Members Present – Thomas Hooker, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, David Mills, Alicia Malay and W. Joseph Gagnon. Others Present: Dave Soulia, Mary Shaw, Kevin Carlton, Kevin Hier, Jeff Carlton, David Rosato, Adam Parry, Brian Wood, Tammy Wood, Mark Trombley, Dan Adams, Carol Falco, Ed Keith, Brad Keith, Charles “Butch” Shaw, Mike Warfle, Town Manager John Haverstock, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Chairman Hooker.
J. Haverstock stated that there was a need to enter into Executive Session for Town Report (Personnel). Motion by A. Malay and seconded by D. Mills to enter into Executive Session. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
J. Haverstock stated that the Discussion of the Proposed Mutual Aid Agreement for Municipal Public Works Departments could be tabled until a future meeting. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by D. Mills to accept the agenda, as amended. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
The minutes of the January 15, 2020 Regular Select Board meeting were tabled.
The orders in the amount of $87,951.68 and Payroll in the amount of $13,446.79 were signed, with the following discussion:
J. Haverstock stated that the sump pump that was discussed at the last meeting is used for multiple places in the field and is a replacement pump. J. Haverstock mentioned that there is a utility bill from Green Mountain Power for a bus plug at the Municipal Office. Following discussion, J. Haverstock will research and advise at a future meeting.
J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for Fire Department tires. T. Hooker stated that these were new steer tires for the ladder truck, and the purchase was approved by Chief Hemple. J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for attorney fees. J. Haverstock stated that this was for the tax sale preparations and the costs will be recovered from delinquent taxpayers.
Town Manager’s Report:
J. Haverstock reported the following:
- The Tax Sale will occur on January 28, 2020 at 10:00, involving one parcel.
- There is a vacancy on the Planning Commission. There are postings in the usual places, the newsletter and the website seeking volunteers for this position. There is a modest stipend for the position.
- There is also a vacancy for the Town Health Officer. Bruce Babcock will be retiring in May. There are postings in the usual places, the newsletter and the website seeking volunteers for this position.
- There will be a Staff Meeting on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 9:00 AM. Select Board members are invited to attend.
- The February 5, 2020 meeting will have a presentation from Chad Eugair concerning truck replacement, VTrans safety signage upgrades, and the Mutual Aid Agreement for Public Works Departments; Wayne Giard will be present to discuss Transfer Station operations; Carolyn Cota from VTrans will be present to discuss the bridge project in the area of the Mobil Station.
- There will be a meeting of the Proctor Policing Committee on January 30, 2020 at 4:00 PM at the Municipal Office.
Select Board Comments:
Selectman Mills stated that the Rutland Regional Planning Commission discussed the cell tower that was proposed for the Oxbow Road at their recent meeting and stated that there are no updates from the planners.
J. Haverstock stated that he was requested by Vanessa Mills, resident in the area of Woodland Drive to read the letter that she presented at the January 15, 2020 meeting. J. Haverstock followed this with a report that he has forwarded the letter to VTrans, as well as Devin Neary concerning the traffic accident stats for this area. Information on the stats will be forth coming, if available from Mr. Neary.
Review and Approve Draft Letter to State Agency of Transportation Regarding Condition of Village Segment of US Route 7:
J. Haverstock stated that there was a draft letter in the packets for review. Rep Shaw stated that he has reviewed the letter and had no changes to suggest. A. Malay stated that there should be something added to include the economic hardship that is caused due to the condition of the road. The Select Board agreed to make the change and send the letter.
Rep Shaw was present to update the Select Board on the Legislative Session, thus far. The following are some highlights that were discussed:
- The Budget Adjustment Bill was approved with $18.1 million in reserve for next year
- Paid Mandatory Family Medical Leave will be voted on and this is not a debatable bill
- The minimum wage increase bill will also be voted on this week.
- The marijuana bill is not moving
- There were 900 bills presented to the House of Representatives and 200 to the Senate.
- Economic Development and Economic Vitalization
- Tax incentives to help businesses stay in Vermont
- Exempt Veterans from Vermont State Tax
- Expand the lottery to include sports betting and keno.
- Tourism has increased by $500,000
- The Structures Grant Program will be increasing due to an increase of Federal Funding.
- Climate change incentives
- The Education Fund estimates are increasing. Act 46 has resulted in a loss of 26,000 students statewide.
- Jobs are plentiful.
- The Governor solidly supports immigration
- The U S. Census is coming and people are encouraged to be counted as this count will have an impact on many different things at the Town level.
Update on Budget Preparations and Budget Adoption Vote:
J. Haverstock stated that this is the 6th budget draft and there are no changes, that a Special Appropriation to the Vermont Family Network ($500) in appropriations, approved at last year’s Town Meeting, was mistakenly left off the last draft. J. Gagnon mentioned that the 20-year paving bond is now paid off, freeing up $85,000 in the Highway Fund budget.
Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by A. Malay to accept the budget as proposed. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
Review and Adopt Town Meeting Warning:
J. Haverstock presented the following draft Town Meeting Warning. The Select Board received this in their packets for review.
