Members Present – Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Alicia Malay, David Mills, Thomas Hooker and W. Joseph Gagnon. Others Present: Charles “Butch” Shaw (via Zoom), Mark Winslow (via Zoom), Chad Eugair (via Zoom), Town Manager John Haverstock, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Chair Alicia Malay.
J. Haverstock stated that there was a need to enter into Executive Session for Police Department (Personnel); Clerk’s Office (Personnel); and OMYA (Contracts/Legal). Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by T. Pelkey to enter into Executive Session for Personnel and Contracts/Legal. Motion passed 5 – 0.
J. Haverstock stated that there was a need to amend the agenda add Liquor Board. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to accept the agenda as amended. Motion passed 5 – 0.
The minutes of the March, 3 2021 meeting were signed, with no corrections.
The orders in the amount of $133,547.30 and Payroll in the amount of $11,640.55 were signed, with the following discussion:
J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for salt expenses. J. Haverstock stated that this expense was still within budget for the year and Highway Foreman Chad Eugair stated that the current storage shed was full.
A. Malay inquired if there would be more salt shed expenses. J. Haverstock stated that there would be more coming as there is some lag between project status and billing.
D. Mills inquired about the expense to Rousseau’s Plumbing and Heating. J. Haverstock stated that there were several separate service calls at several Town buildings included in the bill.
Town Manager’s Report:
J. Haverstock reported the following:
- The Salt/Sand Shed project is nearly complete. The fabric covering is in place and the main door has a 14’ clearance. There will be a Substantial Completion site meeting with the Town Manager, Highway Foreman Eugair, Casella Construction representatives, a VTrans representative, and the Design Engineer on March 18, 2021.
- The Depot Hill pump station project is complete with the exception of landscaping, the purchasing of a required generator that can be used at Depot Hill and Elm Street pump stations, and the installation of the aeration automation at the Wastewater Treatment Facility.
- The ADA Consultant will be at the Municipal Office on March 18, 2021 at 10:00 AM to inspect the facility and the necessity of replacing the mechanical chair lift.
- VLCT will be hosting their annual Select Board Institute training virtually on March 24, 2021 from 9:00 AM – 12:15 PM. Any member of the Select Board that would like to attend should contact the Town Manager to register.
- There is a resident that has expressed interest in constructing a Dog Park in Pittsford. This request was forwarded to the Pittsford Village Farm as they would like to encourage visits to the farm. The Pittsford Village Farm declined the construction of a formal Dog Park as they are already hosting dog walkers. There are materials available for anyone wishing to learn more about constructing a Dog Park.
- The next meeting will be held in 3 weeks. There may be a need for Select Board members to sign orders in the meantime.
- The Covered Bridge Society has offered $2,500 toward an engineering study of the Depot Hill Road covered bridge.
- Chair Malay has contacted the Town Manager requesting periodic updates from department heads to the Select Board. This will be discussed at the next meeting.
- The Conference Room furniture was discussed. The tables are too large and there are tables that are smaller to accommodate folks and space. The Town Manager was given the unanimous “go ahead” to purchase the smaller tables.
- There was a meeting at the Fire Hill Bridge site with Green Mountain Power, Crane Operators, Steve from Florence Crushed Stone, the design engineer, the Town Manager and Highway Foreman Eugair. The project will impact the railroad crossing, the river, power lines and the road. Green Mountain Power is cooperative with the proposed plans. This proposed project is a summer or fall project and the contractor will be meeting with the same team and Omya representative and other stakeholders to discuss the placement of the culvert.
- Lyle Jepson has stated that he is waiting for more information with regard to the COVID funds that are expected to be distributed to Vermont cities and towns. More information will be communicated once received.
Select Board Comments:
D. Mills stated that the Rutland Regional Planning Commission met on March 16, 2021 and the Plains Road Solar Project was discussed. The Rutland Regional Planning Commission is in favor of the project and this proposed project meets the Regional Plan. The representative from Brandon, who was serving as the Vice Chair has resigned. Pittsford’s representative, David Mills, is now serving as Vice Chair.
Rep. Shaw stated that there is approximately $2.7 billion coming to Vermont as part of the latest COVID-19 relief package. The Fiscal office is trying to figure out the eligibility of and restrictions on various towns to receive their share. D. Mills stated that the Rutland Regional Planning Commission discussed this at their recent meeting and spoke of internet speed/compatibility at a priority due to more employees working remotely.
None presented at this time.
Discuss Repairs to Deck of Depot Hill Road:
Highway Foreman Chad Eugair recently met with VTrans to discuss the repairs to be made at the Depot Hill Road covered bridge. There were pictures in the packets for review of previous repairs. C. Eugair stated that the boards currently go lengthwise and flex with movement and the recommendation is to start with installing safer running boards. The members of the Select Board agreed to this recommendation and the runners will be wide hemlock boards. The project can begin as soon as April 1, 2021 with a completion prior to the Kendall Hill bridge project, however, the exact time of completion is dependent on the amount of moisture that is discovered on the current boards. J. Haverstock inquired about the necessity of removing the existing boards. C. Eugair explained that this was recommended by the inspector as leaving these boards in place would create too much weight on the deck structure. There was discussion concerning the removal of the boards and C. Eugair explained that the main deck at the Transfer Station end was not in good shape and needed replacing.
Discussion of Town Office Parking Lot:
J. Haverstock stated that the Town Office parking lot is showing some deep cracking. C. Eugair stated that the spoke with the crack sealing contractor who will inspect the lot after the frost is out to provide a better idea of available options. More information will be discussed at a future meeting.
Chad Eugair exited at 7:07 PM.
Review and Approve Draft Application for Re-Certification of the Transfer Station:
J. Haverstock stated that the Transfer Station is due for recertification, which was last done in 2011. J. Haverstock and Transfer Station operator Wayne Giard have worked with the Rutland County Solid Waste District on this project. The draft application was included in the packets for review. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by A. Malay to approve the application as presented. Motion passed 5 – 0.
Discuss Potential Acquisition of Land for Relocated Florence Fire Substation:
J. Haverstock stated that OMYA is willing to sell 2 +/- acres of land at the intersection of West Creek Road and Kendall Hill Road for the construction of a relocated Florence Fire Substation, which is currently housed at OMYA. The construction of this new substation will help with the response of the equipment in the event of congestion due to truck traffic or rail traffic. Atty. Gary Kupferer has reviewed the documentation and this topic was deferred to Executive Session for further discussion.
The Select Board recessed at 7:09 PM for Liquor Board.
The Select Board reconvened at 7:12 PM and recessed for a break prior to a Dog Hearing.
The Select Board reconvened at 7:58 PM.
T. Hooker made the motion and seconded by T. Pelkey to go into Executive Session for Personnel and Legal/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 Legal/Contracts at 7:58 PM. Town Manager Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.
The Select Board exited Executive Session at 8:55 PM, with the following action taken.
Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by T. Pelkey to authorize the Town Clerk to re-key the offices of the Clerk and the Bookkeeper and to task the Town Manager with investigating options for improved building security and surveillance. Motion passed 5 – 0.
Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by T. Pelkey to proceed with the purchase from OMYA of a 1.9 acre parcel of land located at 2371 West Creek Road in Florence for $20,000 for use as the future site of a relocated Florence Fire Substation. Motion passed 4 – 1 (Gagnon opposed).
The Select Board meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.
The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on April 7, 2021.
Alicia Malay, Chair
David Mills, Vice Chair
Thomas Hooker, Selectman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Selectman