Meeting Minutes : Select Board – 9/4/19

Members Present – Thomas Hooker, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, David Mills and W. Joseph Gagnon. ABSENT: Alicia Malay. Others Present: Abby Marzec-Gerrior, Town Manager John Haverstock, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Chairman Hooker.

J. Haverstock reported that there was a need to enter into Executive Session for Personnel (Listers’ Office), Legal (Atty Kupferer input on “Blue House”) and possibly Contractual (Transfer Station roof) concerns. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by D. Mills to enter into Executive Session for Personnel, Legal and Contractual. Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.

J. Haverstock stated that there was a need to amend the agenda to add the receipt of responses to the external auditors questionnaires. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Pelkey to accept the agenda as amended. Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.


The minutes of the August 21, 2019 Select Board Meeting were signed, with no changes.


The orders in the amount of $158,799.35 and Payroll in the amount of $13,444.58 were signed with no discussion.

Town Manager’s Report:

J. Haverstock reported the following:

  • The police Ford Explorer has been traded in and the new truck cruiser has been received. The truck is being outfitted and will be in service as soon as this work is complete.
  • Markowski Excavating completed the work on the West Creek Road on August 23, 2019 and paving of this section is expected in mid-October. Whipple Hollow Road will be closed on Saturday, September 7, 2019, detours have been arranged through OMYA and there will be signage directing travelers. This is necessary to install three culverts in this area.
  • The Highway Department will be working on the West Creek Road to widen the corner in the vicinity of the Robin property on or about September 16, 2019.
  • The Highway Department has installed a stone lined ditch on the Sugar Hollow Road to help with stormwater concerns. This project was 80% grant funded with a Better Roads grant. There was a meeting with the Rutland Regional Planning Commission regarding similar issues along Creed Hill and Oxbow Roads, with an eye toward securing Grant-In-Aid funding.
  • There will be another meeting with FEMA representatives regarding the April 15, 2019 severe rain storm and the damage that was left behind.
  • The external audit with Sullivan & Powers is scheduled to begin on September 16, 2019
  • The Veterans’ Day Memorial Service is scheduled for Monday, November 11, 2019 at 11:00 AM. Residents are asked to contact the Town Manager with any suggestions for a Keynote Speaker.
  • Otter Creek Engineering has stated that there are issues with FEMA and the wetland permits for the Salt/Sand Shed to be constructed at the Transfer Station. There is still a possibility that this could go to bid in the fall with construction during the summer of 2020.
  • There will be a Staff Meeting on September 5, 2019 at 9:00 AM and members of the Select Board are invited to attend.

Select Board Comments:

Selectman Mills inquired about the status of the backhoe. J. Haverstock stated that there has been no communication from the shop and will communicate with the shop to have an update by the time of the next meeting. Selectman Mills stated that the Town should not wait the 6 months that was suggested by the Town Manager before changing phone carriers to save money. The recommendation was 2 months with a follow up with Vergennes, who also changed to the proposed company. Selectman Mills stated that he spoke with Tim Rice from Wilk Paving who confirmed that stripping the old pavement, using a shim coat and installing a 2” sidewalk, without the need to remove or add to the stone base, was a possibility.

Chairman Hooker reported that Satin & Steel was not able to perform at Pittsford Day and wishes to fulfill their obligation to the Town and will be performing at the Recreation Area on Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 3:00 – 6:00 PM.

Selectman Malay reported to the Town Manager via email that she has received communication from resident Ivy Dixon that she was nearly hit in the intersection crosswalk near Kamuda’s Market. The Town Manger will be sending this concern to VTrans to see if there are ways to make the intersection crosswalk safer.

Public Comment:

David Rosato sent communication to the Town Manager that there may be an alternative to the sidewalk reconstruction near the School. Mr. Rosato recommended improving the existing footpath that is across from the school and install crosswalks. The Select Board took this recommendation into consideration.


