Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Minutes of the Water Board Meeting

February 28, 2006



Water Board Commissioners present were: Bob Sird, Larry Pomainville, and Chris Hanrahan.


Others Present were: Helen McKinlay, Jim Purdy, David Webb, Robin Rowe, David Rowe, William Rowe, Tom Carrara, Bob Christian, and Karen Lawton.


Bob Sird opened the meeting at 6:03 p.m.


Rowe Water Project – Recommendations

The Water Board asked David Webb of the State of Vermont Water Supply Division the purpose of attending the meeting.  D. Webb stated he was there on behalf of the Rowe water situation on Route 7 south.  D. Webb went on to state Pittsford was given a Temporary Operating Permit stating the water lines on Route 7 south must be updated by December 1, 2006 or be in violation of the permit.  D. Webb asked the Water Board what if any progress had been made over the past four years since the Town had submitted the water system evaluation to the State.  The Water Board stated they’d made progress in several areas over the past four years and had prioritized the work needing to be done due to a limited amount of money to work with.  The Town has purchased the Chittenden property surrounding the Town’s water source, completed the Four Season’s upgrade, and completed security fencing.  D. Webb stated the Town wasn’t working to the State’s priorities.  C. Hanrahan stated for several years the State’s top priority for the Town of Pittsford was to purchase the source protection area surrounding the spring for the Town’s water source, which has taken several years of negotiations and has been completed.  The Water Board stated they felt the Chittenden property purchase was a huge accomplishment which shouldn’t be belittled by D. Webb.  D. Webb stated he wasn’t meaning to do that and asked the Water Board what the cost of the Chittenden land project had been.  D. Webb restated he was there on behalf of the Rowe’s to support their claim the Town is responsible for the under sized water main and to provide the minimum water flow capacities to the Rowe’s.  C. Hanrahan stated that tests conducted by Dufresne-Henry Engineering showed the water flows meet the minimum requirements.  B. Sird stated the Water Board intends to replace the under sized lines at the time of the Route 7 upgrade.  D. Webb stated the Town would be in violation of their permit to operate and could be fined if the line was not upgraded by December 1, 2006.  D. Webb stated that the tank in the Dufresne-Henry water system evaluation or the plans as submitted by J. Purdy would be possible short term solutions for the on going problem.  J. Purdy stated his plans would resolve the problem but at an expensive cost to the Town for an item that would become obsolete in a very short time.


R. Rowe stated if the Town had signed their Act 250 permit for the State they wouldn’t be making a complaint about the low water pressure on Route 7 south.  R. Rowe stated they were led to believe they were personally responsible to install a water tank to meet the requirements for their Act 250 permit.  R. Rowe had discovered copies of paperwork from the State stating the Town was responsible for providing them with the minimum water flow requirements and  D. Webb at the State Water Supply Division had confirmed the Town was responsible for this.    B. Sird stated the Water Board had at no time felt they were responsible to provide the Rowe’s with the water tank at the Town’s expense.  R. Rowe stated they felt they had been misled by the Town Manager during meetings with him.  R. Rowe and D. Rowe stated the history of the water line from the time of the motel in the 1950’s to the changes made to turn them into apartments.  D. Rowe stated the Town had bought Pittsford Aqueduct as is.  L. Pomainville asked why Dick Rowe had never made a complaint to the Town in over 50 years regarding the low water pressure.  R. Rowe stated she and her husband now own the land and they had made the complaint.  C. Hanrahan stated he didn’t understand why anyone would hook a house and 6 apartments onto a 1” water line and not expect to have low water pressure. 


K. Lawton expressed concern that all landowners on Route 7 south are experiencing low water pressure and are unable to add onto the water system.  Being unable to hook onto the system costs the taxpayers more money as they have to drill wells.  The Water Board agreed this is an ongoing issue which they plan to correct with the Route 7 upgrade project.  The water lines will need to be replaced at that time.  The cost of the lines will require the Town to have a bond vote.  The Water Board stated they felt they would be unable to pass a bond to fix the Route 7 south problem at this time when it would mean tearing up or damaging the lines when the Route 7 project takes place.  T. Carrara stated he felt the Town should do something now to help the Rowe’s with the water problem at the expense of the Town.  The Water Board restated their concerns about the expense of replacing lines at this time to be torn up or damaged with the Route 7 project.  The discussion repeated much of the water line history several times.  At this time C. Hanrahan stated he felt it was a waste of time to keep restating the same information. 


C. Hanrahan asked the Rowe’s for their recommendations regarding the Route 7 south issues.  R. Rowe stated they would like the Town to pay for the installation and maintenance of a water tank to meet their Act 250 needs.  The Water Board stated they would take the recommendation into consideration and notify the Rowe’s of their decision. 


Executive Session

A motion was made by C. Hanrahan, seconded by L. Pomainville to enter Executive Session 7: 48 p.m.  for the purpose of discussing Legal issues.  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 t go into Executive Session for Legal matters.  H. McKinlay and B. Babcock were invited to stay.  All others were excused.  The Water Board came out of Executive Session at 8:05 p.m.  No action was taken by the Water Board at this time.



The minutes of 1/17/06 were reviewed, discussed and approved.        


Financial Statement 

A trial balance report of Pittsford and Florence Water Departments was distributed for review.  

B. Sird requested a cash report showing exactly what funds are available for the Water Board.


Enman Engineering

A letter from Enman Engineering requesting a letter of allocation for water flows and the hook up of an additional building at the former Jewett’s property was reviewed by the Water Board.  The Water Board denied the request until such time as the Route 7 south upgrade with the new water lines has been completed.  H. McKinlay will notify Enman Engineering of the decision.


With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:14 P.M.


Respectfully submitted:



Larry Pomainville, Recording Clerk


Bob Sird, Chairman






Helen McKinlay, Recording Secretary


Chris Hanrahan, Vice-Chairman


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