To listen to a recording of the meeting, please click here: https://bit.ly/3ilyfV2
DATE: January 5, 2023
PRESENT: Ann Kuendig, Joyce Stevens, AJ Ruben
PUBLIC PRESENT: (via Teams) Dan Webb, Brett Yates
AGENDA MODIFICATIONS: NB#4 – Town Hall Rental Request; NB#5 – move Executive Session
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: December 15, 2022 Regular and Special Budget Meeting Minutes
1. Resignation – Brian Smith, Justice of the Peace
2. Green Mountain National Forest – Schedule
a. Final Revisions
b. Capital Improvements
2. Town Meeting – Warrant
3. Town Hall – Useage/Rental Policy update
1. Select Board – Draft Report for Town Report
2. Town Trucks – Grader Lease
3. Control Technologies – Contract
4. Town Hall – Rental Request
5. Executive Session – 1 V.S.A. § 313(1)(E) probable civil litigation
NEXT MEETING DATE: Thursday, January 19, 2023
Ann called the meeting to order at 6:00pm. Seconded by Joyce. All in favor. Ann introduced the Agenda Modifications (see above). AJ moved to approve the Minutes of both the Regular and Special Budget Meetings of December 15, 2022. Joyce seconded. All in favor. Ann moved to take NB#4 out of order and present first. AJ seconded. All in favor.
1. Resignation – Brian Smith, Justice of the Peace. Brian’s letter of resignation cited his move to the Town of Woodstock. Ann moved to accept Brian’s resignation. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
2. Green Mountain National Forest – Schedule. Ann said that this correspondence addressed the first quarter of the year schedule. The only item to affect Pittsfield is the Telephone Gap. “Scoping” will begin this month with expected implementation in December. They will be looking at recreation management, wildlife, fish, rare plants, forest products, vegetation, watershed management, road management, and climate change adaptation. Ann moved to accept this report. AJ seconded. All in favor.
a. Final Revisions. Trish provided an updated Revenues and Receipts Proposed Budget for June 2022 and FY’24. The proposed tax rate without any of the possible Articles is $.4451. Last year was $.4285 including Articles. Ann said she would like to reduce this figure. The Board proceeded to review the proposed budget items and Undesignated Fund Balance for potential reductions. Discussion. The Board questioned a few items under Listers but will contact Betty Warner for more clarification. Revisions were made to the following:
- HW Miscellaneous reduced by $1,000.
- HW Repairs Loader reduced by $500 as it is under warranty.
- HW Repairs Ford F-550 reduced by $500 as the truck is new.
- HW Repairs Grader reduced by $1,500 as a new grader is expected early next year and will be under warranty.
- Fire Alarm yearly inspection reduced by $200 based on 4Security estimate for both Town Office and Town Hall.
With these revisions, the proposed anticipated tax rate would be $.42. The Board would also like to use $20,000 from the General Fund Undesignated Funds and $5,000 from the Highway Fund Undesignated Funds. This money would be added to the General Fund to bring down the tax rate.
b. Capital Improvements.
- Fire Department – requests $70,000 for replacement of Engine 4 and Rescue 1. They also request $2,500 for a set of new gear.
- Highway – Discussion regarding the amount to request for the new grader. It would be either $20,000 or $66,500 depending on whether it is leased or purchased. George will obtain more information from the company.
- Town Hall – requesting $10,000 for continued renovations and repairs.
- Paving Reserve – requesting $10,000 for Village Green project.
- Highway Equipment Fund – requesting $25,000 to renovate the heated Town Garage Building.
- Library Capital Improvement Fund – requesting $2,400 for librarian and patron desks and seating.
c. Summary – Trish will be asked to recalculate the basic tax rate as well as the tax rate with each Article.
2. Town Meeting – Warrant. Ann drafted the Warning and gave copies to Joyce and AJ for review. She also went over the open positions. She will have a final copy to present at the next meeting.
3. Town Hall – Useage/Rental Policy update. Revisions were reviewed. Ann said she would make further edits for a final copy at the next meeting. Fees were discussed.
1. Select Board – Draft Report for Town Report. Ann presented a draft copy of the Select Board’s Annual Report for Town Report. Discussion. She said she will forward the final copy to the Auditors.
2. Town Trucks – Grader Lease. The Board discussed whether to order now with a down payment and leave the decision to lease or purchase. Joyce offered a motion to have George order the grader and find
out if there would be a penalty to pay off early if leasing or if a down payment could be paid and then decide at Town Meeting whether to lease or purchase. Ann seconded. All in favor.
3. Control Technologies – Contract. The Town Office lost heat recently and it was discovered that a Service Contract was never signed last year. A contract has since been sent over and if signed, the invoice will be recalculated. It has been recommended by the Town Clerk/Treasurer that the Town not enter into any agreement with Control Technologies. Ann added that CV Oil was contacted, and they can also work on this system.
4. Town Hall – Rental Request. Dan Webb said that he would like to rent the Town Hall to hold an Acoustic Music Jam every other Tuesday from 6:30-8:30pm. It would be open to the public for either participation or listening and would be free for all. He said he would like to start when feasible, possibly January 17th. The Board explained that there is another group using the first Tuesday of the month and there might be other future conflicts. Everyone felt they could be worked out. Dan said that possible future performances/guest performers might happen. Joyce moved to add the Acoustic Music Jam to the Town Hall calendar every other Tuesday beginning January 17, 2023. Ann seconded. All in favor. Joyce requested that Dan pick up the key at the store and drop it off the next morning. Dan agreed.
5. Executive Session – 1 V.S.A. § 313(1)(E) probable civil litigation. Ann moved to enter into Executive Session at 8:11pm. The Board left Executive Session at 8:28pm.
Ann moved to adjourn the Regular Meeting at 8:30pm. Joyce seconded. All in favor.
NEXT MEETING DATE: Thursday, January 19, 2023 @6pm Town Hall.
Martha L. Beyersdorf, Secretary
Approved: January 19, 2023
Ann Kuendig Joyce Stevens A.J. Ruben