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Town of Pittsford

Select Board Minutes

January 18, 2006

Dave Markowski opened the meeting at 6:35 p.m.  Select Board members present were:   Joseph Gagnon, Dave Markowski, and Larry Pomainville.  Hank Pelkey and Allen Hitchcock were absent.  Also present were Michael Balch, Helen McKinlay, Thor Konwin, Robin Rowe, David Rowe and William Rowe.  Tom Carrara arrived at 6:48 p.m.



The Select Board corrected minutes of December 21, 2005 were reviewed, discussed and approved.  The Select Board minutes of January 4, 2006 were reviewed, discussed and approved.



The orders of January 18, 2006 were reviewed, discussed and approved.  Clearlane costs were discussed and M. Balch advised the Highway Department had a budget line item for salt in the amount of $58,000.  The CLD bill will be split evenly between the Sewer and Water Departments.


§         M. Balch stated reports are on the table that the office was unable to run earlier of the Accounts Payable order by expense code.  The reports show the same numbers as shown on the order but are broken out by fund account numbers.

§         Allen Hitchcock after going through the packet requested M. Balch brought the following issues to the Board on his behalf.  Review of the invoices from October 11th and 12th for shoulder work on Corn Hill Road and crushed asphalt for the shoulder support work.  This same type of follow up work should have been done on Plains Road also.   D. Markowski stated that if the Town needs materials they get them and the paperwork catches up at a later date.  The Board noted the Highway Department should check the whole road for these issues in areas where they have paved.  This makes good public relations and it is good for the road or the road isn’t supported properly.  M. Balch has given directions to Shawn Erickson to use the white stone for this repair.  The stone packs in well and gives better support.  Unless someone has lawn and wants it back in which case it will be replaced as lawn.  Rehabilitation projects of roads include in the process to notify the abutters of what we’re going to do in advance. 

§         A. Hitchcock notified M. Balch that it was his understanding the Board’s intent for the Annual Town Meeting to do away with the elected auditor’s positions.  This is not M. Balch’s understanding.  This will be discussed by the Board at the next meeting which will be scheduled as a special meeting for approval of the Annual Town Meeting Warning.  M. Balch will draft the warning both ways and the Board can approve and sign the correct one.

§         M. Balch stated he felt the Police Department traffic patrols should be of all areas but with  emphasis on areas with abuse.  The department has fifty patrol hours per week and it’s the Board’s choice how you’d like the patrol done.  Currently the cruiser is out more during the day and has made the police presence known and this is reflected in the number of tickets and fines.  M. Balch stated 95% of the cases that are being heard in court with our officers   present.  M. Balch noted the amount of the fine on ticket may be the maximum amount for the offense but the judge is likely to reduce the fine.

§         The Conservation Law Foundation has appointed a representative for the Town of Pittsford.  Don Nickless was appointed to participate on the oversight team.  M. Balch will write or call and ask D. Nickless for his opinion on this appointment.  The Board would like to invite Don to a meeting and if appropriate appoint him to represent the Town at that time if he’s interested in fulfilling this position.  D. Nickless does not have to be present but the Board would some response directly form Don.

§         Thor Konwin has appealed to the Environmental Court a decision from the Planning Commission to not allow him to have an antique shop as a home occupation.  The Select Board has an appeal process and a copy is enclosed in your packets for consideration  at the January 26th meeting. 

§         The Markowski Road bid opening was held on January 13th.  This item can’t be acted on this evening as we do not have a quorum to vote and approve the bid.  The low bidder was Markowski Excavating. 

§         M. Balch distributed a six month report of the Town Manager’s goals for FY 2006.   The report has M. Balch’s goals for the year and progress of those goals for the year to date.  Department work plans will be reviewed later this evening.

§         There has been no change regarding the proposed gravel roads process.  The draft process will be discussed at the next meeting.  Criteria were given to the Board about a month ago.

§         CLD has been working with the Vtrans team on the infrastructure surveys.  The work is supposed to be complete and merged to road plans by end of month

§         Ice Skating rink options are being reviewed by Randy Adams.

§         M. Balch has not been in contact yet with the Pittsford First Response regarding the proposed garage for the Town. 

§         M. Balch stated he has nothing to report at this time from VMERS and the retirement issues.

§         The invoice question regarding the purchase of 90 gallons of fuel was not diesel fuel bun an anti gel additive for the fuel tanks.

§         The time clock from the Recreation area has been sent to the Sewer Plant for their use until a new time clock arrives. 

§         Bruce Babcock is working with Dennis of the Town of West Rutland Town public works for the camera work needed on Elm Street.  This is part of the plan to share inter governmental equipment with neighboring towns,


Tom Carrara asked how the reappraisal was being done at OMYA.  T. Carrara stated he had concerns with a possible conflict of interest regarding the Listers.  M. Balch stated there in not currently a conflict of interest or ethics policy in this town.  Almost no towns in the State currently have this policy.  T. Carrara suggested this should be discussed in Executive Session.  M. Balch stated this could be discussed as a Personnel issue and there was another personnel issue to discuss as well.

Thor Konwin stated he had no comments for this evenings meeting.  M. Balch advised the pending suit should not be discussed in open meeting.  T. Konwin could be invited into an Executive  Session or wait until a later date when all five Board members are present.  Mr. Konwin and the Board agreed to discuss this issue at the Special Meeting scheduled for January 26th at 6:30 p.m.   

Robin Rowe informed the Board she had given a package of information she had compiled to M. Balch earlier this week for their review.  R. Rowe stated the Water Board has been working on a low water volume issue on Route 7 South since November, 1998.  At that time the Water Board made a decision not to allow new water hook ups on Route 7 South while they researched the existing problem.  At the Water Board meeting last night I was told this only pertained to the one inch portion of the water line not the 3 inch section.  The water rates were raised so this would help in the cost of new pipe in this area.  Dufresne-Henry conducted an engineering study which concluded there is a serious water volume problem on Rt. 7 South.  When I asked M. Balch for the results of the study to add holding tanks under the buildings to provide sufficient water he told me the letter didn’t state who was responsible and the letter was filed by the town.  D. Markowski  asked if the Dufresne Henry recommendation stated this solution to the existing problem would be at Town expense.  M. Balch stated at whom’s expense was not in the recommendation.  In the meantime the Town is working with the Route 7 upgrade project.  M. Balch noted a year ago the Rowe’s started talking about sub dividing their property.  D. Rowe stated that was indeed factual and the State rules for sub dividing had recently changed and water volume is not appropriate.  This makes it necessary to have a tank designed and installed to go in the center of their front lawn and the Town is asking they pay to put the tank in and pay for maintenance and a $10,000 bond for the proposed tank work.  R. Rowe pointed out that the State documentation shows the Town is responsible for the water volume problems.  The temporary operating permit has a deadline of December 1, 2006 for the hydrants and lines to be fixed.  The Water Board has no plans for upgrades to the Route 7 South water line until the Route 7 upgrade.  R. Rowe asked if the State has identified this as a Town problem then she didn’t understand why the work should be at their expense.  Mitchell T’s had an approval this past year for an additional hook up.  L. Pomainville noted this was approved as they are on the 3 inch portion of water line without the low water volume issues.  R. Rowe asked if the Select Board, Water Board and Town Manager could meet together to discuss these issues and find a fair solution to the problem.  M. Balch will invite the Water Board to the February 1st meeting to discuss the Route 7 South issues and collectively get through this information and get direction to work in.  The Rowe’s departed at 7:20 p.m.

The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Sewer Board at 7:20 p.m.  The Select Board reconvened at 7:23 p.m.


Work Plans

M. Balch stated the Highway and Recreation Departments are right about on target with pretty good progress having been made on the on the work laid out for the year.  The Highway Department has installed the three culverts on Creed Hill.  M. Balch was asked by the Board for the shoulder extension work to be done on Plains Road in the areas that were paved.  The Board noted with the heavy rain today the culverts were over capacity in several areas and should have been cleaned out.  R. Adams had a successful day camp and his other programs are running well.  The Water/Sewer Departments are probably not as far ahead as we’d like to be but with the additional manpower we’ll be able to get more done.  The Water Department has 50 new meters to be installed and other key issues to still be addressed. The Sewer Department has TV camera work to do on Elm Street and Arch Street at the base of Route 7.  The Town Office goals will be tough to achieve this year due to the shortage of staffing throughout the year.  We will be hard pressed to get it all done.  Training curves with training in both offices will make things slower than expected.  In reality we anticipate a very busy 6 months and will be lucky to get everything done.  M. Balch noted we do support all of the other departments such as Highway, Recreation, Water and Sewer. At this time it is not business as usual and the must do items will be done and some of the should do’s and not all of should do’s and probably none of the wish list items.

Kendall Hill Bridge

Vtrans has indicated the bridge has deteriorated since the last inspection.  The bridge is owned by the Town.  M. Balch requested we have an engineer to tell us what work has to be done and the costs.  The Board stated Vtrans provides this service and asked M. Balch to request their assistance for engineering or recommendations.  L. Pomainville suggested we apply for a structures grant from VTrans.  As of July 1st the Rutland VTrans office has a second district to command.  M. Balch will see if they’ll design proposals and give recommendations on how to proceed with this project. 

Annual Town Meeting Warning

M. Balch stated the Town can receive petitions through January 25th so he’d like the Board to hold a special meeting next day to approve the Town Warning so we can get Town Report to the printers.  The Board scheduled a special meeting for January 26th at 6:30 to approve the warning and other minor business as needed.  M. Balch will prepare the warning two ways for the Board decision and approval. 


A motion was made by D. Markowski, seconded by J. Gagnon, 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 and T. Carrara were invited to stay.  All others were excused.  The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:23 p.m.  No action was taken by the Board.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted:

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chair  ABSENT

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair   ABSENT

Dave Markowski, Selectman

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

Larry Pomainville, Selectman


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