BOARD OF SELECTMEN
BOARD OF FINANCE
in the Douglass Room of Lapham Community Center
BOARD OF SELECTMEN
Judy Neville, First Selectman
Johnny Potts, Selectman
BOARD OF FINANCE
MEMBERS PRESENT: MEMBERS ABSENT:
Mary Davis Cody Robert Cruickshank
Robert DiPanni Harry Durney
Judy Neville, Chairman
Kathryn Devereaux Thomas O’Dea
Mark DeWaele Ruth Smithers
John Emert Richard White
MEMBER ABSENT: Lewis Annunziato
ALSO PRESENT: George Maranis, Administrative Officer; Gary Conrad, Chief Financial Officer; William “Chip” D’Angelo and Christopher Spicer of WCD Consultants; Christine Wagner, Chairman, and Arnold Karp, Penny Rashin, and Werner Meyer, members, New Canaan High School Building Committee; Sally Hines, Chairman, and Deb Edwards, Nick Fellner, Tucker Murphy, and Ditte Reifsnyder, members, New Canaan Board of Education; David Abbey, Superintendent of Schools; Steve Swerdlick, Assistant Superintendent of Schools; Mike Lagas, New Canaan Public Schools (NCPS) Business Manager; Joe Meehan, NCPS Business Office; Hans Otto, NCPS Facilities Manager; Tony Pavia, Principal, New Canaan High School; Joe Gambino, Construction Consulting Group, Owner’s Representative; Mark Jeffkoe, O&G Industries, Inc., Project Manager; Andy Ashforth, A.P. Construction Company; Larry Rusconi, Managing Director, and Mike O.Neil, Director, RSM McGladrey Consulting; Jeb Walker, Chairman, Park & Recreation Commission; Jim Cole, Police Commissioner and Director of Emergency Services; Sara Poirier, New Canaan Adveriser; John Mordecai, New Canaan News-Review; and eight or nine members of the public.
Judy Neville called the
Special Meeting of the Board of Selectmen to order at and took the roll, noting the presence
of all the Selectmen. Ms. Neville then
called the Budget Meeting of the Board of Finance to order and took the roll,
noting the absence of Mssrs. Cruickshank, Durney, and
Ward. She asked that Alternate Mary
Davis Cody be seated in place of Mr. Cruickshank and this was unanimously
agreed to by the Board.
Ms. Neville then asked that
the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance consider the Agenda item asking
approval of a request from the New Canaan High School Building Committee for an appropriation of
$6,460,131 for asbestos abatement at
Ms. Wagner then introduced Mark Jeffko, who was joined by Mr. Ashforth in describing in more detail the procedures being followed in the asbestos abatement process and the difficulties expected to be confronted in implementing new protocols. At this point, Mr. D’Angelo of WCD Consultants took issue with the previous speakers, contending that the asbestos removal had been mishandled from the beginning and that the cost of asbestos abatement to date has been excessive. He argued that there were ample opportunities going forward to significantly reduce the cost to complete. He indicated that State approval of the less restrictive removal protocols was assured and that further opportunities existed for “de-scoping “ the project. He argued that the remaining asbestos removal could be accomplished for approximately $3,000,000, not the $4,420,622 requested by the Committee. Joe Gambino attempted to explain the conditions and constraints under which asbestos abatement had been conducted and the mandates imposed by the State. He indicated, however, as did Ms. Wagner, that all parties stood ready to work cooperatively with WCD going forward.
Discussion then centered on the request to replenish the Contingency Fund, with questions asked and answers given over the history of transactions in the Fund. Mr. Jeffko and Mr. Ashforth detailed the number and amounts of existing, pending, and proposed change orders that will have to be charged to the contingency fund and the critical need of restoring the fund to acceptable levels. It was the general consensus of the Town bodies that the fund should be “made whole” for all the asbestos-related charges to the Fund.
At this point, Ms. Neville made a motion that the appropriation request be reduced to $3,000,000, comprising $1,500,000 for asbestos abatement and $1,500,000 for replenishment of the Contingency Fund, and Mr. Giusti seconded the motion. Mr. Ashforth made a strong argument that the Contingency Fund reimbursement be increased and Mr. Giusti amended the motion, increasing the Contingency Fund reimbursement to $2,000,000. Mr. Potts seconded Mr. Giusti’s amended motion, and the Selectmen voted unanimously to approve an appropriation of $3,500,000, consisting of $1,500,000 for asbestos abatement and $2,000,000 for contingency Fund reimbursement.
On the motion of Mr. DiPanni
and the second of Mr. Smith, the Board of Finance then approved the
appropriation of $3,500,000, with five members voting in favor, and Mr. Spangler
dissenting. Next, on the motion of Mr.
DiPanni and the second of Mr. Smith, the Board of Finance unanimously approved
and recommended to the
Before moving to the next
item on the Agenda, the hearing of the McGladrey
report and, recognizing the lateness of the hour, it was the consensus of all those
present that the hearing of the Board of Education be deferred to
and Mr. O’Neil then presented the report of RMS McGladrey
on the agreed-upon special procedures performed by McGladrey
on the records of the New Canaan High School Building Committee. They presented the four recommendations of
the report: (1) reimbursement claims be submitted in a more timely manner or
every two months; (2) accounting support
be provided to implement the recommendation for more timely reimbursements; (3)
financial reporting to the
There being no further business, the Town bodies voted unanimously to adjourn at .
George M. Maranis, Secretary, Board of Selectmen
Robert DiPanni, Secretary, Board of Fianance