Town of Halifax, Vermont
June 7, 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 Fred Cheney (Vermont Roadworks), Kaitlin Stone, Cara Cheyette, and Robbin Gabriel.

Changes and/or Additions to Agenda

Lewis Sumner advised the Halifax Center dog issue would be discussed under old business.

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

Lewis Sumner made a motion to approve the 5/17/16 regular meeting minutes as written. Mitch Green seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0-1, with Brad Rafus, who was absent, abstaining.

Green made a motion to approve the 5/24/16 special meeting minutes as written. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.

Sumner made a motion to approve the 5/25/16 special meeting minutes as written. Green seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.

New Business

Open Paving Bids
Two bids were received on the Collins Road paving project, as follows:

Vermont Roadworks, LLC, Guilford, Vermont: Reclaim–$11,461.12; paving–$109,275.57; shouldering–$9,255.00. Total, $129,991.69

Bazin Brothers Trucking, Inc., Westminster, Vermont: Reclaim–$9,292.50; paving–$111,984.60; shouldering–$7,850.00. Total, $129,127.10.

The Bazin Brothers quote was given as price per ton and square or cubic yards. The Board calculated total costs based on those numbers. In discussion, Board members noted Vermont Roadworks’ paving quote was for 1797 tons, while Bazin’s was for 1758 tons. Who bears the cost if tonnage comes up short? asked Cara Cheyette. The town would pay the difference, responded Rafus. I use a wheel to measure, as odometer readings are often inaccurate. Per wheel measurement, the Collins Road project will need 1791 tons. Equivalent tonnage from Bazin Brothers would increase the cost about $2,548.00. Fred Cheney said his mix was coming from Mitchells in Swanzey, NH, and he has been very satisfied with the quality. What if we have an issue, like we had with Lane, with the pavement coming apart? asked Green. I stand behind it for a year, replied Cheney; we take pride in our work. Green made a motion to approve the Vermont Roadworks bid of $129,991.69 for the Collins Road paving project. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. Vermont Roadworks paved the Town Hill section of Jacksonville Stage Road last year.

Cheyette had questions about the Lane paving on Green River Road several years ago. We noticed problems with the paving several months after the project was completed, said Rafus. Lane came back and looked at it, and wrote a letter saying they would stand behind it, but never followed through. They were not asked to bid on this year’s paving. The issue was the poor quality of the mix.

Open Oil and Diesel Bids
Two bids were received on heating oil and summer/winter diesel, as follows:

Guy E. Nido, Wilmington, Vermont: 2,000 gallons #2 heating oil, delivered to Town Garage, $1.89/gal. Total: $3,780.00. 8,750 gallons summer diesel fuel, delivered July 1-October 31, 2016 and April1-June 6, 2017, $1.90/gal. 8,750 gallons winter diesel fuel, delivered November 1, 2016-March 31, 2017, $2.16/gal.

Barrows and Fisher Oil Company, Brattleboro, Vermont: 2,000 gallons #2 heating oil, delivered to Town Garage, $1.765/gal., fixed price, prepaid. 8,750 gallons summer diesel fuel, delivered July 1-October 31, 2016 and April1-June 6, 2017, $0.25 over rack price out of Albany (current price $1.619, total $1.869/gal.); 8,750 gallons winter diesel fuel, delivered November 1, 2016-March 31, 2017, $0.35 over rack price (current price $1.619, total $1.969/gal.).

Those are today’s prices, said Sumner of the Barrows quote, but that can change. Rack price gets recalculated whenever shipments come in, added Rafus, and it can fluctuate a lot. There is no guarantee what it will be. At rack price, the supplier is looking for the cheapest price they can find. We made this mistake two years ago, and paid for it dearly. Sumner made a motion to approve Guy E. Nido’s bid for heating oil and summer/winter diesel fuel. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. Rafus noted that the new prices were considerably lower than what the town is currently paying.

Discuss Property Encroachment
Green said this situation had been discussed years ago when he was on the Board. A property on Branch Road, belonging to Kristine Boyko, shares a boundary line with the Town Garage property. Greg Marguet resides on the parcel, and items of personal property—including fences and possibly a shed–appear to have migrated onto the town-owned land. Green recommended a survey to clearly establish the line between the two parcels. Surveying the Boyko parcel, which is less than an acre, would be less expensive than surveying the full town garage parcel. Green told Cheyette the issue had been discussed with Marguet in the past, but no solution had been reached. A pin marking the property line has disappeared, added Sumner. Rafus, whose land abuts the Boyko property on the side opposite the encroachment site, said he would recuse himself from discussions for that reason. Gabriel will request a quote from Surveyor Thomas Wagener of Guilford.

Approve and Sign Personnel Policy Amendment
Two years ago, prior to Rafus serving on the Selectboard, the Board agreed to include Martin Luther King’s birthday as a paid holiday for town employees. The paperwork to alter the town’s personnel policy was not completed at that time. Is this a good policy, asked Green, or should we rework it. Our policy is based on VLCT recommendations, answered Rafus; we’ve had no issues with it. The document was signed by Sumner and Green, with Rafus abstaining. No changes were made other than the addition of the holiday.

 Executive Session (if necessary)

None held.

Old Business

Dog Issue
In response to the dog bite incident in Halifax Center the town attorney drafted an agreement which was forwarded to Kayte Bak’s attorney on May 13th. The agreement included specifics of fencing requirements and other restrictions designed to protect citizens from future bites. As yet, the town has had no concrete response, nor has the document been signed. Green advocated setting and noticing a Selectboard hearing on the matter. Sumner proposed taking action to abolish the town dog ordinance and to rely henceforth on state statute for dog complaints. Board members agreed, while also recognizing that repealing the ordinance would not have an effect on the present situation. Green outlined for Cheyette the fencing and muzzle requirements described in the agreement and told her no deadline had been set for signing. The fence was their (Bak’s) proposal, Green continued, so we expected it would be signed. The Board set a hearing date for Saturday, June 18th, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. A certified letter will be sent to Kayte Bak, with a second copy by first class mail. Neighbors will also be notified. If an agreement is signed prior to that date, the hearing can be cancelled.

Other Business


Hearing of Visitors

Cheyette had more questions about the Lane paving failure on Green River Road. Rafus estimated repaving would require about 500 tons at $60 a ton, or $30,000. There wasn’t any suggestion of suing them [Lane]? asked Cheyette. The Board will revisit this issue with the town attorney.

Rafus told the meeting that since lighting in the Town Garage has been switched to LEDs the monthly invoice has dropped by $30-$40, and the lighting is far superior to the original system.

Sign Orders to the Treasurer

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


Various pieces of correspondence were reviewed and appropriately filed or signed.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:12 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robbin Gabriel
Selectboard Secretary