Town of Pittsford
April 6, 2005
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:30 PM. Select Board members present were: Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Larry Pomainville, Joe Gagnon, Allen Hitchcock, and David Markowski. Also present were: Mike Balch, Helen McKinlay, Mike Leehy, Roy Newton, and Mike Solari. Gary Stanley arrived at 6:32. Tom Carrara arrived at 6:42.
The minutes of March 16, 2005 were reviewed, discussed and approved. The minutes of March 23, 2005 were reviewed, discussed and approved.
The orders of April 6, 2005 were reviewed; discussed and approved The Arrowhead invoice was for plow shoes although the invoice description was boat shoes. The invoice for Fuel’s by Keith for late charges has not been paid. The late charges were incurred while resolving billing issues. The invoice for furnace repair was for a rental property and the Town has billed the property owner and will be reimbursed.
TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT
The action list sent out this week in packets to the Select Board is M. Balch’s working document to follow up on items discussed at meetings so that items do not fall by the way side. A. Hitchcock felt the document provided useful information. M. Balch noted the letter to VMERS regarding M. Warfle had been omitted from the list.
A letter regarding delinquent dog licenses was sent out on April 5th.
A tax sale is being prepared and has been scheduled for July 8, 2005.
M. Balch is working with M.A. Holden Consulting who do road and bridge inventories. The entire project cost is $5,000. $4,000 will be paid from a Better Back Roads grant obtained by the Highway Department. The inventory is required by the State and as part of the GASB 34 accounting requirements.
The Town accounting system lacks the capacity to generate a payment order by fund type because the payment order is checking account controlled not fund controlled. D. Wheeler uses the Select Board meeting date for all General Fund invoices, the prior day for all Sewer Fund invoices and the Water Board meeting date for their invoices. She then runs the payment order for just those individual dates to generate the three orders. While D. Wheeler could manually define the three different payment orders and thereby run the orders with the correct range of dates on the report, the different payment periods would make it very difficult and time consuming to balance. M. Balch recommended we keep the current system. Much better still, we revert to the earlier system where a single check order is prepared for all funds, and a separate report showing the account charged is also
prepared. The new methodology will be discussed during New Business.
Randy Adams has checked the origin of the Recreation Area hours, with no new insight. The gate has a “No Trespassing” sign with times. A photo of the sign was included with the packets sent out to the Board. The sign is not enforced as it reads and has typically been open between 8:30 to 9:00 P.M. R. Adams will further research the possibility of adding parking for residents interested in snow-shoeing and walking on recreation trails when the gate is closed.
Evening Police patrols will check on snow machine traffic near the Recreation Area gate after 10:00 P.M. The police will keep an eye on this problem; however the snow is gone for this season.
An investigation into the methods to determine the nature and origin of the questionable influent at the Sewer Plant was distributed at the March 23, 2005 Special Select Board meeting. Further discussion will take place during Executive Session. The price of testing for the problem at Sewer Plant has been established. The initial cost would range from approximately $700 to $1,000. Then individual testing on that family of specific chemicals would be at additional cost. A fourth incident was recorded. M. Balch stated folks in Town might be using certain chemicals or dyes in some of their processes. At one time the Town was aware of biodegradable products being used.
M. Balch reported both the Representative and the Alternate Representative had planned to attend the March 31, 2005 Solid Waste District meeting. L. Pomainville noted D. Nickless was unable to attend due to a family illness.
As a first step to investigate methods and costs to document historic/ancient Town rights of way Gordon DeLong and Bruce Babcock are developing lists of Class 4 Town Roads and Town Trails that are either out of use or not generally known. M. Balch will ask Peter Cady for guidance on this subject.
As follow up on contacting the County Forester to request a management plan for the Town/Water District owned land surrounding the springs the following items have been investigated: a) M. Balch spoke with Fred Duplessie regarding the application of income from a sale. He said a case can be made for either the General Fund or the Water Fund but that who pays the expenses on the property should get the income. b) Bob Tinker is getting me a proposal for the work to identify and blaze the boundaries. If/When this work is authorized he will need eight weeks to complete the work. c) When M. Balch has a date commitment form B. Tinker, he’ll write Nathan J. Fice, Rutland County Forester to request an evaluation and plan for the timber. Considering the source and use of funds, this may be primarily a Water Board issue.
In response to the question of whether the Planning Commission requires three members to act on the revised zoning ordinance M. Balch contacted Mark Blucher and the two members can act just as with any other matters.
A letter to VMERS regarding Mike Warfle is being drafted.
T. Carrara asked if the top rack and toolboxes would be included with B. Babcock’s old truck that is being sold. L. Pomainville suggested the truck be moved to B. Taranovich’s property as we’ve done in the past with other items to allow potential bidders to view and start up the vehicle.
Pittsford Snomad President, G. Stanley met with M. Leehy and the two have agreed to a snowmobile curfew of the VAST trail near the Leehy residence from 10:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M. G. Stanley suggested modifications be made to the gate. The Snomad’s will design modifications and bring the plans back to the Select Board for approval. The Pittsford Snomads will provide the labor and materials necessary for the approved gate modifications. G. Stanley noted an old snowmobile trail could reroute late traffic if needed. M. Leehy asked if there could be signage at both ends of the trail for people to provide notice the trail would be closed at certain hours. M. Leehy will install a fence on his property to the edge of the gate. The Pittsford Snomads will publish the trail curfew in the VAST newsletter and install appropriate signs. Police patrols will continue to check on snow machine traffic near the Recreation Area gate after 10:00 P.M. T. Carrara suggested planting a couple rows of trees to buffer the noise. R. Adams will determine what is appropriate for the Recreation Area hours. The Recreation Area can be closed without an ordinance.
