Meeting Minutes : Select Board – 11/20/19

Members Present – Thomas Hooker, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, David Mills, Alicia Malay and W. Joseph Gagnon. Others Present: Chief Warfle, Chad Eugair, Bill Hemple, Tom Shannon, Randy Adams, 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 (Town Manager) and Contracts (union contract and Florence Fire Station). Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by A. Malay to enter into Executive Session for Personnel and Contracts. Motion passed 5– 0.

J. Haverstock stated that there was no need to amend the agenda. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by D. Mills to approve the agenda as presented. Motion passed 5 – 0.


The minutes of the November 6, 2019 Special Select Board Meeting and November 6, 2019 Regular Select Board meeting were signed, with no changes.


The orders in the amount of $2,093,647.04 and Payroll in the amount of $12,348.07 were signed, with the following discussion:

J. Haverstock noted an additional cost for police cruiser outfitting.

J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for Highway Department wipers and brakes. Chad Eugair explained that Truck #4 needed work on the brake cannister and other parts.

J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for the line striping. J. Haverstock explained that the expense in the past has been $8,000 – $10,000 for class 3 roads. This year Whipple Hollow Road, Depot Hill Road, Oxbow Road, Plains Road and Fire Hill were striped.

D. Mills inquired about the expense for $2,000,000 to the school system. J. Haverstock explained that the Town is just a collector of property taxes, most of which are then remitted to the school district.

Town Manager’s Report:

J. Haverstock reported the following:

  • The Veteran’s Day Ceremony was a success and thank you notes have been sent to the participants.
  • There will be a Staff Meeting on November 21, 2019 at 9:00 AM and members of the Select Board are invited to attend.
  • The Municipal Office and related services will be closed on November 28, 2019 and November 29, 2019 in observance of Thanksgiving.
  • Property taxes were due on November 15, 2019.
  • A notice was received from Green Lantern Solar that they are looking to construct solar panels on property owned by Rick Colburn on Corn Hill. The Zoning Administrator and the Planning Commission are aware of this. Thus far, there have been no official filings with regard to this project.
  • There have been some personnel changes at the BLSG Mosquito District. Dr. Ben Lawton is retiring. Pittsford resident Mike Blaisdell has been elected as the new chairman of the Board. There may be a budget impact as the Board will have to hire someone to run the organization and Dr. Lawton had done so without compensation.
  • The Water & Sewer Commission met on November 19 to discuss the Depot Hill Sewer Project. The low bid was $190,000 above the engineers cost estimate. John Haverstock explained that the pump size that was required was more expensive than anticipated. John Kiernan from Otter Creek Engineering spoke with the Commission and the Commission voted to alter the plans and rebid the project. J. Gagnon inquired if the revised plan would allow for growth in the system.
  • The sidewalk scoping study grant application has been submitted.
  • Kit Hudson has spoken with the Town Manager asking the Town to discontinue use of his property off Arch Street as part of the Town Trails network.
  • A VLCT model resolution regarding recreational marijuana will be included on the December 4, 2019 agenda for discussion.
  • There has been another parcel removed from the upcoming tax sale. There are currently 5 parcels still exposed to a tax sale.
  • There has been a letter received from an individual interested in the Listers’ position. This will be discussed at the December 4, 2019 meeting.
  • An email from AT & T’s representative regarding the cell tower project was received. This email was read aloud for the Select Board.

Select Board Comments:

None presented at this time.

Public Comment:

None presented at this time.


Adoption of Amendment of Town’s Burning Ordinance:

J. Haverstock reported that the notice has been published and posted per State Statute.


Update on Budget Preparations:

J. Haverstock read a memo that described the progress of the budget process. The memo explained that some Water & Sewer debts have been paid off and that the annual appropriation to Pittsford First Response Budget would be changed from a special appropriation to a new governmental department. There will be an increase in the wages and benefits due to the 2% COLA/union increase and the health insurance increases. The fund balances are low and there is nothing to tap to reduce the impact. As of now, the General Fund budget faces a deficit of $32,000 and the Highway budget has a $6,500 surplus, with no tax increases.

J. Haverstock reported that the General Fund is stable and the Highway fund is volatile. The paving budget has been increased by about 5% and the salt budget is increased from $79,000 to $100,000. J. Haverstock suggested that the Board consider modifying Highway Vehicle Replacement Fund to bring the 10-year cycle replacement of trucks be reduced to 7 or 8 years. The Otter Valley Union High School revenues ended on August 8, 2019 due to Jack Shedd’s retirement.

