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: Ted Gillen, Craig Ferreira, Rick Conway, Atty Gary Kupferer, Kevin Blow, Chuck Charbonneau, Barb Lalancette, Elizabeth Morgan, Deb Reynolds, “Rishi” Kirsten Connelly, Alicia Malay, Mark Winslow, Tammy Hitchcock, Peggy Rawlings, Ernie Clerihew, Dave Soulia, John Haverstock, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.
J. Haverstock stated that there was a need for Executive Session for legal; 4 Personnel (Emergency Management Coordinator, Town Report Dedication Honorees, Public Records Request Compliance and a Dave Trombley concern). Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to enter into Executive Session to discuss legal and personnel. Motion passed unanimously 5– 0.
J. Haverstock stated that there was a request to amend the agenda to remove Homestead penalty abatement and the sidewalk discussion. 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 December 6 regular meeting with 1 minor change (D. Trombley wanted to change wording from “when an excavator is needed” to “when extra equipment is needed”; the December 4, 2017 Fireworks Public Hearing and the December 4, 2017 Town Plan Hearing were signed, with no corrections.
The orders in the amount $92,418.29 and $12,202.51 (Payroll) were approved, with the following discussion:
J. Gagnon inquired the fines for $1,000. J. Haverstock explained that this was for the VOSHA inspection citations related to the Water Department and that the fines originated at $2,400 total and were decreased to a total of $1,000 following a negotiation at the VOSHA office in Montpelier.
TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT
J. Haverstock reported on the following:
- The Town Manager travelled to Montpelier with Union Representative Chad Eugair to discuss the VOSHA fines with Dan Whipple. The alleged violations were (a) the bench grinder work rest was more than 1/8” from the wheel and (b) the clutter in the storage area. These violations began with a $1,200 fine each and were decreased to $600 for the bench grinder and $400 for the clutter and the clutter violation was re-classified to “less than serious”. There was discussion on Project WorkSafe involvement to possibly avoid some of these issues in the future.
- The Zoning Board of Adjustment met on November 27 at the gym to discuss the Dollar General project. The meeting was recessed until January 22, 2018 at 7:00 PM, also at the gym.
- The Town Manager, Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief and the Emergency Management Coordinator will be meeting on January 4 at 6:30 PM to discuss emergency preparedness.
- Brookfield was at the Municipal Offices to review the area for the possible installation of a larger generator. There will be more information in the future on this project.
- The 3rd Annual Holiday Staff Potluck Luncheon will be held on December 21 at noon. Members of the Select Board are invited to attend.
- The Municipal Offices will be closed on December 25 and January 1 in observance of Christmas and New Years Day respectively.
None presented at this time.
The Select Board recessed at 6:47 PM to convene the Town Plan Public Hearing.
The Select Board reconvened at 7:28 PM.
None presented at this time.
Presentation of Third Draft of Town Budgets:
J. Haverstock read the memo that was presented with the third draft of the Town budgets. The budgets will need to be finalized in January. Some highlights included, but are not limited to: increasing the current use reimbursement revenue line in the General Fund budget; increasing the interest income revenue line in the General Fund budget; decreasing the Zoning Administration budget in the General Fund budget; increasing the Patrol Car Replacement Fund expense by $2,000; increasing the Workers Compensation insurance assessment; decreasing the hydrant transfer payment to the Water Fund by $10,000. The Highway Fund is facing a large deficit. Possible cuts include the Capital Reserve Fund, the Bridge Replacement Fund and the proposed paving increase.
The current budget proposal shows a deficit of $55,000 in the General Fund and $106,000 in the Highway Fund, which translates into a 4.8% increase in taxes for the General Fund and an 11.5% increase in taxes for the Highway Fund.
Following discussion, the Board agreed to the $10,000 decrease in hydrant transfer to the Water Fund. This will translate into a 3.9% General Fund tax increase. The $25,000 reduction to the Bridge Replacement Fund appropriation would translate into a tax increase in the Highway Fund of 8.8%. If there is an additional $25,000 decrease in the paving budget, the overall increase would be 6.2%.
J. Gagnon inquired if there are any large ticket items in the near future for the Water Department. J. Haverstock explained that the Route 7 upgrade will include some water infrastructure concerns that will need to be addressed. Route 7 was discussed at length and the State may pay for utility upgrades if the Town takes over Route 7.
D. Trombley inquired if there was any further discussion with regard to the Police Academy hooking onto the sewer system. J. Haverstock stated that there has not been any discussion in over a year.
The Select Board reached a consensus to reduce the Hydrant transfer payment by $10,000; reduce the proposed paving budget by $25,000; and reduce the bridge replacement fund appropriation by $25,000.
Consider Homestead Declaration Penalty Abatement Requests:
This topic was tabled.
Consider Voting to Instruct the Trustees of Public Funds to Expend Burditt Funds in Support of Route 7 Sidewalk Repairs:
This topic was tabled.
Consider Enacting a Fireworks Ordinance:
J. Haverstock explained that there were other towns ordinances researched to draft an ordinance that would fit the needs of Pittsford, including, the permit requirement, time limit of 10:00 PM, notification to neighbors 3 days in advance and possible fines. Chief Warfle stated that purchasers/users must be at least 21 years of age.
Following discussion on the topic, the topic was tabled until input is received from Fire Chief Hemple.
Discuss Brush Collection at Transfer Station:
J. Haverstock reported that Shawn Erickson has expressed concern about the construction of the salt shed if brush continues to be burned occasionally at the Transfer Station. Following discussion, the Select Board reached a consensus to discontinue collection of residential brush at the Transfer Station. Residents will be notified of this change via the Newsletter, website and advertisements.
Consider Granting Permission for Resident’s Planned Bonfire within the Village:
J. Haverstock stated that a request has been received from the McRae’s to ignite a bonfire behind their home in the Village. The Fire Warden has inspected the area and has no objection. The Select Board reached a consensus to grant permission.
T. Pelkey made a motion and seconded by T. Hooker to go into Executive Session for personnel and legal 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 personnel and legal at 7:50PM. Town Manager Haverstock and Atty Barlow were invited to remain for Executive Session. Atty Barlow exited Executive Session at 8:10 PM. The Select Board exited Executive Session at 8:22 PM, with no action taken.
The Select Board reentered Public Session at 8:22 PM.
The meeting adjourned at 8:32 PM.
The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on January 3, 2018.
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman
Thomas Hooker, Vice Chairman
Jane Cornell, Selectman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
David Trombley, Selectman