Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting April 19, 2006

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m.  Select Board members present were:  Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Joseph Gagnon, Allen Hitchcock, Dave Markowski, and Thomas Hooker.  Also present were Michael Balch, Linda Drummond, Nate Fice, and Eric Hansen.  Joe Skaza and Jeremy Waite arrived at 6:35PM.  Tom Carrara arrived at 6:37PM.


The Select Board minutes of April 5, 2006 were reviewed and discussed and approved.



The orders of April 19, 2006 were reviewed, discussed and approved.

M. Balch stated that the number of gallons of sludge trucked to Rutland were 6,500 gallons per load and there were 5 loads totaling 32,500 gallons.   J. Gagnon questioned whether the permit to operate fee to the State of Vermont Treasurer was for water or sewer.  M. Balch will check on the permit.  A. Hitchcock asked on which vehicle the $900 was expended for brake replacement and questioned the amount.  The repairs were done on the Explorer police cruiser with all new brakes and rotors.  M. Balch will compare the price of new brakes and rotors with Ford and Midas.


H. Pelkey thanked Joe Skaza & Jeremy Waite of the Highway Department for their service to the Town of Pittsford.  H. Pelkey stated that on behalf of the Selectboard, Town Manager, and the Town he would present awards to Joe Skaza and Jeremy Waite.

H. Pelkey read a letter from the Selectboard to congratulate Joe Skaza and to recognize his achievement in becoming a Vermont Equipment Scholar.  Joe completed 8 workshops sponsored by Vermont Local Roads program.  A plaque and award were presented to Joe Skaza along with congratulations from the Selectboard and Town Manager. 

H. Pelkey read a letter from the Selectboard to congratulate Jeremy Waite and to recognize his achievement in becoming a Vermont Roads Scholar.  Jeremy completed 10 workshops sponsored by Vermont Local Roads program.  A plaque and award were presented to Jeremy Waite along with congratulations from the Selectboard and Town Manager.

Both Joe and Jeremy are now Vermont Roads Scholars and Vermont Equipment Scholars.

D. Markowski stated that he has been asked by several residents to pass on compliments to the highway department for the great condition of the Town roads.


M. Balch reviewed the 3rd quarter financials for the Board.  

Focus on the Highway Fund:

·        Class 2 Fire Hill Road funds were carried into this year’s money reserve but were in last year’s budget.

·        The Board had approved paving Corn Hill and Orchard which was not in the budget but will be coming directly out of reserve funds.

·        Two bridges were funded outside of the budget: The Depot Hill Bridge was funded by insurance.  The Furnace Road Bridge was funded by a State structures grant for $44,000.

M. Balch stated that $202,000 of Town Highway expenses were off budget funded but the highway funds will be close to fully expended to take advantage of the $43 a ton in place paving budget which is available until July 1, 2006.

Reappraisal meetings that were scheduled for April 20 -22 are rescheduled for April 27-29 at St. Alphonsus Hall.

E-coli test failed but not by much and no written report is required to the State.

M. Balch was in touch with the State and there is training available for transfer station employees.  Two employees will be attending the training which will cover the compliance with the State.

M. Balch talked with the vendors about VMERS and the 457 Plan Contributions and will share information in executive session.

The Grant dog complaint is finished.   M. Balch sent letters to both the complainant and to the defendant and completed the findings of fact and conclusions of law memo to file.

M. Balch stated that J. Gagnon identified a place to dispose waste oil and that the Town would realize a credit towards transportation.   Transmission oil and crank case oil are the waste oils that would be accepted.  A reduction is expected in the total expense of waste oil disposal.

M. Balch talked with Mike Solari and M. Solari felt it was a good idea to have a volunteer from the Pittsford Planning Board to serve on the regional planning commission.

M. Balch wrote a letter at the Board’s request to the Rowes responding to their request for a meeting with the Selectboard regarding their water issues.  The Water Board is addressing the Rowes’ water issue.

Shawn Erickson and M. Balch inspected the Depot Hill Road abutments.  The water was fairly high but they could see erosion caused by the run off from the eaves.  They will return to the bridge once the water is lower for further inspection.

There is an order for some signs for the transfer station.

M. Balch sent a memo to the Planning Commission regarding using purchasing procedures for consulting contracts bids.


T. Carrara asked about the Depot Bridge erosion on the Proctor and Brandon side.  T Hooker looked at the bridge.  The water was very high but he could see the erosion. Will investigate further when water receeds.

T. Carrara asked about the sewer repairs which M.Balch said the Town would go to the State fund and borrow the money from it or the Town may even be eligible for grant.  The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Sewer Board at 6:49 PM.  The Select Board reconvened at   6.50 PM.


State Forester to review his recent report on Town Properties with the Board

Nate Fice Rutland County Forester at the request of the Board and M. Balch took a look at the Town forest for an evaluation.

Eric Hansen also is a Rutland County Forester and has been working on the forest plans and drafted the recommendations for the Town forest.

A. Hitchcock inquired about the legal right of way or access to the Town forest property.  Maps of the forest property were passed out.  Main concern is the protection of the water springs.

