The Weston Board of Selectmen met for a regular meeting on Thursday, June 21.
The following were among the agenda items the selectmen discussed.
The board unanimously approved a supplemental appropriation totaling $650,000. The money will be taken from the 2011-12 general fund.
The selectmen agreed to put $100,000 toward OPEB (other post employment benefits); $300,000 will be used for bridge repair; and $250,000 will be allocated for a window and door replacement project at Weston High School.
The appropriation had already been approved by the finance board at its June 14 meeting.
First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said the reason for drawing down the general fund is that it was up to about 13.9% of the town’s total budget, which is higher than what the town aims to have on hand.
Selectman David Muller said a more appropriate balance is between 8% and 10%. Rating agencies like to see “healthy” fund balances, but “if you’re carrying too much in terms of balances, then you’re overtaxing,” he said.
The appropriation brings the general fund down to about 12.9%, said Tom Landry, town administrator.
The board agreed to award a $44,500 contract to Vision Government Solutions Inc. in Northboro, Mass., to conduct the town’s property revaluation in 2013.
Ken Whitman, the town assessor, said reval must be done by law every five years. The 2013 reval will not include a full physical inspection, as that was done last time, and it only needs to be done every 10 years.
Mr. Whitman said the cost of revaluation usually runs “in the $80,000 to $100,000 range,” but since Mr. Whitman took on a lot of the functions typically given to the reval company, he said he was able to cut back on what needed to be contracted out.
Mr. Whitman said he is confident recommending Vision, especially since the town already uses Vision software.
The selectmen unanimously agreed to allocate the remaining $3,000 in the 2011-12 community grants account to the Social Services Department to be used to purchase gift cards to grocery stores.
Ms. Weinstein explained the card will allow the Social Services director to give food pantry clients an opportunity to purchase fresh vegetables, fruit, and frozen food that isn’t available at the food pantry.
Old Mill Road
The selectmen briefly discussed Old Mill Road and ongoing attempts to calm traffic on it.
Ms. Weinstein said she and Weston Police Chief John Troxell had spoken to the Wilton first selectman and police chief about the road, since it runs through both towns. Wilton will not agree to a proposal to turn the road into a cul-de-sac, she said, but did agree to do a traffic study.
Ms. Weinstein said the town engineer is in the process of identifying trees that may removed along the road to improve sight lines without “creating speedways.”
A Special Town Meeting was set for Aug. 2 to approve transferring town property to three residents of Oak Lane.
In 1995, the town extended what had been a cul-de-sac into a through street, and the residents had been promised the property in order to keep their parcels at two acres, the minimum required building lot in town. It was discovered recently that the deeds were never transferred, so “this is just to make it right,” Ms. Weinstein explained.
The selectmen had planned to appoint members to a new Lachat Property Oversight Committee. However, First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said people had recently expressed interest in perhaps serving on the committee.
The board agreed to interview those people at their next meeting, scheduled for July 5, and to hold off on making a decision about the committee until then.
Legal Review Committee
The board did appoint the members of a new Legal Review Committee, after interviewing a final candidate, Howard Aibel.
Committee members named were Mr. Aibel, Jeff Eglash, Teresa Rodriguez, Kevin Korsh and Maryanne Bolella.
The committee is tasked with reviewing the town’s legal counsel and issues, and all have terms that expire Jan. 31, 2013.
Jared Kapel, a rising senior at Weston High School was appointed as the first ever high school student to serve in a full capacity on a town committee. He was unanimously appointed to the Sustainability Committee for a two-year term.
Also appointed to the Sustainability Committee was Jennifer Markov, who will a vacancy left by David Wilk. Her term will expire June 30, 2014. Reappointed to the committee for a two-year term was Ellen McCormick.
Andi Fine and Keith Brooks were reappointed to the Commission for the Arts. Their terms expire June 30, 2014.
Sandra Dadik was reappointed as Weston’s representative to C-MED (Central Medical Emergency Dispatch) for a one-year term.