Minutes Adopted as Presented 12/01/2008
ENFIELD TOWN COUNCIL
MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2008
A Regular Meeting of the Enfield Town Council was called to order by Chairman Kaupin in the Council Chambers of the Enfield Town Hall, 820 Enfield Street, Enfield, Connecticut on Monday, November 17, 2008. The meeting was called to order at 7:14 p.m.
PRAYER – The Prayer was given by Councilman Bosco.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Pledge of Allegiance was said.
ROLL-CALL – Present were Councilmen, Bosco, Crowley, Dumont, Edgar, Jones, Kaupin, Kiner, Lee, Nelson and Ragno. Councilman Mangini was absent. Also present were Town Manager, Matthew Coppler; Assistant Town Manager, Daniel Vindigni; Town Clerk, Suzanne Olechnicki; Director of Finance, Lynn Nenni; Director of Public Works, Pia Hawkes; Deputy Director of Public Works, Geoffrey McAlmond; Chief Technology Officer, Paul Russell; Chief of Police; Carl Sferrazza; Director of Development Services, Raymond Warren; Director of Libraries, Henry Dutcher
FIRE EVACUATION ANNOUNCEMENT
Chairman Kaupin made the fire evacuation announcement.
MINUTES OF PRECEDING MEETINGS
MOTION #125 by Councilman Ragno, seconded by Councilman Jones to accept the minutes of the October 30, 2008 Special Meeting.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #125 adopted 9-0-1, with Councilmen Crowley abstaining.
Voices of Thompsonville
Present were Sue Read, 26 Prospect Street; Kelly Hemmeler, 40 Spring Street; Sean Gondarowski, 50 High Street; Carrie Robinson, 83 Windsor Street
Mr. Gondarowski explained how he began his business, The Thompsonville Creamery. He noted it started as a seasonal business which has now expanded to a year-round business. He stated things started slowly, and then things picked up and it became obvious there was a need in the area. He noted everyone embraced the concept of this business.
He stated he was initially nervous about starting a business in Thompsonville because of rumors he heard, however, he has learned Thompsonville is a great village with great people. He noted he has never had any problems, and people are very respectful and glad to have such a business in their neighborhood.
Mr. Gondarowski stated his belief Thompsonville Village is an uncut gem, but in ten to fifteen years he’s convinced it will look a lot different and it’s going to be very positive.
He noted his business is getting more and more involved in different events such as Cruise Night and a Halloween event.
Kelly Hemmeler stated she has lived in Thompsonville for almost five years and is a proud part of the Thompsonville community. She noted she’s volunteering her time for this group because she saw tremendous potential and wanted to do something about it and found this group of people with the same ideas. She stated she is hoping to help local businesses. She noted her qualifications for working with the businesses include an Associates Degree in Business and Accounting, several marketing courses, and she has had her own business as long as she has lived in Thompsonville. She noted this group formed to change the perception of Thompsonville, improve the quality of life and return Thompsonville to the old way when it was the place to shop, dine and be a proud resident.
Ms. Hemmeler stated in the past, stores lined the streets of Pearl, Main, North Main, Pleasant, High and Church Streets. She pointed out Thompsonville is the historic center of Enfield, and it’s important to preserve the old traditions by bringing it back to life. She stated this community will benefit by a thriving business district fueled by private investors in three ways – more jobs, more tax revenue to ease the current tax burden and a solid preparation for the transit center development being planned in the future.
She stated according to many studies done on Thompsonville, there are several issues that must be addressed. She noted most of all, the residents living in the rest of Enfield need to understand the importance of Thompsonville and get excited about it. She pointed out Thompsonville is Enfield’s history, and it should be cherished rather than forgotten. She noted Enfield has a lot to gain by Thompsonville’s revitalization.
Ms. Hemmeler stated they often use Northampton as an example when describing what the future will look like, and it’s hoped everyone will be part of the solution. She noted the business development of the Thompsonville business district has two phases. Phase I involves promoting the existing businesses with the tools available. She stated Voices for Thompsonville wants to take an active role in organizing co-op advertising, helping individual businesses with marketing ideas, business plans, news releases, educating them with tools provided by the Town, encouraging them to clean up their store fronts and organizing events that will play an important role in casting a good light on the area.
She stated a couple weeks ago, they held their first event, which was a safe Halloween party, and it was a tremendous success. She noted most of the Thompsonville businesses participated, as well as businesses outside of Thompsonville. She noted the response to this event was very encouraging. She stated their next event will be a street festival in the spring.
