March 2, 2015 – Lothrop School Gymnasium – DRAFT
Select Board Members Present: Also Present:
Hank Pelkey, Chairman John Haverstock, Town Manager
W. Joseph Gagnon, Vice Chairman Helen McKinlay, Town Clerk
Thomas Hooker Jean Parker, Asst. Town Clerk
Jane Cornell Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
David Trombley Approximately 70 guests
Select Board Chairman, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, called the meeting to order at 6:30PM.
Chairman Pelkey explained that there was no Moderator elected at the last Town Meeting. Motion by John Haverstock and seconded by Denise Mahoney to nominate Jim Carvey as Town Moderator, Pro Tempore. Motion passed unanimously.
Boy Scout Troop 110 presented the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Moderator Carvey explained that Roberts Rules of Order will be use, except in the case that Vermont State law takes precedence. Moderator Carvey also read from the Town Meeting Guidelines, which was published at the beginning of the Town Report.
Moderator Carvey read the following warning:
The legal voters of the Town of Pittsford are hereby warned to meet at the Lothrop School Gymnasium in the Town of Pittsford, on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 6:30 pm to transact the following business not involving voting by Australian ballot:
Article 1. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To hear the reports of the Town Officers and take appropriate action thereon”.
Town Manager John Haverstock read the Annual Town Report Dedications.
Select Board Chairman Pelkey explained the General Fund budget and expressed thanks to Town Manager John Haverstock, Linda Drummond and Department Heads for their work. The proposed budget nets a 2.5% overall increase, which is the first increase in 7 years. The proposed General Fund budget increase is $68,270 and the proposed Highway budget is decreased by $24,071, with an overall increase of $44,199.
The audited budget for the Fiscal Year 2014 showed lower revenues and higher expenses. The projected carry-over is 10% of the budget, which is in line with State recommendations. The 2014 audited General Fund balance decrease is $159,465 due to the return of $100,000 to the taxpayers to reduce property taxes, lower revenue and higher expenses. There is anticipation of returning $75,000 to off-set property taxes for the 2015 tax year.
The 2015 General Fund expenses are currently at 67.8% of the budget and the Highway Fund expenses are currently at 75% of the budget, which is largely due to the harshness of the winter conditions.
The outside auditing firm of Sullivan and Powers reports that there is a strong financial standing and the capital reserves are being fully funded.
Representatives Charles “Butch” Shaw and Steve Carr were present to give updates on Montpelier “happenings”.
Water & Sewer Commission Chairman David Pearson presented a summary of the Water & Sewer Commission activities of the past year.
The Water & Sewer Commission members are Helen McKinlay, Clarence Greeno, Bob Harnish, Ernie Clerihew and David Pearson.
Fire District #1 merged with the Town water system, adding 33 rate payers to the water system. The Planning Loan from the State on behalf of Fire District #1 has been completely forgiven. The Planning Loan from the State on behalf of the Town has had a portion forgiven and further information is expected on the remaining balance.
There were 23 no-interest loans given to residents who found it necessary to drill personal wells due to the fact that Proctor discontinued water service to its out of town customers. The repayment process has begun. This loan funding was made available to the Town by the State.
New sewer rates were implemented, effective July 1, 2014 with a payment due date of February 9, 2015.
The Water Fund has capital fund reserve within the budget to assist with any improvements, such as the VTRANS improvements on Route 7 and the bridge replacement near the intersection of Routes 3 and 7.
The Utility Truck has been replaced, using the Vehicle Replacement Fund.
FEMA has been asked for a grant to cover 75% of a back-up generator for the Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Aeromod, the supplier of the treatment process at the Wastewater Treatment Facility and Efficiency Vermont are in the process of improving operator and energy efficiency at the Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Shawn Hendee has attended training at the Aeromod facility in Kansas and is implementing recommended changes and modifications at the Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Otter Creek Engineering is beginning the design for segment 2 of U.S. Route 7, which will also be reviewed and approved by VT.
