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At the June 3 virtual meeting of the Board of Finance, the Board received an update on medical insurance claims through May and voted to approve the 2020-2021 fiscal year budget.

Tom Kowalchik of USI spoke about the medical insurance claims budget and the insurance stop-loss level. Currently, the Town has a $200,000 stop-loss limit for an individual claim (the amount of a claim the Town would have to pay before the insurance would pay), with an aggregate stop loss of 120% (i.e., insurance would pay the full amount of all claims if the Town exceeded the projected claims for the year by 20%). Mr. Kowalchik also presented alternate cost scenarios for individual stop-loss levels of $150,000 and $175,000.

The Board discussed dropping the individual stop-loss level to $150,000, which would result in an additional premium cost of approximately $100,000. It also discussed doing away with the aggregate stop-loss of 120%, which would save an estimated $22,000. After further discussion, the Board voted to approve the medical plan with an individual stop-loss level of $150,000 and an aggregate stop-loss of 120%. Mr. Kowalchik said he would negotiate with Anthem to possibly further reduce the premium amount.

The Board then discussed the Town’s tax suspense list of past due taxes (primarily motor vehicle taxes). The Board voted to turn the list over to a collection agency. Past due taxes are collectible for 15 years.

Two motions were then made to approve and adopt the municipal and education budgets for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. In his March 21 Executive Order 7I, Governor Ned Lamont gave authority for boards of selectmen around the state to authorize boards of finance to approve and adopt budgets for the coming fiscal year without a town meeting or a vote by residents. This was due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions placed on public gatherings.

At its May 28 meeting, the Board of Selectmen had voted to authorize the Board of Finance the ability to approve and adopt the municipal and education budgets for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

The first motion made was for the approval and adoption of Municipal expenditures totaling $12,276,720 from the general Fund and $749,000 from the Capital & Nonrecurring Fund and $928,256 from other governmental funds for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021.

The second motion made was for the approval and adoption of Education expenditures totaling $43,709,084 from the General Fund for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021. The total amount of both budgets is $55,985,804, up from $55,466,175 over the previous fiscal year, and would increase the mil rate to 30.58 from 30.28 mils, or 0.99%.

Both motions were approved unanimously by the Board. The Board then voted to set the mil rate at 30.58, and that was also approved unanimously. The Board also discussed the need to hold its regular June 17 meeting. It was decided to cancel the June meeting.

The next regular meeting of the Board of Finance will be held July 15 at 7:30pm.