Ms. Hemmeler stated Phase II will promote the Thompsonville business district as a whole. She noted they can use the tools like a press kit and a brochure to get the word out that they’re looking for private investors and business people who wish to expand or start a new business in Thompsonville. She stated their presentation package contains some samples, tool kits for existing and potential new businesses, a sample of marketing plans, ideas to promote a business and available grants and low-interest loans through the Town. She noted there’s also a press kit which is meant for distributing to local, regional and national publications that would be interested in an up and coming community. She explained the brochure is for promoting the business district as a whole and can be used as a tool at chamber events, business expos and for anyone inquiring about starting or expanding a business. She pointed out advantages are that storefronts and offices are available at reasonable costs and they will be breaking in on a new ground floor with a new Thompsonville success.
Ms. Hemmeler stated for more information about anything to do with Voices for Thompsonville, their website is www.voicesforthompsonville.org.
Ms. Robinson stated she is proud to be a part of this group. She noted Thompsonville is made up of corporate professionals such as herself. She noted she loves her little home in Thompsonville. She stated they’re looking to attract corporate professionals as well as new businesses.
Ms. Read invited the Council to review the booklet that has been distributed this evening. She thanked the Town Council for the opportunity to present this vision for Thompsonville’s future. She noted over the last few months, they’ve been encouraged by the support they’ve received from the Enfield Revitalization Committee, Community Development and Thompsonville residents. She stated they’re excited about Thompsonville’s path to revitalization and with everyone’s help, they can highlight the growth that has already occurred and encourage positive movement going forward.
Councilman Crowley requested it be made known when and where meetings will take place.
Ms. Read stated the next meeting is scheduled on November 20th at the Polish Home Deli at 5:00 p.m. She noted they will be changing their meeting time to the second Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Councilman Nelson stated the booklet this group put together is phenomenal. He stated his understanding this booklet was put together by volunteers. He commended them for their hard work and initiative. He voiced his support to this group.
Chairman Kaupin expressed his appreciation for this presentation and stated it’s great to see efforts paying off. He stated his belief this effort will have a snowball effect. He noted he plans to attend the Thursday meeting. He suggested this group let the Council know should they wish to have a joint special meeting so they can go into more depth about any items.
PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS & PETITIONS
Jeff Beiler, 12 Brook Road
Thanked the Council members who took time and effort to respond to his e-mails. He noted it had come to his attention that the Town was using low-level inmates to assist Town workers with the leaf pick-up program. He pointed out his family is uncomfortable with these inmates being on the street. He stated he and other correctional facility employees are not comfortable with this because an inmate might learn where they live. He noted there’s a big difference between interacting with an inmate in and out of prison. He went on to note he does not object to inmates working on job sites, i.e., the dog park, however, he does not believe it’s prudent to allow them into neighborhoods.
Mr. Beiler stated he was offended by a Council member’s remark about him sensationalizing this issue. He advised people not to come to this conclusion unless they’ve walked in his shoes. He stated he would like to set up a meeting with the Mayor and this particular Council member to air his grievance concerning the issue that he and his fellow co-workers have about this practice.
Chairman Kaupin stated he will get in touch with Mr. Beiler regarding his request.
Jack Sheridan, 7 Buchanan Road
Stated the people voted “no” for the $9.7 million dollar referendum. He noted voters know you don’t finance lights, boilers, and old technology for 20 years. He stated LED lights, fuel cells and other things are coming. He noted he was told $40 million dollars is needed in upgrades. He questioned when they were going to tell people about that.
He pointed out the School Audit Committee recommended they move the utilities and building maintenance to the Town side because they’re town-owned buildings. He stated he stands by that recommendation, and he believes that will give the educators more time to educate and less time spent running the buildings and trying to balance their books because it seems to be something they’re unable to do. He pointed out it’s been five months, and the books still aren’t balanced. He noted they recently learned the last check written was on June 26th for fuel oil, and they haven’t received a delivery since. He stated his belief they’re over-buying fuel oil, and they’re encumbering fuel oil which is a re-occurring expense for consumables. He recommended they have the utilities on the Town side so that the Town can put money into a reserve fund, which the school system is not able to do, and then the school system would have those funds for emergencies.
Mr. Sheridan stated whenever he asks for any kind of expense on the Town side, he gets an immediate answer, however, that’s not true on the school side.
James DiFranco, 42 Weymouth School Road
Stated he is still waiting for action concerning his complaint about a blight problem near his home. He stated he would like this area cleaned up.
Margaret Jedziniak, 232 Abbe Road
Stated she learned that some Town Farm residents do not want sidewalks. She suggested the Town have a neighborhood meeting.
Ms. Jedziniak voiced her concern about development in her area, i.e., a Frank Mancuso Park, a dog park, a bike path and sidewalks. She noted she did not move into this area for all of this activity to be happening in one neighborhood.
