MINUTES OF THE TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
OF THE TOWN OF SOUTHINGTON
June 25, 2007
The Town Council of the Town of Southington held a meeting
on Monday, June 25, 2007 in the Town Hall Council Chambers.
Chairman John Barry called the meeting to order at 7:11 o'clock,
The following Councilpersons were present, viz:
Dolores Longo David Zoni
William DellaVecchia Christopher Palmieri
Victoria Triano Anthony D’Angelo
David Zoni John Barry, Chair
Ex-Officio Members present were as follows, viz:
Mark Sciota, Town Attorney
Anthony Tranquillo, Town Engineer
John Weichsel, Town Manager
Emilia Portelinha, Finance Director
Absent: Mr. Secondo
There were approximately 50 other persons in attendance.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag was recited by
everyone in attendance being led by Mark J. Sciota, Deputy Town
Manager/Town Attorney, for the Town of Southington.
A Prayer was recited by Town Clerk Leslie Cotton.
Moment of Silence was observed for a longtime Southington Police
Officer who was a Detective for over 25 years and passed away,
Bruce Boislard. I’d like to on behalf of the Council extend our
public condolences to the family. Bruce Boislard served over 25
years as a Southington police officer.
(Pause, pause, pause)
Moment of Silence was observed for the brother of a member of the
Water Board, Angelina Santa Maria. Her brother passed away in
Iraq over the last week. Angelina, we know her through Bread for
Life and the Water Board, but her brother, Major Sid Brookshire,
died fighting for our freedoms, for our country in Iraq and our
prayers and thoughts are with her family.
(Pause, pause, pause)
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JOHN BARRY, Chairman, presiding:
THE CHAIR: At this time, I’d like to have a motion to
accept our Minutes from the last meeting.
MR. PALMIERI: So moved.
MS. LONGO: Second.
(Motion passed on a majority voice vote with Mr. Della
THE CHAIR: For the record, very good. Thank you.
III. Presentation of Town’s Fiscal Policy (Attachment 1)
THE CHAIR: At this time, I’d like to call upon members of
the Board of Finance. (BOF)
We have Mr. Triano, Mr. Moise, Mr. Pomposi and Mr. Klocko.
If they could just come right up, they’re going to join us here
at the table.
As they’re making their way up, we’ve been working on a
fiscal policy for quite some time now and it’s been a pretty in-
depth initiative. And, I want to thank the members of the BOF.
Ms. Cocuzza who is Chair of the BOF unfortunately had
scheduled a vacation and she could not be here tonight but I know
she has been very receptive and my emails with her, she’s been
supportive of the policy, I believe, in what’s being presented
So at this time I’d like to call upon Glenn Klocko. He’s
just going to give us a very brief summary of --- Mr. Klocko did
brief the public prior on this policy and I think tonight is just
--- obviously, it’s on the Agenda for action tonight. I do think
we will table the item for action tonight. But we will be
prepared to vote on the fiscal policy at our July meeting.
So, Mr. Klocko, if you want to just give us a brief
MR. KLOCKO: Thank you, John. Thank you. And, thank you to
the Council for your indulgence in this and the public and for my
fellow Board of Finance members.
Just some opening remarks. Give a little background for
the public about how we came about this and why we’re coming
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about this. The point of our discussing this evening is to
review, discuss and hopefully adopt in the future three financial
policies. These policies create the foundation of what we call a
comprehensive fiscal plan.
In the future, we will be considering more components of
the plan such as financial reporting components, contingency
planning and pay as you go capital funding policies. In
addition, we’ll probably look at a five-year capital improvement
planning policy that integrates operating costs so we understand
the cost of our facilities going forward.
And, then finally, we’re going to be looking for
implementation of the GFOAs budget award program.
I guess the question is, why are we considering adopting
formal financial policies at this time. The answer is because
Southington and its residents would benefit from the adoption and
adherence to a formal set of written financial policies. The
scenario reads like the following:
The comprehensive fiscal plan is the name of the book and
the written policies are inserted as the individual chapters of
the book. A comprehensive fiscal plan demonstrates hopefully to
our citizens and most certainly to the rating agencies that we
have strategies in place to improve our financial condition and
our credit strength of our community.
All three rating agencies which are Moody’s, Standard &
Poors and Fitch have consistently expressed that written policies
are among the top of their best management practices. It’s
significant to them and is a positive credit factor for the Town
The rating agencies have also indicated that formal
policies, which are written policies, are viewed favorably
because they minimize annual political considerations on the self
imposed parameters contained within the policies. In fact,
Moody’s has indicated that informal policies, which are
unwritten, have been associated with uneven long-term financial
So what do we do we need to do this evening and going
forward? Probably the obvious. We need to adopt a set of
working financial policies, incorporating them into a
comprehensive fiscal plan. Sometimes an education process is
required of local officials such as ourselves and others and for
our residents on the value to our community of written financial
policies. I believe we are accomplishing part of that task this
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We’ll need cooperative planning among us, the people seated
here this evening, and a cohesive working relationship with the
managerial staff are important to the success of this endeavor.
Tonight as currently elected officials working together we
are setting a positive tone and future guidance for our
managerial staff by formally recognizing the importance to our
community of a written comprehensive plan.
In addition, we should expect managerial staff to be
proactive in putting together additional policies that I
mentioned previously that compliment the policies we are
considering tonight. It will be the responsibility in my opinion
of staff to shed positive light on our adopted policies to the
rating agencies during their next rating review.
Properly presented, we will see in our next credit report
the fruits of our labors. A credit rating upgrade is on the
horizon for our community. Resulting in cost savings on our debt
issuances. The rating agencies have pointed out in writing that
active policy management by elected and appointed officials is a
positive attribute in their light.
So basically, what we’re looking to do this evening is to
discuss three policies. One, a fund balance policy. Second
policy is a use of fund balance policy. And, finally, a debt
And, that’s where we stand at this point, John.
THE CHAIR: Thank you, Glenn, very much. Appreciate all
your work on this. It’s been a work in progress.
What I’d like to do is --- any members of the Council, any
questions that we might have on the issue?
MR. KLOCKO: I might add John, that the prodding and
keeping this on the forefront was --- a colleague on the Council,
David Zoni, really kept me apprized of things and helped me with
the research and I appreciate that, David.
THE CHAIR: One of the items that was discussed and Glenn,
maybe you can just touch upon on it, is under a previous draft,
we had talked about the budget document. And, I think in
Southington, you know, our finance department is still a small
town department ---
MR. KLOCKO: Yes, it is.
THE CHAIR: --- for a size of 42,000. Emilia has a pretty
small staff dealing with our books.
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So, is there anything that you feel that’s in the draft
that is something that --- I looked at the budget book from
Bristol. It’s a little bit more --- well, it’s much more
extensive than Southington’s. And, I think the reason could be
we really don’t have the support staff that other Towns have.
MR. KLOCKO: That’s correct.
THE CHAIR: How should we address that issue.
MR. KLOCKO: That’s correct. That is a much larger
document, a much larger community. Basically, a budget document
is viewed by the rating agencies and also by the community once
you build upon it, as a communications device and a financial
What we currently have is basically a computer printout
with a transmittal letter from the Town Manager. We can prepare
a document similar to Bristol and Bristol is mentioned because I
happen to be the Controller of Bristol, but we can prepare a
document like that and scale it down to our needs and our size.
And, also, we’re not reinventing the wheel. The GFOA has
many copies for different size communities as examples. So, the
document that’s prepared in Bristol is for communities, small
cities, 60,000 to 100,000.
We would be looking at something in the range of possibly
20 to 40 thousand or 30 to 50 thousand, looking for growth.
I can provide and Emilia on her own can also research the
GFOA. Much of it is canned. You’re going to have a section
that’s going to have an expanded transmittal letter from the Town
Manager. And, possibly from the Council Chairperson, whoever is
serving at the time.
You’re going to have a background communication that tells
the community and the audience at large here’s what took place
during the budget process, not just Charter, but were the
particulars that happened during this period of time. Was it a
reval year? Was it following a reval year? What are all the
particulars that went into it? What happened with the state
budget that influenced our budget? For instance, we are just
finding out today about the revenue source we’re receiving
because of the budget being approved a day or so ago. So, that’s
the communication part of it.
Then it is a financial plan. What is important is that it
incorporates the policies that we’re reviewing into the document.
And, that would be the document that the Manager and Emilia would
be handing to the rating agencies. The rating agencies look at
this is a very progressive document. They look at it as there is
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a commitment from management and elected and appointed officials
that they feel this is important.
So, that’s the key. So, I wouldn’t want to impose upon a
small department to say, start from scratch. The research alone
is overwhelming. But she has the ability to go in on the
Internet, download the documents from the national association
that is relative to the size of this community and then start
somewhere. Piecemeal. Chapter by chapter and page by page.
THE CHAIR: Does anyone else have any comments or
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Mr. Chairman, what is the agenda as far
as what we’re going to do right now?
THE CHAIR: Sure. What, this is just a real formal
presentation. We had done other presentations in the past and I
know a member of your side was critical that we we’re not moving
fast enough in adopting the policy.
So, we are --- this is or will be the public presentation
and I would entertain if anyone has any amendments that they
would like to add to the document that’s before us, that would be
entertained at our July meeting.
MR. KLOCKO: John? I have a, I can go over the policies
and go over some of the parameters that are necessary, give my
thoughts on it ---
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: I don’t need to listen any more. You
already gave the presentation once and that was enough.
I personally, if you are trying to do it to appease me --
MR. KLOCKO: No, just for general.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: --- don’t bother. Because you say one
thing and do another. So, it doesn’t --- and I’m not slamming,
but --- fund balance ---
MR. KLOCKO: It appears that you are. Right off the shoot.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Mr. Klocko, please. That’s right. I
don’t want to waste any time because we’re talking about fund
balance and the use of fund balance.
MR. KLOCKO: Yes.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: I am speaking to the Chairman, Mr.
Klocko. And, I mentioned it during the budget process that we
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heard the presentation from the finance committee, Finance Board,
and then during the budget cycle, they go ahead and take monies
from the fund balance, totally contrary to what the policy
Now, if over the last ten years, we hadn’t taken the monies
from the fund balance during budget process, we would have our 10
percent, our 9 percent already in a nest egg. We wouldn’t have
to be going through this over the next several years come up with
So, it’s a case of and I can listen all night long to Mr.
Klocko making is dissertation about how great this is but unless
we practice what we preach, there’s no sense in putting anything
THE CHAIR: Okay. I think it was directed through me. Any
communication should go through the Chair. I think what you’ve
seen in the past Bill, is a less reliance on our fund balance to
fund our ongoing budgets. We’re moving in the right direction.
I know I had spoken to Emilia several weeks ago. Our fund
balance is at, is moving continually at an all time high. So, we
are also budgeting very conservatively. Since you did bring up
the budget, I think it’s fair for me to comment on that. Through
our state revenue projections, the Town Manager had budgeted the
Governor’s numbers. The governor’s revenue estimates.
Luckily as a Council, the entire Council and not just
Democrats, we budgeted conservatively on our revenue estimates.
Thankfully. Because there are others who are in some financial
concerns. We budgeted very conservatively. We did not get the
money that the Governor had put in her budget, but we got more
than what we budgeted for in terms of state revenue.
So, we are --- we moved in a very conservative manner over
this last budget cycle.
Glenn, if you just want to touch upon Bill’s comments about
the fund balance.
MR. KLOCKO: Sure.
THE CHAIR: And, explain where it is common procedures
through municipal budgets to rely on in some instances fund
balance to alleviate the tax burden to the taxpayers. Maybe you
can talk about that.
MR. KLOCKO: It’s true what you say. We have used fund
balance, which is basically using our savings account to balance
our budget. It is also true that we have consistently reduced by
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an informal policy and I mentioned it earlier about informal
versus formal policies, of reducing our reliance on fund balance.
So, what the Councilman has said is true. Yes. I voted to
use fund balance such as he did but I also voted to reduce our
reliance on fund balance. The policy that we have before the
Council is basically saying eventually, let’s eliminate that.
And, I mentioned earlier, to take away the political
bantering going back and forth, that it takes it out of both of
our hands. That we have a policy in place that says this is what
we will do and we all agreed upon it up front.
So there’s none of this back and forth going between
What I am proposing in the use of fund balance policy is to
adopt a policy of the Council that basically says there will be -
-- pick a year -- three, four, five year plan to reduce the use
of fund balance, basically, to zero, John.
And, the purpose of that is because it gives us more
flexibility. When you’re not using your savings account for
balancing your budget, you can use your savings account for one-
time emergencies and one-time opportunities.
I present that in the policy.
MR. POMPOSI: Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, this ---
you know -- I understand what Councilman Della Vecchia is saying
about fund balance but this fiscal policy is a lot more extensive
than just fund balance. If anybody has read this, this draft
that was presented to everyone, they can find out. And, I don’t
want that to get lost in the discussion about fund balance, only.
I’d like to just quote some of the items here in this draft
so that the public can understand what we are driving at here so
far as a fiscal policy is concerned.
Part of this is the comparison of rating information,
setting the stage for an upgrade. Now, if everybody understands,
an upgrade in our bond rating dramatically will reduce our
interest cost over the long term regarding any future debt. The
following are direct quotes from Moody’s and Standard & Poors
regarding our Town’s operation compared to another nearby
community with a one grade higher credit rating. The italics
highlight similarities and major differences between the two
Southington: satisfactory financial position --- this now
quoting Moody’s and Standard & Poors. Southington - satisfactory
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financial position with adequate reserve levels and modest debt
Secondly, the double A rating reflects the uncertainty of
the extent of the Town’s future school capital requirements and
the lack of a formalized financial policy.
Third, Standard and Poors’ outlook on Southington reflects
the projection and expectation that the Town’s debt position will
remain a credit strength with low to moderate debt levels while
economic and debt factors might support a higher rating in the
future, reserves are currently below levels. That’s in italics.
That would provide Southington with the revenue flexibility
consummate with a higher rating.
Lastly, although the Town does not follow a formal fund
balance policy it adheres to an internal formal policy to
maintain reserves equal to five percent of expenditures.
Another community: Their financial position remains strong
and well managed with “formalized policies”. That’s what we are
talking about tonight.
Well-managed financial operations and a moderate amount of
Believes the town will continue to maintain strong
financial position given the involvement of management in
defining and shaping financial policies. This is another town.
That’s why they get a higher credit rating.
This is far deeper than just getting off and all excited
about fund balance. It goes far deeper. And, anybody who has
read this draft would understand that and this is why, Mr.
Chairman, I think it’s important and I’m glad this issue has been
brought to the forefront because we’re talking about a lot of
money that the Town could save with formalized fiscal policies.
And, anybody who wants to write this off as just a waste in
time, doesn’t now what they’re talking about. That’s the bottom
line. So, I’m fully in favor of going on.
There’s a lot more in this that can be discussed which I’ve
highlighted that will make it very, very important for
Southington to consider and follow through on this formalized
fiscal policy, Mr. Chairman.
THE CHAIR: Thank you, Phil.
There is, Phil touched upon a few things, this will create
more work for our Town staff. There is no question if this policy
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is adopted, I think this Council and future Councils should
demand that the policy is followed by our Administration.
I could touch upon some of the requirements of it but it is
quite clear that the Town Manager will have added
responsibilities when it comes to debt management. The
information that must be provided, when I say must, the policy
will demand that the Council is notified on a lot of different
fiscal impact statements and other issues that will become ---
that are part of the policy that will become a decision that the
future Councils will have to make.
So there is, Phil touched upon a few things, there is a lot
to the policy. My understanding, Emilia, is S & P and Moody’s,
is there a split rating in Southington from S & P and Moody’s?
MS. PORTELINHA: Currently, yes. Last time that we sold
bonds, S & P upgraded our rating to AA- while Moody’s maintained
And, what the Board of Finance and the Council are saying
is accurate in that the rating agencies do want to see formalized
policies because it gives the Town a guide. Frequently towns
encounter a lot of worthwhile projects and you have to have
something to utilize in order to determine which ones to take on
and which ones need to wait for another period of time.
I just can’t stress enough that the importance of these
policies is not only to implement them but also to follow them.
Because the only thing worse than not having formalized policies
is not following them.
I also think it’s important when enacting policies that we
put policies in place that are not too restrictive. Should
something come up of an emergency nature or an opportunity that
presents itself that this Town is not locked into something that
they can’t take advantage of. Or, assist themselves.
MR. KLOCKO: Mr. Chairman, well said. We had our National
Conference of the Finance Officers Association the week before
last and the three rating agencies always represent themselves at
the conference. I spoke to them on a personal basis and they
basically reiterated what Emilia had said and this is that
policies are nice and I had mentioned to them that we are going
to discuss that and I didn’t say where we are going with it, but
they acted very favorably --- all three rating agencies --- as we
spoke about that to them.
And, they said the same thing Emilia said. Once you put in
place, make sure you adhere to it but have a degree of
flexibility. You always have to have a backdoor in case
something goes wrong. So, that is what we are proposing here is
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to set the basis, set the foundation for policy. Remove the
political considerations, annual political considerations, by
using the policies and move forward.
MR. D’ANGELO: Mr. Chairman, I just had a question. Why
did you select the two topics fund balance and debt management as
the first say, chapters, to this plan?
MR. KLOCKO: Good point. The fund balance policies are
probably and I read this in my research from Moody’s and S & P, I
believe, they are the most implemented policies by communities
small and large. Fund balance policies. For use of fund balance
and also the level of reserves. That’s the most frequently
implemented policies and debt management follows right behind it.
So, that’s why I chose these three.
Get the big ones out of the way. Self admittedly they are
written on a very simplistic basis. We didn’t go into the
expanded polices like you would see in Philadelphia. We’re
gearing this towards a community of our size and our
MR. D’ANGELO: Okay. I have one other question. I think
another important concept anyway in my mind would be budget
development and would that be, let’s say, one of the next
chapters after this?
MR. KLOCKO: That’s correct. As I mentioned in my opening
statements, we need to develop a more cohesive and expanded five
year capital improvement plan that is a part of the budget
document so everybody understands that plan and it incorporates
the procedures for what’s going on.
As Councilman and BOF members and the BOE members and other
members of the community change in the elected process, this
provides a training process. It says: here is the Town of
Southington’s process for a five-year capital improvement plan.
It spells it right out into the document as we move along. So,
it becomes a communication document and very, very useful to the
MR. D’ANGELO: Thank you.
MR. POMPOSI: Mr. Chairman, I’d like to just expound on
that capital improvement program which is a very important part
of this policy. Over the years, I think we’ve all been, we’ve
all seen how many times that we’ve been blind sighted by large
expenditures that just seem to come out of the air that were not
planned and this addresses that problem.
And, there’s no way the Town could plan their debt policy
over a long term not knowing what is coming down the pike. So
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many times, I mean, this Town has operated like the wild, wild
west when it comes to our plans for a long-term capital
So many times over the years, I’ve mentioned, is there any
surprises that are going to be coming before this Board over the
next you know, year, when we are working on the budget. No.
They’re not. Well, guess what? We’ve had so many surprises
where we have been hit with large expenditures in the hundreds
and hundreds of thousands of dollars, which were not planned for,
and this policy will address that problem and keep that at a
minimum if not eliminate it.
THE CHAIR: Bill?
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Just to set the record straight, I have
read the policy twice. I read it the last time you made a
presentation and I read it again this time. And, I’m just
stating that I am not against the policy. I agree with the
policy. As you know, I talked about fund balance before you even
put it in the policy when I criticized the use of it my first
year as a Councilperson. So, I guess I must be in the future. I
know what you’re going to be talking about.
I brought this up three years ago. And, I was told that I
didn’t know what I was talking about in one of your dissertations
in your Finance Committee. So, that being said, no disrespect to
anybody as far as this presentation. I read it. I agree with
And, I agree with Emilia. If you look at this and you try
to set it too strict, we’re not going to be able to do it.
Perfect example is last year. Last year, if you said we can’t go
any more than the contingency, then we wouldn’t be able to
fulfill contract commitments and we wouldn’t be able to fulfill
other items. So, there is a need for it. It can’t be so
stringent so that you can’t go forward with it. But my pet peeve
is the wild abandonment of fund balance. We would be in a better
position today --- all I’m saying is I agree but I think that we
have to practice what we preach. And, we should’ve started it
three or four years ago.
MR. KLOCKO: Mr. Chairman, just one last comment. I’m not
going to go back and forth ---
THE CHAIR: No, I think Bill makes a valid point.
MR. KLOCKO: He does. He does. And, may I speak?
THE CHAIR: Of course.
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MR. KLOCKO: Bill, so let’s go forward, okay? Let’s let
the past be the past. Let’s move forward. We, I think, we both
agree. You’re saying you agree. I’m saying I agree. As a Council
and a Board of Finance and I don’t want to include BOE because
there’s significant parts of the process, let’s go forward. The
past is the past. I’m not going to say he said, she said any
This is a policy we need to work to get the parameters so
we have some --- it has some teeth, yet it has some flexibility
at the same time. So, I would agree with you. I think we should
THE CHAIR: Emilia, on the fund balance issue, can you tell
us exactly what our fund balance is presently as we speak?
