Special Meeting, June 28, 2012
In attendance: Supervisor Grace and Councilmen Patel and Paganelli.
In two separate resolutions, the Board awarded a bid to Gabrielli Truck Sales for $361,200 for the purchase of two trucks for the Highway Department and $43,508 to Sullivan Data for computer hardware.
Awarding both bids was postponed at the June 19 meeting so that the supervisor would have more time to review them. Regarding the truck bid, he said he needed to know more about how the Town would finance the anticipated $250,000 repair of the Greenwood Street bridge that he had only learned about that afternoon. When Comptroller Joan Goldberg advised him that the funds for the bridge repair were already included in a bond anticipation note, he said his concern was satisfactorily addressed.
On the computer bid, his initial concern was that the single bidder, Sullivan Data, the Town’s IT consultant, helped draw up the specs for the bid. After being assured by Town Clerk Roker than the bid specs had been sent to 13 potential vendors, his concern was allayed.
The two new highway trucks will replace two existing 1992 vintage trucks. The funds will come from the existing snow line in the highway budget, leaving approximately $50,000 to cover any snow expenses for 2012. Supervisor Grace said that by doing its own bid for the trucks rather than buying off the state contract, the Town saved $40,000.
In response to Councilman Patel’s question whether the purchase represented “needs” or “wants,” Deputy Highway Superintendent Paul Hollopeter said that realistically the department could use four new trucks. Comptroller Joan Goldberg that past Boards had deferred the purchase of new trucks in an effort to reduce tax increases. She suggested that the annual Highway Department budget should include a set amount of $100,000 each year towards the purchase of new trucks. Supervisor Grace said that once the Town got new fleet management software, he expected that the life cycle of the town’s vehicles would lengthen.
General discussion on long term financing
The board had a short discussion on the “philosophy” of long term spending. Supervisor Grade said that the Town needed a Fund Balance Policy that assured financial stability over time and which would take the politics out (it wasn’t clear out of “what?”). At issue is whether the town should pay cash for long term projects or bond them. Under the first scenario, which would tap the fund balance, current residents, whose taxes contributed to the fund balance, who moved out of Yorktown would be paying for projects that they would not benefit from. Under the second scenario, those who benefit from the projects would be the “current” residents who would be paying off the debt service in their annual taxes.
Supervisor Grace said that more discussion, with a full board, was needed.