Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford

Select Board Minutes

October 5, 2005

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:00 p.m.  Select Board members present were:  Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Joseph Gagnon, Allen Hitchcock, and Dave Markowski.  Larry Pomainville was absent.  Planning Commission members present were: Mike Solari, Kathryn Brown, and Mike Leehy.  Also present were Aria Brissette, and Michael Balch.  Roy Newton and Helen McKinlay arrived at 6:30 p.m.   John Eugair and Shawn Erickson arrived at 6:32 p.m.  Randy Adams arrived at 6:44 p.m.  Sally Eugair, David Mace, and John Stamatov arrived at 7:00 p.m.  A. Brisette, R. Adams, and S. Erickson departed at 7:06 p.m.

Zoning Administrator

The Select Board and Planning Commission members reviewed the requirements of appointing a Zoning Administrator.  Applications for the Zoning Administrator were reviewed.


A motion was made by A. Hitchcock, seconded by D. Markowski, to enter Executive Session for the purposes of discussing Personnel.  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.  M. Balch, M. Solari, K. Brown, M. Leehy and A. Brissette were invited to stay.  All others were excused.  The Board came out of Executive Session at 6:32 p.m.  The following action was taken by the Board:

M. Leehy made a motion that the Planning Commission recommend to the Select Board the Town engage A. Brissette as Zoning Administrator.  The motion was seconded by K. Brown.  The Planning Commission passed the motion unanimously.

A. Hitchcock made a motion the Selectboard appoint Aria Brissette as the Town Zoning Administrator for a term of three years.  D. Markowski seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

The Planning Commission adjourned at 6:35 p.m.  M. Solari, K. Brown and M. Leehy departed at 6:35 p.m.


The Select Board minutes of September 21, 2005 were reviewed, discussed and approved.


The orders of October 5, 2005 were reviewed, discussed and approved.


The Town has received a report from Otter Creek Engineering stating they have completed 90% of the sewer plant work.  Copies of the report have been sent to the State of VT - ANR and USDA.  The State approval is needed on the proposed plan.

M. Balch stated he has been working on the requirements for Pittsford to receive Village designation with Buzz Racine.   The Town Plan must be in place to qualify and ours has expired.  Completion of a new Town Plan could take a year and a half to two years to complete.  It is possible to readopt the old Town Plan to get the Village designation.  M. Balch will proceed to put the Village designation plan together.

The Public Hearing on the proposed Zoning Regulations is scheduled for next Wednesday, October 12, 2005 at 6:30 p.m.

The Four Seasons Lane water main project is under way.  The Plains Road water main has successfully been tapped.

T. Hooker and M. Balch have made headway on the draft burning ordinance and emergency siren plan.  The plans will be ready by the end of this week.

Jim Carroll’s letter with ideas for the proposed Sewer Ordinance was outstanding.   J. Carroll will proceed with preparation of the new ordinance.  The main difference between a criminal and civil ordinance is the civil enforcement will not require the Town to hire a lawyer to prosecute the ordinance.

Winter road standards will be established.

M. Balch has sent a letter to Eugene Patch regarding a possible sewer line extension.  There is already an existing manhole.  Three possibly four residents may be able to hook onto the proposed sewer line extension.  A right of way would be required before proceeding.

M. Balch has requested a status report of Pittsford activity from NeighborWorks formerly Rutland West.


There were no public comments this evening.

The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Sewer Board at 6:46 p.m.  The Select Board reconvened at 6:56 p.m.


Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance

M. Balch reported the Blue Cross Blue Shield increase in the employees’ deduction for the July 1, 2005 increase had not yet been processed.  The total amount due from employees at this time is $783.58.  M. Balch has discussed the situation with Ron Pickering, United Steelworkers of America Union Representative to arrange to collect the amount over the same time frame by doubling the deduction over the next few weeks.  The Union is in agreement with this as an acceptable practice.

