To listen to a recording of the meeting, please click here: https://bit.ly/3LwbsBG
DATE: April 20, 2023
PRESENT: Ann Kuendig, AJ Ruben, via Teams: Joyce Stevens
PUBLIC PRESENT: David Colton & Caleb Hawley, Pittsfield Fire Department
Nicole Cyr, Bethel Energy Committee Co-Chair
AGENDA MODIFICATIONS: NB#9 – Mike Juris, Independent Contractor paperwork
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: April 6, 2023 Regular Meeting
1. Preservation Trust of Vermont – Village Meet-Up
2. VT Department of Housing and Community Development – 2023 Downtown and Village Center Tax Credit Program Application Guidelines
1. PVF&R New Pumper/Rescue Truck Recommendation
2. Appointments – Town Officers Update
3. Financials – CD Rates/Investments
4. Citizen Concern/Complaint – Rubin Complaint f/u Inspection
5. US Treasury – 2023 Final ARPA Report
1. Bethel Energy Committee – Discussion
2. Dogs – Wood License Hearing
3. Town Plan – LEMP Certification
4. TRORC – Cooling Facilities Survey
5. Recreation Area – Porta-Potty request
6. Financials – Treasurer’s Report March
7. Town Hall – Exterior Project
8. Contractors – VT Home Improvement Specialists Independent Contractor paperwork
9. Contractors – Mike Juris Independent Contractor paperwork
NEXT MEETING DATE: May 4, 2023
Ann called the meeting to order at 6:23pm. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor. There is one Agenda Modification (see above). Seconded by AJ. All in favor. AJ moved to accept the Minutes of the April 6, 2023 Regular Meeting. Joyce seconded. All in favor. Ann welcomed Dave and Caleb representing the Pittsfield Fire Department. Nicole Cyr, originally scheduled for tonight via Teams, will be invited to
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April 20, 2023
reschedule to the next meeting due to computer issues this evening. Ann moved to take NB#1 out of order and make it the first order of business. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
1. Preservation Trust of Vermont – Village Meet-Up. This is an email invitation from Preservation Trust of Vermont and the Department of Housing and Community Development addressed to Designated Village Centers to join in the first-ever “Village Meet-Up” hosted by the Town of Strafford on Tuesday, June 6, 2023. To learn more and register:
https://ptvermont.org/village-meet-up-in-strafford-vermonttuesday-june-6-2023/. This will be forwarded to the Planning Commission.
2. VT Department of Housing and Community Development – 2023 Downtown and Village Center Tax Credit Program Application Guidelines. The Downtown and Village Center tax credit program helps to stimulate private investment and create jobs. It supports the creation and improvement of rental housing. Tax credits can restore buildings and jump start revitalization in Vermont communities. Successful projects range from modest renovations in small centers to multimillion-dollar downtown redevelopments. Projects must be within a Designated Downtown, Village Center, or Neighborhood Development Area. Credits support general rehabilitation and code compliance work. The program also funds flood mitigation upgrades and exterior façade improvements.
Applications are due Monday, July 3, 2023, by close of business (4:30 pm).
The Secretary was asked to forward this information to the following local businesses in the Village: Swiss Farm Market, The Original General Store, CV Oil Company, and Vision Builders, Inc.
1. PVF&R New Pumper/Rescue Truck Recommendation. Ann turned the presentation over to Caleb and Dave. Caleb said that as a result of a lot of work, they have narrowed the selection down to two vendors: E-One and Dingee. He passed out copies of the specs to the Board. Caleb said that they felt that E-One was the best manufacturer for the truck they are looking for. The other company is smaller and felt they didn’t offer the quality that the E-One company did. David pointed out that their 1994 Pumper is an E-One and other than a lightbulb or something, they have not had any problems and have been very satisfied with it. E-One bought Pomfret’s truck which is similar to what is wanted and were impressed with the quality of the product. Some of the specs were pointed out as being of good quality and ones the department is familiar with. The access to foam has been updated from the old pumper and they are pleased with that. More time was spent nailing down the definites with E-One. Their quote is more but there is more included on the truck than with the other company. Caleb pointed out that plug-ins and receiver mounts for potable winches are on all four sides. Dingee is a small company, and E-One is a larger distributor of fire trucks. E-One’s body, trays, and pump-in build is locked in. The cabin chassis is the only thing variable in price. Caleb was able to lock down a possible 6.5% increase for two years for $79,000.00. Ann asked about what comes first. Caleb said the cabin chassis, Ford 550, pump, and tank, but with possible delays, when other parts become available. David explained that the truck won’t be ordered now. Manufacturing is 2 – 2 ½ years out. Caleb said that Desorcie is the local distributor for E-One. Dave added that once they start building the truck it will take about three weeks to complete. Joyce asked if the Town gets the grant, would they get the truck sooner. The department would be committing to getting in line. Caleb said that E-One’s bottom line is $337,680.00. There would be some equipment that would be needed outside of the known figure, and it would be around $20,000.00. The Dingy quote came to $318,000 and that’s only for 30 days. Ann asked about financing. David said that no money would be due
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until they took delivery of the truck. Some other scenarios including if truck is ready, but the money isn’t or if another similar truck became available somewhere else, were discussed. Caleb said he would inquire as to whether there were any issues or penalties, etc. if the money isn’t available for the final purchase. Caleb pointed out that there will be some funds available from the sale of the old truck plus they have some of their own money. Caleb pointed out that if they do get the grant, that one of the stipulations was that the truck couldn’t be sold to another fire service. It would have to be taken out of service but could be sold to a contractor or farmer. Ann asked for a motion from the Board to approve the recommendation to purchase the new mini pumper from E-One. AJ so moved and Joyce seconded. All in favor. Caleb will wait for the information before responding to the vendor. Ann said that they did a great job and appreciated the diligence they did.
