Town of Pittsford SELECT BOARD – September 7, 2022 – APPROVED
MEMBERS PRESENT: Alicia Malay, W. Joseph Gagnon, David Mills, Thomas Hooker and Mark Winslow. OTHERS PRESENT: Chief Mike Warfle, Chad Eugair, Brenda Fox-Howard – Town Manager, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.
The Select Board was called to order at 6:30 PM by Chair Malay.
A. Malay stated that she has a Personnel concern for Executive Session. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to enter into Executive Session for Personnel. Motion passed 5 – 0.
A. Malay stated that there was a need to amend the agenda to add the discussion of sidewalks and Elm Street parking signs. D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to approve the agenda as amended. Motion passed 5 – 0.
The minutes of the August 17, 2022 regular meeting were signed with a correction. The Cannabis Board meeting minutes of August 17, 2022 were signed with no corrections.
The orders in the amount of $418,170.18 and payroll in the amount of $12,483.84 were signed with the following discussion:
D. Mills inquired the expense to Engineering Ventures in the amount of $4,725.44. Ms. Fox-Howard stated that this was for site plan assistants and oversight of the West Creek Road project.
J. Gagnon inquired the expense of $2,675.40 for Corn Hill Road culvert. Chad Eugair explained that this was for a driveway culvert that failed in the “dip” by the Fox Farm and allowed 40’ of material to be placed in inventory for future repairs. M. Winslow asked for insight of the project. C. Eugair felt that this replacement/repair was necessary following an inspection before anything bad happened to the road.
TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT:
B. Fox-Howard reported on the following highlights:
- The West Creek Road culvert project is nearing completion with about another week and a half needed to complete. The State inspectors were on-site today and were pleased with the project status and also discussed the road and guardrail placement. The guardrails will be placed the week of September 12, 2022 with the paving hopefully occurring during the week of September 19, 2022.
- Items that were handled by the Police Department recently included an untimely and trespassing arrests.
- More research was done on the covered bridge camera idea. Information on this was included in the packets for review.
- Joe Bartlett met via zoom with the Town Manager, Shawn Hendee and Chad Eugair regarding the Storm Water Master Plan review. This will be an ongoing process throughout the next year.
- Fox-Howard met with (3) Agency of Transportation State representatives and Chad Eugair regarding the Route 7 corridor project and timelines as an introduction. There was a preliminary plan sent and the lighting plan submitted for the town review.
- Fox-Howard met with CUUD regarding the broadband initiative, which is moving slowly due to confusion. Ms. Fox-Howard is attending the meetings. A. Malay inquired if a provider had been named. Ms. Fox-Howard stated that they have interviewed (2) with no decisions being made at this time.
- Fox-Howard met with the Mosquito District for (2) separate meetings. The budget and expense reports were voted on as well as general review of spraying, grant document, and accounting. There was also a Special Emergency grant meeting to review changes to the grant document that were submitted to the state.
- The Animal/Dog Control Ordinance has been reviewed and will be coming to the Select Board at a future meeting for review. The Speed and Weights Ordinances are currently being reviewed and will also be presented at a future meeting. These ordinances will be reviewed a few at a time and presented for review and adoption by the Select Board so as to not overwhelm with too many at once.
- Fox-Howard met with OMYA Plant Manager, West Rutland Town Manager (Mary Ann), Proctor Town Manager (Michael) and Rep Shaw regarding the trucks being routed and travelling on wrong roads and being overweight. The (3) Town Managers hope to meet regularly to discuss the issue and strive for a plan to help resolve. Chief Warfle stated that the trucks that cut through from Hog Back Quarry to West Rutland/Whipple Hollow are an issue they consist of dump trucks, tandem trucks and tractor trailer units. There was some discussion with the State Representative B. Shaw about rolling out a Pilot Sign Program that would alert drivers on Route 4 East. This is the area where the correct exit is for OMYA should be directing them to route 7 North, not cutting through West Rutland.
- Fox-Howard is seeking a FEMA grant for the Fire Hill culvert and, upon discussion with one state representative, it was also mentioned that the town should visit the idea of having a bridge instead of a culvert. She will be seeking alternative options.
SELECT BOARD COMMENTS:
D. Mills stated that he has received information that the Dollar General lights continue to be an issue. Ms. Fox-Howard stated that she has noticed a difference and that the lights are programmed downward as far as they can go due to their insurance mandates of that store.
The insurance company for Dollar General requires the lighting to be able to light the rear of a car. T. Hooker stated that the lights are shut off once the store closes. Chief Warfle stated that the lights on the loading dock remain lit. Ms. Fox-Howard had met in person with the electrical contractor as he adjusted the lighting units. They are now on the lowest setting.
D. Mills has also had inquiries as to when the paving will be done at the intersections of Route 7 with Kendall Hill, Pinewoods Road, and Depot Hill. Ms. Fox-Howard stated that she will be in contact with the contractor regarding this concern. Ms. Fox-Howard also reported that the line striping company had sprayed a car passing by with white line paint causing approximately $1,000 in damages. She will be working on that issue to see that the citizen issue is resolved.
J. Gagnon praised the Highway Department staff for their mowing along Stevens Road.
D. Mills stated that there was a tree that had fallen near the Giddings “dip” making it difficult to mow around and is a potential traffic hazard. Chad Eugair stated that the Highway Department would take care of the concern in the next day or two.
M. Winslow stated that the additional $7,000 in traffic fines that were issued by the Police Department is commendable. J. Gagnon stated that he would like for the Select Board to receive a regular report on the fines including the dollars that are collected.
