Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting
August 2, 2006
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m. Select Board members present were: Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Joseph Gagnon, Allen Hitchcock, David Markowski, and Thomas Hooker. Also present were Michael Balch, Linda Drummond, Tom Carrara, and John White. Sally Eugair arrived at 6:45; Wayne Rowe at 6:50; Tom Carrara at 6:55; Ed Peet and Thomas Vanacore at 7:00PM.
The Select Board minutes of July 19, 2006 were reviewed, discussed, and approved.
The orders of August 2, 2006 were reviewed, discussed and approved in the amount of $34,384.97.
TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT
Mike Balch reported on the following:
USDA returned a call from M. Balch in regards to the $90,000 sewer improvement grant. They replied to M. Balch that the grant money can not be used for the Elm Street sewer project which is for repairs to the sewer collection system. That is outside the scope of USDA’s approved work to be done at the sewer plant. Also the Town can not use the grant money for additional sludge system upgrades because the Town already has the sludge bagging machine that USDA paid for. The grant money can not be used to fix something that that the grant has already paid for. The Board requested that M. Balch send a letter to USDA with the recommendation of installing a canopy over the tank at the sewer plant.
At the July 19, 2006 Board meeting, the purchasing of a Kubota compact tractor for the recreation department was approved with a Kubota backhoe. After comparing the Kubota backhoe with the Woods backhoe, S. Erickson, M. Balch, R. Adams, and R. Giddings all agreed that the Woods backhoe has superior after market value and is $1100 less expensive. The Woods has framework for the backhoe versus the Kubota 3-point hitch for the backhoe. The Woods backhoe has been ordered instead of the Kubota backhoe.
M. Balch reported on the many calls from concerned Pittsford tax payers in regards to the increase in property tax bills. Many taxpayers do not know how they will pay for the increased tax. The Town budget went up 2 %. There are shifts in the Grand List with a 52% average increase with very few decreases. There is an approximate 80% increase in the residential rate.
The Board was reminded about the meeting in Waterbury, August 8, 2006 with Jay Rutherford, Director at the Water Supply Division, ANR to review the temporary water permit and related issues. M. Balch, A. Hitchcock, T. Hooker, and B. Babcock plan on attending the meeting.
Chris Lekberg, Chair of the Brandon Development Review Board is willing to attend a meeting to share his experience with the DRB process. M. Balch will set up a meeting for C. Lekberg to address members of the Select Board, Planning Commission, and the Zoning Board.
A representative will attend the Select Board meeting from the local mosquito district at 7:00PM.
A copy of the letter sent the Environmental Court in February 2004 in regards to the pending Post Office site was included for the Board to review.
Sally Eugair thanked the Board for appointing her to the Pittsford Planning Commission and the Rutland Regional Planning Commission. H. Pelkey thanked her in return for offering to be on these Boards.
John White from Pittsford commented on the mosquito problem in Pittsford. He came to voice his support for mosquito control such as the Lemon Fair District is using which is all non-toxic. Mosquitoes are spreading diseases such as lyme disease especially in children resulting in terrible health side effects. J. White left at 6:50PM.
The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Sewer Board at 6:50 PM.
The Select Board reconvened at 6:55 PM.
Fields of Otter Valley Donation
Discussion is on hold until the next meeting.
Highway Dept. Structure
Discussion was held in regards to the Highway Department Structure revision proposed at the last meeting pertaining to changing Joe Skaza’s employee status to Lead man. The consensus of the Board was to wait until the next union contract negotiations to address this change.
T. Carrara asked if there is a handbook for all employees. D. Markowski stated that the Board approved that all employees abide by the union handbook.
A. Hitchcock addressed the need for organizing past records and reference materials for the Planning Commission at the Town office. An area for their records will be set up for the Planning Commission.
Meet with representatives from local districts for Mosquito Control for 2007
Ed Peet, pilot, and Thomas Vanacore, Chairman of the Lemon Fair Insect Control District (Cornwall/Bridport) shared with the Board the procedure of setting up a mosquito control program. Ed Peet from Cornwall is the pilot for the agriculture plane that was purchased by the Lemon Fair District. This has made it easy to set a schedule for timely applications of larvacide pellets. The Lemon District also services the Brandon/Leicester/Goshen/Salisbury District. First, a permit is required by the State to do the larvacide program and second, a Town vote is needed to support the program. The permit needs a cover sheet with maps identifying the worst problem territory and wetlands. The title of the permit form is the VT Agency Agriculture Food Market
Application for Mosquito permit. It is a one page application, describing the problem territory, what the Town wants done, and when. Within the Town, the State would like to see a district. T. Vanacore suggested that the Town seek counsel and inquire about coverage for insurance. For the aerial application with an independent contractor the insurance follows the craft. The permit application process takes about 15 days. The Vermont Dept. of Agriculture can help supply the maps for the wetlands and identify the problem areas. The program for larvacide treatments is at this time 100% reimbursed from the State as long as there is enough money in the budget. The adult program is not funded by the State and is a big expense for materials, application, and insurance. This seems to be the worst mosquito year in at least 20 years in the Cornwall/Bridport area and this year with larvacide treatment, residents can be outside.
