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BOS Meeting Notes: 8/26/15

– submitted by Meghan Peterson –

August 26, 2015 Board of Selectmen Meeting

On August 26, the Board of Selectmen (BOS) held a meeting. The previous two regularly scheduled-meetings had been canceled. The meeting was held in the small Conference Room of the Town Building.

An agenda was posted prior to the meeting on the town website.                              

The recap below takes the agenda’s items in turn. Residents can access the BOS meeting agendas at this link.

 

Official minutes have not been posted to the town website at the time of this writing.

All BOS members were present: First Selectman Melissa Schlag, Selectman Sean Donlan, Selectman Robert Duval. Ms. Alice Zanelli, Assistant to First Selectman Melissa Schlag, was present. Mr. Ed Schwing, publisher of Haddam Bulletin, video-recorded the meeting. Tony Giamei, of HaddamNow, video-recorded the meeting as well. This video is available at HaddamNow.com.

Pledge of Allegiance, Minutes, Public Comments

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Minutes from the last BOS meeting (July 15) were accepted. The floor was then opened for public comments. No one moved to speak. First Selectman Melissa Schlag stated “let the record show that they are silent.”

Discussion of Departments/Agencies Over Budget

First Selectman Schlag brought the topic of several town departments which had gone over budget – such as dispatch, police, snow and ice removal services. The primary reason for these entities going over budget was the abnormally difficult winter Haddam experienced this past year. The tax collector and town clerk was also overbudget due to a retirement and extra hours worked, respectively. Schlag stated that the “bottom line is we are still not over bottom line.” She added that it is important to have Rt. 154 clear for emergency vehicles to pass during weather emergencies like the microburst Haddam experienced in June and again, the rough winter this past year.

Georgia Emanuel, Financial & Office Coordinator in the Finance Department, noted that the budget transfers need to go to the Board of Finance and then to a town meeting.

Discussion of Grants

Schlag mentioned the following grants Haddam will be receiving (upon a town vote):

  • Jail Grant – assisting in making the jail a tourist attraction
  • OPM UCOA Grant – from the state’s Office of Policy & Management, a grant designed to assist with creating a new accounting system à see the following site for more information
  • Cemetery Grant – $2,000 to take care of Little City Road Cemetery
  • Nutmeg Grant – a broadband technology project initiative
  • State Bridge Grant (Dish Mill Bridge)

First Selectman Schlag indicated that she would like to move quickly with accepting the grants before October 1 in order for a clean audit can occur.

Municipal Reports

 Air conditioning went down in the Senior Center during a particularly hot week this summer. It is back up and running. The Senior Center is looking to begin a Netflix movie program. Schlag is pursuing ideas for building a better, newer ramp to the Center.

The Animal Control Officer, Daun Kowalski, has been busy this month with reports of missing cats and dog bites. Schlag commended Kowalski’s work.

The Resident Troopers’ 2-year contract is up. The BOS moved to sign a new 2-year contract that will end June 30, 2017. Schlag and Georgia Emanuel talked of the reduction in state reimbursements to Haddam for the troopers. Schlag could not state specifically what the reimbursement percentage now is. Does Haddam pay 80%? 85%? Emanuel indicated that she believed it is 85% now.

The Haddam Resident Troopers conduct many initiatives for the safety of residents, including speed and DUI enforcement programs – all of which are funded by the state.

Other Business

Other business was attended to, including authorizing the use of town roads for the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program, Inc. riders on September 19. Haddam will also grant permission to the Connecticut Bridle Conservancy to use trails for horse-back riding.

Resignations & Appointments

 Schlag announced that Derek Turner resigned from the Gateway Commission, an entity that focuses on conservancy and preservation of the Connecticut River. Susan Bernent was appointed to the Gateway Commission.

New Business

 Schlag stated that there was no new business.

Final Public Comments Period

 The author of this report inquired about whether there is a taskforce or commission of sorts formed to look into the cell phone tower issue. Schlag responded that there are a “few people” discussing real estate. The author asked to clarify if there is in fact, a formal task force or commission on this matter. Schlag iterated that it is in the conversation phase and that there is “nothing concrete” at this time but that once there is, it will be brought to the public. So at the moment the bottom line is that there is “nothing concrete” at this time, nor is there a task force on the topic.

 

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