Lothrop School Gymnasium
Select Board Members Present: Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Vice-Chairman, W. Joseph Gagnon, Jane Cornell, David Trombley
Also Present: John Haverstock, Town Manager; Helen McKinlay, Town Clerk; Elizabeth Willis, Asst. Town Clerk; Approximately 80 guests
Moderator Jim Carvey called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.
Boy Scout Troop 110 presented the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Moderator Carvey explained that Roberts Rules of Order will be used, except where Vermont State Law takes precedence. Moderator Carvey read the Annual Town Meeting Guidelines, as published on page 1 of the Town Report.
Town Manager John Haverstock read the caption for the cover photo on the Town Report, which depicted in the 2nd Annual Trail Run just after the race began. The photo was taken by Erin Walker Eugair. The dedication in honor of the late Marsha McMahon for 30 years as a volunteer EMT in Pittsford First Response was read. The dedication to Tom Hooker for many years of dedicated service to Pittsford Fire Department and the Town of Pittsford was also read.
Moderator Carvey introduced State Senator Peg Flory and Representative Butch Shaw to
give an update on work in in their individual chambers of the legislature. A $1.5 million upgrade at the VT Police Academy, education funding, gun control, safe schools and upgraded 911 services were discussed.
Moderator Carvey read the following warning:
The legal voters of the Town of Pittsford are hereby warned to meet at the Lothrop School Gymnasium in the Town of Pittsford, on Monday, March 5, 2018 at 6:30 pm to transact the following business not involving voting by Australian ballot:
Article 1. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To hear the reports of the Town Officers and take appropriate action thereon”.
Town Manager John Haverstock presented a budget overview and expressed thanks to the Assistant to the Town Manager Linda Drummond, Department Heads, and the Town Clerk’s office for their work on the Town Report and administering the budgets.
Town Manager John Haverstock gave an overview of the Fiscal Year 2016/17 audited budget. The year ended with higher revenues than anticipated despite a $22,000 tax shortfall (due in part to property foreclosures). The Highway budget saw a deficit due largely to the delayed timing of work on the sidewalk on Pleasant and Arch Streets. The reserve funds have healthy balances as follows: Reappraisal Fund $109,000; Land Record Preservation $47,000; Dennison Fund (Fire Department) $97,000; Bridge Fund $394,000, (Kendall Hill Bridge repairs will require the Town to provide a local match at the time of State repairs); Fire Department Capital Fund $212,000; Mower replacement fund $22,000; Highway Capital Fund $351,000, (a new $120,000 new Highway truck has been ordered for delivery in a few weeks).
Town Manager John Haverstock explained that the proposed FY2018/19 budget features a 3.9% increase in General Fund taxation and a 6.2% increase to the Highway budget taxation. Moderator Carvey reviewed the proposed budget and reports in the Town Report with the audience.
Article 2. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will appropriate the sum of $1,534,918.00 (One Million, Five Hundred Thirty-Four Thousand, Nine Hundred Eighteen and no/100ths Dollars) to defray the General Expenses of the Town for the 2018- 2019 fiscal year, of which the sum of $1,197,763.00 (One Million, One Hundred Ninety-Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred Sixty-Three and no/100ths Dollars) is to be raised by property taxes?”
Town Manager John Haverstock presented the General Fund budget “highlights.” Motion by Dave Markowski and seconded by Sue Markowski to approve the article as presented. Barbara Lacy asked about increases in the Worker’s Compensation lines of the Police and Highway budgets. Town Manager John Haverstock stated the Town has seen a significant increase in these costs. Lloyd Provin, Jr. questioned the need for and the growing cost of Police Department, and urged voters to vote no on this article.
Article 2 passed, with 5 opposing votes.
Article 3. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will appropriate the sum of $1,494,175.00 (One Million, Four Hundred Ninety-Four Thousand, One Hundred Seventy-Five and no/100ths Dollars) to defray the Highway Expenses of the Town for the 2018 – 2019 fiscal year, of which the sum of $967,475.00 (Nine Hundred Sixty-Seven Thousand, Four Hundred Seventy-Five and no/100ths Dollars) is to be raised by property taxes.”
Selectman Joe Gagnon reported on the Highway Department activities.
The Town has little control over the cost of Worker’s Compensation insurance. The Highway Department was responsible for the daily maintenance of the town roads and was able to undertake projects over the past year, which included: Crack sealing (which is well worth the cost to keep moisture out) on Sangamon Road, Oxbow Road, Town Office parking lot, and Pleasant Street. The culvert replacement on Fire Hill was postponed as it required further engineering studies. The Town has replaced five culverts on West Creek Road. Old Hubbardton Road has been a widely discussed project. $13,000 was spent on gravel and culverts for this project. Additional used gravel from other work sites was also used. The road has been improved to allow emergency vehicles – fire trucks and ambulances, plow trucks and as a convenience. Speed bumps have been installed to slow traffic.
