Town of Halifax, Vermont
January 27, 2011
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:24 PM. Members in attendance were Howard Alboum, Sirean LaFlamme, D. Chris Estep, Norman Fajans, and Brian McNeice. William Pusey and Bradley Rafus were absent. Others in attendance were Chris Campany and Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.
Introductions were made and Mr. Campany gave a synopsis of his prior positions, education, and qualifications. He also gave a short summary of his life up to this point.
He advised that he really appreciates the dynamics between the WRC and the towns in the district. The accessibility of government officials not only on the local level but even at the state level is different than he has experienced in other places he has worked.
Mr. Alboum advised that they were interested in determining what role the WRC could play in assisting them in development of the new Town Plan and any other projects they may undertake. He advised they had come up with some specific areas of concern and suggested they address each one.
1. High Speed Internet Service:
A discussion of the future of Broadband in town and how it affects development followed. It was noted that the planning commissioners have touched on this topic in the town plan and members of the Broadband Committee are helping in the writing of that area of the new town plan.
Mr. Campany advised they are spearheading the creation of a regional team so that as a region through this collaboration they could push for a good response from providers.
The issues related to the proposals being put forward are varied and need to be carefully looked at by the towns involved.
Mr. Campany advised that the contact person from WRC is Dinah Reed. She is also the contact person for the planning commission in reference to the town plan and any other issues or questions the commissioners may have.
2. Technical Data for the Town Plan
Regarding the updating of the data and charts for the Town Plan Mr. Campany advised they have access to the census information and probably can assist in pulling the data together. He encouraged them to apply for a grant, although there are no guarantees that grants will even be funded this year.
3. Boilerplate Items in the Plan
Regarding the requirements that the state mandates versus pertinent items that are included in the plan, Mr. Campany advised that while some things may not seem to be relevant to Halifax, by including them shows that they have at least considered the issues.
He then explained the process the WRC is required to follow when reviewing for approval. In order for them to grant approval the plan must contain certain statements that reflect the state requirements.
4. Subdivision Regulations
Mr. McNeice asked about help in developing subdivision regulations. Mr. Campany advised that a planning grant might be a good avenue to follow for this until such time as they feel they are ready for additional assistance for the town plan.
Mr. Campany suggested that when developing regulations they might consider testing them by setting up possible scenarios and working them through the regulations to see if they work in a manner that is beneficial to both the property owners and the town.
In regard to the town plan review, Mr. Campany advised that they have panels made up of town representatives to the WRC who generally make the final decision regarding approval. He suggested that it might be more helpful if the panel gave input and suggestions, or asked questions before the finalization of a plan so that adjustments could be made if the planning commission deemed it necessary.
After some general discussion and comments regarding the best route to Newfane from Halifax, the commissioners thanked Mr. Campany for his input.
The meeting adjourned at 8:53 PM.
Phyllis H. Evanuk