Meeting Minutes : Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting September 7, 2016

Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting

September 7, 2016



The meeting was called to order at 6:30PM by Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman

Select Board members present:  Jane Cornell, David Trombley, W. Joseph Gagnon, Thomas Hooker, and Thomas “Hank” Pelkey.    Also present:     Ann Rademacher, Jim Rademacher, Allen Mills, Roberta Mills, Bill Powers, Mark Winslow, Jan Sotorakis, Julia Purdy, Robert Christian, Chuck Greeno, Charles Greeno II, Katelyn Ward, Kevin Blow, Bonnie Stewart, Lisa Wright-Garcia, Colleen Hobbs, David Soulia, Rick Conway, David Mills, John Haverstock, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.

J. Haverstock indicated that there was a need for Executive Session for one personnel issue.  Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by D. Trombley to enter into Executive Session for personnel.  Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.

Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to accept the agenda as posted, with no amendments.  Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.

The Select Board minutes from the August 17, 2016 Select Board meeting were signed, with no corrections.

The orders in the amount $91,431.97 and $12,586.25 (Payroll) were approved, with the following discussion:

J. Gagnon inquired about the expense to for Police Polygraph Exam.  J. Haverstock stated that this was standard procedure for a new Police recruit.

D. Trombley inquired about the expense for Shawn Erickson’s life insurance.  J. Haverstock explained there are a couple of employees that have this benefit as part of their employment contracts, due to their longevity.

D. Trombley inquired about the expense for truck transmission repairs.  J. Haverstock will research.

J. Haverstock reported on the following:

·      Happy birthday to Selectman Hooker.

·      The box culvert project on the East Pittsford Road is nearly complete.  Lafayette will be installing the guardrails soon and the patch paving should occur in about 3 weeks.

·      Wilk Paving will be in Town during the week of September 19 to work on the Corn Hill Road and Fire Hill Road paving projects.

·      The crack sealer has been installed on Depot Hill, Kendall Hill and portions of Sangamon Road and Plains Road.  Shawn Erickson is pleased thus far.  However, “only time will tell”.

·      VTrans will be back in Town to finalize plans to install safety-related signage on Whipple Hollow Road in Pittsford and West Rutland.

·      The Highway Department Staff have installed the historic State markers at Kendrick Dam and the Village Green.  The Historical Society will be hosting a dedication ceremony on the Town Green on September 24 at 1:00 PM.

·      There will be a training on the VT-Alert system with Jason Davis and John Haverstock.

·      The Annual Staff Appreciation Picnic will be held on September 30 from Noon – 2:00 PM at the Recreational Area.  All staff, Select Board members and Water and Sewer Commission members are invited to attend.

·      There will be a site visit, followed by an Act 250 hearing on Dollar General on September 27 beginning at 8:30 AM with the hearing at 9:00 AM at the Municipal Office.

·      The deadline for submissions to the Fall Newsletter is September 15.

·      OMYA will be hosting an Open House at their Middlebury quarry facility on Saturday, September 10 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

·      The Town Manager will be out of the office on September 9 to attend State Municipality Day.

D. Trombley stated that he has visited the box culvert sites and feels that the contractors did an excellent job.


Bill Powers invited the Town Manager and any Select Board member to speak at the Historical Society dedication ceremony for the State historical marker at the Village Green.  The Town Manager and Select Board Chair Pelkey agreed to speak and do anything that was necessary.


Recap of Pittsford Day:

T. Hooker stated that more support from the Town residents is necessary as this is not a Fire Department function, even though the event is held at the Fire Station.  The Fire Department members were the only ones present on Sunday morning for cleanup. Despite the threatening weather, the race, events, music and the dinner were a success.  D. Trombley stated that he recently spoke with the Fire Department members who would like to see the event remain at the station as there is adequate cover in the event of rain and there are accessible restrooms.

Continued Discussion of Providing Access via Town Website to VISION Property Cards:

T. Pelkey stated that the information requested from the Listers was not presented. Therefore, the Select Board would make no change to the past policy on this topic.

Consider Request for Route 7 Coin Drop Fundraiser for the Library:

J. Haverstock stated that Meghan Fox has agreed to reduce the duration for her Route 7  Library Coin Drop.  T. Hooker and Chief Warfle have discussed this topic and agree that this is acceptable, considering there is a sightline established and participants wear reflective vests.  Chief Warfle will be asked to sign the permit that is required by the State prior to the event.