She stated a lot of elderly people don’t have children in the school system. She feels the Town should go a little easier on the elderly. She noted many people are losing their homes or are on reverse mortgages.
Ms. Jedziniak stated her belief the Town Council should freeze salaries and do a lot of other things at this time.
Dom Alaimo, 16 New Street
Informed the Council the area around the pond needs attention. He noted roots are coming through sidewalks, lights are rusty, and the boardwalk is full of bird droppings.
Mr. Alaimo stated he has attended all of the Thompsonville Voices meetings, and he does not want this committee to become a bureaucracy. He noted any investment in Thompsonville will be a blessing. He pointed out anyone who invests in Thompsonville is investing in the town of Enfield.
He stated his belief a good investment in Thompsonville would be the waterfront. He added his belief the downtown area needs better lighting. He suggested parades march through the downtown. He added a police substation is very necessary in Thompsonville to make this a secure area for investors.
COUNCILMEN COMMUNICATIONS & PETITIONS
Councilman Dumont stated the Town of Enfield Neighborhood Services Department is hosting a Home Energy Fair on Saturday, November 22nd at Asnuntuck Community College from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Councilman Dumont stated the library is having a Festival of Trees starting December 11th, and this is being sponsored by the Enfield Cultural Arts Commission. She noted refreshments and music will be available on December 11th at 6:30 p.m.
Referring to Mr. Beiler’s concern about inmates, Councilman Ragno pointed out this decision wasn’t made in a vacuum. He noted he spoke to the prison administration and they encouraged this kind of community outreach. He added he is sensitive to Mr. Beiler’s concerns. He explained the Town Council is looking for ways to keep costs down. He noted he looks forward to meeting with Mr. Beiler and the Mayor regarding this issue.
Councilman Crowley reminded everyone that Loaves and Fishes and the Enfield Food Shelf is in need of donations with the holidays approaching.
Councilman Crowley stated the Enfield High/Fermi High football game will be held at Enfield High School on Thanksgiving Day at 10:00 a.m. He noted on December 7th, the Torchlight Parade will be at 6:00 p.m.
Councilman Kiner stated he received an invitation from the Connecticut Commission on Aging regarding the 2008 Carlson Forum which assesses Connecticut’s property tax relief programs for older adults and persons with disabilities. He noted this will take place November 20 at the Legislative Office Building from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00.
Councilman Kiner thanked Mr. Coppler and Mr. Hawkes for their prompt response in fixing the intersection of Raffia Road and Post Road.
MOTION #126 by Councilman Nelson, seconded by Councilman Lee to suspend the rules to move Items 14 D, E and F to Miscellaneous.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #126 adopted 10-0-0.
Chairman Kaupin stated on November 21st, the Little Country Store will be celebrating their 20th anniversary, and they encouraged people to stop by and celebrate this anniversary.
Chairman Kaupin stated on November 24th, the Town Council will hold its fourth quarterly public informational meeting. He noted this will take place at Prudence Crandall.
Chairman Kaupin stated there will be a formal dedication of the Enfield High athletic fields at the Thanksgiving Day football game.
Chairman Kaupin stated on Saturday, November 29th, there will be a fundraiser for Sam Smyth at St. Bernard’s Church. He noted this will be a breakfast from 8:00 to 12:00. He stated tickets are $6.00 for adults and $5.00 for children and seniors. He noted tickets may be purchased through Karen Jarmoc, the Country Diner or at St. Bernard’s Church. He stated all proceeds will go to Sam and his family to meet the medical expenses due to his accident.
Chairman Kaupin stated the Fermi Safe Graduation Committee will be holding their annual auction on December 5th. He noted this auction will take place at the Elks Lodge on North Maple Street, and preview is at 6:00 p.m. and the auction is at 7:00 p.m. He stated tickets can be purchased at the door.
Chairman Kaupin requested Mr. DiFranco’s concerns be addressed this evening.
Chairman Kaupin referred to Ms. Jedziniak’s comments about the Town Farm Road sidewalks and noted a meeting has been scheduled already for December 11th in the Council Chambers, and everyone in that immediate area will be receiving a letter and a map showing where the proposed sidewalks would go.
Chairman Kaupin requested the Town Manager have Public Works report on Mr. Alaimo’s concerns about problems around the pond.
TOWN MANAGER REPORT & COMMUNICATIONS
Mr. Hawkes referred to the blight issue near Mr. DiFranco’s property and noted this past summer Councilman Bosco requested the Town mow that area, and this was done. He stated the Town went back and picked up litter in that area. He noted they planned to go back to this area after the leaf program and re-mow the area and clean it out.