MS. PORTELINHA: I can give you what it was as of June 30th,
2006 because 2007, not -- obviously ---
THE CHAIR: You haven’t closed out.
THE CHAIR: Okay.
MS. PORTELINHA: It was -- the undesignated, the
unreserved, undesignated was 7.4 million which as a percentage of
operating revenue would be approximately 7 percent.
THE CHAIR: Okay, and do you anticipate --- I know there has
been some good collections on some large past taxes that
immediately goes, weren’t budgeted for, and they’re going into
the fund balance. So, is that number, uh, you do anticipate it
to be higher when you close off, close the books at the end of
MS. PORTELINHA: I couldn’t tell you how much higher, but I
do anticipate it being a little bit higher, yes.
THE CHAIR: Okay, very good.
I also want to --- first of all, I think one of the biggest
issues in this Town and in any community is a good fiscal health
of the Town.
And, people are concerned about their taxes. I mean, I
hear it, I think everyone on the Council hears it. People --
there are people hurting out there. There are people that are
middle class people that have a nice house in Southington and
it’s not as easy a it used to be 20 years ago. These are working
families with children that have challenges meeting their bills.
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And, I think everyone on this Council is working very hard
to make sure we have a fair tax structure in Southington and
property tax system that is affordable.
So, I mean, I think that’s the goal for everyone.
So, I do want to thank the Board of Finance. Mr. Triano,
Mr. Moise, Mr. Pomposi, Mr. Klocko. Mr. Marut couldn’t make it
and Ms. Cocuzza. Because it’s not easy to say no. I could say
not. A lot of us have said no when it comes to requests. It’s
very difficult running a community when there’s really legitimate
costs that come up and you have to say no.
But we have said no. We’ve been criticized for saying no.
But I want to thank the Board of Finance because it’s not easy to
go through each item that are all legitimate requests and having
to stand up and say we just can’t do it, we can’t afford it.
It’s not a priority right now.
So, I want to thank you all for your work on this issue.
Dave, you have something?
MR. ZONI: Well, obviously, the goal tonight I would think
is to move forward on this issue. In order for us to move
forward obviously, we’re going to have to take this from a draft
level to something that we’re ready to vote on. Which entails
some parameters that we need to discuss and settle on an amount
and a percentage. I think we need to do that at this time.
MR. KLOCKO: Through the Chair, Emilia is right. The
background and research is this as far as the fund balance
policy. Southington is at 6.8 percent, undesignated, which we
call our Rainy Day Fund. Or our surplus.
The Moody’s has indicated that the state average in
Connecticut is 8.2 percent. This will give you some perspective
of what we’re dealing with. Connecticut does not fit in within
the national averages because of the wealth of Connecticut. The
national average for fund balance is over 20 percent. So, it
doesn’t apply to Connecticut because of our wealth on a national
But the state level is 8.2 percent. I gave as a floor of
discussion, 9 percent, because obviously, I mean, with the
keeping of flexibility in mind and keeping we need to build the
reserves, Moody’s has said that. If the average is 8.2, why not
shoot higher? But that is just the start of discussion at 9
That’s the fund balance policy level.
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Once again, the use of fund balance policy is basically a
subset of the fund balance policy and it says, as we’ve
previously discussed, eliminate the use of fund balance as much
as we can and I would probably suggest to the Council that they
set a plan in place so the Town Manager can implement it. If
it’s three year, a five year, whatever you implement, saying ---
I believe we’re at 625 and we were well over a million, so we’re
working in unison ---
MR. WEICHSEL: We had 1.8 you recall.
MR. KLOCKO: Yah, 1.8. So, we have done it in unison in
bringing it down. So have a plan in place that we all know ---
the Manager knows right up front this is the plan to reduce it,
whatever, $50,000 increments, whatever that you feel is
appropriate. But at least we have something in place that sets
The third policy and I think personally probably the most
comprehensive and most difficult policy to manage is the debt
management policy. One of the first paragraphs addresses the
five-year capital improvement program. That needs to be
But there is basically two parameters on that draft policy.
One talks about the direct indebtedness that we would have and
I’m suggesting as a floor just to start discussion at 4 percent.
And, basically, it talks about total indebtedness that we have in
the general fund for expenditures and I know the Manager had
mentioned and Emilia had mentioned in the credit rating
presentations they talked about again the informal and formalness
of that. But they had talked about five percent and eight
percent within the --- and it was mentioned in the credit
Currently, our direct indebtedness as a percentage of full
market value is 1.4 percent. National level is 2 percent. We’re
well under it and it’s --- that’s wonderful. So, I don’t think
it’s going to be a very difficult discussion on the Council’s
part to pick a percentage somewhere I would guess between 3 and 4
percent. 3, 3.25, 3.5 whatever the case may be.
The more difficult percentage is the total debt service as
a percentage of our general fund. Southington is currently at
4.48 percent and I’m recommending to you that a discussion would
take place somewhere in the neighborhood of a low of 6 and
possibly a high of 8. Give you some parameters just to talk
And, this comes from research from Moody’s and S & P. It’s
not really personal but from the research that’s what I saw
Town Council 16
Moody’s medians on Connecticut with the low and the highs between
6 and 8 percent.
And, then basically, the last area of the debt that will be
important for discussion is the structuring of our debt service,
how do we pay back our debt service and Moody’s and S & P told us
that Southington pays back 67 percent of it’s debt within ten
years. It’s called the bond life. Yet, the state average is 74
percent. So, I think we want, that’s probably a little bit
aggressive for our community. I would guess that we would want to
above he 67 percent we are now to show that we’re committed to
doing better and somewhat below the state average. Seventy-four
percent in my opinion is quite high. I would think we would be
more comfortable with a 69 or a 70 percent showing that we made
some progress but 74 percent is just, seems to be --- we have a
lot of AAA communities in Connecticut and they seem to drive that
process. That’s why it’s a little bit higher.
Those are the three parameters that we need to have or the
Council needs to have discussion on.
MR. POMPOSI: Mr. Chairman, I know you want to wrap this up
THE CHAIR: I want to wrap it up.
MR.POMPOSI: --- just two things. All the things that
Glenn has mentioned here about various parameters and so forth
are going to have a direct effect on the budget once they’re
implemented. If we are going to stay with these percentages on
pay back of debt and other items, that is going to be reflected
in where our mill rates are going to be if we stay to that which
means the other side of the coin is we’re going to have to really
sharpen our pencils and consider where we can have cost savings.
So that has got to be part of the discussion.
I would assume with something this important, I don’t know
if the plan is to have a workshop on this again? You can’t just
--- I don’t know if you can just set this policy but I think you
should have another workshop with the Council and the BOF. It’s
MS. TRIANO: And, the Board of Ed.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: I was waiting for an opportunity to
speak and I agree 100 percent, Phil. We can’t discuss it here in
the Council Chambers at a Council meeting. This is too
MR.KLOCKO: Yes. It takes too much time.
Town Council 17
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: All the numbers --- the finance
director should get all the numbers together with what Glenn is
talking about and we should hash this thing out because it’s an
important document going forward.
MR. KLOCKO: Agreed on this side.
MR. POMPOSI: I mean, you could, you know, to me, this is
imperative that we just don’t pick numbers out of the air.
THE CHAIR: I’d be more than happy to entertain a meeting
with the BOE and the BOF and the Council. Certainly, it could be
challenging to get all three boards together on a night, but
we’ll work to that end. So, we will not be acting on it at our
July 9th meeting even though we’ve been talking about this for
over a year, we will continue with additional meetings and
workshops based on Mr. Pomposi’s suggestions.
So, why don’t we --- I don’t think we’re going to have
another presentation before the Council on this item.
MR. KLOCKO: There’s no need to.
MR.POMPOSI: Just a workshop.
THE CHAIR: I do think the Council should move
expeditiously to adopt this policy. It’s been in the process for
over a year. We’ve had internal meetings among ourselves.
Talking about it. Trying to come up with a plan that we thought
be fair to the community.
But with that suggestion, we’ll move on with other
MR. KLOCKO: Thank you, John.
THE CHAIR: Very good. I want to thank you all very much
and I want to thank our Finance Director, Emilia, and our Town
Manager John, also for their assistance and input on getting this
Thank you very much.
We’ll just take a couple of minute break.
(Whereupon, the meeting was recessed at 7:53 o’clock, p.m.)
(Whereupon, the meeting was resumed at 7:56 o’clock, p.m.)
JOHN BARRY, Chairman, presiding:
IV. Councilmanic Communications
Town Council 18
THE CHAIR: I will move up a little bit in the Agenda. We
are going to acknowledge our winners from the Commission on
Presentation of Commission on DisAbilities Awards
THE CHAIR: They are Townwide winner’s in this year’s
poster contest. And, Mrs. Longo, do you want to --- Mrs. Longo
has been the Council liaison to the Commission on DisAbilty.
And, Mrs. Longo had thought it would be a nice idea to
recognize this year’s winners on the poster contests. And, I’d
like to call upon Lindsay Starr.
We’re going to come right up in front. And, we also have
Jessica Uba. And, the last one is Jocelyn Scarrette. If they
could just come right up. Come right up here.
We have members on the Commission on DisAbilty who are
here. Dolores knows Terry very well. I think Sharon Neupaver is
here. And, Wendy is also here.
Why don’t we first start with Jocelyn. I’ll read
Jocelyn’s. This is an official ---
MS. LONGO: I’d like to have her show her artwork.
THE CHAIR: Artwork, oh, absolutely.
MS. LONGO: So everyone can see.
THE CHAIR: Before I actually give the citations, I’d like
to have a member of the Commission come up and just to explain to
the public what the poster contest was about and what it really
meant to our community and people with disabilities.
TERRY DICKINSON: I’m on the Commission her for the Town of
Southington. Very proud. We’d also like to thank everyone here,
the Town Council for having us tonight. It’s a real honor to be
Our poster contest makes the students aware or we hope it
does and I’m sure it does as they’ve done an excellent job. We
used to do the 6th graders, but now we’re down to 5th graders
because of the Middle School and moving on.
Town Council 19
We want the kids, the bottom line is to make them aware
that people with physical disabilities, mental disabilities,
blindness, they’re all people and they all deserve to be equal.
And, it’s just wonderful how they portray that through their
So, we are very proud. Thank you.
THE CHAIR: Thank you, Terry.
I’m going to award the first citation to Jocelyn. (Read
Citation, which is on file in the Town Clerk’s Office.)
Jocelyn, thank you very much for participating.
Mrs. Longo is going to present Lindsay Star’s Citation.
Lindsay, why don’t you show your poster to everyone?
MS. LONGO: (Read the Citation which is on file in the Town
Thank you so much for being a part of this.
THE CHAIR: We have our final recipient, Jessica Uba. And,
Jessica, we did read this again but I think it’s worthy of a
personal read. (Read Citation which on file in the Town Clerk’s
Thank you very much. And, why don’t we show your poster to
I should have recognized --- thank you very much. Can the
kids just tell us what school they go to here in Southington?
What school do you go to Jessica?
JESSICA: Kelley School.
THE CHAIR: Kelley School, that’s a good school.
FROM THE AUDIENCE: Thalberg.
Town Council 20
FROM THE AUDIENCE: Hatton.
THE CHAIR: So we have three schools recognized today and
we thank you very much for participating.
And, thank you to the Commission on DisAbilities.
Presentation to Stuart Estra – Trails Day 10th Anniversary
THE CHAIR: At this time, I’d like to call upon Stuart
Estra. Stuart, you can come right up here to where I am.
Stuart, at this time, I’d like to present you with an
official Town Council Proclamation. (Read the Proclamation,
which is on file in the Town Clerk’s Office.)
I don’t know if a lot of people understand the work and
time that Stuart’s provided for our community. I think it was
worthy of a personal proclamation to Stuart. (Continued reading
the Proclamation, which is on file in the Town Clerk’s Office.)
Stuart, congratulations! Thank you for everything you do.
And, I also I think it’s fitting that Stuart’s here tonight
because there is a big celebration coming up very shortly and I
think it is certainly appropriate for Stuart to maybe plug that
event that is coming up this coming weekend.
So, Stuart, the microphone is all your’s.
MR. ESTRA: Actually, you can start my clock. I’ll take my
five minutes now so if I don’t have time to come back during the
public part of the service here.
There’s actually, I appreciate the Citation for the Trails
Day Festival. It’s our tenth anniversary and as John mentioned,
it’s a lot of work and we have a lot of helpers and a lot of
I won’t really go into that because most of you are
familiar with that but basically I will talk about our Tenth
Anniversary Celebration that’s going to be coming up this
Saturday, June 30th over at the high school.
Town Council 21
The first time in about 30 years the Town of Southington
will be having a townwide block party fireworks celebration. The
last time was in 1979. And, a reporter friend of mine did
research and he’s of the opinion that this may only be the second
time in the history of the Town of Southington that the Town of
Southington is sponsoring a fireworks show.
How sad that is of our Town that is only the second time
and how exciting for our project that this is happening on this
Saturday. It’s going to be a phenomenal show. There’s going to
be over 4000 shells to be fired. We have concerts, bands. We’re
going to have the Rod Stewart cover group coming up on one of our
main stages. And, the gentleman coming in from Vegas to do a
Billy Joel cover group, as well.
We have the local Beatles group on the other stage. We
have a wind and brass ensemble that’s going to be playing
patriotic music that evening. And, we also have a gentleman
coming in and doing phenomenal magic and illusion show.
There’s going to be plenty of excitement. There’s
restaurants. There’s over 12 restaurants selling food from the
new Brannigan’s, Aziagos to Wood ‘n Tap to Agave Grille to the
Hen House to Saint’s Restaurant and other restaurants are going
to be participating.
There is no alcohol. There’s no food. There’s no coolers,
no dogs, no pets, no fireworks allowed.
We are asking people to bring a blanket or chair to enjoy
Also, due to limited parking, we are asking families to
carpool or use shuttle buses at Wal-Mart, DePaolo or Derynoski.
At this time, I want to thank a lot of people that were
helpful on this project. I want to thank the Southington Parks &
Rec. The Parks & Rec Board for giving me the okay to go ahead
with this project.
I want to thank Dr. Lehr and the school system for stepping
to the plate. I wish Dr. Lehr lots of luck in his retirement and
I want to thank him very much for going on the edge allowing us
to do this at the high school.
I want to thank the fire department. Our fireworks
shooters that were one of the best towns to work with with our
I want to thank the Southington Police Department for their
help and support of this project.
Town Council 22
I want to thank New Britain Transportation for the buses.
And, there’s many others. The Gridiron Club that has
helped me for oh, ever since I started Trails Day ten years ago.
They’ve always sent me volunteers to help with the trail work and
we have one of the nicest trails in this region. We also have a
federally recognized trail that’s over at Panthorn Park. During
the Clinton Administration, we got federal recognition for this
I also want to --- some people have asked why the Gridiron
Club. Because they’ve been there with me every year since we
started working on the trail and I felt this was a way --- I
needed manpower to help with this event and they were going to
provide me with manpower and because they’ve helped me with the
trail, they were a natural selection to be a recipient of some of
the proceeds of this activity.
I want to thank all of my sponsors. Especially my main
sponsors, the Calvanese Foundation, especially Kathy Reinhart and
their group for stepping up to the plate to back us with a
substantial grant to get this project off the ground.
I want to thank Attorney Sheffy and his firm for stepping
up to the plate to pledge money for this project.
Without those two people’s groups support, I don’t know if
this project would have got all the way to the home plate.
On the other side of the coin, I want to set the record
straight. I am very disappointed in the Town and the Council for
when we put a line item into the budget for $10,000 to pay for
police and for shuttle buses, it was totally rejected.
I took this project on and did it anyway. I pledged $5,000
of my own money to put this project on of which I have had to put
$2,500 up so far.
I was very disappointed, there’s only been four things that
this project had as challenges that were involved and that was
one of them. The second one was there was a small shed that is
on the playing field of the soccer field and my fire shooter was
concerned that the state would not allow us to do the fireworks
where we needed to do them to make this project go.
But with the state cooperation, and with our fire marshal
helping us, we were able to get approval for that.
The third challenge I had on this project was through the
Town. After putting together a $50,000 project which is going to
be one of the best family block parties in the State of
Connecticut right here in Southington, one of the most phenomenal
Town Council 23
events, I was dismayed at the --- at a remark that someone made
to me concerned that the Town might have to chip in some money if
it ran a deficit.
A $50,000 event, which I personally helped to raise almost
$40,000,besides some of my own money, I was very dismayed by that
The last issue, I just --- that we had --- which is amazing
we only had four issues on the vastness of this project but the
last issue is a concern of some baseball, I don’t know, booster
club. Now, I don’t understand how a booster club can own a field
in this Town. I was under the impression that the Town fields
and the Town property are owned by the Town residents.
And, I am very disappointed that these people came through
with emails to their BOE and forced us, after the Parks
Department who manages their field, had said that we would
guarantee any damages to the field we would fix.
And yet, the BOE required us to move off of that area. I’m
amazed that Harvey Polansky’s last deed as a Board of Ed whatever
his title is ---
However, with that said, I want to thank Dr. Lehr for
stepping up over and above what he needed to do to make this
I want to thank the school board for approving it. David
Derynoski was very much helpful in this whole process. But I
don’t understand how a field in this Town is not owned by the
I mean, it’s disgusting. They wouldn’t even let anybody
play on that field. I wanted to do a baseball tournament up
there. I’m saying -- this is -- I’ve got my five minutes and
when my five minutes rings, I’ll stop.
I want the people, I want the people to know why we’re
charging $5 to get in. Because the Town did not want to put up
any money so that was our backbone if we ran short of money.
I want you to know that we --- I won’t tell my parks and
recs players because then they’ll find ways to spend more of my
money, but I will tell you right now, we will have a surplus.
And, it is up to the residents in this Town, if you guys
like this event, which I know you’re going to love, to require
your Town people here, your Town Councilors and your Finance
Board to put some money up if you guys want to do this again.
Town Council 24
Because for me, this is a once in a lifetime event. And, I’ll be
like the next 20 years, I’ll be 80 years old so you don’t have to
count on me.
And, the last thing I wanted to address is I know there’s
some rumors on the planning and zoning they’re going to enforce
their sign law. As the biggest abuser of the sign law in this
Town as having almost 200 signs up and about through Town, I’m
very disheartened by that.
The reason why I say that is I am very annoyed with all the
signs that are up and around this Town just like everyone else
is. But a lot of the major corporations, like the Wal-Marts and
the Walgreen’s and the whatevers have come into this Town --- the
uh --- what’s the video store? Blockbuster and the other one
And, they’re happy when we go in there and ask them can we
put a poster up in their store and they say, oh, we can’t do that
because our corporate office won’t let them. So now, what’s
going to happen is the Town through the planning and zoning is
going to take away the only last avenue for advertising these
events to the people as through our little signs.
So, I would like to meet --- I would like to have all of
the people that are watching call into their planning and zoning
and say I would like to meet with them with a compromise.
THE CHAIR: I don’t think you will need any more
MR. ESTRA: No. It’ll hurt the Relay for Life and it’ll
hurt us. That’s the only way. These big corporations will not
allow us to be able to advertise.
So, I would like to be at planning & zoning and address
But anyway, on a positive note, this is going to be a
phenomenal event. And, people’ll have a great time. So come on
out. Drive carefully. Carpool. Whatever you have to do. And,
we look forward to seeing you there.
Thank you very much.
Town Council 25
THE CHAIR: It is a lot of work that Stuart’s putting upon
himself. Stuart, on behalf of the Town, thank you very much.
MR. ESTRA: You are quite welcome.
Southington Cares – Council Update
THE CHAIR: We do have a pretty heavy Agenda tonight. And,
I did ask John Myers from the YMCA to come up and address the
public and the Council with an update concerning the Southington
Cares Program here in Southington.
MS. TRIANO: But, don’t yell at us, John, okay?
MR. MYERS: I come in peace tonight.
Happy fifth day of summer! I appreciate the opportunity to
represent the Southington Cares Group to give you an update. Just
as a quick recap, we began right after Hurricane Katrina. If you
can remember back then, everyone in Town wanted to help out. But
really wasn’t sure how to. And, a lot of us got together and
said, we’ve got to do something and maybe we can’t do a lot for
Hurricane Katrina folks right now but for the future we can be a
little bit more mobilized.
So right away, the easy part was getting people to be part
of this group. I want to take a moment to recognize those folks
because they’ve been giving countless hours and time towards
This is an alphabetical order by the first name, in case
you’re wondering: Audry Vinci from the Orchards. Charlie
Cocuzza from Omega Communications. Chuck Motes from our health
department. Dave Stroshal representing the Southington Interfaith
Clergy Association. Greg Simone from the Southington Police.
