Town of Halifax, Vermont
June 16, 2015


Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. Selectboard members Lewis Sumner and Edee Edwards were present, as were Ray Combs, Blaise McGarvey, Brad Rafus, Brian Siano (Lane Construction), Tara and Fred Cheney (Vermont Roadworks), Sue Kelly, and Robbin Gabriel.

Changes and/or Additions to Agenda


Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

Edee Edwards made a motion to approve the 6/2/15 regular meeting minutes as written. Lewis Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0.

Edwards made a motion to approve the 6/9/15 special meeting minutes as written. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0.

New Business

Open Truck Bids
Two bids were received for the 4×4 pickup truck, as follows:

H.P. Fairfield, Keene, New Hampshire: New 2015 crew cab 4×4 pickup with six-foot bed and plow equipment. Truck, $40,350.00; plow equipment, $1,985.00; total cost without trade-in, $42,335.00. Trade-in value: $8,500.00; total cost with trade, $33,835.00.

Walier Chevrolet, Keene, New Hampshire: 2015 Chevrolet 2500HD, $41,703.82. Delivery eight to ten weeks from order date. Price includes installation of requested equipment. No bid with trade-in offered.

This second bid was dated June 12th, postmarked June 13th, and received in the Town office June 16th. Deadline for bid receipt was June 15th, 3 p.m. in the Town Office, and discussion ensued as to whether the bid offer could be considered. Edwards suggested reviewing the town’s purchasing policy wording, as it seemed the bidder had made a reasonable assumption the offer would arrive before the deadline. As bids are traditionally opened at a Tuesday night Board meeting, perhaps the deadline could be changed to the day of the meeting. All agreed, however, that the Fairfield bid, which included a trade-in offer reducing overall cost of the truck, was preferable. Brad Rafus said the Fairfield bid was well under our goal number. Sumner made a motion to accept the Fairfield bid for a new 2015 crew cab 4×4 pickup with plow equipment and trade-in for $33,835.00, contingent upon Brad Rafus’ and Keith Stone’s review and approval of the specifications. Edwards seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0.

Open Fuel Bids
Two fuel bids were received, as follows:

Guy Nido, Wilmington, Vermont: 2,000 gallons #2 heating oil, delivered to the Halifax Town Garage on a ten-day automatic delivery cycle, $2.44/gallon. Must be paid by the tenth of the sequential month. 8,750 gallons summer diesel fuel, delivered July 1, 2015-October 1, 2015 and April 1, 2016-June 30, 2016, $2.46/gallon. 8,750 gallons winter mix diesel fuel, delivered November 1, 2015-March 31, 2016, ten-day automatic delivery, 50/50 mix, $2.69/gallon.

Barrows & Fisher Oil Company, Brattleboro, Vermont: 2,000 gallons #2 heating oil, $2.799/gallon, net 10 days. Summer diesel, $0.25 over Albany rack price at time of delivery, #3 winter blend diesel, 60/40 mix, $0.35 over Albany rack price at time of delivery. Pricing excludes any applicable taxes.

The Selectboard has recently learned that state contracts for fuel purchases are available, and Edwards suggested taking this into consideration. As bid requests had already been sent out she did not make any effort to research terms and conditions of a state contract. It is possible state contracts are tied to rack price, and Rafus recommended that, as the town works on a budget, concrete price per gallon is the better choice. That could be to our advantage or disadvantage, said Edwards. Maybe we should work with what we have this year and maybe make a final decision next meeting. Fuel bids will be on the Monday, June 29th, special meeting agenda.

Open Paving Bids
Seven paving bids were received for the Town Hill (Jacksonville Stage Road at the Branch Road intersection) project, as follows:

Frank W. Whitcomb Construction, Winooski, Vermont: 6-inch reclaim, five-tenths mile, $7,293.02; repaving with two-inch binder, 22-feet wide, five-tenths mile, $55,601.92; one-inch topcoat, $30,356.48; two-foot shoulder, $6,295.52. Total: $99,546.94, signage and traffic control included.

Bazin Brothers Trucking, Inc., Westminster, Vermont: $91,689.10 total cost (project as described above).

Springfield Paving, North Springfield, Vermont: $89,521.00 total cost (project as described above).

Warner Brothers LLC, Sunderland, Massachusetts: $60,009.00 for repaving, $29,963.00 one-inch topcoat, $3,430.00 two-foot shoulder; total $93,402.00. Rafus advised that Warner and All States (shown below) would work together if they were awarded the project, with All States handling the reclaim.

All States Asphalt, Sunderland, Massachusetts: Reclaim $5,936.76. This quote was for reclaim only.

Total project quote—Warner plus All States–$99,338.76.

Vermont Roadworks, Guilford, Vermont: $87,947.83 total cost (project as described above).

Lane Construction Corporation, Northfield, Massachusetts: $97,776.50 total cost (project as described above).

