Members Present – Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, David Mills, Thomas Hooker and W. Joseph Gagnon. ABSENT: Alicia Malay. Others Present: Terry White (via Zoom), Mike Blaisdell (via Zoom), John Binhammer (via Zoom) Donna Wilson, John Haverstock – Town Manager, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Vice Chair David Mills.
J. Haverstock stated that there was no need to enter into Executive Session.
J. Haverstock stated that there was no need to amend the agenda. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by T. Pelkey to accept the agenda as presented. Motion passed 4 – 0.
The minutes of the September 1, 2021 regular meeting were discussed and not signed as Select Board member Mills would like more information included in the minutes regarding the lengthy discussion of the bridge at the intersection of Routes 7 and 3. These additions will be made and reviewed at the next meeting.
The orders in the amount of $385,952.20 and Payroll in the amount of $11,852.76 were signed, with the following discussion:
D. Mills inquired about the expense to Terrier Tenacity, LLC. J. Haverstock explained that this is Jackson Whelan’s company that performs the web hosting services.
Town Manager’s Report:
J. Haverstock reported the following:
- The Annual Staff Picnic was held with great success. The staff members enjoyed lunch and socializing.
- The new Highway Department 550 truck has been ordered with an anticipated delivery date of 12 – 14 weeks.
- The annual Veteran’s Day Ceremony will be held on November 11, 2021 at 11:00 AM. Plans are forming nicely and a Keynote Speaker is being sought.
- A letter has been sent to abutters of potential sidewalk project sites. Informational flyers were distributed at Pittsford Day and residents were encouraged to participate in the on-line survey, which will be available until October 15, 2021.
- There were 11 delinquent property tax letters prepared to be sent with regard to the impending tax sale.
- There was interior damage done to the Depot Hill Road covered bridge on September 9, 2021. Chief Warfle has been investigating the incident, which damaged some trusses and braces.
- VTrans sent an email regarding feedback offered by the Board and members of the public of the September 1 meeting regarding the bridge replacement project, which was included in the packets for review.
- The Town Manager will be out of the office on September 16, 17 and 20.
Select Board Comments:
None Presented at this time.
J. Haverstock reported that Jeff Carleton is planning the next Tractor Parade on October 23, 2021 with a start and finish at the Pittsford Village Farm.
Update on Pittsford Day Planning:
J. Haverstock reported that this was a successful event with great weather. The Army band, LifeNet, Food Trucks and Car Show were all big hits with the participants. Thank you letters have been sent to those helping organize the event.
Review of Notice from Town of Chittenden Regarding Re-Classification of Class IV Roads:
J. Haverstock reported that the Town of Chittenden has cancelled this invitation.
Consider VLCT Proposal to Assist with Recruitment/Hiring of New Town Manager:
J. Haverstock stated that a VLCT Representative attended the last meeting and explained the process and the written proposal that was presented. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker to accept the proposal. J. Gagnon inquired if the Town would be advertising in the local newspapers. J. Haverstock stated that this is part of the contract. Motion passed 4 – 0.
Review Drafts of Town Profile and Town Manager Job Description:
This topic was tabled until a future meeting.
Discussion of Town’s Covid 19 Response and Policies:
J. Haverstock explained that the Federal and State Government workforces are required to be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID testing. J. Haverstock stated that he will contact the Union and VLCT prior to updating the Board on available options. More information will be discussed at a future meeting.
Consider Brandon’s Request for Assistance with Police Coverage:
J. Haverstock stated that Brandon has been in communication with Chief Warfle looking for Police assistance for 7 of their upcoming shifts due to staffing problems. J. Haverstock explained that the Town of Brandon recently loaned Pittsford the use of a cruiser when Pittsford had one out for service. The Town of Brandon will pay wages and vehicle-related expenses. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Gagnon to assist Brandon in their staffing concern. Motion passed 4 – 0.
Review Assessor’s Error & Omission (Parcels 1593 & 1012):
J. Haverstock read a memo that was received from the Assessor’s office with regard to Parcels 1593 and 1012. There were name changes and no value changes. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Gagnon to accept the request. Motion passed 4 – 0.
Consider Approving Submission of Grant Application on Behalf of the Pittsford Village Farm:
J. Haverstock explained that the PVF’s first grant application was denied due to the funding source running out of money. The current and updated application includes references to recent summer programming. Donna Wilson reported that the project has been chosen as a candidate for a potential Congressional grant, with the help of Bernie Sanders. The amount of this grant would be $400,000, with a 50/50 split, which can include in-kind funding. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by T. Pelkey to approve the submission of the grant application. Terry White stated that the deadline is September 21, 2021. Motion passed 4 – 0.
Discussion of Potential Nature Conservancy Purchase of Private Property:
John Binhammer from the Nature Conservancy was present to discuss the possible TNC purchase of land from Ron Smith and Todd Wheeler. The land purchase will continue to allow for public access and the land will continue to be taxed by the Town. Currently the Listers are listing the property at 138 acres, however, it is believed to be 346 acres. Mr. Binhammer stated that the LaBrake Road is currently gated at the bottom and they are proposing that the gate remain and the folks that would like to hike, can go around the gate. The proposed purchase lot is an interior lot with a total of two camps, which are rented to campers who will be continuing to rent the camps in exchange for repair and maintenance of the road. J. Gagnon inquired about timber harvesting on the property. Mr. Binhammer stated that there would probably not be a managed timber harvest on the property. T. Pelkey stated that he recommends tabling the topic until further information can be obtained by talking to residents. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Gagnon to table this topic to a future meeting. Motion passed 4 – 0.
Mr. Binhammer exited at 7:26 PM.
None presented at this time.
Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by J. Gagnon to adjourn at 7:30 PM. Motion passed 4 – 0.
The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on October 6, 2021.
Alicia Malay, Chair
David Mills, Vice Chair
Thomas Hooker, Selectman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Selectman