Maclure Library Chimney Repair

J. Gagnon asked M. Balch if he had any additional information regarding the Maclure Library chimney repair.   M. Balch will follow up with Bonnie Stewart to ask if the project will be put out to bid for pricing.  M. Balch will review the Town’s bid process with the library representatives. 



Consider FY 2007 – 2011 Capital Budget

The FY 2007 Capital Budget does not have many new items from last years Capital Budget.  One change is the increase in the cost of a fire engine.  The cost has increased by $85,000 but would allow for removing two trucks to be replaced by the truck.  This would allow for an increased savings of insurance and maintenance costs.  A hand held radar unit is on the Police Departments request.  The hand held radar unit would allow the police car to be out of sight from traffic and to pick a car out in a line of traffic and may be a very effective tool on Arch Street to deter speeding.  The Board requested a report of speeding violations over the past few months showing the locations of the traffic stops.    M. Balch pointed out the proposed garage to be built behind the Town Office is on the capital budget list.  The intent is to apply the $26,000 from the sale of the Water Department Aqueduct Building toward the overall cost of the garage.  A. Hitchcock asked if the Water Department had given approval to spend the money on the proposed garage.  M. Balch stated the Water Board would be asked for approval to spend the money on the garage and the Water Department would have the largest portion of the proposed garage (approximately 2/3 of the garage) for their use. The $26,000 expenditure of funds would need to be a Town Meeting warning item if approved by the Board.  The Board asked if there was a change of philosophy since a wood chipper for the Highway Department is once again on the capital budget list.  The Board had previously removed this item due to liability issues.  M. Balch stated he still feels the liability out weighs the purchase of this item but S. Erickson doesn’t feel that way.  The Board feels the advantages do not equal to the disadvantages of purchasing a wood chipper.  This topic will be tabled until such time as the Board is asked for approval to purchase a wood chipper.  M. Balch stated the Board will need to decide on a priority basis which items will be purchased as we go along.

Consider FY 2007 First Draft Budget – Meet with Highway & Recreation

A new draft budget was handed out tonight with 2 major improvements.  The “change” column had been imported from the accounting program and was not originally working but has now been corrected and the proposed tax has been added.  With a 1% growth in the Grand List and $15,000 increase of non tax revenue the total Municipal, Highway and Sewer budget is proposing an approximate 1.5% increase.  This increase does not include the Water Funds.  The Grand List increase is based on strictly normal year to year growth and does not include any changes from the reappraisal.  The Sewer Department budget shows increased fees and expenses.  The increased expenses are associated with additional administration requirements, adding 1.5 people to the payroll, and minus the operation contract.  $20,000 has been included in contract services to cover pending legal and engineering services toward that event.  M. Balch stated the department work plans coincide with the draft budget.  S. Erickson used a paving price per ton of $50/ton.  An increase has been added to the audit budget line to allow for GASB34 requirements for FY06 work that will be audited in FY07.  There is still an outstanding audit issue in regard to the Town contribution to pensions.  This could effect the taxable income of those employees should we be penalized.  The management letter has not been received to date from Sullivan & Powers on the June 2005 audit.  M. Balch will arrange for the auditor to meet with the Board once the draft audit and management letter have been received.

The Board asked S. Erickson and R. Adams if they had anything to add to the budget discussion.  The Board thanked both for their efforts and for doing a nice job.  The Board stressed the need to take full advantage of all educational resources.  M. Balch stated he couldn’t agree more.