Continued Discussion of Furnace Road Safety Concerns:

J. Haverstock reported that the Rutland Regional Planning Commission placed its traffic speed counter on Furnace Road and completed a report to the Select Board, which was included in the packet, and shared with Ms. Marzec-Gerrior. The RRPC reported that there has been only one accident in this area in the past decade which featured inclement weather. There was discussion concerning the placement of the speed limit signs in the area. D. Mills inquired if there could be safety signs on both sides of the curve. Ms. Marzec-Gerrior stated that she has spoken with Chief Warfle and asked for an increase in patrols, however, this has not occurred. J. Haverstock stated that he would instruct the Police Department to increase patrols in this area. J. Haverstock will meet with Chad Eugair, Chief Warfle and consult VLCT as to the placement of signs in the area and will discuss at a future meeting.

Ms. Marzec-Gerrior exited at 7:09 PM.

Discussion of Lothrop School “Blue House”:

J. Haverstock stated that he has had discussions with Atty Gary Kupferer regarding taxation and zoning. There were copies of the utility bills in the packets for review as this was a concern at a previous meeting. The topic was deferred to Executive Session.

Update on Listers’ Office Staffing:

J. Haverstock stated that Lisa Wright has agreed to work 4 hours per week to assist the Listers Office. A contract was included in the packets for review. J. Gagnon inquired how the funding compared to having someone in the position on a regular basis. J. Haverstock explained the costs of both options and believes that there is enough budget authority to hire this consultant. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by D. Mills to accept the contract from Lisa Wright. Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0 and the contract was signed.

Update on Proposal to Amend Burning Ordinance:

J. Haverstock stated that he is working on a draft proposal for the September 18, 2019 meeting.



Review Proposals on Transfer Station Shed Roof Project:

J. Haverstock explained that this project was advertised in two papers at separate times and no one appeared for the pre-bid discussions and he then solicited interest with phone calls. (Chuck Charbonneau – fix shed roof – $4,500; extend over compactor opening – $14,500 total (2 weeks to complete before November 1). VT Roofing – fix shed roof – $7,660; extend over compactor opening – $18,994 total. No project date indicated). There was discussion as to how much the weather impacts the weight and cost of garbage disposal. This topic was tabled to allow time to review the proposals and to obtain more information.

Consider Proposed Zoning Fee Increases:

Jeff Biasuzzi, Zoning Administrator, was present to discuss the proposed Zoning fee increases. Mr. Biasuzzi explained that on July 1, 2019, the State Legislature raised the fees that Towns charge and explained that all surveys and boundary line adjustments must be recorded on both mylar and survey. Mr. Biasuzzi presented a proposed fee schedule to the Select Board for review and approval and explained that there was an addition to the past schedule to include bank/attorney review for $75 for up to 2 hours and $30 for each additional hour. D. Mills stated the Variance and Conditional Use fees were increased. Mr. Biasuzzi stated that this was only to cover the costs incurred. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by D. Mills to approve the proposed fee schedule as presented. Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.

Mr. Biasuzzi explained that there is an appeal by Ramon Davis, who paid more than the necessary amount and Mr. Biasuzzi would like to request a refund of the $50 that was overpaid. The consensus of the Select Board was to refund the overpayment. Mr. Biasuzzi also stated that the Recreation Department will be applying for the construction of the Lifeguard Shelter at the Recreation Area. However, the proposed site is located in a flood plain and will require a review by the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Mr. Biasuzzi is asking the Select Board to waive the fee for this permit. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by J. Gagnon to waive the ZBA fee. Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.

Mr. Biasuzzi exited at 6:55 PM.

Review and Sign External Auditor Questionnaire:

J. Haverstock stated that this is an annual exercise and Select Board signatures are required, signifying receipt of the answers to the questionnaire, to continue with the audit. The document was signed.


T. Pelkey made the motion and seconded by. Mills to go into Executive Session for personnel and legal 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 and legal at 7:32 PM. Town Manager Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.

The Select Board exited Executive Session at 7:52 PM, with no action taken.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:52 PM.

The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on September 18, 2019.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kelly Giard

Recording Secretary


Thomas Hooker, Chairman


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Vice Chairman


Alicia Malay, Selectman


W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman


David Mills, Selectman