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Council talks police policies, town finances

Council talks police policies, town finances

The Plainville Town Council met remotely Monday, July 20. Some highlights from the session taken from the meeting minutes:

Appointments/resignation: Councilman Gnazzo motioned to accept with regret the resignation of Probationary Firefighter Lauren Lederman from the Plainville Fire Department. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairwoman Tompkins and passed 7-0.

Councilman Underwood motioned to appoint Leona Bisson (D) to the Housing Authority for the term ending Jan. 31, 2021. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairwoman Tompkins and passed 7-0.

Councilman Wazorko motioned to appoint Francis Cawley (U)) as an Alternate Member of the Aviation Commission for the term ending Oct. 31, 2021. The motion was seconded by Vice Chairwoman Tompkins and passed 7-0.

P.D. policies: Chief Catania participated in the meeting to review the Plainville Police Department’s “Policy Governing Use of Force.” The policy was issued on April 1, 2019. Gov. Lamont had requested that the legislature meet in Special Session to consider several items. One of these items is proposed legislation entitled “An Act Concerning Police Accountability.”

Catania explained the similarities and differences between the Plainville policy and the proposed act. He spoke to the issue of police body cameras. Catania and Town Manager Lee both are supportive of having the police department being equipped with body cameras. Initial cost and annual maintenance costs were discussed. There was a consensus of the Town Council to move forward with a proposal to purchase body cameras and related items sooner than later.

White Oak property: Town staff has developed a “Draft RFQ for the Former White Oak Construction Brownfield Redevelopment.” The RFQ is aimed at engaging development firms for the purchase, remediation, redevelopment and marketing for the White Oak property. The goal is to find a developer who is interested in developing a multi-use anchor tenant for the downtown. The town has submitted two state applications that are currently under review. These applications include a request to modify the groundwater classification from GA to GB as well as acceptance into the Abandoned Brownfields Clean-Up Program. Approval of these two applications would make the White Oak property more attractive to potential developers.

It was the consensus of the Town Council to move forward and prepare the RFQ, which should be ready the end of July or early August. Interested parties would address the Town Council with their proposals.

Trail update: Scott Bushee from the Department of Transportation has finalized the alignment for Phase 1 of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail from Norton Park to the Southington town line. The D.O.T. will now begin to develop a structure design for the boardwalk and bridges that will be required as part of Phase 1. They expect to complete their internal design review in the fall 2020 and should be in position to hold a public information meeting in early 2021.

The Phase 2 survey work has also been completed. This is the segment from Northwest Drive to Route 72. Phase 3, which is the portion from Route 72 to Norton Park, is currently being surveyed. The D.O.T. currently has two design engineers dedicated to the three sections of the trail through Plainville.

Finances: According to Finance Director Rob Buden preliminary figures indicate that the FY20 budget will return at least $1M back to the General Fund. The year-end amounts have been difficult to calculate because of the COVID-19 expenses which are currently being finalized so they can be removed from the General Fund because state and federal reimbursements are anticipated.

Approximately half of the $1M is expected to be the result of expenditures coming in less than budgeted with the other half coming from revenues that exceeded expectations. The return to the General Fund could go as high as $1.5M once the Board of Education “prepayments” towards the FY21 budget have been finalized.

Security vestibule: On July 1, four bids were received for the Plainville High School Security Vestibule. The low bid was submitted by M A & M Inc. (dba/Aresco Construction) of Middletown, CT in the amount of $72,000. There was also one alternate as part of the bid and Aresco quoted $12,500 for that item.

The FY21 CIP Budget has a line item amount of $70,000 for the project. Town Manager Lee spoke to both Steve LePage and Steve Busel regarding the bids. Busel indicated that his staff could do some of the work in the alternate, which could decrease the amount by $8,500, lowering the overall estimated cost of the project to $76,000 +/-. The additional monies needed to complete the project ($6,000) can be funded by the Board of Education’s expected return of their FY20 monies.

Vice Chairwoman Tompkins motioned to ratify the award of Bid #2020-13E, Plainville High School Security Vestibule, to M A & M Inc. in the amount of $72,000. The motion was seconded by Councilman Underwood and passed 7-0.

Mower replacement: The FY21 Capital Improvement Budget included the replacement of a 4WD mower in the Building & Grounds Department for an estimated cost of $30,000. Submitted is a quote to purchase a Toro Groundmaster 3300 4WD mower from TurfProducts Corp. of Enfield, CT for $26,272.61.

The quote for the mower is from Sourcewell, which is a national co-operative pricing program for municipalities, state governments and educational institutions. The discount from MSRP is 22 percent.

For this reason, town staff recommended that the bid process be waived and the purchase of the mower from TurfProducts of Enfield be authorized.

Vice Chairwoman Tompkins motioned to waive the bid process and award Bid #2021-02, Replacement 4WD Mower, to TurfProducts Corp. in the amount of $26,272.61. The motion was seconded by Councilman Wazorko and passed 7-0.

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