None presented at this time.
Police Electronic Equipment for New Vehicle:
Chief Warfle was present to discuss the outfitting of the new police vehicle. Currently, there is authorization to spend up to $54,000 for the purchase and outfitting of the new police cruiser, however, there have been some additional items that are required for effective operations. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by M. Winslow to authorize Chief Warfle to spend up to $1,500 for the additional expenses relating to the new police cruiser. Motion passed 5 – 0.
Chief Warfle exited at 7:16 PM.
Arm Mower Review & Approve:
Chad Eugair stated that the proposed arm mower is a 24’ mower. The old mower is currently in pieces at the Transfer Station. There was discussion regarding the selling of any of the pieces. Mr. Eugair stated that 2 of the heads are salvageable and the tractor can be retained for use in the future. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by M. Winslow to approve the purchase of a new arm mower for the Highway Department for a cost of $104,244.87. Motion passed 5 – 0.
Financial Policy Approval:
The members of the Select Board reviewed the Financial Policy, which was required for the CDBG grant and would like Liz Willis and Helen McKinlay to review and give feedback.
ARPA Survey Discussion:
The survey has closed and the Recreation Department received overwhelming results; the First Response received positive comments, as well as the website being an area of project to be completed. There were no dollar amounts associated with some of the projects, therefore, there was not much feedback on these areas. The Select Board will now have to compile a listing of projects by priority. M. Winslow inquired the priorities from the Water & Sewer Departments. Ms. Fox-Howard will be in contact with Shawn Hendee for this information.
Continued Discussion of Sidewalk Project:
Chair Malay stated that an email was received and asked for some clarification regarding the numbers that are listed. Chad Eugair stated that these were house numbers. The email read that the curb additions would be expensive due to the paving that has been completed. T. Hooker questioned the rebar that is exposed on the sidewalk across from the funeral home, which Chad Eugair stated could be corrected, however, the contractor is hesitant to begin work on the sidewalk until after the contractor for the paving is done through town, which will give the Highway Department staff time to prepare the areas. Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by D. Mills to rescind the motion of the August 17, 2022 meeting to spend $95,000 for the sidewalk and to make the expense $77,250, which is proposed in the current email. Motion passed 5 – 0.
Discussion of No Parking Signs on Elm Street:
D. Mills received complaints from landscaping crews about having no place to park when they are on Elm Street due to the No Parking signs located on both sides of the street. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to remove the No Parking signs on the west side of road and to keep the signs on both sides of the road near the corners on Elm Street. Motion passed 5 – 0. Chad Eugair questioned the signs on Furnace Road and Arch Street. D. Mills stated that he has only received complaints on Elm Street and the Select Board chose to only act on the Elm Street situation at this point.
Appoint New Town Representative to the Otter Creek Communications (CUUD).
Motion by D. Mills and seconded by J. Gagnon to appoint B. Fox-Howard to this committee as a Pittsford representative and to advertise the 2 alternate positions. Motion passed 5 – 0 and the documentation was signed.
Appoint/Review All Appointment Listings:
The listing of various committees was reviewed and a motion was made by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to approve the listing as published. Motion passed 5 – 0.
Recreation Tour Bus Trip to New York City:
The Recreation Department would like to sponsor a bus trip to New York City. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to approve this request. Motion passed 5 – 0.
Decide on Equity Committee Formation:
This topic was tabled to a future meeting.
Budgeted Insurance Not Adequate Due to 18.3% Rate Increase 1/1/23:
B. Fox-Howard recommends that the Town change to Blue Cross Blue Shield for employee health insurance as they are proposing an increase of 11.7% and MVP is proposing a higher 18.3% increase. D. Mills stated that he would like to see the increase in dollars and not percentages. This topic was tabled to a future meeting.
Christmas Wreaths for the Covered Bridges Sponsored by VCBS:
Motion by D. Mills and seconded by M. Winslow to approve that the wreaths be placed on the covered bridges in Pittsford with the understanding that VCBS is responsible for the clean-up. Chad Eugair stated that the Highway Department staff installed the wreaths in the past. Motion passed 5 – 0.
VCDP – Vermont Community Development Program Offering:
This topic was tabled to a future meeting.
ARPA Funds for Additional Water Valve Installations:
Shawn Hendee has requested funds for 27 water valves that will need to be replaced due to the sidewalk project. D. Mills stated that a cost should be received prior to approval. This topic was tabled to a future meeting.
Employee Handbook Approval:
This topic was tabled to a future meeting.
Abatement Request for Homestead Declaration Penalty:
A request for abatement for Homestead Declaration penalty was received from Nicholas and Sara Ronfeld. The Town Clerk states that this is the first time for the Ronfeld’s to make such request. Motion by A. Malay and seconded by M. Winslow to approve the abatement request in the amount of $99.69. Motion passed 5 – 0.
Town Clerk Financial Management Questionnaire Reports Review & Approval:
This document is an annual exercise required by the outside auditors, Sullivan & Powers. Motion by M. Winslow and seconded by D. Mills to sign the document as presented. Motion passed 5 – 0.
D. Mills made the motion and seconded by T. Hooker to go into Executive Session for Personnel where premature knowledge could 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 7:50 PM.
The Select Board exited Executive Session at 8:00 PM with no action taken.
The Select Board adjourned at 8:00 PM.
The next Select Board meeting will be held on September 21, 2022.
Alicia Malay, Chair
David Mills, Vice Chair
Thomas Hooker, Selectman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman