Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford

Select Board Minutes

 December 7, 2005 

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:00 p.m.  Select Board members present were:  Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Joseph Gagnon, Larry Pomainville, Allen Hitchcock, and Dave Markowski.  Also present were Michael Balch, Fred Duplessis, Dorothea Parker, Linda Drummond, Sally Eugair, and Helen McKinlay.  Baird Morgan and Tom Carrara arrived at 6:05 p.m.  Terry Davis arrived at 6:30 p.m.


Fred Duplessis, Sullivan & Powers to Review 2005 Town Audit and Management Letter

Fred Duplessis, Sullivan, Powers & Co., gave an overview of the Town’s annual audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005 and reviewed the issues discussed in the management letter.  The purpose of the audit is to provide opinions regarding the Town’s financial statements and controls.  As of June 30, 2005 the Town had not adopted GASB34, which requires a complete inventory for government wide fixed assets.  Sullivan, Powers & Co. has given the Town an adverse opinion due to GASB34 not being completed last year.  GASB34 requirements include converting the books to a full accrual basis.  GASB34 includes a management discussion and analysis with a narrative looking at fund balances and plans for the short-term future.  Cities and a few large towns have complied to date with GASB34.  Approximately half of the towns in VT are currently in compliance with GASB34.  M. Balch stated the work will be done in stages with the majority of the work completed by June 30, 2006 and full completion by December 31, 2006.  M. Balch stated the Town would be in compliance with GASB34 for the next CPA audit at the end of June 2006. Graham and Graham had previously worked on GASB34 for the Town.  M. Balch will research the status of work completed by Graham & Graham.  

F. Duplessis explained the audit report was set up with traditional balance sheet by funds.    Exhibit A, page 3 gives the year-end general fund balance of $98,111 compared to the previous year-end deficit of $5,630.  Other funds are reported on a more combined basis such as the internal service fund (equipment rental) of $572,000.  $248,000 is tied up in equipment and trucks with the balance for maintenance and replacement.  Exhibit C on page 5 shows the detail statement of how the actual figures compare to budget.  Page 7 shows delinquent taxes collected revenue in excess $79,000 of the anticipated budget.  Page 13 shows the Recreation Department spent $12,870 more than budget but this was offset by unbudgeted revenue.  The Highway Fund (Exhibit D) received more State Aid and budget variances in revenue than budgeted.  The Highway Fund expenses, page 16 show quite a bit more money remaining on the expense side due to timing issues for summer projects such as Fire Hill Road expenses of $125,000 in this fiscal year.  Page 18 is a summary page.  Pages 20 through 35 contain explanatory footnotes regarding pension plan, debt services and more information related to balances.  Schedule 1 located on page 36 is a balance sheet of special funds such as grants.  The funds show positive balances with the exception of the Fire Dept.  The Fire Department balance is due to collectibles for grant reimbursement with the money coming in after the close of the fiscal year.  The Enterprise Funds (page 38) in total are positive.  The Sewer Fund has a slight deficit due to contract engineering and legal costs that year.  Pages 42 through 44 show the trust funds we manage: Dennison Fund which is a expendable fund transferable for fire department expenses and the Bowen Walker Fund and Burditt Fund both of which are interest only exspendable funds.  M. Balch will look into the terms of the non-expendable trust funds to see if there is anything to prevent us from combining the funds together.   

Second and more important Sullivan, Powers & Co. performs an evaluation of internal controls, checks and balances, and that accurate reports are being prepared to protect the Town.  A year ago a material weakness was reported regarding segregation of duties.  This has been taken care of now with a second set of eyes on bank reconciliation and dealt with here.  Sullivan, Powers & Co. found no material weaknesses.  The first reportable condition was the GASB34 fixed assets, which is currently under way.  The second reportable condition is document reconciliation.  Policies and procedures that are specific for all finance and operations of all departments and inter relationship of departments and department heads need to be documented and put in a manual.  With new people in departments this is a great time to implement this document as a joint effort between the Town Manager and Town Treasurer.  Target dates for completion of the GASB34 requirements by June 30, 2006 and the first draft of the accounting procedure manual are to have the majority of work done by June 30, 2006 with a completion date of December 31, 2006.  A third reportable item is cash receipts at the remote locations where people pay at the Transfer Station and the Recreation Area gate.  At the very least pre-numbered receipts are recommended and signs stating all persons must receive a receipt for payment.  There are no indications of wrong doing at either location this is just a control issue.  At the Transfer Station it also helps measure the input into the transfer station.  Other recommendations noticed during the audit to think about to enhance operations are:  combining accounts, contacting legal council to verify VMERS and annuities are being done properly.  A lot of Towns over the past few years have found VMERS could be an IRS issue in which case this needs to be corrected.  F. Duplessis stated the auditors found the Town staff to be very cooperative and forthcoming and very well prepared for the audit.  A. Hitchcock noted in the preface work done by Markowski Excavating the past year in the amount of $500 and thought this number to be in error.  A. Hitchcock noted that D. Markowski was always more than fair in that he recuses himself from any related issues.  F. Duplessis asked M. Balch to pull and verify the vendor report for Markowski Excavating and stated the standard is to look at such issues a little closer and report just as disclosure.  F. Duplessis, L. Drummond and D. Parker departed at 6:38 p.m.



