Town of Halifax, Vermont

November 13, 2014


The emergency meeting commenced at 3:20 PM at the Halifax Town Garage, 2044 Branch Road.   Board members in attendance were Earl Holtz and Edee Edwards. Lewis Sumner was notified, but unable to attend.   Also in attendance at various times were: Allen Pratt from Northern Reliability, and Highway Department members, Michael Fournier, Ben Barnett, Brad Rafus, Travis Briggs and Keith Stone.

Siting of Solar Panels for Cellular Grant

Allen Pratt from Northern Reliability, the company doing the electrical and solar panel work on the VTA Resilience Grant for the Rte. 112 corridor was on the site to stake out the area for the solar panel and trench work, so that Dig Safe could be notified of impending work. Upon reviewing the site plans with the road crew, adjustments were needed, so the Selectboard members were called for an emergency meeting. The Selectboard had no prior notice of Northern Reliability’s plans to be on site.

Because of the desire to keep a clear travel path to the sand pile, and now that the fuel tank has been moved and the ground leveled, the Selectboard requested that the site be moved approximately 40 feet to the west. Some brush and tree removal on the town’s property is likely to be required.   Allen explained that the cabling will need to be buried at least 18” deep to be code compliant, and the cable must connect to the electrical panel to which the generator is not wired.   The new placement was deemed best suited by all (n.b. Keith Stone was not in attendance at this portion of the meeting) and further questions of the Highway Department and Selectboard about the footprint and structure were answered. (Plans for the structure at available at the Town Office.) Allen commenced to stake out the area.

Edwards also requested that they bring the solar pathfinder device back onsite during the installation, so that specific trees needing removal could be identified.   Allen noted that the tree removal would also ensure long-term viability of the panel’s capacity, because tree growth over time would reduce the panel’s power capacity.

WiFi Hotspot Site Inspection

Holtz requested that Edwards visually review the wiring to the WiFi Hotspot while they were on the site, which he had proposed as an agenda item for the upcoming Broadband Committee Meeting on 11/19. The WiFi Hotspot had failed shortly before Edwards was out of town for a business trip (see minutes from 11/8). Holtz had patched a portion of the wiring, which was pinched from being pushed through the corner of an exhaust vent. This has resolved the problem for now.

Holtz proposes moving the WiFi Hotspot device from its present location to just over the main entry to the garage, while stringing a much shorter, donated cable, up along the ceiling. He was volunteering labor to do this. Edwards stated concerns about getting up to the ceiling and performing the work safely. Edwards also noted that the broadband committee is only advisory and has no budget, and that this should be a topic for discussion at the Selectboard meeting instead. They agreed to get it on the agenda for the next meeting. Stone requested that the current vent did need to be put back into place with the cold coming; Holtz said he’d need to make some notches in the vent, but would get that done.

One-Ton Truck Repair

Rafus took the opportunity to note that the One-Ton Truck is broken down. It needs an expensive repair of the head gasket.   The replacement truck is due in 3 weeks. Stone can fix the one-ton, but there is more urgent maintenance that needs to be done before winter.   Edwards and Holtz agreed to get this on an upcoming agenda also; there are plans to hold a special meeting with the fuel vendor, time/date as yet unconfirmed, or at worst case scenario, Tuesday night’s regular meeting.

Various other offhand comments were made during the site visit about the facilities, ongoing fuel contamination concerns and equipment, however none were new or especially noteworthy. The prior sentence is included for completeness; no other decisions were made.


The meeting ended at 4:07 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Edee Edwards, Selectboard Member