The BT material that they are spreading is all organic, USDA approved, NOFA (Northern Organic Farmers Association) 100% proven, and accepted as an organic material. Environmentally it is rated as golden standard. The material is very insect specific in targeting to kill horse fly, deer fly, black fly, and mosquito lava. Other parts of the state are starting to come into the program. There is a big Legislative initiative right now to secure more funding for the program to reach a sustainable level. The program has been operating on a shoe string with many volunteers. The cost per acre including aviation and larvacide material is $15.00/acre per application. Lemon District has done eight treatments this summer so far. The Town needs to present their permit to the State with the understanding that the Town will be 100% reimbursed for treatments where it is needed and as often as needed. The State would like even a single town to adopt a municipal district.
D. Markowski asked about the Pomainville Farm court decree for the Wildlife Preserve in regards to the responsibility for insect control for their area. A. Hitchcock and S. Eugair responded that the State owned the easement and the documents will be reviewed for the next meeting.
In the Legislature, there is support for a line item for mosquito or insect control to be administered as part of the Dept. of Agric. In the next Legislative session, there is a request for more emergency funding for this summer and for next spring’s first larvacide treatments.
Sally Eugair asked about the breeding of mosquitoes in tires on farmlands. Educational information is being offered to help farmers control the mosquito breeding on their lands. There are 42 recognized breeds of mosquitoes in Vermont. The vexans are coming from the Otter Valley flooded areas. The mosquitoes can lay 100 eggs at a time which last 7 to 100 years, and lay dormant until flooding occurs. They are very adaptable to the area and are tough to eradicate. The Board expressed their appreciation to Ed Peet and Tom Vanacore for their informative presentation. E. Peet and T. Vanacore left at 7:50PM.
Consider Brett Stickney Application for Access/Right of Way permit
J. Gagnon made a motion to accept Brett Stickney’s Application for Access/Right of Way permit on Corn Hill Road with the requirements from S. Erickson as noted. D. Markowski seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Consider Winter Sand & Gravel Bid
D. Markowski recused himself from any discussion or vote.
J. Gagnon made a motion to accept the low bid of Markowski Excavating, Inc. for approximately 1,500 cy of winter sand delivered for $9.50/ cy; and to accept the low bid of Casella Construction, Inc. for approximately 7,300 cy of crushed gravel delivered $11.90/ cy for 1 ½” minus and $12.65/ cy for ¾” minus. A. Hitchcock seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Consider Planning Commission Vacancy
A memo from Don Nickless, chair of the Planning Commission, recommended two candidates for the Planning Commission
A. Hitchcock made a motion to increase the size of the planning commission from 4 to 6 members.
D. Markowski seconded the motion. Following discussion the motion was passed unanimously.
A. Hitchcock made a motion that the Board appoint Aric Farrar and Thor Konwin to the Planning Commission. D. Markowski seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Consider resignation of Robert Sird, Water Board
D. Markowski made a motion to accept Robert Sird’s resignation from the Water Board with deepest regrets and a Thank You for many years of service. T. Hooker seconded the motion.
The motion was passed unanimously.
No further new business.
The Board recessed at 7:55PM to convene as the Liquor Board.
The Board reconvened at 7:56PM.
H. Pelkey made a motion to go into Executive Session for Legal and Personnel at 7:56 PM.
D. Markowski seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
In accordance with 1VSA 312(b) where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the Municipality or person involved at a substantial disadvantage, the Board unanimously agreed to go into executive session for Legal and Personnel at 7:56PM. All others were excused except Michael Balch was asked to stay. The Board came out of executive session at 8:20 PM.
M. Balch was instructed to draft a letter to the Vermont Supreme Court similar to the letter sent to the Environmental Court in regards to the pending post office location.
Without any further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:22 PM.
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chair
Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair
Dave Markowski, Selectman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
Thomas Hooker, Selectman