TOWN OF TOLLAND DISCUSSION ON PLANNING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, GENERAL GOVERNMENT AND FINANCE FY 2010-2011 BUDGETS March 25, 2010
RESPONSIBILITIES PLANNING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – 1 Director, 1 Building Official, 1 Zoning Officer/Inland Wetland Agent, 1.8 Secretaries (0.8 secretarial position vacant – 0.3 temp. filling in) Building Department Plan Reviews The Building Official performs plan reviews of all permit applications that are accompanied by plans and/or specifications and evaluates the structure, occupancy, means of egress, life safety, accessibility, plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems. If the plans are not found to be in compliance with the State Building Code, the Building Official notifies the applicant in writing of the necessary changes or additional information needed. The State of Connecticut mandates that plan reviews are performed and applicants are notified within 30 days of the results.
RESPONSIBILITIES Permit Issuance Permit applications are submitted and evaluated by the Building Official for complete and accurate information and as well as licenses and are processed by the secretarial staff by routing the permits for sign-offs by all necessary staff (tax, health, zoning, planning, engineering, etc.) and entering data into database, processing fees, contacting applicant and filing permits. Inspections The Building Official performs and schedules inspections and site visits of all ongoing construction projects in Town, from footings to Certificates of Occupancy. Inspection requests are consistently responded to within a 24 hour period. Secretaries schedule the majority of inspections.
RESPONSIBILITIES Certificate of Use or Occupancy A final inspection evaluation is performed by the Building Official on all projects to assure substantial Code compliance. The Building Official also coordinates with the applicants, contractors, and design professionals to verify that all of the required construction documents have been submitted and any changes noted and approved. Secretaries coordinate all staff inspections and prepare CO documents. Complaints/Inquiries The Building Department responds to complaints regarding illegal use and/or occupancy, as well as work performed without required permits or town approvals. We also receive inquiries regarding code questions and requirements for updating existing structures.
RESPONSIBILITIES Permit Follow-up Last year we determined that approximately 1500 addresses in town had open/outstanding permits including swimming pools and other projects with public safety implications. We contact the owners of the property by letter, phone call or site visit, to ensure code compliance and attempt to close out permits. Support The Building Official provides technical support pertaining to the adopted code to other town departments, boards and commissions such as the Energy Task Force, as well as taxpayers and contractors.
RESPONSIBILITIES • Planning & Zoning Commission • The Planning Director acts as technical advisor to the Planning & Zoning Commission on the: • • Update of the Plan of Conservation & Development. • • Development of Zoning & Subdivision Regulations and Low Impact Development Design Manual. • • Subdivision, Special Permit and Site Plan applications. • • Coordinates staff reviews and pre-application meeting with engineers and developers.
RESPONSIBILITIES • • Coordinates review of Site Analysis Plans and any site walks by Conservation and Wetlands Commissions. • • Assembles staff reviews in a memo for the PZC regarding drainage, road design, vegetation, Open Space, architecture, landscaping, compliance with regulations and density. • • Collect bonds for performance and maintenance of public infrastructure. • • Reviews for filing on the Land Records all final plan mylars, conservation and drainage easements and deeds. • • Coordinates technical data for appeals of PZC decisions to Superior Court. • • Serves as a resource to the business community: “First Stop” for information to potential and existing businesses and coordinates with Economic Development Commission.
RESPONSIBILITIES • Open Space Preservation Grants • The Planning Director identifies grant funding assistance for open space/farmland acquisition, compiles grants and administers funding. • Geographic Information System (GIS-computer mapping) • Provide GIS computer mapping for the Town for Capital Projects, Open Space grants, Plan of Conservation and Development, Land Acquisition, Conservation Commission, Assessor’s Tax Maps, permits and Pavement Management Program. • The Planning Director administers the program, coordinates upgrades and training and works with the consultant on new data and website hosting. • The Zoning/Wetlands Agent produces maps, coordinates the receipt of new digital data, provides GIS to town consultants and government agencies, creates new layers and uses GPS unit to map fire hydrants and other infrastructure.
RESPONSIBILITIES • Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Commission • The Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Commission regulates activities within and around wetlands through the issuance of permits, enforcement of regulations and public education programs to reduce the impacts on the Town’s wetlands and watercourses. • The Zoning/Wetlands Agent provides administrative and technical assistance to the Wetlands Commission, inspect sites with pending applications, to monitor activities that have active permits and for enforcement purposes, coordinates technical data for appeals of decisions, testifies in court as needed and keeps current on State Statutes. • Zoning Board of Appeals • Hears petitions from property owners seeking relief from a strict interpretation of the Zoning Regulations, hears appeals from any order, requirement or decision made by the Zoning Enforcement Officer and approves Certificates of Location for motor vehicle sales and service.
