Minutes of January 14, 2020
MEMBERS PRESENT: Sarah Gallagher, Marsha Hopkins, Jennifer Howard, Colleen Wilcox and Charlie Piso.
1. The meeting was called to order by Sarah at 6:30 pm at the Town Office.
2. Agenda Modifications:
• Charlie wanted to update Commission on the need to create permitting regulations under the Town’s River Corridor Plan. Currently we have them for the Flood Plain but not the River Corridor Plan. The River Corridor Plan saves the town money when FEMA steps in to help us fund flooding repairs. Charlie said we also need a Zoning Administrator however temporarily Matt has stepped up to fill in when needed. He also said that the Commission may have to play a part in establishing the permit regulations. Jennifer said the permitting regulations would probably be similar to the ones created under the Flood Hazard Plan.
• Jennifer inquired about the lack of sidewalk or crosswalk after completion of the new bridge on Route 100. Charlies said he convinced VTRANS to do another speed study since the bridge was wider now and traffic was flowing faster. Depending on the speed study results the possibility of a crosswalk could be an option the state would entertain.
3. The minutes from the October 8th meeting were read. Colleen made a motion to accept, seconded by Sarah, all in favor.
4. Public Present: Peter Gregory and Tory Littlefield from TRORC.
• Sarah read the Flyer announcement concerning Transportation and Climate Initiative Public Meetings. Meetings to be held in different locations in the state; Jan 29, Jan 30, Feb 6 and Feb 13th if anyone was interested in attending.
• Charlie added the select board was notified on Jan 10 by the VT Council on Rural Development that applications were due by the end of the month for towns wanting to participate in a new leadership program to create climate solutions at the local level. Applications should include a specific project in mind.
6. Open Issues:
• Generator grant possibilities – Charlie updated the commission on the background benefit analysis that has been completed by the town. Charlie asked Greg and Tory to let him know when the grant application process opens again since we are ready to apply
• Act 250 Applications for CV Oil and Colton Enterprises – Sarah informed commission that CV Oil was seeking an amendment and that Colton Enterprises is appealing; some new conditions were approved but some older conditions were taken out of the permit.
• Speed Sign – Charlies said paving would not even begin on Route 100 until the summer of 2021. Marsha said she would contact the sheriff and have him place his speed trailer in town this spring since we did not have to hold off because of paving.
7. New Business
The commission invited representatives from TRORC to explain how we work together and what the process will be for the new town plan due in 2023. Tory explained how regional commissions work with towns and the legislature to make sure issues were taken care of. In addition, they provide the necessary information to the state which in turn brings funding down to the local level. TRORC helps with the town’s with grant writing and is currently working with the Road Commissioner for the construction of the new salt shed and also working with Pittsfield on the Better Back Roads program. The TRORC helps us to navigate through the government requirements. Peter said any issues that should be brought before the legislature should be brought to his attention; he works closely with the state and is frequently in DC working with Peter Welch, Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy.
Charlie asked how we can get Pittsfield connected to the VT Alerts Program. Peter said they had cards that could be enclosed in town mailings and that they had printed materials if we wanted to set up a booth at town meeting.
Marsha asked about new requirements for the town plan and also the timetable. Tory said so far the only change concerns the Forest Blocks and Habitat Connectors. She said including a map in the town plan would be helpful. Other suggestions in that section could be building homes closer to the road and keeping driveways shorter so as not disturb habitats and crossings. Other issues would be just to beef up the Act 250 and Section 248 parts of the plan using firmer terms. Now suggested replacing “should” with “must”. Town participation was also a requirement; informational meetings would need to be held. Reporting on the matrix was also discussed. TRORC suggested if we continue to meet quarterly then we should apply for the grant in July of 2020. Jen said the 2023 version of the plan might not be as hard since the last version was rewritten sentence by sentence. Charlie suggested we add a section on the new recreational opportunities happening all around Pittsfield. New biking connectors are going in all over the state spear headed by ROSTA and Pittsfield has an opportunity to join in on this. Peter suggested our application could include Utility, Facility and Capital Planning. Tory said the application was long and she would help us with it.
The commission thanked TRORC members for coming
Meeting Adjourned at 8:00 pm, next meeting scheduled for April 14, 2020 at the Town Office, 6:30 pm.
The MINUTES of January 14, 2020 were duly APPROVED