“To listen to a recording of the meeting please click here” https://bit.ly/3kSb03N
DATE: July 15, 2021
PRESENT: Ann Kuendig, Joyce Stevens, A.J. Ruben
PUBLIC PRESENT: in person: Rebecca Steward, Betty Warner, via TEAM: Mike Walsh
- Treasurer’s Report – June
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: June 17, 2021 Regular Meeting, July 5, 2021 Special Meeting
- Municipal Mitigation Grants Award
- USDA RISE Grant Program
- Municipal Planning Grants Open
- VLCT Dog Control/Enforcement Webinar
- Delinquent Dog List
- Citizen Concern/Complaint – follow-up dog complaint
- Recreation Area Capital Plan
- Treasurer’s Financial Report - May
- Fundraising Drive & Special Fund
- Citizen Concern/Complaint – Noise Complaint
- Town Pollinator Project
- Town Road and Bridge Compliance Certificate
- Sand Shed Project - Update
- BRIC Grant - Award
- Independent Contractor – Don Marshall paperwork
- Lister vs. Private Assessor - discussion
- Calendar vs. fiscal budget year - discussion
- Treasurer’s Financial Report – June.
NEXT MEETINTG DATE: Thursday, August 19, 2021
Ann called the meeting to order at 6:0pm. Seconded by AJ. All in favor. Ann presented Agenda Modification (see above). Joyce seconded. All in favor. AJ made a motion to accept the Minutes of the June 17, 2021 Regular Meeting and the July 5, 2021 Special Meeting. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
- Municipal Mitigation Grants Award. Ann said that Pittsfield has been awarded $6,700 for the VTrans Grants and Aid Program and this is for the Municipal Roads Program. This is the Letter of Intent that Trish signed last week. No action is required. They will send the grant agreement which will be signed.
- USDA Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) Grant Program. This is another grant program offered by USDA. This program offers grant assistance to create and augment high-wage jobs, accelerate the formation of new businesses, support industry clusters and maximize the use of local productive assets in eligible low-income rural areas. Applications must be accepted by August 2, 2021. AJ said he would review the program and see if it can apply to Pittsfield and email the Board members if he thinks it is worth pursuing.
- FY22 Municipal Planning Grant Program. This is an annual grant program available to all Towns to support projects for long-term recovery. The online application opens September 1, 2021 and the deadline is November 1st. Award decisions will be made in early December and projects must be completed by June 2023. This will be forwarded to the Planning Commission for their review.
- VLCT Dog Control/Enforcement Webinar. This webinar will be held on July 22, 2021 from 10:00am to 12:00pm. You will learn how to draft effective dog control ordinances, conduct fair hearings, and ensure proper enforcement. To register, contact been email@example.com. Deadline: July 21, 2021.
- Delinquent Dog List. Three people and six dogs remain on the list and no one has requested a hearing. The fine of $50.00 takes effect today. Ann moved that the Town Clerk issue a demand for a fine of $50.00. Joyce seconded the motion. All in favor.
- Citizen Concern/Complaint – follow-up dog complaint. Doug was asked to speak with the three participants in the Lothrop complaint, but has been away. Mike Moran has since spoken with Doug. Ann said that she emailed Doug but has not heard from him. There have been no further complaints. Ann said she would reach out to Doug again and follow-up with Wendy.
- Recreation Area Capital Plan. Ann said that she has not heard from Charlie Bowen regarding the asphalt project. Precision has not shown up, and another company she contacted is busy. Ann asked if there was any motivation to paint the swing set or do any more upgrades than what has been done. The boards around the horseshoe sandpit need work and the horse and teeter totter needs replacement/refinishing. It was decided to contact Carl Oertel to see if he was willing to do any of this work and submit a bid. AJ said we should still investigate a new age teeter totter. Ann felt that shipping costs will come down at some point, but right now post COVID trucking is expensive. Joyce texted Charlie and he replied that he didn’t know he was supposed to be putting something together for the court, but he can. It will be an additional $2,000 for the cutting and paving at the Town Hall. He can meet sometime next week so let him know. AJ made a motion to contact Carl about the playground issues. Joyce seconded. All in favor. Ann suggested breaking down the basketball court into manageable projects. Ann said she will continue to get bids on the demolition or alternative.
- Treasurer’s Financial Report – May. This was carried over from the last meeting. Each member said that they had reviewed it and had no questions.
- Fundraising Drive & Special Fund. Ann said that she recently attended a webinar on placemaking. She explained how the Town of Putney was able to fundraise for a project to repair their pool. There is a special way to set up the fund, which needs to be separate from other funds. A Resolution would also need to be made outlining how the donations, etc. are to be obtained. Joyce expressed her concern and opposition to reaching out to taxpayers in an appeal for money. Ann said that she was aiming more at the second homeowner. She said she would draft a Resolution and Appeal Letter for the next meeting. This topic will be tabled until August 19th.
