Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting
September 6, 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, Carolyn Devlin, David & Aliya Schneider.  At 6:35PM Wayne Rowe, Robin Rowe, Rod Drown, and Tom Carrara arrived.  Dan Shea arrived at 6:45PM.

The Select Board minutes of August 16, 2006 were reviewed, discussed, and approved.   

The Special Select Board minutes of August 21, 2006 were reviewed, discussed, and approved.



The orders of September 5, 2006 were reviewed, discussed and approved in the amount of $445,598.90.  David Markowski recused himself from the orders.

A revised order for August 16, 2006, deducting $200.00 from Gagnon Lumber which was billed by mistake, was signed by the Board.

Copies of payroll and orders from 1/12-2/06/06 that were approved and signed in February but came up missing were signed for the record.


Mike Balch reported on the following:


Vermont League of Cities & Towns’ 2006 Town Fair will be October 5, 2006 at the Barre Municipal Civic Center.  Linda Drummond and Helen McKinlay will be attending. 


M. Balch wrote to USDA requesting the use of the grant to install covers over wastewater treatment areas.

Naomi Hatch said no to the request and will put it in writing.  There should be more money available and the Town should apply for a new loan/grant.


September 6 & 7, 2006, Chad from Sullivan, Powers & Co. will be wrapping up the majority of his research and the gathering of information for the audit and GASB34(Government Accounting Standard Board).  The Town will be GASB34 compliant for the audit which is an accounting standard for all government units. The auditors have given the year end journal entries which  estimate there is about $125,000 revenue over expenses for the year.  The Town is in good shape. Discussion was held in regards to GASB34 noting that it is an accounting system which includes a listing of the Town’s capital assets and tracking of the items.  With GASB34 in place, each department will have their expenses apportioned to it so the departments will be similar to operating divisions.  The Town will have a full set of books with Assets, Liabilities, Equity, Income and Expense. At the end of the year, the Net Proceeds are adjusted positive or negative to Net Worth.  A Management, Discussion, and Analysis will be drafted by M. Balch to be reviewed by the Board, as part of the audit.


The Town received a letter from the Agency of Natural Resources in regards to the application for  the renewal for the Transfer Station permit.  The letter stating that the application was substantially complete which means it is checking out to be sure the Transfer Station meets all the requirements.


Allen Hitchcock would like to commend the Transfer Station staff for keeping the area in such good shape.  The auditors reviewed the accounting controls now in place at the Transfer Station and have agreed that the cash receipts system is satisfactory.


The rate for the BCA members will be discussed later in the meeting.


Don Nickless and Aria Brissette are addressing the issue of a file area for the Planning Commission’s reference material.


The letters of appreciation were sent to all the elected and appointed officers who have recently resigned.


The letter requesting an amendment to the operating permit was sent to Water Supply Division from the Select Board acting as the Water Board.  The Select Board had reviewed the draft letter on August 16, 2006.


M. Balch and S. Erickson checked on the Rutland City truck dumping borrow near intersection of West Creek Road and Kendall Hill Road.  The trucks are Rutland City trucks and both Shawn and Mike have visited the site several times and the only material that they saw was borrow or general fill with concrete which appears to be in compliance.  They will continue to monitor the area to be sure the Town culvert is not compromised.



T. Carrara had concerns about the dumping on Kendall Road.  He was asked to put his complaints in writing which is the policy of the Board.


T. Carrara needed clarification on the Markowski Excavating bid for the rehabilitation work done on the Markowski Road of which $160,000 was approved for payment on the orders earlier in the meeting.  The Town will not been billed for any extra work that was done on the project.


Robin Rowe on behalf of the Pittsford Food Shelf is requesting insurance coverage through the Town.  R. Rowe explained that all Pittsford & Proctor residents are treated equally in their request for food.  The Pittsford Food Shelf is going through a change to becoming a Food Choice center which empowers individuals to make better decisions on how to provide for their families by choosing their own food supplies.  Keith’s Country Store has donated space for the new location for the Pittsford Food Shelf. It will serve Pittsford, Proctor, and Florence.  Community members have been very active in many areas to make this change possible with donations of both time and materials.  Proctor has just donated $1000 to the Food Shelf.  Pittsford had approved and donated $1000 for the Food Shelf at its March 2006 Town Meeting.  The Food Shelf will be open 3 days a week with 2 hours each:  Monday (9-11), Tuesday (1-3), & Thursday (4-6).  It will be run by volunteers who will be wearing tee shirts to help identify volunteers from clients.  The food will be obtained by donations, food drives, and fund raisers through the communities.  The requirement to obtain food is to have a need and live in Proctor, Pittsford, or Florence with residency identification required by CVPS bill.  No money will ever be exchanged between clients and the Food Shelf. The Pittsford Food Shelf Coordinators are Dan Shea, Robin Rowe, and Nancy Gaudreau. 


M. Balch mentioned that in the future R. Rowe hopefully will consider becoming the Town Service Officer as she would be aware and in contact with people who are in need. H. Pelkey expressed the Boards’ appreciation for R. Rowe and other volunteers for all their time, energy, and efforts done for the residents in need in Pittsford, Florence, and Proctor through this program.  R. Rowe introduced Dan Shea and Nancy Gaudreau who are also Food Shelf Coordinators.  The Board will take the request under serious consideration and will research the legalities with the VLCT for insurance coverage for the Food Shelf if the Board votes the Food Shelf to be a committee of the Town.  The Food Bank has recommended this avenue for other Food Shelf programs.  The move to Keith’s Country Store will be after October 1, 2006.One Stop Shop is still at the Congregational Church.  Food baskets and commodities will continue to be distributed at the Church.


Carolyn Devlin and David Schneider live on Goat Farm Road and are requesting that the Select Board consider extending the Class 3 Town road on which part of their property lies for another approximately ¼ mile which is a Class 4 road to where another rough driveway appears on their property.  This would open up the possibility of another desirable building lot.  At the present time, the Town plow trucks turn around in their driveway.  Extending the road would provide a better turn around for the snow plow.  Also the Class 4 section of road beyond their house is narrow and vehicles typically need to find a place to pull off the road to let the other vehicles pass.

Discussion was held on the stone wall preservation which is in good shape on one side of the road but the other side, the stone wall is overgrown.  C. Devlin and D. Schneider expressed their desire to keep up the aesthetics and the nature of the country road but would like to be able to keep the other areas of their property along the Class 4 road in better shape and possibly use one of the fields for a building lot.  The Highway Dept. had asked them a year ago if they could turn their trucks around further down the road on their property as their driveway is quite small.  S. Erickson will need to look at the whole road for a recommendation for fire truck accessibility, safety for vehicles for two way traffic, and the possibility of changing the Class of the road.  C. Devlin, D. and A. Schneider left at 7:35PM.

The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Water Board at 7:35PM.

The Select Board reconvened at 7:55PM.

The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Sewer Board at 7:55PM.

The Select Board reconvened at 8:05PM.


Fields of Otter Valley Donation

H. Pelkey talked with Odell Johnston.  The consensus of the Pittsford School Board was that $10,000 would be appropriate for commitment for the donation to the Fields of Otter Valley.

H. Pelkey has been asked to get a consensus of the Select Board if this amount was acceptable and then have the two Boards come together for a vote. Discussion was held whether the Fields of Otter Valley have looked into the harvesting of the timber on the land owned by Otter Valley with the proceeds going to the funds needed to build the fields.  A. Hitchcock will look into what Otter Valley has set up for forest management and the possibility that any harvesting would contribute towards the building or maintenance of the new fields.  J. Gagnon is concerned that forest  management and harvesting may have been overlooked as a source of revenue.  There may be up to $500/acre for harvesting.  In order for the Boards to approve the contribution from the Burditt Fund interest, the vote of both Boards must be unanimous.  H. Pelkey will contact Odell Johnston of the Lothrop School Board and invite the Board to the next Select Board meeting.

Consider Highway Truck Body Bid

After reviewing and discussing the Heavy Duty Side Dump Style Body Bid Opening and Specifications, D. Markowski made a motion to accept the bid from Tenco New England, Inc. for $56,819.  A. Hitchcock seconded the motion.  Furthur discussion was held regarding the paint for the body.  The motion was unanimously carried.

Allen Hitchcock mentioned the ancient roads issue and the Board needs to address any ancient roads.  A new law was passed in the Legislature this year addressing ancient roads that are still on the books in some towns.  The Legislature has set up a series of steps to eliminate the problem.  By 2007, towns can submit an official road map and any ancient unidentified roads are no longer Town roads.  A public right of way is not a Town road.   Information on the process to create an official Town map is available with step by step instructions on submitting an official Town map and leaving out the ancient roads.

Other items A. Hitchcock wanted to remind the Board about are: 1. The Board needs to do M. Balch’s review; 2. The Board needs information from Nate Fice on the forestry plan for the Town forest; 3.  A. Hitchcock requested permission from the Board if he could work with M. Balch to get an exploratory proposal for a hydroelectric generator in the Town’s water system.


Consider appointment of the Emergency Management Coordinator

The Board received an application for the Emergency Management Coordinator which M. Balch has temporarily filled upon the departure of Al Westin.  The Board would like the position to be advertised.

Consider engineering proposal—West Creek Road

Allen Hitchcock made a motion to advertise a bid for the engineering proposal for the work to be done on West Creek Road.  J. Gagnon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Consider changing Sanatorium Road to be the Academy Road

A letter from R. J. Elrick, Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Training Council, Vermont Police Academy requests the Town’s approval for a name change for the road at their facility.  The request is for the Sanatorium Road to be changed to the Academy Road. 

T. Hooker made a motion for changing the Sanatorium Road to the Academy Road.  A. Hitchcock seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously carried.

A memo from Gordon Delong was presented to the Board requesting the hourly rate for the Board of Civil Authority members for the assessment appeals, inspections, and reports be set at $13.50 per hour.  T. Hooker made a motion to accept G. Delong’s recommendation.  D. Markowski seconded the motion. The vote was 4 to 0 with A. Hitchcock abstaining.  The rate will be in place until the Board votes to change the rate.

Discussion was held in regards to the road side brush mowing.  The Town mower was sent on ahead of the contracted brush mower reaching what the Town mower could not reach.  J. Gagnon did a comparison with renting a brush cutting machine for $48.75/hr. with no operator.  After adding an operator, fuel, signage, and maintenance, the Board felt the Town contract was the best deal.  M. Balch would like direction on the instructions to be given for the brush cutting beyond what the highway crew can accomplish and how high up. Extensive discussion was held in regards to the height of the brush cutting especially in areas for vehicle safety but a consensus was not reached. 

Thomas Carrara questioned the productivity of the Highway Department employees, particularly the two newer men.  M. Balch stated that the production goals for the Highway Department are established by the Select Board, Manager and the Highway Foreman; and that the Department has met its goals.  M. Balch suggested that Mr. Carrara may not be aware of what the Highway crew does.

H. Pelkey made a motion to go into Executive Session for personnel at 8:55 PM.  T. Hooker 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 8:55PM.  M. Balch was asked to stay and all others departed.  The Board came out of Executive Session at 9:22PM.

No action was taken.

Without any further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:23PM.

Respectfully submitted:

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair 

Dave Markowski, Selectman

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

Thomas Hooker, Selectman




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