RESPONSIBILITIES The Zoning/Wetlands Agent acts as technical advisor to the ZBA: and keeps current on all applicable State Statutes; assists applicants with preparation of plot plans, etc; prepares all legal documents, and maintains a comprehensive file on all applications. Zoning Enforcement The Wetlands/Zoning Agent enforces the Zoning Regulations and Erosion and Sedimentation control measures with some assistance from the Planning Director for commercial/industrial properties. Reviews all building/Zoning Permits for compliance with Zoning Regulations and inspects final construction. Investigates complaints and follows up with Notices of Violation, Cease Desist Orders citations or fines, involvement of the Town Attorney and Superior Court testimony if required. Inspect and enforce erosion and sedimentation control measures. Research title and history on Land Records to determine non-conforming status.
RESPONSIBILITIES Eastern Highlands Health District (EHHD) The mission of the Eastern Highlands Health District (EHHD) is to preserve public health through the prevention of illness and promotion of wellness within its local communities through enforcing state and local health regulations; monitoring the health status of the community; informing and educating citizens on health issues; operating programs that support community health efforts; and collaborating with other public health partners in pursuit of our common goal. EHHD staff are located in the Development office. They monitor wells, septic systems, all new construction, proposed subdivisions, soil testing, and food establishments. Secretarial support is provided by the Development office secretaries.
Planning & Community Development Accomplishments Building Inspection Services • Closed out a very large number of “open” permits including pools, which could cause a public safety concern. Letters were sent to property owners and inspections conducted to ensure compliance with codes and safety. • Conducted plan review and permit issuance of entire Star Hill Athletic Center as well as worked with other owners and contractors to assist them in meeting their very aggressive timeline for opening prior to the winter months. • Worked with Fire Marshal and State Building Official to conduct extensive research and to evaluate code requirements for a 105,000 square foot air support structure. • Worked with Beverly Bellody and consultants on the grant and development of plans for the Hicks Geothermal and other town projects. • Published and distributed new informational handouts providing clear, concise requirements for decks, finished basements and smoke and CO Detectors.
Planning & Community Development Accomplishments Zoning Board of Appeals • Worked with the public to explain the need for and process for applying for variances and to process applications in a timely and courteous manner. Public Health Services • Updated food protection program components. • Updated permit tracking and web based information systems. • Procured $84,000 in obesity prevention grants and $99,000 in public health preparedness grants. • Vaccinated over 7,000 persons against 2009 H1N1 Influenza A. • Expanded Be Well Employee Wellness Program to other public employers in the community.
Planning & Community Development Accomplishments Planning & Zoning Services • Worked with the Tankerhoosen Watershed Task Force on the development and implementation of the Management Plan, as well Tolland’s LID Regulations. • Participated as a speaker at several conferences on Low Impact Development regulations. • Worked with consultants and the Planning & Zoning Commission on the development of a Concept Plan and ultimately regulations for the Tolland Village Area (formerly known as the Gateway/South Green Area). • Conducted an extensive sign enforcement campaign that involved over 100 hundred notices regarding illegal signs.
Planning & Community Development Accomplishments Planning & Zoning Services GIS • Updated GIS data from state as new layers became available. Represented Towns of less than 30,000 on State GIS Council. Grants • Received a $50,000 HOME CT Incentive Housing Grant from OPM to evaluate suitable location(s) for affordable work force housing. • Received an EPA Smart Growth Grant with CRCOG and 3 other towns to develop regulations for environmentally sustainable mixed use developments and green building requirements that include affordable housing. • Submitted with CRCOG and several member communities an Energy and Conservation Block Grant to continue to work on sustainable Development Regulations and review current regulations for barriers.
Planning & Community Development Accomplishments Planning & Zoning Services Plan of Conservation and Development • Set up Plan of Conservation and Development update on website. • Worked with consultant, Planning & Zoning Commission, other boards and commissions and the public in the development of the plan, which was adopted in November 2009.
Planning & Community Development Accomplishments Inland Wetlands Commission • The Inland Wetlands Commission has joined with the Friends of the Hockanum River Linear Park of Vernon, Inc. to implement their Tankerhoosen River Watershed Management Plan. • Meeting with property owners along Gages Brook and its tributaries and to work with residential property owners to clean up the banks of the tributaries and encourage them to create and maintain vegetative buffers between their lawn and the brooks. • The Commission was named Inland Wetlands Commission of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commissions.
