Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting

 May 7, 2008


Thomas "Hank" Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:30PM.  Select Board members present were:  Thomas "Hank" Pelkey, Allen Hitchcock, Thomas Hooker, Joseph Gagnon, and David Markowski.  Also present were Kathleen Ramsay, Linda Drummond, Brian Gecha, Mike Gecha, Joshua Gecha, Tom Carrara, Barbara Pierce, Bruce Paynter, Glenn Spaulding, Fred Hellmuth, Eric Hansen, Dan St. Germain and Lee Kahrs.  Constable Michael Warfle arrived at 6:40PM.  Ron Baker & Leslie Gorman arrived at 7:00 PM.



The Select Board minutes of April 16, 2008 were approved.



The orders of May 2, 2008 were reviewed, discussed and approved in the amount of $82,869.73,275.50, and100.00 totaling $83,245.23.                




Kendall Hill Road Bridge Grant Application Submitted to the State Agency of Transportation.

Paynter vs. Town of Pittsford Planning Commission & Select Board - report on status conference on May 7, 2008 - a four month discovery schedule was proposed by Jim Carroll, the Town's Attorney and Plaintiff Bruce Paynter which was agreed by Judge Mary Miles Teachout with a deadline of September 1, 2008.

O'Hehir vs. Town of Pittsford moving ahead to trial on July 11 and 14, 2008.

Invitation for Bids for FY2009 Paving issued - Bids due May 19; Board to Award Contract May 21.

How to Make and Write and Effective Land Use Decision Workshop hosted by the Planning Commission on April 24.  Handouts available upon request.  This workshop was funded by an educational grant from the State.

Senator Sanders' Infrastructure Policy Advisor, Jeff Munger, visited the Pittsford Municipal Building on May 1 to discuss the need for funding for infrastructure projects including the Kendall Hill Road Bridge and Water and Sewer infrastructure.

K. Ramsay and Shawn Erickson coordinated the set-up of the speed cart on the Florence Truck Route with the Omya Transportation Issues Team which the cart is registering the speed and is not measuring any data yet.

The Ethics Committee held its organizational meeting on April 22nd and a follow-up meeting on May 6.  A request for a clarification and/or minor amendment of the Public Officials Conflict of Interest Policy was suggested, and will be forwarded to you for your consideration at the next meeting.

Five tax sales are on track for early June.

ANR Environmental Conservation Public Hearing on Tailings Management Interim Certification for Omya. May 14, 2008, 6:30 p.m. at the Police Academy.

The spring newsletter is at the printers and will mailed out before the weekend.

Proposed Additions to the Agenda:

Planning Commission Membership

Recreation Trails - Request from Trails Committee for assistance by Highway Department to correct trail damage (down pines and brook erosion)

Annual Warrant to Constable Regarding Unlicensed Dog



T. Carrara inquired about the permits for the West Creek Road project.  The Wetlands permit is expected shortly.  The Town is receiving grant money towards the project.


T. Carrara inquired about the projected legal fees for the Paynter lawsuit.  The fees will come out general legal fund.


Mike Gecha, Re:  Spring/Mud Season Weight Limit on Parker Road

Mike and Brian Gecha own a gravel pit 0.2 of a mile off Route 7 on Parker Road.  The Gechas asked the Board to post the spring truck weight restriction posters for Parker Road after the entrance to their gravel pit, rather than on Route 7.  The Select Board will review this request with Road Foreman Shawn Erickson for Spring 2009.


M. Gecha also expressed his concerns with the increased tractor trailer trucks on Whipple Hollow Road with all night truck traffic.  The GPS systems show the shortest route to Omya is from West Rutland onto Whipple Hollow Road.  There are already NO THRU TRUCKS signs posted but it is not making any difference.  The Board will look into this matter.



Listers' Office Vacancies

Thomas "Hank" Pelkey made a motion to appoint Jack Rogers to the Board of Listers until the next election.  D. Markowski seconded the motion.  There were no other new candidates.  The motion was unanimously carried.  There is still one vacancy on the Board of Listers.

Brian, Mike, and Joshua Gecha departed at 6:50 PM.


Management of Town Forest/Nickwackett Block

Eric Hansen presented the revised request for bids for timber harvesting for the Town Forest/Nickwackett Block.  E. Hansen has included a minimum amount per 1,000.  He has included a minimum bid of $9,500.  The bid is similar to the State bids for timber harvesting.

There would be an official showing by Eric Hansen which would be mandatory attendance for all bidders.  If a bidder can not make the official showing or a bidder wants an additional showing,  a fee to reimburse E. Hansen for his time would be $250 per person which is the amount charged by the State.  A right-of-way agreement for access to the east side of the forest is needed from an adjacent landowner before the project can be put out to bid which K. Ramsay is pursuing.  No mechanical requirements will be included in the bid.  Discussion was held in regards to the amount of insurance is needed by the bidders.  The Board asked K.Ramsay to research what the minimum amount of insurance is needed and she will contact E. Hansen to include in the contract. Discussion was held in regards to no lopping of the tree tops and tops shall be left no higher than 6 feet from ground level. E. Hansen departed at 7:10 PM.


Ron Baker, Re:  Discharge of Firearms in Residential Areas

Ron Baker, Leslie Gorman, and Dan St. Germain residents of Sugar Hollow Road were present to explain their noise issue and safety concerns regarding the 1-1/2 years of constant discharging of fire arms by their neighbor, Jeff Jordan. R. Baker stated that J. Jordan discharges 60 to 300 rounds at a time at all hours of the day and night within 100 to 250 feet from D. St. Germain's residence and R. Baker's residence at an average of 2 to 3 times a week. R. Baker stated that the noise is unbearable, especially when J. Jordan and sometimes friends from out of state, shot into the ledge area on the property.  State Police were called 2 years ago, and the shooting subsided for awhile.

Officers L. Carter and S. Rideout have responded from complaints about the noise but there is no ordinance in place in Town to address noise issues.  The noise from the high caliber rifles that Jeff Jordan is shooting repeatedly is unbearable and is creating a safety issue for the surrounding neighbors.  R. Baker is requesting the Board to adopt an ordinance restricting the discharge of firearms in residential areas for both noise and safety concerns-specifically, within 1000 feet of inhabited dwellings. Discussion was held regarding any options to deal with the situation. The Board will research noise ordinances.  R Baker, L.Gorman, and D. St.Germain departed at 7:30PM.


Glenn Spaulding, Re:  All Terrain Vehicles

Glenn Spaulding of Plains Road requested permission to cross Plains Road to travel between his properties on both sides of the road with his all terrain vehicles.  His ATVs are registered.  T. Hooker made a motion to give Glenn Spaulding permission to cross Plains Road to travel to his property on the other side of the road. A. Hitchcock seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  The Board will research ordinances or policies allowing ATVs to cross public rights-of-way at a 90 degree angle.  G. Spaulding departed at 7:35 PM.


Discussion of Town Response to Un-signed Complaints

Discussion was held in regard to the Town's response to all complaints whether written or verbal, anonymous or signed. A chain of command for submitting complaints should be established. Based on the Board's discussion, Allen Hitchcock will draft a policy for consideration by the Board along the following lines:  "every complaint will be evaluated to determine whether it merits investigation."

Fred Hellmuth departed at 7:40PM.



Humane Society's Request for Waiver of Zoning Variance Fee for Construction of a Shed

T. Hooker made a motion to waive the $50 zoning variance fee for the construction of a shed to house the overabundance of spring kittens.  D. Markowski seconded the motion.  Discussion was held about the Board addressing special requests for special town action. The motion was unanimously carried. 

Equipment Purchases for FY08

D. Markowski stopped and inspected the used 1994 tractor with mowing attachments 6640SLE for $35,000 that is being considered for purchase.  The Board would like S. Erickson to check over the tractor and review maintenance records and to investigate the attachments that would be used on the Town's current equipment.  S. Erickson will be asked to report on the tractor at the next meeting.   