Councilman Bosco requested they keep in touch with Mr. DiFranco concerning this problem.
Mr. Dutcher spoke briefly about the Inter Library Loan Program. He explained that he has been working with the school libraries to provide book loans between the town and school libraries.
Mr. Warren spoke about Development Services and noted in some areas they’re making good progress and there are still areas where they need to make progress. He pointed out Development Services operations includes a number of important functions, i.e., planning relating to historic, wetlands, land use planning and code enforcement. He stated the Development Service operation includes the whole Building Department. He noted since 2000, there has been $350 million dollars in construction value put on the rolls in Enfield. He stated this is a very complex operation that involves coordination with other departments. He noted even though this is a difficult economy, building permits have increased and the level of construction activity is only slightly less. He stated the fees for the permitting of this construction has increased. He noted also involved would be Community Development and Economic Development.
Mr. Warren stated it’s very important to focus on all these processes and practices in regulating these activities. He noted the goal is to improve the process and commit to improved customer service. He stated they would like to go to a single permit counter and a better tracking system. He noted he would like to redefine the jobs that people have from just plain regulators to problem solvers, i.e., helping people with their applications.
Councilman Nelson stated when the Council raised the building permit fees, they agreed to do away with the zoning permit fee. He noted he experienced a situation last week whereby he filled out the application and wrote one check and was told everything was fine. He then received a letter in the mail telling him that’s not the case, therefore, he doesn’t believe this streamlining is happening as yet. He noted he didn’t even receive a phone call. He questioned if this has been rectified. Mr. Coppler stated they have to change the code again because the code that they changed was to eliminate the fee for the zoning permit. He stated they still require the zoning permit, but they’re not charging the Town’s $100 fee. He explained if they wish to get rid of the state fee of $30, they would have to get rid of the zoning permit. Mr. Warren stated they should see some progress in this area.
Chairman Kaupin thanked Mr. Warren for his efforts in this area.
Mr. Coppler reminded everyone there will be a Special Meeting on December 3rd to review the current budget as well as some projections for 2009-2010. Chairman Kaupin stated his understanding they will be inviting the Board of Education to this meeting. Mr. Coppler noted he will talk to the Superintendent about this meeting.
Mr. Coppler stated Councilman Mangini is not present this evening because she is doing business with the National League of Cities.
TOWN ATTORNEY REPORT & COMMUNICATIONS
There was no report this evening.
REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEES OF THE COUNCIL
There were no reports this evening.
All appointments remained tabled.
Items C., D., E., F., G., and H. remained tabled.
RESOLUTION #127 by Councilman Ragno, seconded by Councilman Jones.
RESOLVED, that in accordance with Chapter VII, Section II of the Town Charter the Enfield Town Council does hereby amend the classification plan to include the following new position in the Town budget for FY09 (including amended job description) for the IT Department:
Add (1) Network Administrator $64,122
Present for this discussion were Chief of Police, Carl Sferrazza, Fire Chief Earl Provencher, Fire Commissioner Scott Prentiss and Chief Technology Officer, Paul Russell.
Mr. Russell stated they are requesting this position to provide overall support services for emergency support needs, which would encompass the Enfield Police Department, EMS and the fire districts. He noted this additional position would be funded by the service fees that they’re charging the Enfield Fire Departments that not only include this position but all the positions in IT. He explained the Network Administrator would be the go to person, and they would also gain the benefit of also having resources such as the programmers and other networking staff and technical resources.
Mr. Russell then explained the funding for this position. Mr. Coppler stated the expectation is that once the service level contract is signed, the Town will be receiving $65,000. He explained they’re creating a position that will cost about $70,000, and they will be seeing revenue of approximately $65,000 going into the IT Department.
Councilman Bosco stated last week it was $54,000, and now he sees it at $70,000. Mr. Russell stated the $54,000 is the base salary of a new Network Administrator. He explained only a third of the year has transpired, therefore, instead of the full $70,000, they were looking for this existing fiscal year.
Councilman Bosco questioned if $35,000 is coming out of the police budget to cover half of this, and the other half is coming from the fire districts. Mr. Russell stated the full $65,000 is coming out of the fire districts, which would be the service fees from all the fire departments. He noted that would be used to offset the salary and benefits of the Network Administrator, which is $70,000. He stated they would need an additional $5,000 for IT.
Chairman Kaupin explained the reason why the resolution says $64,000 is because they need to approve a position in the budget with a set annual salary. He noted none of the budgeted positions show benefits.
Chairman Kaupin stated one of the questions from last week was whether this would be a savings for the fire districts.