The Select Board minutes of November 16, 2005 were reviewed, discussed and approved. 



The orders of December 7, 2005 were reviewed and discussed.   The Town is reimbursed by the Fire Department for the Haunted House CVPS bill.  M. Balch was asked to review and report back on the total of legal fees to David Cleary to date regarding the Sewer Plant.  The accountability system is part of the Fire Department federal grant and includes the 10% matching funds.  The boots and helmets are also part of the  federal grant, which is now complete.  An auditor has been here and met with Tom Hooker, Butch Shaw and Helen McKinlay to review the grant documentation and accounts and was very pleased with our accounting of the grant.


§         John Eugair will report to the Board at the next meeting on the reappraisal status. 

§         The Town’s Unemployment billing this year is at zero due to low claims.  The cost will be the handling fees in the amount of $150.

§         A copy of the memo sent to the Lister’s requesting a tax exempt report that agrees to the April 1, 2005 Grand List; and when it is available, a tax exempt report for April 1, 2006 Grand List was included in the Board file.  I have received the requested report and it is in the Board reading file.  I have checked the report against the Town Meeting action and State Statute and found no issues.

§         The requested report from Rutland West was included in the Board packets.

§         A copy of the letter of appreciation sent to Alan Westin was included in the Board packets.

§         A copy of the letter to Dave Lathrop was included in the Board packets.  D. Lathrop has notified M. Balch signs on Route 7 for “no jake brakes” will not be permitted.  A letter stating this will be sent to the Town.

§         Both the Sewer and Burning Ordinances are on the agenda for adoption this evening.

§         The Water Board minutes are available in the Board reading file.


S.  Eugair asked why the Grand List showed an increase of 2.5% and the budget shows 1.5%.  M. Balch explained this is due to the collection of past due delinquent property taxes from previous years.  Delinquent taxes currently are less than 2% outstanding of the total taxes billed.

T. Carrara asked if the Lister’s expenses would be reduced over the next couple years as a result of the reappraisal.  M. Balch explained the new State laws and work required of the Lister’s.

The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Sewer Board at 6:55  p.m.  The Select Board reconvened at 7:35 p.m. 

Public Hearing – Proposed FY2007 Budget

M. Balch noted that only 2 people had stopped at the Town Office to pick up copies of the draft budget and both people are present at the hearing.  Based on normal growth of the Grand List the proposed budget would increase taxes by 2%.  The 2% increase is based on increased heating costs, union negotiated cost of living increase of 3%, and increased insurance rates.  The Town pays 100% of the pension plan for Town employees.  This practice was established years before the union went into affect.  Employee benefits of health insurance and types of pension plans were discussed.  M. Balch showed a spreadsheet outlining each employee and the cost of benefits.  B. Morgan asked why health insurance costs rose 56% over 2 years and M. Balch explained that was due to the rates and the increase of employees and the number of employees carrying family medical insurance.  Postage fees in several budget lines were discussed.  General Town postage is listed separately from that required for the Newsletters and mailing of Town Reports.  Separate departments are listed separately for tracking and reporting purposes.  Legal fees are listed in several areas such as General Fund, Enterprise funds and Zoning and Planning Commission.  This year with reappraisals legal fees may be required by BCA.  Money for the revisions to the Town Plan was discussed.  There is a balance of approximately $8,000 remaining from a grant. M. Balch will work with the Planning Commission to see if other grants are available to assist with paying for the work to be done on the Town Plan.  Special appropriations cuts made to the budget last year were discussed.  The Town was paying more than $78,000 a year in special appropriations and cut the budgets by 10%.  Waste removal fees increasing by 20% over a two-year period were discussed.  Ways to encourage recycling were discussed.  Fire Department grants and matching funds were discussed.  Vehicle replacement schedules and vehicle maintenance were discussed.  B. Morgan congratulated the Town for money in the budget to start much needed sidewalk repairs. replacement schedules sidewalk repairs,

Gordon Delong arrived at 9:05 p.m.


