Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford

Select Board Meeting February 1, 2006   

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m.  Select Board members present were:  Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Joseph Gagnon, Allen Hitchcock, and Dave Markowski.  Larry Pomainville was absent.  Also present were Michael Balch, Helen McKinlay, Linda Drummond, Robin Rowe, Bruce Rowe and Wayne Rowe.  William Rowe arrived at 6:39 p.m.  David Rowe arrived at 6:44 p.m.  Tom Cararra arrived at 6:46 p.m.



The Select Board minutes of January 18, 2006 were reviewed, discussed and approved. 



The orders of February 1, 2006 were reviewed, discussed and approved.  M. Balch explained that the VT Digital invoice was for the new computer system for the Sewer Treatment Plant which includes computer, printer, software and an outside hard drive for backup to the Brandon computer system.   D. Markowski if the Gall’s invoices were for the Highway Dept.  M. Balch explained the Gall’s invoices are for Police and Fire Equipment.  A. Hitchcock confirmed the Bosch system purchased from Royal Glass was for the Town Office front door security camera system.   


§         The West Rutland Public Works department will be here tomorrow for training of our Sewer Dept. on use of the camera system and to camera the Elm Street sewer lines.  

§         M. Balch reported Depot Bridge has had minor damage to this end of the bridge.  The accident was not reported and to date we do not have the identification of who was involved in the accident.  M. Warfle has taken pictures of the damage to the bridge and we will complete a police report and notify our insurance company. 

§         M. Balch stated he had received the deposition given by Brent Whitney of Green Mountain Engineering regarding Sewer Plant issues.  M. Balch stated it would be helpful for the Board members knowing the history of issues involved would review the deposition as well.  H. Pelkey and D. Markowski will write their comments on copies of the deposition and return the packets to M. Balch.  A copy will be sent to L. Pomainville as well for his comments on this matter. 

§         Gravel road criteria are on the Agenda for discussion later this evening.

§         M. Balch stated he had talked with Pittsford First Response members Marsha McMahon and Steve Mailhot regarding the possible use of the foundation at the Pittsford First Response for the proposed garage the Town is planning to build to house the Police cruiser, Pittsford Water Department truck and supplies and Recreation Area mower.  The property is owned by Ed Carter.  The Pittsford First Response will discuss the possibility with Mr. Carter and notify M. Balch of the decision.

§         M. Balch has drafted a response regarding the issues of concern in the management letter pension issues.

§         Shawn Erickson is aware of and will be proceeding with the follow up repair work on the roads where shoulder work needs to be done. 

§         M. Balch apologized to the Board regarding not remembering previously a meeting held with OMYA over a year ago in which he and Don Nickless had attended.  Apparently at that time there was discussion about organizing a committee and at that time had asked if D. Nickless could be the Town’s representative.  D. Nickless has stated he would be pleased to serve on the OMYA committee and will send minutes to the Board.  

§         M. Balch informed the Board Peg Flory would be unable to attend this meeting to discuss the Route 7 project and funding but she will attempt to phone in during the meeting.  to be part of the discussion by speaker phone.  Pittsford is hoping Peg Flory will be able to obtain State money for the project.  A. Hitchcock noted the importance of the timing for this to occur during this session of the Legislature even if the bill is acted on during the following session.  The final numbers are not available for this session.  The Route 7 Steering Committee will meet next Wednesday with the members of the House and Senate Transportation Committees. 

§         M. Balch has contacted AOT regarding Kendall Hill Bridge.  No response has been received to date.

§         The Town Office parking lot drainage issue will be scheduled for repair this summer.

§         The Listers attended the last Select Board meeting to address the alleged conflict of interest issues.

§         Paul Kulig was the attorney for the Chittenden spring land purchase project. 

§         A. Hitchcock stated he would like to see a study committee to study a possible Town charter and to include the differences of elected versus appointed Town offices.

§         M Balch noted letters have been sent to the State Senators and Representatives regarding H628.  A copy was included with the Board packets and listed on the back are the names and addresses of those sent letters.


There were no public comments this evening. 

The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Sewer Board at 646 p.m.  The Select Board reconvened at 6:49 p.m.


Route 7 Upgrade – re: Section 1 Water Line

Robin, Wayne, William, Bruce and David Rowe indicated that they came to the meeting to express their concerns with the Pittsford Water Board’s handling of the documentation they requested in support of the Rowes’ Act 250 subdivision Application. The Rowes also wanted to express their concern with the current water flow/pressure at their property(s) at the south end of the water main on US Route 7; and that the proposed US Route 7 upgrade will not come soon enough to meet their needs. M. Balch stated he had spoken with Peg Flory regarding the Route 7 Upgrade Project and that she is optimistic she’ll be able to get funding.  Section one of the Route 7 project is from south of the Mobil Station to the Rowe property.  The State is now preparing Act 250 permits for Section one, which will be considered in the spring of 2006.  The Act 250 permits, necessity process and the right-of-way process could be completed by the end of 2007 if all went smoothly.  That is the earliest date at which the Water Board  may be able to identify where to locate new water lines.  No project funds are currently available from the Agency of Transportation and the Town will need bonding.  M. Balch stated it will be difficult in light of these findings to pass a bond for water lines that may be damaged or removed during the Route 7 upgrade.  Wayne Rowe stated the Town had refused to sign their Act 250 forms for sub-division stating water is available at that location.  The Town has been holding off on their sub-division of property and misled them by stating the problem was theirs rather than that of the Town.  R. Rowe stated she had been informed by the State the problem was the Town’s.  R. Rowe stated the Select Board should be aware this situation has existed since 1997 since they appoint the members to the Water Board.  In November of 1998 the minutes state no additional hook ups would be allowed on Route 7 south.    On November 17, 1998 a rate increase was adopted to work toward needed new lines.  In April 2003 Dufresne-Henry recommended that hydro- pneumatic tanks be added under each the Rowe apartments.