Mr. Prentiss stated this makes sense for the fire districts because they’re not connected between stations, and they don’t have the ability to have a common server. He noted there is a lot of information they would like to share regarding hazards, training, a common calendar, e-mail, etc. He noted they would like the network capability that the town has. He stated they put out a request for proposal for six different vendors, and they learned how much it would cost to buy the hardware, and they’d have to go out and purchase the entire infrastructure. He noted they’d then have to pass on the cost of that hardware to the taxpayers. He pointed out there would also be support and labor involved. He stated it would cost a lot less to go through the Town.
Mr. Provencher stated all five fire districts have positively looked toward this. He noted they haven’t seen any agreements.
Mr. Prentiss stated the general feeling is that they’re going forward. He stated once an analysis is done, they’ll know what the cost per department will be.
Councilman Crowley stated he wants to be sure all the commissioners are on board with this, and Mr. Provencher stated the commissioners have agreed to this concept. Chief Sferrazza agreed.
Councilman Kiner questioned Officer Chadderton’s current duties, and Chief Sferrazza stated Officer Chadderton has been doing this job for about 25 years. He explained he handles technology problems within the police department, and IT never really committed any person to the police department to keep them up and running. He noted this job evolved for Officer Chadderton, and in 1980 he came off the road. He pointed out Officer Chadderton is retiring in January. He noted he met with Mr. Russell and explained to him the predicament the Police Department will be in since they don’t have anyone from the IT Department committed to supporting the Police Department.
Councilman Kiner questioned what percentage of Officer Chadderton’s job will be in IT’s hands. Chief Sferrazza stated some duties are going to be taken over by the new communications’ supervisor, and other duties will be done by the records’ staff. He noted one area he’s concerned about relates to portable radios, repeaters, etc. He stated that would have to be done in house by a couple officers when they need to program a radio or change over. He estimated the IT person would take over 50% to 60% of the duties Officer Chadderton is doing right now, and the remaining percentage would be taken over by communications and records personnel.
Councilman Kiner questioned whether this has been discussed with the police union, and Chief Sferrazza responded yes, he spoke with the President of the union. Councilman Kiner questioned whether the President of the union was okay with the added responsibilities and the impact that would have. Chief Sferrazza responded the President of the union didn’t think it was a good idea. He pointed out the main thing to understand is that when Officer Chadderton is replaced, his position as a police officer will be put back on the road, and he believes that’s the most effective use of a police officer.
Councilman Kiner questioned how Enfield compares to other police departments as concerns in-house personnel. Chief Sferrazza stated Enfield is probably one of the most efficient in terms of in-house officers. He noted out of Enfield’s 95 sworn officers, there are only three in-house officers.
Councilman Kiner voiced his concern the union will file an unfair labor practice. Chief Sferrazza pointed out they are not eliminating a union job, but rather they’re putting that job on the road and replacing that position with a technician that doesn’t need the training of a police officer.
Councilman Kiner stated he does not want to see the Town defending itself in an unfair labor practice, and he would like to see this tabled until there’s an opportunity for more discussion with the police union to see if they can work something out.
Chief Sferrazza stated ideally they would have liked this position to be in place as soon as possible to give that individual the opportunity to work with Officer Chadderton to learn as much as he can. He stated his understanding they won’t be able to post this position until the Council approves it.
Councilman Edgar questioned if they have the capability to do this now. Mr. Russell responded not with existing staff and the workload they have right now. He pointed out they have several projects they’re working on.
Mr. Provencher stated the fire districts reviewed the plan, but he hasn’t seen a contract or spreadsheet.
Councilman Edgar stated his belief they are premature on this. Mr. Russell stated once they did a review of the six locations and the number of devices they’d need to support, it was determined they’d need an additional employee.
Councilman Edgar questioned whether Officer Chadderton’s position could do this, and Mr. Russell responded no, they would require a licensed network administrator with a higher technical knowledge base to integrate the system so they don’t have fragmented boxes of information throughout the town.
Councilman Edgar voiced concern about creating a union problem. Chief Sferrazza stated it was known that Officer Chadderton was planning to retire, but it wasn’t known until a couple weeks ago the date he’d actually retire. He stated when he first learned he might be leaving, he had another officer shadow Officer Chadderton a couple days per week so that they’d have someone to fall back on if Officer Chadderton left before they could get support from IT. He emphasized it was never intended for any officer to go into that position full-time.
Councilman Edgar stated his belief they will end up in arbitration if this is done. He stated his belief they need to have a hiring freeze.