Planning & Community Development Accomplishments Planning and Zoning Commission • Continued the two year process of doing a comprehensive update to the Plan of Conservation & Development, which was adopted in November 2009. Held public forums and presentations to boards and commissions on the POCD update. • Worked with engineering consultant to develop regulations and mapping for implementation of Low Impact Development storm water techniques in a village density. • Continued working on the $50,000 HOME CT Technical Assistance Grant to evaluate several parcels for suitability of affordable housing and develop a Concept Plan and regulations for Incentive Housing Zone(s).
Planning & Community Development Accomplishments Planning and Zoning Commission • Worked with the Tankerhoosen Watershed Task Force on the development and implementation of the Management Plan to protect groundwater resources. Conservation Commission • Developed Management Plans for several newly acquired passive open space properties (ongoing). • Worked closely with the Tolland Conservation Corps on the development of trails, implementation of approved Management Plans and stewarding of open space (ongoing).
Planning & CommunityDevelopment Needs Fill vacant .8 secretarial position with a full time Secretary • Department had a full time Secretary eliminated in March 2009. • Death of .8 Secretary in December 2009 – position currently vacant. • Department provides Administration for 7 land use boards and commissions (9 or more meetings per month minimum), Town Engineer, Planning Director, Building Official and Eastern Highlands Health District. • Office averages 30 phone calls and over 15 visitors at the counter per day. • Several grants and planning projects are administered in the department. • The Water Commission, at their meeting of March 10, 2010, has agreed to allocate up to $10,000 for administrative support which can be used to make this position full-time.
Planning & CommunityDevelopment Needs Increase Development and Training Budget • National Planning Conference for Planner has been cut the past two years, but Planner has attended regional conference. • Planner needs 32 credits and Ethics & Law courses every 2 years to maintain certification. Difficult to fulfill in state. • National Planning Conference is in Boston this year, so there will be no regional conference and funding has been reduced so that Planner will not be able to attend. • Tolland is known for being on cutting edge of planning and natural resource protection – skills acquired at National Conference.
Building Department Needs • A communications budget increase would allow for a wireless card contract for the department laptop, allowing remote access to the Town network for entering inspection reports, looking up permits and licenses, answering E-mail, and other remote functions without the need to return to town hall. • Keeping the training budget up allows for more education and the ability to keep up with ever changing codes and technologies, and to pass that information on to our customers. • Increased clerical staffing levels would allow the Building Official to spend less time at the counter, answering the phone, handling questions that can be handled by the secretaries. And being able to spend more time with actual building code related questions and problems.
Building Department Needs • A counter top, customer usable, computer terminal located in the Development Group, would allow our customers to use our new online permit capabilities, use the Town website, and access town GIS at the counter. This would ultimately save the staff time, getting the customers to do their own data entry, and allow us to coach the customers through advancements in technology with the ultimate goal of helping them work remotely with the department, saving them a trip to town hall.
RESPONSIBILITIES TOWN MANAGER’S OFFICE – 1 Town Manager, 1.5 Staff Community Relations To respond to resident questions and requests which could include research, site visits, meetings and memo writing. Forms of communication include phone, email, newsletters, annual reports, budget material, meetings, mailings, webpage and email blasts. Financial Management To provide professional oversight in the preparation and administration of the Town’s annual budget which begins in October and concludes in May-July with the passage of the Town wide budget referendum, and to monitor the on-going fiscal affairs of the Town including daily expenditures, audit, borrowing and credit rating activities.
RESPONSIBILITIES Intergovernmental Relations To participate as the Town’s representative at meetings held by a variety of different regional organizations that provide the Town with administrative support, information and municipal lobbying efforts. Main regional groups are CCM, COST and CRCOG. Project Administration To provide professional oversight to the many varied projects taking place within Town government on a regular basis such as capital projects, special projects, and facility projects including the high school project. Town Council Services To provide administrative assistance to the Town Council which includes on a bi-weekly basis agenda preparation, attendance at Town Council meetings, preparing 14 Town Council agenda packets, proof and reformat Town Council minutes, prepare monthly events listing, preparation of Town Manager’s Report
RESPONSIBILITIES monthly, preparation of letters, emails, website updates as they relate to Town Council activities, meet with constituents as necessary and respond to requests for information from Council members. Town Management To provide professional oversight to the 19 Town departments and approximately 100 employees in the daily operation of Town Services. Oversight includes meetings, direct contact, emails, evaluation of management concerns, resolution of issues, and administrative assistance to other entities such as the BOE and handling matters related to economic development.
