Town of Halifax, Vermont
May 25, 2016


Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. Selectboard members Lewis Sumner, Mitchell Green, and Bradley Rafus were present, as were Patricia Dow, John LaFlamme, Rick Gay, and Robbin Gabriel.

Changes and/or Additions to Agenda

Three items were added to the agenda—the yearly dog warrant for signature, and discussions on gravel and the Halifax Center dog bite situation.

New Business

Sign Tandem Truck Loan
The Board has received loan paperwork for the tandem truck. Lewis Sumner made a motion to approve and sign a five-year, $130,000 Capital Equipment loan through People’s Bank at 2.5% interest, to be paid in five installments of $26,000 each. Mitch Green seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. First payment is due May 27, 2017 and final payment will be made May 27, 2021. The documents were signed by all Board members and the Town Treasurer/Town Clerk.

Zoning Administrator Appointment
On May 17th, with one member absent from their regular meeting, the Selectboard postponed consideration of the Planning Commission’s recommendations for Zoning Administrator. Sumner said the Commission had recommended two of the seven candidates, John LaFlamme and Bill Moore. Green made a motion to appoint Bill Moore to a four-year term as Zoning Administrator. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. There were no further nominations. Sumner told Brad Rafus that Rick Mirucki would continue as Acting Zoning Administrator; his term expires in 2019. Sumner thanked John LaFlamme for applying.

Dog Warrant
Patty Dow has submitted the yearly dog warrant to the Board for signature. Sumner said there were about 17 unlicensed dogs on the list; fewer than in past years. Some dogs have passed away, others have moved from town, said Dow, but the overall number of licensed dogs has increased to 179. Sumner made a motion to sign the dog warrant and pass it to Constable Andrew Rice. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. The warrant gives the town Constable authority to impound unregistered dogs. Dow has already called a number of owners whose dogs remain unlicensed.

Rafus told the meeting he has spoken with numerous vendors in an attempt to solicit bids for processing the town’s stockpile of material. Three companies who sent representatives to examine the stockpile advised the project was not large enough to meet their requirements, and others are no longer accepting off-site projects. Rafus received one quote, from Brown’s Country Services of West Dover, for the crusher and two men at $7.00 a yard. It’s a little more than we expected, observed Sumner. Seven or eight years ago we paid $4.50 a yard, said Rafus; he had hoped for a price of $5.00-$6.00 a yard. Green asked about renting as an option; Rafus said rental would be $40,000 for a month, plus the highway crew’s time. We have the money; we budgeted $90,000, and it would cut our cost to almost a third, added Rafus. We are paying $19.50 delivered right now. We hope to get 10,000 yards out of our material. How many yards do you buy a year, asked Patty Dow. Depending on the budget, about 10,000 yards, Rafus replied. Last year we budgeted $148,000 and purchased 8,000 yards. He told Rick Gay the town pays $10.50 a yard at the pit, plus about $8.50 a yard for transport, if it does its own trucking. Green made a motion to approve Brown Country Services bid of $7.00 per cubic yard for gravel crushing at the Town Garage. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0-1, with Rafus abstaining.

 Halifax Center Dog Situation
Gabriel reported that Michael McGillion, of Fisher and Fisher, had forwarded a Board-approved agreement to James Valente, who is representing Kayte Bak, on April 13th. As of today McGillion has had no response from Valente, despite numerous attempts at contact. Green made a motion to schedule a public hearing on the dog issue for June 7th,at 6:30 p.m., immediately prior to the regular Selectboard meeting; said hearing to be cancelled should the agreement be signed prior to that date. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. Sumner and Green told Rick Gay the agreement states conditions of confinement for the dog, and says the dog will be impounded and euthanized if those conditions are not followed. Green said he wanted to proceed with a hearing because the dog’s owner was not responding to the town’s attempts to set an agreement in place. State statutes directs that notice be given and a hearing held within seven days of the complaint; Gabriel will talk to VLCT or the town attorney to verify specifics of the process.

Executive Session (if necessary)

None held.

Old Business


Other Business


Hearing of Visitors

Patty Dow said she would like to have discussion, when budgeting meetings are held later in the year, on approving monies to put up a glass-fronted bulletin board at the old town garage. That would be useful, she said, on those occasions where state statute requires posting certain meetings or hearings in five public places. Sumner said he had been present at a meeting when a town official complained his town didn’t have five public buildings. The gentleman received this response from a state representative: You have enough room on your Town Clerk’s bulletin board to post five notices, don’t you?


The meeting was adjourned at 7:32 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robbin Gabriel
Selectboard Secretary