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Town of Pittsford

Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting
December 5, 2007


Thomas "Hank" Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:30 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, Randal Adams, Shawn Erickson, Bonnie Stewart, Mike Warfle, Rod Drown, Helen McKinlay, Sarah Eugair, Tom Terounzo, Pat Eugair, Umbert Rosato, and Mr. & Mrs. Emerson Frost.  Tom Carrara arrived at 6:45PM.  Jean Davies and Peter Terwilliger arrived at 6:50PM.




The Select Board minutes of November 20, 2007 were approved.



The orders of November 27, 2007, December 3, 2007, and December 4, 2007 were reviewed, discussed and approved in the amount of $79,140.02.                




Old Hubbardton Road Drainage Issue

The matter of O'Hehir vs. the Town of Pittsford will advance to trial.  The Town's Attorney on this matter, Jim Carroll, is preparing for the trial and has contracted with hydrogeologist Craig Heindel as one of the Town's experts in the case.  Heindel is planning a site visit next Thursday.


OMYA's Section 5 Committee

OMYA's Section 5 Study Committee is preparing to issue its report on January 15, 2008.  The study consultant, CLF Ventures, would like to make a presentation to the community of the findings of the Section 5 study on Monday, February 4, 2008, at the Lothrop School, with the Town of Pittsford co-hosting the event.


Village Center Designation Granted on November 26, 2007

The Village Center Designation that was granted on November 26, 2007 making businesses in the Village eligible for tax credits for improvements and expansion, and giving the Town of Pittsford priority for state grant funding for projects in the Village.  Great thanks to Sally Eugair for putting the application together and Peg Armitage for an outstanding presentation to the Downtown Development Board.


Regional Meeting for VLCT Health Trust

On November 28, 2007, K. Ramsay attended the regional meeting for VLCT Health Trust. Good news for the health insurance for Town employees which will be locked in to an 8.1% increase starting January 1, 2008.  This increase is better than the last increase of 15% to 20%. Vision coverage will be offered as a voluntary option at employee expense, if desired.


Route 7 Upgrade/Water System Upgrade Project

K. Ramsay is working with the State and Water Supply Division on the Route 7 upgrade and the Water System upgrade projects.


Route 7 Steering Committee

There will be a Route 7 Steering Committee meeting on December 10, 2007 at the Brandon Fire Station which K. Ramsay will attend. 


Wind Power

Working with Bob Harnish, Bob Young (CEO of CVPS) is tentatively scheduled to discuss wind generation and its relationship to the power grid with the Select Board on Wednesday, February 6, 2008.  This will be a formal discussion and a public forum may follow.


Rutland County Solid Waste District 2008 Budget

The Rutland County Solid Waste District will be holding its first meeting on the proposed 2008 budget for the district this evening.  The expenditure request for the District is up 14% primarily attributable to the renewal of the food waste program.  The tipping surcharge of $16.75 per ton of trash generated in the district remains the same under the proposed budget.


The Council on the Future of Vermont

On December 4, 2007, K. Ramsay attended the Council on the Future of Vermont in Rutland which held a focus group discussion on the "Future of Vermont."  Challenges facing the State (workforce demographics, the cost of living, the cost of doing business in the State and aging public infrastructure) were discussed along with possible opportunities to address the challenges including: technology for business and education, regionalization of services; and diversifying the housing stock.


Highway Department Vacancy

Greg Eastman has been hired to the Highway Department.  He comes from Trees, Inc. with a CDL and strong mechanical skills.  He will be starting on December 12, 2007.


St. Johnsbury Work Camp Visit is December 12, 2007 with three seats still available on the bus.




Umbert Rosato commented on the reduced speeding on Whipple Hollow Road since the traffic monitor and extra patrols were used in the last couple of months and thanked the Board for their prompt action.  Shawn Erickson responded to Mr. Rosato's questions on the winter maintenance of Whipple Hollow Road where there was a lot of slush during the storm last week which was a long continuous snowstorm.  The plow route with a full crew takes 5 hours to complete the loop.  Winter maintenance is part of the Highway Dept. budget and is carried over each year.  D. Markowski commented on what a good job the Highway Department did during last week's storm especially being down one Highway crew employee.




K. Ramsay reviewed the FY09 Budget proposal.  There were no changes in the Administrative, Board and Agencies, or Plant and Equipment funds which are basically level funded.    Under Special Appropriations, Bonnie Stewart, the librarian from the Maclure Library, spoke on the Library's request for an increase of $5,000 a year which is an 11% increase.  The Library receives a $45,000/year appropriation from the Town since 2006.   B. Stewart reported on the library's increased services to the Pittsford community with an 11% increase in circulation.  B. Stewart reviewed the various endowment funds from which the library receives 6% of the interest.  The endowment funds have yielded a 15% return on the funds over the last two years.  The library will use $45,000 of the endowment funds' interest this year.  The library's operating costs have increased and this is the first time in 10 years that B. Stewart has gone over budget.  All of the capital repairs were funded with grants or funds raised privately.  The State grants are given with special requirements because the historical building restoration work must be certified.  Discussion was held in regards to using the balance of the return from the endowment funds up to the amount of growth approximately an additional 9%. 