Gordon DeLong raised a concern about recycling at the Transfer Station being placed in the garbage compactor. John Haverstock explained that there were issues of the recycling compactor being filled and the Transfer Station employees had no other choice. Casella’s has now placed an “over-flow” container to handle these situations.
Article 2. Moderator Carvey read the following article: To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will appropriate the sum of $1,376,183.00 (One Million, Three Hundred Seventy-Six Thousand, One Hundred Eighty-Three and no/100ths Dollars) to defray the General Expenses of the Town for the 2015- 2016 fiscal year, of which the sum of $1,003,883.00 (One Million, Three Thousand Eighty-Three and no/100ths Dollars) is to be raised by property taxes?”
Motion by Jim Rademacher and seconded by Denise Mahoney to approve the article as presented. Motion passed unanimously.
Article 3. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will appropriate the sum of $1,119,650.00 (One Million, One Hundred Nineteen Thousand, Six Hundred Fifty and no/100ths Dollars) to defray the Highway Expenses of the Town for the 2015 – 2016 fiscal year, of which the sum of $798,180.00 (Seven Hundred Ninety-Eight Thousand, One Hundred Eighty and no/100ths Dollars) is to be raised by property taxes.”
Selectman Joe Gagnon reported on the Highway Department activities.
The current winter has been “harsh”, causing the staff to work longer than normal hours. Joe Skaza has retired and been replaced by Josh Towne.
The surplus funding that has been carried forward has about “run out”
The Equipment Rental Fund has eliminated and the new system appears to be working better. There is currently $231,494.20 available in the Equipment Replacement Fund.
A leaf vacuum and bale chopper were replaced to assist the staff in its operations, and to eliminate rental fees.
Completed projects include: paving, overhaul and ditching on the Gorham Bridge Road and Elm Street; reconstructing and paving a portion of Oxbow Road; installing decking within the Depot Hill Bridge; State paid grant funding for blasting and refinishing of the girders on the Iron Master and Depot Hill Bridges; routine maintenance – such as ditching, culvert, brush removal and mowing.
Some pending projects include: reconstruction and paving on West Creek Road from the railroad trestle to the Bovey Farm; improving and upgrading 700’ of Oxbow Road; replacing a culvert in East Pittsford; sidewalk improvements in the Arch Street area is moving forward and the grant funding is available – there is currently an engineer working on the designs.
There is currently $287,000 available in the Kendall Hill Bridge Replacement Fund; the 20 year paving bond will be paid off in 2019; Shawn Erickson is working on a road resurfacing schedule for maintenance. Ernie Clerihew stated that if the trucks from OMYA were damaging the Kendall Hill Road Bridge, they should be charged. John Haverstock stated that OMYA meets regularly with local residents in an attempt to minimize impacts on the community. The Rutland Region Transportation Council will be discussing this bridge in the near future
Al Roberge, an Elm Street resident, praised the Highway Department staff for their work on Elm Street and stated that the construction work increased visibility at the sharp curve heading north.
Motion by Gordon DeLong and seconded by Al Roberge to approve the Highway Budget.
Motion passed unanimously.
Article 4. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will appropriate the sum of $20,000 (Twenty Thousand and no/100ths Dollars) to defray the Village District’s Expenses for the 2015 – 2016 fiscal year, of which the sum of $20,000 (Twenty Thousand and no/100ths Dollars) is to be raised by property taxes payable by Village property owners?”
Motion by Thomas “Hank” Pelkey and seconded by W. Joseph Gagnon to approve.
Donna Greeno questioned why the Village property owners pay the “tab” because the village services are available to all. Peter Cady explained that there has been an article in the past to combine the Village and the Town, which was defeated. Thomas “Hank” Pelkey explained that this can only be voted out at Town Meeting as a separate article, via petition to be included in the warning.
Thomas Hooker explained that if the Town were to merge with the Village, the street lights would be a concern and the Town would likely face requests to expand coverage.
Jim Rademacher inquired about the income vs expenses as listed. There was discussion on this topic and John Haverstock stated that there are reserves maintained and there will be a conversion to LED lighting in the next fiscal year.
