February 16, 2011
The meeting was called to order at 6:30PM by Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman.
Select Board members present: Joseph Gagnon, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Thomas Hooker, Linda Weeden, and Allen Hitchcock. Also present: Bruce Paynter, Anita Paynter, Nate McKay, Colby McKay, Matt Harvey, Stephen Hitchcock, John Weeden, Tom Carrara (6:37 PM), John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary.
The minutes from the February 9, 2011 meeting were signed with no corrections.
The Orders in the amount of $87,358.80 and payroll in the amount of $10,837.07 were signed, with the following comments:
J. Gagnon inquired about the expense of $954.28 for a work bench for the highway garage and recommended that the members of the Select Board visit the Highway Garage, when the weather is warmer, to review the projects that have occurred there over the past few months. J. Haverstock indicated that the members of the Highway staff are appreciative of the recent renovations and also indicated that Shawn Erickson invited members of the Select Board to ride-along for snow removal at any time.
J. Gagnon inquired about the expense that is listed as Office/Highway/Fire/Water at Noble Ace Hardware. J. Haverstock indicated that this purchase was for several separate purchases by various departments.
J. Gagnon inquired if the purchases that are listed as “WWTF Engineering Bond” had gone out to bid. J. Haverstock explained that bids were received and that Weston & Sampson had received the contract. A. Hitchcock also explained that there were various background checks into various firms before any contracts were awarded. L. Weeden inquired if these expenses would be covered under the bond. J. Haverstock indicated that these amounts were included in the bond request.
TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT:
J. Haverstock reported on the following:
- The water bills have been sent to rate payers and a variety of phone calls inquiring about these bills have been received. The various issues will be explained in the current Newsletter and on the website. Each caller received answers specific to their specific issue. Most issues were that of disbelief that the usage was as high as reflected by the meter.
- The concrete is poured for the chlorine contact chamber at the Wastewater Treatment Facility. Bids for phase 2 will be sought in the late winter or early April with construction occurring during the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2011.
- The Water Department office space construction received 7 bids and there were 15 contractors at the pre-bid meeting.
- A reception was held on February 16 to honor the Town Report Honorees (Pack #110 – Mike Nordmeyer and 7 Eagle Scouts, Peg Armitage, and the Late Robert Hemple). The Town Reports were mailed to residents following this reception.
- The 9th Winter Celebration is tentatively scheduled for February 26, 2011 at 1:00 PM at the Recreation Area and is sponsored by the Recreation Department. This event is weather-dependent.
- Town Meeting will be held on February 28, 2011 at 6:30 PM with the Town portion of business being transacted first and the School portion to follow. Again, Pittsford has challenged Proctor to the Food Challenge. Last year, Pittsford was the “winner”. Residents are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to either Town Meeting or to the Polls, to be donated to the Food Shelf.
A. Hitchcock indicated that there were roughly 20 complaints from the roughly 550 water system users and each complaint was investigated and resolved.
T. Carrara inquired if the Kendall Hill Bridge was still on the construction plans as Senator Flory had indicated as this was not included in a recent newspaper article. T. Hooker explained that it was the rail bridge on the Kendall Hill Road that was discussed.
T. Carrara inquired how the rates were calculated for residents that are using less water than anticipated. This formula was discussed.
T. Carrara inquired how the bond payments were included on the water bills. J. Haverstock explained the formula that was used to calculate the bond payments and how they were included on the bills.
Discussion of Transfer Station Operations:
J. Haverstock indicated that he was unable to gather much of the information that was requested at the February 9, 2011 meeting. A color coded map of the transfer station was included in the packets to depict the lay-out of the facility and explain the location of the various “stations”.
J. Haverstock indicated that Operator Charlie Rivers has invited members of the Select Board to join the Transfer Station staff for a period of time so a true understanding of operations can be achieved.
L. Weeden inquired how much cash is collected at the Transfer Station at any given time. J. Haverstock indicated that there is $300 – $600 of cash collected during each day of operations. There was discussion of the possibility of having residents purchase punch cards at the Town Office and thus avoid cash transactions at the Transfer Station. There was discussion about the convenience to residents of cash transactions given that the office is closed most of the time the Transfer Station is open.
J. Haverstock indicated that he has emailed Town Managers in Brandon, Rutland Town, West Rutland, Proctor and Killington to see what information they can give with regard to the their Transfer Station operations. This information will be available at a future meeting.
J. Gagnon inquired if the Rutland County Solid Waste District representatives were available to discuss this issue with the Board. John Weeden indicated that the representatives are available at any time.
This discussion was tabled to a future meeting.
Preparations for Town Meeting Presentation:
Moderator Matt Harvey was present for discussion.
T. Pelkey indicated that he received positive comments with regard the Town Meeting in 2010. A. Hitchcock indicated that the sound quality is an on-going issue. Bruce Paynter explained the microphone set-up that he is planning on using for the Town Meeting. J. Gagnon indicated that it would be easier on the audience if the Select Board members were on the stage instead of the floor. There was discussion regarding the placement of the board members.
T. Pelkey indicated that A. Hitchcock will respond to any questions or concerns regarding the Water & Sewer Commission; J. Gagnon would respond to any questions or concerns regarding the Highway Operations; and T. Pelkey would respond to any questions or concerns regarding the General Fund. T. Hooker and L. Weeden will respond to any topic, as needed.
Mr. Harvey indicated that the State statute does not allow for campaign speeches at Town Meeting and that other towns host Candidate Forums prior to Town Meeting. There was discussion that this is something that will be discussed in the future. Mr. Harvey indicated that a Candidate’s Forum is not statutorily a function of the Town Moderator. However, would be willing to assist with this in the future.
T. Pelkey indicated that the Brandon Reporter will be in contact with candidates in the near future.
There was discussion regarding campaigning at the Polling Places. T. Pelkey indicated that the Town Clerk and the State of Vermont control the Polling Places and any concerns should be brought to her attention.
Matt Harvey exited at 7:07 PM.
T. Carrara indicated that he has heard that one of the officers was involved in an accident with the Ford Explorer and was inquiring if any funds will be spent on repairing the “cosmetic” damage. T. Pelkey indicated that this information was included in the packets for review and will be discussed at a future meeting.
J. Haverstock reported that there is a Personnel Issue to be discussed, thus recommending Executive Session.
T. Pelkey made a motion and seconded by J. Gagnon to go into Executive Session for a Personnel Issue where premature knowledge would be damaging to the Town that may be jeopardized by public disclosure at 7:15 PM. The motion was unanimously passed. J. Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.
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 enter into Executive Session for the purpose of a Personnel Issue at 7:15 PM.
The Select Board exited Executive Session at 7:32 PM with no action taken.
The meeting adjourned at 7:32 PM.
The next regular meeting will be held on March 2, 2011.
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman
Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chairman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
Thomas Hooker, Selectman
Linda Weeden, Selectman