Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting
May 16, 2007


Thomas "Hank" Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m.  Select Board members present were:   Allen Hitchcock, Joseph Gagnon, David Markowski, and Thomas Hooker.  Also present were Michael Balch, Linda Drummond, Kathleen Ramsay, Don Nickless, and Lisa Connell.  Tom Carrara and David Rowe arrived at 6:35PM.  Jean Davies arrived at 6:40PM.  Joseph Sposta arrived at 6:45 PM. Michael Leehy arrived at 7:05PM.  Randal Adams arrived at 7:20PM.




The Select Board minutes of May 2, 2007 were reviewed, discussed, and approved.   



The orders of  May 16, 2007 were reviewed, discussed and approved in the amount of $26,495.12.



Mike Balch reported on the following:

After the windstorm on April 16, 2007, there have been considerable amounts of brush with a great deal being delivered and burnt at the Transfer Station.  T. Hooker asked if special events such as a storm could be treated differently than what is specified in the Burn Ordinance with no open burning within the Village limits.  A possibility might be to have pickups in the Village especially for the elderly who are unable to remove brush on their own. T. Hooker asked if the Board could have the Fire Warden in for the next meeting to review several issues.  Discussion was held in regards to the Transfer Station needing to comply with the Burn Ordinance with the extinguishing time for burning at 7:00PM.  M. Balch will check to be sure the Transfer Station is compliant with the Burn Ordinance.


Delta Dental rates FY2008 are up less than $1.00 per policy per month.  This amount is under 1% and the amount budgeted was about 7 1/2%.


M. Balch and Helen McKinlay have reviewed the applicants for Assistant Town Clerk/Treasurer and will be interviewing four finalists in the next week.


Eric Hansen has been having difficulty getting together with the owner of the Chittenden property which needs a log road over to reach the water springs and Town property.  E. Hansen will be meeting with the owner’s forester on Monday, May 21, 2007 and if the forester gives the okay the owner will give permission for just a winter cut.  E. Hansen had asked for a summer cut, but the owner is not flexible on that issue.  Discussion was held about other options.


Don Nickless has brought to the Board's attention that Rutland Regional Planning Commission has traffic monitoring equipment that is available on loan for no fee.   Arch Street and other streets would be good locations for this study.  D. Nickless stated that the equipment would record  number of vehicles in 15 minutes intervals, the speed of the vehicles, and the types of vehicles.  RRPC will install at the Board’s request.  The Board was in agreement to have the traffic monitoring equipment installed.


The Board has a copy of Constable M. Warfle's report in regards to the request of a Directed Patrol of Speed Enforcement on Sangamon Road in the area of Dr. John McGarry’s residence.  The last line of Constable Warfle's report stated "it appears that the speed in that area is no different than in any other part of Town."  The Police Department will continue to patrol Sangamon Road at a more normal rate.  M. Balch will send Dr. McGarry a copy of the Police Report and will let him know that the Police Department will continue to patrol the area at a normal rate.


In regards to the question at the accountant's audit review, the Town employees are paying the appropriate taxes on the benefit payments made on their behalf by the Town and it was included in the audit.




T. Carrara asked if loggers were able to burn their log or brush piles on site.  T. Hooker replied yes as long as they have a burning permit.  Everyone needs a burning permit per the burning ordinance.


T. Carrara asked about vacation time for M. Balch.  H. Pelkey replied that he was entitled to his vacation time as per his contract.  M. Balch replied that he gets 4 weeks vacation time plus entitled time off for extra time worked and the Board had agreed that he could take whatever earned time he is entitled to before he retires.


T. Carrara asked why the Listers are doing a reappraisal all over again when a Town wide reappraisal was just completed last year.  T. Hooker replied that he was in the Listers' office today and the Listers explained to him that the reappraisal was on the land values in Town which were not calculated correctly. All questions about the new reappraisal letters that went out this week should be directed to the Listers' office. 


The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Water Board at 6:55PM.

The Select Board reconvened 7:05PM.


The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Sewer Board 7:05PM.

The Select Board reconvened at 7:15PM.




Consider Planning Commission Concerns Town Plan & Trash Ordinance

Don Nickless reviewed the renewing of the old Town Plan in order to address other issues.  About a month and a half after going through all the steps to renew the old Town Plan, the Pittsford Planning Commission learned that the Rutland Regional Planning Commission (RRPC) would not approve the renewal of the old Town Plan.  Without their approval, Pittsford could not receive State grants which would have helped with obtaining Village Designation.  If the Town of Pittsford would agree to do a partial update of the Town Plan then RRPC would give their approval.  The Select Board needs to refer the Town Plan back to the Planning Commission.  D. Markowski made the motion to refer the Town Plan back to the Planning Commission for updates required by the RRPC.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  A letter needs to be sent to the Planning Commission stating the motion.