P. Terwilliger questioned if a special appropriation once given to an organization is automatically given the funds each year.  At the Town Meetings, the voters vote on the appropriations.  K. Ramsay will send a letter to each organization requesting a special appropriation inviting a representative to the Annual Town Meeting so townspeople have the opportunity to review the organizations services to the Town.  B. Stewart departed at 7:00PM.


Solid Waste/Recycling budget reflects a 4% increase in the tipping fees and actual representation of the Workers Compensation for that department.


In the Constables Department budget, the labor is level funded with an increase in the car fuel/maintenance and car insurance reflecting the 2 vehicles used in the department.


Tom Hooker, Pittsford Fire Chief, reported on the Fire Department budget stating that the increases were primarily in the vehicle and building fuel.  A handicap accessible bathroom is needed in the fire house and $10,000 has been budgeted to address this State requirement.


Randal Adams, Recreation Director, reported on the Recreation Department budget.  The Recreation Department is broadening its services by introducing and running adult and senior programs such as safety driver programs, luncheons, trips, and free computer classes by working with the Maclure Library.  R. Adams has received good feedback on how well the recreation area looks and he complimented Joe Pomykala for his great maintenance of the grounds.  The Pavilion rentals increase each year with bookings weekdays as well as the weekends for functions.  This year, R. Adams felt that the lifeguard staff for the Recreation Area was exceptional with many residents commenting on their professional behavior.  Sally Eugair and Shawn Erickson commented on the many compliments they have heard by the townspeople on the great job Randy Adams is doing as Recreation Director.  R. Adams in turn gave credit to the Board for allowing the Town departments the freedom to help with the recreation area and programs.  R. Adams thanked the Highway staff for their help during the storms this year and keeping the Recreation Area open for all programs.


Animal Management is level funded.


Rutland County Tax actual expenditure for FY07 was $1,000 less than budgeted and the anticipated tax for FY08 should be less than budgeted therefore creating a credit for FY09.


Employee Benefits/Town Insurance which the employee benefits will go up 10.8% which is a blended rate because the insurance is based on a calendar year while the Town is on a fiscal year.


For the General Fund, budget requests are 4.3% over the approved budget for FY08.  The total budget requests increased from $1,075,202 in FY08 to $1,121,438, 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 on the tax rate.  There are no changes in staffing or services provided proposed in the FY09 budget.  Areas of inflationary increase include:  wages & benefits; property & casualty insurance and vehicle & heating fuel.


Discussion was held in regards to the problem at the Rutland County Humane Society (RCHS) with the over population of feral cats. Discussion was held in regards to the RCHSís special appropriation and whether it should be raised.  RCHS has cancelled a presentation about the feral cat situation to the Board this year and will be asked to reschedule.


Shawn Erickson presented the Highway Department FY09 Work Plan as follows:


Work to be scheduled as contracted:

Rehabilitate the northern end of West Creek Road, approximately 0.7 mile:  repair and improve roadside drainage; remove and replace 2 culverts: (1) 18" x 40' and (1) 36" x 40'; improve low area to minimize flooding; a full depth reconstruction including applying geo-fabric additional gravel and paving.

Paving:  shim and overlay 1.5 miles of Hitchcock Road. Paving cost of $125,000.


Work to be scheduled for Town Highway Crew:

Fire Hill Road-3' double culvert to be replaced with 5' plastic culvert.

Hitchcock Road:  Cut shoulders/put shoulder material down as needed for new pavement.

Guardrails repairs and extensions:  East Pittsford Road, Sangamon, Markowski Road.  Pull up and reset Hitchcock Road after paving.

Sugar Hollow Road & Plains Road intersection improvements.

Regulatory Sign Replacement-Stop & Speed Limit Signs that are faded or damaged.

Gravel-Based on $12.50 per yard delivered and 4" to 6" of depth

(a)  Humphrey Road .6 miles @ 18' width approximately 800 yards at a cost of $10,000.

Possible additions to budget:

Hollister Quarry Road 0.7 miles @ 20' width requires approximately 1,200 yards at a cost of $15,000.

 Syndicate Road .5 miles @ 20' width 700 yards at a cost of $8,750.



Continue regular maintenance including: roadside mowing; brush cutting; weed trimming; clearing culverts; shoulder cutting and placing shoulder material; road grading and rock raking; applying calcium chloride; sign maintenance; equipment maintenance; and plowing and winter maintenance.  Brush cutting will continue to be a priority but as a maintenance issue.  As we address areas in the future the growth will be much smaller since it has been cut in the last two years; we plan to keep it that way.


