Members Present – Thomas Hooker, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, David Mills, Alicia Malay and W. Joseph Gagnon. Others Present: Gregory Hiltz, Bob Foley, Tony Lockwood, Gerry Carbine, John Kiernan, Baird Morgan, Betsy Morgan, Naomi Malay, Barb Lalancette, Bruce Pyle, George Welch, Louis Gaudreau, Mary Cohen, Tyler Richardson, Town Manager John Haverstock, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Chairman Hooker.
T. Hooker reported that there was a need to enter into Executive Session for Contracts (Town Manager). Motion by A. Malay and seconded by D. Mills to enter into Executive Session for Contracts. Motion passed unanimously 5– 0.
D. Mills requested to move the Select Board Comments following the visitors’ comments. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by A. Malay to approve the agenda as amended. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
The minutes of the November 20, 2019 Regular Select Board meeting were signed, with no changes.
The orders in the amount of $160,827.68 and Payroll in the amount of $48,130.19 were signed, with the following discussion:
J. Haverstock explained that the Special Appropriations that were approved at Town Meeting were included with the orders.
J. Gagnon inquired about the tax overpayment to the Hitchcock’s. J. Haverstock explained that this payment refund is typical due to the timing of State payments. J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for Gift Certificates and whether this is a typical expense. J. Haverstock explained that these were Staff Holiday gifts, as have been given for many years. J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for the Depot Hill project engineering. J. Haverstock stated that there would be a presentation by John Kiernan from Otter Creek Engineering regarding this expense. J. Gagnon inquired about the water loan repayment. J. Haverstock stated that this was an annual debt service payment.
Town Manager’s Report:
J. Haverstock reported the following:
- There have been articles regarding cell tower coverage in the newspapers. The representatives from A T & T were emailed a copy of the Select Board minutes of the November 6, 2019 meeting and replied with an email, which was read.
- Green Lantern Solar has proposed the construction of a 4 acre, 500 kilowatt project on property that is owned by Rick Coburn on Corn Hill Road. There will be a meeting with the Zoning Administrator and the developer on December 18, 2019 to discuss this project.
- The Proctor Policing Sub-Committee has met again to discuss taking on policing duties in Proctor. The Sub-Committee has proposed that Proctor make a commitment before Pittsford moves forward with the proposal.
- The Town and Union have taken the necessary action to approve the move from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont to MVP Health Insurance. There is a 4.2% increase by moving to MVP, whereas BCBSVT had an 11% increase.
- The Town Meeting warning draft is in the works and the Listers’ Office situation will be discussed in the near future.
- The Bookkeeper has confirmed the receipt of the $175,000 Class 2 Highway Grant from VTrans.
- There will be a Memory Tree Lighting ceremony at Lothrop on December 6, 2019 beginning at 8:05 AM.
- The Staff Holiday Potluck Luncheon will be held on December 18, 2019 at Noon. The members of the Select Board are invited to attend. Any one attending is asked to let Liz Wills know what they will be supplying.
- There will be a Staff Meeting on December 19, 2019 at 9:00 AM. As always, members of the Select Board are invited to attend.
Select Board Comments:
Selectman Mills inquired why D & F Paving was paid over its bid estimate. J. Haverstock explained that the paving contract was awarded based upon the price per ton, not by the job.
Barb Lalancette commended the Town Manager on the quality of his work for the Town.
A representative from Pittsford Auto Sales was present to discuss a tractor trailer unit that parks in the vicinity of his business obstructing vehicles exiting onto Route 7. J. Haverstock will forward the pictures that were presented to law enforcement officials as this road is in their jurisdiction.
Update on State’s Review of VT Route 3 Traffic Study Concerns:
J. Haverstock reported that the Select Board endorsed the VTRANS review of the speed limits at both ends of this State road. VTrans has agreed to reduce the speed limit at the Proctor line heading north from 50 to 40. The Town Manager will be attending a VTrans Traffic Committee Meeting on December 11, 2019 in Berlin to request that the transition of speed limits of the northern end be moved 0.3 miles to the south.
Update on Budget Preparations:
J. Haverstock read a memo regarding the budget process. This draft includes the modification of the health insurance; the Town Manager 2% increase; the VLCT dues have increased $200; the BLSG Mosquito District membership has increased 3.6%; NEMRC contract will increase $3,400. VLCT has submitted quotes for insurance, which is lower in some cases. The current budget draft shows a deficit in the General Fund of $15,490 and a surplus of $6,470 in the Highway Budget. There was discussion regarding some places that could be modified and Selectman Pelkey presented some possibilities for modification of the budget to improve the Highway Fund reserve.
