The regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen took place at Town Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Mitch Goldblatt: there was some concern about having election day while school was going on, but it went well and everything was safe for the children.
Delay in results: the process takes a little longer but he hopes in the future that it will run more smoothly in the future.
Stuart Coleman from the conservation commission: Sue Palmer, heavily involved in the community; Mary DeVito former Republican Registrar all passed away in October.
Thanksgiving Day: Turkey Trot Road race will take place, Lions Thanksgiving Dinner at High Plains at noon, call 203-891-4188 to let them know you’re coming. The transfer station will be closed on Thanksgiving but it will be open on Friday and Saturday.
Sterling Adams will tap trees on the Wright property.
To consider and act on the use of open space at Wright Farms – Sterling Adams
Sterling wants to tap sugar maples and make local maple syrup. Tap only healthy trees on south side of tree. He uses smaller taps that do much less damage to the trees and they heal faster. He is a grandson of the Wrights.
He will clean up the trails around the trees which will save the town from having to maintain the land. He will begin tapping the trees at the beginning of the season (Spring).
To consider and act on amending the Library Ordinance – Vincent Marino, Town Counsel.
Reducing the amount of members on the library commission to 7 or 9 (from 14) so they will have a quorum at meetings.
This will go to public hearing at the December meeting.
To consider and act on the property tax abatements for United Illuminating – First Selectman Zeoli
This is for the building, not the vehicles and other equipment. $1.8 million in taxes this year – will be reduced by 70% the following year.
To consider and act on bid recommendation for boiler replacement at Orange Center Road Firehouse using LoCip Funds – First Selectman Zeoli
A new Gas furnace would replace a 50 year old furnace — $30,160 is the low bid
Crew Chief Don Foyer talks payloaders.
To consider and act on the bid recommendation for a new 3.0 Cubic Yard Class Four Wheel Drive Loader – Robert Hiza, Town Engineer
Highway Crew Chief Don Foyer said the Payloader at transfer station is 25 years old, Payloader at Highway Dept is 17 years old — Highway payloader would go to transfer station and the new one will come to the Highway department.
Each of the Highway crew that will operate the machine had a voice in the final decision.
Working with F&W in Orange, they tried different machines against their existing payloader and put them through their paces. They agreed that the John Deere was the best for their needs with the most power. At $19,000 it is their preference. It will have to be dependable and last a long time.
Mitch Goldblatt said the Highway Dept. had decided on the highest bid.
Judy Williams said she would put her trust in Don Foyer and his expertise.
Roger Funk from F&W Equipment sold most of the Board on the Doosan payloader.
Roger Funk from F&W said he backs the Doosan equipment (that is less expensive -lesser known – 7th largest manufacturer of these machines and it has a 5 year warranty).
Funk said it also has a 48-hour parts guarantee, If the payloader broke down and the part wasn’t available immediately the Highway Dept. could rent another one and use it until the part was available and Doosan would pay the rental fee.
Amy Williams asked Funk what his experience is in operating the machinery.
Funk said he’s been operating heavy equipment since he got out of college in 1963. He knows them, he knows the customers who buy them and gets input, so he has broad experience in the use and ability of the machines.
First Selectman Jim Zeoli told the board that they had to weigh everything they’ve heard from Foyer, Funk and the letter of recommendation from Town Engineer Bob Hiza.
Judy Williams said the 9 men at the Highway Department are the experts in this case and she has to go with their opinion.
Ken Lenz agreed that even thought the Highway Department’s choice is more money, he had to trust them.
Ralph Okenquist asked if the Highway Department has any Large John Deere Equipment. Don Foyer responded, “No.”
Mitch Goldblatt said based on what Funk said and the difference in price, he feels they should go with the Doosan.
A motion was made to purchase the John Deere for $146,685, with an option to trade in the 25-year-old machine.
Williams voted YES, Goldblatt Voted NO
A second motion was made to purchase the Doosan with an option to trade in the old payloader.
The motion passed 3-1 (Williams voted NO)
To consider and act on the donation of land known as 1-5 Lots on Hemlock Drive – First Selectman Zeoli
4.8 acres once owned by Mary Balog (part of Oakview) adjacent to Fred Wolfe Park that will create a buffer between homes and the park. $11,526 in back taxes are owed so this may be waived as the town takes possession of the land.
To consider and act on the request to authorize the First Selectman on behalf of the Board of Selectmen to execute the FFY 2014 State Homeland Security Grant Program Region 2 Memorandum of Agreement – Tim Smith, Fire Marshal
To consider and act on disbanding committees
i.e. building committee (schools) bond committee, etc that are no longer relevant.
To consider and act on the request to approve the tax refunds totaling $12,491.47
There was a question as to whether or not the board had the authority to vote on taxes that went further back than 2011 (the list included at least one from 2010).
The list was approved except for that one item.