The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman.
Select Board members present: Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Thomas Hooker, Vice Chair, Jane Cornell, W. Joseph Gagnon, and David Trombley.
Also present: Tom Browe, Nicholas Ronfeld, Sara Ronfeld, Mike Warfle, Chad Eugair, Jane Miller, Travis Redman, Mary Lou Moradi, Rula Moradi, Gary Congdon, Brad Rousseau, Peg Flory, Charles Sumner, Ray Forrest, John Haverstock and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.
J. Haverstock indicated that there was a need for Executive Session for one legal issue concerning the Old Hubbardton Road construction; D. Trombley indicated that there were two personnel issues. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to enter into Executive Session for legal and personnel. Motion passed unanimously 5– 0.
T. Pelkey indicated that the agenda needed to be amended to remove the Request for Permission for a “Christmas for Kids” Coin Drop.
Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to adopt the agenda, as amended. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
The Select Board minutes from the July 19, 2017 meeting were signed, with no corrections. The Select Board minutes form the July 19, 2017 Public Hearing were signed, with no corrections.
The orders in the amount $57,541.08 (FY ’18); $43,577.94 (FY ’17) and $16,257.95 (Payroll) were approved, with no discussion.
TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT
J. Haverstock reported on the following:
- The Highway Department has completed the replacement of 5 culverts on West Creek Road. Information will be submitted to receive up to $12,000 in grant funds for this project.
- Measurements have been obtained for the apron in the area of the Fire Station and Highway Garage. The crack sealing contractor will be contacted to quote a price on this project as this area is in need of repair.
- The Town has not heard anything from VOSHA regarding the minor issues that were noted during their recent inspection. VOSHA was notified that the issues have already been addressed.
- There will be no Select Board meeting on August 16. The next meeting will be held on August 23.
- The Town Manager will be out of the office from August 10 – 15 and August 18.
- Brad Rousseau was at the Recreation Area repairing toilets
- Photos will be taken of the staff members in the near future to complete the ID badges. Thank you to Tim Cornell and Jerry Tift for their assistance on this project.
None presented at this time.
Continued Discussion of Class 4 Portion of Hubbardton Road:
J. Haverstock reported that he has received letters concerning the gates that were installed at the site of the Old Hubbardton Road construction area.
Mr. Sumner stated that the gates eliminate access to his property. He uses the road for access to his logging operation. His lawn was dug up for the project. Damage was done to vehicles from “bottoming out” as a result of the project. There is now water on his lawn that was not there prior to the project.
Mr. Ronfeld inquired why the Town funded the project and stated it does not make sense to close the road due to speeders and making the road a private drive that is being maintained by the Town. T. Pelkey stated that the original project was intended merely to bring fill to do the banking and the overall project improvement was the fault of the Select Board for not properly monitoring the scope of the project. The road has not officially been classified as a Class 3 road. Mr. Ronfeld stated that it is difficult to walk in the area of the fence without walking into the culvert.
Mr. Redman stated that he has read past minutes regarding the project and sent a letter to the Town Manager and the Select Board. Mr. Redman stated that when the Select Board approved the project, Mr. Erickson stated that the project was for safety reasons. Mr. Redman stated that he appreciates the project, however, doesn’t understand the reason for the closing of the road. Mr. Redman stated that he has read the Statutes regarding town roads, called the AOT – John Gunleavy – Asst Atty General, who stated that public roads can not be blocked and Mr. Redman read the letter of response from Mr. Gunleavy. Mr. Redman stated that he has seen Police Officers looking for “lost trucks” rather than patrolling the Old Hubbardton Road. D. Trombley explained that OMYA pays for the officers to address overweight trucks that are travelling on roads that have been sent there by their GPS units.
D. Trombley stated that he lived in the area of the Old Hubbardton Road in the past and stated that the road was impassable, except with a 4 wheel drive vehicle. D. Trombley continued to explain that the project began last fall and finished this spring to make the road more passable.
Ms. Ronfeld stated that she lives on the upper portion of the Fire Hill Road and had been able to walk, bike and horseride on the Old Hubbardton Road before the gates were erected. T. Hooker explained that the first night that the gates were installed the chains were cut and barriers were temporarily installed.
Ms. Miller stated that she lives on the upper portion of the Old Hubbardton Road and would like the neighborhood quiet as it used to be. Ms. Miller stated that motorists “fly up and down the road” and felt that the decision to erect gates was based on a few residents and that the Select Board should represent the entire community.
Mr. Browe stated that the “whole community” is effected in the few weeks that the road has been open, the cars go by too fast and safety is an issue. Mr. Browe stated that the speeders are everywhere.
Mr. Moradi stated that the issues are complex. However, people are minimally inconvenienced by having to go around, which is 1.8 miles vs. the .8 miles when the road is open.
J. Gagnon stated that he feels that his measure to erect gates was a “quick thing that was not thought out well” due to the audience complaining about speeders.
D. Trombley stated that the residents are 100% correct and the Select Board will need to research options to rectify the situation and the members all need to take responsibility for the road issue. T. Pelkey stated that the Select Board will take appropriate action.
