Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting

July 2, 2008 


Thomas "Hank" Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:35PM.  Select Board members present were:  Thomas "Hank" Pelkey, Allen Hitchcock, Thomas Hooker, Joseph Gagnon, and David Markowski.  Also present were John Haverstock, Linda Drummond, Helen McKinlay, Barbara Pierce, Bruce Paynter, Tom Macaulay, Douglas Zorzi and Lee Kahrs.  Shawn Erickson arrived at 6:50 PM.  Tom Carrara, Anita Paynter and her two daughters arrived at 7:20 PM.



The Select Board minutes of June 18, 2008 will need a few corrections for clarification as presented by Allen Hitchcock.



The FY08 orders of June 27, 2008 in the amount of $579,764.94 were approved by three Select Board members on June 30, 2008.  The FY09 orders of July 2, 2008 in the amount of $94,087.16 were approved. 



Presentation by Tom Macaulay re: ECFiberNet initiative

Tom Macaulay, Executive Director of Rutland Re-Development Authority, outlined a proposal to work with area towns to install fiber-optic cable throughout every neighborhood in the region with the towns reaping profits from the provision of connectivity services (high-speed internet, phone, enhanced cell-phone coverage and digital television). Last March, 25 towns voted in east-central Vermont ("EC") on whether to join an inter-municipal effort in the State and all of those towns voted to participate.  A municipally run enterprise would string fiber-optic cable to every home in town and keep the profits from the provision of services.  In May, former Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay had attended an informational meeting in West Rutland with 10 other towns represented discussing the possibility of a high-tech hub for ECFiberNet in the Rutland region.  The new hub facility would create 40 to 45 new high-tech positions and would help with economic development. The electronic infrastructure would hopefully encourage new businesses to come to and /or remain in the local communities.  T. Macaulay will update the Select Board when he has proposed figures for the towns' initial investments and a proposed work schedule.  T. Macaulay departed at 6:50PM.


Update on Potential Relocation of Florence Railroad Bridge - Douglas Zorzi, P.E. Agency of Transportation

Douglas Zorzi, engineer from the Agency of Transportation (AOT), outlined the need for relocation of a railroad bridge spanning Otter Creek in Florence as the existing bridge cannot be repaired due to the extent of its structural defects, which have worsened with time.  D. Zorzi reviewed photographs of the existing bridge and the maps of the project with the Board.  Discussion was held with regard to the Town-owned wetlands near where the soil in the railroad's right-of-way is being tested.  After the soil analysis is complete, the Town land that the railroad will need for the project will be appraised, and the Select Board will be given a report.  Discussion was held with regard to the future of the old rail bed.  D. Zorzi stated that the old rail bed will remain.  Because the soil has been contaminated over the years, it is best left in place.  Further, the removal of approximately 10,800 cubic years of material would be cost prohibitive.


The rail bed that will remain will store additional railroad cars.  The old bridge will be removed along with the abutment.    The projected time line for this project involves advertising for bids in Fall, 2009 and starting construction in February 2010.  The project cost will likely exceed $5,000,000  D. Zorzi or another representative will return to the Select Board once it is determined how much land will be needed from the Town and its value determined for purposes of compensation.  D. Zorzi departed at 7:15PM.


Discussion of Local, Regional and Statewide Efforts to Secure Salt/Sand Supplies at Competitive Prices - Shawn Erickson

Highway Foreman Shawn Erickson addressed the Board about regional and statewide efforts of the towns to assure supplies of salt and sand for reasonable prices now that the State will not make its pricing available to the towns.  The Rutland Regional Planning Commission (RRPC) presented a draft salt bid package for the towns in the Rutland Region for Highway Foremen to share with their Select Boards and to comment on the draft by July 7 for the next meeting on July 9.  The consensus of the Board was for S. Erickson to support the draft salt bid package.  Each town can choose which type of salt they want delivered.  About 300 tons can be stored at the Pittsford Transfer Station.  S. Erickson stated that the town uses about 1,000 to 1,200 tons of Clearlane per year.


Discussion of Cost/Effectiveness of Clearlane(Treated Road Salt) - Shawn Erickson

Discussion was held about the cost-effectiveness of Pittsford's continued use of treated salt known as Clearlane, which the Select Board endorsed. S. Erickson departed at 7:30PM.



Pittsford Day Celebration

Pittsford Day Celebration on June 28, 2008 at the Pittsford Recreation Area was a wonderful event with special thanks to the organizers and Pittsford Recreation Director, Randy Adams.

4th of July

The Town office will be closed Friday in celebration of the 4th of July holiday.

Town Newsletter

The deadline for the summer Town newsletter for articles is July 15.  Please send articles to Linda Drummond at the Town office.

Transition and Training of New Town Manager

The ongoing transition and training of the new Town Manager, John Haverstock, included attending his first meeting of the Rutland Regional Transportation Council, with Peg Flory.  Peg Flory will be attending the July 16, 2008 Board meeting.  J. Haverstock also attended an auditing and accounting seminar in Montpelier and a brief seminar in Rutland concerning the process of making an application for Transportation Enhancement grants from the State.

Kendall Hill Road Bridge

Tom Roberts of the Vermont Agency of Transportation has notified the Town of its approval of $165,856.00 in grant funds for this repair project.  J. Haverstock has notified Dubois & King to proceed with its work pursuant to the schedule provided earlier.

