Meeting Minutes : Select Board Minutes – 11/4/20

Town of Pittsford
Select Board Minutes
November 4, 2020


Members Present – Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Alicia Malay, David Mills, Thomas Hooker and W. Joseph Gagnon. Others Present: Charles “Butch” Shaw (via Zoom), Terry Poor (via Zoom), Myra Poor (via Zoom), Bill Hemple, Tom Shannon, Daren Laughlin (via Zoom), Bob Harnish, Town Manager John Haverstock, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.

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

J. Haverstock stated that there was a need to enter into Executive Session for Contracts (ladder truck; Kendall Hill bridge). Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by D. Mills to enter into Executive Session for Contracts. Motion passed 5 – 0.

J. Haverstock stated that there was a need to amend the agenda to add a Highway Right of Way Access request. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to accept the agenda as amended. Motion passed 5 – 0.



The minutes of the October 21, 2020 Regular Select Board meeting were signed, with no corrections. The Liquor Board meeting minutes of October 21, 2020 were signed, with no corrections.


The orders in the amount of $34,326.89 and Payroll in the amount of $10,664.84 were signed, with the following discussion:

J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for the F 350 oil change and LED. Fire Chief Hemple explained that this was for the Fire Department brush truck and there was a fire pump impeller that needed repair. J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for VALCOR. T. Hooker stated that this was for the network support for the computers that are in the police cruisers. J. Haverstock stated that this was to provide support to 8 officers for 1 year.

Town Manager’s Report:

J. Haverstock reported the following:

  • The upgrade at the Fire Hill Road Railroad crossing began on November 2, 2020.
  • The base for the salt/sand shed project has been completed; the asphalt pad is in and the permit to erect the structure is forthcoming.
  • Thank you to Jeff Carleton for organizing a recent tractor parade to benefit the Fire Department.
  • Thank you to the Recreation Committee and the Library for organizing the Trunk or Treat event for Halloween. Also a “Thank you” to the Fire Department and Police Department for their help and support at the event. Kelly Connaughton was a lead organizer for the Recreation Department.
  • On November 11, 2020 at 11:00 AM, the Annual Veteran’s Day event will be held at the Municipal Offices. This year the entire event will be held outside, due to the pandemic.
  • Information was included in the packets for review from VLCT with regard to cannibas sales within town borders.
  • The State has advised that the Class 2 Highway and the Structures grants will not be awarded this year. Pittsford has received $33,906 in “supplemental” funding, instead.
  • OMYA has submitted an email, which was included in the packets, stating that the proposal to construct a fire substation in Florence is at its Cincinnati HQ for review.
  • The LGER grants, which are COVID-related will be reviewed twice and the initial funding request has been approved by the State.
  • The cab/chassis has been completed at Kenworth, however, the low bidder for the body has stated that they will not provide a warranty. The other body bidders are being contacted and this topic will be addressed at a future meeting.
  • Linda Drummond will be returning on a part-time basis on November 11, 2020 with a full time status about a week later.

D. Mills stated that he spoke with Chad Eugair regarding the truck and his notes indicate that the truck was to be constructed with a full frame. J. Haverstock will review the specs with Chad Eugair for the upcoming meetings.

Select Board Comments:

D. Mills read a letter from Planning Commission Chairman Mark Winslow asking for a training manual for the use of the Zoom equipment. J. Haverstock stated that there is a training manual in the works and the possibility of training sessions.

J. Gagnon inquired the status of Town Meeting. J. Haverstock stated that the Police Academy and the School have both indicated that their facilities are not available, due to COVID.

Public Comment:

Rep. Shaw stated that the Legislature passed S.354 – Act 162 allowing municipalities to place their Town Meeting budgets on Australian ballots for 2021 only due to the COVID pandemic and that a “virtual” Town Meeting would be considered legal.

Terry Poor thanked the Fire Department for allowing the voting to be held at their facility for the Presidential election.


Update on Options Regarding Unpaved Portion of Oxbow Road:

J. Haverstock read a memo regarding the request to pave the unpaved portion of Oxbow Road. J. Haverstock and Mr. Eugair net with Todd Eaton from VT Local Roads regarding this proposal and they were all in agreement that an upgrade to this portion of the road would assist with drainage and dust. The discussion was to use RAP or RAS as a lower-cost alternative to paving. It is not recommended to have more than 25% of RAS (shingle) content as the heat will melt the material. The Rutland Regional Planning Commission has a traffic counter which will be placed on this section of road to determine the amount of traffic.


Further Discussion of Declaration of Inclusion:

Resident Bob Harnish was present to request that the Select Board adopt the proposed Declaration of Inclusion. Mr. Harnish distributed a copy of the proposed document for review. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to adopt the proposal. Motion passed 4-0-1 (Gagnon abstained).


Review First Draft of FY 2021-2022 Budgets:

J. Haverstock stated that the first draft of the budgets was included in the packets for review. There are items that cannot be negotiated–union contracts, insurance, etc. Several department heads will be attending upcoming Select Board meetings to discuss their budget requests and work plans for the upcoming budget process.

