By STEVEN JUPITER
PITTSFORD—The Pittsford Selectboard convened for its regular meeting on Wednesday, September 6. Board Chair Alicia Malay was not in attendance and the meeting was run by Vice-Chair David Mills. All other Board members were present.
The meeting began with a report from Town Manager David Atherton. Highlights of his report included:
- Chip sealing has been completed on Depot Hill Road.
- The Highway Department has been working on ditching and drainage on Fire Hill Road.
- There is now online registration for Rec programs through myrec.com.
- Otter Creek Engineering has completed inspections of 75% of residential water lines for lead. Remaining residential properties have been sent letters to schedule inspections. Otter Creek Engineering will also inspect the sewer lines on Plains Road.
- Credit cards have been distributed to Department Heads, who have been asked to read and sign off on the town’s credit-card policies.
- Water shut-off notices were sent out the week prior to the meeting. The Town is also preparing the next steps in the tax-sale process.
- FEMA is looking for multi-family properties to house families that were displaced in the flooding earlier this summer. Anyone with a suitable property should email FEMA directly.
- Pittsford Day was “sort of” a success and plans are underway for next year. The Town still has “Sunshine Village” T-shirts available.
- Senior Lunch will be held at the Pittsford Congregational Church at noon on Sept. 21.
- 13th annual disc golf tournament will be held on October 14 at 10 am.
- 7th annual Sarah Stories chili cookoff/cornhole tournament/beer garden will be held on October 14 at 11 am.
- Mr. Atherton met with town managers from West Rutland and Proctor to discuss the “tri-town trail” scoping study.
- Mr. Atherton will attend a hearing in Barre on September 12 to extend the 25-m.p.h. speed limit on Route 7. The state has been resistant to extending the length of Route 7 on which the speed limit is 25, so Mr. Atherton and State Rep. Butch Shaw will attend a hearing to advocate for the extension.
- Health Officer Rich Bowman will attend a 2-week training at the Police Academy.
After the Town Manager report, Board member Thomas Hooker made a motion to mow down a patch of overgrown land in the town’s right-of-way on Route 7 in front of the old town office—now a private residence—across from the library. Mr. Hooker reported that he had received complaints from town residents about the weeds obstructing the sidewalk there. The motion passed unanimously.
During the Public Comment segment of the meeting, a resident of Elm Street asked the Board to consider creating an area near the covered bridge for trucks to turn around to avoid becoming stuck on the bridge. The Board agreed to ask the Highway Department to go down and look at the site to determine the feasibility of the suggestion. Board member Joe Gagnon advised that the area may be considered wetlands and permission may be needed from the state.
A representative from the Pittsford Village Farm (PVF) then presented several renderings to the Board to demonstrate the work that PVF is seeking grants to fund, with work beginning next spring/summer. The work will include a new porch and an addition, a community center to accommodate up to 45 people, a daycare facility to accommodate up to 26 children, a café to accommodate up to 16 people, and two 2-bedroom apartments at below-market rent.
So far, PVF has received commitments for $1.4 million and seeks another $1.4 million in grants to complete the work. PVF was asking the Town to act as a pass-through on a grant for $450,000, with the application due on September 16. The Board approved the motion to act as pass-through, though Mr. Gagnon, who has donated lumber to PVF, reiterated that he didn’t want PVF to cost Pittsford taxpayers anything. He and Board member Mark Winslow also cautioned that PVF’s proposed daycare center will compete with daycare services run by local residents.
Police Chief Mike Warfle and Officer Stephane Goulet presented a proposal to the Board to trade in the Police Department’s current pickup truck for a 2022 Dodge Durango SUV. Officer Goulet stated that the Department had located the Durango at a dealership in Niagara Falls, New York. The 2022 Durango has a price of $42,200, but with the trade-in value of $16K for the pickup, the cost of the vehicle would be $25,700. With the additional equipment needed for a police vehicle, the total cost is estimated to be around $50K. The additional equipment would include radar, roof lights, a camera.
The Department currently has 2 Durangos and the pickup, and Chief Warfle explained that the Durangos have served the Department well while the pickup has not.
The Town is supposed to budget $15K-$20K every year for vehicle replacement, but the Board acknowledged that it has not been putting enough in the fund in recent years. The Board asked that the Department return with final figures for the Durango, including costs for all necessary equipment, before a final decision is made. The Department agreed to gather the information and return at the next meeting.
The final piece of public business for the evening was the approval of two warrants in the amounts of $87,454.60 and $59,433.01. The Board did have a question about an expense for “lodging” at a conference attended by town employees. Mr. Atherton said he’d get the Board information about that expense.