TOWN OF HALIFAX, VERMONT
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES—APPROVED
OCTOBER 04, 2022
CALL TO ORDER:
Silverberg called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. Selectboard members present were Pete Silverberg, Patrick McAlister, Paul Blais and Tristan Roberts. Others in attendance in person or remotely were David Jones, Andrea and Gary Rand, Linda Swanson, Bill Moore and Mike Fournier.
CHANGES OR ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA:
There is an insurance form that needs to be signed for PACIF.
Better Roads Grant needs to be signed.
APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES:
Tristan made a motion to approve minutes as written, Silverberg seconded. Blais made a counter motion to approve minutes with addendum to correct who seconded Roberts. It stated “Roberts motioned and Roberts seconded” the motion. Minutes were approved 4-0.
Andrea Rand, representing the Historical Society, is asking for $10,000 from AARPA funds to offset the cost of painting the Historical Society building. She presented an estimate of $17,600 from CB Painting, LLC out of Wilmington, which is the only estimate she has been able to get. The estimate includes caulking and reglazing windows and two coats of paint on the entire building. The additional funds have already been raised. The Historical Society is looking for additional grant funding next year but the funds will not come in for a couple of years. Right now they are focusing on getting the exterior fixed. Blais raised the question if the contractor should ensure lead paint abatement, others suggested lead safe practices are important and the contractors understand the regulations. Blais suggested that we get some more bids first. Roberts said this will be included in the other requests for AARPA funds.
McAllister asked when AARPA funds will be used. Silverberg said funds total $200,000 and must be committed by 2024 and a second tranche of funding is imminent. Roberts added that the Town Garage roof has been leaking for 15 years and this is rising to the top of the list.
Roberts proposed David Jones to serve as one of the town’s Alternates to the DVFiber Governing Board. He has been serving as a strong member of the Broadband Committee. He has served as a rep for DV Fiber Operations Head. Now they have a full time director. It is in the town’s best interest to keep him involved in DV Fiber efforts. Roberts made a motion and Silverberg seconded, passed 4-0.
We have one applicant for the HWY Dept. Podlaski will reach out to find a good time for a special meeting to have an interview before the next regular board meeting.
Silverberg would like to make improvements on the signage at the Recycling Bins. he will take responsibility for this so that people are more aware of what belongs and what doesn’t. For example, no plastic bags are allowed in the recycling bins. Most people were not aware of this. Hopefully updating these signs and getting a better camera will help us better monitor this site.
Roberts brought up that the email distribution signup for the agenda is not listed on our website. Podlaski will add to the homepage at the top right of the menu bar and the Selectboard page.
In a previous meeting, Bill Moore, Trustee of Public Funds, sent a letter asking what he should do with a general cemetery fund under his Trusteeship. It only states that it should be used for cemeteries, but not how. Blais mentioned that another fund that is generic for the upkeep of the Wicks cemetery has about $600 and has not been distributed to the cemetery commissioners specifically for the Wick’s Cemetery, but the interest is disbursed. Cemetery Commissioner Rand stated that they removed some trees from the Wick’s Cemetery and when he asked the treasurer, the only info that she had of Cemetery Commission funds were the general fund and the restoration team fund. There was no mention of the Wick’s Cemetery fund so the interest needs to be separated out so it can be used specifically for Wicks Cemetery. McAlister stated that the restoration of the cemeteries will cost more than what is in the cemetery fund that Bill Moore is entrusted with and the Cemetery Commissioners are developing a multi-year plan and budget for improvement and upkeep of the town’s cemeteries. Blais will check with the secretary of state to see if the board can direct what is done with the funds or if it is the responsibility of the Trustee of that fund. Andrea Rand mentioned that there should be another cemetery fund for the Niles Cemetery. Blais will touch base with Bill Moore and see who should be directing what to do with the funds. Blais asked Moore if we can liquidate funds or are we obligated to preserve the principal balance. If we preserve the fund, the cemetery commissioners would only be able to use about $250 from stock for the year. That is not much help for managing all of the cemeteries. The commissioners may request to liquidate the funds so they can use it as needed and include it in their multi-year plan. Otherwise it will be left on the taxpayers to be paying for the restoration of cemeteries. Moore will find out about TD Bank and Connecticut Life and Power and pass it along to McAlister.
Town Garage Roof – Review Bid Specifications. Roberts moved that we put the roof for bid with a more detailed bid specification to cover liability if specifications were not met or done incorrectly. Blais seconded motion, passed 4-0. The final draft will be edited with correct dates and have the quotes due mid November to include in our upcoming budget process.
Road Supervisor and Commissioner job description will be tabled until we can have Mike and Edee present. We will revisit at the next meeting.
Windham Regional Commission (WRC) Proposed Intermunicipal Services Bylaw Amendments. Edee shared this bylaw change at the last meeting. Roberts moved that we write something supporting it, seconded by Blais, pass 4-0.
In previous meetings we discussed the top priorities the town thought we should do with the ARPA funds. The only deadline we have for ARPA funds is that the money must be allocated by 2024 and spent by 2026. We got the first part of the fund last year and are supposed to be getting the rest of them soon or have already received them.
The Post Office says the land is in negotiation with the landlord. The landlord has denied this. The landlord will send a letter to the Post Office stating they are not going to renew the contract under those terms. Perhaps when they get the letter they will begin the negotiation process.
HEARING OF VISITORS:
Mr. Rand asked about the volunteer waiver/form for those who wanted to work at the cemetery, which we discussed in previous meetings. VLCT and the town attorney stated that the form must state they are unpaid volunteers, not work on heavy machinery, and are supervised to make sure they are safe. Silverberg provided a generic form that can be used. The board is working on adapting this form and process so that we are mitigating risks as best we can.
Read and signed
GRANT AGREEMENT AND INSURANCE PACIF:
SIGN OVERWEIGHT PERMITS:
Roberts motioned to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Silverberg. Passed 4-0. Meeting adjourned at 7:43 pm.
For the Selectboard
October 4, 2022 Regular Selectboard Meeting Minutes – YouTube