Discussion was held in regards to dangerous intersection areas where the brush needs to be trimmed back such as Pinewoods and Plains Road; also Sugar Hollow Road and Plains Road; and Furnace Road by the Davenport farm.  The owners of the properties may need to be contacted to see if they would work with the Highway Department for brush removal for overgrown areas to create better viewing area for drivers.


As proposed, the Highway Fund shows an increase of $63,561, from $856,428 to $919,989.  The major factor in the Highway Department increase is 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).  Given the recent report on the condition of the Kendall Hill Road Bridge, the Board will consider increasing the amount budgeted for bridge repairs.  Winter maintenance of sidewalks and plans to improve the sidewalk on Arch Street with funds budgeted in this fiscal year (July 1, 2007-June 30,2008) were discussed with comments from Jean Davies and Peter Terwilliger.  Extra care will be taken to sand the sidewalks and to shovel the crosswalks on Route 7.  Discussion was held in regards to the new Federal Standards for sidewalks which is now 5 feet wide and special grades and approaches.


In regards to Sangamon Road, the State report was just received in regards to adding extra signage which the State will do at no charge to the Town.


M. Warfle and R. Adams departed at 7:45PM.


The Village tax revenue of $19,000/year pays for streetlights in the Village.  In considering the FY09 budget for the Village, the Board approved the addition of a 250 watt streetlight on Route 7, just north of St. Alphonsus Church, to improve visibility of pedestrians using the crosswalk in this location.  The monthly cost to the Village will be approximately $25.

T. Terounzo and P. Eugair departed at 8:05PM.


Discussion was held in regards to the merger of the Town of Pittsford and Village of Pittsford in 1987.  K. Ramsay will research the details in the merger in regards to streetlights and sidewalks.


Discussion was held in regards to whether the most efficient lights are in the streetlights.  K. Ramsay will inquire about the wattage with CVPS.


J. Davies, P. Terwilliger, and U. Rosato departed at 8:10PM.


Discussion was held in regards to Equipment Rental Fund for the Highway Department for a 7-yard dump truck with a plow and sanding equipment for $145,000 FY09 which was included in the budget.

There are other items on the Highway Department's capital expenditure FY2009 through FY2013.

Discussion was held in regards to the possibility of replacing the grader with a used grader from Killington.  New graders are between $245,000 to $260,000.  A used grader is approximately $80,000.


S. Erickson and H. McKinlay departed at 8:20PM.  The Board recessed at 8:20PM.  The Board reconvened at 8:25PM.



Report on December 5th Meeting with Landowner regarding Town Forest Access off Lead Mine Road in Chittenden

Access to the Town Forest for timber harvest on the Eastern slope of the Town Forest tentatively obtained from the adjacent landowner on Lead Mine Road.  An option that was discussed was to use an old road and the owner agrees with a summer harvest.  The easement would be temporary.  Eric Hansen State Forester will keep going with the timber harvest schedule.


Kendrick Pond Dam

K. Ramsay spoke with the State on the Kendrick Pond Dam which is a low hazard dam. The State has recommended that the Town repair it or tear it down but is not a priority at this time.




Resignation from Planning Commission

T. Hooker made a motion to accept Sally Eugair's letter of resignation from the Pittsford Planning Commission and Rutland Regional Planning Commission.  A. Hitchcock seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously with regrets and Thank you to S. Eugair for her volunteering on behalf of the Town.


Municipal Education Grant(MEG)

The Board authorized submission of an application for a Municipal Education Grant from the State for a land use planning workshop in May 2008.

T. Carrara and S. Eugair departed at 8:35PM.


Brief Report on Water & Sewer Commission Meeting of November 28, 2007

David Markowski was appointed Chairman and Allen Hitchcock was appointed Vice-Chair at the first meeting of the new Water and Sewer Commission on November 28, 2007.  Both D. Markowski and A. Hitchcock expressed interest in turning these positions over to other members of the Commission once they have had an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the water and sewer systems and pending projects.  The status of the water system upgrade project, improvements needed at the wastewater treatment facility, infiltration to the sewer system, and the FY09 budgets for the Pittsford and Florence Water Systems, and the wastewater treatment facility were also discussed at the Commissionís meeting.  A. Hitchcock gave a brief summary of the water and sewer systemsí histories at the meeting.


Correspondence from Office of the Attorney General Transportation Section regarding directional signs on Kendall Hill Road

In response to a letter from the Attorney General's Office regarding off premise directional signs to OMYA on Kendall Hill Road and West Creek Road, the Town will work with the Attorney General's Office, the Vermont Agency of Transportation and OMYA to explore ways to improve legal signage to the facility in Florence.


Thomas "Hank" Pelkey made a motion to go into Executive Session for Personnel and Contracts at 8:50PM.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  K. Ramsay was asked to stay. 



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 & Legal at 8:50PM.  The Board came out of Executive Session at 9:20PM.

No action was taken.

Without any further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20PM. 

Respectfully submitted:                 

Linda Drummond, Recording Clerk          

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

David Markowski, Selectman

Thomas Hooker, Selectman


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