Consider VELCO Act 248 Mitigation Proposal

D. Mace and J. Stamotov addressed the Board regarding the VELCO Act 248 Mitigation Plan.  The mitigation is required by the State for disturbing wetlands throughout Vermont.  VELCO is considering the Pomainville and Zelazny parcels to mitigate wetlands and deer yards.  VELCO would become the owner of the Pomainville parcel then convey the property to ANR for management and allow the property to be for public use.  Only these two areas will be used to do the mitigation for the destroyed deer lands and wetlands up and down the corridor in different Towns.  62 acres of the Zelazny property located on the east side of Otter Creek will be used and an easement is already on this property.  The Zelazny property proposed for this plan is in the flood plain. The Pomainville property located on the east side of Route 7 is a separate piece of property from the land in the Wildlife protection area.  The loss of Town tax revenue and the effects on the Town Grand List should VELCO hold ownership were discussed as major concerns.  VELCO maps were reviewed by the Board. Once the property is given to ANR it becomes part of the State Pilot Program and 1% of the appraised value is returned to the Town.  The State sets the property assessment value.  J. Eugair stated based on the State assessment the Town can appeal if the property value appears to be inaccurate.  M. Balch will work with J. Eugair and VELCO to provide an analysis of the financial impact of this transaction.  S. Brodeur from the State Property Valuation Department will be contacted for assistance in the financial analysis.  H. Pelkey stated the Board has a fiduciary responsibility to the Town.  The mitigation plan is for the whole length of the corridor but the tax burden will be 100% on the Town of Pittsford.  VELCO will work directly with the Town Manager and ANR.

Reappraisal Status Report

J. Eugair reported the reappraisal inspection process is approximately 65% complete.  PC’s have been purchased and work stations have been installed in the basement.  J. Eugair complimented M. Balch for the accomplishing the installations on such short notice.  Cross Country Appraisals started work on September 6th which is one week earlier than planned.  The start up was a little rough.  To date 349 reappraisals have been completed both inside and outside, and 332 properties have completed only the outside measurements.  142 land only properties have been completed.  The appraisers are getting into 3 out of 5 properties on the first visit.  Half of the town is done at this time.  D. Markowski asked if the Lister’s had begun sampling.  J. Eugair stated no sampling has been done by the Lister’s yet because at this time none of the data entry has been entered by the appraisers.  Once the data has been entered the Lister’s will be out to sample the inspections.  M. Balch stated his biggest concern is the quality control of the inspections.  M. Balch stated his concerns with the inspections being half completed with no quality control done in the early stages.  Quality checks in the early phase allow the appraisers to tighten up the inspections before a lot of work may have to be redone.  Cross Country Appraisal has given the Town a letter with a list of quality control measures they will be taking but the Town needs to be sure these measures are in place.  J. Eugair stated the data entry is scheduled to begin tomorrow and next week the Lister’s will have some real tangibles to use.  The Board stated concern for quality control to be in the beginning foundation stages of the inspections to assure no serious problems have occurred requiring additional time and money to fix.  Dollar figures have not been assigned to anything at this early stage and will not be created until March or April.  Modeling will be done based on data being done now.  The first pass inspections will be completed by the end of this month.  The reappraisal is moving much more rapidly than had been anticipated.  J. Eugair will be going out into the field with the reappraisers to view camps in Florence on Friday.  The Lister’s will be in a real checking mode by the end of next week.  The Town has received the conversion cards from Vision and the sketches have been done.  The Lister’s are currently going through every parcel and making minor corrections.  Permits showing as not being completed are a problem with a 34 page report that is being reviewed.  The report will be completed and an accurate list of open permits will be completed.  The Lister’s have sent the compliance plan to the State of Vermont Property Valuation as required for the reappraisal.  Mapping information has been sent to Cartographics.  J. Eugair departed at 8:16 p.m.

Burditt Fund Endorsement

The Burditt Fund expenditure of $75,000   approved at the September 7, 2005 meeting documentation was presented for signature.  The Board approved H. Pelkey to sign the document.


A motion was made by H. Pelkey , seconded by D. Markowski, to enter Executive Session for the purposes of discussing Personnel at 8:17 p.m.  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.  M. Balch was invited to stay.  All others were excused.  The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:42 p.m.  The following action was taken by the Board:

D. Markowski made a motion, seconded by J. Gagnon to give pay increases to S. Erickson in the amount of an additional $1.00 per hour and to R. Adams in the amount of an additional $1.25 per hour.  A. Hitchcock recused himself.  The motion passed with 3 affirmative votes, 1 absent and 1 recused.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair 

Dave Markowski, Selectman

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

Larry Pomainville, Selectman ABSENT



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