Consider Renewal of Fireworks Sales Permit:

J. Haverstock stated that he was instructed to invite the Greenos to this meeting to discuss the extension of their current fireworks permit.

J. Cornell expressed opinion that issuance of the original permit was a “mistake”.  J. Gagnon stated that there was “no trouble” as the fireworks are readily available in neighboring towns.  T. Hooker stated that there are conflicts within the State rules by it being legal to sell fireworks, but not to transport or possess them.  He feels that the Legislature needs to address this issue in their next session.  T. Pelkey stated that this was a legitimate business and he personally has not received any complaints.  D. Trombley stated that the Police Department did receive several complaints.   T. Hooker stated that he had received numerous complaints.

Charles Greeno, Jr. stated that they are looking to expand and invest more in the current business, as his competition is currently expanding.

Mr. Greeno, Jr. stated that the fire marshall has been to the establishment and has had no issues.

Chuck Greeno stated that there are signs stating that an allowable time to set off fireworks is 9:15 PM – 10:00 PM and that after that time tickets can be issued.

Bob Christian stated that there are certain holidays (e.g. July 4 and New Years) where fireworks are expected and inquired if there could be a fee charged for permits to set them off as well as make it mandatory that the neighbors be notified.  Mr. Christian stated that his neighbors on Route 7 set off fireworks on August 6 at 9:15 PM.   Mr. Christian stated that he contacted Police Chief Warfle as well as the neighbor.  The neighbor told Mr. Christian that he purchased the fireworks “locally”.

Dave Soulia stated that he had friends purchase fireworks and the seller specifically told him that fireworks could not be set off after 10:00 PM.

Mr. Greeno, Jr. stated that they tell customers to be courteous of their neighbors and have signs hung at their tent to state this as well.  Mr. Greeno, Jr. said that they do not sell to individuals under 21 like the competition. Chuck Greeno stated that good neighbors communicate with one another.

Motion by J. Gagnon and seconded by D. Trombley to continue the permit “as is” for a one year renewal.

Jeff Biasuzzi stated that they were utilizing a “temporary” structure.  Mr. Greeno, Jr. stated that they would be looking into a metal building in the very near future and would be moving soon. However, they would like to stay in Pittsford with a permanent structure.  Motion carried 3 – 1 – 1. (Cornell opposed; Hooker abstained)

Mr. Greeno, Mr. Greeno, Jr., and Ms. Ward exited at 6:59 PM.

The Select Board recessed at 6:59 PM for the second Public Hearing on the proposed Zoning Ordinance.

Public Hearing on Proposed Revised Zoning Ordinance:

Bonnie Stewart inquired about Dollar General coming to Pittsford.  T. Pelkey stated that this hearing was for the sole purpose of the proposed Zoning Ordinance.  Ms. Stewart inquired if the Zoning Ordinance could stress that the appearance of the structures coming into Town be acceptable.  T. Pelkey stated that this comment would be taken into consideration.

Laurie Kamuda stated that the ordinance should require that new businesses preserve the character and uniqueness of the area and should not negatively impact  tourism or other businesses’ longevity in the Town.

Ms. Rademacher made note that the conservation purpose should be added back into the proposed document.

Mr. Rademacher made note of several sections that needed to be revised to reflect the Town Plan, as this is the next document to be revised.

Allen Mills agrees with Mr. Rademacher on topics that need to be visited to be in accordance with the Town Plan, especially where ridgelines are concerned.

J. Cornell inquired why the section was removed regarding people living in recreational vehicles on private property.  Dave Soulia explained that one should not be required to seek permission to live on one’s own property.  The State has regulations on water and wastewater and it would be redundant to have the Town further regulate on this topic.

Planning Commission member Rick Conway stated that the term “motor vehicle” was also a concern and the Planning Commission acted upon the advice of Atty. Kupferer.

Planning Commission member Dave Mills stated that the Town Plan is what the Public Service Board looks at and encouraged residents to fill out the survey that is available.

