Halifax Cemetery Commission

Special Meeting

Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at 9:30 AM

Halifax Town Office, 246 Branch Road, West Halifax, VT

Or Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7814490827?pwd=TStzZDJlWW9TYnZtajJrSjlKUlQ1Zz09&omn=81401137814

Attendees: Linda Swanson, Gary Rand, Laurel Copeland, Patrick McAllister



CALL TO ORDER at 9:30 am


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Minutes from the meeting on January 5, 2024, were approved.


CHANGES AND/OR ADDITIONS TO AGENDA – Resident question: if I buy plots in a cemetery now and Halifax adds a natural green cemetery later, can I swap plots? A plot can always be sold back to the Town. The Commission will take this up again when time permits, and the issue of a natural burial ground is discussed.



Decide how to lay out the newly surveyed parts of Niles and West Halifax

  • Will there be new “roads” or paths through the section? Niles – Add T-shaped road from entry road over drain, west across lower ledge patch with a turn-around “T” over the ledge; road width ~10 feet. In West Halifax, the T-shaped turnaround indicated on the existing road is exactly what is wanted. In addition, paths will be at least 5 feet wide between rows of plot-sets.
  • Is the designation “Section B” acceptable for the new areas? – In Niles, the newest section is Section C (there is already an old Section A and an intermediary Section B). In West Halifax, the new section is Section B.
  • How will the sections be oriented (will they be similar to the existing section or something different) – Make it similar to the existing sections. Niles plots will be perpendicular to Route 112. In West Halifax, the plots run east-west, similar to existing plots.
  • How far off the property lines and/or edge of woods would we like to be with the new plots? – New plots should be 5 feet away from the boundary or wall of the graveyard. Paths between sections of plots should be 8 feet wide.
  • Number of gravesites and their sizes (typically 4 gravesites within each “plot” marked with a pin & cap marker in the ground) – Each marked plot-set is 20’ x 8’ containing 4 plots of 10’ x 4’ each.
  • Location and dimensions of proposed “Main Road” and turn-a-round on the West Halifax Plot. – The proposed location shown on survey map is what we want. Width is 10 feet as shown. T-shaped turnaround is as shown on survey map but should be 20 feet wide.
  • Should the West Halifax Cemetery swale be moved? Drawn where currently lies. – The existing swale will be in the location shown, but a second section will be added along the west lawn line between the lawn line and the stone wall. This second swale will double as a path.

We will convey these decisions to the surveyor and meet with him if need be.



The last bid on Hatch trees came it – they had the lowest bid for Tree removal in Hatch so their bid was accepted; an abutter offered to pay for the job while they do work on their land; the work can proceed at any time (this was conveyed to them by email).

Change in how Cemetery Commission $$ is handled – SB would like to include Cemetery Perpetual Reserve Fund allocation in the SB budget instead of as a separate article. Gary spoke at the special budget meeting on Jan 6 to remind SB why we need the money to catch up on years of deferred maintenance and restoration as well as preparing donated land for use (Niles; West Halifax).

Presentation at Town Meeting we will draft short statements for Town Meeting based on the amount in the Town Budget line.

Need Pennel Hill tree-cutting estimates for FYE2026 budget request, although that could wait until subsequent year. Other major expenses besides tree-cutting are GPR and drainage, and potentially improving the trail to Worden should that become desirable.

Need estimate for removing the big birch in Center

Moving money from TD Bank to Town account –$2,500 to cover the surveyor; how many pins and where to buy them will require additional funds possibly beyond the estimate of $1,400. The savings account now contains $8,461.17; Commission will request of the TPF the amount needed to cover bills for surveyor marking pins.

Drainage work – GR followed up with Billy Hunt re drainage in West Halifax; plan to complete work in the summer.






ADJOURNMENT – 10:30 am.


ACTION ITEMS – Commissioners will draft short statements for Town Meeting based on the amount in the Town Budget line ($23,714).