Remarks from Pittsford First Response Regarding Future Plans and Budgetary Needs:
Bob Foley and Tony Lockwood were present to discuss the First Response budget for the upcoming fiscal year. T. Hooker stated that he would work with Mr. Foley and Mr. Lockwood on this process so there could be various funds established (e.g. vehicle replacement fund; building fund).
Mr. Foley and Mr. Lockwood exited at 7:40 PM.
Presentation of Rutland Regional Chamber of Commerce and Rutland Economic Development Corporation:
Mary Cohen (Rutland Regional Chamber of Commerce) and Tyler Richardson (Rutland Economic Development Corporation) were present to discuss the marketing effort that they have been working on over the past several years to encourage people to move to Rutland County. There was a PowerPoint presentation that was given to the Select Board members for review. Betsy Morgan asked for the organizations to include the Pittsford Trails System on their lists of things to do in the area. J. Haverstock echoed and mentioned the Town’s 18-hole Disc Golf Course.
Ms. Cohen and Mr. Richardson exited at 7:00 PM.
Update on Depot Hill Sewer Pump Station Project:
John Kiernan from Otter Creek Engineering was present to discuss the recent bid process for the Depot Hill Pump Station project. Mr. Kiernan explained that the bids were approximately $200,000 over what was anticipated. Mr. Kiernan explained the size of the pump that would be required at the Transfer Station, the replacement of piping up the Depot Hill Road, and the need to install 3-phase power at the Transfer Station as some of the larger reasons for the high bids. Mr. Kiernan explained that the Water & Sewer Commission discussed the possibility of replacing both pump stations that are located on the Depot Hill Road in their present locations. Mr. Kiernan explained the reasons for the project. One reason was safety as this was requiring the operators to go into the unit to make any repairs and another concern was the other pump station is approximately 50 years old and there are pieces of this station that are failing.
Mr. Kiernan exited at 7:15 PM.
Consider Adopting VLCT’s Proposed Resolution on Recreational Marijuana:
J. Haverstock explained that there was an email included in the packets for review. The resolution was read and considered. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by A. Malay to sign the resolution as presented. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
Remarks about Unkempt Properties and Littering:
Mr. Hiltz, a resident on Fire Hill Road, was present to bring to the attention of the Select Board that there are 4 properties located in his neighborhood that are littered with trash and abandoned vehicles. J. Haverstock stated that there have been certified letters sent to these properties in the past, which went unclaimed at the Post Office. The Select Board members instructed the Town Manager to forward these letters to the Police Department for service. Mr. Hiltz has presented pictures to the Town Manager as evidence. Baird Morgan stated that he volunteers on this road for Green-Up Day and this the worst section in town.
Mr. Hiltz exited at 7:28 PM.
Remarks from Pittsford Village Farm Regarding Hosting a Summer Vermont Symphony Orchestra Concert:
Jerry Carbine was present to discuss the Vermont Symphony Orchestra concert to be held at the Pittsford Village Farm on Saturday, June 27, 2020. The VSO supplies the sound, stage, parking attendants and their equipment arrives on two 43’ trailers. The performance will begin at 7:30 PM and conclude with a fireworks display. The rain venue will be at the Paramount Theater. J. Haverstock stated that he will be meeting with Baird and Betsy Morgan and Chief Warfle on December 5, 2019 to discuss the proposal. Ms. Lalancette stated that this event would support small businesses in town. Mr. Morgan stated that there are now two art businesses opening at the Farm and invited folks to visit.
Representatives from the Pittsford Village Farm exited at 7:38 PM.
Review Lister Application:
J. Haverstock stated that a letter was received from Mr. Faeth regarding the Listers’ position. The Select Board agreed that the timing is such that this should wait until Town Meeting is held to determine the route that will be taken with regard to the Listers’ Office. J. Haverstock will compose a letter thanking him for his interest.
Sno-Mads’ Request for Use of Town Roads:
J. Haverstock stated that this list has not changed in several years. Motion by J. Gagnon and seconded by D. Mills to approve as presented. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
A. Malay made the motion and seconded by D. Mills to go into Executive Session for 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 contracts at 8:02 PM. Town Manager Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.
The Select Board exited Executive Session at 8:05 PM with the following action taken:
The Select Board members and the Town Manager signed the Town Manager’s Contract Extension Agreement.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:06 PM.
The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on December 18, 2019.
Thomas Hooker, Chairman
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Vice Chairman
Alicia Malay, Selectman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
David Mills, Selectman