Report on Water & Sewer Commission Meeting of April 22, 2008

Sewer Collection System Inflow and Infiltration Studies are underway.  There is a serious infiltration situation with the sewer lines. There will be reports from the engineers on the studies. Water & Sewer rates will be increased to meet budgeted expenses.  The design of water line upgrades to coordinate with State construction of Route 7 North improvements (Plains Road to Kendall Hill Road) is 90% complete. The Town is negotiating with Stantec and/or pursuing legal advice to discontinue the outdated 2003 water system design agreement with Stantec. The $140,000 payment for settlement of the Town's dispute with the engineer over the design for the 2001 upgrades of the Wastewater Treatment Facility was received.  The $140,000 settlement by the engineer's insurance company covers the Town's legal fees in the matter, netting approximately $100,000 to address design deficiencies in the plant, including contact chlorine and sludge handling processes.


Discussion of ANR's Draft Interim Certification of Omya's Tailings Management Areas

Omya is having an informational meeting on May 13 in Proctor and has invited the Select Board to attend.  H. Pelkey and J. Gagnon will be attending.  On May 14, 2008, a public hearing on the Agency of Natural Resources's draft interim certification of Omya’' Tailings Management Areas will be held at the Police Academy at 6:30 PM. K. Ramsay will be attending along with the Board.


FY08 Budget Report as of April 30, 2008

General Fund expenditures are on track, with 82% of the budget expended 83% of the way through the fiscal year as of April 30, 2008.  Highway Fund expenditures are 4% over budget, with 87% of the budget expended 83% of the way through the fiscal year.  As anticipated given the number of storms this winter, highway overtime was about $10,000 over budget and salt was $20,000 over budget.  Engineering for the Kendall Hill Road Bridge, an unbudgeted expense, also resulted in a $20,000 over expenditure in the bridges and guard rail portion of the budget.   Pittsford Water System expenditures are 89% of budget 82% of the way through the fiscal year.  Adjusting for the unbudgeted expense of access improvements at the Town's water treatment facility on Plains Road, expenditures are on target.   Florence Water System expenditures are below target at 62%.

As anticipated due to the lack of the implementation of a sewer rate increase to raise the revenue projected in the FY08 sewer budget, the sewer revenue will be approximately $10,000 under budget.  Sewer expenditures will be about $20,000 over budget, with legal fees accounting for about $15,000 of that over-expenditure. 

Update on Town Manager Search

K. Ramsay reported eight applications have been received so far for the Town Manager position.

By the next Board meeting, the Board will review perspective candidate applications.


Planning Commission Vacancies

The Board awaits a recommendation from the Planning Commission with regard to filling vacancies on and membership of the Planning Commission.


Recreation Trails

Allen Hitchcock addressed the trail damage and requested help from the Highway Department on the heavy debris.  The Pittsford Trails Committee has been doing clean-up on the trails that they have been able to manage.  The Board will ask Road Foreman Shawn Erickson, Recreation Director Randy Adams and Recreation Facilities Maintainer Joe Pomykala to review the Trails Committee's request for assistance from the Highway Department and the Recreation Department to correct trail damage, specifically down pines and brook erosion, in order to estimate the amount of time required from the Highway and Recreation Departments to assist in making the needed repairs. 


The Annual Warrant to Constable Regarding Unlicensed Dogs

Thomas H.Pelkey made a motion to give Constable Michael Warfle the authority to take further action based upon the warrant for unlicensed dogs per State statute.  D. Markowski seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  By state law, unlicensed dogs may be impounded.  The Board signed the warrant.


Thomas "Hank" Pelkey made a motion to go into Executive Session for Personnel and Contracts at 8:28PM.  A. Hitchcock seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  K. Ramsay, Tom Carrara, and Barbara Pierce 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 8:28 PM. T. Carrara and B. Pierce left at 8:35 PM. The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:55 PM.

No action was taken.

Without any further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:55PM.

Respectfully submitted:                 


Linda Drummond, Recording Clerk

Thomas "Hank" Pelkey, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice-Chair

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

David Markowski, Selectman

Thomas Hooker, Selectman


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