Town of Halifax, Vermont
January 26, 2016


Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. Selectboard members Lewis Sumner, Doug Grob, and Brad Rafus were present, as were Arthur (Jesse) Ferland, Stephan Chait, Norman Fajans, Sue Kelly, and Robbin Gabriel.

Changes and/or Additions to Agenda


Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

Lewis Sumner made a motion to accept the 1/19/16 regular meeting minutes as written. Brad Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.

New Business

Open Bids—Town Garage Insulation
As the Board prepared to open bids for the foam insulation project at the town garage, Stephan Chait asked whether these contractor estimates included roof leak and ventilation repairs. Sumner and Rafus explained that Savoy Engineering, during their assessment process, had determined the moisture problems in the garage were not the result of roof leaks, but were caused by heavy condensation. The present fiberglass insulation is absorbing so much water it has become supersaturated, with the excess draining back down into the building. Once the fiberglass is replaced with foam the roof will stay cold, the existing exhaust fans will be operable, and condensation should be eliminated.

Insulation By Foam Pro, Waitsfield, Vermont—3” nominal closed-cell foam on the roof deck, ½” closed-cell foam on the purlins, remove and discard all old insulation, apply thermal barrier paint to all exposed foam, cover all areas to avoid overspray, provide all necessary lifts. $24,725.00.

Village Builders, Inc., Wolcott, Vermont—All specifications as shown in above bid—6,100 square feet of foam, as specified in the town’s RFQ, $30,499.

Four Seasons Foam Insulators of New England, Keene, New Hampshire—All specifications as shown in above bid—6,100 square feet of foam, as specified in the town’s RFQ, $31,174.80.

Sumner made a motion to award the bid to Insulation By Foam Pro. Do we know these foam insulations all have the same insulation value, asked Doug Grob. Do you ask for recommendations or references, asked Norman Fajans—do you know these three companies. No, answered Rafus, this is unfamiliar territory. But we did get a vendor list from the engineer. One quote is considerably lower; before you decide, suggested Chait, would it be worth checking with the engineer? The Board decided to table Sumner’s motion until Gabriel had an opportunity to confer with Savoy Engineering. Bid approval was postponed until the February 2nd regular Selectboard meeting.

Hazard Mitigation Plan Available for Public Comment
At our last meeting, we reviewed the first draft of Windham Regional Commission’s hazard mitigation plan, advised Sumner. WRC has incorporated our corrections and the plan is now available until February 8th for public review and comment. A copy is available for viewing in the Town Clerk’s office. The plan can also be accessed online at

Finalize Proposed FY17 Budget
The Board last worked on the proposed FY17 budget figures on December 12th. At that time they were still waiting to receive figures for certain expenditures, including VLCT property and casualty, workers’ compensation, and dispatching costs. Those numbers are now included in the budget, as well as $40,000 for the school (see 1/19/16 regular meeting minutes at, and $5,000 for the Emergency Operations Center. As upcoming legal fees cannot be accurately calculated the Board entered the same $5,000 amount proposed in FY16. Last year, the total Selectboard and highway budget was $1,213,600, said Sumner. This year, if we don’t change anything, the total is $1,205,682; about $8,000 less. That includes the $40,000 for the school, Sumner told Fajans. So, the $40,000 aside, you’re actually about $48,000 under last year’s budget, commented Chait. This also includes repairs on the town garage, said Grob. The figure we have in the budget is about $9,000 higher than the lowest bid received, added Rafus; we have $33,000 in the budget, and the low bid is $24,000. Rafus asked what the $5,000 amount for the EOC would cover. Supplies, fuel and maintenance for the generators, said Sumner. Any salary would also come out of that if needed, but there probably won’t be much work. By statute the town has to have an emergency management director. The emergency management position has previously been funded by Vermont Yankee, but with the shutdown that is going away. Grob made a motion to accept the budget as proposed. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.

Finalize and Sign Town Warning
At Chait’s request, Sumner read through the warning articles, with explanation as needed. The Selectboard had received a citizens’ petition for a vote on zoning regulation repeal; originally this was to be an article on the warning for vote by Australian ballot. However, the Board subsequently learned that per statute (VSA Chapter 117, §4441 and §4442) the petition must be passed to the Planning Commission for a report and a public hearing, and then to the Selectboard for a public hearing, before going to town voters. As there is insufficient time to complete this process before the March 1, 2016, town meeting, the petition for repeal will be addressed at a special town meeting later in the year, after the necessary hearings have been held. Does a repeal question require a two-thirds majority or simple majority vote, asked Fajans. Vermont statute seems to indicate a simple majority, but this will be researched.

The Board confirmed the accuracy of budget figures shown in the town warning articles. Sumner made a motion to accept the March 1, 2016 town warning as written, with one article taken out. Grob seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.

Executive Session (if necessary)
No executive session was held.

Old Business


Other Business


Hearing of Visitors

Chait thanked the Board for their work on the budget and said he appreciated the opportunity to participate.

Sumner confirmed for Jesse Ferland that the article on zoning regulation repeal had been removed from the town warning.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:37 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robbin Gabriel
Selectboard Secretary