Extending the Town's Water Contract
As Town Council member Vincent P. Caprio has mentioned on multiple occassions, North Branford will be "in the hole" fiscally speaking by the beginning of the fiscal year. With that in mind, council members are paying very close attention to expenditures and thinking twice about "rubber stamping" anything.
Town Engineer Kurt Weiss was put on the spot by coucilman Caprio when he proposed to extend the town's contract with Veolia Water for another three years from 2011 to 2014. Caprio was informed by Weiss that the town did not go out to bid to seek out the possibility of a lower bidder.
Town Manager Richard V. Branigan said that the town could set up another extension since the Veiola contract ended on Sept. 1 and go out to bid should they choose to do so. He added that Veolia's contractor "did a great job protecting the town's infrastructure."
Caprio said that he doesn't like "rubber stamping" anything and that the issue of going out to bid should have been addressed before the August meeting.
Weiss went on to note that the fire department at 1370 Middletown Ave., Northford, has requested three special sewer line connection units at $4,000 per unit for a total of $12,000. The motion was passed immediately followed by discussion of a special sewerage connection unit fee. A public hearing for Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. has been arranged to discuss the potential fee, which has been estimated to be $390 per unit.
Leaky Roof in NBHS Gym
Mark Caputo said that while the North Branford High School gym roof and wellness center roof projects are finished and were completed on time, the school is still experiencing leaks because rain water is running off a higher roof onto a lower roof without a gutter system in place.
Branigan reported to the council that the Hurricane Irene financial report will be supplied to the council for the October meeting, pending information from FEMA.
"We learned a lot about what we can and should be doing for state of emergency situations," said Branigan. "I'm very proud to report that the town came through the storm very, very well. We have an exceptional emergency management director. His by-the-book approach helped me greatly, I appreciate his guidance."
Branigan went on to commend the fire and police department and all of the volunteers involved in organizing the shelter. He added that he has started compiling information on expenses and that the town has the potential for 75 percent compensation for equipment and extra time spent.
More Meeting Notes
The town is looking to shift the key system to a magnetic strip system for monitoring the mileage and gasoline usage of town vehicles. While the key system requires input from drivers such as entering in mileage digits, the magnetic strip will be more effective and accurate as there is no opportunity for human error.
The council voted unanimously that it would not accept free solar panels for town hall. The council concluded that there would be no significant monetary benefit for the town and it would be more of a "feel good" endeavor than anything, said Coucilman Alfred D. Rose.
Marie Diamond and David McMahon were appointed to North Branford's Permanent Building Project Committee.
The council approved the motion that September will be Leukemia, Lymphoma and Melanoma Awareness Month.
The Stanley T. Williams Conversion Project was tabled by the council. Rather than spend $200,000 on air conditioning, Rose suggested that the money be spent on making the building "usable for the next 50 years."
A public hearing for proposed revisions to the Hazardous Waste and Recycling Committee's Soild Waste Ordinance will be held at 7:45 p.m. on Sept. 20.
The council voted to approve the transfer of $130,000 to the fire department for new pagers and turn out gear. The FCC has mandated that all fire deprtment pages must accept narrow bands by Jan. 13, 2012. Current NBFD pagers are wide band mode and will need to be replaced. Seventy-five new pagers at around $500 each will be purchased with any extra money going towards new turn out gear.
As part of the $2 million Road Improvement Project approved by the council, $25,000 was approved at the meeting for crack sealing, which Weiss said is basic maintenance for the overall life of the road in the long haul.
Story concerning Town Council's issues with Board of Education to follow.