Zoning Ordinance Status
M. Solari addressed the Select Board to advise the Planning Commission anticipates having a final revision of the new Zoning Ordinances at the April 28, 2005 meeting. The Zoning Ordinance was updated due to required changes in the law and to comply with the Town Plan. A copy of the final draft will be provided to the Select Board prior to the public hearing date. Upon completion of the new Zoning Ordinance the Planning Commission will post the required 15-day warning, which will be followed by a public hearing. The new Zoning Ordinance will then be forwarded to the Select Board for the final approval process. M. Balch asked that the civil ordinance enforcement be included in the new ordinance as provided by Jim Carroll. The Town can have both civil and criminal enforcement of ordinances. A copy of the final draft will be provided to the Select Board prior to the public hearing date. The Select Board will have a period of 6 months from the date of the public hearing to act on the new Zoning Ordinance. Changes in law required changes in zoning and to comply with Town Plan.
The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Sewer Board at 7:12 P.M. The Select Board reconvened at 7:15 P.M.
Payment Order Procedure
The purpose of the payment order procedure is to tie the payment orders directly to the checking account providing better control. The report will be for all accounts instead of separate orders being drawn for the General Fund, Sewer and Water Departments. At the end of the month the report will show what was drawn against all accounts and make the reconciliation of accounts an easier process with better control. The old system makes it easy for hand check payments to be lost and not charged. The plumber bill is an example of this. The new payment order procedure will provide more information and allow us to balance directly to the checking account. Each order will now require signatures by each of the Select, Sewer and Water Boards before the order is finalized. A recap report by account numbers will be provided with the order. The Select Board agreed with the new payment order format as presented.
Salt expenses for the current year were discussed. M. Balch stated the Highway Department is ambivalent as to which salt works the best but believes less salt was used this year. The new salt has no sifting and is much less corrosive in the truck bodies. M. Balch stated that over time this should translate to savings. The salt usage and expense will be monitored over the next few years. T. Carrara asked if the salt applied on roads was being metered in any way. M. Balch explained the salt is applied based on road conditions and the speed of the truck. The Highway Department attended classes to learn how to adjust the flow appropriately for conditions. The new product is more biodegradable than salt.
2005 Recreation Area Fees
The Recreation Committee proposal is to leave the Recreation Area fees the same as last year. D. Markowski made a motion to accept the Recreation Area fee schedule as presented. L. Pomainville seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Recreation Area Fund Raising Policy
The Select Board had asked the Recreation Committee to draft a Recreation Area Fund Raising Policy. The draft policy is consistent with the previous discussion at the March Select Board meeting. Special services and expenses including any additional police will be the responsibility of the event holder. D. Markowski made a motion to accept the Recreation Area Fund Raising Policy as presented. A. Hitchcock seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Date For Next Meeting
M. Balch stated there is a conflict due to the meeting schedule change. M. Balch had purchased tickets for trip to Florida and rented a camp in July based on the old meeting schedule. The Select Board agreed to change the next meeting date from April 20th to April 27th to avoid any conflict.
Conflict of Interest Ordinance
The Select Board discussed the possibility implementing a Conflict of Interest Ordinance. Any one can say there is a conflict of interest. A Conflict of Interest Ordinance would clearly define a conflict of interest. The ordinance could protect the community and anyone who may have a conflict. The ordinance would be applicable to every one in Town whether elected, appointed, volunteer or an employee. The State is willing to help set guidelines for our municipality. VLCT has drafted a model plan that provides guidelines and wording from conflict of interest ordinances written for other Towns. M. Balch will give further direction as to a committee to draft a Conflict of Interest Ordinance and report back to the Board at a later date. T. Carrara asked how citizens would be alerted regarding this ordinance. M. Balch stated any new ordinance would be in the newspaper and on the Town website. The Brandon/Pittsford Reporter is the Town’s official paper. R. Newton suggested should the Conflict of Interest Ordinance be adopted that conflict of interest items be reflected in the minutes to let the public see the ordinance is being used during the meeting. The minutes provide a record and show action taken by the board.
Dependent on bid values it may be worth the investment to advertise in both the Rutland Herald and the Brandon/Pittsford Reporter. The recent pick up truck request for bids will be postponed and advertised in both papers. Equipment will be advertised with the State and in the paper from St. Michael’s.
The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Liquor Board at 7:50 P. M. The Select Board reconvened at 7:55 P.M.
Town Service Officer
The Select Board appointed Mike Balch as the Town Service Officer at the March 3, 2005 Select Board meeting. State documentation was presented to the Board for signature.
Ed Keith Jr., the Assistant Fire Warden has resigned. The Fire Department is trying to fill the position with someone with fire knowledge.
Senate Finance Committee Bill 138
A. Hitchcock informed the Board of Senate Finance Committee Bill 138, which would allow Town’s to enroll land in the state current use program. The bill would provide tax relief on town owned properties. A. Hitchcock made a motion M. Balch write a letter in favor of Bill 138 on behalf of the Board. L. Pomainville seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
D. Markowski reported on the recent Rutland County Recreation District meeting. Property will be selected shortly for the project and funding is available from Federal and State government. Bernie Sanders office assisted with Federal funding for the project. T. Carrara asked if it would be possible to poll the Board to find out who is in favor of this project. The Board is undecided at this time and waiting for further information on the project to make a decision.
With no further business, the Select Board adjourned at 8:10 P.M. and reconvened as the Sewer Board.
Helen McKinlay, Recording Secretary
Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chair
Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair
Dave Markowski, Selectman
W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman
Larry Pomainville, Selectman