PITTSFIELD SELECT BOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
To listen to a recording of the meeting, please click here: https://bit.ly/3LhTEtp
DATE: September 7, 2023
PRESENT: Ann Kuendig, AJ Ruben (Joyce Stevens-Absent)
PUBLIC PRESENT: Peter Dubois; Kevin Geiger via Teams
AGENDA MODIFICATIONS: NB#7 – FEMA Buyout Award
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: August 17, 2023 Regular Meeting
1. TRORC – Flood Debris Assessment
2. VTRANS – Park & Ride Grants
3. Act 250 – Notice & Permit
4. Citizen Complaint/Concern – Simister Complaint
1. Municipal Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) –
2. Dogs – Dubois dog hearing
3. Village Center Designation –
4. Insurance – Loss Control Projects Update
5. MERP – Update
6. Sand Shed – Final Update
7. Citizen Concern/Complaint – Rolf-Dieter Krenz Complaint update
8. MRPG – Inventory Invitation
1. Town Officials – Health Officer
2. Financials – Treasurer’s Report July
3. Town Office – desks and paint
4. Town Hall – Library request
5. Town Hall – Barrett request
6. Financials – Performance Raises
7. FEMA – Buyout Award
NEXT MEETING DATE: Thursday, September 21, 2023
Ann called the meeting to order at 6:01pm. AJ seconded. All in favor. Ann presented an Agenda Modification (see above). AJ seconded. All in favor. Ann moved to take OB#1 and OB#2 out of order as the participants are present. AJ seconded. All in favor.
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September 7, 2023
1. TRORC – Flood Debris Assessment. TRORC is currently busy with flood issues. Ann noted that the survey for Pittsfield was completed.
2. VTRANS – Park & Ride Grants. Ann said that the State is making more money available but certain activities are not available. There is nothing that Pittsfield can use it for right now.
3. Act 250 – Notice & Permit. This pertains to the former Country Butcher property. This has been longstanding since 2006. No action taken. Ann just wanted this added to the record.
4. Citizen Complaint/Concern – Simister Complaint. This concerns a noise complaint made by Erica Simister regarding a neighbor. It was determined not to be an immediate neighbor. AJ suggested drafting a letter to the property owner and sending a blind copy to Erica Simister. Ann agreed to AJ’s suggestion. The Town does not currently have a noise ordinance, but the State has some guidelines. The draft will be forwarded to the Secretary to email.
1. Municipal Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) – Ann said that Kevin has a presentation on MTAP. It was noted that at the July meeting, the Board voted to participate even though there was nothing in the works at present. Kevin asked the Board what Pittsfield’s needs were. He added that there is money to pay for help with projects but not for the project itself. Ann suggested a possible project could be the renovation of the recreation area. Housing could also be a project including makeovers of larger homes into duplexes. AJ asked about economic development possibilities. It was decided to get together and review ideas as to what MTAP money could be used for.
2. Dogs – Dubois dog hearing. Ann presented some background to this complaint. Peter requested a hearing as he doesn’t feel that they are in violation. Ann presented some photos of the dog on the road by Tod Jones’ property. Peter said that the dog had a shock collar on even though it wasn’t visible in the photos. It was agreed by all that they are allowed per ordinance. Ann said that the Board would take this under advisement. AJ felt this was something they could conclude tonight. AJ moved to find no violation of the Town’s Dog Ordinance. Ann seconded. All in favor. Peter was thanked for attending tonight.
3. Village Center Designation – Ann said she took a list of activities and tied them to local businesses. Are they beneficial to downtown? She provided copies to AJ and Martha. The deadline is early November. Expansion of the village center was discussed but will require a lot of work.
4. Insurance – Loss Control Projects Update. Ann updated the listing regarding the Fire Department truck bays, TH heating inspection service, exterior building projects, security light inspection, boiler room, combustible material, Town Office counter and gazebo. She reported that the batteries for the lighting had died. They will be replaced with LEDs, waiting for an estimate. They may be eligible for a refund. The Board’s been waiting for an estimate from Carl Oertel for the gazebo. Another estimate will be considered if Carl isn’t interested. AJ moved to accept Richard Waterman’s $3,300 bid for the repair of the wooden steps unless Carl wants to submit a bid before the next Select Board meeting. Ann seconded. All in favor.
