OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
October 3, 2017
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. Raymond Combs and Robbin Gabriel were also in attendance.
Changes and/or Additions to Agenda
Lewis Sumner requested an update from Brad Rafus on various projects underway in town.
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Sumner made a motion to approve the 9/19/17 regular meeting minutes as written. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0-1, with Mitch Green abstaining.
PFC Testing Discussion (continued from 9/19/17)
This conversation about future PFC sampling was held over from the September 19th meeting, as Green was absent that night, and Rafus has recused himself. Sumner explained that the Tamburrino, Rafus, and Town Garage wells had all tested negative for PFCs in August. Prior to the August testing, the Phelans, whose well is across Branch Brook and upstream from the landfill, has requested their water supply be tested. Given the latest test results, Sumner recommended the Town not proceed with the Phelan well test. Green made a motion to not conduct further private well testing at this time, and to have Gabriel send a letter to the Phelans advising them of that decision and detailing the August test results. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0-1, with Rafus abstaining. Rafus made it clear that this decision applied only to the Town’s choice to test private wells; the landfill’s MW-3 monitoring well will be tested late in October as required by the State. In response to a question from Ray Combs, the Board explained that the private well tests were done at the Town’s request, not mandated by the State.
Brook Road Monitoring Well Summary Approval
The monitoring wells at the old Town Garage site have been removed and filled in by KAS Engineering, and a final report submitted to the State. The Highway Department assisted in that process, using their equipment to extract several standpipes and cement bases which could not be removed manually. Once the State sends official notification, the decades-long process of monitoring that site will be complete.
Green asked when the Town Garage loan would be paid off. We started in 2002, said Sumner, and Rafus added that it was a twenty-year loan, so it should be finished in 2022.
Town Project Update
Last Friday, said Rafus, a pickup hit the side of the bridge on Stowe Mountain Road and knocked the whole side of the bridge rails off. Rafus has begun the process of obtaining estimates for guardrail replacement to submit for insurance purposes. He said the bridge deck was not damaged. Green asked whether the bridge could be made wider, but Rafus said the abutments would need to be replaced to increase the width.
Rafus has received the engineering plans for the Deer Park Bridge project. The new concrete deck is currently in production and should be finished in the next few weeks. Once the deck is moved to the site for placement, installation will take approximately three to five days.
Footers for the new salt shed addition were dug and set last week. Building materials were delivered today and construction will begin immediately.
Branch Road paving will begin tomorrow morning; the work will take at least two days. Could we route traffic over Hubbard Hill so they can work faster?, asked Green. Rafus and Sumner said traffic control was included in the paving contract package. They’ll probably work the right side first, then the other side, added Rafus. The State is still rebuilding the portion of Route 112 just below the Branch Road intersection.
Gravel crushing at the Town Garage is scheduled to begin next week, with the equipment arriving on-site Thursday or Friday.
Rafus advised the Board also needed to talk about two issues brought up during employee reviews—sand hauling and DOT physicals. We have been hauling our own sand, and have about half our supply for the year, said Rafus, but one employee would prefer not to do it. Green noted that was part of the reason for buying the tandem trucks. Rafus also told the Board that insurance is no longer covering the cost of required DOT physicals, so the employees are paying out-of-pocket. Private physicians are charging about $308, but employees have been using Urgent Care in Brattleboro, at a $95 cost. Green said a physical at Occupational Health used to cost $75, but Rafus told them that service is no longer provided. Sumner suggested discussing DOT physicals at the next Selectboard meeting.
Rafus and Patty Dow met last week with VLCT’s Heidi Joyce to learn about the League’s current wellness program. Town employees will be participating in the program, with a back and knee injury class planned for November 29th. There is no charge to the Town, and participation will result in lower insurance rates. Joyce told Rafus the Town’s workman’s compensation rate has dropped by .005%.
Hearing of Visitors
Has the new truck body been installed?, asked Ray Combs. The truck is up north now, replied Rafus; it will be done in about a month.
Sign Orders to the Treasurer
The Selectboard’s Order to the Treasurer was reviewed and signed.
New correspondence was reviewed. VLCT PACIF insurance renewal application forms will be submitted this week. Rafus, who is concerned about liability, asked why the Tahoe was still insured, as Halifax EMS is now inactive. Sumner recommended putting this topic on the October 17th agenda, and asking Andy Rice to join that discussion, as Christina Moore is currently in Puerto Rico. Sumner told Rafus the Town has not yet received data on the 2018 health insurance rates. One driveway permit was signed. Sumner said he and Wayne Courser and their wives would be attending a dinner in Killington Wednesday night honoring individuals who had served their towns for fifty years or more.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:47 p.m.