Eric reviewed the Nickwackett Block and Sugar Hollow Block evaluating options for managing each for timber, recreation, wildlife, and water.  On the West facing slope of the Nickwackett Block the water quality needs to be maintained.  There is some timber is on the eastern side.  Recreation opportunities are everywhere. There are wildlife opportunities such as the Indiana bats and many other bats which live in the cave north of the property.  This information is in the management plan.

The real access for the timber is the Lead Mine Road which is a Class 4 town road.  E. Hansen has located a potential parking area marked on the map.  There are many skid roads with access which are under private ownership.  Discussion was held regarding the ownership of the skid roads.

For both timber and recreation access permission is needed from the landowners or to purchase a right of way to the different parcels.

For harvesting timber someday, there are a couple of places where the Town could land the timber. One is next to the Lead Mine Road where the potential parking area might be and the other is up the skid trail on the flat on top where the Town forest boundary is located.

E. Hansen did recommend that the Town should not allow ATV access to the property.  On the western side any disturbance could case contamination of the wells.   West Road should have legal access to the forest or to maintain springs.  M. Balch will look into right of way for access.  A. Hitchcock inquired about the prospect for the timber harvest on the 125 acres east of the ridge line.  There is 65 acres available for logging.  The area is mostly Northern hardwood forest with sugar maple and beech.  There is approximately 65,000 feet for a timber sale in the area with some low quality wood to come out in the first round.  Single tree and group selection harvesting could be done to improve the quality of the stand, generate a little bit of money, create some openings for wildlife, and produce trails for recreation.  This all depends on the access to the property. It was recommended to keep the parking on town property.

D. Markowski inquired as to the number of acres on the Nickwackett Block.  There are 294.35 acres.

M.Balch asked about the potential logging income.  It would be approximately $18,000 for the initil harvest.

J. Gagnon stated Chittenden water protection on the Westside is a priority and leave the land for the wildlife management. 

D. Markowski stated that fences were built by the Town around the springs in Chittenden on the Parker property.

The forest management report gives recommendation for opportunities in general terms.

N. Fice stated that the forestry department will provide assistance to the town with sales or access.   The time frame involved in this process could take about a year.

The forestry department can do a more complete inventory of the total area with total figures in the different areas.   It was suggested that the Selectboard could work on the right of ways while the foresters are doing the inventory.  Keep in touch with each other with progress reports.  Discussion was held about good forest and wildlife management.  The foresters will schedule a complete inventory east of the ridge line and will present more definite figures.

A. Hitchcock suggested checking with the USDA about the different programs which might lead to income for the Town.  E. Hansen and N. Fice stated that the Town could apply for funding with the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program which develops public plans with 10 year contracts.

E. Hansen spoke about the Caverly property. Enhancement of the recreational opportunities should be the focus for the Caverly property along with the Pittsford Trail System. For easy access to the trail system, discussion was held for possible locations for parking areas close to the trails.  It was stated that with many residents using the trails daily, keeping the aesthetics of the trails is important.  Management for recreation and water quality should be the primary focus for the property at this time.  The timber needs time to grow and may be a consideration for timber management at a later time.   

The Board recessed at 7:26PM and reconvened at 7:31PM.

Discussion was held about finding an area where snowmobiles and 4-wheelers could travel safely.


Consider application for access/right of way permit Joseph & Loryn Hamilton,

Discussion was held about the property.

D. Markowski made a motion to grant Joseph & Loryn Hamilton of 45 Roberts Ave., Rutland an access/right of way permit for property on  the E-911 location of 518 Corn Hill Road with the conditions stated in the application.  T. Hooker seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

Consider application for access/right of way permit Melody & Michael Shaw

Discussion was held about the location of the property. 

D. Markowski made a motion to grant Melody & Michael Shaw of 281 Sangamon Road an access/right of way permit with the conditions as per the application.  A. Gagnon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Consider application for underground/encroachment/right of way permit by Donald, Ryan, & Kim Keith

D. Markowski asked for clarification for the permit which is for encroaching on the town right of way to crossing the road.  M. Balch has the $1,000 warranty from First Brandon National Bank which was a condition of the permit.

D. Markowski made a motion to grant Donald, Ryan, & Kim Keith of 4181 US Route 7 for an  underground/encroachment/right of way permit to allow sewer connection under Depot Hill Road as per conditions in the application including the $1000 warranty bond.  A. Hitchcock seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Consider David & Rebecca Carpenter request to use Town property on Plains Road.

D. Markowski made a motion to approve the request of David and Rebecca Carpenter to clean up the Town property on Plains Road stated in their letter for the use of the existing corral area on the town property per a nominal lease agreement for $1 year which will be drawn up by M. Balch.

T. Hooker seconded the motion. Discussion was held. The motion was passed unanimously.

The Board recessed at 7:42 PM to convene as the Liquor Board.

The Board reconvened at 7:43 PM.

No further new business.

H. Pelkey made a motion to go into Executive Session for personnel at 7:43 PM.  D. Markowski seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.   


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 at 7:43 PM. All others were excused except Michael Balch was asked to stay.   The Board came out of executive session at 8:28 PM. The action taken was the Board instructed M. Balch to ask the Listers to attend a Special Selectboard and Listers Meeting on Tuesday, April 25 at 6:30PM in the conference room at the Town Office.

Without any further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.


Respectfully submitted:          

Linda Drummond, Recording Clerk

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair  

Dave Markowski, Selectman

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

Thomas Hooker, Selectman



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