“To listen to a recording of the meeting please click here”: https://fccdl.in/6qeSGrHdX5
DATE: April 1, 2021
PRESENT: (virtually) Ann Kuendig, Joyce Stevens, A.J. Ruben
PUBLIC PRESENT: (virtually)VT State Rep Kirk White, George Deblon, Susie Martin, Betty Warner
- TRORC Roadway Project Selection – C#1
- Vermont Arts Council – Cultural Facilities Grants
- AARP Vermont – 2021 Community Challenge Grants
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: March 18, 2021 Regular Meeting
- TRORC Roadway Project Selection
- Rep. White - Legislative Report
- Historical Society - Offices
- Update on Appointments - Town Officials
- LEMP 2021 – Update
- Sand Shed – Project Update
- Dump Truck - Bid
- Update Town Office Financial Procedures
- Drugonis Remembrance
- Library Wi-Fi
- Vermont Arts Council – Cultural Facilities Grants
- AARP Vermont – 2021 Community Challenge Grant
NEST MEETING DATE: April 15, 2021
Ann called the meeting to order at 6:01pm. Second by Joyce. All in favor. Ann said there were two Agenda Modifications (see above). Seconded by Joyce. A.J. made a motion to accept the Minutes of the March 18, 2021 Regular Meeting. Joyce seconded. All in favor. As there were several guests, Ann said she would like to take the following out of order: OB#1, OB#2, NB#5, NB#1, and NB#2.
- TRORC Roadway Project Selection. Ann said that right now repavement from Killington to Stockbridge is 5thon the list of existing projects and scheduled for 2022.
1. Rep. Kirk White – Legislative Report. Rep. White is here to present his monthly legislative update
Kirk opened with saying that the Legislature has finished their “crossover period” where House
approved bills are passed on to the Senate and vice versa. He is serving on the Commerce and
Economic Development Committee and outlines some of the work they have been doing, such as
the Cap Grant, Child Care, and Better Places Grant. Pensions is another subject that has been
circulating within the Legislature. A.J. asked about what the Better Places Grant could do for
Pittsfield. Kirk said that the town would need to come up with a project. The grant would be
matched with crowdfunding. Ann asked if there would be another round and Kirk replied
probably in the fall and would eventually be a permanent program. A.J. asked about housing and
pensions. Kirk stated that municipal pensions are in better shape than the State pension and
affordable housing is always an issue and is being worked on. Also, broadband. There is Federal
money coming to Vermont and the Legislature is trying to figure out how best to disburse some
of it to the Towns.
2. Historical Society – Offices. Ann reviewed a timeline of milestones in the society’s history. At this time, the Town Hall
Building Committee is requesting use of the stage area for storage of basement items while that area is being worked on.
Ann said she hoped for a discussion on the future of the Town Hall and the Historical Society. Susie said that initially they
were upset but are not opposed to the space offered in the basement of the Town Office Building. She indicated that her
main concerns were the glass display cases and the potential for injury and it being open during hours that the Town Office
is also open but with no historical member present. COVID has been an issue also. If access to the new area is available,
the remainder of the items can be scheduled to be moved. Joyce noted that there are other groups that also meet in
the basement, so there shouldn’t be an issue. Ann asked about the possibility of replacing the glass with plexiglass. The
cases could also be secured so that they aren’t subject to being tipped. Ann said that eventually their meetings could be held
in the Town Hall, but the basement could become the permanent home for the Historical Society. She added that the
Building Committee is willing to help in any way they can. Susie said that once they have a meeting, usually in April, plans
and goals can be set. Keys to the buildings was also discussed. Susie said she would report back to the Select Board once
the Historical Society has their meeting. The Board thanked her for attending tonight’s meeting.
3. Update on Appointments – Town Officials. Ann sent out an updated listing of the appointed officials, the positions, and
the terms. This was reviewed. Joyce made a motion to accept the list. Seconded by AJ. All in favor. The Secretary had
been waiting on a few things but said the balance of the letters will be prepared and sent out early next week.
4. LEMP 2021 – Updates. Ann sent out a copy of the LEMP with updates to each Board member. These were reviewed. The
listing of High-Risk Population Types was not included. Ann said she would send it out and forward copies to
Emergency Management Co-Directors and Fire Chief for their updates. Joyce questioned a few items. It was decided to make
the Town Hall the primary shelter and would ask Sarah Gallagher to oversee it.