Highway Department plans for the upcoming year are as follows: The trestle on West Creek Road needs reconstruction and the Town will again apply for grant funds for this project; paving of Hudson Terrace, Creed Hill, Chittenden Road, Meadow Lake Drive, parts of Fire Hill Road and Arch Street; stripe painting on Corn Hill Road, Stevens Road, Sangamon Road, Plains Road, Parker Road and Creed Hill Road as a safety factor, and a section of Long Trail Road; the installation of a box culvert on Fire Hill Road; upgrades to the Route 7 sidewalk from Mechanic Street to Lothrop Elementary School (with funds for this sidewalk project coming from $100,000 from the State, $100,000 total from the following three funds: Burditt Fund, Village Fund and Highway Fund); construction of a Salt Shed located near the Transfer Station, to be paid partially with State funding. The Highway Bond taken for paving of Town roads will be paid off in another two years freeing up $90,000 annually.
Bonnie Stewart thanked the Select Board for including sidewalk replacement in the budget. Gary Mayer asked what the Highway taxes for 2018/19 would be. John Haverstock stated tax rates are not set until July using the new Grand List and figures from the State. Town Treasurer Helen McKinlay said that based on last year’s Grand List figures, the rate would increase $0.30.
Article 3 passed, with 3 opposed votes.
Article 4. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will appropriate the sum of $17,000 (Seventeen Thousand and no/100ths Dollars) to defray the Village District’s Expenses for the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year, of which the sum of $17,000 (Seventeen Thousand and no/100ths Dollars) is to be raised by property taxes payable by Village property owners?”
Motion by Barbara Pierce and seconded by Dave Markowski to approve.
Peter Cady inquired how the much the Town had saved since the installation of LED street lights. John Haverstock replied the Town had seen substantial savings and this amount is reflected in the reduction of the tax figure from $20,000 to $17,000.
Article 4 passed, with 3 opposing votes.
Article 5. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters will authorize collection of taxes on real and personal property by its Treasurer in three equal installments, due on or before August 10, September 10, and November 15, 2018.”
Motion by Walter “Terry” Poor and seconded by Dave Markowski.
Article 5 passed unanimously.
Article 6. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will authorize to be raised by taxation the sum of $500.00 (Five Hundred Dollars and no/100ths Dollars) to be used by Habitat for Humanity of Rutland County.”
Motion to approve the article by Dave Pearson and seconded by Dave Markowski.
Dave Pearson spoke on behalf of Habitat for Humanity of Rutland County, newly affiliated with Habitat International, Stone Gate division. The organization receives no State or Federal funding. The houses are provided at no profit and with no interest charges. Residents of these homes cannot flip the property or make undue profit from a sale. Four additional lots are ready and waiting for activity. Habitat for Humanity of Rutland County builds and renovates properties.
Article 6 passed unanimously.
Article 7. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will authorize to be raised by taxation an additional $1,000 (One Thousand and no/100ths Dollars) to be used by ARC beyond its current funding level of $400.00 (Four Hundred and no/100ths Dollars).”
A motion to approve the article was made by Walter “Terry” Poor and seconded by Dave Markowski.
Deborah Bieg spoke on behalf of ARC. ARC has provided assistance to 25 Pittsford families over the past year.
Article 7 passed unanimously.
Article 8. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To see whether the voters of the Town of Pittsford will authorize the Town to join the BLSG Mosquito District as a full member for purposes of obtaining both larvicide AND adulticide applications, with the following attendant costs:
- An increase from $15,000 to $24,638.55 in the Town’s annual contribution toward the BLSG Mosquito District’s operations costs;
- Four annual installment payments of $17,000.00 to “buy in” to the equity of assets owned by the BLSG Mosquito District and which are related to adulticide applications (e.g., building, trucks, sprayers, etc.); and
- A one-time payment of $2,477.55 to account for the Town’s share of current inventories of adulticide.”
A motion to approve the motion was made by Sue Markowski and seconded by Walter “Terry” Poor.
Following a prolonged discussion of the pros and cons of joining the District as a full-member and deploying adulticide in Pittsford, the voice vote was too close to call. Next a show of hands was used.
The motion passed with 35 in favor of the Article and 24 opposed.
Article 9. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To transact such other non-binding business as legally may come before said meeting at this time.”
At the close of the above business, the meeting was recessed until Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 7:00 a.m. at the Town Offices, located at 426 Plains Road, Pittsford for voting by Australian ballot on the following matters, to wit:
- A Town Moderator for the term of one (1) year
- A Selectman for a term of three (3) years
- A Selectman for a term of two (2) years
- A Lister for a term of three (3) years
- A Town Agent for a term of one (1) year
- A Grand Juror for a term of one (1) year
- A Trustee of Public Funds for a term of three (3) years
- A Trustee of Public Funds for a term of one (1) year
- Two MacLure Library Trustees for terms of one (1) year
Polls will be open Tuesday March 6, 2018 from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
Motion by Wayne Rowe and seconded by David Markowski to adjourn, at 8:40 PM.
James Carvey, Moderator
Bonnie Stewart, Board of Civil Authority
Helen E. McKinlay, Town Clerk
Elizabeth Willis, Assistant Town Clerk