – $53,421.56, 05/30/19 – $53,432.96 , 06/06/19 – $61,589.23 & 06/13/19 – $53,770.27
  7. 2019 Dog Warrant


Update – Justin Haley Eagle Scout First Responder Monument Update

  1. Justin Haley, 60 Pilgrim Drive
  2. Justin handed the Selectmen and Town Administrator copies of the presentation.
  3. The price of the monument increased because he needs to have the ground leveled.
    1. The initial estimate was $3,000. The estimated price increased to $3,500.
  4. Justin will fundraise to add a 12’ x 5’ walkway.  The walkway will lead to the monument.
  5. Justin will sell engraved bricks as a way to fundraise for the project.
    1. He has the necessary order forms for the bricks.
  6. Justin provided a sketch of the monument. The sketch shows the fire department, police department, and the town seals located on the monument.
  7. Justin has marked the location of the monument.
  8. The next step is to bring in cement trucks and equipment to level the ground.
  9. The Selectmen stated they believe Justin has done a great job. They also suggested contacting local business’ to help with the fundraising.
  10. The Selectmen also suggested contacting local landscapers who may be able to help with the leveling of the property.
  11. Justin estimated the project would be completed by the end of the summer or early fall.
  12. Justin provided a contact number to the Board of Selectmen.  

Fund Balance Policy Review – Policy

  1. The Fund Balance Policy outlines five different funds:
    1. Non-Spendable Fund Balance: Trust Funds, nobody can spend these funds.
  2. Restricted Fund Balance: Grants come in for a specific purpose, and are restricted to that purpose.
  3. Committed Fund Balance: Town Meeting where the residents approve funding for a capital project. The funds are restricted for that purpose.
  4. Assigned Fund Balance: Encumbered funds, funds dedicated to a specific project.
  5. Unassigned Fund Balance: Funds used to help fund a one-time capital project expense. (Liquid Cash)
    1. Once a year a balance is set up by the auditors. They will determine what the balance is. This fund balance is a collection of funds collected in excess of what the town planned and any funds that were turned back.
    2. This fund balance may be used by the Selectmen only by the approval of a town meeting.
    3. The Unassigned Fund Balance in 2018 was $1.9 million. This fund is an important part of the town’s cash flow.
    4. The town has established a guideline of 8% – 12% of the funds that are the general appropriations for the town, school, and county government.  

Purchasing Policy Review – Policy

  1. A purchase of $5,000 or less the Department Heads has complete authority.
  2. A purchase of $5,000 up to $12,000 requires a purchase order and the Town Administrator has to approve the purchase order.
    1. The town has a requirement of seeking three proposals from qualified vendors.
    2. The town does have the ability to make exceptions to the requirement of three proposals.
  3. A purchase of $12,000 or more requires the Board of Selectmen’s approval, prior to the purchase.
  4. An exception to this policy is for emergency purchases. Section Seven – Emergency Procurements.
    1. The Emergency Operations Plan will make reference to the town’s purchasing policy.

Write-Off Policy Review – Policy

  1. The auditors requested the town create a write-off policy. This policy was created in June 2016.
  2. This policy outlines the procedures that the Finance Department and other departments, including the Town Administrator must follow.
  3. This policy is used, most of the time,  for Special Detail and ambulance bills.  
  4. Litchfield has a third-party collection agency.
    1. After the town has tried everything possible to collect the funds, the town turns to the collection agency.
    2. The collection agency receives a commission on anything they are able to collect.
  5. The town keeps the outstanding amount due on the books for three years.  After three years, the amount is written-off.
  6. The auditors decide the amount that the town is able to write-off. Even though the amount has been written-off, the third-party collection agency will try to collect the funds.

Recruitment Process – Police Chief

  1. Selectman Webber met with Chief O’Brion and other law enforcement officers.  
  2. Selectman Webber discussed the policy and procedure for hiring a Police Chief.
  3. The belief is a department that runs well, the town should promote from within its own department.
  4. The Selectmen agreed that promoting from within would be the proper way to proceed.
  5. Promoting from within would:
    1. Help with moral
    2. Keep the money spent on training within the town of Litchfield
  6. Captain Sargent is a candidate for Police Chief and he will be attending the FBI Academy soon.       

