Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting

August 16, 2006

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m.  Select Board members present were:  Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Joseph Gagnon, Allen Hitchcock, David Markowski, and Thomas Hooker.  Also present were Michael Balch, Linda Drummond, Larry Pomainville, and Wayne Rowe. At 6:40PM, Tom Carrara and John Reardon arrived; at 6:45 Nancy Gaudreau, John Eugair, and Jean Harvie arrived; and at 6:50 PM Ron Smith arrived.




The Select Board minutes of August 2, 2006 were reviewed, discussed, and approved.   



The orders of August 16, 2006 were reviewed, discussed and approved in the amount of $57,456.07.


Mike Balch reported on the following:

L. Drummond will put together a Fall Pittsford newsletter for distribution the end of September.  Information or articles from Town organizations should be sent to L. Drummond by September 8, 2006.

Helen McKinlay has resigned as the Recording Clerk for the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board.  Aria Brissette is willing to be the Recording Clerk at this time.

There was no Water Board meeting August 15, 2006 as Chris Hanrahan resigned from the Board this week.  With one member left, there can be no action.

The Markowski Road project is under way and coming along well with the addition of one extra culvert that needed to be put in place.

The Elm Street sewer project will be completed by the deadline date of September 30, 2006.

The Elm Street sidewalk repairs will be done right after the sewer project is completed.

The Recreation Dept. tractor has been delivered.

M. Balch has checked with Peg Flory regarding the disposition of the bill proposing to allow town land that is used as part of a water system to qualify as current use land.  P. Flory will check into this.

The Town received the expected USDA grant cancellation letter, and M. Balch will be sending a reply which is due by August 23, 2006.

The agenda for the Water Supply Division August 8, 2006 meeting was received and A. Hitchcock, B. Babcock, T. Hooker, and M. Balch attended the meeting.  A draft of a letter requesting an amendment to the operating permit is ready for review by the Board.

A one hour meeting is scheduled for 5:00PM, August 21, 2006 at the Town Offices with Chris Lekberg of the Brandon Development Review Board.  Members of the Pittsford Select Board, Planning Commission, and Zoning Board of Administration are receiving letters regarding this meeting.

Copies were given to the Select Board of the executed final agreement of the mosquito provision in the Pomainville property agreement with the State.

Letters addressed to the Vermont Supreme Court requesting action on the Pittsford Post Office relocation are ready for signing at this meeting.


T. Carrara asked about a tractor parked at the Town Garage.  The tractor belongs to Bagleys who is brush cutting the areas the Town Highway Dept.can not reach with their equipment.  It was bid out last year with a contracted amount of approximately $10,000 per year.

T. Carrara inquired about the Town truck which was towed by Kam.  The truck had a broken water pump.

T. Carrara has noticed a Rutland City truck dumping concrete and other materials in Florence at the end of the Truck Route and W. Creek Road.  M. Balch will check into the dumping.

J. Reardon expressed his concern about the tax reappraisal in regards to the commercial and industrial tax versus residential tax.  J. Reardon left at 6:49PM.

The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Sewer Board at 6:50 PM.

The Select Board reconvened at 6:52 PM.


Fields of Otter Valley Donation

H. Pelkey has not been able to meet with O. Johnston and discussion will be put on hold until the next meeting.

Final report from the Listers regarding re-assessment

J. Eugair reported the reappraisal is complete and Cross Country Appraisals has been paid in full.

There were 190 people who filed grievances.  The Listers visited all of the 190 properties in June and July.  Of the 190 grievances, the Listers made adjustments of $4,531,400 lower in value.  Approximately 80 to 90% of these grievances did not have interior inspections upon their initial inspection. The Listers resolved 174 of the grievances and 16 went before the Board of Civil Authority.

The Listers had a meeting with Cartographic which is the mapping company contracted to redo the Town maps.  They have come to an understanding in regards to the information needed to complete the project.  Cartographic has since sent a disc with the GIS information needed to update the Listers current system and be able to bring the maps online.  J. Eugair will be in contact with VISION for completing the installation.

The Listers are currently working on a Request For Proposal for the personal property re-evaluation for the Select Board to review.

M. Balch confirmed with J. Eugair that residential properties increased 80 to 90% on average.

Commercial properties went down with OMYA up 8%.  Fair market value is based on statewide sales which is reflected on Pittsford’s commercial property value.  Current land use determines the value of land.  Rebates and prebates are available for people who can’t afford taxes with a 2 to 3% cap.  The State sets the rules.  Discussion was held in regards to how each sale has an impact on many property values.  Each property is assessed for current use/highest invested use.  The State looks at every sale for fair market value.

