Town of Halifax, Vermont
January 2, 2018


Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. Selectboard members Lewis Sumner and Bradley Rafus were present; Mitchell Green was not able to attend. Ray Combs, Stephan Chait, Michael Fournier, Kaitlin Stone, Peggy Rafus, and Robbin Gabriel were also in attendance.

Changes and/or Additions to Agenda

Brad Rafus requested an executive session.

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

Lewis Sumner made a motion to approve the 12/11/17 special meeting minutes as written. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0.

Approval of the 12/19/17 regular meeting minutes was postponed due to Mitch Green’s absence.

New Business

Review Fall 2017 Water Quality Monitoring Report
The Selectboard has received the closed landfill water quality monitoring report from KAS Engineering. KAS will submit the report to the State after Board review. The MW-3 well was tested at 81.9 ppt (parts per trillion) in October, a reduction from the last sampling but still above State and Federal guidelines. The next sample will be taken in May 2018. Peggy Rafus asked the Board to consider testing the Rafus private well again during the next sampling round, and said she would like that well to be tested each time the landfill well was tested in the future. She asked that this be added to the next Selectboard regular meeting agenda. Sumner made a motion to direct KAS Engineering to submit the report to the State. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0. The Board told Stephan Chait the MW-3 well was the only one tested, and told Ray Combs that well is located on the Town Garage property next to Branch Road, just below the Marguet place.

Discuss Employee Handbook Amendment
Sumner advised that Patty Dow had planned to be present for this discussion, but it would be postponed until all three Board members were present. Peggy Rafus said that decision should have been made in open meeting, as others had come out for that purpose.

FY19 Budget Discussion
The Town of Readsboro is budgeting $15,000 for FY19 rent of Readsboro Town Office space in their school building, and they have asked Halifax to budget the same amount. The Highway Department has been maintaining the school parking lots, said Brad Rafus. If that is going to continue, he believes plowing and sanding costs should be deducted from any rent paid to the school district. He also said that if the Highway Department is going to do the work on a regular basis it would be good to have some advance warning. Mike Fournier remarked the snow removal was part of the custodian’s job. Sumner suggested inviting the School Board members to the next regular Selectboard meeting to discuss the situation. Chait asked where the Halifax School Board stood on the rent issue. Sumner explained that, under the new combined district arrangement, Halifax did not plan to make a rent contribution unless Readsboro did the same. Combs wanted to know if there was a middleman between the Halifax and Readsboro School Boards now the schools were combined. There is one School Board, said Sumner, with three Halifax and three Readsboro members, an elected Chairman, and one budget.

Executive Session
The session was held after all other business was cleared.

Old Business


Other Business

Rafus asked whether the Town has a contract with the Winery for the repeaters on that property. The Fire Department does, said Sumner; I think it’s a fifty-year contract. We’ve been having trouble with the radios, said Rafus, and had a repairman up there today. The property owners are unhappy because conditions of the contract have not been met. Rafus is concerned about spending money to upgrade the system and then finding out the structure has to be moved. Fournier said the repairman reported there were a number of other antennas on the tower; he (repairman) also told Rafus the Town repeater had been repositioned on the tower. Rafus or Sumner will talk to Fire Chief Wayne Courser about the contract.

Hearing of Visitors

Stephan Chait said Happy New Year.

Sign Orders to the Treasurer

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


New correspondence was reviewed. Sumner made a motion to approve and sign the yearly Listers’ Errors and Omissions certificate, which reported no changes. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0. The Vermont Department of Taxes equalized grand list figures were received. The CLA (Common Level of Appraisal) is 109.39%, and the COD (Coefficient of Dispersion) is 22.83%. A COD over 20% requires a town-wide reappraisal. Listers have already received Board approval to solicit bids for the project. In a reappraisal, do the appraisers visit every property to reassess?, asked Brad Rafus. They are supposed to, responded Sumner. The yearly State Certificate of Mileage has been received and will be on the next meeting agenda.

Executive Session
Sumner made a motion to enter executive session, including Gabriel, at 7:34, to discuss a personnel issue. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0. The Board exited executive session at 7:51, with no decisions made.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:52 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robbin Gabriel
Selectboard Secretary