WINDHAM REGION COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS
MINUTES – April 7, 2006
A meeting of WINCOG was held on April 7, 2006 at the Windham Town Hall, 979 Main Street, Windham, CT. Chair
Rusty Lanzit called the meeting to order at 8:32 a.m.
Voting COG Members present: Rusty Lanzit, Chaplin; Robert Skinner (alt.), Columbia; Julie Blanchard, Coventry;
Joyce Okonuk, Lebanon; Elizabeth Paterson, Mansfield; Elizabeth Wilson, Scotland; Michael Paulhus, Windham.
Others: Roger Adams, Windham Region Chamber of Commerce; David Dagon, Mansfield Fire Chief; Roberta Dwyer,
NE Alliance; Dennis Twiss, Small Business Development Center; Bob Peterson, Windham Hospital, Grayson Wright,
Staff Present: Barbara Buddington, Jana Butts.
MOVED by Ms. Wilson, SECONDED by Mr. Paulhus to approve the minutes of the 2/3/06 meeting as
submitted. MOTION CARRIED with Ms. Paterson abstaining.
WINDHAM COMMUNITY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL PARAMEDIC BUDGET
Mr. Peterson distributed a statement of revenues and expenses for the Windham Hospital Paramedic Program for fiscal
year 2006-2007. Six years ago, changes in federal regulations led to a decrease in funding for paramedic ambulance
services. Without additional funding, the hospital would have been forced to terminate the paramedic program and
municipalities would have had to incur considerable costs to obtain the same service from private providers. WINCOG
and the hospital jointly developed a revenue formula intended to equitably charge towns for paramedic services. The
formula includes a per capita charge and a transport fee. While the revenue formula was prepared with WINCOG input,
no municipality, fire district, or other entity is required to follow the formula. For example, Windham, UConn and
ECSU opted to use a flat fee structure instead of the WINCOG formula. Mr. Peterson stressed that the paramedic
service saves lives and that the hospital is absorbing a substantial deficit to keep the service viable. Council members
had several questions and comments. Mr. Peterson expressed that he is willing to discuss alternatives to the current
program, should a change be desired. Mr. Lanzit thanked Mr. Peterson for the important service. WINCOG will
continue to discuss the issue with staff.
Strategic Planning: Ms. Buddington distributed a synopsis of the notes from the Strategic Planning meeting on March
14 at the Patriots Park Community Center in Coventry. Mr. Lanzit reported that he and Ms. Buddington has met with
representatives of SECCOG and discussed opportunities for cooperation such as staff sharing and legislative issues.
MOVED by Ms. Paterson to adopt the notes from the Strategic Planning meeting as an addendum to this
meeting’s minutes. SECONDED by Ms. Wilson. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY. Ms. Buddington
suggested that some of the strategic planning issues could be pursued with her successor.
Contract Authorizations for FY 2007: MOVED by Ms. Okonuk to authorize the standard annual contracts as
submitted*. SECONDED by Ms. Paterson. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Nominating Committee: Mr. Lanzit appointed Ms. Okonuk, Ms. Wilson and himself to serve as a nominating
committee for the election of officers at the May meeting. A nomination form will be distributed to all members of the
COG so they may indicate if they wish to serve as an officer. Ms. Buddington noted that a special election of officers
was held in December to fill vacancies, and that all incumbents are eligible to be re-elected to their current offices.
Representative to the Eastern CT Resource Conservation and Development Area: Mr. Manning of Lebanon wishes to
step down as the Windham Region representative to the ECRC&D. The ECRC&D president suggested Ms. Butts as a
replacement. MOVED by Mr. Lanzit to appoint Ms. Butts as the Windham Region representative to the board of
the Eastern CT Resource Conservation and Development District. SECONDED by Ms. Wilson. MOTION
CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY. Additionally, the board expressed its gratitude to Mr. Manning for his many years of
Transportation: MOVED by Mr. Paulhus to endorse the amendments to the State Transportation Improvement
Plan as listed on the back of the agenda. SECONDED by Ms. Okonuk. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Ms. Buddington suggested that WINCOG may wish to re-endorse its prioritized list of Enhancement projects in light of
the fact that the local match for number one priority project (Town Center Connecting Streetscape, Coventry) was
turned down by the Coventry Town Council. MOVED by Ms. Paterson to re-endorse the existing list of priority
transportation improvement projects from the Regional Transportation Plan. SECONDED by Ms. Wilson.
MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
* Document attached to file copy of minutes 45bef46e-af29-4849-9803-f6031e853e36.doc
WINCOG Board Meeting April 7, 2006
Mr. Paulhus reported that Windham is still interested in examining the viability of a multi-town dog pound and
Windham may have a potential site. Additionally, he reported that the Willimantic Police Department needs a
permanent outdoor firing range, and this may be an opportunity for a regional facility. Mr. Lanzit reported that
SECCOG is pursuing its own regional firing range facility. Ms. Paterson and Ms. Blanchard will inquire what their
local police needs for firing range facilities are.
Ms. Paterson reported that UConn’s Spring Weekend will be Thursday, April 20, to Sunday, April 23. She reported
that there will be at least three DUI checkpoints in Mansfield and 150 extra troopers on patrol. Mr. Lanzit reported that
his TV show Town Talk will include a discussion of Spring Weekend at UConn. The show will air Friday, April 7, on
channel 14 at 5:30 p.m.
Workforce Investment Area: Mr. Lanzit reported that the Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board (EWIB) is working
very hard on a plan to help relocate the 380 workers currently employed that the Franklin Farms mushroom plant. The
plant owner recently announced his plans to close the facility in June. EWIB’s April report to chief elected officials was
CT EAST Tourism District: No report.
Ms. Buddington distributed the directors report and drew the board’s attention to the upcoming CERT and Land Use
Commissioner Training classes. Additionally, she drew attention to the section on Safe Routes to Schools. This year
there is approximately 1.3 million dollars in state funding available for infrastructure projects that will make it more
appealing and safe for children to get from home to school using transportation other than car or bus. Additionally, Ms.
Buddington reported that the Executive Director Search Committee had met once. They reviewed and revised the job
description. Ms. Buddington distributed a copy of the revised description and copies of draft job announcements, to be
published and / or posted in mid April.. Screening of applicants will begin in early May..
AGENDA ITEMS for MAY MEETING
Location: Windham Town Hall
Agenda Items: Congressman Simmons
Stretch Leadership Program
Regional Firing Range/Dog Pound
Paramedic Program- further discussion
PUBLIC COMMENT – Members of the public in attendance introduced themselves to the newer members of
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:10 a.m.
Respectfully submitted by Jana Butts, for Julie Blanchard, Secretary.
* denotes item attached to file copy of minutes. 45bef46e-af29-4849-9803-f6031e853e36.doc