Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting
October 4, 2006

 Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chairman opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m.  Select Board members present were:  Allen Hitchcock,  Joseph Gagnon, David Markowski, and Thomas Hooker. Thomas “ Hank” Pelkey was absent. Also present were Michael Balch, Linda Drummond, Wayne Rowe, John Eugair, Sally Eugair, and Alan Roberge.  Tom Carrara arrived at 6:35PM.

The Select Board minutes of September 20, 2006 were reviewed, discussed, and approved.   

The orders of October 4, 2006 were reviewed, discussed and approved in the amount of $406,602.55


Mike Balch reported on the following:

The Pittsford website has been down since Sunday night due to a fire in Bellow Falls which interrupted Sovernet service. Janet Mondlak is monitoring the site and will update our information as soon as possible.

M. Balch asked for guidance from the Board for the Annual Town Report for this year.  Janet Mondlak put the report together last year.  M. Balch recommended that J. Mondlak do the report again this year.  Discussion was held and the consensus of the Board was to keep the size and format the same as last year and for M. Balch to proceed with asking J. Mondlak to do the same support as last year with the Town Report.

One bid received for the Recreation Department’s Simplicity tractor was for $850.  The dealer stated that the tractor was worth about $2000 to $3000.  The recommendation was to re bid the tractor in the Spring and put the tractor into storage until then. 

The Forestry Department has completed the inventory of the Nickwackett parcel.  Eric Hansen believes that there is harvestable timber on the ten acres on the Depot St. property.  M. Balch will supply him with the property maps and information that is needed for reviewing that area.  E. Hansen will include all parcels in the Forestry Plan.  Discussion was held in regards to the Caverly parcel and recommendations for forestry practices to be put in place would be helpful for the Town Forestry Management for both timber and recreation.

M. Balch has been trying to reach Cartographic via phone and has left different messages to talk with them regarding the town maps.

D & F Paving has sent a letter requesting to charge the paving of the Markowski Road at the 2006 paving bid which is $54.85 per ton as opposed to the 2005 bid of $42.85.  Historically Pittsford has paved through the summer, but now paving into the fall for the Markowski Road which is not in time for the fiscal year 2005-2006.  There is a difference of approximately $10,000.   Discussion was held in regards to scheduling the paving with fiscal year bidding with a 60 day window to complete the project.  The consensus of the Board was to offer D & F Paving a split in the amount for the increase in the paving per ton bid only for the Markowski Road which would be $48.85 per ton.

M. Balch will discuss with Jim Carroll the legal issues about the Nickwackett parcel in regards to what legal or prescriptive access does the Town have with both the West Road and the Lead Mine Road.

J. Carroll has drafted a blank lease for M. Balch to input information into in regards to the Town owned parcel to be leased to the Carpenters.

Peg Flory was in the Town office October 3, 2006.  She will be getting the information about 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.

Shawn Erickson is working on the estimates in regards to a possible upgrade of Goat Farm Road.

M. Balch spoke with J. Carroll regarding right of way issue and timing for the Blittersdorf and Patch easements and rights of way needed to extend the Town sewer line to the rear of the Patch property of Route 7.  J. Carroll’s suggestion is to send each property owner a letter seeking input first.  Then there will be the need for some design work before drafting the easements.  Discussion was held in regards to the location of the right of way and adding other properties which have their sewer lines cross under Route 7.

In the next Town newsletter which is planned for the end of January 2007 there will be an invitation to property owners to bring forward any ancient roads for consideration of addition to the Town’s annual highway report to the state.  This would reactivate these ancient roads to class 4 or trail status.  In talking with Don Nickless who had reviewed maps of the Town of Pittsford from 1860, he found that the roads were basically the same as today. 

M. Balch has developed a draft implementation plan to address the requirements of the Pittsford Water System operating permit amendment which will require a number of actions.  The first draft of the plan was distributed to the Board for review at this meeting. 


Alan Roberge addressed the Board on an issue he and his wife have encountered while applying for a construction loan to build a new home on their property three lots north of the Cooley Bridge on Elm Street.  During the process, they were informed that their lot was located in the Flood Zone and that they were required to buy flood insurance.  They disagreed with that finding as they had two pieces of documentation: the Pittsford Flood Map and the report from the man who did their perk test.  A. Roberge had concerns that the Pittsford Flood Map was different from the National FEMA Flood Map and that their lot along with other Elm St. properties are considered in the flood zone on the FEMA Flood Map.  A. Roberge hired a surveyor to help process an appeal.  There was an elevation marker at the Gorham Bridge but the surveyor found that it was removed when the Gorham Bridge was redone a few years ago and is missing.  A. Roberge called FEMA direct and found he could file an application form along with several other pieces of documentation which would be an Amendment to the National Flood Map and upon acceptance of their appeal would remove their lot from the flood plain.  However, part of the application is an elevation survey but one can not be done without an elevation marker.  It will be about a 60 day process to take their land off the National Flood Map.  A. Roberge was concerned that other landowners on Elm Street would encounter this problem with flood insurance as he was told by his bank that any reconstruction, sale, or refinance on the Elm Street properties or possibly other properties in Town would have to go through the complex process he is going through with FEMA.

Roberge has a copy of the application from FEMA for the Amendment to the National Flood Map to share with the townspeople.  Also his surveyor, Mr. Courcelle has given his permission to share his name and phone number as a contact person if other residents have a problem with the Pittsford Flood Map and FEMA.  The Pittsford Flood Map and the FEMA National Flood Map do not match and M. Balch will contact Rutland Regional Planning Commission to let them know as they supplied the Town with the map.  M. Balch will also look into what happened to the USDS elevation marker which is missing from the Gorham Bridge which is illegal to remove.  Discussion was held in regards to where other elevation markers are located in Town.  A. Roberge will keep the Board informed as to his progress of his application for the Amendment to the National Flood Map.

The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Water Board at 7:06PM. The Select Board reconvened at 7:10PM.

The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Sewer Board at 7:11PM.  The Select Board reconvened at 7:15PM.


D. Markowski on behalf of the Pittsford Snowmobile Club, the Snomads, would like permission from the Board to use certain roads which are on a list for light snowmobiling and crossing the roads this winter.  The Board has historically given their permission for the Snomads to use the roads.  The roads on the list have not changed from last year which include:  The Syndicate Road, Sugar Hollow Road, Ager Road, Oxbow Road, Sangamon Road, Sangamon Lane, Parker Road, Creed Hill Road, Goat Farm Road, Hubbarton Road, Blue Quarry Road, Town Hill Road, Humphrey Road, Trombley Road, Fire Hill Road, Hendee Lane, Pinewoods Road, Barnard Road, Furnace Hill, Furnace Road, and Depot Hill Road.

J. Gagnon made a motion to approve the request of the Snomads for passage on the above list of roads.  T. Hooker seconded the motion. D. Markowski recused himself from the vote.  The motion passed unanimously.

J. Gagnon asked M. Balch in regards to the progress on tax sale properties that he purchased.

M. Balch will report back on the progress.

A. Hitchcock commented on the article in the Rutland Herald in regards to OMYA subcontractors building pallets in Rutland City.  The pallets had previously been built in Canada.   He feels a facility could have been in Pittsford for the OMYA subcontractors.  Discussion was held in regards to encouraging OMYA to continue bringing job opportunities into the Pittsford community.  M. Balch will draft a letter to invite more of OMYA’s business into Pittsford.


Consider Emergency Management vacancy

There were two applicants for the Emergency Management position.

Tom Hooker recommended and made a motion that Odell Johnston with his qualifications in grant writing and his emergency training as being part of the Pittsford Fire Department be appointed the Emergency Management Coordinator.  D. Markowski seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously. 

Consider Two Applications for Access/Right of Way temporary permits for Vermont Electric Power Co.

D. Markowski made a motion to accept the two applications for the access/right of way temporary permits for Vermont Electric Power Co for Fire Hill Road and Whipple Hollow Road.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  Discussion was held.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Consider applying for a training grant for the Planning Commission

Sally Eugair from the Planning Commission addressed Municipal Education Grant Program for $800 which is reimbursable after 30 days.  All of the members on the Planning Commission would benefit from the training to help them do the new town plan and they would appreciate the Board approving the grant.  D. Markowski made a motion that the Board approve the grant for the training for the Planning Commission.  J. Gagnon seconded the motion.   The motion was passed unanimously.

A. Hitchcock commented on the good mix of backgrounds of the people on the Planning Commission.  Don Nickless, Planning Commission chairman, will keep the Board informed on the progress of the new Town Plan.

Tom Hooker made a motion to go into Executive Session for Personnel and Contracts at 7:30 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 and Contracts at 7:30 PM.  M. Balch and John Eugair were asked to stay and all others departed.  The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:15 PM.

Action taken after executive session:

Several Board members shared that significant number of Pittsford taxpayers had expressed their strong displeasure with the large property tax increases that came from the Town- wide re-evaluation.  The Town Manager asked the Board to recall that the current Town Budget increased less than 2% from last year’s budget, and that the greater portion of that increase was funded by a surplus from the prior year, not a tax increase.  The Selectboard discussed the public’s concerns and after a good deal of debate directed the Town Manager to present the Board with a budget with no increase from the current year.

Without any further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:33PM.


Respectfully submitted

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chair - ABSENT

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair 

Dave Markowski, Selectman

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

Thomas Hooker, Selectman




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