OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
May 28, 2014
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm. Selectboard members in attendance were Edee Edwards, Lewis Sumner, and Earl Holtz. Robbin Gabriel was also present. The first hour of the meeting was devoted to review of the Personnel Policy. At 7:30 pm Wayne Courser, Alan Ashcraft, David Wright, Malcolm Sumner, Christina Moore, Andy Rice, and Tim Putnam joined the meeting, with Keith Stone and Michael Fournier arriving shortly after 8:00 pm.
Edwards remarked on the poor quality of the projector image on screen and suggested the Board consider using some of the remaining EMD funds to either replace the bulb or perhaps the entire unit.
Noting that Ross Barnett’s resignation as Co-EMD has been accepted by the board and acknowledged by return letter, Edwards said Vermont Yankee should be notified of the change. Sumner has been attempting to speak to John Angil by phone but has not yet been able to reach him directly.
The Board read and discussed final comments submitted by town attorney Bob Fisher on the updated Personnel Policy. In particular, the employee probationary period was changed from 6 to 12 months. Sumner said this matches the school’s policy. The gifts and exceptions clause was altered to clarify the acceptability of small food and non-alcoholic drinks. In the nepotism section, wording was included to assure hiring, promotions, or disciplinary actions would be overseen by the Selectboard in the event that the employee or prospective employee in question was under the supervision of a relative. The tobacco use section was revised to include e-cigarettes. Lastly, some specifics were added to describe the process the Town would follow to handle a sexual harassment claim.
Edwards will have the revised Personnel Policy ready to read and adopt at the next meeting, after which copies will be distributed to employees and a training session will be scheduled.
Drug and Alcohol Policy
As the Drug and Alcohol Policy requires further review the Board decided it would be handled separately from the Personnel Policy and will be addressed at a future meeting.
Denison Quarry/Act 250 Discussion with Halifax Fire Department/EMS
The Board distributed copies of the questionnaire/check list they received at the outset of the permitting process and Sumner pointed out the site maps that accompanied the permit application. Christina Moore asked whether the project would bring new people to town. Holtz said there would be an estimated five people hired, with a maximum of ten trips a week to haul stone, the quarry would be worked only in warm-weather months, and that while a ten-year period of activity had been discussed the application requests a fifty-year permit.
Moore wondered whether there would be a tax-related impact to the town, and Sumner explained that as the property is presently in land use the acreage to be leased for the quarry would be redefined as commercial with a portion of the tax penalty incurred returning to the town.
Per information in the permit application, no explosives will be used, and there will be no on-site bulk fuel storage. A spill-prevention plan and spill cleanup kit will be maintained on location.
After visiting the site recently, Wayne Courser and Malcolm Sumner determined that the year-round brook which feeds out of Deer Park Pond would provide an accessible water supply should the Fire Department be called to fight a fire on the project site.
Holtz mentioned that Deerfield Valley Ambulance would be requesting party status in the process and said that if the Fire Department and/or Halifax EMS were to obtain party status it would give them a direct method of expressing any concerns they might have about the project’s impact on their organizations. Moore and Courser took copies of contact information for the District #2 Coordinator.
Communication also came under discussion—the town has asked whether a landline would be installed at the quarry, as it is uncertain that cell phones could get signal. The road into the site needs a sign and a 911 designation. Moore asked that any assigned road name be similar to the town road name for clarity.
Moore told the meeting that Halifax EMS had received—along with the new vehicle—three defibrillators from the Terry Farrell Foundation. One is now housed at the school office, and Principal Sandra Pentak has asked for an August in-service day for staff CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator) training. She encouraged Board members to participate and, as the school building is locked, would like to find a way to make a unit accessible to town officials. Moore also said EMS is working to find housing for the new vehicle, which must be in a temperature-controlled environment before winter as the medications, batteries, and fluids cannot tolerate colder temperatures.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm.