Town of Halifax, Vermont

July 28, 2014

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 8:06 a.m. Selectboard members present were Lewis Sumner and Edee Edwards. Earl Holtz was absent, but available by phone. Also present were Robbin Gabriel and Brad Rafus. Charlene Martynowski and Joe Tamburrino joined the group shortly after the meeting was called to order.

New Business

Sign Road Commissioner’s Orders
The weekly Road Commissioner’s orders were reviewed and signed.

Approve Administrative Assistant Job Description
Edwards had two further items for discussion before advertising the Administrative Assistant position. The Board agreed to add “part-time” to the description, and will give the Road Commissioner and Town Clerk/Treasurer copies of the document for review, as the assistant will be interacting regularly with those officials. Edwards made a motion to approve the job description for administrative assistant. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0.

Advertise for Administrative Assistant
To keep costs down, Edwards has written a short, simple advertisement announcing openings for both an administrative assistant and a Co-EMD. Sumner suggested posting the ad in the Deerfield Valley News, which is read by many local people. Edwards will query that paper and the Brattleboro Reformer about pricing. She mentioned that in the past placing an advertisement in the Reformer had resulted in an automatic posting on, which netted applications from across the country for a position that did not include relocation options. A notice and job description will be posted on the town web site, with small notices on the bulletin boards in town.

Advertise for Construction of Addition to Salt Shed
Sumner remarked that, generally, response to newspaper advertisements soliciting bids is unsatisfactorily small. Rafus will also send bid requests to his existing contractor list, and notice will be posted on the town’s bulletin boards in accordance with the purchasing policy. The request will be for a design/build project with Earl Holtz’ electronic sketch included to help contractors visualize the desired finished structure. Edwards made a motion to put the salt shed roof out to bid as a design/build project. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0.

Discuss Blacktopping Section of Old County Road from Bridge #37 to Green River Road
Earl Holtz joined the meeting by phone for this portion of the meeting. Rafus had expected Lane Construction to work on warranty repaving of Green River Road this summer, which could have facilitated blacktopping the Old County Road piece, but Lane is proposing to wait another year and re-examine the Green River Road pavement before making a decision on how to proceed. Edwards expressed a reluctance to pave the Old County Road segment, as it is a small road serving few residents, while Holtz spoke of erosion already evident after this season’s storms and wondered whether some roadbed reconstruction might be required in addition to blacktopping. Holtz estimates the section under consideration for paving to be about 500-600 feet long. In conclusion, the Board agreed to table the matter until speaking with the bridge project’s engineers and obtaining an estimate for the paving. Edwards also proposed bundling that project with the Green River Road culvert section which will need paving after the replacement is completed.

In reference to Lane Construction’s change in plan, Holtz and Edwards recommended having Lane’s and the town’s attorneys review warranty details to assure that the town’s right of recourse under the guarantee does not expire should Green River Road repaving be postponed another year.

Note that Guilford’s Green River Bridge will be closed from July 28th to September 15th
Edwards has posted this information online, on the town bulletin boards, and in the Front Porch Forum. Sumner has spoken with Guilford’s Dick Clark about sign posting. Rafus also told the meeting Hale Road will be closed for 21 days beginning August 11th, while Guilford replaces a bridge, and Halifax will close Green River Road above Deer Park Road July 30th and 31st for the culvert replacement.

Hearing of Visitors

Patty Dow
Joining the meeting briefly, Dow requested and received permission to forward several tax bill questions to town attorney Robert Fisher.

Board of Listers
Charlene Martynowski, having talked with District Advisor Nancy Merrill, asked that the Board approve appointing a temporary assistant to the Board of Listers to help out during Phyllis Evanuk’s lengthy absence. Nancy Merrill, joining the meeting by phone, advised using the wording “temporary assistant” or “contractor help.” Joe Tamburrino recommended Bill Moore for the position, as he has been a lister in the past and knows the regimen. Edwards made a motion to make an emergency appointment for a temporary replacement or contractor help to ease the lister’s burden while they are short one person due to health issues, with the provision that legal counsel finds no deterrent to  the action. Sumner seconded the motion after amending it to include Bill Moore’s name as a potential candidate. The motion then passed, 2-0.

Other Business

Planning Commission/Act 250/Denison Quarry Project
Sumner noted the date for the Act 250 hearing: September 9th at 5:00 p.m. Edwards would like to schedule a joint Selectboard/Planning Commission meeting before the September 9th hearing, but thus far has not heard from all the Planning Commission members. As John Brimmer is available this week for a morning meeting, the Board set Thursday, July 31st, 8:00 a.m., for an executive session.

VTA Project/Fisher & Fisher
Edwards has not heard back from Fisher law offices regarding the VTA (Vermont Telecommunications Authority) review request, so will check with them again this week.

Gravel and Truck Bids
Bid deadline for gravel and the new truck is Friday, August 8th, 3:00 p.m. Submissions will be opened at the Monday, August 11th meeting.

Reed Hill Culvert
Todd Menees (Vermont State Watershed Management) has advised that the culvert near the post office should be repaired soon. Rafus will bring the Board further information after a site meeting with Windham Regional Commission personnel to examine the damage. A source of funding for the work has yet to be determined.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:08 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robbin Gabriel
Selectboard Secretary