Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting
October 5, 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: Tom Browe, Atty. Gary Kupferer, Jeanne Collins, Bonnie Bourne, Shawn Hendee, Bev Peterson, Helen McKinlay, David Soulia, Allen Mills, Rick Conway (6:43 PM), John Haverstock, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.
J. Haverstock indicated that there was a need for Executive Session to discuss the legal matter of a proposed land transfer with Atty. Kupferer and two personnel issues, namely a Transfer Station issue and compensation issue regarding Chief Warfle. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to enter into Executive Session for legal and personnel. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
J. Haverstock indicated that there was no need to amend the agenda. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to adopt the agenda as printed. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
The Select Board minutes from the September 21, 2016 meeting were signed, with no corrections.
The orders in the amount $24,245.25 and $16,624.88 (Payroll) were approved, with the following discussion:
D. Trombley inquired about the expense for gravel to Florence Crushed Stone for roads 30, 31 and 6. J. Haverstock stated that these roads were Fire Hill, Hubbardton Road and Corn Hill Road.
TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT
J. Haverstock reported on the following:
· The new bookkeeper, Pat Johnson, began work on September 28.
· The external audit was completed during the week of September 19. A complete audit report will be presented to the Select Board in the near future.
· Wilk Paving is finishing its work on Corn Hill Road and Fire Hill Road.
· The 7th Annual Staff Appreciation Picnic was held at the Recreation Area on September 30. Thank you to Chairman Pelkey, Select Board Member Jane Cornell and Water and Sewer Commissioner Ernie Cleirhew, who were present to show their appreciation to the staff.
· An Act 250 Hearing was held on September 27 with regard to the proposed Dollar General store. This application was a partial application and there will be more hearings in the future in the event that the project moves forward.
· The Public Service Board held a public hearing on September 29 with regard to the proposed Otter Valley Solar Project at the Markowski field at the intersection of Kendall Hill Road and West Creek Road. One resident was present to ask questions.
· The Town Offices and related services will be closed on Monday, October 10 in observance of Columbus Day.
· The Annual Haunted House event will be held on the weekends of October 21/22 and October 28/29. The admission prices remain the same as in years past.
· The Police Department has received a grant to obtain a speed cart. The cart that was chosen has been approved by the grant agency, is on order and is expected to arrive in the next month or so.
· Chief Warfle will be present at the next Select Board meeting to discuss the possible purchase of a new police cruiser. The current 2012 Durango has over 80,000 miles. J. Haverstock reported that the current cruiser replacement fund has a negative balance.
· Overweight truck fine tickets have netted no revenue to the Town. J. Haverstock reported that research has shown that the tickets were not coded properly and that the State will begin forwarding revenues going forward once the proper code is used. The Traffic Ordinance will be reviewed to determine whether there is a lawful basis to issue overweight truck tickets and fines.
· Jan Sotorakis has reported that Chittenden has received a FEMA grant award letter for installation of a dam breach warning siren and is now reaching out to neighboring towns for assistance. J. Haverstock has asked Ms. Sotorakis to present an analysis of beneficiaries in support of any aid request.
None presented at this time.
Update of Village Sidewalk Project:
J. Haverstock reported that the asphalt and crosswalk painting are the only remaining tasks to be completed. Markowski Excavating has requested a one month extension to the project. J. Haverstock has approved a two week extension.
The Select Board entered into Public Deliberative Session for discussion of the Proposed Zoning Regulations at 6:43 PM.
Deliberative Session on Proposed Revised Zoning Ordinance (Open to the Public):
J. Haverstock stated that the 3 main concerns articulated during prior public hearings were ridgeline protection, business signage and duration of RV parking on private property.
Ms. Peterson inquired if there were any changes on West Creek Road and Route 7 south of the village with regard to commercial development. D. Soulia, Chairman of the Planning Commission stated that there were no changes.
Ms. Peterson inquired if the ridgeline protection was reinstated in the Zoning Ordinance. R. Conway stated that there is no specific mention in the current ordinance as the Planning Commission reviewed the data with an attorney who recommended removing the section. R. Conway explained that Pittsford currently has Uplands Conservation 1 and 2 districts, which would preclude the installation of any commercial wind turbines.
Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Cornell to accept the Zoning Ordinance, as written and presented. D. Trombley stated that all 13 items requested for consideration by the Select Board were covered and accommodated. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
R. Conway and D. Soulia exited at 6:50 PM
The Select Board exited Deliberative Session at 6:50 PM.