Burditt Fund Request for Signatures

The previously approved request from Lothrop School for Burditt monies to make necessary repairs was presented for the Board members signatures.

Pittsford Zoning Regulations for Signatures

The amended Zoning Regulations previously approved by the Board having met the required statute dates were presented for signatures of the Board.

Proposed Burning Ordinance.

M. Balch requested the Burning Ordinance be held and processed at the same time as the Storm water Runoff Permit.  The Board tabled the ordinance until such time.


RCSWD Contract Renewal

Don Nickless, Pittsford’s Representative to RCSWD will be contacted for his input on the contract.  In the meantime the Board will review the document for discussion at the next meeting. 


H. Pelkey, seconded by D. Markowski, made a motion to enter Executive Session for the purposes of discussing Personnel and Contracts.  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 and Contracts.  M. Balch and G. DeLong were invited to stay.  All others were excused.  The Board came out of Executive Session at 10:15 p.m. 

D. Markowski made a motion for the Town to enter into a contract with Dorothy Wheeler as a training consultant for the position of Asst. Town Clerk/Treasurer for a time frame of 600 to 1,040 hours total over the next year at a rate of $32.00/hr.  G. DeLong and H. McKinlay will determine when training assistance is no longer needed.  The motion was seconded by J. Gagnon.  The motion passed 4 to 1, with A. Hitchcock voting no.

G. Delong and M. Balch departed at 10:20 p.m.


A. Hitchcock, seconded by XX, made a motion 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.  All others were excused.  The Board came out of Executive Session at 10:30 p.m.  No action was taken.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:31 p.m.

Respectfully submitted:         


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair  

Dave Markowski, Selectman

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

Larry Pomainville, Selectman   



Thomas “Hank” Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:58 p.m.  Sewer Board members present were:  Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Joseph Gagnon, Larry Pomainville, Allen Hitchcock, and Dave Markowski.  Also present were also present were Michael Balch, Sally Eugair, Helen McKinlay,   Baird Morgan, Tom Carrara, and Terry Davis.



The Sewer Board minutes of October 19, 2005 were reviewed, discussed and approved. 


A. Hitchcock requested sewage connection data for Elm Street and Depot Hill Road with the number of existing connections.  A status report from B. Babcock of Elm Street sewer information is due December 9th.


Consider for Adoption the Storm Water Runoff and Sanitary Sewer Ordinances

The Board discussed the Storm Water Runoff and Sanitary Sewer Ordinance proposed residual charges.  The issues with gutters and sump pumps draining into the Sewer lines were reviewed.  A residual charge would be billed but this charge would be deleted if the homeowner requests an inspection of his property within 90 days to show no gutter or sump pump violations.  Prior to this ordinance going into effect the Town will send out notices and post information for the public.  B. Morgan expressed his concern that people may divert the water onto Town highways or streams.  A. Hitchcock made a motion to amend the $200 residual fee to $350.  J. Gagnon seconded motion.  The motion passed unanimously.  The Board will delay approval at this time so that the  timing of the ordinance will coincide with Town Meeting.


The Town has not received to date a bill from McLaughlin Plumbing for work performed at Pittsford Commons.  H. McKinlay will contact McLaughlin’s to request a bill.


M. Balch informed the Board of a unit at Pittsford Commons not on the Town Utility Billing system for water and sewer.  The Town became aware of the property not being billed while the title search was being done for the sale of the unit.  The Town’s attorney advised we could bill back for six years minus any interest and penalty.  The condo unit owner has contacted M. Balch in writing to request the Board consider waiving the fees due.  The money owed is currently being held in escrow.  D. Markowski made a motion, seconded by L. Pomainville to accept $2,000 for the amount owed for sewer.  The motion passed unanimously.  The balance of the bill will be reviewed at the next Water Board meeting on December 21st.

With no further business, the Select Board adjourned at 7:35 p.m.


Respectfully submitted:

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair  

Dave Markowski, Selectman

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

Larry Pomainville, Selectman                       


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