Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Town of Pittsford

Town of Pittsford Select Board Meeting
December 3, 2008

Thomas "Hank" Pelkey opened the meeting at 6:30 PM.  Select Board members present were:  Thomas "Hank" Pelkey, Allen Hitchcock, David Markowski, and Joseph Gagnon.  Also present were John Haverstock, Linda Drummond, Helen McKinlay, Lee Kahrs, David & Retha Boles, Eric Hansen, and Ethan Swift.  Tom Carrara arrived at 6:40PM.  John Rogers, Barbara Pierce, and Linda Trask arrived at 7:10PM.  Thomas Hooker arrived at 8:10PM.



The revised Select Board minutes of November 5, 2008 were approved.

The Select Board minutes of November 19, 2008 were discussed and approved.



The order of November 26, 2008 in the amount of $3,886,707.55 was approved. 



Kendall Hill Road Bridge Project

The Highway Department applied a sealer, Silane, as recommended by the project engineer, to protect the bridge from salt applied in the future.  T. Buck has removed signal lights and cones and the bridge is once again open to two-way traffic.   The Town is seeking the payment of promised grant funds, now that the project is complete and the contractor has been paid.


Tax Collection

Taxes FY2008/2009 collected through November 24 amounted to 98% of those owed, with approximately $154,000 still outstanding.


Applicant for Position as Town Representative on Rutland County Solid Waste District

Town resident John Weeden has expressed an interest in serving as the Town's representative on the Rutland County Solid Waste District.  The Town Manager has so notified the District's President, Jim O'Gorman who will welcome him aboard enthusiastically should the Select Board appoint him to this post.



The initial draft of the audit report from Sullivan & Powers is enclosed in the Select Board's packets.  Town staff is in the process of reviewing the draft audit and contacting Sullivan & Powers with any revisions that might be necessary.  Work can now begin on the Town's contribution -- Management Discussion and Analysis.  The auditors will address the Select Board at its December 17th meeting.


Representative Flory to Address Select Board

Peg Flory will address the Select Board to discuss the upcoming legislative session and the Town's goals at its December 17 meeting.


Annual Town Report

The Annual Town Report will be going to print in January, 2009.  All persons submitting reports should send them to Janet Mondlak, Town Report Coordinator, by December 31, 2008.


Overview of Repairs for Town Municipal Office

J. Haverstock reported that he has been in contact with Naylor & Breen to inspect the Town Municipal Office and to give the Board a list of proposed repairs on the building along with an estimate.  J. Haverstock will meet with Naylor & Breen on December 10th at 11:30 for a tour of building. This will be a no obligation report submitted to the Board for review which will be prioritized for the most important maintenance repairs.  Once the needed repairs are identified, the work will go out to bid.


Gift of Life Marathon Blood Drive

The 6th Gift of Life Marathon Blood Drive by the American Red Cross will be held at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 from 10:30AM to 6:30PM. 

The Board gave their consent to give each of the Town staff members willing to participate in the blood drive an hour off at the end of their daily shift.


Santa Claus Comes to Fire Station

On December 7, 2008, Santa Claus will be coming to the Pittsford Fire Station between 2 to 4PM.

The annual Santa Fund/Pittsford Recreation Dept. are asking for donations to the Santa Fund with new, unwrapped toys or non-perishable food items for the Pittsford Food Shelf.


Staff Meeting

The next Town staff meeting will be held on Thursday, December 11th at 9:00AM.


Safety & Wellness Meeting

The first Safety & Wellness meeting took place on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 with VLCT's Risk Management Specialist, Wade Masure, in attendance along with J. Haverstock.  After a few organizational meetings, the Safety & Wellness Committee will be on its own.


Proposed Pittsford Post Office

Highway Foreman, Shawn Erickson, reports that the cost for his crew to perform the requested work (time and material except for subcontracting out for pavement) at the Route 7/Plains Road intersection for the proposed Pittsford Post Office site would be approximately $29,000.  S. Erickson stated that a general contractor's estimate to do the complete job would be approximately $35,000 to $40,000.  Frank VonTurkovich had requested from the Town an estimate for the proposed project road work and the Board agreed to gather the information with no Town commitment to do the proposed work.  This information has been sent to F. VonTurkovich and J. Haverstock is waiting for a reply from an inquiry about his plans for the proposed Post Office site.


Class III Road Striping

S. Erickson has contacted several contractors for estimates to stripe Class III roads for approximately 16 miles of paved Town roads.  One vendor has responded with a cost of $0.14/linear feet for a double yellow line striping.  This information will be used for future budgeting.  Discussion was held regarding the possibility of the State helping out with the striping which they have done in the past but that the State is not obligated to do the striping.


Fire Warden Complaint

The Fire Warden had a complaint of someone burning plastics in a wood stove in Florence.

He contacted the Department of Environmental Protection to handle this kind of complaint.






