SOUTHINGTON - The Town Council voted Monday to remove $1 million from the budget to cover shortfalls in the town’s self-insurance fund.
Town Manager Mark Sciota said that the shortfall in the fund, which covers medical claims, was due to a $5.1 million reduction in state aid.
The town had set aside a $3 million contingency fund for such a reduction, but that left $2.1 million still unaccounted for. The Board of Finance came up with $1 million in cuts as part of its deficit mitigation plan.
“The Board of Finance was unanimous in their recommendation to the council,” said Sciota. “The self-insurance fund committee chair, Joseph K. Labieniec, who is also the vice chair of the Board of Finance, gave a presentation at the meeting.”
The Board of Education is contributing $755,000 in reductions to the self-insurance fund, $637,000 coming from the Board of Education budget and the rest coming from education employees through a contribution “holiday.”
The town share of the reductions will come to $245,000, with $211,000 coming out of the town budget and the remaining $34,000 coming from employees via a town staff contribution “holiday.”
“The superintendent is working on ways to come up with additional savings,” said Sciota. “He said that he would discuss it further with the council after getting information from the unions that he was meeting with.”
Monday’s meeting also included a report from NORESCO, a subsidiary of United Technologies, which installed the new HVAC systems, boilers and rooftop solar panels throughout town a few years ago
“These agreements allowed us to improve all of our energy infrastructure without having taxpayers pay for it,” said Sciota. “All of these upgrades will be paid for by the energy savings that they generate. Since they went online about eight months ago, the solar panels have generated $71,000 to $78,000 in savings.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.