Discussion: None

Motion ( Selectman Lynch / Selectman Leary ) I move the Board of Selectmen promote a police officer from within the Litchfield Police Department as the town’s next Police Chief.

Vote: ( 3-0-0 ) The motion carried.

Approval – MS-4 Stormwater Permit Certificate

  1. Troy Brown requested the Selectmen authorize him to be able to sign the following items:
    1. Stormwater pollution plans
    2. Inspection reports
    3. Annual monitoring reports
    4. Training records

Discussion: Selectman Lynch requested that Town Administrator Troy Brown provide the forms to Selectman Lynch before Troy signs off on the document.

Motion ( Selectman Leary / Selectman Lynch ) I move to authorize the Town Administrator position to review andapprove stormwater pollution prevention plans, inspection reports, annual monitoring reports, training records, and other reports as required by the MS-4 Permit, with the condition that Selectmen Lynch will be able to see them prior to signing.

Vote: ( 3-0-0 ) The motion carried

Approval – Melanson Heath Contract – Contract

  1. Melanson Heath is the towns auditing firm.
  2. The contract is for three years, but the first year is already under contract.
  3. For the years 2018 and 2019, the cost will be $20,500.
  4. For the year 2020, the cost will be $21,000

Discussion: None

Motion ( Selectman Lynch / Selectman Leary ) I move to authorize the Town Administrator to sign a three-year contract with Melanson Heath, for the years 2018, 2019, and 2020.   

Vote: ( 3-0-0 ) The motion carried.

Approval – Fire Department Weekend/Holiday Stipend

  1. The fire department weekend / Holiday Stipend is a practice that is already in place, but it has been omitted from the pay scale. (Appendix A)
  2. Weeknights after the full-timers go home, we have an individual who will cover from 4 pm until 8 am. This employee receives a $20 stipend to be on-call.
  3. The requirement is the employee is within a 10 to 15 minute response time.
  4. If the employee gets called out, the employee receives their hourly rate.
  5. Weekend Days and Town Holidays, the employee receives a $50 stipend.

Discussion: None

Motion ( Selectman Leary / Selectman Lynch ) I move to update Appendix A wages of personnel policy with on-call officer stipends as follows, weeknights 1600 hours to 0800 hours is $20. Weekend days and Town Holidays are $50.

Vote: ( 3-0-0 ) The motion carried.

Special Meeting – Tour Highway Department

  1. Troy Brown would like to set up a time for the Board of Selectmen to go down to the highway garage and have Kevin Brown give us a tour.
  2. The tour would include the entire facility and all the equipment.
  3. Selectman Webber suggested including the Budget Committee in the tour of the highway department.
  4. Selectman Leary wondered if the wounds from the Jack Pinciaro resignation are still too raw.
  5. The Selectmen agreed to set up a time for a tour and will invite the Budget Committee to attend.  

Authorization – Recruitment of Seasonal Highway Laborer

  1. The last two years the town has not had a seasonal highway laborer.
  2. The Highway Department is down one man with Jack Pinciaro’s resignation.
  3. The town needs to find a seasonal employee to help with the lawn mowing and other maintenance issues.
  4. The pay would be $12 an hour and last for about 10 weeks.

Discussion: None

Motion ( Selectman Leary / Selectman Lynch ) I move to authorize the Town Administrator to recruit and hire a seasonal laborer in a position for the highway department at $12 an hour.

Vote: ( 3-0-0 ) The motion carried.

Discussion Items – Full-Time Road Agent and Truck Driver

  1. With the resignation of Jack Pinciaro, the position of Road Agent is a priority.
  2. The Selectmen agreed to look at the job descriptions.
  3. Troy Brown will work on updating the job descriptions.

Town Administrator Report

  1. Report

Notes and Upcoming Meetings

  1. Next Regular Meeting – June 24th

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