OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
December 10, 2016
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 8:06 a.m. Selectboard members Lewis Sumner, Mitchell Green, and Bradley Rafus were present, as were Edee Edwards and Robbin Gabriel. Andy Rice stopped in briefly to discuss the Constable and Animal Control Officer budgets.
Changes and/or Additions to Agenda
FY18 Budget Preparation (Highway Budget)
As the Board prepared to review line items in the FY18 highway budget, Brad Rafus said he would recuse himself until the employee wage and benefit section had been worked through. Proposed wages were increased by 3%, and the Road Commissioner salary was set at $5,600 a year. The amount budgeted for training was reduced, as most of the training sessions are now at no cost to the town. Health insurance premiums will go up by 3.9% on January 1st, 2017. As uniforms are no longer leased, last year’s lower budget amount ($4,500) was maintained.
Andy Rice arrived, and discussed with the Board how to handle budgeting for the first and second constable and animal control officer, as these positions are now appointed rather than elected. The positions will be posted, and the Board agreed to add a $4,000 line item to the Selectboard portion of the budget to cover salary, with the expectation that prior to creating the FY19 budget they will know whether any interested parties will be working toward certification. In that case, the amount would be increased to reflect the salary approved by voters for a certified constable.
Budgeted dollars for electricity at the town garage were reduced, as the new LED lights have made an appreciable difference in the monthly invoices. Heating oil is also down. The Board discussed adding a pager or cell phone to be carried by the Road Commissioner or the employee who is covering for him in his absence. $1,080 was included for a cell phone. Building maintenance and repair costs were reduced by $15,760. Sand, salt, and chloride costs are at the same level as FY17, while gravel is down by $20,000, as the town has been crushing this year and will do more next year. $20,000 was included to complete the salt shed, and $11,000 was put into the equipment reserve fund, while the total cost of the truck leases is $11,760 less than anticipated last year. $140,000 was earmarked for paving—the same amount as FY17. If the town wins a state grant Branch Road will be paved. If not, another section of Collins Road will be paved. The bottom line on the initial proposed highway budget is currently $11,842 less than FY17.
A final budget meeting will be scheduled sometime early in 2017 when all figures have been received; the Board may set that date when they meet on December 20th.
Hearing of Visitors
Edee Edwards asked whether dollars had been budgeted for PFC well testing. Some has been added to the Selectboard budget, she was told, but future costs are not yet known. The town may have a better idea once the private wells are tested, and this item will be revisited when the proposed budgets are finalized.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:52 a.m.