NEW FAIRFIELD – The Board of Finance received a storm cleanup update from First Selectman Pat Del Monaco and reviewed a draft of a new debt policy at its September 12 meeting.
Ms. Del Monaco gave the Board a brief rundown of the storm cleanup, which was completed before the end of August. The cost for cleanup of town roads was roughly $2 million and $325,000 for private roads. With the additional cost for monitoring, the total cost was approximately $2.5 million, which was under budget.
Ms. Del Monaco also gave an update on potential FEMA reimbursement for the cleanup cost, stating that she had attended the first FEMA applicants’ briefing that day where she formally requested assistance for the town. She was unsure of how long it would take for the town to receive any reimbursement, although she hoped it would be before the end of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. The declaration made by the President called for reimbursement of 70% of costs, although that may or may not wind up being the case. She also noted that the recent storms in the Carolinas might also affect the reimbursement timeline.
The Board then discussed a new town debt policy that had been drawn up by Town Treasurer Phil Cammarano. In reviewing the document, the Board had several questions about the ambiguity of some of the parameters as well as whether some requirements listed might be too restrictive for the Board and the Town in the event an unforeseen or out of the ordinary circumstance would arise which would require bonding. In the end, the Board decided to return the document along with its comments and questions to Mr. Cammarano for clarification. Once the BOF is comfortable with the draft of the document, it will go to the Board of Selectmen for review.
The Board then discussed the budget surplus from the 2017-2018 fiscal year. While the numbers are not yet final, the estimated amount of the surplus was $2.616 million. According to Town Finance Director Ed Sbordone, the only remaining change to that amount would be any adjustment made by the auditors upon completion of their annual audit. According to the BOF’s policy for disposition of any expenditure surplus, the Board could return up to 50% of any expenditure surplus to the general fund and return the remainder to the BOE and BOS to supplement the education and municipal budgets. Under the policy, the BOF could elect to return the entire expenditure surplus to the BOE and BOS. The total expenditure surplus for fiscal 2017-2018 was $349,099.95. Of that, $68,814.77 belonged to the BOE, and $280,285.18 was for the BOS’ municipal budget.
The BOF discussed how much it might release to the other Boards if they were to request funds. The Board decided to ask both the BOE and BOS to present them with a list of items it needed to fund. Based on that, the BOF would then decide whether to release the entire surplus to the Boards or to withhold a certain percentage of the surplus to put into the general fund.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Finance will be held Wed., Oct. 17at 7:30pm.
By Greg Slomba