Councilman Nelson stated his belief if the fire departments don’t agree with this contract, the Town does not hire this position. He noted whether or not the Police Department is with this doesn’t matter, because the fire departments are funding the position across the Town of Enfield, and they’ll be getting a lot more for their money and will be saving the taxpayers money. He stated his belief the union president doesn’t run the police department, but rather the Chief of Police does. He noted the Chief of Police is before the Town Council supporting this, and he supports the Chief of Police. He pointed out the unions have their chance to negotiate when they go to their contact, therefore, his vote is to put an officer on the street to protect the citizens of Enfield, rather than doing IT work. He stated he supports this 100% subject to an agreement by all fire districts.
Councilman Edgar pointed out he never said the union president was running the department, and he feels that remark was totally inappropriate.
Councilman Ragno questioned if it’s common practice for police departments to perform ancillary duties, and Chief Sferrazza responded yes.
Councilman Ragno stated technology has changed substantially. He agreed that if the fire departments are on board with this, they should not delay this to any extent. He also agreed they need to put an officer on the street.
Councilman Dumont agreed with Councilman Nelson. She noted they are not really hiring a new position, but rather they’re replacing what they would be spending on an outside vendor. She stated her belief this will result in a very efficient communication system. She noted she will support this based on approval of the five fire departments.
Councilman Lee stated he would support this position subject to the fire departments’ endorsement of the contract.
AMENDMENT #1 by Councilman Lee, seconded by Councilman Ragno to add to the resolution, “subject to ratification of the service level agreement by the five fire districts in the Town of Enfield”.
Councilman Lee questioned if they have a date as to when they anticipate this coming out of legal. Mr. Russell stated it’s hoped it will be finalized by the beginning of December.
Councilman Edgar stated his understanding they are hiring a new position, unless they are reducing the Police Department by one.
Councilman Ragno agreed this is a new position, but it’s substantially funded by the fire departments.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared AMENDMENT #1 adopted 10-0-0.
Councilman Bosco questioned if the union wins, would the fire department be willing to pay the additional $5,000 if the IT is not being used by the Police Department. He went on to state he is not in favor of any new positions. He noted if there’s a savings, he could go with a new position.
Councilman Dumont stated she fully understands this is a new position, but they will be paying an employee rather than a vendor.
Councilman Nelson stated $5,000 isn’t much money when the police department utilizes this position. He noted he finds it funny that whenever there’s a cost savings measure for the taxpayers, they always hear about the union stepping in.
Councilman Kiner stated he would love to support this, and he plans on supporting it at the next meeting. He pointed out there are labor laws in the state, and to save money on legal fees, he will move to table this until the police union has talked with the town and he sees something in writing that they’re satisfied and they won’t file an unfair labor practice.
MOTION #128 by Councilman Kiner, seconded by Councilman Edgar to table this item.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #128 defeated by a 2-8-0 vote, with Councilmen Edgar and Kiner voting in favor of the motion.
Councilman Kiner stated he will not vote against this, but rather he will abstain because he had hoped to have more information before supporting this.
Councilman Crowley questioned whether Officer Chadderton is considered a communications officer. Chief Sferrazza stated his title was Patrol Officer, but he has the title Communications Officer.
Councilman Crowley stated if an officer is working with the radios, would he be considered a communications officer. Chief Sferrazza responded no, and stated the officer they currently have is a traffic officer, and he has an aptitude for computers, therefore, if there’s a problem and there’s no IT support, they’d have to take him out of traffic and use his expertise on the computer side. He noted there is a position within the department that deals with portable radios in the car and repeaters, but that’s not an IT function. He stated they have another officer in the department that has an aptitude for that, therefore, if they needed help with the radio, they would use him. He pointed out this would not be a full-time thing, but just on those occasions they need the help.
Councilman Crowley stated his belief this is a “no brainer” with the fire department funding this. He questioned if the union disagreed with this, would this still go through. Mr. Russell stated they would still need that position.
Councilman Lee questioned whether this new position would be part of an existing bargaining unit, and Mr. Coppler stated this would be a non-union position.
Councilman Edgar stated he’s not against assisting the police department, however, he’s opposed to the way this is being done. He feels there’s uncertainty here, and they shouldn’t put the cart before the horse.
Chairman Kaupin voiced his support of this imperative position. He noted they have been working on integration of communications, and they’re also working on the refarming issue and the need to upgrade communications. He stated his belief the track record of the IT Department has been phenomenal, particularly with the work they’ve done with the school system. He noted they have to come up with ways to save dollars for the taxpayers. He stated his belief everyone will benefit from this. He added his belief it’s also important to get an officer back on the street.
Upon a ROLL-CALL vote being taken, the Chair declared RESOLUTION #127 adopted 8-0-2, with Councilmen Edgar and Kiner abstaining.