R. Rowe said she requested final engineering results from M. Balch but told the report didn’t state who was responsible for the work and costs of adding these tanks.  On May 17, 2004 the Town was issued a Temporary Operating Permit requiring the lines be upgraded by December 1, 2006.  In June 2004 Mitchell’s T’s was issued a water hook up.  When this was questioned the Rowe’s were informed the installation was in an area with 3” water lines not the 1” line and would not affect their water.  R. Rowe stated they had paid Jim Purdy and Al Shelvy for engineering for a hydro pneumatic tank only to later find information from the State they were not responsible for these repairs per David Webb  .The Rowe’s stated they had confirmed water flow issues with neighbors Nancy & Dick Jewett and Ken and Carol Pitts.  The Rowe’s stated that every time they go to the Water Board they find out something different and they are not working to get it solved.  The Rowe’s stated they were surprised to find out the Water Board would not be in attendance this evening.  H. Pelkey informed the Rowe’s their comments are entirely appropriate to this Board and to resolve issues regarding the Route 7 upgrade project.  R. Rowe stated they don’t see M. Balch as Town Manager working to resolve any of these issues over the past several years.  Since the Town is responsible to have adequate water to the curb stop they don’t understand why this issue is still unresolved.  Bruce Rowe stated concern of lack of fire protection to that section of Town.  D. Markowski asked if the 1” service line went to the apartments.  The Rowe’s stated Dick Rowe had a zoning permit to build the house and the 8 apartments.  R. Rowe asked if there is a way for the line work to be done now and not redone at the time of the upgrade project.  T. Cararra stated a concern with the Town priorities of spending money for other projects.  The Select Board clarified to T. Cararra the Highway projects are from Highway funds which can’t be used for Water projects. The Rowe’s asked why they weren’t meeting with both the Select Board and Water Board this evening.  A. Hitchcock stated he thought it would be a joint meeting as well.  The Select Board stated they can not make Water Board decisions based on state statutes giving the Water Board that authority.  M. Balch stated right now by law 100% of all water line and main costs is the responsibility of the Town during the upgrade project but the Town can apply for federal grants.  No highway funds for the replacement of the water and sewer lines are currently available from the  State.  100 % must be funded by the users.  Peg Flory is trying to get Pittsford a funding plan on this project similar to Brandon’s already approved funding plan.  The Water Board and Sewer Board have hired CLD to review, study and digitize the infrastructure into state plans to see better where things are going.  Until power, phone and utility layouts with town and public utilities are in place we will not know where to put water lines.  R. Rowe stated she didn’t feel the Water Board was taking there issues serious.  H. Pelkey stated due to state statutes the Select Board has no control over the Water Board.  M. Balch works for the Water Board and is not the chairman of that Board.  A. Hitchcock stated the Town will need to talk with both the State and a lawyer to fully understand our responsibilities.  D. Markowski asked to have the Select Board sit down directly with just the Water Board to get their side of the issues.  H. Pelkey asked the Rowe’s to give the Board time to get the legalities and more information from State and the Water Board’s information.  The Board will work to have this issue resolved.  W. Rowe stated if things continue as they are they would at some point decide to go to court to resolve the issues.  The Select Board will look into the situation and schedule another meeting with the Rowe’s at the end of March after Town Meeting.  The Rowe’s departed at 7:30 p.m.

Gravel Road Process

A. Hitchcock asked if items five and nine could be combined.  M. Balch stated the roads are half paved and half gravel.  A. Hitchcock suggested this topic should take place at Town Meeting to get the community wishes.  Cost comparisons of paved versus gravel roads was discussed and found to be about the same, less the investment in paving.

Peg Flory phoned at 7:38 regarding the Route 7 Upgrade Project.   The Rowe’s had already departed.  P. Flory and M. Balch will set up a time to further discuss these issues.  . 

Union Contract for signature

H. Pelkey stated the contract had already been voted and approved by the Select Board.  All that is required this evening are the signatures to finalize the contract. 


H. Pelkey read a letter of resignation from Larry Pomainville dated February 1, 2006.  D. Markowski made a motion to accept the resignation with regrets.  A. Hitchcock seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.  An appointment to this position will not be done at this time. 

Town Plan

A. Hitchcock discussed the memo included in the Board packets with suggestions for consideration for the Planning Commission as they begin work on the new Town Plan.  A copy of this has been discussed with and sent to Mike Solari.   Items of concern to be considered by the Planning Commission are economic expansion but not at the sacrifice of rural community as we are now.  The Town Plan needs to reflect that and hard to see future if we can’t keep growing and extend water, sewer and telecommunications.  Broadband accessibility will become more critical in the future.  Look at the Wildlife Management Area and find how to best take advantage economically of this resource.  A. Hitchcock has reviewed the memo with Mike Solari and he welcomed this and plans to use this document as a means of starting new plan.  A. Hitchcock made a motion to adopt the memo as a charge to the Planning Commission for use in developing the new Town Plan.  D. Markowski seconded the motion.  A. Hitchcock stated this does not mean the Select Board will have no further contact but will serve as the initial direction to get started.  M. Solari has been requested to provide the Select Board with periodic updates of the process.  The motion passed unanimously.

M. Balch has written to Dave Lathrop regarding the railroad crossings and to date has received no response.

The February 15th meeting will be used as a planning meeting for Town Meeting.

A. Hitchcock asked M. Balch to have the Highway Department replace the damaged post and sign at the intersection of Hitchcock and Haskins Roads.  The sign is not damaged.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:13 p.m.

Respectfully submitted:

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair

Dave Markowski, Selectman

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

Larry Pomainville, Selectman - ABSENT


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