DATE: August 13, 2020
To listen to the recording of the meeting please click https://fccdl.in/vnZ8jKBKM4
PRESENT: Ann Kuendig, Joyce Stevens, Mona Colton (via phone)
PUBLIC PRESENT: Marsha and Keith Hopkins; Kricket McCusker-Fellows Engineering; George Deblon; Board of Listers: Betty Warner, Herb Kuendig, and Jeremy Rayner; Katie Stiles and Kevin Lasko; A.J. Ruben
AGENDA MODIFICATIONS: None
MINUTES APPROVAL: Regular Meeting July 14, 2020
1.Cares Act Funding Amendment
1. EWP Project Bid Awards
2. 236 Lower Michigan – project closeout
3. Playground update projects schedule
4. Box Culvert #33 project update
5. Delinquent Dog fines
6. Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Update
7. Town Hall 1stPhase Project Discussion
8. Town Attorney
9. Board Secretary Job Description
10. Town Clerk Request-mini fridge
1. Hopkins re: Upper Michigan project
2. Lister Reappraisal Presentation
3. Treasurer Report – June Financials
Next Meeting: Thursday, September 3, 2020
Ann called the meeting to order at 6:08pm. Ann motioned to accept the Minutes of the July 14thRegular Meeting. This was tabled to the next meeting so members had an opportunity to review them. Ann motioned to take New Business’ 1 and 2 out of order as the presenters were at the meeting virtually. Seconded by Mona. All in favor. Ann also outlined the procedures for participants in the virtual meeting. Seconded by Mona. All in favor.
1. Cares Act Funding Amendment. Emails from three agencies advised the Town as to how much money was received from the Cares Act and how the State plans to expend it. No further action is needed.
1. EWP Project Bid Awards. Ann presented an overview of the Tweed River Drive project. A new access point needed to be found and permission from the landowner obtained. Various permits and volunteers to do plantings afterward needed to be obtained. An extension beyond the September 1stdeadline may be needed so Ann will speak with Mike LaPointe at NRCS. A cost increase of $13,500 for the project was noted. The total cost for the project is now $32,434 with Pittsfield’s portion of $8,108 coming from the Mascoma loan. Harveys should have this project completed Friday and then begin on Parmenter Place.
2. 236 Lower Michigan – project closeout. Joyce said that she checked out the property and suggests letting it revert to its natural state. It was noted that Trish is working on the paperwork for the invoice to Kevin Geiger at TRORC who is handling the reimbursement.
3. Playground update projects schedule. Everyone noted that the playground looks great. Mona said that Dave still has a little finish work to complete. Joyce said that she will obtain the part that connects the swing’s chain to the swing’s frame. Dig Safe also needs to be contacted before the fence posts can be dug. Ann will contact them and then a work party can be organized. Ann will also speak with George regarding the fence post holes.
4. Box Culvert #33 project update. Progress is being made in getting permits for the project. A stream bed profile was done by Richard Lunna. Working drawings have also been requested from Champlain Construction to submit with the permit. Katie Sullivan, FEMA Project Manager, also needs these documents for an environmental review. A landowner signoff may be needed if any part of the project takes place on private property. This is the last of the eight projects in the FEMA que and has an October 1stexpiration. An extension may need to be requested but not until the permit is approved. Ann requested that the Board approve the $724 invoice from Richard Lunna and the $200 fee to submit the permit to the State. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
5. Delinquent Dog fines. At present there are two dog owners with three dogs unlicensed. To provide some enforcement of the current dog license requirements, an update to the dog ordinance is suggested by VLCT. Ann provided copies of dog ordinances from several towns as well as other resources to look over. License fees, rabies vaccinations, and other items were touched on. It was decided to continue this discussion at the next meeting and in the meantime, work on an update to the current ordinance including more specifics. Names of delinquent owners/dogs could potentially be included in Town Report but needs some research. If a dog is deceased, has been relocated, or there are possibly economic issues, this information is encouraged to be provided to the Town. Ann moved that the Select Board amend the dog ordinance to include licensing and draft language to be discussed at the next Select Board meeting. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor.
6. Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Update. At the last meeting, TRORC was hired as the Town’s consultant to update the plan which expires August 21st. By updating this plan, towns can qualify for grant funds and safer communities become the result. The first of three Pittsfield Hazard Mitigation planning meetings is scheduled for Monday, August 24that 6pm via Zoom. Zoom login information: https:/j/zoom.us/j/93584153327 or phone 1-470-381-2552, access code:
93584153327#. Tory Littlefield is looking for local residents to serve on the committee. Currently, Sarah Gallagher representing the Planning Commission and Doug Mianulli representing Local Emergency Management are serving on the committee, but TRORC would like to see someone from the Select Board, Fire Department or Road Commissioner also serve. Joyce offered to serve and represent the Select Board. Mona will present the information to Dave to address the fire department at their next meeting.
