Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting
July 16, 2008

Thomas "Hank" Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:32PM.  Select Board members present were:  Thomas "Hank" Pelkey, Allen Hitchcock, Thomas Hooker, and David Markowski.  Also present were John Haverstock, Linda Drummond, Helen McKinlay, and Lee Kahrs.  Select Board member Joseph Gagnon arrived at 6:38 PM.  Lisa Birmingham and Russ Schoengarth, Comcast representatives, arrived at 6:50 PM.  Bill Drummond arrived at 7:05PM. 



The corrected Select Board minutes of June 18, 2008 were approved.  The July 2, 2008 Special Select Board and July 2, 2008 regular Select Board minutes were approved.



The orders of July 11, 2008 were approved in the amounts of $22,233.43, $1,186.47, and $95.00.



West Creek Road Project

Project engineer, Chris Schmelzenbach, of Infrastructure Engineering, has been notified that the Town is ready and eager to proceed with work ASAP and that the Town awaits an updated work schedule from him.

Proposed Road Salt Buying Consortium

On parallel tracks, both VLCT and the Rutland Regional Transportation Council are working on organizing municipalities to negotiate the bulk purchase of road salt and sand for the coming winter season, now that the State refuses to guarantee supply and pricing to municipalities, as it had in the past.   The results of their respective efforts should be known by July 25, with the bid deadlines for municipalities' participation on July 23 for RRPC and July 25 for VLCT.

Collision at Cooley Bridge

Shawn Erickson is collecting estimates/bids from contractors regarding the modest repairs needed to the bridge.  The Town will then forward the information to the New York mobile home company which employs the trucker who caused the damage.  Discussion was held in regards to the repairs needed for the bridge, and the Town Manager was reminded to keep "historicity" in mind as the repairs are made.

Evaluation of Operations at Transfer Station

The Rutland County Solid Waste District (RCSWD) just conducted an evaluation of operations at the Pittsford Transfer Station today with John Daley from the State and Deane Wilson from RCSWD.  They will present their findings to the Board in a letter that defines any recommendations for any changes to operations and safety at the Transfer Station.

Sewer System Study

Although Mike Smith is leaving Otter Creek Engineering, it appears that he will work for that firm as a subcontractor until his sewer system study is complete, with no impact on the Town.  A smoke test for the sewer lines is on tap for mid August with general and more specific notices being prepared for the affected residents and businesses.  A notice will be included with information in the August Town newsletter.

First Energy Expo

The First Annual Energy Answers Expo will be held at the Howe Center Friday, August 8, 2008 and is free to the public. The expo is sponsored by Owner Services Group.

 Highway Department

After the discussion at the last Board meeting, the Highway Department has provided better visibility by cutting back brush and trees at several intersections including Pinewoods/Plains, Blanchard/Plains, and at the Davenport curve on Furnace Road, and to provide better visibility.

Fuel FY08

J. Haverstock praised Assistant to the Town Manager, Linda Drummond, for taking the initiative to contact Ultramar / Pyrofax, the Town's fuel supplier, to top off all fuel locations before June 30, 2008 to receive the 2007/2008 fuel bid prices.

Town Office Roof Leaks

J. Haverstock reported that after the last heavy rainstorm, the Town Office roof leaked.  Past roof repair bids have been approximately $22,000. 

Fuel reimbursement Legislation

T. Hooker reported to J. Haverstock that Senator Saunders is co-sponsoring a Senate Bill 3237 that, if enacted, would provide partial reimbursement for the purchase of fuel for voluntary fire departments.

Road Funding

J. Haverstock reported receipt of $17,061.92 in funding for Class II and $13,455.78 in funding for Class III roads on July 16, 2008 from the Agency of Transportation.

Route 7 Mowing

T. Hooker asked J. Haverstock to check with the State Highway Garage with regard to the need for mowing the sides of Route 7 from the Rasmussen farm to Brandon.  It appears to be overgrown and could be a safety hazard.



No public comment.




Management of Town Forest/Nickwackett Block

J. Haverstock and County Forester, Eric Hansen have drafted a contract to govern the logging operations, which should be signed on location in the next two weeks with Jim Lathrop of Claire Lathrop Band Mill, Inc. whose bid was approved by the Select Board.  J. Haverstock has notified easement provider, Melissa Hoffman, and plan on notifying Chittenden's Select Board and Highway Foreman of the operations, so that there are no surprises.  J. Haverstock is preparing the paperwork necessary to enroll this block of timberland, located within Chittenden, in the "current use" program to minimize taxation of the land.  The Board's consensus was to earmark funds from the timber sale to secure easements for access to the Town forest.


Potential Noise Ordinance/Update on Sugar Hollow Parties' Discussions

J. Haverstock reported that there is an informal agreement between the neighbors on Sugar Hollow about the location, frequency and caliber of future firearm discharges.  At this time, there does not appear to be a need for further consideration of a noise ordinance.



Review of Fuel Bids

J. Haverstock reported on the fuel bid opening of July 10, 2008.  Pyrofax Energy/Ultramar and Gecha Fuels were the two bidders.  Pyrofax's bid for #2 fuel oil, low sulfur off road diesel and ultra sulfur diesel is $.40/gal. fixed margin over Valero rack/Rutland daily.  Pyrofax's bid for propane gas fixed margin of $.50/gal over Selkirk, NY daily.  Gecha Fuels's bid for #2 fuel oil, low sulfur off road diesel and ultra sulfur diesel is $.25/gal fixed over Rutland rack daily.