Ms. Rademacher stated that the 2 sign limit on a business was removed and inquired if there were any concerns about the consequences.  Planning Commission Chairman David Soulia stated that businesses need to be successful and advocated freedom to market themselves, as they see fit.  Planning Commission member Kevin Blow stated that he went to various businesses for input and the businesses contacted stated approval for this change. Mr. Rademacher expressed concern over preserving the rural character of the Town.  Mr. Conway stated that consumers want to know what is going on with businesses.  J. Gagnon stated that signs make a difference.  Mr. Christian stated that Act 250 also controls signs.

T. Pelkey stated that the State had requested a wildlife corridor be recognized by the Town, but the Select Board opposed this.

The Public Hearing was recessed at 7:49 PM.

All exited except Bill Powers, Bob Christian, Julia Purdy, Jan Sotorakis and Helen McKinlay.


Remarks Regarding Chittenden Dam Siren Funding:

Jan Sotorakis, a resident of East Pittsford, was present to discuss a siren that she is hoping to have installed at the reservoir to warn residents of imminent flooding due to a catastrophic dam failure.

Currently, Ms. Sotorakis is seeking FEMA grant funding on behalf of the Town of Chittenden and is approaching affected towns to assist with the match obligation.

Following Ms. Sotorakis’ presentation, the Select Board tabled the matter until the grant funding has been secured.

Remarks from Christian/Lawton RE:  Neighborhood Shooting:

Mr. Christian stated that his neighbor, “Stewart” shoots in the direction of Christian’s house.  Mr. Christian stated that there is also a new resident of Gloriosa Road who shoots over an hour and a half at a time.  Mr. Christian stated that “Stewart” shoots a .22 automatic pistol.  Mr. Christian stated that he has spoken with Chief Warfle and felt there should be a berm installed for safety.  Mr. Christian stated that he spoke with “Stewart” but the shooting continues.  Mr. Christian stated that he has contacted Vermont State Police.

Mr. Christian stated that since the shooting has started, he has lost the blue herons on his property.  Mr. Christian shared pictures of the before and after shooting.  Mr. Christian stated that he is looking to involve the Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Remarks from PHS President Bill Powers RE:  Ownership of Ice Caves Parcel:

Bill Powers, President of the Pittsford Historical Society, made a presentation on the history of the Ice Caves, which the PHS owns.  He recommends that the parcel be owned by the Town and managed by the Recreation Department.

The topic was tabled for further review as the deeds were included in the packets.

Consider Authorizing Bulk Purchase of Winter Salt from Cargill:

J. Haverstock stated that the price quoted for road salt remained the same as last year.  Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Cornell to authorize the bulk purchase of winter salt from Cargill at the same price as last year.  Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.

Consider Proposal to Limit a Portion of Arch Street to One-Way Traffic:

J. Haverstock received an e-mail from the State engineers that are involved with the Route 7 bridge project recommending that the Town consider converting Arch Street to one-way traffic from Mechanic Street south to Route 7.  Following discussion, it was learned that the Town tried the idea in the past, with poor results.

Authorize Town Manager to Initiate Tax Sale Process:

Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Cornell to authorize the Town Manager to initiate the tax sale process on properties whose owners are over 2 years delinquent and owe over $1,000.  Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.


None presented at this time.


T. Pelkey made a motion and seconded by D. Trombley to go into Executive Session for personnel 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 at 8:32PM.  Town Manager Haverstock and Helen McKinlay were invited to remain for Executive Session.

Helen McKinlay exited Executive Session at 8:57 PM.

The Select Board exited Executive Session at 9:03 PM.

Motion by D. Trombley and seconded by J. Cornell to approve the request made by Helen McKinlay to have the Town Manager’s staff handle all budget functions going forward, have the Town Clerk/Treasurers’ office handle all accounts payable functions going forward and have both offices cross-train so that each has the capability to handle grant administration going forward.  J. Haverstock expressed his opposition to the motion, citing the need for checks and balances between the two offices and pointing out that the accounts payable function has been handled smoothly under the current arrangement for more than 8 years.  Motion passed 3 – 0 – 2, with Pelkey and Gagnon abstaining.

The meeting adjourned at 9:03 PM.

The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on September 21, 2016.

Respectfully Submitted,


Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman


Thomas Hooker, Vice Chairman


           Jane Cornell, Selectman


           W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman



David Trombley, Selectman