Bonnie Stewart inquired if street lights were necessary.
Tom Carrara stated that there are sidewalks within the village, where as outside the village there are no streetlights or sidewalks.
Dave Trombley encouraged the streetlights remain as a safety feature
Ken Gagnon called the question.
Motion passed, with 5 nay votes.
Article 5. Moderator Carvey read the following article: To see if the voters will authorize collection of taxes on real and personal property by its Treasurer in three equal installments, due on or before August 10, September 10, and November 10, 2015.”
Motion by Wayne Rowe and seconded by Ken Gagnon. Motion passed unanimously.
Article 6. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will authorize to be raised by taxation the sum of $3,000.00 (Three Thousand and no/100ths Dollars) to be used by the Rutland County Boys & Girls Club.’’
Roberta Enright was present to explain the programming that occurs at the Boys & Girls Clubs in Brandon and Rutland.
Lloyd Provin inquired about the number of children that were partaking in the meals that are offered. Ms. Enright stated approximately 50% of Pittsford children that participate in programming participate in the meals that are offered.
Sue Markowski inquired how many children from Lothrop participate in the programming. Ms. Enright stated that approximately 15% of Lothrop students participate in the Boys & Girls Club programming.
Lloyd Provin inquired how the children are transported home. Ms. Enright stated that parents are responsible for transportation; however, if there was round-trip transportation available, the enrollment may increase.
Peter Cady moved the question.
Motion by Linda Fox and seconded by Dave Pearson to approve the request as presented. Motion passed unanimously.
Article 7. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will authorize the omission in future Town Reports of names appearing in birth and death certificates and marriage/civil union licenses, in view of privacy concerns.”
John Haverstock explained that this was not the position of the Select Board. However, other Town Clerks had raised privacy concerns. Helen McKinlay explained that some towns have release forms to publish the information. Peter Cady inquired if the information was not published, would the names still be listed in the Town Records. Helen McKinlay stated that the information would be included in the public records. Gordon DeLong explained that this was discussed in 2008 and it was voted to continue publishing information. Barbara Pearson stated that the removal of the information destroys community relations.
Motion by Peter Cady to move the article, seconded by Linda Fox. Motion failed with 1 aye.
Article 8. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will support the re-naming of the Lothrop School’s Town Hall building as the Dan D. Burditt, Jr. Memorial Town Hall”
School Board member Erik Pearsons read a tribute to Mr. Burditt.
Motion by Denise Mahoney and seconded by Tom Hooker to approve the motion.
Residents inquired why this was presented during the Town portion and not the School portion. John Haverstock explained that there are more voters present during the Town portion.
Lloyd Provin inquired if there was a name associated currently. Mr. Pearsons stated that there is no name association.
Motion passed unanimously.
Article 9. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To transact such other non- binding business as legally may come before said meeting at this time.”
Motion by Myra Poor and seconded by Terry Poor to approve the article.
Clarence Greeno inquired why the budgetary articles are discussed on the floor and not at Australian ballot. Thomas “Hank” Pelkey explained that this suggestion has been defeated in the past. However, a petition is welcome to place this on the ballot in the future for discussion.
At the close of the above business, the meeting shall be recessed until Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 7:00 a.m. at the Town Hall building (aka Lothrop School Gymnasium), 3447 US Route 7, Pittsford to vote by Australian ballot on the following matters, to wit:
Article 10. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To elect the following officers of the Town:
- A Town Moderator for the term of one (1) year
- A Selectman for a term of three (3) years
- A Selectman for a term of two (2) years
- A Lister for a term of three (3) years
- A Pittsford School District Director for a term of two (2) years
- A Pittsford School District Director for a term of three (3) years
- An Otter Valley Union High School Director for a term of three (3) years
- A Town Agent for a term of one (1) year
- A Grand Juror for a term of one (1) year
- A Trustee of Public Funds for a term of three (3) years
- Two MacLure Library Trustees for terms of one (1) year each
Motion by Clarence Greeno and seconded by Jane Cornell to adjourn at 8:30 PM.
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary