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Town of Pittsford

Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting
November 7, 2007


Thomas "Hank" Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:35 p.m.  Select Board members present were:  Thomas "Hank" Pelkey, Allen Hitchcock, Joseph Gagnon, David Markowski, and Thomas Hooker.    Also present were Kathleen Ramsay, Linda Drummond, David Rowe, Tom Carrara,  Leah Kahrs, Michael Warfle, Chad Eugair, and Kayla Eugair.


Employee Recognition

Chad Eugair-Presentation of Vermont Local Roads Program Certificate

Thomas "Hank" Pelkey read the Board’s letter of commendation for Chad Eugair's achievement of becoming a Vermont Equipment Scholar.  Included in the letter was the Board's Resolution:  "In recognition of his noteworthy accomplishment of completing requirements for the Vermont Equipment Scholar designation, and in recognition of the benefits that the Town of Pittsford derives from this training and higher level of skill, the Board of Selectmen commends the initiative of Chad Eugair and hereby presents him with a monetary award from the Selectboard and a certificate from Vermont Local Roads."  Chad Eugair accepted the certificate and monetary award with congratulations from the Board.



The Select Board minutes of October 10, 2007 were approved.

The Select Board minutes of October 17, 2007 were approved.

The Select Board minutes of October 24, 2007 were approved.



The orders of November 7, 2007 were reviewed, discussed and approved in the amount of $197,014.51.                



Dog Complaint

A dog complaint was received today, November 7, 2007, which will call for a public hearing of the Select Board within 7 days regarding Wayne Newton's dogs.  Constable M. Warfle was present and after multiple complaints from residents on Keough Drive in regards to Mr. Newton's dogs, M. Warfle suggested going to the Board with their complaint.  K. Ramsay proposed a dog hearing for Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 6:00PM at the Municipal Town offices.

Town Forest

Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program application for Town Forest wildlife conservation initiative has been submitted.  A meeting is set for the Town Forest right of way for timber cutting with the adjacent landowner for December 5, 2007 at 10AM at the intersection of Middle Road and Lead Mine Road.

Grandpa's Knob Windpark Temporary wind measurement devices:

The following were submitted to the Public Service Board: 1) Draft Minutes of the Pittsford Select Board's October 10, 2007 public meeting on theWindpark proposal; and 2). Copies of letters and commentary submitted to the Select Board to convey to the Public Service Board from Pittsford residents Carol & Melvin Aldrich; Jocelyn & Emerson Frost; Ann & James Rademacher; Robert Welch; and Joseph Hamilton.  Letters were also sent to the Pittsford residents listed above thanking them for their input. Brad King from Noble Engineering called and reported that they will only be installing two temporary wind measurements devices instead of the proposed three. 


Gerry Myers, Commissioner of Buildings & Grounds, visited Pittsford regarding the wastewater allocation for expansion at the Police and Fire Academies.  Peg Flory attended the meeting, and provided the history of the agreement between the State and the Town.  G. Myers needed information to better understand the $250,000 State budget that is being carried for the sewer line project and will be looking into options.  K. Ramsay will be drafting a letter for the Board to sign stating that the Town does have the 5,300 gallons/day sewer allotment for the police facilities and more is available if needed emphasizing the Board's desire for the new Fire Training Academy to be built at the Police Academy in Pittsford.  T. Hooker has spoken with different legislators and Governor Douglas who all agree that the $2.5 million capital budget for offices and the new Fire Training facility should be used to keep the facility at the State Police Academy in Pittsford.


Lease Agreement with West Rutland for use of 1960 Ladder Truck negotiated with Fire Chief Tom Hooker

K. Ramsay and T. Hooker negotiated a lease agreement with West Rutland for the 1960 Ladder Truck with the terms of $1.00 for the first year and $5,000 lease option to buy.


Pittsford Village Center Designation

K. Ramsay sent out the support letters for Pittsford's Village Center Designation.

On November 26, 2007, K. Ramsay, Peg Armitage, and Sally Eugair will be attending a meeting with the Village Downtown Board.



The independent audit team needs one more day to wrap up the audit.


Town Manager's Conference Attended

K. Ramsay attended the Town Manager's Conference and the following topics were covered:  Volunteers in local government (including insurance coverage for, appointment of, duties of); liability containment; performance appraisals of the Town Manager and other staff.


Railroad Crossings

State of Vermont Rail Program Manager Richard Hosking has promised to have the rail crossings inspected next spring to determine the full scope of repairs necessary to restore the crossings.  In the meantime, Mr. Hosking has asked the Agency of Transportation's Rutland Area District Transportation Administrator, Tammy Ellis, to take a look at both crossings and determine if minor pavement patching is in order to hold the rail crossings until spring.  Letters to Florence residents who expressed concerns about the crossings have been sent sharing this information.


Old Hubbardton Road Drainage Issue

In the matter of O'Hehir vs. the Town of Pittsford, mediation has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 9:00 AM in Rutland.  Road Foreman Shawn Erickson was deposed in Middlebury by the plaintiff's attorney on October 30, 2007.


OMYA Plant Issue Team

The OMYA Plant Issue Team will meet on November 8, 2007.  Peg Flory, Jack & Jane Orvis, Ed Eugair, David Markowski, and K. Ramsay had attended the preliminary, organizational meeting with Shawn Alvarez and Jim Morale from OMYA. The group will meet every 2 or 3 months, as part of OMYA's effort toward being a better neighbor by gathering and reacting to input to the community.


Highway Vacancy

The Highway vacancy was advertised in the Rutland Herald, Addison Independent, and The Reporter with a great response.  There are eight viable applications.  Shawn Erickson is reviewing them and interviews will be set up by the end of the week for next week.


Work Camp Tour

The agenda has been set for the Work Camp Tour on December 12, 2007.  The bus trip and lunch will be provided.  There is still room for more people to attend.



T. Carrara had comments on several issues.


The Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Liquor Board at 7:03PM.

The Board reconvened as the Select Board at 7:05PM.



Review of Open Burning Ordinance

Suggested revisions to the Burning and Disposal of Solid Wastes Ordinance were reviewed by Board members.  T. Hooker stated that a change allowing Village residents to obtain a specific permit granted by the Fire Warden or Deputy Fire Warden during the following two periods: 1) From the first Friday in May to the second Sunday in May; and 2) From the second Friday in October to the third Sunday in October would be a good change.  Also allowing special permits for bonfires for special events granted by the Fire Warden or Deputy Fire Warden with the concurrence of the Select Board was a good change.  Another addition was in the event of a natural disaster, the Select Board may allow specific open burning permits to be granted by the Fire Warden or Deputy Fire Warden with conditions.  Also the addition to the ordinance state that an open burning permit is not required when there is adequate snow cover in the immediate vicinity of the fire.  "Snow cover" is defined as at least two inches of snow on the ground.  "Immediate vicinity" is defined as a radius of 200' immediately around the fire.  No open burning under this provision is allowed in the Village Residential and Village Commercial Zones.  B. Bowman asked to have added to the Revised ordinance the following to e2):  "Permits issued under this section will be no larger than 25 square feet."  This section applies to only the Village. The size limitation will be noted on the burning permit.  A. Hitchcock made a motion to initiate the ordinance amendment process for the revised burning ordinance as submitted to the Board with the addition as noted above to section e2).  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.


Appointment of Water & Sewer Board

Allen Hitchcock made a motion that the Town of Pittsford dissolve the current Water Commission responsible for the Pittsford and Florence Water Systems;

And that the Town of Pittsford dissolve the current Sewer Commission responsible for the Pittsford sewerage collection system and the Pittsford sewer treatment plant;

And that the Town of Pittsford establish a single Town of Pittsford Water and Sewer Commission, with all of the duties, responsibilities, authority and powers prescribed for such Boards as per 24 VSA Chapters 95, 97, and 101;

And that the Commission be composed of five members, appointed by the Select Board to four year terms.  J. Gagnon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.


T. Hooker made a motion that the Pittsford Select Board appoint the following to the newly-established Water & Sewer Commission, with terms expiring November 2011:  David Markowski, Allen Hitchcock, Joe Gagnon, Helen McKinlay, and John Lapre.  J. Gagnon seconded the motion. Discussion followed.  Amendment to the motion was to remove Joe Gagnon and add Hope Rantanen to the slate.  The amended motion was for the following slate:  David Markowski, Allen Hitchcock, Hope Rantanen, Helen McKinlay, and John Lapre. The amended motion was passed unanimously.


Thomas "Hank" Pelkey made a motion that the annual compensation for the Pittsford Water & Sewer Commission be established as follows:  $500/year per member and $600/year for the Chair. T. Hooker seconded the motion.  D. Markowski and A. Hitchcock recused themselves from the vote.  The vote passed 3 to 0.  K. Ramsay will send letters of appointment members to the Water & Sewer Commission.


