Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford
Select Board Minutes


Larry Pomainville opened the meeting at 6:30 P.M.  The Board members present were: Larry Pomainville, Dave Markowski and Joseph Gagnon.  Hank Pelkey and Allan Hitchcock were absent.  Also present were Don Nickless, Helen McKinlay, Peg Armitage, Tom Carrara, Michael Balch, Mike Warfle and Paula Bizon Recording Secretary.





The Selectman minutes of 1/7/04 were reviewed, discussed and approved.



 The orders of 1/21/04 were reviewed, discussed and approved. 



Peg Armitage- Rutland West

P. Armitage addressed the Board in reference to her experiences with Rutland West.  She stated that Rutland West is requesting $1,000 from each Town that has participants involved in the program.  The funds requested are to offset Rutland West’s administrative expenses and some of the funds that are not received from existing loans.  She recommended the Town of Pittsford should support the program.  P. Armitage explained the work that was done on her own home and the agencies that provided her with help.  She stated that with the help she received she was able to remain in her home.  She may never have been able to do it without the agencies help.  The home had been in her family since 1840’s and it would have been very difficult if she had to sell her home.  She stated that the program might be of assistance to many more residents; however, it is not very well known.  (News release is attached)  The Board stated that Rutland West is on the Town Warning for this year.  The Board also stated that the program has been mentioned in the Town newsletter several times.  M. Balch stated the amount that is being requested is based on a fee determined by the Town’s last census.  The funds are for the administrative expenses of the program.  He supported the statement that several elderly residents would have lost their homes if they did not have the help of these agencies.  The area that is so costly is refurbishing, but it is often necessary.  The Board discussed the delinquency of these loans.  M. Balch stated very few loans are delinquent.  P. Armitage stated that she would speak at Town Meeting about Rutland West if requested.  P. Armitage departed at 6:55 P.M.


Tom Carrara

T. Carrara addressed the Board in reference to the timbers the Town had for sale.  D. Nickless stated that the timbers had been sold for $860.00.  T. Carrara asked who qualifies for the Rutland West program and how many residents are currently involved.  H. McKinlay stated that the list would be available along with the Town’s contact information.  T. Carrara asked the Board if there were any other timbers coming off the bridge projects.  The Board was not sure if there were any other timbers that would be available on the bridges.  T. Carrara could check with the contractor.



In accordance with 1VSA 312(b) where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the Municipality or person involved at a substantial disadvantage, the Board unanimously agreed to go into executive session for pending litigation at 6:40 P.M.  Don Nickless and M. Warfle were invited to stay.  All others were excused.  The Board came out of executive session at 6:58 P.M.  No action was taken.   


The Board recessed as the Select Board and went into Sewer Board at 7:00 P.M.  The Board reconvened as Select Board at 7:06 P.M.



Budget 2005

D. Nickless stated that a few minor corrections have been made.  The summary sheets are not balanced at this time.  D. Nickless stated there is a deficit in the Sewer budget and questioned whether it should be stated this way.  The Board asked where the deficiency in the sewer budget was generated.  D. Nickless stated it is a continuation of a deficit from last year.  The Board asked if the income from the State has been inputted into the budget.  D. Nickless stated there might be income from the State that was omitted which may change the deficit into a surplus.  D. Nickless will look into the deficit and report back to the Board.  The Board asked when the budget is due to the printer.  H. McKinlay stated next week.  The Board further discussed the sewer revenues and status of the fund.  The Board discussed applying for further grant funding that is available.  D. Nickless will research the requirements of the grant funds.  The Board will meet to review the balanced budget on Friday, January 23, 2004 at 6:00 at the Municipal Building.  


Trail System update re: State Regulations

D. Nickless stated he has spoken to the VLCT and to date has not received an answer regarding trail liability insurance.  The VLCT referred the Town to the State Statutes.  The Board reviewed the statute.  D. Nickless stated that he has not found information on the Town’s liability limits.  The Board discussed the trail system and if the private landowners have received information on the Trail’s committee acceptance into the State trail system.  T. Carrara asked if the landowners provide trails to be used, are the landowners liable for the maintenance of the trails that are located on their property.  The Board discussed the need to inform the landowners of the proposed license approval.  The Board requested the Trail Committee to do a presentation to all private landowners prior to the license approval by the Board.  The Board questioned that if the Town is accepted into the VT Trails system, will the trails come under the Agency of Natural Resources.  The concensus of the Board would be to research whether there is an insurance rider that covers liability and what course of action the landowner would take to seek restitution.  D. Nickless will inform B. Morgan to contact the landowners for a signed agreement on the use of their property.  D. Nickless will seek further information on the insurance and State agencies that would be involved in the trails system. 