RESOLUTION #128 by Councilman Ragno, seconded by Councilman Jones.
RESOLVED, that in accordance with Chapter VI, Section 8(f) of the Town Charter, the following transfer is hereby made:
TO: 1210 Information Technology
Network Administrator 0240-01-0012-1210-00000-0110 $42,705
Health Insurance 240-01-0012-1210-00000-210 8,000
Life Insurance 240-01-0012-1210-00000-215 130
FICA 240-01-0012-1210-00000-220 2,650
Med. Tax 240-01-0012-1210-00000-221 665
FROM: 1210 Information Technology
Fire District Technology Fees 240-01-0000-0000-14125-000-00 $54,150
CERTIFICATION: I hereby certify that the above-stated funds are available as of October 17, 2008.
/s/ A. Lynn Nenni, Director of Finance
Councilman Nelson thanked the five fire districts, Mr. Russell and Chief Sferrazza for doing this.
Councilman Lee question how are these fire district technology fees assessed today, and Mr. Coppler stated that will all be part of the agreement.
Upon a ROLL-CALL vote being taken, the Chair declared RESOLUTION #128 adopted 8-0-2, with Councilmen Edgar and Kiner abstaining.
Chairman Kaupin requested an update on lights in Thompsonville. Mr. Coppler stated the Town Council requested they look at the installation of decorations along the period lighting on North Main Street and Pearl Street. He noted they looked into the re-wiring that needs to be done so they can accommodate some kind of holiday decoration. He stated Public Works was given the go ahead today to get that done. He noted the cost will be about $240 per light, and they have that within the budget for lighting. He stated they’re currently working with a vendor for the actual decoration, and they’re targeting December 7th to have decorations up.
Chairman Kaupin stated they will also request that the Torch Light Parade go down Pearl Street and North Main Street, rather than Route 5, however that will be up to the fire districts.
RESOLUTION #129 by Councilman Nelson, seconded by Councilman Dumont.
RESOLVED, that in accordance with Chapter VI, Section 8(f) of the Town Charter, the following transfer is hereby made:
TO: 4600 Neighborhood Services
Salaries 0220-01-0040-4600-13695-0130 $5,623
Social Security 0220-01-0040-4600-13695-0220 350
Medicare 0220-01-0040-4600-13695-0221 82
FROM: 4600 Neighborhood Services Revenue
Operation Fuel 0220-01-0040-4600-13695-000 $6,055
CERTIFICATION: I hereby certify that the above-stated funds are available as of 11/6/08.
/s/ A. Lynn Nenni, Director of Finance
Upon a ROLL-CALL vote being taken, the Chair declared RESOLUTION #129 adopted 10-0-0.
MOTION #130 by Councilman Nelson, seconded by Councilman Ragno to waive the reading of the resolution.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #130 adopted 10-0-0.
RESOLUTION #131 by Councilman Ragno, seconded by Councilman Nelson.
Approve Tax Abatement Agreement for 210 Moody Road
Councilman Nelson stated he’s thankful the building was put up in a timely fashion, and he believes it looks beautiful.
Councilman Lee voiced his support of this abatement, which falls under all the appropriate actions that a municipality can take through state statute. He noted any time Enfield can get a manufacturing or distribution facility to expand their operations substantially in town, it’s a good opportunity. He pointed out while the Town is offering a tax abatement, it is quite reasonable and it’s been reviewed numerous times so that they don’t have any of the issues that they had in the last couple years. He commended the Director of Economic Development and members of the Council for offering some new, creative twists to the way they administer an incentive such as this locally. He stated the ceiling on the abatement can be expanded as they grow.
Councilman Dumont stated she likes this proposal and the ability to continue this incentive.
Upon a ROLL-CALL vote being taken, the Chair declared RESOLUTION #131 adopted 10-0-0.
RESOLUTION #132 by Councilman Dumont, seconded by Councilman Jones.
RESOLVED, that the Town Manager, Matthew W. Coppler, is empowered to enter into and amend contractual instruments in the name and on behalf of the Town of Enfield with the Department of Public Utilities for a Public Educational and Governmental Programming and Education Technology Investment Account (PEGPETIA) grant in the amount of $33,887.53 for an audio system upgrade to Town Council chambers and to affix the Corporate Seal.
Mr. Dutcher stated when the playing field for cable television changed just over a year ago in Connecticut, money that the cable companies had to put into public access programming and educational governmental programming went into a new fund which is administered by the Department of Public Utilities Control. He noted DPUC set up a grant system for that money, and this is the very first round of the money coming out. He pointed out Enfield is one of the very first entities that has received grant money from this new fund. He stated this will take care of individual microphones at all stations, and the control will go into the E-TV booth so that they’ll be able to individually control each microphone.