Don Nickless stated that while meeting with several groups in the development process of the new Town Plan, one issue kept arising in regards to trash around town and or trash accumulating on properties which in turn causes concern about land values of adjoining properties.  Also concerns of trash on nearby properties could affect business or infringe upon the rights of nearby property owners.  The Planning Commission has been working on developing a town trash ordinance and the draft trash ordinance is ready for submitting to the Board for consideration.  The Planning Commission used a model from VLCT and customized the model to fit Pittsford’s needs.  The draft trash ordinance should provide the Select Board with the tools to solve trash problems.  Thomas "Hank" Pelkey tabled further discussion on the ordinance until the next Board meeting to give the Board time to review the draft.


Consider Current Bidding Policy

M. Balch reviewed the purchasing policy procedures followed by Town employees.  An important point reviewed was that purchases are made under joint purchasing agreements with other governmental agencies such as the State bid pricing on tires as the State already follows a similar competitive process as the town’s process.  The Board was inquiring that it might be a good idea to once in a while have employees shop around to see if the State bid price is the lowest.  The consensus of the Board is that the purchasing policy procedures are fine as they are written.


Consider Kendall Hill Road Bridge Engineering

M. Balch reported that the Town received two proposals for the Kendall Hill Road Bridge engineering.  Dubois/King's proposal is about $75,000 and Stantec's proposal is approximately $150,000.  Additional pages of the Dubois/King's proposal arrived today.  The Board tabled reviewing the proposals until M. Balch finishes his analysis of the two proposals.  M. Balch asked the Board to authorize him to start investigating a planning grant for the engineering.  The consensus of the Board is to go ahead with that request.  The Structures Grant Program has money available with a maximum grant of $175,000.  There are also Planning Grants available for the engineering.  Also the Kendall Hill Road Bridge qualifies for capital expenditure funds through the State because of its type of bridge.  M. Balch will have a spreadsheet comparing the two proposals for the Board to review at the next meeting.


A. Hitchcock mentioned the Forrest property sale.   H. Pelkey stated that Board has addressed the issue on numerous occasions, have read letters, have taken public comment, and public testimony and there has been an unanimous motion that has been passed by the Board.  Therefore, if the issue needs to brought up again, it has to be done under a motion to rescind or reconsider the previous motion.  A. Hitchcock made a motion to reconsider the previous motion.  H. Pelkey asked for a second.  With no second, the motion failed.  A. Hitchcock departed at 7:35PM.


Consider FY2008 Recreation Program and Fees

Randal Adams, Recreation Director, proposed showing outdoor movies at the Recreation Area this summer with two to four showings.  R. Adams reviewed the one movie event that was shown last year.  M. Leehy, a neighbor of the Pittsford Rec. Area, had expressed his concerns about the noise of the movie and the traffic after the movie.  Mr. Leehy stated that he was adamently opposed to the showings. Mr. Leehy had been led to believe that the Recreation Area is for mostly daytime events. 

 Joseph Sposta who has volunteered 28 years on the Recreation Area Committee stated that at no time was the area to be open strictly during the daytime and there has never been an indication that the area be closed at night.  There have been many nighttime events at the Recreation Area in the past including fireworks. The movie last year ran from 8:30 to 10:30PM with 40 people attending with the cost of $200.  The Board gave permission for one movie to be shown at the Pittsford Recreation on a trial basis with the members of the Board attending and will reconsider the request for additional movies and will revisit the issue.  M. Leehy will be notified along with the public when the movie will be shown. 


R. Adams asked the Board to approve the following items on his agenda:

2.  Set 2007 Recreation Area Fees the same as 2006

3.  Approve Recreation Committee's recommendations:  Rob Ketcham, Chairman and Kathy     Shortsleeves, Vice Chair

4.  Pittsford Day Sunday, July 1, 2007 (12-6 pm) for the Town to provide police coverage and to designate the Pittsford Day Committee as a Town identity

5.  Recreation Department Summer program highlights:  Pittsford Fishing Derby, Saturday, June 2 @ Wheeler/Smith Pond;  Ice Cream Social at the Recreation Area, Sunday, June 17, 6:30 pm;  Day Camp will continue to operate as a six week program;  Swim Program will again offer 3-two week sessions of lessons.

6.  2002 Simplicity Tractor back out to bid

7.  Sell Recreation Area timbers recovered from April storm


H. Pelkey made a motion to approve items 2 through 7 on R. Adams, the Recreation Director’s agenda.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.


Consider Appointment of Annual Report Coordinator for FY2008


M. Balch reported that Joseph Sposta volunteered to be considered for the 2008 Annual Report  coordinator.  There is a stipend to be the coordinator.  D. Markowski made a motion to accept Joseph Sposta to be the 2008 Annual Report coordinator.  J. Gagnon seconded the motion.