Janet Mellon from Southington Community Services. John Aldieri
from Southington Fire Department. John Weichsel, our Town
Manager. Lowell DePalma, Southington Police Department. Rich
Corcoran from the United Way of Southington. Sue Saucier, who is
here, from Southington Youth Services. Tony Palmieri, who is
here, from the Southington YMCA. Trish Walden from the Hospital
of Central Connecticut. Victoria Triano from the Town Council
So you can see that this group is really widespread within
the community. And, one of our first tasks was to get some
identity on who we’re going to be. And, we’d have some
sustainability that we wouldn’t be just coming in for a quick
shot and then we’d fade away.
Town Council 26
With that, we came up with a Mission Statement. I think
it’s pretty clear for what we are going to be doing.
Southington Cares is a community based action oriented task
force of members representing agencies, businesses, Town
officials, and individuals who are dedicated to helping victims
of disasters as well as local social service needs.
And, I think you’ve seen since Hurricane Katrina, some of
our own local folks, including Chuck Motes and Janet Mellon, who
have made trips down as well as many individuals and church
While it is our hope that there won’t be other disasters
like Katrina, I think it’s safe to say that sometime there will
be. And, right now, I feel confident that our group is able to
mobilize quicker for the community so we can help folks in times
The other major function of our group is to deal with
helping our local social service needs. I’d like to share two
initiatives that we’re proud of and we’ve been able to move
forward with this past six to twelve months. One of them is now
we have a website that up and running. If I may, I’ll hand these
What you are getting is just a shot of each of the pages on
the website but I think as you look through it, you’ll see lots
of great information. We give a little information about the
group itself. We post the Minutes of our meetings. People want
to see. We do posting of local groups and what they’re doing,
any mission trips away from Southington. There’s a great
resource in the Calendar of Events going in Town.
Another section is about disaster preparedness and how
local citizens can be ready in case something happens. And, it
might be just something as far as a power failure, but being
We have a page for local volunteer opportunities. Local
fundraising events. As well, we wanted to list down all of our
local clergy in Town.
We feel this is a great resource for the Town. It’s
www.southingtoncares. com or www.southingtoncares.org. So, either
way you’ll get into our site. We’re ready to keep it active and
pertinent for the community there.
Town Council 27
The other initiative that we have just finished up and some
of you may have seen it. It’s called the File of Life Program.
And, I’ll pass those around to you, too. (Attachment 4)
The File in Life Program, it’s not an original idea for
Southington. It’s one that many other communities have great
success in but what it does for those who might have some
emergency in their house and first responders come to their house
that those first responders are going to have information ready
for those in need.
And, what it is is on the inside you’ll find that everyone
is going to get a pouch to put on the refrigerator. It says:
File of Life. And, inside their pouch are some sheets that
provide emergency information for each of the people in the
Who they are. If they have any allergies. Are they on any
medications? Who their emergency contacts are and the like. So
those are right inside the pouch there.
Another part is that there’ll be some red stickers that
they can put up by the front door which will also help first
responders know that there’ll be a File of Life pouch on the
The first initiative is to try to get it out to all the
seniors. But this is certainly, we’d like to see every household
in Town have one of these. And, we are starting. We have a
thousand now in circulation now so they are starting to make
their way around Town.
We encourage anyone who wants to get a pouch to see myself.
There’ll be some at the Town Hall and all the groups that are
listed on our membership will have these pouches.
And, finally, in the future, now that we’re a little bit
more organized, in the fall we’re going to kind of go on tour to
hit all the different civic groups in Town to tell them about
what we’re up to and find other ways we can help out with social
In the fall, as people change their clocks, it’s usually a
time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors, that’s also
going to be a time for us to encourage the community to look at
their disaster preparedness kits at home.
Are they ready in case something happens? It’ll be an
awareness time in October.
Town Council 28
So, that’s what we’ve been up to. We appreciate all the
support from everyone in this group here and like I said, we hope
that we don’t have to react to many disasters in the future but
we feel like we’re more prepared as a Town to help out.
THE CHAIR: John, thank you very much. Does anyone have
MS. TRIANO: Just a statement, Mr. Chairman, if I might.
It’s been an honor to work with John. John is sort of heading
and the Y is acting kind of as our home at this point.
It is so important. I would encourage everyone to have a
File of Life on their refrigerator. You never know what’s going
to happen. When a firefighter or a police officer has to make an
emergency visit to your home and you can’t speak, the File of
Life will tell them everything they need to know on that
So, we will be having them right here at the Town Hall,
right John, right downstairs at that main entrance to the Town
Hall. We would just love it if everybody could take one home.
If there’s two individuals, there --- is there two sheets in each
one or just one?
MR. MYERS: I think there’s four actually in each one.
MS. TRIANO: Okay. So your whole family --- if there’s any
special medical needs, the whole family can be listed in one File
THE CHAIR: Sounds great. Thank you very much for being
involved, too, Vicky. It’s great.
MS. TRIANO: Sure.
THE CHAIR: John, thanks a lot.
MR. MYERS: Thank you.
Discussion of Mt. Vernon Rd. – W. Center to Roaring Brook
THE CHAIR: I know there have been some recent meetings.
MR. WEICHSEL: Right.
THE CHAIR: John, do you want to just --- I did put it
under Councilmanic Communications because there might be some ---
well, there is, in fact, residents in the area.
Town Council 29
I’ll have the Town Manager just bring it up and we do have
the engineering firm here?
MR. WEICHSEL: Yes. Cardinal would like to make a very
THE CHAIR: And, I will allow residents that are affected
by this reconstruction, they can also come up to the microphone
and express any views, questions, anything they might have.
Go ahead, John.
MR. WEICHSEL: Well, we had a prior public information
meeting. There were quite a few comments from the citizenry.
Cardinal has indicated that they would in good spirit respond to
them as best they can and they’re here tonight to confirm that
and of course if there are further comments from the citizens,
you’ve indicated they’re welcome to speak. But at this point,
I’d like to turn it over to Cardinal to quickly summarize where
they think they stand in terms of the prior commentary.
SPEAKER: There were quite a few comments on the previous
presentations. One of the major comments was ---
MR. WEICHSEL: Your name and title with the company,
SPEAKER: This is David Artz and I’m a project engineer for
We made a presentation to the public and we came again to
the Town Council. One of the major concerns was the width of the
road was 32 feet and we have revised that down to 30 feet to
lessen the impacts to the properties.
And, we have adjusted the horizontal alignment slightly and
we’ve made adjustments to the vertical alignment to more evenly
match the present vertical alignment.
By making those adjustments we’ve had to make some drainage
changes and some adjustments to the driveways and Mr. Tranquillo
and I have walked the site again, in the rain, and we’ve
eliminated some of the ditches in the front yards, which were
And, we’ve also incorporated a concept design at this time
of Whitman Road, which was a major concern that the public
voiced. Now this is not something that will be funded by the
state which the rest of the project is funded by the state, but
Whitman Road, the state will not participate in, so that is all
Town Council 30
We’ve looked at the comments that the public had. We’ve
revised the plans. They have been on file. Mr. Tranquillo sent
out the notice to all the abutting property owners. And, they
have been available at his office since last Tuesday for viewing.
Now we believe that we have addressed as much as we can of
most of or all comments and we are here to ask again to ask if
there is any other questions.
THE CHAIR: Tony, do you want to make any comments on the
project as it is standing now?
MR. TRANQUILLO: Yes. We have tried very hard to answer
the comments and the concerns that the residents had. Obviously,
the ones we had and we were able to take care of, we did. But
there’s always a few that we can’t take care of.
We had the meeting with four property owners this
afternoon. I presume some of them are here this evening to speak
to you. This is a process. We went through the first design.
Now there’s a slight modification. There will be further
modifications as we go through fine tuning the design and the
getting it so that everybody is satisfied with it.
Keep in mind we do have to submit this to the State of
Connecticut and they will have to give their blessing. So, I got
a call from Seb (Inaudible) at the state and he was rather
concerned, as he didn’t know what the purpose of this meeting was
and I told him we are not going to do anything outlandish. Don’t
get concerned. We are not going to try to reinvent the wheel
here. We’re making fine-tuning and changes that make sense and
we’ll submit it to you and then you give us your blessing.
So, there will be a state review probably in the very near
future after you authorize us to go forward.
THE CHAIR: All right. I will allow any residents that are
being affected by the plan, if they have any comments or
questions that they would like to just have public on the record,
you’re more than welcome to come up.
PETER ANDERSON: Good evening. I reside at 1289 Mount
Vernon Road. I would like to take this time to congratulate Tony
on his promotion. Best of luck.
Also to thank him for our 2:00 p.m. onsite meeting at my
residence today along with Bill Della Vecchia, David Zoni and a
representative from Cardinal Engineering.
This plan presented to us at this meeting is in my judgment
a great improvement over the first plan. It appears to favorably
Town Council 31
address a common sense approach to Mt. Vernon Road
By that I mean, maintain existing centerline grades where
possible, realignment to meet existing drainage structures and
utilize existing drainage pipe.
However, Cardinal Engineering, just today, realized a 4-
foot, plus or minus, error on the location of my house at 1289.
I find it hard to believe it took this long to catch this error.
At 7:00 am this past Friday morning, there was a survey rodman at
the northwest corner of my house.
Also, the cut and fill designations are improperly marked
at my property. I respectfully request a corrected copy to be
given to me.
In trying to keep my here as short as possible, I am going
to list several points we discussed this afternoon so as to have
them on record.
(1) Lowering of the road at my driveway, station 133 + 50,
to eliminate water being pitched from the road back towards my
house. We discussed this at length and I don’t feel it’s
necessary for me to go into it at this meeting. I just would
like to have that on record that they will look into it.
(2) Minimize the snow shelves at both of my driveways.
(3) Reduce the slope length at my stone driveway, station
134 +35 (+/-) to less than the 50-foot proposed on the drawing.
(4) Save as much as possible of the existing maple
saplings at station 134 + 60, or replace them with 4-foot on
center, four foot tall, arborvitaes, to continue to allow me to
have privacy to my yard.
(5) Address sight lines at Roaring Brook Road. We had
this on before. Nothing on the drawing that I can see.
(6) Address the red stone dry wall across from my house.
It is on Town property. As you, Councilman Zoni and I think
Della Vecchia saw, it’s falling down. Let’s address this now.
Not after we reconstruct the road and then we, as taxpayers have
to pay to put a new wall up there.
(7) Dead water laterals. We’re beating a dead horse here.
At least install at the remaining building lots, and I would
guess there is three or four left on this stretch, 3900 lf of
road that we’re proposing to reconstruct, left that are not, you
know, they’re still available, they will have buildings, houses
on them, I’m sure.
Town Council 32
Put a lateral in there so we don’t have to dig up this road
in six months or a year or whatever. I could go on and on about
that, but I won’t.
And, also one each to the Connaty’s two houses that are now
being served by their private well which is very close to the
road and as you will hear again, I’m sure, from the Connatys that
it is a very, very -- much concern to them.
(8) The Sportsman’s Club Road. Insure that the existing
drainage in Mt. Vernon Road will handle the runoff from the
proposed reconstruction of the Sportsman’s Club Road.
I pointed out to Tony that a considerable amount of this
water is generated 500 to 600 feet above the intended termination
of this road’s reconstruction. I suggested he contact Ron
Matson, President of the Sportsman’s Club to see if this
situation could be alleviated. It is on, to my understanding,
their property and they have been very much in favor of doing
something to address this problem.
So for the sake of a phone call or an onsite meeting with
Ron, then your calculations which I understand have not been done
yet for the watershed for this area, they could be considerable
reduced if and when the Sportsman’s Club would agree to --- lose
my train of thought here. If I can’t read it, I’m in trouble.
That they could alleviate and detour it into their own
property so it doesn’t become the Town’s water after it leaves
And, finally, two questions that I had on my list this
afternoon but did not get asked due to an oversight on my part
both for Tony.
(1) Is this going to be a full 22.5-inch depth
reconstruction for the project’s entire 3900 feet?
(2) Is there going to be any recycle of materials?
MR. TRANQUILLO: I’ll answer those two questions.
MR. ANDERSON: I’m sorry?
MR. TRANQUILLO: I said I will provide an answer for you on
those two questions.
MR. ANDERSON: Thank you. Thank you tonight for your time.
And, I hope that we can move forward in a very progressive way.
Town Council 33
THE CHAIR: Thank you, Mr. Anderson.
KATHY RICKARD: 1317 Mt. Vernon Road. I just have three
comments. First of all, I’m very fortunate to live next door to
Peter Anderson who is the expert on all things that have to do
with this road reconstruction and I’m very fortunate to have his
knowledge right next door.
Just two other things that I wanted to comment. My
neighbor across the street who lives on the corner of Roaring
Brook Road is concerned about her line of sight coming out of
Roaring Brook. As mentioned, that’s right across the street from
my driveways. And, it seems to me that it could shift a little
bit over that way into the wooded area and save the end of my
driveways a little bit.
And, that’s the third item. As Pete pointed out to me
yesterday, this plan here, what I didn’t notice the last time --
didn’t see it on anything last time --- this plan here has 20
feet of my driveways being ripped up to change the slopes of
them. But I have a drainage basin just before them. So any
runoff is going to go right into the drainage basin.
I just don’t see the need to disrupt my property. It is
very long along the end of this project. And, I believe there
isn’t very much construction down there. So to affect my
driveways in that manner when it’s just the end of the project, I
just don’t see that it’s necessary.
And, the third thing, um, Cardinal has repeatedly told us
that they will have marked vehicles and that their people will be
or have some sort of identification on them. The past two weeks
there’s been an unmarked white van which we’re just all assuming
was Cardinal, but I know and the very initial meetings with them
and all the other meetings, we’ve asked that there’s been some
sort of --- you know, something that identifies them as, you
know, not people breaking into our houses.
So, if I could just ask again that maybe they could stick
something on that white van that says surveyor’s from Cardinal or
something like that.
But thank you very much for you attention to this.
ANNE MARIE CONNATY: And, Kevin Connaty. 1229 and 1237 Mt.
I, too, want to thank Dave Zoni, Billy Della Vecchia, Tony
Tranquillo and I believe it was Tony from Cardinal for actually
coming and visiting us today. And, seeing that we have and I
believe they believe that now, we have legitimate concerns here.
Town Council 34
The number one being our well. Which is 35 feet from the
curb. And, I have to say even after the onsite meeting, I didn’t
come away feeling really comfortable that if the well is ruined
from the reconstruction that I can simply pick up a phone and
call the Town and it will be fixed.
We can’t be put in another position where for five years I
have to take on a full time job, call the Town Hall, take
pictures, um, document everything, send certified letters, pay
money out of our pockets to hire an attorney to get things going.
We just can’t do that, again.
All we’re asking is simply for assurances that if the well
is ruined from the reconstruction, that we simply have someone to
call and they will fix it. We have two properties there. One is
rented to a tenant. She’s serviced by the same well. If it’s
ruined, what am I supposed to tell her? Buy bottled water?
You know, I didn’t come away with good answers. I went so
far as to say, um, well, there’s city water running here. I
don’t want to give up my well but I don’t feel real confident in
the plan right now. What if we were to agree we’ll take city
Tony Tranquillo said well, we could get a really good deal
because everything’s going to be torn up. Well, why should we
have to pay anything? Everything’s been working fine for us for
22 years there.
I don’t think we should have to pay a penny. We are going
to pay to bring Arzilla out to do a full report before
reconstruction starts. Tony said that that was a good idea.
Once again, we’re going to pay it because your home is your
biggest asset. But you would think the Town would offer to pay
something like that. We have a legitimate concern here.
The other thing is our properties are probably going to be
disrupted the most of anyone. They’re coming in with slope
rights, 42 feet at 1237 Mt. Vernon Road. And, 32 feet at 1229
Mt. Vernon Road. So, that’s basically, that’s a lot of feet.
When they came out and looked at it, it’s a lot of area
that is going to be disrupted. I was a little upset to see that
the representative from Cardinal actually thought that the old
pipes that the Town abandoned in 1998 because of Brino, were
going to be used to hopefully take some of what we think is going
to be extra surface water from this sloping to 1237. That’s a
concern because our bedroom is almost ground level. It just has
some air space underneath. It’s just on footings.
Town Council 35
Those are the two biggest concerns. But as I said, it’s
our well that is the biggest concern and it needs to be on the
One of the Council people brought up a point. When they do
come in 32 and 42 feet on the whole front of our property, is
this going to be done in stages where we are still going to be
able to pull in to our driveways? It’s a question I have to ask
because I don’t have answers for it.
And, then there is going to be a lot of debris. Do they
intend to wash people’s homes? We have vinyl siding. Or are we
going to be responsible for that after they’re done? When you’re
coming 32 feet on 1229,it’s about --- it’s 45 feet to the curb so
it’s the difference that reaches the house. So, that house
stands to get really dirty. Our other one is far back.
But again, this project has to be done. If our property is
working now, it should be given back to us in that exact same
shape when it’s done. If something is damaged, there should be a
simple fix for people to call and the damages will be taken care
of. We should not have to be the ones to jump through hoops.
And, we are not getting straight answers. And, we want to
thank Pete Anderson for his expertise. Some of these things we
wouldn’t even know to bring up. We would just --- we are lucky
to have him in our neighborhood.
He mentioned something about reducing the --- and again, I
am not an engineer --- the snow shelf. To make it 3 to 5 feet.
I think that would reduce the amount of feet they have to come on
to our property. So, if that’s doable in front of our house,
maybe they need to look at that, again.
The other thing was we were told we could have the
guardrails back. But if we do it as part of the project, we have
to get the ugly, metal guardrails. We don’t want that. So, Tony
said that it would be after the project. I just want all of this
on the record. After the project, the highway department would
reinstall the guardrails we currently have. And, the purpose
they serve is since the three years the Town installed them for
us, the highway department has come down at the beginning of
every winter for the car that slides off of Brentwood, that’s a
steep road, right through the guardrail and breaks it. So, they
have to come back and repair it. They’ve done it three years in
a row. I have it documented with the highway department for each
year. I have the letters on record.
I have sent a certified letter documenting all this to the
Town and to Cardinal. I’m doing everything I can to protect us.
We don’t know what is going to come of it.
Town Council 36
And, then the other thing I asked to have back was the
rocks. Again, the big rocks serve the purpose for when that car
slides in the bad weather --- because a truck ended up at the
corner of our rental, almost in the woman’s bedroom. So, we need
that protection. Those accidents keep happening.
That project was approved to have that steep road put right
across from our driveway. So, um, we’ve been here a lot. I’m
not a complainer. I was so glad to have the Council people come
out and see I don’t complain for no reason. These are legitimate
concerns. I don’t feel they’ve been addressed because I haven’t
gotten good answers or good assurances if this happens, it’s
going to be a simple fix. And, that’s all I’m looking for.
I agree with Pete. I think you have to make sure that the
bottom of Whitman Road, that this project has enough drainage so
that the Town is not paying for something over again. I know
that it can’t be part of the project. I understand that. But it
can take into consideration what’s needed to properly drain the
water coming. We all know now that it’s constantly ripping up
the road and causing a dangerous road there.
So, we know that that has got to be addressed anyhow. So we
might as well do it right while we have it.
Personally, after what I saw today, I don’t think, I don’t
believe this plan is still ready to go for approval. I think
there’s still unanswered questions that are important questions
to be answered. And, I don’t think this is a project that should
be rushed just to get it out there.
When I have the company doing the plans coming down and
thinking they’re using old pipes that were abandoned by the Town
in 1998 as part of the drainage for our property, that’s a pretty
scary thought. So that doesn’t show me preparation on Cardinal’s
And, Pete brought up, we still need some more answers.
And, I still would like an answer. I would like some guarantees
that if we are damaged, we have a simple fix to it. And, that’s
all. It’s an important project. It needs, it’s going to be, you
know 80 percent funded for the Town of Southington. But we have
to do it right.
Supposing you don’t address these and then all of these
people come back and we don’t have simple fixes and we sue you.
We’re going to win if we sue you this time. Because I am not
going to go through what I did the last time. And, then it’s
going to cost the Town triple because of the lawsuits. Things
you can avoid by planning it properly to start. And, not rushing
something through. That’s all we’re asking.
Town Council 37
THE CHAIR: Would anyone else from Mt. Vernon Road like to
CICIELLA PISKO: 971 Mount Vernon Road. I’m the last house
past West Center Street Extension where the project starts.
Thirty of 35 years ago when the old new road came through, the
trees in front of my house were cut down. We bought and planted
new ones and it took years for them to make shade for the front
of my house. These trees are shade for my unair-conditioned
house. Plus, a source of protection from the traffic. And,
privacy for my picture window and my front yard.
Now, they want to cut them down. There should be a way to
put wells around them to safe them. But if they have to go,
there should be some kind of replacement to be put in there to
take care of it.
I understood at the last meeting that someone would contact
us and come to our home. I would like an on premises meeting.
I’m also concerned about the greater volume of water
running through to my backyard. I’m --- where the culvert runs
under the road and right into the swamp in back of me. The
outgoing culvert on West Center Street Extension usually is not
adequately cleaned for a good flow plus the runoff on the other
side makes a small pond that should be drained at the end so it
shouldn’t be a pond. And, the water should run right through.