- Sand Shed – Project Update. Ann reported that this project did not receive the grant for the extra money to cover the estimated cost of construction that Dubois & King had presented. George felt that this whole project has gotten out of hand and is very frustrating. Ann said that she and George met with the TRORC and VTrans project managers on Monday. Ann said that throughout this whole project she and George have tried to keep costs down. Ann provided a handout listing various costs and what they were for. Joyce questioned why the project cost has increased to $455,000? Ann pointed out ways that cost reductions have been attempted, such as demolishing the garage ourselves, etc. but because Federal dollars are being used, certain inspectors and permits are required. There followed further discussion. The issue now is that if the project is put out for bid again and a bid comes in up to or over 15% of the construction estimate, the Town would have to accept the lowest bidder. This leaves the Town with three options: 1) proceed and pay from $16,000+ to $67,000+ in extra cost over the amount reserved for the project; 2) put the project on hold for at lease a year and apply for more grant money, begin construction next year with no guarantee of extra funds; or 3) take on construction management, pay off any remaining balance, put out to bid and pay all construction costs. The project managers are also looking into other options that might be available. Joyce felt that if it is put out to bid again, a maximum amount should be included. Ann suggested that the new Building Advisory Committee consider being the Project Manager for the Sand Shed. George said a plan could be obtained from the State and scale it to our needs. Joyce suggested that Ann present her idea to the BAC. George was asked to contact Avery Smith, who he had spoken with many years ago, for a proposal.
- Dump Truck – Bid. Ann made a motion to approve George’s bid request. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor. It was noted that the old truck looks nice, and George said he has had people look at it already. He said that newspaper postings were awfully expensive, so he has posted on social media and contacted a few truck dealers.
- Update Town Office Financial Procedures. Trish forwarded copies of the previous and updated policies for approval: 1) Cash Handing/Deposit Procedure for the Town of Pittsfield and Town of Pittsfield School District; 2) Town of Pittsfield Credit Card Policy; and 3) Procedure Pittsfield Town Treasurer Constituent Departments Accounting & Budgeting. She also requested approval to spend less than $100 without approval of the Select Board. Discussion. Ann made a motion to approve the three policies. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor.
- Drugonis Remembrance. Ann made a motion to authorize a $100 donation to the Capt. Jerry Drugonis Memorial Scholarship Fund. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor. Ann requested a minute of silence.
- Library Wi-Fi. Betty presented an introduction to the Library’s plans for Wi-Fi expansion. She said that currently there is a public Wi-Fi which has been available since 2018. It was set up with a password change every six months, but this has not been done in a while. Changes were made by the previous IT person. The Library would like to be able to provide Wi-Fi to vendors at the annual bazaar and they would also like the name assigned to the library changed. There is a role for IT support which would be separate from services the Town currently has with Saguaro Technologies. A proposal has been prepared by Mr. Davies and different capabilities are available to add on by IT if needed. Right now, the Library would like some feedback from the Select Board. Ann asked about installation and support costs. Betty said that at this time she won’t provide that until more information is obtained. Ann said her main concern was cyber security. A.J. pointed out that Wi-Fi access is imperative at the Town Hall. There was some discussion about access by residents. This could be provided, but perhaps put on bandwidth restrictions to discourage streaming. Betty said the system could be built with some flexibility (ex. limiting hours of usage). She said she would review costs but doesn’t feel that looking at other IT support companies would be the right thing to do. She said she should be able to report to the Select Board in early May. The Board thanked her for attending this meeting.
- Vermont Arts Council – Cultural Facilities Grants. Vermont Arts Council - Cultural Facilities Grants. These grants are awarded to Vermont nonprofit organizations and municipalities to enhance, create, or expand the capacity of an existing building to provide cultural activities for the public. The Council is accepting applications with a deadline of June 7th. A workshop will be held virtually on April 14th. Information is available on the Council’s website. Ann said she would propose this to the Town Hall Building Committee and said she would tackle the extensive application but may need help.
- AARP Vermont – 2021 Community Challenge Grant. These grants fund quick-action projects that support the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods, and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages. Applications may be submitted through April 14th. Ann said Phase Two money has to be used on the outside of the building but suggested this money could be used for the basement ceiling, new tables and chairs, new lighting, a new kitchen counter, new stage curtain, floor refinishing, etc.
Next Meeting Date: April 15, 2021 at 6:00pm virtually.
As there was no other business to discuss, Ann motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:15pm. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor.
s/Martha L. Beyersdorf, Secretary
Approved: April 15, 2021
Ann Kuendig Joyce Stevens A.J. Ruben