Members Present – Thomas Hooker, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, David Mills, Alicia Malay and W. Joseph Gagnon. Others Present: Martin Markowski, Lynn Markowski, Terry Poor, Myra Poor, Gary Congdon, Kim Kinville, Bill Drumond, Beth Saradarian, Bruce Faulkner, Tom Valach, Barbara Lacy, David Lacy, Roxanna Fucille, Richard Sullivan, Keith Eddy, Kristen Mahoney, Rolf Hirschmann, Betsey Morgan, Baird Morgan, Butch Shaw, Mary Shaw, Diane Racette, Shane Racette, Howard Burrow, Elizabeth Simpson, Ernie Clerihew, Andrea Winslow, Mark Winslow, Ed Bove, Gerry Carbine, Mason Jarboc, 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 Legal (tax sale) and Contract (union contract). Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by A. Malay to enter into Executive Session for Legal and Contract. Motion passed unanimously 5– 0.
J. Haverstock stated that there was a need to amend the agenda to table the discussion of the VSO performance at the Village Farm in summer 2020. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by D. Mills to approve the agenda amendment. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by A. Malay to accept the agenda as amended. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
The minutes of the October 16, 2019 Select Board Meeting were signed, with minor changes.
The orders in the amount of $300,401.68 and Payroll in the amount of $11.957.69 were signed, with the following discussion:
D. Mills inquired about the expense to EventBrite. J. Haverstock explained that this was for seminar attendance fees. D. Mills inquired about the expense to Apalachee Salt. J. Haverstock indicated that this was for winter salt. There was discussion that Mr. Mills thought that the winter salt had been purchased previously. J. Haverstock will speak with Chad Eugair and report back at a future meeting.
J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for tires for Highway Truck #2. J. Haverstock explained that this was for 8 retread tires and that there were 3 prices received prior to purchasing.
Town Manager’s Report:
J. Haverstock reported the following:
- The Select Board met with VLCT on November 6, 2019 with regard to Listers’ Office options.
- Markowski Excavating is nearing completion of the clean-up with the Whipple Hollow and West Creek Road projects. Once all of the invoices are received, they will be forwarded to VTrans in order to obtain the state grant funds of $175,000.
- The permit has been received from the State Fire Marshall with regard to the Transfer Station roof project. Construction will begin in the near future.
- There will be a Veterans Day Ceremony at the Municipal Office on Monday, November 11, 2019 at 11:00 AM. David Trombley will be the speaker and the Lothrop students will provide the music.
- There was a meeting of the Pittsford/Proctor Police Committee on October 22. The next meeting of this committee will be held on November 19, 2019.
- Tyler Allen, the new Water and Sewer Department employee, began work on November 4, 2019.
- The Town Manager will be out of the office on November 7 and November 8, 2019 attending a Town Manager Conference.
None presented at this time.
Adoption of Amendment of Town’s Burning Ordinance:
J. Haverstock stated that the Fire Warden proposed some minor changes to the Burning Ordinance, which included changing the burning time to ‘dusk’ and leaving the size of the burn pile to the discretion of the Fire Warden. There will be a posting in the local newspaper advising the public and informing them of their statutory rights to petition for a town-wide vote. Motion to approve the proposed amendment by D. Mills and seconded by A. Malay. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
Discussion of Village Sidewalk Project Design and Engineering Quotes:
J. Haverstock stated that VTrans requires a basic design beyond what he and Chad Eugair could provide. The Dufresne Group was contacted for this as they did the design work on the Arch Street sidewalk project and stated that the design would cost roughly $2,000. D. Mills inquired if this would include everything that VTrans needs. J. Haverstock stated that they were given the VTrans request prior to the estimate. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by A. Malay to approve the expense. J. Gagnon stated that he believes that this is a State issue and not a Town concern. D. Mills stated that an email was received on July 30, 2019 at 2:19 PM from Brian Sanderson of VTrans explaining the maintenance and construction of sidewalks was the responsibility of the Town. Motion passed 4 – 1.
Continued Opioid Litigation Strategy Discussion:
J. Haverstock stated that he has spoken with Bennington regarding their decision to opt out of the Class Action lawsuit. A letter was received from T J Donovan, Vermont’s Attorney General, recommending that the towns stay in the suit. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by A. Malay to remain in the Class Action Lawsuit. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
Request for Coin Drop (Humane Society):
Beth Saradarian from the Rutland County Humane Society was present requesting approval to conduct a coin drop on Route 7 in the spring 2020. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by A. Malay to approve the request. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0. J. Haverstock asked that the VTrans form be forwarded to Chief Warfle for signature.
Entertain Comments on Oxbow Road Cell Tower Proposal:
J. Haverstock stated that AT & T representatives emailed an update on their plans regarding the proposed project. This email was read to the public. The email suggests that on Sangamon Road. The representatives were not present as they stated they were researching alternatives.