Consider Clerk/Treasurer’s Proposed Changes to Handling of Accounts Payable, Budget and Grant Administration:
H. McKinlay has requested that the Accounts Payable function be returned to the Town Clerk/Treasurer’s office and the budget process be returned to the Town Managers office (as the Town Manager works directly with the Select Board in developing and enforcing the budget) and the grant administration be cross trained between personnel in the two offices’ staff members. H. McKinlay explained that the process would be the same as with payroll, which is that the information is processed and given to the Town Manager for approval prior to any check issue.
T. Pelkey inquired how many hours Denise Mahoney had previously worked. H. McKinlay stated an average of 20 hours, however, there were more hours worked during peak times. T. Pelkey explained that if the Accounts Payable process takes 10 – 15 hours per week and the new staff member is working 24 hours per week, that will only leave 9 – 12 hours per week. H. McKinlay stated that it is not her impression that it take 10 – 15 hours to process Accounts Payable.
J. Gagnon inquired about the benefits of the proposed change. H. McKinlay explained that the Town Manager’s office will save office time, possibly saving overtime.
D. Trombley stated that the Accounts Payable is a clerk function and wondered why it was changed initially. T. Pelkey stated that it was to “even out workloads”.
J. Cornell inquired if the staff was competent to perform the tasks. H. McKinlay stated that the new staff member has experience in Accounts Payable.
J. Gagnon inquired the savings to be realized from moving Accounts Payable from the Town Manager’s Office to the Town Clerk’s Office. J. Haverstock stated that the system has “worked” since he has been on staff. H. McKinlay stated that there would be time saved at the Town Manager’s office and the budget information is currently being received second and third hand to the Town Clerk’s office. H. McKinlay stated that she will give the Select Board an update on the progress in a few months.
H. McKinlay stated that both offices would be cross trained in grant funding administration.
Motion by D. Trombley and seconded by J. Cornell to make the changes that were proposed by H. McKinlay by moving the Accounts Payable function from the Town Manager’s office to the Town Clerk’s office and the budget process from the Town Clerk’s office to the Town Manager’s office effective October 13, 2016. Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0 – 1 (Pelkey abstained).
Remarks from School District Regarding Proposed Transfers of Land Between Town and District :
Jeanne Collins and Bonnie Bourne were present to discuss a proposed exchange. The School District’s attorney has found that the Town owns the Lothrop School building and the School District owns the Town Hall, parking lot on Pleasant Street and the “Blue House”. The School District proposes that the Town convey the Lothrop School building to the Otter Valley Unified School District and that the District convey to the Town the 5 or 6 acres of land around the Haunted House buildings, together with a right-of-way for access.
The Town would have the right of first refusal to purchase the Lothrop building for $1 in the event the property is not used for educational purposes in the future.
This topic was deferred to Executive Session with Attorney Kupferer.
Discussion of E-911 Related Fundraiser for Pittsford First Response:
Shawn Hendee was present to request that Pittsford First Response be allowed to use the Town’s bulk rate postage permit to mail information to residents regarding a fundraiser. Pittsford First Response is selling 911 reflective signs to make it easier for emergency responders to find a residence. Residents can purchase a post to have the sign mounted and Fire Cadets will install for a fee. The Select Board agreed by general consensus to support Pittsford First Response by allowing the use of the Town’s bulk rate permit and paying the expense for mailing the information to residents.
Homestead Declaration Penalty Abatement Requests:
J. Haverstock explained that 2 requests have been received by residents for Homestead Declaration penalty abatements.
The Beitzels have requested an abatement of $146.50 due to an error made by H & R Block, which was confirmed by the H & R Block employee. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Cornell to approve the abatement in the amount of $146.50. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
The Pipers have requested an abatement of approximately $115.00 because the Tax Department stated that there was no longer a need to file taxes due to a disability. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Cornell to approve the abatement in an amount not to exceed $115.00. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
None presented at this time.
T. Pelkey made a motion and seconded by T. Hooker to go into Executive Session for personnel to discuss Police Chief compensation and a Transfer Station issue and legal with Atty. Kupferer to discuss proposed land transfers, where premature knowledge would be damaging to the Town.
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 7:17 PM. Town Manager Haverstock and Atty. Gary Kupferer were invited to remain for Executive Session.
Atty. Kupferer exited at 7:42 PM.
The Select Board exited Executive Session at 7:47 PM, with no action taken
The meeting adjourned at 7:47 PM.
The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on October 19, 2016.
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman
Thomas Hooker, Vice Chairman
Jane Cornell, Selectman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
David Trombley, Selectman