3-board MEETING HIGHLIGHTS Nov. 10, 2022

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First Selectman Mark Fiorentino, Mark Neumann, Kelly Rome, Margaret Chapple, Frederick Moffa, Student Liaison Charles Orluk.

  BOE Chairperson Sarah Thrall, Rosemarie Weber, Business Manager Anna Robbins, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jordan E. Grossman, Kristina Gilton, Monica Logan, David Peling, Whitney Sanzo, Donna Nolan.

BOF Chairperson Michael Guarco, Jenny Emery, Kevin Hobson, James Tsaptsinos.

Also Town Manager Erica Robertson, Finance Director Kimi Cheng, BOE Business Manager Anna Robbins.

Discussion on an increase of $1,460,000 to the School Project Authorization from $7,100,000 to $8,560,000.

Fiorentino explained the process of increasing the authorization of the School Project and an overview of where the money would come from.  In 2019 Granby residents authorized two capital improvement projects and the necessary bonding authority. The June 4, 2019 referendum supported a Bridges Project and a School Project.

Fiorentino shared that the reimbursement level on Simsbury Rd. and Donahue Rd. bridges has changed. Originally, the town expected to pay for 20 percent of these bridges. Now, both bridges are fully reimbursable, and construction pricing came in lower than expected for Hungary Rd., Moosehorn Rd., and Griffin Rd.

In the spring and summer of 2021, the Town went to the market to bond the Bridges Project. Because interest rates were at record lows, it was advantageous to bond all anticipated Town funding at that time. That decision plus projects that came in below estimate and reimbursement changes for Simsbury Rd. and Donahue Rd., created bond proceeds that exceed funding requirements for these projects.

Phase I of the School Project included renovations and construction of the commons, the addition of a kitchen facility, renovations in the music and vocational education space and are almost complete. The next phase is to replace the roof at GMHS. The most current estimate for the roof is $816,000 more than the last estimate from 2021.  There is not enough funding to finalize Phase I and complete the roof at the high school.

Allocated funds for the Bridge Project exceed the project’s cost by $2,585,151. The Town wants to reallocate $1,460,000 of the excess bridge proceeds to the School Project to complete the project. Fiorentino also suggested holding back funds to allow for non-reimbursable costs in the Bridge Project. Should there be excess project proceeds in the future, the Town will have to determine where to allocate it to a capital project in the same way proposed today.

Fiorentino asked Eric Brown, representing the School Building Committee, to give a brief overview of the School Project. Brown said that his professional background is commercial construction.  He has done research on roofing replacement projects and he believes that, because of the current backlog of projects with contractors, the overall price of the project could increase if it isn’t completed in the near future.

Fiorentino opened the floor for clarifying questions:

Neumann inquired if the bridges’ excess bond money could be used to pay on existing bonds. Robertson explained that no more than 3 percent of excess bond money could be used to pay down existing bonds.

Chapple inquired if the money being requested for transfer was enough to cover the School Building project. Fiorentino said he doesn’t believe Phase 1 of the school project will get more expensive than it currently is.

Rome asked if the State of Connecticut might change its reimbursement amount. Robertson explained that while she doesn’t believe the State will change its reimbursement rate, that it is certainly possible.

Guarco inquired about the age of the roof and explained that this wasn’t previously considered because it hadn’t yet reached the 20-year threshold when the roof should have been replaced. Anna Robbins, The BOE business manager, said the roof was replaced in 2000. However, the State uses the date of the reimbursement application to calculate when the roof can be replaced again. The application wasn’t submitted until 2002. She further explained that the roof will be 23 years old at the time of replacement.

Hobson asked if the 15 percent of the money being moved from one project to another was still tied to the bridge projects bonding. Robertson said that was an excellent question and she would pose it to the Town bond counsel.

Tsaptsinos asked what the initial cost of the roof portion of the school project was. Robertson said that from 2019 to 2022 the estimated cost increased by 48.6 percent.

Scott A. Nolan
Town Clerk