Tompkins takes over as council’s new vice chair

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Plainville Town Council met on Monday, Sept. 17, and appointed councilor Deb Tompkins as vice chair.

“[Tompkins] has been a dedicated member of the town council for the past six years,” said council chair, Kathy Pugliese. “I am fully confident Deb is the person to be there in this moment in time.”

Tompkins takes over for Scott Saunders, who has left the council.

Newly appointed chair of the Board of Education, Deborah Hardy, updated the council on several school happenings, including the Plainville High School paving project, which is near completion, and the Wheeler Elementary School renovation project, which is still in process.

Hardy also discussed the unveiling of the Ted Christopher Wall of Wrestling Champions, which was held on Wed., Sept. 12.

“There were many friends and classmates of the Wazorko and Christopher families, as well as members of the town council and the BoE,” said Hardy. “Foster White represented the BoE well by making some heartfelt remarks about Ted Christopher. Quinn Christopher was extremely pleased with the event.”

Town Manager Robert Lee, reported that a project kickoff meeting regarding the Wheeler School project was held on Wednesday, Sept. 12, and that the project manager “reviewed all aspects of the renovation, emphasising the need for safety while school is in session.”

“All workers will be required to have background checks before being allowed on site, these background checks will be reviewed by the Plainville Police Department,” said Lee.

Construction manager for the project, O&G Industries, submitted their guaranteed maximum price. The total guaranteed proposal cost is $18.565,019. The project is being completed in phases, and Lee reported that the “substantial completion date is February 2020.”

Regarding the PHS paving project, Lee reported that the project is “substantially complete,” and the construction manager has compiled a list of remaining items.

“Some contaminated soils were found on site during excavation for the new building to house the dewatering equipment,” Lee said, regarding the Water Pollution Control Phosphorus Upgrade project. “It is being tested to determine what cost, if any, will be required in order to dispose of the material. At this point in time, it’s hard to tell whether that’s going to be substantial or not, but it is something that concerns us.”

According to Lee’s report, “approximately 200 loads of sludge” is transported per year from the treatment plant. Currently, it’s being transported to Mattabassett Treatment Plant in Cromwell, where it is incinerated.

“The town recently received two quotes for transportation of the sludge,” said Lee. “The low quote was submitted by H.I. Stone & Sons for a cost of $172.50 per load. The current price being charged by J&M, who was the other bidder, is $175 per load, although, their quote was significantly higher than $175.”

Lee explained that the quote was for a three year time period.

“H.I Stone proposes an increase in the second year to $176.80 per load, which is a 2.5% increase, and to $181 in the third year, which is a 2.4% increase. H.I. Stone has worked for the WPC facility in the past, and they have done a good job,” said Lee. “The contract does allow for, if there is increase in fuel prices for the load price to be adjusted, but that’s per negotiations with the town.”

Lee also discussed that the “town received six bids to purchase $10 million in general obligation bonds for Plainville.”

“The bond sale included $4.9 million for roads, $3 million for schools, and $2.1 million for fire trucks. The low bid was submitted by Morgan Stanley, with an interest cost of 3.099876%, and included a premi. of $99,840,” said Lee. “Before the bid, town staff and financial advisor had a conference call with Standard and Pour to determine the towns credit rating.”

Lee said “S&P confirmed Plainville’s credit rating at AA+, with a stable outlook.”

“This is one notch below a AAA rating. By assigning this rating, S&P noted the following factors; a strong economy, adequate management, strong budgetary performance, very strong budgetary flexibility, very strong liquidity, very strong debt and contingent liability position, and a strong institutional framework score,” said Lee.

The S&P analysis has been posted on the town website.

Lee also reported that the town’s financial advisor updated the town’s debt analysis using the Morgan Stanley low bid.

“For fiscal year 19 the debt service line item will be approximately $562,000 below the $4.4 million cap established by the town council. A portion of these savings will be used in fiscal year 20, when the $4.4 million cap will be exceeded by $324,000. All future years will be under the cap. The updated plan anticipates the town will bond another $8 million in Sept., 2020,” said Lee.

The council voted to approve the guaranteed maximum price amendment from O&G, regarding the Wheeler School project, as well as the bid made by H.I. Stone & Sons for the transportation of sludge.