Dog Registration

M. Warfle addressed the Board on raising the rates of dog registration fees.  The Board discussed the need to raise the dog registration fees.  The additional fees should be placed on the residents delinquent registering their animals or if their animals cause problems.  The Board discussed possibilities of raising the penalty fees.  M. Warfle stated that the State regulates the penalty fees.   The penalty fees will be researched and presented to the Board.



The Board requested an update on the status of the charges assessed to the owner of the dog that was hit on Route 7 and later killed.  The animal had bitten the driver of a car at the accident scene that tried to remove the animal from the road.   The medical expenses and fees have been billed to the dog owner for both the injuries to the person assisting and the euthanasia of the dog.  M. Warfle departed at 8:00 P.M.


Water Pipe break

The Board requested an update on the water pipe break on Oxbow Road.  The contractor broke the water main when repairing a sewer problem for the Oxbow Road resident.  The resident or contractor and not the Town should pay the associated costs.


Cooley Bridge walkway

The Board requested an update on the bill for the installation of the walkway at Cooley Bridge.  The Board discussed whether or not the bridge repair was delayed and necessitated a walkway being needed.  The date of final completion on the bridge is still being researched.  D. Nickless stated that he had contacted the State and they will not pay these charges.


Municipal Building Heating

D. Nickless updated the Board regarding the heating situation at the Town Office.  He has contacted several contractors to appraise the current heating system in the Municipal Building.  The contractors are still busy with emergencies due to the extreme winter conditions.  The contractors stated that once the emergencies slow down they would come and look at the system. There is also a valve leaking.  D. Nickless has reached the original contractor and has requested he come and repair the valve and explain the present heating system.  T. Carrara asked if, in the future, the Town should develop a bond agreement with contractors to guarantee their work.  The Board noted that the system is beyond warranty.  D. Nickless has requested several contractors to come in and present their recommendations. 


Selectmen’s Report

The Selectmen’s report for the annual Town Report was presented to the Board for their review.  The Board will review the two reports and make a decision Friday.  D. Markowski moved to approve the Selectman’s report written by Hank Pelkey.  The motion was tabled until Friday.


Father James Lawrence

D. Nickless letter of response to Father Lawrence regarding the speed limit in front of St. Alphonsus Church was presented to the Board.  The Board stated that the concerns regarding  US RT 7 upgrades are not the concern of each Municipality along the road, but a federal concern.


Sand Pile

D. Nickless informed the Board the salted sand pile would be required by the State to be covered in the future.  The construction cost could be partially offset with less use of salt in the sand.


Fire Equipment Insurance

D. Nickless informed the Board insurance on three limited use fire vehicles has been reduced.  T. Carrara recommended an independent audit might need to be done on Nickwackett Hose Co. and the Fire Department.  D. Nickless stated that the Fire Department is part of the Town independent audit each year.  The Board discussed the number of fire calls that are actually fire related as opposed to accident calls. 


Underground Storage Tank

D. Nickless informed the Board additional testing is needed of the area surrounding the underground tank to be removed from the State’s list of Hazardous Sites.  D. Nickless was directed to contact A. Hitchcock on his work regarding this issue. 


First Response

T. Carrara asked the Board if due to the low number of volunteers belonging to the First Response in Pittsford if it may require the Town to look at hiring an independent rescue service.  The Board stated there might be a need in the future.



In accordance with 1VSA 312(b) where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the Municipality or person involved at a substantial disadvantage, the Board unanimously agreed to go into executive session for Personnel at 8:36 P.M.  Don Nickless was invited to stay.  All others were excused.  The Board came out of executive session at 10:00 P.M.   


Without any further business, the Board adjourned at 10:05 P.M.


Respectfully submitted:


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chair - ABSENT

Larry Pomainville, Vice-Chair

Dave Markowski, Selectman

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

Allan Hitchcock, Selectman - ABSENT

Paula Bizon, Recording Secretary     

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