Also, after living there all these years, I see no reason
for a catch basin on my side of the road. You showed one on the
right side of the driveway across the road. There should also be
one on the left side of the driveway to catch the water that
gushes down the side of the driveway into and across the road.
It has done damage to my drive and property a number of times.
The water, they come and sand the road every day in the
wintertime, I guess, because of the water gushing through there.
But there is no water on my side of the road. It’s just the
water that comes across the road. So, if there was a catch basin
on the other side of that driveway, it should eliminate that
problem. All the water problems come from the other side of the
Another concern and it probably doesn’t have anything to do
with this, but I don’t know if it was from the constructing up on
the other road but the water flows right into my garden, so I am
a little concerned about what’s in this water.
And, last, I need one to show me how far the fill is coming
down on the other side of the brook. Hopefully, it won’t
Town Council 38
interfere with my asparagus patch that is growing there. I’d
like someone just to come down and show me how far the fill is
going to come down from the road.
MR. TRANQUILLO: Mr. Chairman?
THE CHAIR: Are you all set?
THE CHAIR: Stay right there.
MR. TRANQUILLO: Could I ask her for her phone number so I
could call her?
THE CHAIR: Why don’t you just go up personally --- why
don’t you go up to Ms. Piscoe, Tony. She doesn’t have to say it
out loud on the microphone here.
ED NAZARO: I live at 1015 Mt. Vernon Road. There are two
general concerns that I have with this project. The first of
which is the widening and realignment of the road and the second
would be the physical landscaping alterations at the end of the
piece of the project where I live which is near West Center
Street Extension, like Mrs. Piscoe.
In regard to the widening of the road, the gentleman from
Cardinal noted that they reduced the width of the road from 32 to
30 feet. When you add in a snow shelf that is essentially a 40’
parcel that everyone’s going to have to deal with. It creates a
physical alteration to the road. But it seems that it would
create a situation by straightening that and widening it for more
and faster traffic on it.
Now, I’ve been told on several occasions that there are
numerous accidents that occur on the road and that the project is
designed to help reduce that as well as to help reduce or change,
stop any drainage problems which causes flooding and of course,
My question is if we’re able to fix the drainage problem,
why do you still need to widen the road? The speed limit is
essential 30 mph on that road. How many of the accidents that
have occurred over the years are by drivers traveling in excess
of 30 mph. So, if you essentially have better driving
conditions, i.e.: no water, no rain. Because you corrected
Town Council 39
And, someone is actually traveling the speed limit, how
many people are going to actually be going off the road? So, do
you really need to widen the road? I’m still perplexed as to the
need for that because this essentially changes the nature of the
How is it that the United States Postal Service designates
Mt. Vernon Road as a rural route? Yet, it seems that this would
essentially turn this into a semi-major thoroughfare. And, I’ve
been told that this is one of the three major north/south routes
through Town. But if the US Postal Service views it as rural,
who are we to look to alter that view? That would supercede, I
think us, I think in size and scope.
The second part of my concern is in the local aspect. I
live three houses down from West Center Street Extension. That
section of the project, the properties on the eastern side of Mt.
Vernon Road, typically slope downward from the road, itself. The
fill that would be needed, one for the snow shelf and two for
grading purposes, would essentially make these houses, like mine,
be viewed as if they’re in a hole.
So, the previous owner of my property went through a lot of
expense to help grade that to the road so it doesn’t give that
perception. So, my questions then would be what type --- has
anyone done any study as to what potential negative aspects on
property values were going to be created by essentially changing
the visual of homes like mine in that section of the road.
That’s my concern as to what we can do to prevent that if
we have to have it that wide. If it’s not, we don’t need that
much fill and we still have the aesthetic view that we’ve always
Thank you all for your time.
GINNY POTREPKA: Good evening. 1275 Mt. Vernon Road. I’ll
be very brief because I think my neighbors have hit on all the
hot spots tonight but just want to reiterate that my biggest
concern when we met last time was the speed that this road is
going to create. I know that there had been some assurances that
a speed study would be done. And, it’s my information that the
experts still feel that the average speed on Mt. Vernon Road is
currently in the low 30’s. Is that ---
MR. TRANQUILLO: We --- when we applied to CCRPA for this
project we were required to do a radar study, a hidden radar
survey, as we call it. That’s available for you. I don’t recall
the exact numbers.
MS. POTREPKA: Was that one study that you did on one day?
Town Council 40
MR. TRANQUILLO: That was basically a four-hour reading,
MS. POTREPKA: Well, my house at 1275 is located right on
the curve of this project and I can tell you right now, when I
come out of my driveway, because of that curve, I feel okay.
Because people see the curve sign and they slow down.
My fear is that with, you know, five, what we have nine
cars coming out of that driveway, you know, we have five drivers
in my house and my neighbor, who shares our driveway, also has
five or six drivers. It’s just a very unsafe situation.
So, speed is an issue on that road. It --- look at the
number of mailboxes that get knocked down and the number of
accidents. So, thank you.
THE CHAIR: Anyone else like to come forward?
Tony, on those comments tonight, Mr. Nazaro, Mrs. Rickard,
Mrs. Connaty, Mr. Anderson, Mrs. Piscoe and Mrs. Potrepka, can
you make sure they do get correspondence back from your office?
MR. TRANQUILLO: What I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, is
that I respond along with Cardinal. We put together a joint memo
where we will respond to each one of these items for you and the
THE CHAIR: Okay. All right, how long would you anticipate
a reply back? Just so that the residents, you know, if there is
MR. TRANQUILLO: I would say it is not probably going to be
this week, but next week some time. Next week some time it will
be responded to.
THE CHAIR: I mean, I want the response to be correct. I
mean, if you need three weeks, I mean, it’s certainly
appropriate. I want to tell the residents if they haven’t had a
response in two weeks, they’re going to call your office. Is
MR. TRANQUILLO: Yes, that’s fine.
THE CHAIR: Everyone hear that? Okay.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Dave and I did meet with the residents
there today and I guess the one --- Anne Marie’s well, I think
Dave and I both agree that that with the slope rights coming
there and the potential of having to possibly blast out that bump
Town Council 41
in the road there could cause some problems and I think we should
address probably ourself in some kind of session what may happen
I think if you look at the properties, Anne Marie has some
concerns with the snow shelf and the sloping and I know Peter has
addressed them pretty much but his was minor but yet it goes back
into his garage where he could possibly have water. But Ed’s
house and I think Dave you may have left at that time. Were you
MR.ZONI: No, you went down there.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Okay, if he’s correct, when Jack
Valentine owned that he did a nice job grading it and if you put
a snow shelf and they’re moving the road over, five feet to the
east so that’s going to take part of it, and then you’ve got ---
the grade is very severe now --- and then you’re going to put a
ten foot snow shelf. And, then you’re going to start grading.
Well, I think Tony you said that you possibly would shorten that
It’s almost to the point that if we can get a waiver from
some of these residents, that they will put a waiver to eliminate
the snow shelf in front of their house, because Ed has the
drainage set up on his driveway right now that takes it away from
his house and there’s no problems and he’s able to get up his
driveway which if we put a five foot closer to his house and then
a ten or even a five foot snow shelf, he’s going to have a hard
time getting out of there. And, it’s going to ruin, I agree with
him 100 percent, it’s going to ruin the front yard of his house.
He’s got a good system that Jack spent a lot of money on to get
the drainage to the back yard.
I think there’s other houses there that potentially could
take care of this. If you put the proper drainage in the street
and maybe beef that up a little bit, we don’t have to put the
We decided as a Council not to put sidewalks there because
we knew that there was grades on both sides of those streets that
would make it very difficult to set the topography after these
sidewalks were put in.
So, we’re eliminating a sidewalk, but we’re putting in a
snow shelf that’s almost the same purpose. I agree. Tony said
to me well it’s not quite as bad because you’re not going out as
far as if you put a sidewalk.
But still, just that five feet, in addition to moving the
street over five feet, I think is going to be a hardship not only
to Ed but after Tony left, Ed and I were talking, the person to
Town Council 42
the south of Ed. I don’t know how that person’s going to get out
of their driveway. It’s going to be impossibility. It’s going
to be an impossibility.
It’s something that really has to be looked at and I don’t
know what you can do to design it, but there’s got to be ways of
doing it. And, if it’s drainage and if the people will agree
that there’s no snow shelf there, yah, they say it’s going to be
easier getting out, it’s hard for me --- it almost looks like and
I said it that the car is going to teeter on this hump that’s at
the top of the hill.
But there’s curvature to it. I’m being facetious, Tony.
To criticize the design because --- but it’s just common sense
to me is that if the people are willing to have it without a snow
shelf and if we can do something with the drainage and if they
have drainage in their yards already to handle the snow shelf,
the water that comes in there, that we’re creating a problem that
doesn’t exist right now.
MS. TRIANO: I agree.
THE CHAIR: Are we all set?
MR. ZONI: I just want to ask Tony a couple of questions.
Tony, do you feel that there is going to be any engineering
issues that you will reach an impasse with the residents on and
that you won’t be able to ameliorate so to speak to their
MR. TRANQUILLO: I don’t know at this point. One instant
example is Mr. Anderson who wants his driveway to pitch out to
the road. We have to analyze that. We have to look at that and
see if there’s negative impacts on the west side of the road.
So, I can’t answer that tonight.
Let’s have a little chance to look through it. I’ll give
you a response to each one. I’ve taken very careful notes. Front
and back. We will respond to each issue.
As I said in my comments earlier, if you have 100 comments,
you may be able to take care of 70,80 or 90. But there’ll always
be a handful that, for whatever reason, you can’t address.
We’ll try, Councilman. We really honestly will try.
MR. ZONI: Mr. Anderson is very knowledgeable and it almost
makes me think when we do reconstruction in other neighborhoods
where Mr. Anderson doesn’t live, what happens there?
MR. TRANQUILLO: Councilman, we have reconstructed probably
50 miles of road in my 30 years here. We satisfy 98 percent of
Town Council 43
the people. There will always be the one or two percent that we
can’t accommodate. But we know what we’re doing.
MR. ZONI: Okay.
THE CHAIR: Okay, I think we’re all set with this item.
Cardinal is obviously on the audience. They’ve heard these
comments. I’m glad they are here to hear what the residents had
At this time I am going to move on with our Agenda. We are
going to move on with Councilmanic Communications.
MR. PALMIERI: Mr. Chairman, I’d like to make a motion to
add under Executive Session in addition to pending litigation,
THE CHAIR: And, I believe there’ll be two contracts, Mark?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Two contract matters, Mr. Chairman.
THE CHAIR: Okay. And, also, just for the public, there is
a possibility that after executive session, we might come back
out to vote. I want to make that very clear to everyone. That
the Agenda does not show --- it shows adjournment and then
executive session. We’re going to change the format of the
Agenda. After Miscellaneous, we’re going to go into executive
session, two items which will be contract related and the other
one is pending litigation. After executive session, we will come
back out. We will have to adjourn. But there is a possibility
that we might have further action on an item that will be before
us in executive session.
So, is everyone okay with that change in the Agenda?
MR. D’ANGELO: Second.
THE CHAIR: We have a second.
(Motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.)
We are in Councilmanic Communications. I do want to
welcome Councilman D’Angelo back. He had a rough couple of
weeks. He had some surgery and we’re very happy that everything
that went very well.
Town Council 44
MR. D’ANGELO: Thank you.
THE CHAIR: Welcome back.
MR. D’ANGELO: Thank you.
THE CHAIR: I just kind of talked to him a few times on the
phone and I was like --- um -- he was hurting pretty bad, so I’m
glad your --
MR. D’ANGELO: It was a wild two weeks.
THE CHAIR: --- much better.
MR. D’ANGELO: Appreciate it.
THE CHAIR: Bill?
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Yes, um, one issue I have and I’d just
like to bring it forth tonight is the ambulance review committee.
Tony D’Angelo and myself serve on that along with the Town
Manager and the Town Attorney and other members of the community,
police and fire.
I’m upset to the fact that at the last meeting we discussed
many of the calls and the reporting that we’re getting from the
provider of the service was incorrect and we were promised new
reports. Now, that’s about ten weeks ago and we have yet to
receive those reports.
And, they’re critical reports because it shows the
performance of the ambulance company. I know that based on our
review of the forms and a review of the --- following the
contract much closer, that they’re not always in the 90 percent
or very close to the 90 percent and sometimes below.
I don’t know why they’re not getting the reports back to
us. I’m not sure if we’re not following up on our end. But
that’s a major concern of mine and we’re also --- Tony and I are
supposed to be getting monthly reports from the ambulance
committee and we’re not getting that. So, I wish the Town
Manager could hopefully look into that.
But what I would like to propose is the ambulance review
committee set up a committee to meet monthly with the provider
and we met I think once or maybe twice and then a member of the
committee decided that that was --- it wasn’t worth it because
um, I’ll use a word that was used in Council Chambers, that I was
nitpicking too much to the ambulance company because I was
criticizing much of their --- much of their calls and why they
were saying they were exempt when I didn’t feel that they were
Town Council 45
So, it says, well, you are micromanaging, your nitpicking
and you’re doing this and so let’s not have these meetings.
Well, so the vote was not to have it.
I would like to propose that the Chairman of the Town
Council appoint an ad hoc committee comprised of Chuck Motes,
John Weichsel, Mark Sciota, Tony D’Angelo and myself to meet on a
monthly basis with AMR to review the monthly reports and to then
report those findings to the quarterly full Board, review board.
I personally feel it’s very important to the taxpayers that
we keep abreast of what is going on with the ambulance service to
make sure that we have the proper coverage in the Town of
Southington that we deserve.
And, if it comes to a point where there are problems, then
we have to address those problems but, we won’t know them, if we
keep waiting three months. We’re not going to be able to nip it
in the bud, as the saying goes.
And, we have to get the reports back from this company. It
was --- I was, I was very upset at the last meeting. Comments
made by the provider and other people that we’re just being
critical for no reason. We’re critical because Tony and I care.
We both care.
We both care about the dead spots that are in Town. Tony
mentioned it at the last meeting with CMED and those are concerns
of ours because people’s lives are at stake.
So, I would just bring that forward, Mr. Chairman, that if
you find it within your power to do that and would like to do
that, if Tony is in agreement with it, then I would like to re-
establish this as a Council committee so that it will continue to
be as a committee rather than just being dismissed by the other
MR. D’ANGELO: I think that started that about a half a
year or so ago. We met a couple of times on a monthly basis. So,
I would concur that we can continue doing this on a monthly
basis. Monitor and see if we want to change it, we could bring it
back up at the Council level again if we wanted to modify the
schedule. But just to start out on a monthly basis, I would
concur with Councilman Della Vecchia.
THE CHAIR: Very good. Bill, I think your point is well
taken. And, we will have an ad hoc committee that you had
recommended and I would certainly leave it up to the members to
work it among yourselves in terms of dates and times in terms of
having a regular schedule or however you want to run that.
Town Council 46
And, I think that’s a great idea. Thank you very much,
Bill, for bringing that forward.
There’s no objections on the Council?
VARIOUS VOICES: No.
MR. WEICHSEL: Might I just inquire? Bill, what reports
exactly? We do get the quarterly report. What are you referring
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: The monthly reports, John, that states
the amount of calls, the Priority Ones, the Priority Twos, the
percentages. They were incorrect at the last meeting and we were
told that we would be getting revised reports and ---
MR. WEICHSEL: Corrected reports.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: --- of the three months that we did two
and a half months ago. They haven’t been --- we have not
MR.WEICHSEL: Got it.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Another issue?
THE CHAIR: Absolutely.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Because I was absent. So, I have two
months, a month’s worth of comments to make up for.
This one is a tough one. Approximately five or six months
ago, a Councilperson suggested that a meeting be held with the
Town Engineer to discuss his workload. The individual was
concerned about roadwork, sewer repairs, special projects and the
like and why they weren’t being completed on a timely basis.
So, the meeting was held in which I attended, and Mr.
Tranquillo stated that many projects --- the many projects he was
working on. He stated at that time that he was two years behind
in his work.
When asked as to why he was so far behind, he stated the
incompetence of one of his employees. When asked as to how much
work he was getting out of his staff, his answer was fifty
percent. When asked why he was allowing this to continue and not
reprimanding his staff or make necessary changes, I was told by
the Administration that Bill, this is not like the private
sector. You can’t manage public sector employees the same way as
private sector. To this day, I don’t understand that logic and I
Town Council 47
don’t think I ever will. If we pay employees for a full week’s
work, I expect that we receive a week’s work.
Shortly after the meeting, there was a proposal to elevate
Mr. Tranquillo to Director of Public Works. I raised these issues
and the majority agreed at that time not to pursue the position.
In an event that I felt was unprecedented, Mr. Tranquillo
was allowed to come to an executive session and make a plea for
this position. I was very upset by the move and he was allowed
to stay while Councilmen discussed this until I recommended that
During the time when Mr. Tranquillo was at the Council
meeting, it was stated by one of the Council people that it
sounded like Tony was pleading to keep his current job, let alone
looks towards the new one.
So, the result of this meeting were mixed and I was unsure
as to what was going to happen.
Well, I was missing at the last meeting, so you know the
I had personal experience as to the inefficiency of the
department in a prior life. It would take an extraordinary
length of time for people to get inspections and to have letters
prepared for the reduction and release of bonds for certain
projects in Town. In one case, I had to send an email to the
Town Manager as several people were waiting one, two and even
three months for letters to be sent to the Town Planner for
reduction of the bonds.
Wait one second. It was also understood at one of these
meetings when the question of salary was asked, that we had
already approved the budget and that if this went through, there
would be no increase in the 2007-2008 fiscal year.
I’d like to have more discussion on the job description for
the Director of Public Works and also clarify how this would
effect the other departments going forward. My fear is that we
would now have three inefficient departments instead of one.
I would like my fellow Council people to rethink the action
and rescind the action of 6-11. We should wait until Mr.
Tranquillo gets his own department current and efficient before
we give him the authority over two additional departments.
Town Council 48
At this time, I would like to ask the Town Manager, if I
may, um, what the current work schedule is of the Town Engineer.
MR.WEICHSEL: Work schedule?
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Yah.
MR. WEICHSEL: Well, I can’t cite it out of my head. We
have eleven, I think it is, major projects ---
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: No, I’m talking about hourly. Weekly,
hourly schedule? Is it 8:30 to 4:30?
THE CHAIR: Bill, I mean, I think these are legitimate
comments and you can continue, but maybe it might be appropriate
to get some of this information in executive session. And, then
we could, obviously, if you want to continue this line on
questioning on personal issues, you have that right as a
councilman. It’s just a suggestion that maybe it might be more
appropriate. It is dealing with someone’s career. It is a
personnel issue. Certainly, that would be my suggestion. But as
a sitting Councilperson, you have every right to continue this
line of questioning, but it’s just a suggestion.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Out of respect for Mr. Tranquillo, I
will not pursue it any further.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: I have a question regarding something
that’s coming up and I’ll wait until that comes up later.
And, I guess one of my concerns is that there has been a
communication that was received, it’s dated May 25th. I’m not
sure of the date of the receipt. I was told it probably came in
later than that, but there’s a letter from the Registrar of
Voters that was addressed to the Town Council Chairperson and
carboned to the Town Council members requesting something to be
put on the Agenda and I haven’t, I don’t see it on the Agenda.
And, I don’t know whether it was ---
THE CHAIR: Yes, I ---
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Okay, I heard you say it.
THE CHAIR: No, no, no. It’s a public document. Um, I, it
is funded under the existing budget according to the Town Manager
and I think it was more of an administrative decision. It would
be unusual for the Council, I mean, it historically has not been
Town Council 49
usually the Council has not gone into that depth on that type of
So, I think the administration handled it internally.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: There was another letter that was sent
--- it’s just a question of Agenda items. There was a letter that
was sent and now resent by the BOE regarding the middle school,
whether we agreed to it or not agreed to it, it should’ve been an
Agenda item because it was sent for the entire Council to discuss
and that’s over a month ago.
THE CHAIR: It will be on the --- actually, I was going to
announce we are inviting the BOE to our July 9th meeting. It will
be listed under Councilmanic Communications. It does deal
strictly with the third middle school issue. So, as we all know,
we did form a -- I guess it’s a committee that looked at maybe a
compromise on the 100 million plus projects. Ultimately, the
Council in a bipartisan approach did go forward with the
elementary school projects.
I can pull the Minutes. I think the BOE is aware of the
Council’s discussion on the third middle school. Certainly, they
can come before the Council and we’ll entertain more discussion
on the third middle school at the July 9th meeting. I don’t know
if the Council is going to change or the BOE is going to change.
Obviously, there’s a discussion. It can’t hurt. See where
everyone is. I think as you are aware, Bill, there was a
meeting, internal meeting, with a Republican member and a
Democratic member that you know, with the administration,
concerning the third middle school in terms of other options that
we thought the Town might have available to them.
But one thing ---
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: I wasn’t aware of that.
THE CHAIR: --- the Council does not set education policy.
So, it’s certainly up to the BOE to set the policy that they
believe is in the best interest of the students and ultimately it
comes down to the nine members here on the Council if they want
to move forward with a project of that magnitude.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: No, I think it was just a courtesy, Mr.
Chairman, that if a letter comes from another department ---
we’re talking about communications and all -- that if it comes,
so the other Council people know what actions we are going to be
taking on something like that.
THE CHAIR: And, based on Mr. Pomposi’s comments tonight, I
think it would be appropriate that we have our workshop next
Town Council 50
Tuesday, I mean not next Tuesday, the Tuesday, I’m sorry, the
Monday of our next Council meeting, have that workshop prior to
the Council meeting to try to fast track the fiscal policy issue.
So, I will also ask the Town Attorney to send a letter to
the BOE and to the BOF that we will hold a workshop prior to the
Council meeting--- the date is July 9th. So, is that okay with
everyone here on the Council?
Since the BOE will be invited to the July 9th meeting, it
might be nice just to get the fiscal policy workshop completed on
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: We have a 7:00 public hearing. So you
want to do it at 6:00?
THE CHAIR: I think the best would be an hour with the
three Boards. I know 6:00 might be tough for some people’s work
schedules, but I think it’s important that we get this moved
Anything else tonight, Bill?
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Yes, I just want to thank you for
holding off on setting a walk through the bulky waste facility
until I returned. I appreciate that very much. So, whenever
you’re available, I’m available any time, any day.
THE CHAIR: We’ll coordinate a time internally so, I don’t
think it has to be a Council action. We’ll just have the Town
Manager --- obviously, Bill, you are pretty flexible with your
new schedule, so ---
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Thank you.
THE CHAIR: We’ll work out something.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Unfortunately, for some people, I guess.
I have more time to formulate my thoughts.
THE CHAIR: I was at your retirement party and I said, um,
I should’ve said this, I go, you know, you’re going to have a lot
of time on your hands, what’re we going to do? But --
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: I think one comment I made, just in
case you had left already was that my goal now in life was to
make your life miserable!
Town Council 51
THE CHAIR: Actually, you make my life interesting.
All right. It’s worked out very nice.
MR.WEICHSEL: Mr. Chairman, just a quick note to the
Councilman. This Board voted to not have a third middle school.
So, when I got the follow on letter, I sent it to you under the
assumption that if you wanted it on the Agenda, it would then be
incumbent upon somebody to contact the Chairman.
I felt you had, frankly, decided that issue, so I didn’t
think of listing it.
THE CHAIR: Well, I think the BOE is very ---you know,
they’re very serious about the matter. They think it’s in the
best interest of the community. I certainly would be more than
MR. WEICHSEL: Well, I understand now.
THE CHAIR: That’s a good point. I mean, the Council did
MR. WEICHSEL: Nine to zero, I think it was.
THE CHAIR: --- an opinion but um, there’s nothing wrong
with talking about it and maybe we can get some good information,
productive information from that meeting. So, we’ll see what
Any other Councilmanic Communications?
MR. ZONI: Yes. Just one item. Mr. Chairman, on May 30th,
I asked the Council to develop a consensus opinion to move
forward with a November 2007 referendum for the funding of the
construction costs associated with Phase II of the Rails to
I believe it is in the best interest of the community to
vote on this type of project in a general election as opposed to
a special referendum. I would like to thank the Chairman for
adding this item to the last meeting’s Agenda.
And, I would also like to thank my fellow Council members
for engaging this issue and what I felt was a very productive
Town Council 52
However, as a result of our discussion on this matter and
in light of several concerns that were raised during that
dialogue, I would like to withdraw my proposal at this time for a
November, 2007 referendum.
I believe the concerns that were raised at that meeting
regarding the possible outside sources of funding, a more
accurate estimate of the total expenditures associated with the
project and a more detailed plan regarding possible adverse
construction and design issues were legitimate concerns.
I believe that that passage of time will mitigate these
concerns and allow us to move forward on this project with a
greater level of confidence and unanimity.
As you know, we did vote to move ahead with the engineering
process. I am very happy about that and I intend on staying
vigilant on this issue. I believe the current portion of the
Trail has been very well received by the community and I believe
that a further expansion would have broad base support, as well.
THE CHAIR: Thank you, Dave. Any other Councilmanic
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Mr. Chairman, if I may, I suggest you put
that on for Old Business to authorize or withdraw your request
for --- the order standing is for the Manager to start working on
that. So, we should take a formal vote on that.
MR. PALMIERI: Make a motion to add under Old Business,
Item H, withdrawal of Rails to Trails request.
MS. LONGO: Second.
(Motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.)
THE CHAIR: Any other Councilmanic Communications?
All right. We’re going to move into the Town Manger’s
V. Town Manager’s Report and Communications
A. Property & Casualty Insurance bid
THE CHAIR: Obviously, I think there was much
disappointment by members of the Council that only two bids were
received. I do believe and I want to echo Councilman Secondo. He
Town Council 53
could not make it tonight. He’s laid up -- not feeling well
But he was also concerned of the little interest shown to
bid on our insurance package. It has come to the attention of
some members of the Council that there really probably was not
adequate time for some outside companies to bid.
For whatever reason, I know, um, it’s discouraging that we
only have two bids. However, I think, I’m not quite sure what is
going to happen tonight on this issue, but um, we should
immediately give enough time, whatever we do with the present
bids, that we reopen this for new bids at least six months prior
to the --- whatever we do with the contract, whatever the new
firm or company that’s hired, uh, six months prior to the
expiration of their contract. I think it should be opened up
Townwide, Statewide to try to get a more --- good participation
in that bid.
MR. PALMIERI: Mr. Chairman, just to start off.
Mr. Weichsel, what is the timeframe we’re looking at? Is
this something that needs to be acted on tonight?
MR.WEICHSEL: It really should be if at all possible. There
are major financial increments if we delay. It can be done.
They can’t just shut us off but Mark got into it and he can tell
you in detail if you wish, it’s pretty expensive if we even go
one month beyond. There’s a lot of penalties if we do that.
Especially if it happens to be the fact that we’re changing
actual carriers on the HD Segur bid, so it’s not that you have
the same carriers who might be more willing to do that. So, if
you want the exact dollars, Mark can give you that.
MR. PALMIERI: Well, at this point, it doesn’t seem like we
have much choice. But why, can you explain a little bit the
process to why we only have two bids submitted for this proposal?
MR.WEICHSEL: Well, the main reason is that the Town is not
a desirable customer. People forget that we are a terrible
customer. We have things like pcbs at the high school and crashes
and terrible things. So, we’ll, the administration will
certainly give more time though I respectfully suggest that six
months would be self defeating. Then they’ll say, we can’t bid
six months ahead. We don’t know. That’s too much to ask.
But we are number one, not a great customer. And, that’s
pretty much it. But we’ll see next year whether ---I would
recommend 90 days.
MR. PALMIERI: What is the timeframe you gave this year?
Town Council 54
MR. WEICHSEL: This was --
MS.PORTELINHA: Four week. We gave them four weeks. And,
we did, I want to, if I may speak?
THE CHAIR: Oh, absolutely. Go ahead, Emilia.
MS. PORTELINHA: We put the bids out. We gave the
proposers four weeks in order to respond. And, we did have six
requests for proposal packages.
Although I did hear that people, that someone felt that
they didn’t have enough time to submit the bid, that was after we
had closed the bid when I was made aware of that. At that point.
In the past, we’ve given probably four weeks or maybe
somewhat less than that. So that is what we have done here in
MR. PALMIERI: Okay, and that’s one of the four. What about
the other three that requested ---
MS. PORTELINHA: Six requested.
MR. PALMIERI: Six requested. Two bid. One you said
indicated they didn’t have enough time. What about the other
MS. PORTELINHA: The others, I didn’t hear from directly.
One just sent me a letter indicating that they would not be
bidding on our insurance. Thank you very much for the
information, but that they weren’t interested.
And, I did hear from CIRMA which was one of our actual
bidders, that a couple of other agencies had approached her and
wanted to use her insurance to bid out as a carrier and she said,
well, I’m bidding myself.
So my thought process is that there’s limited carriers
available that would cover us so that they’ve already been taken
up by the people who are currently bidding out insurance.
MR. WEICHSEL: We have tremendous problems in liability.
For example, any sidewalk falldown, hundred miles of sidewalk, we
end up paying. Snow damages. We are not the world’s greatest
So, I’ll gladly give more time but you’ll be surprised. We
won’t have too many ---
Town Council 55
THE CHAIR: Okay, I understand. This is a very important
issue for Town. I just want to make some points clear.
The Town has 52 locations, 76 pieces of scheduled
equipment, and 198 Town vehicles. Now, I haven’t verified those
numbers but this is what was provided to me. Every risk
management professional would agree that this is not an account
that can be quoted in a short period of time.
So, when you are outside, someone like our present carrier,
they have all that information. So, it’s very easy for them to
rebid he package.
So, someone that’s outside has to obtain all that type of
information. So a new carrier would require much more advance
time for loss control inspections of the facilities. In-depth
claim review. Interviews. Requests for procedures and safety
So maybe six months is extensive, okay? But I want to put
the administration on notice that 120 days is minimal for a new
carrier, I believe, to have to bid on the Town’s insurance.
MR.WEICHSEL: We can do that. We certainly can.
THE CHAIR: When you say we’re a bad client --- well, I
don’t know if we are or aren’t. But I think businesses will
probably be excited to bid on the Town’s insurance.
MR.WEICHSEL: We’re kind of sign curve. Over the years,
and I’ve been at it as you know quite a long time, at times
people will run at us and other times they say go to blazes. Up
and down. Up and down.
But Mr. Chairman, the administration will be perfectly
happy to give 90 or 120 if you’re firm on that number and we’ll
see how that works out.
THE CHAIR: Okay.
MR.PALMIERI: Mark, I have another question for you. We
have two bids for us. Is it incumbent on us to take the low bid?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: No.
MR.PALMIERI: So, can we hear a little bit about the
difference between these two companies to ---
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: We are going to be discussing this matter
in executive session and I respectfully suggest we wait to that
Town Council 56
MR. WEICHSEL: Since it is going to be in executive
session, are we ready to continue with the Agenda?
THE CHAIR: Yah, I want, it’s clear that we’re going to be
going over this in executive session. So, my anticipation is we
will have, we will have a decision tonight.
Any other questions on it?
Are we all set? Okay.
B. Request of BOE to alter former Vo-Ag labs and to pursue
State grants - $910,000 project (Attachment 5)
MR. WEICHSEL: You have copies of the requested resolutions.
I was asked before the meeting by a member of the BOF if this
committed the Town. That answer is no. It does not commit the
Town. It is a step but it is a step that can be stopped if down
the road for whatever reason the fiscal authorities, the BOF and
yourselves, decide not to go.
But conversely, if we do not do this, then if those in
favor of it, would be put back at least a year.
Mr. Cox is here and can probably answer ---
THE CHAIR: Yes, I will limit communications between the
Chairman and Mr. Cox. Any other communication on this we will
entertain during public communications.
So, if Mr. Derynoski and Mr. Cox want to come forward.
Whatever you’d like to add.
DAVID DERYNOSKI: Sure, I just want to actually just
clarify some of the misinformation, which I think is out there.
Preliminarily --- well, let me back up a little back.
Back in 2003, when the vo ag project was initiated and the
Town went forward with a 95 percent reimbursement because of it
being a regional school project, it was clearly outlined at that
point that anything involving the current high school would be
held out as a separate project to be considered after the
completion of the vo ag program.
We initiated that discussion early on so that everybody was
made aware of it and it seems as if for some reason the thoughts
are that the vo ago program now is running over budget.
That is not the case. We are well within the $10 million
limit that was established. The building committee, I thought,
did a great job.
Town Council 57
As you recall, when this project was put together, it was
pre-Katrina. And, when everything was put out to bid, we were $3
million over budget. During the course of value engineering and
a series of adjustments that needed to be made, the project went
forward and we did have a completed project, which we had the
grand opening just a few weeks ago. You first hand saw what the
Unfortunately, there were some issues that were part of the
original plan which were not able to be met. Parking, I guess,
was one item. You know, because of the layout that needed to be
done with the structure in order to get it within the cost
constraints. We were, I think the original plan that was laid
out was like 90 plus parking spots and we ended up with just
There is some areas up in the upper area where the current
vo ag is that we were planning to have as part of the project,
have some parking put up there. But again, cost constraints were
such that something needed to be cut and that was some of the
area that we addressed.
The dollars that are represented currently are current
dollars with a factor, I believe it was 4 percent, Fred, you
used? Fred can go into some of the details as to how those
numbers were established.
But the original discussion back in ‘03, which was four
years ago, I think we came up with an estimate that time of
around $500,000. Again, pre-Katrina numbers.
With the numbers that are currently there based upon more
knowns, you know, the number is what you have and I think it’s
910. That also covers some other issues regarding unknowns at
the time regarding some environmental issues with the animal
labs. At that time we weren’t clear as to what was really going
to be involved with clean up. You just can’t take an animal lab
and turn it into a classroom without doing some major
environmental clean up. Those areas are now addressed.
We made this presentation back in January when we sat
before the Council and outlined our plans to go forward with a
So, anyway, that’s where we are at this particular
Fred, anything you wish to add?
If there are any questions on the Council, we’ll be happy
to address them.
Town Council 58
THE CHAIR: I don’t have the Minutes in front of me. There
seemed to be some discrepancy in terms of the BOE’s motion at the
meeting of how much the project would cost. I know we had the
request in at $910,000 and I think the BOE’s motion was 871,000?
MR. DERYNOSKI: Eight seventy-two.
THE CHAIR: I am not debating it. It’s not a big money
difference. But how does it go from --- if the BOE made a motion
of 872, was it a general motion and the administration can make
it 910? I’m just curious because in the BOE Minutes, I don’t ---
don’t quote me, I don’t remember seeing the 910 as part of the
motion by the BOE. How did you come up with 910 if the motion
was actually 870?
MR. COX: Okay, in my communication to the Town Manager,
asking for the resolutions this evening, I did attach an
architectural estimate dated October of ’06. This is what went
into the Town--- the BOE’s budget this past fall.
As noted at the bottom, you’ll see that the architect has
indicated to 4 percent escalation for costs for each year the
project is postponed. For that reason, I’ve added and brought it
up to $910,000 as I’ve indicated on the handout. That’s 2008-09
THE CHAIR: Okay, I’ve got you.
MR. COX: That’s where that went knowing that it’s out.
MR. D’ANGELO: So, the original was 872,000 from the
capital project back in October ---
MR. COX: That’s correct.
MR. D’ANGELO: --- based on the architect’s just this
recently, you know, we’re talking 2008.
Now, what would be the timeline for this project?
MR. COX: Timeline for the project is should the resolutions
be passed and subsequently the dollars approved by the Town
committed to the project ---
MR. D’ANGELO: Do we have this June 30th as a deadline?
MR. COX: Yes, you do.
MR. D’ANGELO: So, this week is the deadline for this
MR. COX: That’s correct. Yes.
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MR. D’ANGELO: Or what happens?
MR. COX: Well, what would happen ---
MR. D’ANGELO: What if we say no?
MR. COX: What would happen now if you say no? We would go
(End of Tape #2, Side A)
(Beginning of Tape #2, Side B)
THE CHAIR: (Continuing) --- didn’t go over budget. I
mean, I think, you know the headline was very inaccurate.
In terms of the project, obviously, it’s important for the
high school to have the additional space. I don’t think any one
can argue that. It is a very large high school.
MR. DERYNOSKI: If I may, there’s approximately 10,000 sf
at the high school that was being used for the vo ag program.
The BOE has adjusted, modified roughly 5400 sf, you know, for
three classrooms, small office, mechanical room and two labs.
Those have all been basically converted into a normal high school
The areas that we’re looking to do now under this
renovation is about 4600 sf. And, that includes the animals, the
shop areas and the greenhouse. All three of those area need
major renovations because of issues involving fertilizer
activity, plantings, special ---
MR. COX: Floor drainage.
MR. DERYNOSKI: Floor drainage systems, shop areas with
oils and such that have over the years generated into those walls
and floors. And, the animal labs which need to be cleaned up
because of the residue left by animals.
That all needs to be done in order to turn it into a
classroom environment. There’s certain clean up activity that
needs to be done.
MR. D’ANGELO: So you are converting that into classroom
then, needed classrooms.
MR. DERYNOSKI: Yes.
THE CHAIR: Everyone all set?
Town Council 60
Okay, the resolution is before us so we’ll see what
MR. COX: Okay, now I just want to make clear the
resolution is one part of the number of items that have to be
into the state for June 30th.
Without appropriate financing that may or may not also slow
it down to the following year.
THE CHAIR: Well, the thing you need from --- my
understanding from the Town Manager was the resolution was what
was needed tonight. Are you indicating that’s not what --- you
need more tonight from us?
MR. COX: Well, I indicated that the financing also must be
in place for the application to be complete. The state
facilities unit does have some flexibility on that.
MR. WEICHSEL: Well that would be quite impossible. The BOF
does not ---
THE CHAIR: Yah, Mr. Cox ---
MR. COX: I do realize that.
THE CHAIR: --- it has not gone before the BOF. It is at a
late hour in terms of the process. I understand --- it’s our
last meeting before June 30th so, the request came in and we put
it on the Agenda as soon as we got the request. So, I mean--
MR. D’ANGELO: Well, just approving this, will this be
enough to get it up there for June 30th.
MR. COX: This would allow it to go up to the state level
and they would determine at that point whether or not the funding
needs to be in place also. That can take place within the Town
system here during the summer or early fall. It really depends
on how the state views it at that time.
MR. D’ANGELO: I do have a question for the Town Attorney.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Yes?
MR D’ANGELO: What if we put another resolution in here
about the funding that could something like you know, the Town
reserves the right to reject any bonding requests for this
project and could require the costs to be absorbed by the BOE
budget. Would that take care of the process?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Well, I think what Mr. Cox is asking for
is I know the state has a boilerplate, if the Council wants to
Town Council 61
modify the boilerplate, that’s within your purview. I don’t
think that’s going to stop anything because technically you
already have that right but adding the language in there,
certainly I don’t think the state is going to reject it based
upon that because that’s local issues. Their whole thing is to
make sure that it’s at that level.
Now, what Mr. Cox is saying is that getting the application
in simply means getting the resolution at this point. They may
not move forward with it because the funding wasn’t in place or
they may say, okay, you have that resolution here but we need
funding by a certain date. And, I think that is probably what
they’re going to say.
They’re going to say, okay, we’ll accept it for the grant
for this year, but we’re going to need funding by a certain date.
I don’t think modifying the resolution is going to change the
state’s decision on that part of it.
MR. ZONI: What would that hypothetical be?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: I have no idea but the state --- the
state usually doesn’t just reject, and correct me if I’m wrong,
Fred -- if you get the resolution in there, they’re not going to
reject it based upon no funding being currently. But they may
say to you, okay, we’ll put you on for this fiscal year, the 07-
08 year, but you must have funding in place by a certain date or
you lose your space and somebody else takes your spot. That’s
more than likely what might happen here.
MR. D’ANGELO: Will this tie us into this?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: No, because nothing the state can do can
tie you into it. All the state can say is yes, we approve this
for the 50 or 51 or 52 percent, the current?
MR. COX: We’re 52 percent.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: The 52. All they can say is that we will
approve you for the 52 percent. If you at the local level say
that’s fine but we don’t want to go forward with it for this
particular year, you have all the rights to do that. The state
can’t force you to do it. All they can say is that the grant is
available to you.
MR. D’ANGELO: Can we say yes, we’ll do it but we don’t,
we’re not going to use Town funds.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Well, there is always Town funds. The
question is where it comes from. Yah, it’s always going to be
Town funds because that 48 percent has got to come from somewhere
and whether you request that the BOE take it out of operationals
Town Council 62
or you use your surplus or you use a bonding method, those are he
three ways you can do it.
MR. D’ANGELO: That’s to be determined later on?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: To be determined, yes.
MR. WEICHSEL: That’s a local determination. The state
really wouldn’t be involved in where the money comes from.
MR. D’ANGELO: Thank you. So at least we do have some
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Oh, this would be the first step. Of
course, you still would have to go through your other steps.
MR. D’ANGELO: Um-hum. Thank you.
THE CHAIR: All set? Thank you.
C. Appointment: Conservation Commission Alternate, 1
member, term to April 2009
THE CHAIR: We’re not ready for action on that appointment.
Do you want to move to the Board of Finance?
D. Report of Board of Finance
MR. WEICHSEL: You have received copies of the report of
the Board of Finance. Are there any questions on the BOF report?
THE CHAIR: Bill has a question.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: First of all, I think it’s, I said this
once before, it’s very difficult to act on something that you
just received but one of the items is in the sewer operating
fund. It’s a very large appropriation, $160,000. I know it’s a
separate fund, but it’s still $160,000.
Now, it’s for utilities and heating.
MR. WEICHSEL: Right.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Now, are they under the same area that
we lock a price in on the fuel costs and we would know that at
budget time what that figure was?
MR. WEICHSEL: Yes, but --- well, they are --- in certain
areas we have locked in on two items. But they have a whole
variety of utilities down there.
They have many ---
Town Council 63
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Besides fuel for the ---
MR. WEICHSEL: Yes, they have ---
MR. DDLLA VECCHIA: -- vehicles and for heating?
MR. WEICHSEL: They have a variety of things. I don’t have
it in my head but there are many items. I don’t recall just what
the main items were now.
THE CHAIR: Emilia is here.
MS. PORTELINHA: Mr. Della Vecchia, if I could?
We did lock in the utilities but we locked them in
effective January 2007 and at that point the rates had already
increased and that’s where we locked in. So we’re covered going
forward for the next five years with the electric. And, we’re
locked in with the gas for three years. But um, as far as the --
- it’s still quite a dramatic increase from the past, the
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Well, if I may, Mr. Chairman, to Emilia?
MS. PORTELHINA: Certainly.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: What was their original budget for that
account? Do you have an idea, a rough idea?
MS. PORTELINHA: Um, bear with --- um.
Bear with me a second here.
I don’t have a current budget. But I do have the new
THE CHAIR: Emilia, do you want the July 1st, 2007? You
MS. PORTELINHA: No. That’s what I have here.
THE CHAIR: Okay.
MS. PORTELINHA: Yah.
Town Council 64
Um, their utilities and heating, um, for 06-07 is half a
million. So they are going to need approximately 160,000 more.
I believe that’s what the request was?
MR. WEICHSEL: Yes.
MS. PORTELINHA: Yes. Because we’re talking such large
amounts, I mean, the plant uses up a great deal of electricity.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: So we have 500,000 for 06-07 --
MS. PORTELINHA: Correct.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: And, this 160 is to get them through to
the end of 06-07.
MS. PORTELINHA: Correct.
MR. WEICHSEL: Correct.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Mr. Zoni, this is more than three
MR. ZONI: Absolutely.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: I just wanted to say that because
you’re always saying that.
MR. ZONI: And, I am going to continue saying it, as well.
MR. WEICHSEL: Bill, you may recall that we opted in a
sense to form a gamble. We agreed to pay more in the short run
and we believe looking at the way utilities have gone that we
will over the five year period, we will be ahead of the game by
having in locked in. You may recall that.
MS. PORTELINHA: And, I believe that we’re actually a
little bit less than what CL&P is currently charging. So, we are
already a little bit in the favorable arena.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Thank you.
THE CHAIR: We are still on the Board of Finance. I think
Councilman Palmieri has a comment.
MR. WEICHSEL: Yes?
Town Council 65
MR. PALMIERI: My comment was going to be exactly what Mr.
Della Vecchia said. We get these the night of the meeting, we
don’t even have time to look them over. And, then to act on it
that night, it’s very difficult.
I understand their meeting was last week but to act on
something that we just get this evening makes it very difficult.
MR. WEICHSEL: Yah, well, the stenographer for that -- will
have to speed up!
MR. PALMIERI: That wasn’t really my point.
MR. WEICHSEL: Well, let’s be frank. That’s where it is
MS. PORTELINHA: And, we did have a little problem with the
copy machine, too. There were a couple of missing pages that I
had to rush and get them in there for you. So, it was just a
compilation of things. But we did get them --- as soon as we had
them we made them available.
THE CHAIR: We could, I mean, it is important to act on the
Board of Finance tonight.
MS. PORTELINHA: Yes.
MR. WEICHSEL: It is. Because we’re at the end of the
THE CHAIR: So, what we can do, let me just offer a
suggestion. If people need time we can table the matter during
action, we could come back after executive session. I want to
give everyone enough time. If it takes an hour, whatever it
might do, to review the Minutes, if that’s what you need, but it
should be acted on tonight.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: I read the Minutes this afternoon, Mr.
THE CHAIR: Very good.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: That’s why I come up with those
THE CHAIR: It is a challenge. I’m sure Mr. Palmieri makes
MR. WEICHSEL: The luxury of a retiree.
Town Council 66
THE CHAIR: Mr. Palmieri makes a good point, but it is
crucial that we act on it tonight.
MR. PALMIERI: I also want to say I’m very disappointed
over the community service issue. Mr. Weichsel, I mentioned this
at our last meeting here. This was an oversight during the
budget process. I wish there was a little bit more on your part
to communicate that because that exact point was brought up
during the meeting.
I understand you did send it in writing but that issue was
brought up and it was not discussed by you at that point what had
happened during the budget process.
So, I am very disappointed with the result and the table of
MR. WEICHSEL: Excuse me, Councilman, I did discuss it
orally supplementing my letter. Some of the members are here. I
think they will affirm that fact that I talked about it as a
mistake. They chose not to do what I had requested.
THE CHAIR: Chris, do you know what I think it’s important
to have people understand on this issue. We never interfered
with the Town Manager and he can verify this in terms of when he
set the numbers, you had no interference in terms of when you set
your budget numbers.
MR. WEICHSEL: Right.
THE CHAIR: What transpired is that there was a reorg --
well, I don’t want to, Chris maybe you can explain this better in
terms of how we came up with those numbers. So, it wasn’t an add
on in addition to the Town Manager’s recommendations. So, Chris,
do you want to just explain that?
People I think were getting confused that it’s more than
what he originally had in his budget. Do you want to touch on
MR. PALMIERI: Once the budget was prepared. Janet had
mentioned she needed certain components of her budget. So, the
budget was eliminated to make up for the amount of money needed
to bring that position back.
As a result, the money, the additional money was cut and
that position was never restored back to its original position.
This was supposed to have been part of the budget process
and done that way. I do see, I do see you mentioned it but, I
mean, there are pointed questions and they’re good points. And,
Town Council 67
I wish there was a little bit more communication at that point
directly from you explaining exactly what I just explained.
MR. WEICHSEL: I thought I had. The Board of Finance is a
very independent group and they don’t always do what I suggest.
THE CHAIR: They are, John makes a good point, they’re an
independent group and they’re going to make their decision based
on what they think is best. Ultimately, it will come back to the
Council and the Council will ultimately have to make a decision.
All right. Any other questions on the Board of Finance?
All right. Why don’t we move on to the Liberty Street
E. 31 Liberty Street – Renaissance (Attachment 6)
MR. WEICHSEL: Tony, why don’t you --- do you have that
figure in front of you?
MR. TRANQUILLO: Yah, I have it in my memory.
MR. WEICHSEL: Well, the, the amount we’re talking about is
16,707 to have the new building sidewalk in front of 31 Liberty
Street conform to the concept of the Renaissance with pavers and
granite curbing and so on.
And, Tony and I recommend that we accept that as somewhat
of an extension of the very fine Renaissance Program that we
I don’t know if you want to add anything, Tony?
MR. ZONI: I noticed this would create a gap in our current
renaissance pavers to this new location. A gap that consists of
17 Liberty Street and 21 Liberty Street. Obviously, these are
different property owners, but would it be appropriate for the
Town to send a letter to those property owners providing we
approve this other request and ask them if they would like to get
onboard at this time? So that we can complete the entire length.
MR. WEICHSEL: We’re going to embarrass them into doing it.
MR. ZONI: Well ---
MR.WEICHSEL: I will do that.
Town Council 68
THE CHAIR: Any questions on this item?
We’ll move on to the Town Attorney’s Report.
VI. Town Attorney’s Report
A. High St. Abandonment & Realignment
THE CHAIR: This is considering the Meridian Project.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Yes, Mr. Chairman, if you look behind
you, the Meridian project, as you know, is moving forward through
our Town boards. It’s received wetlands approval. It’s
currently in front of the PZC.
One of the aspects is a request to the Town for the
realignment and the abandonment of a portion of High Street.
This has been reviewed extensively by our Engineering Department
and has received an 8-24 favorable referral from the PZC.
The pink area that you see there is currently Town
property. That would be transferred over to the Meridian group.
The gray area, you see there’s three of them --- one large
triangle, a corner and then another triangle. That would be
transferred over to the Town of Southington for realignment and
making the curve much safer.
At this point the administration and the engineering
department agree with the current proposal. We would suggest a
THE CHAIR: Is everyone all set with this item?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: The 8-24 referral was favorable.
THE CHAIR: In terms of scheduling a public hearing. Any
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: I don’t believe there’s going to be much
conversation about it once it goes to public hearing. I know you
have a 7:00 elderly tax on the 9th. Maybe you want to do 7:25.
If not, push it to your August meeting. It’s up to you,
THE CHAIR: If we do it in August, is that a challenge for
Town Council 69
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: No. They will not receive planning &
zoning by August.
THE CHAIR: Okay, so why don’t we schedule it for the
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: At 7:25?
THE CHAIR: That’s fine.
Any other questions? Bill?
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: I know there’s going to be a public
hearing, but my quick question is, what is the staff’s concern
about the proximity to the Rails to Trails of that intersection?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: I’ll let Tony talk about that. But the,
we were talking about several different things including a
sidewalk there but I think those issues have been resolved. From
an engineering standpoint, I’ll let Tony talk about that.
MR. TRANQUILLO: We’re going to have a sidewalk, a six foot
sidewalk along the west side of that street which will actually
be on the Rails to Trails property.
But the actual Trail itself is probably 15 feet away from
the edge of road, so we feel that it would be more than safe.
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Thank you.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Mr. Chairman, if I may, with your
indulgence, I’d like to thank the Parking Authority and the area
not only residents but the commercial area to --- our parking lot
came out very, very nice. Everyone cooperated. Jack Daly did a
nice job with the traffic. And, I thank the engineering
department the Parking Authority for that.
THE CHAIR: All set on this matter?
VII. Report of Special Committees
A. Construction Administration Services for Denitrification
THE CHAIR: There was a committee meeting concerning the
denitrification service administration award and Councilwoman
Triano and Mr. Zoni are on that committee.
Dave, do you want to just enlighten us on what happened?
Town Council 70
MR. ZONI: Yes, we met on Thursday. And, we had two firms
that we had a presentation from. And, we had requested some fee
schedules from them. I just received those fee schedules tonight.
We will be having one more meeting to review those fee schedules
and make our final recommendation to Council.
THE CHAIR: Very good. So, we won’t act on that item
tonight. It is on for action, but we will table the matter.
Everyone all set? Any questions on this item?
Okay, we’ll go into public communications. Just state your
name and address for the record.
VIII. Public Communications
KATHY RICKARD: 1317 Mt. Vernon Road. Just a brief --- I
stayed this late just to have a brief point of clarification on
Stuart Estra’s comments. I think the Proclamation was very nice.
Stuart’s efforts make Southington a much better place with a lot
of nice community events for our families. And, I think
everybody in the community realizes the amount of good that
Stuart does do.
Unfortunately, I took great objection to some of his
comments towards the end. When his, this plan for fireworks was
first presented to the BOE -- I am a member of the BOE --- when
this plan was first presented to the BOE, I believe it was in
January and I’m talking from the top of my head, so if somebody
goes and looks at our Minutes, I could be wrong.
It was for fireworks from the lower freshman football field
and people would be sitting on blankets to have a wonderful
family evening to watch the fireworks from the grandstands, from
the football field, et cetera.
When people got their Observers on Wednesday or Thursday,
whatever, there was a detailed diagram that no one on the BOE had
ever seen before which involved several --- three stages, I
believe. One of them, which was right behind home plate on the
baseball field. Currently, our baseball field is the only active
field that is being used at the high school by the American
Legion baseball team. There is a baseball game scheduled for the
Monday immediately after the fireworks celebration on Saturday
While Stuart made a comment that the fields and the high
school property does belong to everybody in this Town, he is
absolutely correct. And, because of that matter the BOE did not
vote on this. We felt that this was not an item that needed our
Town Council 71
vote. That these were Town fields and as such this was a Town
As he mentioned several times tonight, this is a Stuart
Estra production, not a Town production. And that is what
concerned one of the members of the BOE who happens to be a
lawyer. As far as the liability issues and such.
But to get back to the baseball field, Stuart mentioned
that the Park and Rec maintains our fields. That is not true.
The high school maintenance department maintains our fields, with
a lot of assistance from the various sports booster clubs.
And, I’m sure that anybody that has lived in this Town
knows that there is a booster club for just about every activity
at the high school with active parents who take very, very good
care of our properties.
The baseball field, Mr. Fontana who is a member of the
Parks Board, when Stuart first mentioned the fireworks display to
Mr. Fontana as a member of the Parks Board with --- looking for
his assistance in rescheduling American Legion baseball games and
such, the discussion was that absolutely, the outfield of the
baseball field -- there is no problem using the outfield.
The infield is made of a clay surface that was just redone
at a cost of about $15,000 to $20,000. Parent fundraising,
community fundraising, done by the booster club.
The only thing that we asked was that the infield be
blocked off. Just to protect the efforts of that organization
and the safety of the students that were going to be using the
field on Monday.
When the Observer came out and we saw that there was a
stage right behind home plate, we asked for a --- you know, we
asked for a compromise and said, can we please go back to what we
asked with the stage on the outside of the outfield with the
fencing around the diamond area which was just redone with
That’s the truth. That’s the entire thing that happened.
And, um, I think it’s a little different story from what was
yelled from behind your seat earlier in the evening.
And, um, so I just wanted the Minutes to reflect -- you
know, the BOE knows that those are not our fields, but we do have
the responsibility to maintain them and we do have the
responsibility to the booster clubs that maintain them and raise
the funds with a lot of community help. I know that there are
many business owners sitting up there that probably donated money
to the reconstruction of the infield and so the resolution of
Town Council 72
that was that the Diamond Club will put up snow fencing around
the infield and everybody was very -- it was a very nice
compromise. They have full use of the rest of the facility,
including the football field, which I believe was incorrect in
Thank you for your time.
THE CHAIR: Just take comfort in one --- it was --- he was
equal opportunity. So, I, it wasn’t, it was critical, I
MRS. RICKARD: You know what? You saw what the Record
Journal did Friday with the headline that was totally not true.
I just didn’t want there to be ---
THE CHAIR: I know.
MRS. RICKARD: --- another mishap in the press that the BOE
is against fireworks. Absolutely not true!
THE CHAIR: Obviously not. They’re using your facility.
MRS. RICKARD: We embrace it.
But no, it’s our, its the Town’s facility. We’re just
responsible for maintaining it and I didn’t want that to be the
firework that --- I mean, I didn’t want that to be the headline
that the BOE does not want fireworks. We are just as much behind
this endeavor as everybody else in the room is.
All they wanted to do is protect that 200 square feet of
the baseball diamond, which had just, be redone at a cost of
$15,000 to $20,000.
So, thank you for your time.
And, carry on!
MS. TRIANO: See you at the fireworks.
MR. ZONI: I’ve read BOE Minutes. You are no stranger to
fireworks. There’s no doubt about that.
PHIL POMPOSI: Only here because Councilman Palmieri
brought up a question about that item on our BOF Minutes and
since we are here, I’ll be happy to answer any questions that you
have. Have you had a chance to read the Minutes, at all?
Town Council 73
MR. PALMIERI: I was trying to skim as we ---
MR.POMPOSI: If you read the Minutes, you get a sense of
what we were trying to accomplish. I just don’t quite understand
when you asked John about to bring this --- it was a question of
bringing this department back to where it was?
Because from what we saw, John cut this item out of the
MR. PALMIERI: Correct.
MR. POMPOSI: The original. And, I don’t recall anyone
making any waves about it. So, obviously, we couldn’t do
anything about it at that time.
And, um, and then for some reason this memo comes to us and
said it was a mistake.
Now, did anybody from the Council bring this up during
MR. PALMIERI: Mr. Pomposi, I told you personally during
budget time. You --
MR. POMPOSI: After John cut it?
MR. PALMIERI: Absolutely.
MR. POMPOSI: Okay. Well, as you read in there, I don’t
recall that, but I’ll take your word for it, but in any event,
um, if you read our Minutes, the question is bringing a part
timer up from 15 hours to 20 hours or 21 hours.
MR. PALMIERI: Twenty-one hours.
MR. POMPOSI: And, of course, that triggers as you all know,
that triggers your health insurance and benefits, total benefit
MR. PALMIERI: Correct.
MR. POMPOSI: So, what we asked Janet to do since the BOF
all agreed that we’d like to try to do this in a less expensive
way --- why do it this way --- to come back to us with some
One option being, hire another part timer for 10 hours or
15 hours or whatever you want do. It would be a lot more
fiscally responsible for the Town rather than put another person
on with total health benefits, which adds quite an additional
cost to the Town. That was our whole reason and that’s how we
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left it with Janet, to come back to us next month after we tabled
it, with these couple options that we mentioned in our meeting.
And, that’s how it stands. And, I think that’s a reasonable
--- so I don’t why you’re really disappointed about it. We did
not shut her off on it. All we said is that this option that was
proposed to us was a lot more expensive than other options that
could be available to her since we were talking about part time
help and additional few hours and so forth.
MR. PALMIERI: Mr. Weichsel, the other day I asked you how
much money, additional money we were talking about with raising -
-- as far as health insurance benefits. Do you remember the
amount you told me?
MR. WEICHSEL: I think I said 12,000.
MR. PALMIERI: That’s for the position.
MR. WEICHSEL: I am not sure I gave a figure on that.
MR. PALMIERI: You told me about 2,000, Mr. Weichsel ---
MR. WEICHSEL: Two thousand?
MR. PALMIERI: --- in your office. Do you recall that?
MR. WEICHSEL: No. But I am sure that you are correct.
MR. PALMIERI: Thank you.
MR. POMPOSI: It might be a good idea for John to come back
with this at our next meeting with these options as to what this
position would be at the requested hours of 20 or 21 with the
health insurance and that total amount versus another part timer
And, we also did not even get any back up information as to
why we had to have this additional time except for the fact that,
you know, saying we need it and we could not understand why it
was cut, nothing was said about it by John. It’s back to us
before the budget.
The other point we made is this is an issue that should be
brought up at budget time. So since our budget is now over, this
is an issue that should be brought up at our next budget.
MR. PALMIERI: And, as you are aware, when the Town Manager
cuts items at budget time, neither the BOF nor the Town Council
can restore items.
MR. POMPOSI: Exactly.
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MR. PALMIERI: So, it was an oversight and a mistake and
that is why it was brought forward for special appropriation for
next year because there was nothing to do as part of the budget
cycle. We couldn’t do it.
MR. POMPOSI: Okay, in other words, you’re telling me that
Mr. Weichsel made a mistake. He did not really know what he was
doing when he cut that item.
MR. PALMIERI: Would you like to clarify, Mr. Weichsel?
THE CHAIR: The record is clear. He has said that --- you
have said that numerous time ---
MR.WEICHSEL: I worked on fifty budgets and I have never
had a budget that I didn’t make one or two mistakes.
Thank you very much.
THE CHAIR: John, there’s a woman -- Ma’m, I’m going to
have you come up. I know you’ve been waiting for a while.
MARIE FORGIONE: I live on Forgione Drive. There’s just a
couple of things I wanted to comment on. And, too bad Mr.
Pomposi just left, but I had cut out this little article from the
Now normally, when we have a revaluation, the mill rate
either stays the same or it comes down. Well, the Town of
Wolcott had a revaluation and they cut their tax rate by 9.8
Now our tax rate has gone up. And, I’d like, you know, I
just don’t understand why if one town can cut their mill rate
that much, you know, why with a revaluation our mill rate has
You know, this is a hardship ---
MR. WEICHSEL: Excuse me, Madam, that is totally incorrect.
THE CHAIR: No. Let Mrs. Forgione finish. Go ahead.
MS. FORGIONE: This is a hardship on the elderly people,
which I am one of now, unfortunately or fortunately, I don’t
know. But you know, we have no place to get any more money to
pay these high taxes. There should be something done to help the
retired people, really. Do you want to answer that?
THE CHAIR: I don’t want to interrupt you, but is it okay
if I do?
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MS. FORGIONE: Yah.
THE CHAIR: Last year was a reval. Last year’s budget was
the smallest budget increase that we’ve seen in several years.
The mill rate did go down. John, I don’t have those figures in
front of me ---
MS. FORGIONE: Last year.
THE CHAIR: That was the reval year, so it went from ---
Mr. Zoni, go ahead.
MR. ZONI: I think it was 28.95 down to 21.4.
MR. WEICHSEL: That’s correct. A major reduction.
THE CHAIR: That was last year’s budget that was approved
effective July 1st, 2006. That was when reval kicked in. It’s
not kicking in this year. It kicked in last year. So, the mill
rate went down ---
MS. FORGIONE: It’s not that long ago that I had a meeting
with them over my assessment. But any way, that was one point.
Another thing, I was not, this was two weeks ago, there was
discussion on taking part of the Town Green and I am totally
against it and I know a lot of people have talked to me about it,
This was, you know, they tried this a few years ago. They
wanted to eliminate the whole Green. That’s all we have left in
this Town. Really. Leave it alone! Please, do not touch it.
Parallel parking? Is there room on that street for
parallel parking? Really?