VOSHA Inspection & Report Follow-up

K. Ramsay along with Bob Berardo and Jack Shedd wastewater treatment operators had an informal conference call with the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Agency regarding safety violations at the water treatment facility off Plains Road.  The two VOSHA violations were amended and the penalties were reduced from $1,400 to $800 due to the Town's timely response to the concerns outlined in the VOSHA inspections.  Some operational changes have been made to the confined space entry so the meter can be read from outside the meter pit.  Other changes to the chemical room at the wastewater treatment plant will be reviewed.   A full report on compliance efforts must be submitted to VOSHA by December 1, 2007.


Report on Kendall Hill Road Bridge Inspection

A comprehensive report from Dubois & King on the condition of and recommendations for rehabilitation of the bridge was received today and distributed to the Board.  K. Ramsay gave a review of the contents:  Short term 10 to 15 year plan for repairs to the Kendall Hill Road Bridge cost $585,000.  Long term 50 year plan for complete replacement of the deck and repair or replacement of other structure pieces for $1.6 million.  The Board decided to invite the project engineer to an upcoming meeting to discuss the engineers' findings and discuss funding avenues.


West Creek Road Rehabilitation Project Update

The engineer has been working with the wetlands information and has a rough layout with the rights of way that will be needed for that project.  K. Ramsay will be in contact with project abutters regarding the need for property easements at the curve and dip in the road in order to construct the project on West Creek Road.


Recruitment of Ethics Board

The Board will advertise for volunteers to serve on the Ethics Board, which will hear complaints as needed filed under the Town's Conflict of Interest Ordinance.  Five regular members and five alternates will be drawn at random.  Registered voters willing to serve in this capacity for a one year term should submit a letter of interest to the Select Board.


Discussion of Inviting a Guest Speaker on Wind Power

Bob Young, President and CEO of CVPS, expressed willingness to discuss wind generation in relationship to Vermont's power grid and other sources of energy with the Board.  The Board will invite Mr. Young to attend a meeting in January or February 2008.  It was also suggested to invite the other Select Board members from the abutting towns such as Castleton, Hubbardton, and West Rutland for their views on the proposed windpark.


License Agreement with Parker for Tapping Maple Trees in Town Forest in section formerly owned by Parker, per 2003 Real Estate Agreement with Parker

This will be discussed in executive session.



FY09 Budget-First Draft

K. Ramsay reported that the Town's Department responded to the Board’s request for a "lean & mean" budget. 

General Fund Budget Overview:

For the General Fund, the budget requests are 4% over the approved budget for FY08.  The total budget requests increased from $1,075,202 in FY08 to $1,121,438 in FY09, an increase of $46,236. Due to increases in non-tax revenue from various sources, as proposed, tax revenue needed would increase $25,511 or 3%, an increase of 6/10ths of one cent.

The major drivers of the proposed budget increase include:  Wages  $18,815; Benefits  $2,233; Insurance $5,633; Fuel $5,500; McClure Library $5,000.  These major drivers account for $37,181 of the increase in General Fund spending.  Several capital expenditures for the Fire Department & Municipal Building are still anticipated, pending receipt of estimates for the projects.

Highway Budget Overview:

As proposed, the Highway Fund shows an increase of $66,577, from $856,428 to $923,005.  The major factor in the Highway Department increase is that the request for funding for paving has increased from $155,000 to $212,000, an increase of $57,000.  The increase in paving is requested to cover the projected cost of paving West Creek Road ($87,000) and a shim & overlay for Hitchcock Road ($125,000).  This and other aspects of the Highway Department proposal will be discussed in depth at the Select Board’s December 5, 2007 meeting.

K. Ramsay stated that 42% of the budget were wage and benefit costs.


REDC Annual Meeting Voting Delegate

Allen Hitchcock made a motion for Kathleen Ramsay to be the voting delegate at the REDC Annual Meeting on November 14, 2007.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.


Errors and Omissions from the Board of Listers

D. Markowski made a motion to approve the new grand list of 3,740,287.75, down $12,000 from 3,740,407.75 due to an error.  A. Hitchcock seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.


Signatures required on letters from the Water & Sewer Board

The Select Board signed letters to Ken Robie and Ken Upmal of the Vermont Agency of Transportation to support the Town's concerns in expediting the layout of the right of way for State road improvements on Segment 1 and Segment 3 of the Pittsford-Brandon Route 7 improvement project. 


Thomas "Hank" Pelkey made a motion to go into Executive Session for Personnel and Contracts at 7:40PM. 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 7:40PM. K. Ramsay was invited to stay. The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:25PM.

No action was taken.

Without any further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:26PM.

Respectfully submitted:                 

Linda Drummond, Recording Clerk          

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

David Markowski, Selectman

Thomas Hooker, Selectman


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