Edwards remarked she was unfamiliar with the lowest bidder, Vermont Roadworks, and asked whether they had bid in the past. Fred and Tara Cheney of Vermont Roadworks were present at the meeting, and identified themselves. Fred Cheney said he had worked for Lane for thirteen years; Vermont Roadworks paved the Old County Road bridge last year. Rafus said they had also done several patch jobs on Green River Road. Rafus asked where the Vermont Roadworks mix would becoming from. Out of Lane, in Northfield, Fred Cheney replied. Rafus recommended the Board accept the Vermont Roadworks bid. Edwards made a motion to award the Jacksonville Stage hill reclaiming and paving contract to Vermont Roadworks for $87,947.83. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0. What about availability and timing, asked Edwards. We’ll be available when you want us, answered Cheney. The Cheneys and Rafus will work together on scheduling.

Edwards noted the $12,000 variation in quotes, and said she was pleased to have so many bidders. Rafus surmised the price differential was tied to trucking costs; some bidders would have to bring mix from a greater distance than others.

Windham Wood Heat Initiative
Energy Coordinator Tristan Roberts had forwarded information on the Windham Wood Heat Initiative to the Selectboard; Edwards outlined the plan to make grant monies available to assist in conversions from oil and propane to high-efficiency wood heat systems such as pellet systems. The Initiative’s short-term goal is to convert twenty schools and public buildings to wood heat, with a long-term goal of making the county a hub of advanced wood heat technology. The expectation is that successful conversions will help retain half a million dollars a year in the local economy. I would like to propose we go with this at the town garage, said Edwards, because it will reduce our dependence on fuel that is not renewable, and also, if the furnace and fuel supply were outside the building, it would free up space in the garage. We need more information before we sign up, said Sumner. Where would they be getting the wood, asked Ray Combs. Rafus mentioned Cersosimo operates a wood chip mill. Further discussion covered clear-cutting versus selective cutting, patch cutting, and new technologies and methods used in the harvesting process. Twin Valley School has an outside system, mentioned Rafus; and Sumner added that furnace uses chips rather than pellets. Sue Kelly wondered whether the process was different for producing chips and pellets. Edwards told Combs project grants ranging from $10,000 to $75,000 would be made available for conversion projects. The Board asked Rafus to communicate with Windham Regional Commission’s Kim Smith to obtain further information.

Hearing of Visitors


Old Business

Discuss ZBA Alternate Member Candidates
As no potential candidates have come forward, Edwards recommended leaving this topic off meeting agendas until such time as volunteers have been located.

Other Business

Sumner noted the Town does not yet have a contract from the Vermont State Police. Gabriel will call to follow up on this.

Blaise McGarvey asked about progress on the tower in the Center. That’s the broadband wireless tower, said Edwards. Work is ongoing, but the tower is not operational yet and no firm date for startup has been announced. It might be end of June, but that is not definite. Edwards did have information about the Route 112 cell phone project, which should be finished by November. When the Center tower comes online, routers will be available from VTel; there should be a press release and possibly a mass mailing. The type of equipment needed will vary depending on a customer’s location in relation to the tower. Price range will be $85 to $500 for initial equipment; the higher cost will be for those subscribers who need an outdoor antenna. After installation, there will be a monthly usage fee. The Broadband Committee is working on a chart of price comparisons which will be posted on the town web site when completed.

The Board reviewed the Windham County Humane Society contract for the coming fiscal year. The yearly fee has increased from $200 to $250, and the Humane Society is recommending towns raise their impoundment fee to $30 per animal. Edwards reviewed the town’s animal control ordinance, which may need to be updated. Edwards made a motion to sign the Windham County Humane Society contract for the coming year, effective July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0.

Edwards asked Sue Kelly whether the Town’s health ordinance was currently valid. Kelly advised that the local health ordinance only addressed septic systems, and since that has been superceded by state law our town ordinance is no longer valid. Gabriel will research procedure for repealing the ordinance.

McGarvey voiced concerns with a camper on a Brook Road property. The door is always open, he said, and I know you have to take doors off refrigerators; should we send the constable out to investigate a possible hazard for children getting inside. Maybe the door should be nailed or tied shut. Sumner said he would mention it to Andy Rice.

Selectboard’s Order to the Treasurer for Bill Payment

The Selectboard’s Order to the Treasurer was reviewed and signed.


Various pieces of correspondence were reviewed and appropriately filed.

The Board reviewed a request from the Lion’s Club and gave Gabriel permission to post their information and upcoming events notices on the town web site. Edwards said she would like to have EMS notified when the Lion’s Club bicycle event is going to be held.

Fitzgerald Environmental has forwarded detail on their recommendations for the berm on Green River Road near Perry Road. Rafus took the information and said he would discuss this with the stream alteration engineer. Edwards said that berms on the river near the old Stone farm on Route 112 had been flattened, and she would like to have the state river engineer notified. Sumner said he thought the state had asked to have those berms moved.

Rafus asked that the truck lease paperwork, which will be available on June 29th, be approved and signed by the Board at that special meeting, so the purchase can proceed after the beginning of the new fiscal year.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robbin Gabriel
Selectboard Secretary