You’re going to take away from one side and have only one -
-- I, it’s ridiculous.
THE CHAIR: I’ll comment on that, one thing with the nine
members on the Council, we talk about different issues. I can’t
comment, Mr. Riccio is not here. He suggested it. I don’t think
he’s married to it. I think he thought of it as a discussion
item. Let’s see where it goes.
So, I think it’s important that you have elected members
that maybe throw out different ideas and say hey, maybe this will
work. Maybe this won’t.
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I can assure you that I don’t believe that there is support
for that plan.
MS. FORGIONE: Well, thank you for that. Because that’s
all I wanted to ---
THE CHAIR: But I don’t want to criticize individual
MS. FORGIONE: No.
THE CHAIR: -- for bringing up plans that are kind of
MS. FORGIONE: I didn’t mention any name although I knew
who it was.
THE CHAIR: But, right. I understand.
MS. FORGIONE: I just wanted you to keep in mind, please do
not touch our Town Green.
THE CHAIR: Okay.
MS. FORGIONE: I mean, even taking a few feet away from it,
what for? Really? It’s something we have left in this Town.
And, I just want to ask one question that was brought up a
little while ago on this 31 Liberty Street, the Renaissance?
Do I understand that the Town is paying for that sidewalk
with the granite curbing and all that and then you expect the
next property owner to pay for it himself? You know, this wasn’t
clear in my head.
THE CHAIR: We’ll clarify it. Tony? There is a program
that the Town has for property owners in the Renaissance
District. So Tony, do you want to just explain to Mrs. Forgione
how that works?
MR. TRANQUILLO: The way this works, if the property owner
willingly agrees to do it, we pay the betterment. We pay the
full curb price because that’s 100 percent Town responsibility
and then we pay $4.50 for the paver brick. The property owner
still pays, there’s no concrete, concrete price and we just pay
the betterment. So, we’re not asking them for anything out of
the ordinary. They still have to pay their share.
MS. FORGIONE: That is what I didn’t understand. It didn’t
sound that way the way it was presented.
All right. Thank you.
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THE CHAIR: Thank you very much for coming tonight.
MS. FORGIONE: Please, leave our Town Green alone.
JOHN MOISE: Stonegate Road. There is a request, obviously,
from the BOE for $910,000 to cover the cost of renovations to the
vacated vo ag on the Agenda tonight.
I have to say this is very discouraging because I brought
this issue of renovations up at the September 8, 2004 meeting. We
had known that out of the total project $9,906,980 we were going
to get 95 percent from the state and the taxpayers would have to
pay approximately $500,000 or 5 percent.
This is correct and the vo ag building itself is at budget.
The building committee did a tremendous job staying at budget and
we have a new vo ag for their efforts.
This issue is regarding the renovations at the high school
where the vo ag had opened up. This 910,000 has to do with extra
costs associated with the vo ag which the Superintendent did not
acknowledge when I made the statement that it would cost $500,000
to renovate the high school area except to say that it was flat
out misinformation. On September 8th, 2003.
Superintendent Polansky made it very clear at this meeting
there was many benefits to building a new vo ag. During the past
four years, none of these have materialized. These included the
extra 10,000 sf that would be available when the vo ag moved out.
There’s now approximately 5000 sf, 5400 now in the high school as
he result of the new vo ag building.
The parking at the high school which Councilman Zoni at the
time and his neighborhood were very happy about. Originally, the
extra parking spaces were 200, then 165 in June of 2003, down to
91 in September of 2003 and what we actually received were 46 new
spaces. These were selling points for the voters on the vo ag.
These were crucial issues at that time.
Then there is the renovation issue, which is why the
administration and the BOE are here tonight because the
application for this state grant has to be in Hartford by June
30th, 2007 for approximately 50 percent reimbursement of $910,000.
I take great issue with the request and the timing as well.
The following are statements are made at the September
8,2003 Council meeting: One of the great things about building a
new vo ag center in Southington is it will open up classroom
space at the high school. It would have cost approximately
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$500,000 for existing building renovations at the high school. At
this point, the taxpayers are not paying a dime. They would be
paying 500,000 to who knows? Knew about the 500,000 on the
building, but the other, we don’t know. The unknown amount is
what needs to be examined more closely.
Superintendent Polansky’s response was I think I need to
set the record straight. There is no 500,000 cost to renovate.
That’s misinformation. Flat out misinformation.
There was a plan at some point to reconstruct the
crawlspace to basement area. The plan was a separate plan. I
think it’s really clear that we not pass misinformation and keep
the voters informed of, in fact, that what the costs are, where
they’re going. There is a $500,000 cost that was a separate plan
that is not part of this project.
At the June 23rd, 2003 Town Council meeting, Councilor Bill
DePaolo asked a question to the Superintendent: Have you yet
been able to ascertain the hidden costs such as new teachers,
janitors and insurance? Anything that is going to come up and
that is going over and above that is going to be in your budget,
in other words?
Superintendent Polansky’s response was there may be some
janitorial costs, obviously. But we expect to do similar
staffing patterns and then you’d get some reimbursement from the
state on that, also.
Nothing about the renovations.
What I have stated to you tonight, is not a fabrication,
nor is it misinformation. This is not hindsight and it is fact
from the Town Council Minutes of June 23, 2003 and September
8,2003. If this truly does not affect the taxpayers, then the
Council should not have a request of $910,000 before them.
The planning and timing of this is disturbing because the
administration had known full well there would be a cost to
renovate all along and there should have been a plan in place.
This request should have been given to the Town Council
months ago so you could make a proper decision. Statements and
questions were asked pertaining to renovation costs as well as
hidden costs as a result of the vo ag. Answers were never
provided in regard to extra costs associated with the vo ag.
Superintendent Polansky states at the June 14th BOE meeting,
that he had addressed the Town Council about the renovations
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three years ago because a current BOF member made it sound like
the BOE was not being truthful.
I researched the Town Council meeting Minutes since June of
2003 and nowhere, nowhere are there costs associated with the
high school renovation in the vacated vo ag except the $500,000
that I spoke of in 2003. To only be told again by the
Superintendent that this was misinformation, flat out
The 2007-2008 BOE Capital Expenditure Plan which is a five
year projection has a line from vo ag lab to classrooms for
872,000 and this should have been listed in the 2006-07 Capital
Expenditure Plan at the latest.
Do we have schematics? An itemized breakdown of what the
910,000 will cover or are they just throwing out another number
to see if it sticks?
Although there may be benefits for this Town to have a new
vo ag building, it is a shame that the benefits that
Superintendent Polansky spoke of such as 200, 165, then 91
parking spaces. And, 10,000 sf for the high school did not come
And, the bigger issue, it will cost an addition $910,000 to
renovate the high school area where the vo ag once was. You need
to be very careful of what is asked to be approved with any
capital project, as they always need, seem to cost so much more
in the end.
Ultimately, this cost falls on the residents of Southington
who pay property taxes. I would once again like to reiterate
that the vo ag building was not over budget. What we are
discussing is $910,000 that is needed to renovate the area where
the vo ag was in the high school. That should’ve been planned
I also, just for your perusal, have the Minutes from that
meeting regarding the vo ag.
THE CHAIR: Thank you, John.
BOB VAN EPPS: Good evening. I live at 54 Pond View Drive
in Southington. I have a pumping station problem.
MR. ZONI: Yes, he does.
Town Council 81
MR. VAN EPPS: We’ve got a hole in the ground that is
approximately 40 feet deep with pilings. It’s at a standstill.
It’s been at a standstill. It started five years ago.
We’ve got two submersible pumps in a manhole supposedly
alarmed to be checked by the contractor when the pumps don’t
work. This is all hearsay on my part. I am not a contractor. I
don’t know. All I know is I am a resident.
I’m the sixth house up from the pumping station so that
gives me about four hours of back up sewage before it comes into
my basement. There’s no place for this sewage to go. My
question was to the fire department, what do I do? We can’t pump
Who do I call? That’s my answer (sic) to the Council when
my basement floods with sewage and then I open the door and it
goes down the bank and into the pond in back and the Conservation
Department gets into it and the DEP gets into it.
The Town is talking about insurance companies. The
insurance companies we have now don’t seem to be addressing the
problem. Why? I don’t know. And, I would like to address ---my
main concern is my little nest egg. Only have a little tiny,
ticky-tacky 900 sf house. What do I do, Mr. Weichsel, when my
cellar fills with sludge and how do I get it out and how do I get
my wife to move back in there?
And, there isn’t one of you men or women in here would take
your wife back in there or your husband or your grandchildren
back into a house after it’s had bacteria into every crack and
crevice in the basement. So the house is destroyed. It has to
You’ve got 30 houses, I think on that program, if not 31.
I am not, not particular sure which one. But the Town will have
one hell of a lawsuit against it. I’m 70 years old. What am I
going to do, fight it for 20 years? Go to my grave with it?
Mr. Weichsel, can you give me answer?
MR. WEICHSEL: As to the first part, the fire department
would not have been the people to call. The sewer department as
sophisticated machinery that can pump out sewage if it comes to
that. And, as you say, there’s an alarm system to alert them so
that it does not back up into the houses.
If it did, you would have to be made whole, without a
doubt. As a minimum you’ have put us on notice now and clearly
with construction it’s active activity would be the equivalent of
active negligence if it came to that.
Town Council 82
We think that we’re at a point where they are, the current
contractor is finally going to move to the final stages.
Frankly, if he does not very quickly, we will have to get a
different contractor to finish the job.
MR. VAN EPPS: I have asked you this now three weeks in a
row and you have given me basically the same answer.
MR.WEICHSEL: That’s correct.
MR. VAN EPPS: To the Town Council people: I think you
better wake up because this Town is going to end up with one hell
of a lawsuit ---
THE CHAIR: What is the address on the house?
MR. VAN EPPS: My house is 5-4 Pondview Drive.
THE CHAIR: Mark, do you want to --- I know there has been
issues on the Pondview ---
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: There’s been a lot of issues.
(Everyone speaking at the same time.)
MR. VAN EPPS: When you see ---
THE CHAIR: The construction of the pump station has been a
MR. VAN EPPS: Well, but something’s got to be done. We’ve
got to stop pointing fingers.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: There’s two questions. Number one is the
legality. Mr. Weichsel is absolutely right. This is an active
pump station situation. We have alarms on the pumps and it’s the
Town’s obligation that once the alarms go off there’s contacts.
One of them being the sewer department who has tanker trucks that
would be necessary to go on line.
If something happened to your house, there is not an issue
about liability. I understand where you are coming from with
that. That’s number one.
Now if stuff gets into your basement, the whole plan of it,
sir, is that based upon our plan is that the pumps that are in
there are alarmed. Those alarms, and correct me if I’m wrong,
Tony, they go off at the sewer plant?
MR. TRANQUILLO: Yes. They go off at three locations: the
police department, the sewer department and the contractor’s
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MR. VAN EPPS: Thank you.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: And, what happens at that point is that
Mr. DeGioia and/or the contractor have a truck that come out and
it’s a big --- the honey wagons as you probably know them as --
and those come out and do the pumping.
That would, hopefully, handle your issue. That’s your
issue because of course we’d have to get those pumps fixed. But
that answers question number one.
Question number two is that there is no dispute that this
has probably been, outside of some schools we worked on, probably
the worse project that Tony, myself and Mr. Weichsel have ever
worked on. The school projects were worse because they had a
much larger scope.
In your neighborhood, I’m sure this is as important to you
as the school issues. As Mr. Weichsel just said, and I’ll give
you, if I may, just a brief, and I won’t take a lot of time. If
this was a pump station sitting in the middle of a patch of land
somewhere, it would’ve been done. This is not that situation.
As you know and you live in the area, this is a pump
station that’s put in very close to a residence. So, what
happens is as the contractor went each step of the way, you had
settlement of the house. It would’ve been nice if we just go
forward and not worry about that and I -- let me --
(End of Tape #2, Side B)
(Beginning of Tape #3, Side A)
MR. VAN EPPS: (continuing) --- 18 years old. I’ve been
down in the muck. I’ve done down in the jelly that’s underneath
my house. Okay?
We’ve got a problem down there. It was not figured on.
It was not --- I’m going to stop right there. I’m going to leave
that to John. That’s John’s job.
What my problem was is to get an answer who do I call when
my basement is flooded? If I got a call a lawyer?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: What I’m trying to say is this, is that
you shouldn’t have to call anybody because what happens is ---
MR. VAN EPPS: Stop (inauidlbe0
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: --- your house is up (inaudible). You’re
asking me what should happen? I don’t know all of the answers
but the procedure is if the pumps fail, alarms go off as Tony
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mentioned at three different locations. The Town and the
contractor have to have the trucks there.
That should stop anything from going any further. Once it
gets to a certain level, as you know, in the pipe, the alarms go
off. And, we start pumping into trucks. There shouldn’t be any
issue at that point. But if there is an issue, the liability
aspect of it, is clear.
MR. VAN EPPS: You’ve got it clear. It’s 30 homes because
it’ll back up in a matter of not even 24 hours you’ll be flooded.
My next question is also on this is I don’t know if any of
you represent the engineering department --- how often do you
check the manholes?
MR. TRANQUILLO: We do not check the manhole that you’re
talking about with the pumps and the alarms in it.
MR. VAN EPPS: Who does?
MR. TRANQUILLO: That’s the contractor’s responsibility but
he has power failure alarm and he has two high-level water
MR. VAN EPPS: He hasn’t even been around, sir.
MR. TRANQUILLO: I understand that but we have the alarms
MR. VAN EPPS: That’s my problem.
Okay, thank you gentlemen, for the time.
THE CHAIR: Thank you.
MR. VAN EPPS: John, I’ll talk to you later.
MS. LONGO: Mark? Mark? There’s other houses out there,
too, that are sinking?
MR. WEICHSEL: No.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: No. There is one house that is
absolutely positively settled which we have brief you on.
MR. VAN EPPS: I did not get into that. That’s not of my
business. That’s not my house. That’s not what my business.
MS. LONGO: Mark, how long does this take? With people
living there with their houses being sunk and then this ---
Town Council 85
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: The whole process briefly, is that, not
to get into it because there is a lawsuit, as you know between
the Town, the contractor and this particular property owner. So
I am not going to get into that part of it.
But what our hope here is to have the dewatering system ---
once the dewatering system is completed, then the pump station
can go in. The pump station is done. It’s ready to go in. The
question is is getting the water out of the hole and that’s where
we are right now and that’s -- The engineering department and
the contractor have agreed on a dewatering system and that’s
where we are.
MS. LONGO: Is his ---
MR. VAN EPPS: The fingers have stopped pointing and you
are going to go to work is what you’re saying, sir?
MS. LONGO: Is some of the houses ----
MS. TRIANO: That’s what they’re saying.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Well, the Town doesn’t go to work. The
Town agrees on how the contractor is going to proceed. The
contractor has hired a very reputable dewatering company and the
engineering department has agreed to the procedure to dewater.
Once it’s dewatered, then the station can go in.
MR. VAN EPPS: Okay. I am going to hold you to it. See
you next month.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: This time, gets a complaint about Leslie.
We’ve all gone all around now and it’s your turn, Leslie.
LARRY DEPAOLO: Blatchley Avenue. I just came down
tonight. I was misinformed on the over run at the vo ag center.
I’ve been informed tonight.
But the only thing is, the zoning board got blackmailed by
the country clubs in Town and now the Town Council is getting
blackmailed by the BOE.
It seems from what I hear tonight this information has been
available for a long time. And, here we are five days and we’ve
got to make a decision.
Well, where were they two, three months ago? Or even at
budget time to put this into the budget? It’s not something that
just came up. This is almost blackmail by the BOE. They’re
Town Council 86
trying to run the Town when the Town should be running the BOE.
So, that’s what I came here for tonight. And, that’s all I’m
going to say about that.
Now this Mr. Estra, I thought his remarks were very
inappropriate tonight. He was out of line. I think he does a
good job with what he does. But I think the Town, I don’t
believe a lot of people in the Town realize that that Trails
program that we run at Panthorn Park, if I’m not wrong, we donate
--- the Town donates $20,000 to run that program. We pay that
out of our pockets to run a program. They do a good job. And,
you people do support it very well with $20,000. I think
everybody in Town should know that and it was done I don’t know
how many years but I know it has been the last couple of years
and it’s in the next year’s budget.
So, the fact that he does do a lot of work and he does get
a lot of volunteers, this Town does pay $20,000 for that program.
I think the people should know that.
Going along with his fireworks, I do have a --- I am
planning on going myself. It sounds like it’s going to be a real
good thing. But the point is, I don’t think the Town should pay
anything of that money. The fact that they’re selling tickets.
And, the Gridiron and I don’t which care which club, I shouldn’t
even have mentioned Gridiron, there’s going to be a separate
organization that is going to benefit from the sale of tickets --
- that are going to get money.
So, I think if they’re selling tickets to the Town’s
people, and the money is going to a specific organization, he
can’t--- how can he be saying that he’s short on money when we’ve
already determined that the ticket sales, half of it is going to
a particular club at the high school. So, I think the Town is
probably correct in doing what they’re doing.
It’s going to be a good thing for the Town but if he wants
to be private, then he should be private. I don’t think he should
be harassing or downgrading this Town Council because I think he
was absolutely wrong.
STEVE PINTARICH: 282 Loper Street. Last Tuesday I got a
telephone call about a discussion at the previous Town Council
about closing off Apple Way. I sent everybody on the Town
Council an email about it. And, I want to thank the ones that
did reply. I got email replies. I got phone calls. Mr. Barry
even tried to catch me over at the Legion to discuss it. So, I
Town Council 87
On Wednesday night, I wanted to see what the Town residents
thought about it, so I took about an hour and I went around with
some petitions. Real simple. At the top of it, it said:
This Petition is to stop plans to block off the road that
is between the Town Green and 98 Main Street in Southington. We
the undersigned residents of Southington do not want this road
I have 66 signatures in a little over an hour that agree
with that. Some of the people --- just give it to me and I’ll
sign it. Some of them had comments --- why fix something that
is not broken? Let’s not change the view of our little New
England Town. Do Not Block my access to the mailbox, from
several people, because they can’t get to the mailbox in front of
the Post Office and they use the one across the street from the
Masonic Temple. And, they were very upset when they heard that
that was planning on being moved to Center Street.
On Thursday, I got a reply back from Mr. Riccio saying that
they had rethought the plans and maybe they were going to just
reverse the traffic flow on Apple Valley Way instead of closing
Mr. Riccio and I talked about that a little bit. One of
the problems would be at the top of Center Street now for traffic
taking a right to come back out, you are going to have to put
some kind of a traffic island there. If I remember right, we
widened the Green to take up some of that space and now to put a
traffic island in there, I think you’re going to have to take out
what we just did.
Also, with the traffic going there, if you take a right to
come out on Saturday when both of the banks are running and
everybody’s leaving those banks, the traffic’ll be backed up.
You take a left, you ride down the beautiful Town of
Southington and you get to the far end of Southington and it’s
not really where you wanted to go.
People want to hit Town. They want to do their business.
And, keep on going. So, I don’t think the Town of Southington
On another point, I want to thank the Town, residents of
Southington, who recently contributed to the collection of items
for our troops in the war zones and the local children. The
Masonic Temple across the street under the leadership of Dave
Hubbs, contacted many of the service clubs in Southington. I
know I am going to forget some of them and I apologize:
Town Council 88
Sons of Italy, The Elks, the Knights of Columbus, the
Redmen, American Legion and all were organized and we got
together and we performed three collections in Town. We
collected over six thousand pounds of items that are being sent
to the Connecticut based troops overseas and the children in the
Also want to acknowledge the following stores: The Dollar
Store, Ocean State Job Lot, Stop & Shop, Wal-Mart and Top’s
Market for allowing us to collect in front of their stores. We
couldn’t have done it without those places.
Last thing is it was mentioned about the parking lot. I
want to recognize the effort of the Parking Authority, particular
Joe Salmeri. It was through his professional manner in helping
the American Legion to decide to lease our parking lot to the
Town and I think anybody that has been over there since it’s done
realizes that it’s a great downtown parking area now. And,
anybody that parks there owes Joe a big thanks.
THE CHAIR: Thank you, Steve. Thank you for all you do at
the American Legion, too. Appreciate all your work at that
I just want to make something clear because these things
sometimes get legs. The majority of the Council does not have
plans, we are not voting on, we are not anticipating changing
Apple Alley. It was a suggestion.
As Chairman, I encourage people to bring up plans. We’ll
talk about it and see where it goes. But I can say with all
certainty, the majority of this Council was --- will not be
pursuing that suggestion.
I want to make it clear because things have legs and before
you know it, we’re closing down Center Street. I mean, it’s not,
it’s just not what is occurring.
But thank you very much.
MS. LONGO: I’d also like to say to Steve, too, Steve,
thank you so much for calling me. And, I’m glad you went out and
got your signatures and I know it’s going to be a big help.