J. Haverstock stated he was approached last fall by Mr. Sumner who complained about the project. The Select Board agreed to put the project on hold pending Chip’s discussions with the neighbors. Mr. Sumner withdrew his objection because he could not find neighbors willing to complain. Mr. Redman stated that he was impressed with the project and still drives 15 mph on the road. However, he feels that stop signs on Old Hubbardton Road and Fire Hill Road would be effective.
Mr. Browe explained that his wife has had to jump out of the road several times due to speeders.
Mr. Ronfeld stated that a stop sign midway may also be effective. T. Pelkey stated that he would look into this option.
Mr. Moradi stated that the Select Board did an “excellent job” with the gates.
Motion by J. Gagnon to reopen the road with appropriate signage and increase police presence for safety reasons. The motion failed due to a lack of a second.
All residents exited at 7:43 PM.
Discuss Pittsford Day Preparations:
J. Haverstock stated that the schedule of events has been publicized. Residents are asked to supply easily-managed desserts. Residents are also asked to assist with setting up on Friday afternoon/evening or breaking down on Sunday morning. Anyone that is interested in helping should contact the Town Manager.
Discussion of Letter from Charles Shaw re: Forrest Property:
A letter was written regarding the Forrest property. D. Trombley stated that he believes that the Select Board should not be involved in the project.
Consider Request for Permission for “Christmas for Kids” Coin Drop:
This item was removed from the agenda.
Consider Chittenden’s Request for Permission to Modify a Portion of Hitchcock Road (G. Congdon):
Mr. Congdon was present to discuss the intersection at the “Flagpole” area at the intersection between Hitchcock, West and Stoney Brook Roads, stating that Chittenden would like to remove the island and widen the road. The project will also involve removing some of the western bank and grinding the material to use for the elevations. The project will come back to the 35 mph sign at the top of Hitchcock Road, which is in Pittsford.
Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Cornell to authorize Chittenden to proceed with the project. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
Mr. Congdon exited at 6:42 PM.
Consider Authorizing Submission of Grant Application for Salt/Sand Shed:
J. Haverstock stated that he has been working with Shawn Erickson to seek funding for a combination salt and sand shed to be built at the Transfer Station for the purpose of reducing moisture content, improving loading and preventing leaching of material into the nearby wetlands.
A grant program has been identified that will pay 80% of the entire $200,000 project. J. Cornell expressed concern that the structure that is being researched is constructed in Canada. J. Haverstock will investigate an American made structure.
The Select Board agreed to authorize the Town Manager to apply for the grant.
Remarks About Draft Letter to Governor Scott re: Route 7 Timetable:
Peg Flory and Butch Shaw have reviewed the draft letter regarding Route 7 and the construction timetable. Ms. Flory stated that she has spoken with Commissioner Quinn regarding the condition of the sidewalks along Route 7. Pittsford is currently looking for the State to make “reasonable repairs” without spending a lot of money.
J. Haverstock explained that Pittsford has applied for the Small Scale Construction Grant, with the project expected to cost approximately $200,000.
Ms. Flory encouraged the Town to send the letter and she will make contacts requesting that there be another visit to the area.
Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Cornell to send the letter. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0. The letter was signed by the Select Board members.
Ms. Flory exited at 6:55 PM.
Discussion of “Slimmed Down” Version of Select Board Packets:
J. Haverstock stated that he has begun to eliminate some items from the Select Board packets, such as newsletters from various civic organizations. The Select Board members appreciate the smaller packets and asked for this to continue.
Review Highway Truck Body Bids:
Chad Eugair from the Highway Department was present in the absence of Shawn Erickson.
There were 3 bids received for the truck body. C. Eugair stated that he has reviewed all 3 bids and noted some differences between them.
Motion by T. Hooker to award the bid to the lowest bidder. Following discussion, the motion was withdrawn and the topic was tabled until Mr. Erickson can be present to discuss the bids and his recommendations.
T. Pelkey made a motion and seconded by D. Trombley to go into Executive Session for legal to discuss the Old Hubbardton Road and 2 personnel issues where premature knowledge would be damaging to the Town, and may be jeopardized by public disclosure.
In accordance with 1 VSA 312 (b), where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the Municipality or person involved at a substantial disadvantage, the Board unanimously agreed to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of legal and personnel at 7:53 PM. The Town Manager Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.
J. Haverstock exited Executive Session at 8:05 PM and returned to Executive Session at 8:25 PM.
The Select Board exited Executive Session at 8:30 PM and instructed the Town Manager to schedule a further discussion of Old Hubbardton Road in the August 23 agenda and to notify the abutters and anyone else expressing an interest in the topic. The Select Board further instructed the Town Manager to see to the prompt removal of the newly-erected gates, barriers and signage and to prepare for the restoration of the recently-improved portion of the Old Hubbardton Road to its original condition and status, following the August 23 Select Board meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 8:33 PM.
The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on August 23, 2017.
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman
Thomas Hooker, Vice Chairman
Jane Cornell, Selectman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
David Trombley, Selectman