Presentation of "Current Use" application for Nickwackett Block/County Forester Eric Hansen

County Forester, Eric Hansen, addressed the Board by summarizing the logging work recently completed at the Nickwackett Block.

Discussion was held regarding the approval of the Town's enrollment of the Nickwackett Block into the "current use" program.  J. Haverstock has a draft lease for David Parker for tapping the sugar bush trees in the Nickwackett Block of the Town Forest.  The footprint for D. Parker's plans for tapping the trees need to be addressed before the timber sale can be set in the Spring of 2009.  The consensus of the Board was for J. Haverstock to sign the application for "Current Use" for the Nickwackett Block.

Discussion of Plans for Timber Sale on Sugar Hollow Block

E. Hansen described plans for timber sales on the Sugar Hollow Block (adjoining school property) (winter 2009-10).  The timber has been marked in blue for the trees for the timber sale in a 13 to 15 acre area.  This area has about 15,000 feet of saw logs, 23 cords of hard wood and about 20 of soft wood coming off the area. E. Hansen will be meeting with Lothrop School Director Odell Johnston to view the timber for the sale.  Randy Adams, Pittsford Recreation Director, suggested that the winter time would be the best because of the commitments of the Recreation Area in the late spring, summer and fall.  E. Hansen suggested putting up preemptive signage to inform the public of the timber harvest at the entrances of the trails and the recreation area.  E. Hansen has also contacted Gary Stanley of Sno-mads and VAST trails regarding a possible access/parking lot to the Town Forest on Plains Road.  The consensus of the Board was to have the timber sale in the winter  2009/10 putting it out to bid late summer/fall 2009 along with the school property timber sale.

Kendrick Pond

J. Haverstock will investigate where the Town forest land is around the Kendrick Pond.

Discussion of Plans for Town Forest Management on Depot Hill Parcel/County Forester Eric Hansen

E. Hansen described the proposed plan for a timber sale at the Depot Hill block (about four acres), adjacent to the transfer station.  The parcel would have to be treated carefully and with concerns directed to aesthetics. There is only a small landing area in the middle of the acreage.  J. Haverstock mentioned the concern of a buffer zone between the road and the transfer station.  There is a good diversity of trees.  Small equipment would need to be used.  E. Hansen will develop a plan for future consideration.  E. Hansen did not recommend putting this timber sale with the other sales.

Discussion of Erosion along Depot Hill Road/County Forester Eric Hansen

Ethan Swift, Water Quality Division, reported on the erosion along Depot Hill Road which seems to be caused from an undersized culvert  that goes under the road and is overflowing, causing erosion, creating a gully.  At times, the water is 6 feet deep and up to 8 feet wide.  Ethan Swift has worked on other projects such as this one with steep roadway and undersized culverts with tremendous velocity of water that drops 4 to 5 feet over the bank of the road.  He recommends a rock plunge pool underneath the outlet of the culvert to help dissipate the water velocity.  The gully situation could be improved with 10 to 12 feet long logs at the bottom of the gully to help stabilize the area.  The logs would be cabled into the bank.  E. Swift has access to the volunteers at the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps crews in the summertime and he has also worked with the Forestry Program at Stafford Technical.  This would allow the work to be done at low cost to the Town relatively easy to accomplish without big equipment. J. Haverstock will coordinate the Town highway crew and materials needed to assist Ethan Swift next summer to stabilize the culvert area.

E. Hansen and E. Swift departed at 7:20PM.



Discussion of Listers' Vacancies and Status of Work/Barbara Pierce and Jack Rogers

J. Haverstock introduced Lister Barbara Pierce (who presented her resignation to the Board at the last meeting effective December 1, 2008) and Lister Jack Rogers who will present Listers' responsibilities to the Board tonight.  Lister Secretary, Linda Trask, is also in attendance and has done a good job at creating continuity in the Listers' office over the years.  B. Pierce and J. Rogers reviewed the Listers' responsibilities with the following duties:  inspections, assessments, property transfers, HS122 processing, veterans' exemptions, utilities, current use, fair market value, OMYA review, map review, business machinery & equipment (no inventory), taxpayer support, computers, and training.  Discussion was held regarding revising processing the business machinery and equipment tax as the business owners' responses to the business machinery & equipment forms for personal property tax are not being filed by all Town businesses.   

B. Pierce offered to continue to assist J. Rogers and hopefully another new Lister for one day, 4 hours each week to help give historical background on Town properties and Lister's procedures.

B. Pierce requested reimbursement for her November mileage and also the 4 hours she has incurred this week.  The Board's consensus is for B. Pierce to bill for her time and mileage.

Discussion was held regarding hiring an assessor for the Town.  Discussion was held regarding VISION upgrades for the Listers.'




FY09 Budget Status Report

J. Haverstock reported that the general fund expenditures FY09 are on track at 45% expended.  The highway expenditures are high, reflecting the expenses paid out for West Creek Road and Kendall Hill Bridge which both are in the process of grant reimbursements.