2. Appointments – Town Officers Update. Ann said that she reached out to the VLCT regarding downsizing the size of the Zoning Board of Adjustment from five members to three. The Select Board does have the authority to reduce the number of members to an odd number of no less than three. Joyce said she would speak with Don Bass to see if he would be willing to resign from the Board. Rachel Hunt is the WRVR Representative. Sarah Gallagher has declined to take on the TAC Representative. George has served in the past. AJ moved to appoint George. Joyce seconded. All in favor. The Secretary will be asked to send an appointment letter to George. Kris Sperber is the Tree Warden. The Health Officer position remains open. Ann said she would send this listing over to Trish. The Town’s Forest Fire Warden is a one-year term that expires June 23rd. Currently Ray Colton has that position. A note will be placed in the Tickler File to add this to the June agenda for re-appointment.
3. Financials – CD Rates/Investments. Ann asked if Joyce and AJ had a chance to look over the information they had received. Discussion of banks/companies and rates. Ann made the motion to have the Treasurer invest half of the proposed funds ($445,000.00) with Edward Jones in a 6-month CD and the remainder with Mascoma Bank in a 6-month CD. AJ seconded. All in favor.
4. Citizen Concern/Complaint – Rubin Complaint f/u Inspection. Ann summarized the concern to David and Caleb explaining that the Board was planning to inspect the site of the Mt Wilcox Water supply. Ann said that she has researched the water association in the Minutes of past meetings and had a pretty good idea of what happened and who owns it. David suggested that he, Caleb, and Greg Martin go up and look it over. There are valves and pumps that might be a problem. The Board appreciated their offer.
5. US Treasury – 2023 Final ARPA Report. Ann wanted to put on the record that Trish has filed the Town’s compliance report with the US Treasury over how the funds that were sent to the Town were utilized and have filed a report noting that all funds ($165,345.07) have been allocated, used, and spent. The monies have been spent on revenue replacement in the provision of government services for the following:
· Town Hall Shelter: $57,178.51
· New Mower: $16,274.39
· Speed Warning signs: $6,542.00
· Generator: $27,430.00
· Snowmobile for PVF&R: $13,497.00
· Salaries for Town :Officials $44,423.17
- Town Clerk & Treasurer $41,411.04
- Assistant Town Clerk & Treasurer: $2384.12
- Election Officials: $628.01
Ann clarified that even though the report to U.S. Treasury included $44,423.17 that was used as revenue replacement for salaries, these funds are still available to be used for one -time projects or purchases
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recommended by the Pittsfield Rescue Plan Committee. She said that there needs to be a discussion with Trish about how to enter these future purchases into QuickBooks and whether it should be added or not or whether it should be a side note. Joyce explained how it would be noted. It won’t balance in any case.
1. Bethel Energy Committee – Discussion. (see above)
2. Dogs – Wood License Hearing. Ann said that a friend of Barb Wood’s said that Barb had received the Notice of Violation. Ann said she is taking this as a request for a hearing and a request to waive the penalty of $50 ($25 settlement), for health reasons. Ann moved to waive the penalty. Joyce seconded. All in favor. Ann said she would inform Trish.
3. Town Plan – LEMP Certification. Ann said that she sent out a copy of the draft and the comments received to Joyce and AJ. Joyce pointed out that there were two names that could be removed as they have either moved out of Pittsfield or passed away. Ann said she would update the Plan and get a signature from one of the Emergency Management co-directors. Ann moved to approve the updated 2023 Local Emergency Management Plan. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor. She will forward this to TRORC.
4. TRORC – Cooling Facilities Survey. Ann said that she has received and completed the survey except for a few questions. She noted that she also added the cooling center to the LEMP.
· One question was about how you would like the cooling site to be displayed on the public cooling site map? Display it being available any time to the public during regularly scheduled hours?
This is the Town Hall and there are no regularly scheduled hours. Display to the public only when a heat advisory warning has been issued?
It will be open when a heat advisory warning has been issued.
· Allow pets? No pets will be allowed except for service animals.
5. Recreation Area – Porta-Potty request. Ann said it needs to be decided when to rent it and where to put it. George will be taking down the fencing soon. Several possible sites were suggested. It was decided to rent it from mid-May to mid-October and place it on the pavement by the south wall of the Town Hall by the heat pump condenser unit.
6. Financials – Treasurer’s Report March. This was tabled to the next meeting.
7. Town Hall – Exterior Project. The Building Committee has come up with a recommendation for the exterior project. After reviewing all the available taxpayer funds that are in the Town Hall Reserve Fund and Begin Fund, Vermont Renovation Specialists was selected. They will only be addressing the front and stairs of the building. This will save some funds for the projects that are ongoing. Joyce asked about the door. Ann said it was there now. Discussion about the finish such as marine varnish for sun protection. Joyce made a motion to accept the $50,000.00 estimate for the Town Hall recommendation and allow the invoice for deposit to be paid. AJ seconded. All in favor. Ann went over the projects that are being done now.
8. Contractors – Tom Van Epps – VT Home Improvement Specialists independent contractor paperwork. Ann moved to approve the paperwork. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
9. Contractors – Mike Juris – J-5 Electric independent contractor paperwork. Joyce moved to accept the paperwork. Ann seconded. All in favor.
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April 20, 2023
As there was no further business to discuss, Ann moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:51pm. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
NEXT MEETING DATE: May 4, 2023 @ 6:00pm in the Town Hall
Martha L. Beyersdorf, Secretary
Approved: May 4, 2023
Ann Kuendig Joyce Stevens A.J. Ruben