R. Smith expressed his concern that OMYA’s tax amount decreased $347,832 with their reappraisal up 8%.  OMYA’s tax rate is the non-residential rate 1.2823 which does not include the 10% excess in school spending.  The education tax has no relation to the Grand List.  School spending went up approximately 10% which is applied only to residential property. The cost of local education was approved by the voters in March.   Discussion was held about the method used to determine OMYA’s reappraisal which was market value of land plus the cost of manufacturing equipment less the depreciation cost—this is the State’s law for determining industrial property value.

J. Eugair reported that the Listers are submitting an Errors and Omissions report that needs the Select Board approval.  The correction is a result in data entry error and amounts to $7,200 in the owner’s favor.  The new Grand List is 3,753,257.00, down $7,200 from 3,753,329.00.  The Grand List figure is in hundredths.

J. Gagnon made a motion to accept the Omissions and Errors report.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.


Consider Lister resignation

Lister Jean Harvie submitted her letter of resignation as of September 1, 2006.  D. Markowski made a motion to accept her resignation as a Lister with deepest regrets and a Thank You for all her time and effort in supporting the Town and her community service.  J. Harvie expressed that she had been pleased and honored to be a Lister for many years and to be able to see the reappraisal process through to its completion.  She thanked the Board for their support.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Consider Water Board resignation (No functioning Water Board)

Chris Hanrahan, member of the Water Board, submitted his letter of resignation as of August 11, 2006.  D. Markowski made a motion to accept C. Hanrahan’s resignation with regrets and a Thank You letter for his efforts and dedication to the Water Board should be sent to him.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Consider Development at August 8, 2006 meeting with Water Supply Division and draft letter regarding that meeting

M. Balch reported that he along with B. Babcock, A. Hitchcock, and T. Hooker attended the August 8th meeting with the Water Supply Division in Waterbury.  The meeting was positive in nature and everyone was looking for solutions to the issues and to find practical ways to meet their objectives over time.  A plan needs to be in place including short term items such as maintenance and operations; mid-term items such as the issues that will need to be addressed during the re-development of Route 7; and long term items which would tie into the Town Plan.  The Water Supply Division has asked that a letter be sent to them asking for an amendment to the Town operating permit.  M. Balch has a draft of that letter which has been reviewed by B. Babcock, A. Hitchcock, and T. Hooker to verify that the discussions at the meeting and the requests made from the Water Supply Division are correctly reported and addressed.  In the absence of a Water Board, the Select Board would need to reply to the requests.  An agreement is needed to move forward with the amendment to the permit. T. Hooker and A. Hitchcock commented that the Water Supply Division expressed their concern about excessive water demand with pressure dropping during fighting fires and the use of fire hydrants.  T. Hooker explained that all Pittsford fire engine operators are trained in regulating water flow during fire hydrant hook ups and use.  The Town water system needs to be examined to see where back flow preventers need to be installed to help regulate the water flow during heavy use.  

Larry Pomainville asked to address the Board in Executive Session. T. Hooker made a motion to go into Executive Session at 7:52 PM for personnel.   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 Legal and Personnel at 7:52 PM. All others were excused except Larry Pomainville was asked to stay.  L. Pomainville departed and M. Balch and Listers J. Eugair, J. Harvie, and N. Gaudreau were asked to join the Board in Executive Session for personnel.  After the Listers left, the Board went into Executive Session for legal. The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:22 PM.

The action to be taken in regards to the letter to go to the Water Supply Division.

A.     Hitchcock made a motion that the Select Board discharge the duties of the Water Board until such time as new members have been found and sworn in.  J. Gagnon seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously carried.

The Water Board authorized M. Balch to send the reviewed draft letter to the Water Supply Division.

The action to be taken in regards to the Listers’ recommendation.

A.     Hitchcock made a motion to accept the Listers’ recommendation to give Linda Trask a $500 bonus for her superb performance during the reappraisal.  D. Markowski seconded the motion.

The motion was unanimously carried.

H. Pelkey will sign and send the letters to the Supreme Court in regards to the Pittsford Post Office relocation.

The Board recessed at 8:25 PM to convene as the Liquor Board.

The Board reconvened at 8:27 PM.

Without any further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:28 PM.


Respectfully submitted:

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair 

Dave Markowski, Selectman

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

Thomas Hooker, Selectman




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