He stated this will allow a change to the speakers in the Council Chambers, and they will have a jack for the Town Clerk to jack into the audio system with any kind of electronic recording device, which would allow them to go MP3 or whatever the case might be so they can get away from cassettes.
Mr. Dutcher stated they are looking for the Council to approve the acquisition of those grant funds.
Councilman Jones questioned if they’ll eventually be able to do streaming on the web, and Mr. Dutcher stated they looked into that, and he believes it has to do more with resources to make that happen.
Councilman Dumont commended Mr. Dutcher for getting this grant. She noted E-TV has grown so much, and it’s wonderful the way this has expanded. She noted in the future perhaps the Council Chambers could have a monitor. Mr. Vindigni stated the CIP budget includes a line item to upgrade the Council Chambers, the Enfield Room and the Hazardville Room with technology equipment. He noted they will have the capability of doing a PowerPoint presentation that can be seen by the Council and the audience.
Councilman Dumont stated she likes the idea that the microphones will be more sensitive to pick up everyone’s voices.
Upon a ROLL-CALL vote being taken, the Chair declared RESOLUTION #132 adopted 10-0-0.
Dom Alaimo, 16 New Street
Agreed with the idea of putting a police officer back on the street. He stated his belief they need to lean with the Chief of Police and give him his manpower. He noted the fire departments are paying for most of the new position, and the Town will be getting this for a $5,000 fee. He stated his belief this position is a plus and a savings to the taxpayer. He stated his impression that by letting the unions stepping in front of this is “like the tail wagging the dog.”
Councilman Lee stated he, Councilmen Kiner, Jones and Dumont had the pleasure of participating in the Neighborhood Services and Youth Services Thanksgiving dinner that they hosted last week. He noted about 150 families participated, and it was a great evening. He noted these Council members were part of the serving team, and the people at Country Diner did a wonderful job catering a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. He stated there was a lot of good conversation and good community spirit.
Councilman Kiner stated nobody said they disagreed with the idea of another police officer on the street because everyone is in favor of that. He noted he wished to approach this properly and would have preferred a vote at the next meeting. He pointed out nobody voted “no” on this because everyone supports the Chief of Police.
Councilman Dumont stated last Friday evening, she, Mayor Kaupin, Councilmen Kiner, Jones and Lee were at the police awards at the Crowne Plaza. She noted she was amazed to hear all the wonderful things the police officers are doing.
MOTION #133 by Councilman Nelson, seconded by Councilman Kiner to adjourn.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #133 adopted 10-0-0, and the meeting stood adjourned at 9:57 p.m.
Appended to minutes of 11/17/2008
Regular Town Council Meeting
ENFIELD TOWN COUNCIL
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE TAX ABATEMENT AGREEMENT FOR 210 MOODY ROAD
WHEREAS, International Configurations, Inc., a distributor of international wiring devices and electrical cord sets, currently leases space at 7 Moody Road; and
WHEREAS, International Configurations, Inc. has experienced business growth; and
WHEREAS, Top Knot, LLC is constructing a new 28,000 square foot industrial building on a 23.67 acre parcel located at 210 Moody Road at a cost of $1,500,000; and
WHEREAS, International Configurations, Inc. will occupy the new building being constructed by Top Knot, LLC; and
WHEREAS, International Configurations, Inc. employs nine full time employees at its current facility and anticipates that the number of full time employees at its facility at 210 Moody Road will increase during the term of the proposed tax abatement agreement; and
WHEREAS, the Town Council wishes to encourage the construction of commercial facilities within the Town, particularly those that will increase employment rolls in Enfield; and
WHEREAS, in order to encourage the construction of the facility at 210 Moody Road and to provide an incentive system for the creation of new jobs, the proposed tax abatement agreement in its first year will yield an assessed valuation of fifty percent of the customary valuation. In its second year it will yield an assessed valuation of twenty-five percent of the customary valuation, which percentage could increase five percent for each full time job created. The abatement for the second year cannot exceed 50%. In its third year it will yield an assessed valuation equal to that of the second year, which percentage could increase five percent for each additional full time job created or could decrease five percent for each full time job that is eliminated. The abatement for the third year cannot exceed 50% nor can it be less than 25%.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Council, as an inducement to Top Knot, LLC and International Configurations, Inc., hereby authorizes the Town Manager to execute a Tax Abatement Agreement that in the first year will yield an assessed valuation of fifty percent of customary valuation, and then in the second and third years yields an assessed valuation in accordance with the aforementioned incentive system, in compliance with Connecticut General Statutes §12-65(b).