Presentation of Highway Department Budget and Work Plan:

Chad Eugair was present to present the Highway Department Budget and Work Plan. The projects that would be contracted would include paving of Hollister Quarry Road and for 2.8 miles of West Creek Road. There is a box culvert installation on Fire Hill Road in the area of Florence Crushed Stone; crack sealing; line striping and the construction of the salt/sand shed. The grants to be sought will be for Better Roads (Barnard Road, Goat Farm Road and Sugar Hollow Road with stone lined ditches); Grants in Aid for the replacement of two culverts on West Creek Road. In house projects include road preparation for paving projects; culvert replacement on Markowski Road; and ditching per the Road Inventory.

D Mills inquired what could be cut if necessary. C. Eugair stated that there is not much to cut as the budget was drafted conservatively. J. Gagnon stated that the news stories have been concerned about salt usage in the State. C. Eugair stated that he had also heard this, however, believed that this was around Lake Champlain.

Presentation of Recreation Department Budget and Work Plan:

Randy Adams was present to present the Recreation Department budget and work plan. R. Adams thanked the Highway Department staff for their assistance at the Recreation Area with the digging of the foundation for the Lifeguard shelter.

The work plan includes programming, which has been helped by the mosquito spraying; Tony Freson and Terry Poor have volunteered to mow and trim the Disc Golf course. It is believed that Mr. Poor will not be returning and he has previously used his own Toro mower. The Recreation Department is looking to pay Mr. Freson an hourly rate for about 40 hours per season; The Recreation Department is in need of a walk behind mower. T. Hooker stated that if the funds were available in the Recreation Department’s capital account, we could purchase one. J. Haverstock thanked the Recreation Department for their programs.

Presentation of Police Department Budget:

Chief Warfle was present to present the Police Department budget. The Police Department is looking to replace Tim Cornell as a part time officer. David Soulia, Jr. will be attending the part-time Police Academy in the future and will be ready to begin duty in 9 to 12 months. The speed cart will be stored for the winter. Chief Warfle stated that he feels that the Police budget is conservative. J. Haverstock stated that there is no budget as yet for the possibility of Proctor coverage. J. Gagnon inquired about the proposed budget increase. J. Haverstock stated that the proposed Police budget increase is less than $1,200.

Presentation of Fire Department Budget:

Chief Hemple was present to present the Fire Department budget. The Fire Department has an increase in their budget due to labor hours increasing, due to the number of calls and the use of the mutual aid system, especially with daytime coverage being limited. Pittsford has a very dedicated department. The Personal Protective Equipment cannot be cut due to the fact that some of the older gear is needing replacement to keep members safe. There is an increase in the new equipment budget to cover the SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) as 5 sets have been replaced with 5 more needing replacement. The tanks are being tested early to keep them current. D. Mills inquired how many tanks there are in service. Chief Hemple stated that there are 17 or 18 currently in service. The Fire Department remains on top of truck maintenance. The communication budget has been lowered, however, the pagers and radios will need reprogramming.

There was discussion as to the need for a new ladder truck in 2022. T. Hooker recommended a possibility of a lease to buy program.

Chief Warfle exited at 7:25 PM.

Discuss Potential Relocation of Florence Fire Substation:

J. Haverstock explained that the current Florence Fire Substation is located at OMYA and is leased to the Town at no cost. However, there have been conflicts between fire response vehicles and the trucks exiting OMYA and the train at the crossing. OMYA has been approached to transfer ownership of land on which the Town could build a new firehouse where there could be access to water and a septic system. T. Hooker stated that the OMYA ground product gets into the controls and damages them. T. Hooker explained that there has been discussion that a new station could be constructed at the intersection of Kendall Hill Road and West Creek Road. This topic was deferred to Executive Session.


T. Pelkey made the motion and seconded by A. Malay to go into Executive Session for personnel 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 personnel and contracts at 7:30 PM. Town Manager Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.

The Town Manager exited Executive Session at 7:45 PM and re-entered at 8:10 PM.

The Select Board exited Executive Session at 8:14 PM with the following action taken:

Motion by D. Mills and seconded by A. Malay to approve the Union’s proposal to change health insurance carriers, in order to save money for the Town and covered employees. Motion passed 5 – 0.

Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by D. Mills to authorize the Town Manger to attempt to negotiate the acquisition of the 1.9 acre parcel at the intersection of Kendall Hill Road and West Creek Road, now owned by OMYA, as a site for the potential relocation of the Florence Fire Substation. Motion passed 5 – 0.

Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by J. Gagnon to extend the contract of the Town Manager by three (3) years to run through February 11, 2023, with annual cost of living adjustments. Motion passed 5 – 0.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:17 PM.

The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on December 4, 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