Halifax Trustees of Public Funds

Special Meeting – DRAFT MINUTES

March 30, 2024, at 10:30 AM

Halifax Café, 20 Brook Road, West Halifax, VT


Trustees in attendance: Steven Cohen, Patrick McAllister, Laurel Copeland


CALL TO ORDER – 10:30 am


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Dec 1 2023 minutes were approved with minor edits



McAllister added the topic Taxes to New Business.



Mid-year consolidation of accounts. Cohen reported on the Cael Fund earnings and expenditures as of 12/31/2023. Scholarships are issued in two parts, $500 in September and $500 in January.

McAllister reported that Wicks Fund earned a few dollars and is now worth a little over two thousand dollars.

McAllister reported that Scott Fund was at $309,160.06 mid-year (12/31/2023).

Copeland reported that the CD that rolled over in early January was pulled from that rate (2.44%) and reinvested in a 9-month CD at 4.16% and that the second CD was put into a 9-month CD at 4.16%; mid-year values will be sent via email (c. $58k & $72k).


Adding signatories to the accounts the Trustees of Public Funds (TPFs) control. Brattleboro Savings & Loan (BSL) needs a letter from the Chair of the Select Board; Copeland has drafted it with the existing account numbers. She proposed moving the remaining funds from TD Bank to BSL and including the new account number(s) in the letter from the Select Board requesting to add signatories.

      Edward Jones: Cohen and Copeland need to call Colleen at Edward Jones, 802-257-7585, to provide their information and get forms to sign.


Upcoming disbursements: Scott Fund. McAllister reported that the town has asked to use about one-third of the Scott Fund to cover the bookkeeping error that led to the budget for FYE2024 being about $100,000 short. The advisor at Edward Jones where the funds are held will determine the cost of selling the assets to cover this shortfall and repurchasing them after repayment by the town in the summer/fall, after the FYE2025 budget collects sufficient tax revenue. Borrowing the shortfall would cost ~6%; the costs of selling & repurchasing are expected to be less.

Paper Trail: When a TPF takes funds from an account and gives it to the Town for a specific purpose, a paper trail should be created. For example, Copeland prepares a memo from the three Cemetery Commissioners to the TPF-Cemetery Fund stating the amount requested from specified bank and that the town Clerk will be asked to deposit the check from the bank to the Cemetery Commission. Another memo from the TPF-Cemetery Fund to the Halifax Town Clerk says that the Cemetery Commissioners, named, ask that the check in the amount specified be deposited to the Cemetery Commission. In future transactions such as this, TPFs should be notified that the transfer is occurring.


Taxes. McAllister has received tax forms; Cohen and Copeland agreed they had, too. Copeland called the town clerk to ask what to do with it and was told, “nothing; we don’t pay taxes.” Copeland asked whether the town EIN could be used to excuse Cemetery Commission purchases from sales taxes; McAllister will investigate.



Cemetery Fund CD. Copeland reported that upon calling the bank, she learned the account labeled “Cemetery Fund CD” was not a CD. The Cemetery Commission has proposed to expend the remaining funds in the Cemetery Fund accounts this fiscal year.

Eames Fund, a fund whose interest may be used by the town for any purpose, shows two withdrawals in FYE2023 of $3,000 on 8/31/2022 and $2,000 on 2/13/2023 although the budgeted amount for FYE2023 was $1,500. Former TPF Bill Moore did not have information on where these funds went; Patty Dow will be asked.

Eames Fund. No withdrawals have been made in FYE2024 from Eames Fund. McAllister commented that the Select Board will not withdraw funds from the Eames Fund this year.



Cohen proposed adding a blurb to the Town website urging students to apply for the town Scholarships. Submissions are due to the Town Clerk by May 15th. This information will be added to the Halifax Newsletter and to the Update from the school.