- Citizen Concern/Complaint – Noise Complaint. Rebecca Steward sent a letter to the Board requesting their help in resolving her complaint with William Leimgruber. She said that his rooster crows nonstop from early morning to late afternoon. Her concern is for her family’s health and welfare as they are not able to sleep or work with this disturbance. In her letter she cited Vermont Statute 13 VSA 1026 Breach of the Peace Disturbance. Currently the Town does not have a Noise Ordinance. The Board asked Rebecca if she had spoken personally with Bill, and she said that she had on two occasions. Her last encounter resulted in her being asked to leave his property. There was discussion about ways that the rooster could be kept quiet during certain hours. She was asked if she had contacted the State Police. She had not and it was suggested that she do that as well as contacting neighbors for their support. She felt that since this is a small community, that this could be handled civilly by coming to the Board first. Joyce said that she would speak with Bill but asked that Rebecca also file a complaint through the State Police. This will be placed on August’s agenda for follow-up.
- Town Pollinator Project. An email was received from Bee the Change, an organization that would like to support communities in creating a pollinator habitat as part of a collective town effort. They are requesting that an acre of municipal space currently mowed or un-mowed, be used as a dynamic pollinator meadow. Bee the Change would provide the seeds, expertise, and potential manpower to foster a successful transformation. They note that currently they have 25 towns participating in this project. The Board thought the Abrams property would be perfect. The question as to who would maintain it was raised and would there be liability involved as it is Town property. Ann said she would contact the coordinator of the project for answers.
- Town Road and Bridge Compliance Certificate. Ann reviewed this and said that nothing has changed since this was last certified in 2019. Ann moved that the Board sign the certification for the Town Road and Bridge Compliance Certificate as there have been no changes. AJ seconded. All in favor.
- Sand Shed Project – Update. Ann said that there are two grants that the Town is waiting for. One is the Mitigation and Stormwater Grant Program in October. The other is the Transportation Alternatives Grant Program in November. She said she spoke with Pete Fellows at TRORC, and the Town is online to apply for both. Ann checked to see if there is some application assistance. Money was awarded to Pittsfield last year from the first grant due to the sand shed’s proximity to the Tweed. Construction costs will be reviewed prior to applying for the October grant.
- BRIC Grant – Award. Pittsfield has been selected to participate in the FY20 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Direct Technical Assistance Selections grant. There is no money involved. Instead, it is for technical assistance. There will be a virtual Kick-Off Meeting on August 3rd from 2:00pm – 3:00pm. At that time, there will be a welcoming of all participants, introductions, and steps involved. This grant also helps with grant writing. The application for this grant was aimed at provided a generator for the Town Office.
- Independent Contractor – Don Marshall paperwork. Ann moved to approve his submission of paperwork from Don Marshall.
- Lister vs. Private Assessor – discussion. Betty said that she looked at the Town of Granville, which is a bit smaller than Pittsfield. She said that in 2015 Granville was going to hire an assessor. Pittsfield would still have a need for Listers even if an assessor is hired. The main issue is that Listers do not have the education/qualifications that assessment requires currently. The question was asked if the State had any programs designed to assist smaller towns with their assessment needs. Betty was not aware of any. Betty responded to several questions the Board had on how figures are arrived at and said she would get back to the Board with some answers to other questions they had. Ann said that she meets regularly with Select Board members in neighboring towns, and they have discussed positions that can be shared by different towns. Betty said that New England Municipal Consultants as well as NEMRC provide these services to Towns. In addition, there are some private assessors who will work with Towns. Joyce said she would reach out to both NEMC and NEMRC to see if they have a set financial schedule for assessor services and how much they provide to Towns. AJ said he would talk with Pomfret and Barnard. Ann said she would speak with Hancock and Granville and also VLCT. This topic will be placed on next month’s agenda.
- Calendar vs. fiscal budget year – discussion. Initial talks with Trish have been held. It was felt that we need to move carefully in transitioning from a calendar to a fiscal year. The Board discussed doing a 6-month/1-year budget vs and 18-month one and how it would affect the tax bills. There was also discussion as to whether two Town Meetings would need to be held and what effect there would be for the Auditors and the annual Town Report. It was decided to have more discussions with Trish. Discussions should also be held with the Town Auditors. This discussion will continue at the next meeting.
- Treasurer’s Financial Report – June. Ann and Joyce questioned some of the items in the report. One of the concerns was that there was a charge for some items from Green Up Day. Tires had been added to the green bag collection and had to be taken to another location. It was decided to have the collection point at the Town Garage next year where there is a camera. Another concern was having all the fuel prebuy invoices put on a separate sheet so that what is used and what remains is more understandable.
NEXT MEETINTG DATE: Thursday, August 19, 2021, at 6:00pm in the basement of the Town Office Building, both in person and via TEAMS.
As there was no further business to discuss, Ann moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:53pm. Seconded by A.J. All in favor.
Martha L. Beyersdorf, Secretary
Approved: August 19, 2021
Ann Kuendig Joyce Stevens A.J. Ruben