Discuss Options Regarding Town Meeting:

This discussion was included in the Public Comments section of this meeting.


Discuss Approach to Special Appropriations at Town Meeting:

J. Haverstock stated that this was discussed last year and will be reviewed again this year. There are some appropriations that cannot be removed because they impact Pittsford residents directly. The remaining 20 will be reviewed, probably 4 – 5 per year.

Election Update/Recap:

Helen McKinlay thanked the Fire Department, Board of Civil Authority and ballot clerks for their help on Election Day. There were 1,748 ballots cast, which is 76% of the 2318 registered voters in Town; there were 17 new voters registered to vote at the polls; there were 1,009 absentee ballots cast.

Consider Planning Commission’s Request for Historic Marker at Pittsford Mills:

J. Haverstock stated that the Planning Commission has requested the placement of a historic marker at Pittsford Mills. J. Haverstock stated that this would need State approval. D. Mills inquired if the members of the Planning Commission could meet with the Historical Society. T. Pelkey stated that the Historical Society is working on the Veteran’s wall and that is taking most of their time. J. Haverstock will forward the recommendation that the Planning Commission draft desired language for later review by the Historical Society.

Consider Purchase/Lease of New Ladder Truck for Fire Department:

Fire Chief Bill Hemple and Assistant Chief Tom Shannon were present to propose the purchase of a new ladder truck for the Fire Department. The truck that has been examined by the Select Board members is currently a demo vehicle with approximately 9,000 miles. The vehicle will have a warranty of 20 years on the cab/chassis and a 5 year warranty on the motor, transmission and drive train. The purchase of this truck would put the Fire Department back in their replacement cycle of 10 years. Mr. Shaw explained that the Fire Department is inspected periodically and currently Pittsford has a good rating due to the condition of its fleet. This inspection is available to insurance companies. J. Gagnon expressed skepticism that a new truck was needed at this time. The truck is available for $744,000, however, the Fire Department is requesting $750,000 to add some necessary add-ons. Following much discussion, a motion was made by T. Hooker and seconded by A. Malay to purchase the truck at an amount to not exceed $750,000. Motion passed 4 – 1(Gagnon opposed). The specifics of financing and trade were deferred to Executive Session.

Review Proposals to Repair Truck Route Bridge Deck:

This topic was deferred to Executive Session.

Consider Retaining Rutland Regional Planning Commission as Municipal Project Manager for Sidewalk Scoping Study:

J. Haverstock stated that it was recommended that a project manager be hired. The Rutland Regional Planning Commission bills 10%, which would cost the project $2,500 – $3,000 based on the project’s $30,000 budget. Motion by A. Malay and seconded by D. Mills to hire the Rutland Regional Planning Commissioner as the Municipal Project Manager for the Sidewalk Scoping Study. Motion passed 5 – 0.

Consider E911 Officer’s Request to Name Access Road:

Jeff Biasuzzi stated that Blueberry Lane runs through Rutland Town and the new parcels along the access road within Pittsford will need 911 addresses. D. Mills recommended Blueberry Lane Extension, which was agreed unanimously.


Consider Request to Earmark Proposed Donation for Pittsford Trails Committee:

A $1,000 donation was offered by a trail hiker, on condition that it be earmarked for the Pittsford Trails. The consensus of the Select Board was to accept the donation and commit it for use by the Trails Committee.

D. Mills stated that he was under the impression that the proposed $10,000 payment from the developers of a Plains Road solar farm was also earmarked for the trails. J. Haverstock stated that the proposed solar farm payment has not yet been earmarked or committed for any specific use.

Review Request to Reduce Speed Limit on Gorham Bridge Road:

J. Haverstock stated that a letter was received from Town resident Joan Murray with regard to the speed limit on the Gorham Bridge Road. The letter expressed concern for the pedestrians and bikers along this road. Chad Eugair stated that he has seen pedestrians, however, he does not feel the need to reduce the speed limit. J. Haverstock will contact the Rutland Regional Planning Commission to deploy their traffic counter to gather information before acting on this request.

Highway Access/Right of Way Request:

A request was received from Joshua and Ashley Melen for a Highway Access/Right of Way permit on Goat Farm Road. Chad Eugair has inspected the property and has approved, with the condition that the driveway be sloped away from the road to reduce any run-off from entering the travelled portion of the highway. Motion by J. Gagnon and seconded by D. Mills to approve the request with the stipulations as stated by Chad Eugair. Motion passed 5 – 0.

The Select Board recessed to Executive Session at 8:13 PM.


T. Hooker 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 8:13 PM. Town Manager Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.

The Select Board exited Executive Session at 8:32 PM with no action taken.

The Select Board meeting was adjourned at 8:32 PM.


The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on November 18, 2020.

Respectfully Submitted,


Kelly Giard

Recording Secretary


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman


Alicia Malay, Vice Chairman


Thomas Hooker, Selectman


W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman


David Mills, Selectman