Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting
 July 3, 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, Odell Johnston Sr., Todd Grant, Mary Grant, and Lisa Connell.  Tom Carrara arrived at 6:35 PM.



The Amended Select Board minutes of May 16, 2007 were approved.

The Amended Select Board minutes of June 6, 2007 were approved.

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



The orders of July 3, 2007 were reviewed, discussed and approved in the amount of $14,080.54.                 



Mike Balch reported on the following:


The Larson dog, Baby Girl, was euthanized June 27, 2007.  The order from the Board had been issued and Constable Warfle was informed by Robert Larson on June 28, 2007 that Baby Girl had been euthanized on  June 27, 2007 when he went to deliver the order; Constable Warfle confirmed this with the vet.


The Town Clerk's office received the first payment from the State on the prebate program in the amount of $699,000 on July 3, 2007.


The Kendall Hill Road Bridge engineering contract has been written and sent to Dubois & King for signature. 


M. Balch went out and measured 43 places along the following roads: Plains, Furnace, Oxbow, Adams, Depot Hill, Fire Hill, Markowski, and Whipple Hollow.  The narrowest unconstrained mowed area he found was 4'4" and the majority mowed places were between 4'8" and 5'6".  D. Markowski stated that the second mowing was now being done which is even further back two or three widths more than the first cut which is the way the highway department historically approaches the mowing.


M. Balch has called Tim Raymond twice inquiring when does the Town's well head protection plan need updating but has not had any response to date.  M. Balch left a detailed message so

T. Raymond will be able to respond with the information needed.


M. Balch reviewed the Town Burning Ordinance in regards to does it agree with the provisions of State statute on snow cover.  The Town Burning Ordinance does not have any legal reference to snow on the ground.  A permit not being required if 2" of snow ... is an interpretation of the statute 10 V. S. A.  2645, and may have exceptions.  The Town Burning Ordinance states it is in conformance with State statute.  T. Hooker stated that he thought the ordinance stated that all fires needed permits.  M. Balch read from the ordinance: "except as by provided by this article the burning of any solid waste by either open fire or incineration is prohibited in the Town of Pittsford  unless this practice has been approved by the Department of Environmental Conservation".


The Fire Warden needs to be called to insure that the Fire Department will know when there is a permitted burn. 


D. Markowski inquired on the status of West Creek Road improvements.  M.Balch reported that the Town is waiting on one permit from the State.




Discussion was held in regards to the mowing report mentioned in the above Town Manager's report.


T. Grant and M. Grant handed the Board copies of their calls to the State Police dispatcher in regards to dog complaints.  They stated that none of their calls were to 911.   The Grants stated that Constable Warfle's police investigation report submitted to the Board on February 20, 2007 was incorrect in reporting what occurred at the City Police Station and the County Sheriff's Department.  The Grants also stated that Constable Warfle has never been to their house. The Grants state that nothing has happened.

M. Balch stated that the Board has had two hearings. During the hearings, the Board took testimony from all parties.   Upon completion of the hearings, they went into deliberative session and in both cases, and the Board determined that the evidence presented did not prove that the dogs were a nuisance.  Therefore the finding of fact was that the dogs are not a nuisance and no orders were issued in either case.  Copies of the finding of fact were sent to the Grants after each hearing.

M. Grant stated that there were a number of lies in the police report.  M. Grant pointed out that in one of the police dispatch reports Constable is quoted as he had dealt with her "a million times" and that she was crazy.  M. Grant stated that she is not crazy and that M. Warfle has never returned any of their calls and that he has only been to their house once.  M. Grant stated that Johnny Johnston of the Rutland City Police and Lieutenant Wilk of the Rutland County Sheriff's Department were very helpful to them and the Board may want to talk with them regarding the dog complaint calls. 

T. Carrara stated he wants to see his conversation on the mowing issue in the minutes.  H. Pelkey and M. Balch explained to T. Carrara that minutes are not a transcript nor are they word for word.  The State of Vermont recommends that board meeting minutes contain only what was discussed, not who said everything, what the votes were, and nothing more.  For the maintenance of minutes, M. Balch stated that Pittsford’s minutes were far, far more detailed than the State requires or recommends.


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

The Select Board reconvened 7:00PM.


The Select Board recessed as the Select Board and convened as the Sewer Board 7:00PM.

The Select Board reconvened at 7:03PM.



Consider Winter Sand/Gravel Bid

D. Markowski recused himself from any discussion or vote on the sand and gravel bids.

J. Gagnon made a motion to award the winter sand to Markowski Excavating the low bidder at $10.09/ cy and Casella Construction the low bidder for the crushed gravel 1-1/2" at $11.90/ cy and 3/4" at $12.45/ cy crushed delivered.  A. Hitchcock seconded the motion.  The motion was passed 4 to 0 with D. Markowski recusing himself.


Consider Sale of 1996 International 4900 DT 466 Dump Truck

J. Gagnon made a motion to reject the single bid.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.

Discussion was held on different avenues to pursue to advertise the dump truck including an ad in the VLCT newsletter.  The motion was passed unanimously.




Consider Funding Request from Lothrop School Board

Odell Johnston from the Lothrop School Board reviewed the proposed budget of $330,000 for the Lothrop School projects which consist of an elevator to service all floors used in the school and the architectural and engineering costs associated with the elevator; an elevator for the Town Hall and the architectural and engineering associated with the elevator; and a new office in the main building.  The Lothrop School Board is requesting funding from the Burditt Fund in the amount of $330,000.  O. Johnston stated that handicapped expenditures are reimbursable up to 30% through the State and the amount received would be deducted from the total amount from the Burditt Fund.

O. Johnston described the projects in detail.

M. Balch reviewed the Burditt Fund with the Board. As of the last June’s audit, the Burditt Fund had $2,008,147.  The original amount of the fund when it was given to the Town in December 1974 was $316,860.  The Burditt will stated that the principal and interest can be used but it has been the practice of both the Select Board and School Board to use interest only for projects.  M. Balch suggested that it might be a good opportunity for both boards to get together and develop some kind of spending policy and a funding policy to refer to each time a request comes before the boards.

A. Hitchcock made a motion to approve the $330,000 from the Burditt Fund for the proposed projects described.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously carried 5 to 0.


Odell Johnston departed at 7:20PM.


H. Pelkey made a motion to go into Executive Session for on going police investigation, litigation, and personnel.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  Michael Balch and Kathleen Ramsey 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 on going police investigation, litigation, and personnel at 7:22 PM.  The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:02PM.


A. Hitchcock made a motion to accept Royal Technologies bid of $4300 for a security system for the Transfer Station.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.


Without any further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:03 PM.


Respectfully submitted:                      


Linda Drummond, Recording Secretary


Thomas "Hank" Pelkey, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

David Markowski, Selectman

Thomas Hooker, Selectman


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