7. Town Hall 1stPhase Project Discussion. Ann said she sent fellow Board members the Minutes of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee, engineering reports, work documents, etc. It was felt a Building Committee should be formed similar to what the Town Office Building project had. Ann offered to serve as Administrator and Liaison to the Select Board. Herb Kuendig, Carl Oertel, and Jeremy Rayner all have experience and are willing to serve. Joyce provided Tim Carter and Ray Colton as potential members. Ann made a motion to appoint the previously mentioned people to the committee and serve as construction managers with herself as Administrator. They would be charged with completing renovations as soon as possible thus making the building available for Town Meeting next March. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor.
8. Town Attorney. Jim Goss, an attorney in Rutland, has expressed interest in being retained as the Town’s attorney. They are a full-service law firm located in Rutland with typically younger lawyers in the firm assigned to provide general municipal representation to keep down costs, etc. Jim would like to assign Tori Hone to be Pittsfield’s primary point of contact. Her hourly rate as well as Jim’s (if more involved services are needed) would be discounted. The members felt this was a good choice and exactly what the Town needs. Ann made a motion to move into a formal retainer agreement with Facey Goss & McPhee, P.C. to be signed by the Select Board. Joyce seconded the motion. All in favor. Ann went on to say that their services might be needed sooner as a Landowner Authorization Letter is being requested by FEMA regarding the Box Culvert project. In addition, the VTrans Manager of the Sand Shed project is asking for a letter certifying that the Town has all the necessary property rights and interests in order to perform the improvements on the Sand Shed. She said that between Pete Fellows and herself, they could draft the document, but felt an attorney should look it over before they are submitted. Ann moved that once the retainer is signed, that these two letters be prepared and submitted. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor. Drafts will be circulated prior to submission to the attorney.
9. Board Secretary Job Description. Ann prepared a draft of a job description for this position. The new secretary will begin with the September meeting. Ann made a motion to adopt the Board Secretary Job Description with the understanding that it can be reviewed and updated any time the position becomes vacant. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor.
10. Town Clerk Request-mini fridge. Trisha has requested a mini fridge for the office not to exceed $100.00. Joyce moved that a mini fridge be purchased for the Town Office at a cost not to exceed $100. Mona seconded. Motion passed.
1. Hopkins re: Upper Michigan project. Ann stated that the Hopkins’ have expressed their concerns over the recently completed project on Upper Michigan Road. She presented an overview stating that Katie and Kevin were concerned over the height of the crown in the road next to the driveway at the back of the store in the Fall of 2018. In January 2019, the Select Board, Road Commissioner, and Kricket McCusker of Fellows Engineering met to assess the problem. A short-term resolution to the water flow issue into the store’s back parking lot was developed. Kricket was also going to
work on a long-term plan to help reduce the run-off. Ultimately the plan did not address issues with the driveways entering the road. Marsha said that silt and mud flow into the driveway and in the winter it becomes a sheet of ice. She noted that when they moved to their current location in 1986, their driveway was higher than the road. Over the years the road’s height has continually risen. Keith expressed fellow property owner Elaine Sackrider’s concerns on the issue. George said that he did not see how the road could be cut down and did not have any other solutions. It was noted that Kricket’s preliminary report in the winter indicated that the roadway could potentially be lowered to up to 18,” but after surveying road, driveway, culvert and drainage ditches in the spring, Kricket determined that the roadway could not be lowered more than 4” without impacting private property driveways and culverts. Kricket explained what was involved in the recent project, including the meetings, designs, reports, site visits, and emails etc. Katie asked if she could have the road grade changes over time including after this upcoming winter season. Kricket said that was possible. The drainage ditches and culvert under the road was brought up and discussed as to what they can handle. There has been a State project planned for some time at that location, but no date has ever been finalized. This would include the replacement of the culvert. It was decided to hold another site visit with the affected property owners and specifically look at the driveway issues. Ann said that she would set that meeting up with all involved.
2. Lister Reappraisal Presentation. Betty asked the Board if they had reviewed what was sent to them and had any questions. She explained that a vendor has been selected as well as the What, When, Where, and Why of the project. All property would be assessed except for non-taxable properties. The money is already available, so there is no additional money needed from the town. The project will take 12 months to complete and will be well publicized so that all property owners will be made aware. A website will also be available for owners to review their assessment when complete. Interior inspections will be requested, but not required. If none is done, the best available information will be used to determine the assessed value. The project will begin next July and be completed in time for the July 2022 tax season billing. Ann moved that the Board accept the Listers’ proposal and sign the contract for NEMRC to begin the reappraisal process. Joyce seconded and all were in favor.
3. Treasurer Report – June Financials. Joyce said that the Budget Comparison column was not included. She spoke with Trish and it will be corrected for the July report. Ann moved to accept the June financials.
Other Business: Ann said she would like to take a poll as to whether to return to face-to-face meetings next month or not. Joyce felt she would like to. Mona asked about public attendance. She felt that if the public were to attend, she would prefer to attend virtually as she is in a compromising position. Ann said that she would encourage the public to attend virtually unless in-person is needed.
Next Meeting: Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 6:00pm.
Adjournment: There being no further business, Ann made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:09pm. Joyce seconded. All in favor
Martha L. Beyersdorf
Approved: September 3, 2020
Ann Kuendig Joyce Stevens Mona Colton