Meeting Minutes : Select Board

Pittsford Select Board

September 5, 2012

The meeting was called to order at 6:30PM by Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chairman.

Select Board members present:  Joseph Gagnon, Thomas Hooker. Allen Hitchcock, and Jane Cornell.    Absent: Thomas “Hank” Pelkey

Also present:  Mike Warfle, Gretchen Goodman, Allen Mills, Bobbie Mills, Dennis Duby, Jim Rademacher, Matt Harvey, Angela Cavacas, Michael Comstock, Kristie Stone, Mark Comstock, John Haverstock and Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary



The Select Board minutes from the August 15, 2012 meeting were signed, with no corrections.



The orders in the amount of $42,280.40 and $10,680.30 (Payroll) were approved with the following discussion:


J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for a culvert.  J. Haverstock indicated that this expense was for Mechanic Street.



J. Haverstock reported on the following:

  • The paving on Mechanic Street will be funded by Water Project Grant funds and will occur during the week of September 17.
  • The base coat of pavement on Arch Street and Pleasant Street has been placed.  The topcoat will be placed during the week of September 17.
  • The Water and Sewer Commission has received a proposal to replace the sewer line on Plains Road as compared to lining the pipe.  There is approximately a $32,000 difference and this has been proposed to the USDA and the Town is waiting for approval to replace the line.
  • Depot Hill Road will be paved during the week of September 10 and will take approximately 2 days.  Following the completion of Depot Hill Road, the paving contractor will move to the Kendall Hill Road project.
  • The Haunted House will occur on October 19, 20, 26 and 27.  The prices will remain as last year.
  • The water system expansion project construction work will occur in the Spring of 2013.  The permitting, bids, etc. will occur over the winter months.
  • Further details will be available in the coming weeks with regard to the well drilling fund.  The Town’s application is awaiting State approval.
  • Sullivan & Powers, external auditors will be conducting the audit during the week of September 10.
  • FEMA (90%) and the State (5%) have paid a total of 95% to reimburse the Town for damages related to Tropical Storm Irene damages.
  • The newsletter deadline is September 15.



Vanessa Mills-Holmquist read a letter from Derek Saari, dated July 23, 2012.



Discussion of Dog Incident:

Michael Comstock explained that he was taking his dog to the car and she got loose.  Mr. Comstock explained that he had looked for the dog for 4 hours, and stopped at the Humane Society to advise that she was missing.  Mr. Comstock was advised by his brother that the dog was killed.  Mr. Comstock’s brother said that he was advised by Dennis Duby that the dog had gotten into the Taranovich’s chickens and 16 had been killed.  Mr. Comstock indicated that there was no blood or feathers on the husky. Therefore, he does not believe that the dog had done anything to the chickens.  Mr. Comstock would like the Board to look at the ordinance before shooting an animal.  Ms. Cavacas said that she was told that if animals had chips in them that they would be taken to the Humane Society or vet’s office for identification.  Ms. Cavacas explained that she had been to farms on the road and advised them of the missing 3-year old husky.  Mr. Comstock stated that he had stopped at the Humane Society twice and that no phone calls were made to him.


Chief Mike Warfle indicated that a report was received from State Dispatch, which was forwarded to Dennis Duby, Animal Control Officer.  The farmer believed that this was a coy dog and was in the chickens.  The dog was reported, by the farmer, to be without a collar.  Mr. Comstock confirmed that the dog had slipped out of her collar.  Chief Warfle stated that he had taken a statement from the farmer, who reported 36 chickens to have been killed.  Mr. Duby had indicated to Chief Warfle that the dog had become aggressive when he told it to drop the chicken. Therefore, shots were fired for the safety of the Animal Control Officer.


Dennis Duby reported that Vermont State Police received a report of a coy dog attacking chickens.  Mr. Duby reported that on his arrival, he noted chickens on the ground with broken necks and the dog had a chicken in its mouth.  When the dog was ordered to drop the chicken, the dog refused.  When the dog dropped the chicken, the dog charged at Mr. Duby.  Chief Warfle reported that the chickens were in a fence and the dog pushed the fence in to gain access.  Mr. Duby confirmed that there was no blood on the dog.


