Council holds three hearings in one evening

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Plainville Town Council met on Monday, June 17, and hosted three public hearings – one, an ordinance establishing fourth quarter transfers for the end of the 2019 fiscal year; one on an additional appropriation of $290,000 from the Unassigned Fund Balance; and the development of an ordinance on “illicit discharge and stormwater connection ordinance.”

Town Manager Robert Lee said the first hearing would establish a town ordinance for fourth quarter transfers at the end of the fiscal year, which council chair Kathy Pugliese said happens every year.

Lee explained this year the council and town staff were looking to transfer from four different accounts, in the amount of $539,658, which would be used in line items throughout the lower half of the budget. Lee’s office recommended the council reduce the transfers by $4,500, making the new total $535,158.

“While $539,658 sounds like a lot of dollars, and it is a lot of dollars, $382,558 of that amount is basically a transfer to the debt management fund from the debt service line item,” said Lee. “We had anticipated that we were going to be spending down some principle interest in the fiscal year, it actually got pushed off to next year, so what that means is there’s going to be a surplus this year and we’re going to use a good portion of that debt management in next year’s budget.”

The rest of the transfers, he said, are line items that are “really difficult to predict,” such as order repair and maintenance, maintenance contracts, buildings and grounds repair, and equipment repairs, to name a few.

The manager explained the additional appropriation of $290,000 would cover two items. First is police overtime, which Lee said, has historically gone over the amount budgeted ($450,000), which is why the police overtime dollar amount was raised to $550,000 for next year. The appropriation for police would be $250,000 and $40,000 would be appropriated for pensions.

The third hearing topic, Lee explained, comes from the state level and is required of all towns and cities in Connecticut. The state is requiring all municipalities “take a more active role in monitoring and actually testing outfalls on storm sewage pipes that go into streams and rivers.”

“It is going to cost us more dollars, we have some monies in next year’s budget to cover it, probably not as much as the state wants us to but we figure by the time they catch up to us, maybe we’ll be up to where they want us to be,” said Lee. “A lot of this work is being done in house with existing town staff, adding to their duties, and I appreciate the work that they do to at least get us to comply with this new mandate without necessarily going to consultants automatically and hiring somebody else to do it for us.”

All three items received unanimous approval by the entire council later on during the meeting.

Catherine Marx spoke on the 2020 Census and Local Complete Count Committees. Marx explained that the decennial census (held every 10 years) is mandated by the Constitution.

Marx explained that the data collected determines things such as the amount of seats allocated to each state in the House of Representatives, defines congressional and state legislative districts, school districts, and voting precincts. It also determines how and where an annual amount of $675 billion flows from the federal government down to the states.

“For the 2020 Census, our goal is simple: we’re going to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place,” said Marx.

Comments? Email tmurchison@BristolObserver.com.