Budget Town Manager: No significant changes for 2010/2011 budget.
Accomplishments • Produced a budget for FY10-11 which limits expenditure increases. • Completed a number of capital projects including water line extensions to the Middle School and Old Post Village Senior Housing Complex. • Initiated single stream recycling.
Department Needs Additional Departmental Professional Training Last year was the first year money was not budgeted for the Town Manager to attend the ICMA National Conference – Cost $2,500.
RESPONSIBILITIES Under the Council-Manager form of government prescribed in the Town Charter, the Town Council is the legislative or policy determining branch of the municipal government. This legislative body is composed of seven members who are elected at-large for two-year terms. The Town Council provides the oversight and leadership required to establish policies that guide the direction of the Town and ensure the optimum delivery of services to residents in the most cost effective manner possible. The policies that are established by the Town Council are delegated to the Office of the Town Manager for execution.
Budget Town Council: $Change% INC/DEC($3,832) -10.5% Printing – Town newsletter now being funded by outside (2,400)Other Services & Fees – move e-blast services to Communications in IT/Telecommunications budget (1,020)
RESPONSIBILITIES The purpose of economic development is to enhance the Town’s tax base by increasing business property investment. The Town Manager appoints members of the Economic Development Commission who, in turn, elect a chairperson. The Economic Development Commission works with the Town Manager’s Office to plan, organize and administer an economic development program and promote the orderly growth of the Town’s business resources. The staff of the Division of Planning and Community Development also plays a significant role in this process by assisting private developers and business oriented groups with achieving their goals for growth within existing zoning requirements.
Budget Economic Development Commission: No significant changes for 2010/2011 budget.
HUMAN RESOURCE ADMINISTRATION HUMAN RESOURCE BENEFITS
RESPONSIBILITIES HUMAN RESOURCES – 1 Director, 1 Staff (2 Positions) Benefit Administration To provide benefit administration to the benefited employees which includes implementing and managing benefits; signing up new employees; changing benefits for employees; reviewing benefit plans and problem solving benefit issues. Classification and Compensation Help Town Manager prepare wage adjustments for non-union employees. Update pay and classification plans for all employees. Employee Relations To provide professional oversight to the approximately 88 employees relating to the areas of labor relations and contract negotiations.
RESPONSIBILITIES Recruitment and Selection Manage the recruitment and selection process for all vacant positions on an annual basis. Risk Management To provide professional oversight in the preparation and administration of the Town’s insurance policies and risk management programs including Liability/Auto/Property and Workers’ Compensation. Solid Waste Service The Town provides curbside residential pickup and disposal of household trash, recyclable items, and bulky wastes. Additionally, Tolland participates in a regional Hazardous Waste program which provides residents with the opportunity to dispose of household hazardous materials during the spring, summer and fall months.
RESPONSIBILITIES Training and Development Coordinate and attend training for Town employees.
Budget $Change% INC/DEC
Accomplishments HR Administration • Recruited and filled vacant full-time and part-time positions: Building Official; Town Engineer and Animal Control Officer. • Helped implement Identification Card System with Fire Department. • Helped engage interim engineering services through a consulting firm. • Attended multiple training opportunities in human resource areas.
Accomplishments HR Benefits • 67% of Worker’s Compensation cases reported within 3 days. • ICMA meetings held with individual employees related to pension investments. • Met with Healthcare provider and distributed updated wellness/prevention information to employees. • Implemented HDHP with Health Savings Accounts for non-union employees which included over 25% premium savings.
Accomplishments Town wide Insurance • No Property and Liability claims reported within first six months. • Obtained third party reimbursement of damages to Town property. • Completed Stewardship Report for Town’s insurer CIRMA. • Working with Public Works to obtain an updated mitigation plan for 1125 Tolland Stage Road property. • Initiated TULIP program with Insurance Advisor for outside entities to obtain short term insurance coverage. Volunteer Firefighter Insurance • Continued to review policies for overlap with other Town insurance policies.
RESPONSIBILITIES The purpose of the Administrative Support Services program is to provide funding for services and equipment required to support effective communication and administration throughout the organization. The program provides funding for service contracts on central office equipment, such as copiers and the postage machine, and maintenance and fuel for “pooled vehicles”. It also funds postage and general office supplies.
Budget Miscellaneous Support Services: $Change% INC/DEC($2,326) -4.3% Communication – reduction in postage (permit being used more) ($2,000).