Rep. Shaw stated that he has received calls from residents concerned about the proposed project. He stated that 2014 Legislation was passed that eased placement of cell towers through the State. Rep. Shaw stated that he met with Clay Purvis from the Department of Public Service, who represents the residents before the Public Service Commission. Rep Shaw distributed a handout of Act 248 that explained the 3 types of projects. The proposed project falls into the Limited Size/Scope criteria, which were discussed and explained. Local Zoning is not applicable, however, Rep Shaw recommended that the Town participate in the hearings, and that the Public Service Commission will be in attendance. AT & T will submit the permit application and the Town has 45 days to respond. There will be a decision issued within 90 days following the investigation and research phase. Rep. Shaw recommended that residents familiarize themselves with Act 248 prior to participating and residents are encouraged to retain legal counsel. The public is encouraged to contact Mr. Purvis (Clay Purvis, Director, Telecommunications and Connectivity; Department of Public Service; 112 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05620-2601; 802-371-9655 (mobile/office) 802-828-2342 (fax); ).
Terry Poor inquired who will be made aware of any progress on this project. Rep Shaw recommended that residents be in contact with the Town Manager for updates. J. Haverstock stated that he would compile an email list and forward information as it became available.
Ed Bove from Rutland Regional Planning Commission stated that the project is currently in the 60-day pre-application notice phase of the project. Jeff Biasuzzi, Zoning Administrator stated that the letter that was submitted was dated September 30, 2019 and recommended that interested residents should contact the Public Service Commission asking for “Party Status”.
Terry Poor inquired if there would be another balloon test. J. Haverstock and T. Hooker both stated that the town could request another test, which the residents felt strongly that another balloon test be conducted.
J. Haverstock stated that the comments that were compiled at the Planning Commission meeting were sent to the representatives of AT & T.
David Lacy inquired if AT & T had considered constructing 2 smaller towers, as opposed to the one large tower. Mr. Lacy also inquired about the maximum height of a tower before it is necessary to install a flight light at the top. Mr. Lacy inquired if there was any information as to the number of customers that would be covered by this tower. T. Hooker stated that there was no number, however, there was a coverage map comparison in the AT&T proposal and in a report prepared by Cody Racette.
Keith Eddy stated that the hope was that the Select Board would “fight” the project at this site.
Jan Satorakis stated that there is no cell service at the Chittenden Town Office or the school and that Chittenden would welcome a tower with open arms. Ms. Satorakis stated that there had been a suggestion of placing the tower higher in elevation to benefit both Pittsford and Chittenden.
Shane Racette stated that the aesthetic value was a concern and when the Planning Commission met with AT & T, the representative did not know the area. Mr. Racette stated that he had an engineer relative research options for the project. This report was sent by J. Haverstock to the representatives at AT & T. Selectman Mills recused himself from the discussion.
Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by A. Malay to oppose the proposed project as Pittsford residents are not in favor of the proposed location. Motion passed 4 – 0 – 1. (Mills abstained)
Keith Eddy read a letter opposing the proposed project location.
Michael Sullivan stated that Verizon also supplies First Net Coverage and that he has done research that has shown that property values decrease 20% in value and that 79% of home buyers do not wish to purchase near a tower.
Lynn Markowski stated that AT & T stated at the Planning Commission meeting that they would be in attendance and would have answers to the questions and concerns that were then raised. Ms. Markowski inquired where these answers were and when they would be addressed.
J. Gagnon stated that where he lives, he can’t see the Proctor tower and that it would not bother him if the tower were constructed at the proposed site. However, he owns property on the hill at East Pittsford Pond that might serve as a location that would serve Pittsford and Chittenden.
The residents exited following this discussion.
Presentation of First Draft of FY 2020 Budgets:
J. Haverstock stated that the first draft includes the department requests “as is”. The various department heads will begin attending the Select Board meetings on November 20, 2019 to discuss their work plans and budget requests. J. Haverstock explained the past processes of budget compilation. T. Hooker recommended that there be a “no increase” budget.
Discussion of Engineering Scoping Study and Potential Future Sidewalk Construction Projects:
J. Haverstock stated that the State’s Bike/Pedestrian grant program was discussed with the Dufresne Group, who recommended a scoping study, which would cost $25,000 – $30,000 to identify areas that would benefit from sidewalk construction. There is an 80% grant available. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by J. Gagnon to apply for a grant to cover a scoping study. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
Consider Subsidizing Employee Participation in Rutland’s Annual Blood Drive:
J. Haverstock stated that this was a tradition to allow employees up to 2 hours of paid
time during their work day to donate blood. The consensus was to continue the tradition.
T. Pelkey made the motion and seconded by A. Malay to go into Executive Session for legal and contracts 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 legal and contracts at 7:52 PM. Town Manager Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.
The Select Board exited Executive Session at 8:00 PM, with no action taken.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 PM.
The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on November 20, 2019.
Thomas Hooker, Chairman
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Vice Chairman
Alicia Malay, Selectman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
David Mills, Selectman