Approval of Town's Water Department Loan Application

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation has approved the Town Water Department's loan application to the extent of $13,900.00 for preliminary engineering services to evaluate the Town's two water systems.


Proposal to Seek State Grant for Sidewalk Extension Project

J. Haverstock seeks the Board's approval to seek Vermont Agency of Transportation grant funds to design and/or construct a continuation of the recently built sidewalk on Arch Street.  The new project would, if funded, involve the extension of the sidewalk past the firehouse and along Pleasant Street to the Lothrop School.  It is a 20% match.  The Board's consensus was to apply for the grant funds for this project.


West Creek Road Project

The wetlands permit has been received and both required easements have been received and recorded.  J. Haverstock has notified Chris Schmelzenbach, project engineer that all systems are GO.



A representative from Comcast, Lisa Birmingham, will address the Select Board on July 16, 2008.


Camp Sangamon Bonfire

J. Haverstock has heard from Camp Sangamon about its plans to continue their tradition of a bonfire on the Fourth of July.  They have been provided a copy of the Town's fire ordinance and have consulted with the Fire Warden and Fire Chief.


Storage/Garage Needs

J. Haverstock has generated a memo to all department heads seeking input on their respective need of storage/garage space.  An update will be presented to the Board once this information has been collected.


Cooley Bridge Damage

This week, a truck did some damage to the Cooley Bridge while traveling through it.  S. Erickson reported to the scene and gathered information from the driver.  When estimates on the needed repairs are prepared, a claim will be sent to the company that owns the truck and employs its driver for payment.  J. Haverstock took photos of the damage.



T. Carrara commented that it may a good idea to put up a collision bar or safety bar to protect the covered bridges.  Also the possibility for even more signage before the bridges or a caution light may help prevent damages to the covered bridges.

Discussion was held on cutting back brush/tree growth on the Davenport corner on Furnace Road, Blanchard Road / Plains Road corner, and Pinewoods / Plains Road corner for safety reasons.



Listers' Office Vacancy

An application for the Lister's vacancy has been received and will be considered in Executive Session.

Lister Barbara Pierce presented her request for additional compensation which will be considered in Executive Session.

The Listers have completed their grievance process. By July 7 or 8, 2008, the Listers will be in a position to lodge the Grand List.  The deadline is July 9.  The Board will set the tax rate on its July 16, 2008 meeting.  B. Pierce departed at 7:50PM.


Management of Town Forest/Nickwackett Block-Review of Bids

J. Haverstock reported that at the recent Timber Sale Bid opening, four of twelve potential bidders submitted bids and the highest bid was from James Lathrop of Claire Lathrop Band Mill, Inc., Bristol, Vermont in the amount of $17,760.00.  Once the Select Board accepts a bid, a contract (being drafted by Eric Hansen) can be executed.  J. Haverstock, Eric Hansen, and the bidder will then meet with the easement provider, Melissa Hoffman, to assure a logging project free of disputes.  J. Haverstock will also notify the Town Manager of Chittenden and its Highway foreman to avoid surprises.

D. Markowski made a motion to accept James Lathrop of Claire Lathrop Band Mill's, Inc. timber sale bid of $17,760.00.  A. Hitchcock seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.


J. Haverstock has confirmed A. Hitchcock's understanding that, based on recent legislation, the Town may indeed enroll its out of town timberland in the "current use" program to minimize ongoing taxation.  J. Haverstock will work with E. Hansen on this project.


E. Hansen has begun marking trees behind the Town Offices for logging in conjunction with the sale of Town timber next summer, to coincide with the school's sale of timber, on its property.




FY08 Budget Report as of June 30, 2008

The General Fund is on target to be closing the fiscal year in the black and the Highway Fund is very close to that as well.  Helen McKinlay, Pittsford's Town Clerk/Treasurer, was present to answer any questions regarding the budget.


J. Haverstock stated that there is a water loan document that needs to be signed by the Board transferring authorization from Kathleen Ramsay to John Haverstock.  T. Hooker made a motion to appoint John Haverstock as the authorized representative on the water loan.  J. Gagnon seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.


Florence Railroad Tracks

D. Markowski is requesting a follow-up on the promise made by the new resident engineer in District #3 to the Town of Pittsford last year to repair the two sets of railroad tracks in Florence by Omya which were patched in the Fall 2007 but there was also a promise to repair them properly this summer.  J. Haverstock will follow-up on this request.


The Board recessed to the Liquor Board at 8:00PM.

The Board reconvened to the Select Board at 8:03PM.


Thomas "Hank" Pelkey made a motion to go into Executive Session for Legal, Personnel and Contracts at 8:03PM.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  John Haverstock 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 Legal, Personnel and Contracts at 8:03PM. The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:35 PM.


On a motion from T. "Hank" Pelkey and seconded by D. Markowski, the Board approved Lister Barbara Pierce's request for additional compensation for the extra hours she worked beyond her monthly stipend through June 30, 2008 in the amount of $726.

By motion made by T. "Hank" Pelkey and seconded by T. Hooker, the Board gave authorization to John Haverstock to sign the Otter Creek Engineering contract for engineering services on behalf of the Town.  


Without any further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:40PM.

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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