Gretchen Goodman from the Humane Society indicated that, when the dog was reported missing, the owners were advised that a phone call would be made in the event that the dog was brought in. However, the address was listed as Proctor. Therefore, the call would come through the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department.  Ms. Goodman indicated that huskies kill chickens due to their high prey drive and that it is the owner’s responsibility to control their animals.  Ms. Goodman indicated that Mr. Duby is one of the better Animal Control Officers that the Humane Society works with.


A. Hitchcock recommended that the issue be discussed in Executive Session.  The Select Board members agreed.


The parties involved in the Dog Incident discussion exited at 6:57 PM.



Update on Village Sidewalk Project:

J. Haverstock reported that design proposals are due on October 12.  This project has been advertised on-line and in two newspapers.  There will be a search committee to review the designs.  This search committee will be comprised of J. Haverstock, a VTRANS Representative, Greg West (Principal of Lothrop) and a Select Board Representative.  If any member of the Select Board is interested, they should contact J. Haverstock prior to the September 19 meeting.


Consider Request for Allocation from Burditt Fund:

J. Haverstock reported that a request has been received to assist in funding the varsity baseball field at Otter Valley, through the Burditt Fund.  Such a request must be approved by both the Select Board and the Lothrop School Board. The request from Pittsford was for $8,000.  J. Gagnon indicated that he has spoken with Otter Valley in the past regarding the sale of timber in the area.


Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Cornell to approve the request of $8,000 from the Burditt Fund for the use on the Otter Valley Varsity Baseball Field.  Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.


State Drinking Water Loan Fund:

J. Haverstock reported that a loan application is required to obtain the funds for the well drilling project.  A draft has been approved.  Currently, there are 28 interested residents.  The application was signed by the Board members.


Discussion of Town Office Carpet:

J. Haverstock reported that the carpet that is currently in the office is the original carpet from 27 years ago.  There were 3 bids received (Home Depot, Rugs & Rems and Carpet Warehouse).  This topic was deferred to Executive Session.


Increased Speed Monitoring:

T. Hooker expressed concern that the new pavement on Arch Street will cause an increase in speeding in the area.  J. Haverstock reported that he has spoken with the Police Department to increase radar enforcement in the area.



Consider Supporting Grant Application for Bowen-Walker Fund:

Matt Harvey was present to discuss the grant application by the Pittsford Congregational Church on behalf of the Bowen-Walker Fund.


Motion by J. Gagnon and seconded by T. Hooker to support the grant application as described.  Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.


Potential Appointment of Alternate to Town Planning Commission:

J. Haverstock reported that Kathryn Brown, a former member of the Town’s Planning Commission, has expressed interest in serving as an alternate on the Town’s Planning Commission.  Currently, there are 5 members on the Planning Commission.  J. Haverstock indicated that Ms. Brown would receive the same stipend as the current members of the Planning Commission.


Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Cornell to appoint Kathryn Brown as alternate to the Town’s Planning Commission.  Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.


Designation of Town Delegate to VLCT Annual Business Meeting:

Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Cornell to appoint J. Haverstock as the Pittsford Delegate to the VLCT Annual Business Meeting.  Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.


Other Business:

None presented at this time.



J. Haverstock reported that there are Contractual, Legal and Personnel Issues to be discussed in Executive Session.


T. Hooker made a motion and seconded by J. Cornell to go into Executive Session for contractual, personnel and legal issues where premature knowledge would be damaging to the Town, and for contractual issues that may be jeopardized by public disclosure at 7:22 PM.  The motion was passed unanimously 4 – 0.  J. Haverstock and J. Rademacher were invited to stay 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 contractual, personnel and legal at 7:22 PM.


Mr. Rademacher exited Executive Session at 7:33 PM.


The Select Board exited Executive Session at 7:44 PM.


Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Cornell to purchase carpeting for the Town Office building at a cost not to exceed $8,650, including installation.  Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 PM.


The next meeting will be held on September 19, 2012.


Respectfully Submitted,



Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman


Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chairman


           W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman



           Jane Cornell, Selectman


               Thomas Hooker, Selectman