Town of Halifax, Vermont
December 5, 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, as were Patty Dow, Alice Aldrich, Ray Combs, and Robbin Gabriel.

Changes and/or Additions to Agenda

Lewis Sumner added a discussion of Lister wages.

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

Sumner made a motion to approve the 11/21/17 regular meeting minutes as written. Brad Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.

Mitch Green made a motion to approve the 12/2/17 special meeting minutes as written. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.

New Business

Traffic Ordinance
At their last regular meeting Board members received a first draft of the updated Halifax Traffic Ordinance for review. Patty Dow, who has been working on the update with Brad Rafus, explained to Ray Combs that the Town has been losing revenue on speeding tickets because the existing traffic ordinance does not list each specific Town road and its corresponding speed limit. The Court is throwing out speeding violation cases due to this lack. The revised Ordinance corrects the situation. Sumner, Rafus, and Gabriel made note of several small edits and corrections, and Dow said she had discovered some road numbering errors on the Vermont AOT map. The State will be advised of those mistakes when the yearly mileage certificate is submitted in February. As Halifax already has a separate parking ordinance, parking regulations do not need to be included in the traffic ordinance. Sumner made a motion to approve the amended Traffic Ordinance as corrected. Green seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. Dow will prepare a final document, incorporating the corrections, for Selectboard signature. Public notice will be posted, and if no petition is presented in opposition, the amended Traffic Ordinance will become effective in sixty days. Rafus thanked Dow for her work on the project.

Grant Management Policy
Sumner said that last week a State financial auditor had recommended the Town adopt a grant management policy. We had not heard of such a policy, he added, so we called VLCT for advice. VLCT provided some information, and Gabriel and Dow also spoke with WRC and the Vermont Department of Public Safety audit analyst who made the recommendation. The Town will be receiving written findings on an audit of the FY17 Department of Public Safety (VY) grant, and that document will include a list of compliance points relating to grant management. With this information in hand, the Selectboard will create a grant management policy for Halifax.

Rafus told Dow he would update a Town assets lists and provide it for use in responding to the VY grant audit. The Selectboard will also sign a letter requesting the Department of Public Safety to provide after-the-fact written permission for a shift in funding application within the scope of the FY17 grant. Sumner said some of the confusion over the FY17 grant stemmed from a Town change-over of Emergency Management Directors last year. Board members also discussed the anticipated FY18 grant, which they hope to use to upgrade the repeater. Sumner said he would like to have bids by March 2018 Town Meeting. Rafus mentioned that the FY17 grant had to be completed against a very tight deadline, and recommended maintaining a good level of communication with the EMD to assure an error-free process with the FY18 grant. Dow suggested the EMD attend one Selectboard meeting a month, and Green proposed a written monthly report as an alternative. Sumner made a motion to send a letter to EMD Ross Barnett advising he either attend one meeting a month or prepare a written report on emergency management activities, and that he submit repeater bids by 2018 Town Meeting. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.

Discuss Junk Issue
Rafus said there had been some issues with the house at the bottom of Town Hill. Specifically, cars have been left in the road, cars have been dragged on the road and across the ditch, causing damage, and unregistered vehicles have accumulated in excess of the number allowed by State law. After discussion of the Town Junk and Parking ordinances and State law, Board members agreed to sign a letter requesting the situation be corrected, with copies mailed to the property owners and Constable Andy Rice. Further, the Board will ask Rice to hand-deliver a copy of the letter to the current residents.

Green River Road Repair Update
Site #3 is all done except for the guardrails, said Rafus. Site #1 will probably be done by Thursday, and half of site #2 is finished. Green River Road may reopen by the middle of next week. LaFogg started on the Branch Road sites today, and Clark should move onto Brook Road in a few days. Sumner learned from Clark that guardrails (for Green River Road) may arrive by Thursday or Friday. Paving will be done in the spring. The total cost of repairs to all eight sites is approximately $393,605. Sumner told Alice Aldrich that the large stone being stored on the old Town Garage site is for the repair projects on Branch and Brook Roads. The State is now requiring stacked stone walls for this type of road repair project, said Rafus, and the flat stone, in five- or six-foot lengths, is expensive.

Listers Hourly Wage
The Board returned to a discussion of lister wages begun at their December 2nd budget meeting. Sumner said that earlier conversation covered the possibility of raising the hourly amount to $18 this year, with another increase as Listers gained in experience. The Listers have asked for an increase to $20 an hour. There will be a vacancy this year (in March), said Dow. Would a new Lister be paid $18, also? It has always been a flat rate for all Listers, replied Rafus. He pointed out that the current $16 an hour rate has been in place for ten years, and an average yearly 3% increase would have brought the rate close to $20. I’m not opposed to raising it to $20 an hour, he added. Sumner made a motion to pay the Halifax Listers $20 an hour. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.

Executive Session

None held.

Old Business


Other Business


Hearing of Visitors

Nothing further.

Sign Orders to the Treasurer

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


New correspondence was reviewed. Two driveway permits were signed.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:34 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robbin Gabriel
Selectboard Secretary