Discussion was held in regards to the duties of the coordinator.  J. Sposta made comments about the deadlines for receiving reports, editing and reviewing the reports, indexing, finding the subject for cover of the report, and the dedication of the report.  J. Sposta asked for the Board to consider $1000 for the stipend.  Dedications and Cover photos can be brought to the Board for a final decision.  The Board will consider J. Sposta's requests and come to an agreement at a later date.

The motion was passed unanimously.


Consider Sidewalk Maintenance Concerns 


Jean Davies presented the Board with a letter of her concerns regarding the sidewalks in the Village and the crosswalks across Route 7 especially near the Village Green.  She read the letter to the Board and added other comments particularly the need for salting and sanding the sidewalks in the winter in the Village Center. J. Davies is concerned that the crosswalk on Route 7 near the green is barely visible.  M. Balch commented that the crosswalk is the State Highway’s responsibility and they paint the crosswalks each year.  He has already reminded them that the crosswalks need painting.   


J. Davies also commented on the snow and ice on the sidewalks this last winter and the difficulty to get to the crosswalk which kept getting closed in with the State snow plows.  The Board will request for better signage for the crosswalk and painting for the crosswalk from the State Highway Department especially for the Village Green crosswalk.  The Village Fund did not have any money specified for the sidewalks in the budget.  The Village Fund FY2006 had a balance of $4,000 after $15,000 was budgeted for the Village lights. Funds can be put into the Village sidewalks if it is necessary.  The Board will look into the expense of using calcium chloride on the sidewalks during the winter months.  The Board requests that every taxpayer in town attend the Draft Budget meeting in the Fall and review the budget items to be sure the Village sidewalk maintenance is addressed as well as any other items.  The Village was not charged by the Town Highway Department to keep the sidewalks plowed.


Consider Appointing Zoning Administrator


M. Balch and D. Nickless interviewed applicants for the Zoning Administrator position.  Both M. Balch and D. Nickless presented Amy Loomis as the person to meet the Town's needs for the position.  They have also discussed with Aria Brissette about becoming the Assistant Zoning Administrator.  T. Hooker made a motion to appoint Amy Loomis as the Zoning Administrator.  D. Markowski seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.  T. Hooker made a motion to appoint Aria Brissette as the Assistant Zoning Administrator.  D. Markowski seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

D. Nickless, Michael Leehy, Lisa Connell, and Jean Davies departed at 8:30PM.


Consider Roadside Mowing Plan for FY2008


Discussion was held in regards to the roadside mowing.  Different plans had been proposed last year by the Board for roadside mowing including purchasing a Cat Challenger with an arm mower for $72,000 instead of renting a machine and operator every year. Also it was mentioned to maybe not roadside mow at all for a year.  Last year the roadside mowing was approximately $12,000 and there is $10,000 in the budget FY2008.  J. Gagnon made a motion to wait and not to do roadside mowing this year other than what the Highway Department can manage.  Discussion was held that members of the Board felt it the need to be keep up with the mowing each year.  D. Markowski seconded the motion.

Further discussion was held whether it needs to be cut back for safety reasons and for continuing the work in reaching areas beyond where the Highway Department equipment can reach. D. Markowski made a recommendation that if the roadside mowing did go out to bid that it would stay within the budget amount of $10,000 and to give more direction to the trouble areas.  Headway has been made because the roadside mowing has made it possible for the Highway Department to go in further on the roadside.  The motion was defeated 3 to 1.  D. Markowski made a motion to go to bid for roadside mowing not to exceed the $10,000 budget to mow the high areas where it may pose a safety issue as determined by the highway foreman.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously carried.  There were no votes.


The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Liquor Board at 8:45PM.

The Select Board reconvened at 8:47PM.


M. Balch was directed to have Constable M. Warfle investigate a dog complaint that has been sent to the Board.  T. Hooker asked that Constable Warfle confirm with the vet the condition of the dog, what action the vet took, and what occurred and include the information in his report. 


H. Pelkey made a motion to go into Executive Session for Personnel and Contracts.  T. Hooker  seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously. Randal Adams, Michael Balch, and Kathleen Ramsay were 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 and Contracts at 8:50 PM. Randal Adams left at 8:55PM. The Board came out of Executive Session at 9:23PM.


T. Hooker made a motion to approve and sign the contract with Kathleen Ramsay for Town Manager.  D. Markowski seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously with 4 in favor and 1 absent.  Michael Balch witnessed the signing of the contract.


Without any further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:24PM.


Respectfully submitted:                      

 Thomas "Hank" Pelkey, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

David Markowski, Selectman

Thomas Hooker, Selectman


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