Now its up to the voters.
On March 25, the Board of Finance held it’s regular meeting in the Town Hall meeting room.
During public comment, residents remarked on several issues. Some requested that the BoF support and pass the BoE budget as presented and not request further cuts, while another resident questioned why combining administration in the lower schools was an impractical idea. There was support for a Facilities Manager that was cut from the town budget. Others asked about the Friends of Redding marketing campaign.
The BoE Procedural Audit draft report has been published by Joseph Centofanti of PKF O’Connor Davies. Mr. Centofanti has been invited to address the BoF about the completed audit.
One finding from the audit was the need for improvement in Special Ed record keeping. Funds for training are not available. The decision was made to wait to see if the new director of special education has greater experience with record keeping and to check back in a year or two in order to monitor improvement.
Ben Pardee from Redding Fire District #1 addressed the BoF about the radio upgrade project. He explained that some LoCip (Local Capital Improvement) funds have been used to support the design phase of the project. The Fire Districts are asking the Town for approximately $1,000,000 for the infrastructure. The radios will be self funded by the Fire Districts.
First Selectwoman Julia Pemberton asked the BoF to approve a transfer of $50,000 from the Contingency fund to complete maintenance projects for FY 2019-2020.
BoF member Ward Mazzucco made a motion to approve the transfer of contingency funding of $50,000 to the building maintenance budget for various maintenance repair projects in FY 2018-2019. Mr. Barickman seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
Redding Board of Education Chair Dr. Melinda Irwin updated the BoF about the BoE budget. (see separate article below) The BoE unanimously approved a budget of $22,067,447, which is an increase of 4.4% from the FY 2019-2020. This is a reduction from the previous proposed budget, although Spanish instruction has been restored thanks to $112,000 in unassigned funds.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tom McMorran addressed the question posed during public comment about reduced administration in the schools. He said that a secretary position has been cut at both lower schools over the past two years. Two principals and vice principals are needed due to the increase in administration work includingTeacher Evaluations and Scientific Research Based Interventions (SRBI)
Pemberton said the Board of Selectman said the only change in the town budget was an additional 14 hours a week for the Registrars, adding $20,000 to their budget, increasing it by 36%.
Pemberton explained how the Friends of Redding came into being, saying she understands about the struggles of selling homes in Redding. Discussion followed including exploring new commercial possibilities in town.
Region 9 Board of Education Chair Mike D’Agostino said the Region 9 budget has been maintained.
Board of Finance member Susan Clark motioned to approve the proposed Selectman’s budget of $14,990,463. Mr. Mazzucco seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
Ms. Clark motioned to approve the proposed Board of Education budget of $22,067,447. Board of Finance member Rob Dean seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
Mr. Mazzucco motioned to recommend to voters the proposed total budget of $50,960,997. Board of Finance member Ed Miller seconded the motion.The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
Mr. Mazzucco made a motion that the Board of Finance recommend a capital expenditure of up to $2,500,000.00 for Police and Fire infrastructure, using short-term borrowing and pending long-term bonding. Mr. Miller seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
Mr. Mazzucco made a motion to approve a capital expenditure not to exceed $400,000 for the Station Road Bridge Project funded through existing state resources. This will be sent to the BoS for a Special Town Meeting. Mr. Miller seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
There is a 3.52% increase on the overall budget.
For detailed minutes of the meeting, click here.
Redding school budget
Region 9 budget
Now its up to the voters.