JOAN JANSEN: 913 Sweetheart Path. The BOE’s request for
the approval of $910,000 to alter former vo ag labs greatly
bothers me. And, I’d like to make three very quick points. It’s
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Point one is really a question: Did the BOE keep the
amount under $1 million so that the request did not have to go a
Point two, as has been discussed, since this is June 25th, I
believe that you are being unduly rushed to approve something
that has to be submitted to the state by June 30th. This is an
expenditure that the BOE had to have known about while putting
together their 2007-2008 budget.
Point three: Is there an itemized bill for the $910,000?
Was the amount plucked out of the air?
Over the years I have had a very difficult time trying
to make sense of and be able to wrap my arms around the BOE’s
monetary requests. This process has turned out to be as
difficult as nailing Jell-O to a tree.
I therefore ask that you deny this request. I will then
know that at least this Board understands Abe Lincoln’s brilliant
You may fool some of the people all of the time. And, all
of the people some of the time. But you cannot fool all of the
people all of the time.
ARTHUR CYR: 103 Berlin Avenue. Good evening. I have a
simple request for our Town Engineer. Can somebody fix this
before the next meeting? (Microphone at the podium)
MS. TRIANO: Don’t break it, Art.
MR. CYR: I’ll just talk louder then.
THE CHAIR: Please respect Town property, sir.
MR. CYR: I’d like to first start by thanking Councilman
Zoni for withdrawing his request to put the Rails to Trails to
referendum. I’ll be able to spend a lot of time at home fixing
things rather than campaigning against that.
But I would also say that there’s nine of you up here and
it is an election year. And, I’d like for you to all have some
guts and tell people up front what you’re going to do about this
Town Hall space needs.
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You talked about it. You have it voted down two Town Halls
because they were grand schemes that we didn’t need. But the
problem isn’t going away. It doesn’t go away any day. It just
gets worse. You’ve got people working in decrepit buildings.
You’ve got stuff all over the hallways. And, you don’t have
enough space here.
It’s an election year, and I want to see which one of you
eight people --- can come up with a plan to present to the Town’s
people. Mrs. Longo doesn’t need a plan because we know what she’s
going to campaign on. When you’re in do-do, call Dolores!
MS. LONGO: You got it, baby!
MR. CYR: But the rest of you, we need to know, and we need
to know it from you and maybe at one of these meetings what your
plans are going to be because I have real problems trying to read
it in any newspaper because they get half their stories wrong.
And, we’ve seen that tonight and we’ve seen it this week and
we’ve seen it in past weeks.
So, let’s start doing the hard decisions. Okay?
What’re you going to do about the Town Hall? Don’t do the
fluffy, easy projects, guys. Okay? Rails to Trails,
everybody’ll vote for that. Okay? Deal with your Town Hall,
And, I am going to agree with I think the last four people
who came up here. There used to be a sign on the front doors
that said No Firearms Allowed in the Town Hall. The BOE has a
gun to your head. Okay? Let’s take the gun and let’s throw it
back outside and say: No thanks, guys. Okay?
These people are absolutely right. They’ve known about
this money for a long time. Five days before the deadline,
they’re putting a gun to your head. Okay?
And, while we’re talking about the BOE and I wish they were
all still here, let’s put the third middle school on referendum
in November. Let’s vote it down once and for all and we can say
to them, have a nice day.
Their Business Manager comes up here and says: oh, you
already bought the land, the taxpayers already allocated for it.
They think it’s already their’s. Okay? Let’s put it to a vote,
guys. Let’s put it on the referendum in November and let’s vote
it down once and for all.
Because I’ll tell you one thing, okay? There’s no school
kids in my house. There’s no school kids in the next house or
the next house or the next house or the next house or six going
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that way (pointing). All right? We outnumber them. We can out
I don’t care what they say, we’re not going to add another
$25 million to our bond long term debt and we’re not going to add
another $25 million a year to the yearly budget. So, let’s put
it on the November referendum agenda right now. And, let’s vote
it down and let’s keep them quiet. Because they’re going to keep
coming back every month, every year until we vote it down.
Thank you very much.
SANDRA FELD: Ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto! I’m going to
make it really short. Everything’s been said about this $910,000
except one thing that I would have said except one thing.
Obviously, I am opposed to it for all of the reasons that
have been said but one addition or two addition ones. We heard
at the budget hearing here that they were maintaining level
services. Well, level services, Sherri DiNello’s salary was
increased by 5 percent to $100,834. Fred Cox’s salary by 5
percent to $78,549. The Ass’t Superintendent’s salary by 4
percent to $128,960 and technology director by 3.75 percent to
$82,935. As well as 3.75 percent increases for a long list of
classified administrators, secretarial staff, part time certified
staff and other staff while our Town government staff was kept at
I ask you why didn’t they take that money that they just
gave to all these people and paid the $910,000 to clean up the
I really feel that it’s outrageous and I really hope that
the --- if you vote tonight or whenever you vote, I really hope
that you tell them to use the money they got.
FRED COX: 60 Anneliese Avenue. I thought some things were
cleared up earlier, but I just would like to go over them. A
comment was did we keep the project under $1 million to avoid a
referendum. I believe that I sent to the Town Manager, therefore
it would’ve been copied to the Town Council, was a professional
quote by Friar Associates in October 2006. That quote was used to
insert the project in the BOE’s budget. It was not officially
cancelled until May during the reallocation of the BOE.
The idea of rushing. When the BOE completes it’s
revaluation, approximately mid-May, as you know how the
committees meet every other week, like yourselves and the BOE, it
does take a period of time to get the request in to the Town
Manager’s office. The request was dated June 18th. Coming from
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the June 14th BOE meeting where the ed specifications needed to be
reviewed and approved by the BOE as part of the state grant
Therefore, anyone who thinks that an itemized bill was not
used and something was plucked --- I will share copies of the
professional quotes with them.
And, I prefer no Jell-o.
JOHN MOISE: I just want to say one last thing.
Historically, in the capital budget for the last four years and
correct me if I’m wrong, we’ve given $100,000. And, we’re close
to $872,000. So, there’s no reason why they could not have had
everything ready to go and get it to you prior to this. No
THE CHAIR: Okay. Any other public communications?
Thank you all very much. I know it’s been a very long
meeting and I appreciate you waiting this late into the evening.
IX. Old Business
A. Action on Fiscal Policy
THE CHAIR: This item we will table. A motion to table?
MR. ZONI: Motion to table.
MR. PALMIERI: Second.
(Motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.)
B. Action on insurance bid
MR. PALMIERI: Motion to table?
MS. LONGO: Second.
THE CHAIR: I’d like to add that to later in the Agenda.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: You could pass that, Mr. Chairman, and it
could come up later.
THE CHAIR: Okay. Then I can just add it when we go back
into executive session.
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So, we will just not --- we will make a motion to ---
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: No, you don’t need a motion. Just pass
it to later on in the matter.
THE CHAIR: I’ll just pass that. Very good.
C. Action on BOE request
THE CHAIR: I want to make it clear. The action on
tonight’s Agenda is a proposed resolution. Councilman D’Angelo
is going to have an amendment to that resolution. This
resolution is going to be very clear in it’s wording in terms of
the intention of the Council.
It is a standard resolution. The vote tonight on the
resolution does not bind this Council at a future date to fund
And, I want to make it clear. The action tonight is the
proposed resolution that is before members and at this time I’ll
ask Councilman, the Vice Chairman to amend the resolution that’s
So, we are going to have a fourth resolved and Tony, can
you add that language?
MR. D’ANGELO: It would be that the Southington Town
Council reserves the right to reject all bonding requests for
this project and could require all costs to be absorbed in the
Board of Education budget.
THE CHAIR: Do I have a second on that amendment?
MS. LONGO: Second.
THE CHAIR: We have it seconded by Ms. Longo. So, we’re
all clear, all the members are clear on what the resolution says?
Clear? We’re all set? We got that language all set?
We’ll make sure that the Town Clerk has a copy of that
language. I’ll read it again:
The amendment that is going to be attached to the proposed
resolution states the Town Council reserves the right to reject
all bonding requests for this project and could require all costs
to be absorbed in the Board of Education budget.
Town Council 94
I want to make it clear. We wanted to make sure that
language is out there so there is no misinformation by any of the
We have a motion and a second. Any other discussion?
MR. ZONI: Yes, I have a question. A moment ago Mr. Cox
came up and articulated that this money was in the budget and was
taken out during reallocation. Can you define that a little bit
more? Reallocation from the BOE or was it ---
THE CHAIR: We’ll ask the administration. We’re not going
to ask ---
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: You are in the middle of a motion right
THE CHAIR: Okay, why don’t we --- the motion is before us.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: This is just to add the amendment. It’s
the only motion in front of you right now.
THE CHAIR: Okay, the item will still be before us.
MR. ZONI: Okay, excuse me.
THE CHAIR: I’m sorry it was my fault.
MR. ZONI: My mistake.
THE CHAIR: The amendment is before us and we have a motion
and a second on the amendment. We’ll call the roll on the
MS. COTTON: Triano: No
Della Vecchia: Yes
THE CHAIR: The amendment carries.
Now we have the entire resolution that’s before us with
that additional language.
And, Dave, do you want to address that question to the Town
MR. ZONI: Can I address it now or do we need to make
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THE CHAIR: No. We don’t have a motion before us.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: I think between the Manager and I, we can
probably answer that question. I believe the original BOE number
had 800 and odd thousand dollars in there, which was, I believe
reduced to zero by the BOF.
And, then brought up to $75,000 by this Board.
MR. ZONI: Okay, so when he said reallocation, he didn’t
mean the BOE reallocation. It was part of the budget process ---
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Fred can correct me if I’m wrong. You
know, obviously. But the original BOE budget if I recall had 875
--- 800 and something thousand dollars --- in that capital line
which was reduced to zero by the BOF. And, then obviously put
THE CHAIR: So, it actually was not part of the BOE’s
budget. It was part of the capital budget, which is a separate
budget that does have --- the Council and the BOF has authority
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Correct.
MR. ZONI: In this budget cycle, 07-08?
THE CHAIR: No, no ---
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: It just happened. It just happened.
THE CHAIR: The one that’s going to be --
MR. WEICHSEL: That is correct.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Is that correct, Fred?
That is correct, okay.
MR. ZONI: And, the BOF had documentation, detailed
documentation of what the eight hundred and some odd thousand
dollars was for?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: I have no idea. That’s beyond me. I
know the numbers but I don’t know exactly why.
MR. ZONI: A member of the Board of Finance here?
MR. D’ANGELO: It’s the capital expenditure plan. They’re
listing it, you know, where they came up with the dollars. All
of the projects. That was a capital budget plan. That’s all.
Town Council 96
THE CHAIR: Which is a separate budget.
MR. D’ANGELO: Yah.
MR. ZONI: So, there was a line item in their capital
budget that was cut by the BOF?
Is that correct?
THE CHAIR: I don’t think that’s correct.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: By saying their --- that’s a different --
- it’s a capital line item which under the agreement of this
Council that’s under your subcommittee called the Capital Bonding
Committee where the procedure would be that they, the BOE would
submit to the Capital Bonding Committee a list which would go in
front of you for approval. That’s based upon the 75.
If nothing changed, the 875 would have been there but not
the 75. That’s the process.
MR. ZONI: I just want to know where the 800 for this
renovation was eliminated in this last budget cycle.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: I believe what Fred just told you is the
fact that he originally put $875,000 in the capital. That went
from 875 at the BOF level to zero. And, at the Council level
back to 75.
MR. ZONI: And, the BOF had documentation at the time as to
what that was for?
THE CHAIR: Dave, Dave. That’s --- it was in their --- in
that capital budget.
MR. ZONI: I mean, some comments were made tonight that this
was some last minute surprise. I’m trying to get to the bottom
of that whether in fact this was a surprise or in fact it was in
the budget, submitted during the budget process and cut during
the budget process. Simple as that.
MR. WEICHSEL: I believe the latter of your two things is
what the case was.
THE CHAIR: Okay. So, I have a motion to accept the
resolution that’s before the Council. Do I hear a motion?
Actually, we’ll wait for Mrs. Longo to arrive. She just
stepped out for a second.
(Pause, pause, pause)
Town Council 97
MR. WEICHSEL: We have ten seconds. Under the FYI,
absolutely no requirement, Joel Cogen retired as Executive
Director of CCM after 41 years. They had a nice party for him t
the Goodwin I guess a couple of days ago.
Jim Findly is now the new Executive Director. He is very
well known at the Capital. Joe was number one and synonymous
with CCM. And, created the organization from small beginnings to
where it is today.
(Mrs. Longo re-entered the room.)
THE CHAIR: Thank you, John, for taking care of the dead
air there for a while.
Ms. Longo is back with us.
Before us the proposed resolution concerning the request by
the BOE. Do I hear a motion to accept that resolution or the
will of the body?
Okay, we are going to move on to ---
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: You’re going to table the issue?
THE CHAIR: I’ll ask one more time. Any motion on that
It’s the request of the BOE concerning the resolution
concerning their request tonight, which is before us.
Okay, I guess I will --- there is no action on the item.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: There is no action, so you move on.
D. Action on Construction Administration Services for
MR. ZONI: Motion to table.
MR. PALMIERI: Second.
(Motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.)
Town Council 98
E. Action on Report of Board of Finance
MR. ZONI: Motion to accept the Board of Finance Report as
MS. LONGO: Second.
THE CHAIR: Any other discussion?
(Motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.)
F. Scheduling of Public Hearing on High St. Abandonment &
THE CHAIR: I think we decided on the August meeting?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: August 13th at 7:25, Mr. Chairman.
THE CHAIR: Can I have a motion to accept that?
MS. LONGO: Yes, so moved.
MS. TRIANO: Second.
(Motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.
G. Action on 31 Liberty Street
THE CHAIR: Can I have a motion to accept the
MR. ZONI: Motion to accept the recommendation.
MS. LONGO: Second.
(Motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.)
H. Item to withdraw the motion to bring Rails to Trails
to a November referendum
THE CHAIR: Do I have a motion to accept that?
MR. PALMIERI: So moved.
THE CHAIR: Any discussion?
Town Council 99
MR. ZONI: Just one quick question. This is for Mark. Why
is it necessary that we vote to withdraw something that I don’t
think we ever voted on?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Yes, you did. The Council voted to
authorize the Manager to move forward with the PZC, the bonding
counsel and the Board of Finance.
MR. ZONI: Okay. I thought that was a request.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: No. It was an actual vote.
MR. ZONI: As long as it was an actual vote.
MS. LONGO: It was.
THE CHAIR: Okay, we have a motion and a second.
(Motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.)
The item of the Board of Ed, there was no action. It’s
still, I can bring it still before the body?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Obviously, you can’t force a vote. If
nobody wants to vote on anything. You can’t force a motion but -
THE CHAIR: I can’t force a motion --- I just want to make a
last call if anyone would like to make that motion?
MR. D’ANGELO: I do have a concern in that the high school
is overcrowded and they do need extra space up there, obviously.
And, that space there is just going to sit dormant and it would
be unfortunate that we can’t at least concede and send a
resolution to the state to see where it falls with the state with
that new clause in there.
I just feel that um, and I know it’s at the last minute.
And, I totally agree with what a lot of people said in the
audience. You know, that could be blackmail or whatever and at
the last minute and so forth. But I am thinking of the high
school and putting the politics aside and I’m putting all that
other stuff aside and I’m thinking of you know, the classroom
space that they need.
It’s not costing us anything at this point other than just
sending that to the state to see where it falls at the state
level. We’ve also put the BOE on notice by that resolution that
hey, they could find it in their own budget to pay for, too. So,
we could still proceed with it, with that little caveat in there.
Town Council 100
I’m just thinking: space at the high school. They need it.
So, I’d like to make a motion that we approve the
resolution with that new amended resolution in there to be sent
to the state. It’s not tying our hands. It is not costing us
any money at this point and let’s see where it falls.
MS. LONGO: I second that.
MS. TRIANO: Are we open for discussion?
THE CHAIR: We have a motion and a second on the table.
Open it up for discussion.
MS. TRIANO: Just very, just very briefly, Mr. Chairman.
This was a matter, this money was in the budget. This Council
voted to reduce the budget. And, so now we have a situation
where we’re pushing forth a motion that brings it to the state
knowing that the state can only fund 52 percent of this request
leaving a balance of about $450,000.
Where would we get $450,000? We do not have it in the
budget. We had a big discussion today about the finance. I
think that we cannot pass, how can we --- what would be the
purpose of letting it go to the state? We cannot fund $450,000.
We can’t fund half of it.
So, I think it’s just crazy to approve something that we
know we cannot finance and that we’ve made a decision --- this
Council made a decision at the time of the budget to decrease
that money in that line item. That’s perfectly all right. It’s
within our purview. But now we need to live within the budget
that we passed. It gives our budget integrity.
That’s all. I mean, I just, that’s my vote. And, that’s
why I am staying where I am on it.
MR. D’ANGELO: Would this --- this money would not be spent
this year, 2007-08. It would be really in the future year based
on by the time they get the project going.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: If it works similar to the situation with
our other schools, you apply in June of this year and it wouldn’t
be approved until June of ’08, if it works the same way as the
other grants that I’ve worked with with the schools.
It may be a different grant, but I think that’s how it
Town Council 101
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Mark, did you say earlier though that
they’d be looking for a source of funding within a six month
period, six month to nine month period of time?
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: No, I said they could put a date on that
which of course would put you to the ---
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: It would be what Vicky’s saying.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Exactly, what Vicky would say. But you’re
asking about the approval of the grant. That wouldn’t come until
probably June of ’08.
But I would think you are absolutely right. Somewhere along
the line, the state’s going to want to know there’s some sort of
MS. TRIANO: We’re talking about a fiscal policy, I’m sorry.
I didn’t mean to jump in.
THE CHAIR: All set?
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: That’s it, thank you.
THE CHAIR: The item is before us. Are we all set?
Call the roll, please.
MS. COTTON: Triano: No
Della Vecchia: No
Barry: I believe the
way the resolution has enough safeguards in it. I vote yes.
THE CHAIR: Can you announce that vote?
MS. COTTON: It was four to three.
ATTORNEY SCIOTA: Four to three.
MR. ZONI: Four to three.
X. New Business
A. Tax Refunds (Attachment 7)
MR. DELLA VECCHIA: Make a motion that we approve the tax
refunds as submitted.
Town Council 102
THE CHAIR: Second?
MS. LONGO: Yes.
MR. D’ANGELO: Um-hum.
(Motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.)
B. Appointments: 2 members, CCRPA, 2-year terms to May 2009
THE CHAIR: I believe we are renewing the two existing
MR. ZONI: Motion to reappoint Matt O’Keefe and Leanne
(Motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.)
THE CHAIR: We are going to ask for a motion to go to
executive session. Councilwoman Triano will make that motion.
And, like I said, we will be coming back to adjourn and possibly
vote on an item before us.
MS. TRIANO: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I would make the motion that
we excuse ourselves into executive session, barring the press and
public, but inviting the Town Manager and the Ass’t Town Manager.
THE CHAIR: I think that’s all we need tonight. I think
we’re all set. A second, please?
MR. PALMIERI: Second.
(Motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.)
THE CHAIR: We are moving into executive session.
(Whereupon, the meeting was adjourned to executive session
at 11:00 p.m.)
*Remarks of any qualified elector or taxpayer (town
resident over age 18) shall, in the discretion of the
Chair, be limited to 5 minutes.
Town Council 103
The Southington Town Council entered executive session
immediately following the Town Council meeting with the following
in attendance in order to discuss pending litigation and two
The following Councilpersons were present, viz:
Dolores Longo David Zoni
William DellaVecchia Christopher Palmieri
Victoria Triano Anthony D’Angelo
David Zoni John Barry, Chair
Ex-Officio members present were as follows:
Mark Sciota, Town Attorney
John Weichsel, Town Manager
No motions were made or votes taken during executive
Mr. Zoni made a motion to adjourn from executive session.
Mr. D’Angelo seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
(Executive Session was adjourned at 11:24 o’clock p.m.)
MR. PALMIERI: Motion to award the property and casualty
insurance to C.I.R.M.A. for $612,833.00 for the General
Government and the board of Education for the fiscal year 2007-
He said he felt that this proposal was in the best interest
of the town in that he and the rest of the council were
Town Council 104
disappointed with the services Segur gave the Town during the
recent issues with the flooding: specifically, the Stonegate road
MR. ZONI: Second.
MR. WEICHSEL: (Stated) He believed the Town will be
very well served by C.I.R.M.A. they are a very large company and
have handled the town’s workers compensation insurance for many
yeas and was very confident that they will serve the town
MR. ZONI: (Stated) Although H.D. Segur had a lower bid
than C.I.R.M.A, he felt that the Town would be better served by
changing insurance carrier at this time due to the negative
feelings incurred not only b the Council but many residents in
Town and he thought a fresh start would benefit the Town
(Motion passed 7 to 0 on a roll call vote.)
MR. ZONI: Motion to adjourn.
MR. D’ANGELO: Second.
(Motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.)
(Meeting was adjourned at 11:31 o'clock, p.m.)
Mark J. Sciota