BOARD OF SELECTMEN
TOWN OF PITTSFORD, VERMONT
The legal voters of the Town of Pittsford are hereby notified and warned to meet at the Lothrop School Gymnasium in the Town of Pittsford, on Monday, March 2, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. to transact the following business not involving voting by Australian ballot:
1. To hear the reports of the Town Officers and take appropriate action thereon.
2. To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will appropriate the sum of $1,651,939.00 (One Million, Six Hundred Fifty-One Thousand, Nine Hundred Thirty-Nine and no/100ths Dollars) to defray the General Fund Expenses of the Town for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, of which the sum of $1,283,829.00 (One Million, Two Hundred Eighty-Three Thousand, Eight Hundred Twenty-Nine and no/100ths Dollars) is to be raised by property taxes?
3. To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will appropriate the sum of $1,151,480.00 (One Million, One Hundred Fifty-One Thousand, Four Hundred Eighty and no/100ths Dollars) to defray the Highway Expenses of the Town for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, of which the sum of $1,015,200.00 (One Million, Fifteen Thousand, Two Hundred and no/100ths Dollars) is to be raised by property taxes?
4. To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will appropriate the sum of $16,000.00 (Sixteen Thousand and no/100ths Dollars) to defray the Village District’s Expenses for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, of which the sum of $16,000.00 (Sixteen Thousand and no/100ths Dollars) is to be raised by property taxes payable by Village property owners?
5. 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 13, September 17 and November 12, 2020?
6. To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will authorize to be raised by taxation $2,500.00 (Two Thousand Five Hundred and no/100ths Dollars) to be used by Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum?
7. To see if the voters would like an opportunity at the NEXT Town Meeting in March, 2021 to discuss, debate and vote on whether to continue providing current levels of financial support to the organizations and entities now receiving Special Appropriations previously approved by the voters?
8. To see if the voters of the Town of Pittsford will vote to authorize the elimination of the office of Lister and replace it with a professionally qualified assessor, appointed by the SelectBoard, which shall have the same powers, discharge the same duties, proceed in the discharge thereof in the same manner, and be subject to the same liabilities as are prescribed for listers or the board of listers under the provisions of Title 32 of the Vermont statutes? [Vote by Paper Ballot, per State statute.]
9. 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 shall be recessed until Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 7:00 a.m. at the Town Offices, located at 426 Plains Road, Pittsford, to vote by Australian ballot on the following matters, to wit:
10. To elect the following officers of the Town:
a. A Town Moderator for a term of one (1) year
b. A Selectman for a term of three (3) years
c. A Selectman for a term of two (2) years
d. A Town Clerk for a term of three (3) years
e. A Town Treasurer for a term of three (3) years
f. A Lister for the remainder of a (3) three-year term, expiring in 2021
g. A Lister for the remainder of a (3) three-year term, expiring in 2022
h. A Lister for a term of three (3) years
i. A Town Agent for a term of one (1) year
j. A Grand Juror for a term of one (1) year
k. A Trustee of Public Funds for a term of three (3) years
l. One MacLure Library Trustee for a term of one (1) year
Polls will be open Tuesday, March 3, 2020, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Dated at Pittsford, Vermont the 22nd day of January, 2020.
S/s Thomas Hooker, Chairman
S/s Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Vice-Chairman
S/s Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
S/s Alicia Malay, Selectman
S/s David Mills, Selectman
Received and recorded this 23rd day of January, 2020.
S/s Helen E. McKinlay, Pittsford Town Clerk
Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by D. Mills to approve the Warning as presented. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0. D. Mills inquired the wording of the property tax collection dates article. J. Gagnon inquired if there were residents that may be looking for a discount for prompt payment of their taxes. Following discussion, this topic was tabled to a future meeting.
Discuss Preparations for Town Meeting and Town Report:
J. Haverstock reported that the Town Report is near completion. The proposed honoree and cover photos were included in the packets for review. There will be a dedication ceremony on February 19, 2020 at 9:00 AM. Further discussion on this topic was deferred to Executive Session.
Presentation of Letter for Non-Binding Warning:
Resident Brian Wood spoke in favor of a proposed resolution expressing support for second amendment rights and concerns about infringements by federal and state legislatures. He asked that the resolution be included in the Town Warning, despite a lack of sufficient petition signatures.
T. Pelkey stated that he sympathizes with the concern, however, the Town’s practice is to include only articles germane to Town business in the warning and that it is unfair to allow this to be on the warning when there are other requests that are rejected.
Following discussion, motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to approve the Resolution. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
Review and Approve Certificate of Highway Mileage:
J. Haverstock explained that this is an annual exercise and that there are 64.261 miles of roads in Town. The certificate was signed by the Select Board members.
Review VTrans Offer of Compensation for Bridge Replacement Work:
J. Haverstock reported that VTrans has offered $500 compensation for the temporary guardrail that is in place at the bridge at the intersection of Oxbow Road and the Mobil Station. D. Mills inquired if this area would be returned to its original condition following the construction. This topic will be discussed further at the February 5, 2020 meeting when there is a VTrans representative will be present.
A. Malay made the motion and seconded by D. Mills to go into Executive Session for personnel 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 at 7:44 PM. Town Manager Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.
The Select Board exited Executive Session at 7:53 PM, with no action taken.
The Select Board meeting was adjourned at 7:53 PM.
The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on February 5, 2020.
Thomas Hooker, Chairman
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Vice Chairman
Alicia Malay, Selectman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
David Mills, Selectman