Consideration of FY2010 Budget/Public Input

The Town staff continues to refine its budget proposal and budget deliberations will continue for the next several Select Board meetings. The only revisions made to the tentative budget since the last meeting are: allocating $20,000 for the Town match if the Town is successful in being awarded a State Transportation Enhancement Grant for the sidewalks on Arch and Pleasant streets and allocating funds for the Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades that are currently in process (the ventilation room and shelter to enclose the digesters).  Funds have not yet been put aside to join the Brandon Mosquito District.


Continued Discussion/Deliberations on Joining the Brandon Mosquito District

J. Haverstock presented the figures for joining the Brandon Mosquito District.  He also reported on the Town's commitment for supplying vehicles, equipment, and staff to join the district. The following is J. Haverstock's memo to the Select Board and Members of the Public:



To:  Members, Pittsford Select Board and Members of the Public

From:  John Haverstock/Town Manager, Pittsford

Date:  December 2, 2008

Re:  Mosquito District and Costs


As the Town's residents and political leaders contemplate the issue of mosquito abatement, I thought a refresher course was in order.


While the Town won a promise from the State to address any mosquito problem arising from the Pomainville land transfer to permanent wetlands, that promise appears quite vague and non-committal.


I have spoken to Dr. Ben Lawton, a Brandon dentist who got involved in mosquito abatement 20 years ago when his wife fell ill due to a mosquito bite.  He leads the Brandon, Leicester, Goshen, Salisbury Mosquito District, which has been in existence for 20 years.  Dr. Lawton explains that State funding to his district comes in the form of aerial spraying of non-toxic larvicide.  The district's members each provide money, personnel and equipment for the other facet of the "comprehensive approach" taken - ground application of adulticide.  This consists of drivers/applicators driving pick-up trucks through district towns with sprayers in the beds.


If Pittsford wishes to join an existing mosquito district, the Brandon district is the logical choice.  The Brandon district has quoted the following figures to Pittsford:  A one-time "buy in" cost of $48,000, which could be paid over two or three years; an initial investment of $25,000 or so to purchase two used pickups and sprayers; and an annual contribution of approximately $18,000.   


The district would have to hire additional licensed drivers/applicators which would have to be recruited from among Pittsford residents and who would be willing to serve on-call (much like plow drivers), at an hourly wage of $10 to $12.  One or two Town residents would have to commit to join the district's governing board and attend regular meetings. 


J. Gagnon inquired what the role or obligation of the State of Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has as a result of the Pomainville wetland conveyance.  J. Haverstock reported on a condition by the Pittsford Board of Adjustment on 4/28/03 for the application for the State of Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department to develop a wildlife management area on the Pomainville Farm was as follows: Condition 2. "In the event that mosquitoes become a problem as a result of the impoundments proposed on the property, the Applicant/Landowner State Fish & Wildlife Department will consult with the State Department of Health, the State Agency of Agriculture, the Town of Pittsford and the Leicester-Sudbury-Brandon Mosquito Control District to appropriately resolve the issue and will include consideration of pesticide application and release of impounded waters, both of which may require state permits.  There shall be no cost to the Town of Pittsford for such action."


T. Hank Pelkey suggested that the Town should vote on joining the district and to have the matter as an article on the Town Warning at the Town Meeting in March 2009.  The consensus of the Board was to have the matter warned.   Information will be in the Winter Town Newsletter regarding the Town commitment and costs associated with joining the Brandon Mosquito District.  J. Gagnon requested that the locations of the applications to be included in the public information that will be published in the winter Town newsletter.



J. Haverstock had a request from the Town Beautification Committee seeking permission to hang wreathes on the covered bridges in Town for the holiday season.  J. Haverstock contacted VLCT for guidance and they responded that there is no legal authority that would prohibit the displaying of wreaths.  The Board's consensus was to give permission to the Committee to hang the wreaths on the Town covered bridges.  The Highway Department will assist the Committee, if needed.


T. Hank Pelkey made a motion to go into Executive Session at 8:25 PM to discuss matters in Personnel and Legal. D. Markowski seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  J. Haverstock was asked to stay along with Barbara Pierce, Jack Rogers, and Linda Trask



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 and Personnel at 8:25 PM. B. Pierce, J. Rogers, and L. Trask departed at 8:50PM.  Constable Michael Warfle and Special Police Officer Lema Carter were asked to join the Board at 8:50PM. Constable Warfle and Officer Carter departed at 9:30PM.  The Board came out of Executive Session at 9:30PM.


A motion was made by David Markowski to increase the Listers' monthly stipend from $416 to $600, effective January, 2009, with the Board reserving its right to review this arrangement after one year.  Allen Hitchcock seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.


A motion was made by Allen Hitchcock to appoint John Weeden to be the Town's representative to the Rutland County Solid Waste District.  David Markowski seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Without any further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:35PM.

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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