J. Gagnon made a motion to award Gecha Fuels the bid for #2 fuel oil, low sulfur off road diesel and ultra sulfur diesel at $.25/gal fixed over Rutland rack daily.  D. Markowski seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

T. Hooker made a motion to award Pyrofax/Ultramar the propane at $.50/gal fixed margin over Selkirk, NY daily.  A. Hitchcock seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Proposed Discontinuance of Road in Chittenden

J. Haverstock reported that Jim Carroll, representing Chittenden on litigation involving an Ancient Road, would like to convene a joint meeting of the Chittenden, Pittsford, and Pittsfield Select Boards, per statutory requirements, on site at Barnard and McKinlay roads.  The consensus of the Board is to see if the last week in August was acceptable for a meeting. 

Ancient Roads/Discussion of Advisability of Appointing a Committee

The Select Board authorized J. Haverstock to create an Ancients Roads Committee, which will be tasked with investigating the roads and trails in Town which fit this definition and to make recommendations to the Select Board on the possible assertion of claims for public uses or abandonment by the Town.  February 10, 2010 is the extended deadline for the option for the mass discontinuation of town ancient roads.

Presentation by State Representative Peg Flory

Representative Peg Flory will be present to address the Select Board at the August 6, 2008 meeting.

Presentation by Lisa Birmingham of Comcast

Lisa Birmingham, Director of Government Affairs in Vermont for Comcast, addressed the Select Board to provide an update on Comcast's services, such as video on demand, high speed internet, and digital voice. She also discussed coverage in Pittsford.  She spoke about the February, 2009 transition of analog to digital broadcasting by the networks, which will affect those owning televisions built before 2000. In 2009/2010, Comcast is planning throughout the region a significant upgrade of their internet platform.  This upgrade will support hi-definition options and channels. Neighborhood hookups in unserved areas can get connected if there are 12 customers in a neighborhood. The cost for Comcast  to run line is $25,000 per mile. Russ Schoengarth, Technical Operations Supervisor in the Rutland system for Comcast was present to answer questions.

L. Birmingham and R. Schoengarth departed at 7:35 PM.

FY08 Year End Status Report

As of July 16, 2008, the general fund appears to have finished the fiscal year with a surplus in excess of $100,000 and the Highway Fund appears to have finished the fiscal year in the black.


Presentation of Grand List

J. Haverstock summarized the newly-lodged Grand List which, at $3,713,971.80, is lower than the previous year.


Set Tax Rates for Town, Highway Department

Discussion was held with regard to the setting of the Tax Rate for FY 2008/09.  Different options were discussed and reviewed by the Select Board, acknowledging that the Grand List has grown smaller and school costs have risen substantially.  D. Markowski made a motion to set the Pittsford tax rates FY2008/09 as follows:

Residential Total:   $1.8192

Residential Village:  $1.8604

Non-Residential/Commercial:     $1.8987

Non-Residential/Commercial Village:   $1.9399

A. Hitchcock seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.


Carpenter Lease of Town Land

J. Haverstock reviewed the lease of Town Land to David & Rebecca Carpenter, Plains Road which is up for renewal in September 2008 for $1.  The Board confirmed the lease's automatic renewal.


Burning Complaints

J. Haverstock received two complaints about burning at the Transfer Station this week from residents who live nearby.  Soot from the burning of brush appeared on one of the resident's home and vehicles.  Another resident experienced adverse reactions from the odors from the burn.  The burning of residential brush received at the Transfer Station was done with a burning permit and in compliance with the burn ordinance.  Discussion was held with regard to possible options of disposing of the brush.  The Board and J. Haverstock will continue to research disposal options.


Extended Warranty on International Truck

J. Haverstock stated that Highway Foreman, Shawn Erickson, reports that, owing to an oversight, the desired extended warranty for the International truck (purchased in March, 2007) was never purchased.  Recent repairs billed brought the matter to light.  The dealer appears willing to sell the warranty, effective retroactively, and to substantially reduce the charges for the recent repairs.  Time is of the essence with regard to the dealer's offer, with the deadline of August 7, 2008 for the warranty for $7,310 for a 7-year bumper to bumper coverage through Clark's Truck Center.  The Board asked J. Haverstock to clarify with the dealer what is covered in the warranty and how much of the repair bill will be reduced and report to the Board at the August 6, 2008 Board meeting.


Water & Sewer Commission

Mark Youngstrom from Otter Creek Engineering gave a presentation to the Water & Sewer Commission at their last meeting on the status of his efforts to evaluate the fire flows in the remote parts of town and he is expecting his study to be finished shortly.



The Board recessed to convene as the Liquor Board at 8:05 PM.

The Board reconvened as the Select Board at 8:06 PM.


Thomas "Hank" Pelkey made a motion to go into Executive Session to discuss matters in Litigation.  T. Hooker seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  J. 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 Litigation at 8:06PM. The Board came out of Executive Session at 8:25 PM.

No action taken.


Without any further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:25PM.

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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