5. MERP – Update. Ann said that the Town applied for the mini grant and resiliency grant. The mini grant paperwork has been submitted and the money has been received. The $4,000 is earmarked for consultation work. There are several possibilities that the money could be used for. There is an additional meeting of the White River Valley Climate Energy Coordinator coming up on September 14th from 4pm to 5:30. Ann said she would try to attend. The Energy Coordinator position is still open. Ann said the 33-page application for the resiliency grant required a lot of preparation. She said she received notification today that the Town has been approved for a Level 2 Energy Resilience Assessment. They will send in a
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September 7, 2023
contractor who will spend four hours in the building and perform testing on the windows and present a plan.
6. Sand Shed – Final Update. Ann said an invoice from Dubois & King was received for $2,909.91. A prior invoice has not been paid $4.888 pending some research. The new total due is $7,798.58 for work done. Ann said there was some redundancy. She reviewed it with AJ. It appears they have gone over the contracted amount. Ann moved to prepare a draft communication pointing out some of the invoice irregularities and send it to AJ. AJ seconded. All in favor.
7. Citizen Concern/Complaint – Rolf-Dieter Krenz Complaint update. Ann said she spoke with Beth Stanton and emailed Joyce and AJ the information as well as VLCT, but they have not responded. AJ moved that the Board approve and sign the recommendation form. Ann seconded. Ann said she would email the information to the Department of Health. She also noted that Beth will continue to serve on the Board of Auditors.
8. MRPG – Inventory Invitation. The Board asked Martha to send George an invitation to the next meeting or October meeting to review the inventory of roads in the Municipal Roads General Permit. She would like him to identify projects worth up to $10,000 and have a discussion.
1. Town Officials – Health Officer. See OB#7.
2. Financials – Treasurer’s Report July. This will be tabled until Joyce gets back.
3. Town Office – desks and paint. Ann said she received notification from Trish regarding standing desks, the countertop, and paint. Don Marshall said the painting should be done after the installation of the new countertop. His bid for painting was for $2,800. The desk is $2200. Ann wanted to know why we need new desks. She felt these requests should be part of Budget deliberations and be a Capital Improvement. Discussion.
4. Town Hall – Library request. The Library is requesting the use of Town Hall for October 18th from 5pm – 8 for a Vermont Reads program. This is for young adults and adults. The Library will also send the books to the Select Board. Ann moved to accept the request. AJ seconded. All in favor. Ann will be put on the calendar.
5. Town Hall – Barrett request. Amanda is requesting the use of the Town Hall for a birthday party on September 24thfrom 10am – 3pm. Ann moved to approve the request. AJ seconded. All in favor.
6. Financials – Performance Raises. Ann said she added this to the agenda to begin discussions on whether the Board will produce performance review measures for raises for the Clerk. She said she attended a Human Resources Seminar by VLCT recently and asked about merit raises vs Cost of Living raises. She said The Board would like to produce some Performance standards with which to measures their annual progress and do merit raises apply to all paid town employees. Their answer was that it depends. Their response was discussed. There needs to be a policy.
7. FEMA – Buyout Award. Ann said she received a letter today regarding the buyout. The approved federal funding for this project is $250,371 which is 90% of the total approved project cost. The Town would be responsible for $27,819 which would be covered by the State mitigation project. Ann said they sent all the paperwork. The next step is to set up an appraiser, which would be approximately $1,200. The State will pay for this and similar inspections and demolitions. She noted that the homeowner can back out at any time, but the Town’s expenses will still be reimbursed.
NEXT MEETING DATE: Thursday, September 21, 2023 at 6pm in the Town Hall.
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Ann asked if there was any further business to discuss. As there was none, AJ moved to close the meeting at 7:51pm. Ann seconded.
Martha L. Beyersdorf, Secretary
Ann Kuendig Joyce Stevens A.J. Ruben