Town of Halifax, Vermont
April 16, 2013

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM at the town office.  Board members in attendance were Edee Edwards and Earl Holtz (Lewis Sumner was absent). Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno, Patty Dow, Ross Barnett, Tim Putnam, Brad Rafus, John LaFlamme, Jeff Delurey (Delurey Sales & Service), Nick Bartenhagen, and Maggie Bartenhagen.

Approval of Minutes
Edwards made a motion to accept the minutes of the April 2, 2013 regular meeting as amended. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 2-0-0.

Edwards made a motion to accept the minutes of the April 2, 2013 special meeting as amended. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 2-0-0.

Edwards made a motion to accept the minutes of the April 13, 2013 special meeting as written. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 2-0-0.

New Business

Replacement of Dump Truck #3
Edwards explained that when we put out a bid for a truck when we had the truck fire (in January 2013), we had bids that would be appropriate for the current planned replacement of truck #3. The Selectboard has confirmation that the bid from Delurey Sales & Service that they received for the fire replacement would be honored for the replacement of dump truck #3 as well. Jeff Delurey explained that the 2013 truck was in inventory at $104,453 and the 2014 truck was a factory order that met the specifications for $109,453. The 2014 had approx $2k of recommended options which were not in the spec at the time, but which he believed were in previous Halifax trucks. Delurey recommends buying the 2014 as it is less money even with the options. He explained that if you get the 2013, by the time the body company gets the body up to Morrisville and installs the plow frame etc, no time will be lost versus getting the 2014 truck built to spec. Rafus commented that time was not an issue with this truck because they have to get the salvage truck ready. If they order a truck, they would be a lot closer to the next fiscal year. If we continue to keep trucks 12+ years, the 2014 will have more value. The group discussed the automatic option on the truck. Delurey also mentioned that in 2014 there will be a change with engines and emissions that will not be in our favor so we should not wait too long. Edwards explained that sometime in the next three weeks, the Selectboard will meet to discuss the truck again when Sumner is present.

Co-EMD Report
LaFlamme and Barnett presented a report to the Selectboard. LaFlamme explained that they planned on providing an updated basic emergency plan, but they had Microsoft problems, He added that the report is due sometime in June, so they still have some time.

LaFlamme confirmed that the training drill at the EOC is April 24, 2013 at 6:00pm at the firehouse.

It was confirmed by the Selectboard that the EMDs do have the authority to purchase items for reimbursement as long as they stay within the purchasing policy guidelines. LaFlamme explained that the antennae took a large chunk of the budget, but they can use money in a different category of the budget with special request and permission. LaFlamme will follow up on this request with VEM.

LaFlamme will meet with Patty Dow to discuss account number and to get the town router password. There was a discussion about the meeting that the EMDs attended (Tri-State Directors Meeting).

Quarterly Treasurers Report
Dow presented the Selectboard with an update of the budget to date. The Selectmen’s budget has 34% remaining while the highway budget is already 11% over. Dow explained that part of the Highway overage is attributable to the purchase of the new truck, but we got back $98k as an insurance reimbursement and had $40k in the truck reserve, which is not reflected. Edwards noted that we spent a lot more on gravel and we need to tighten elsewhere and look at the remaining amounts in the budget. The Selectboard will think about where they can shift money and discuss at a later meeting.

There was a discussion about internal controls and use of the assistant town treasurer.

Hearing of Visitors
Nick Bartenhagen reported on a recent Public Policy and Legislation meeting where they met with Tristan Toleno. Mr. Toleno discussed state cutbacks on small school grants. N. Bartenhagen noted that Halifax received $77k in 2013. If this legislation passes, starting in FY16 grants will be drastically cut until 2019 where there will be $0 available for small school grants. Edwards noted that Chum Sumner had discussed this at town meeting. We may need to consider this in the town plan as it will be harder to maintain the school- what is our vision? N. Bartenhagen noted that it appears the state plan is consolidation.

Rafus reported that John Alexander called and inquired whether we submitted our extension request for the Old County North Bridge. Edwards explained that they have the extension request to sign tonight.

Old Business

Planning and ZBA update
No decisions were made.

Irene Update
Holtz reported that he has reminded SVE that they need to schedule a pre-construction meeting for Hale Road Bridge.

Town Garage Roof Repairs
Holtz reported that he spoke to the prior Clerk of the Works and to Brad Rafus. They are missing one book that they believe should exist with details on the roof. He noted that the actual garage has no resemblance to the as-built drawings. Holtz also spoke with Thad at SVE who explained that there was a total breakdown in communication during the construction phase, noting three turnovers of road crew supervisors. Holtz explained that he went back through the meeting minutes and found that the roof was not caulked correctly, but found no mention that the roof was not put on correctly. Thad mentioned that there was some difficulty getting Dole to come back to get the paperwork and the last punch list done. Thad sent a fax in 2007 that said we should hold back $26k until the punch list is completed, but it is the understanding of the current Selectboard that they only held back about $10k at the time.

Holtz recommends contacting the building designers to ask for their recommendations on how to fix the roof. The recent energy audit indicated that water is trapped in the insulation in the ceiling confirming the water problem is a leak and not condensation. Holtz also noted that there is a very similar building in MA, and we might want to call and see how that one is performing.

This topic will be discussed again under old business.

Town Truck Ride Along Policy
There was a discussion about keeping the ride along policy simple and perhaps instituting a winter policy. The Selectboard may decide to have a single line policy noting the need for road commissioner and Selectboard approval for any ride along (per event). There was a discussion about hours worked by the road crew and trying to manage snowfall.

The Selectboard will discuss again when Sumner is present.

Old County North Bridge Project Extension
Edwards prepared a letter requesting an extension and any additional funding for the Old County North Bridge and began drafting a letter to Holden Engineering trying to explain the ultimate financial outcome. The Selectboard may reassess the weight that that bridge needs to carry as well as their decision about the bridge construction specifications.

Holtz made a motion to send the letter to John Alexander at the VT Agency of Transportation District 2 requesting a time extension and additional funding for Old County North Bridge #37. Edwards seconded the motion, which passed 2-0-0.

Meeting with Deerfield Valley Rescue
Edwards will propose three dates to Deerfield Valley Rescue so they can discuss that draft service agreement.

Edwards will draft a website update regarding WASI.

Other Business
The PACIF safety equipment grant application was signed.

The Selectboard discussed highlights from a recent Selectboard Institute meeting. Holtz noted that the Treasurer should provide quarterly reports to the Selectboard as well as a copy of the document prepared by the auditor of accounts regarding internal financial controls (before June 30th). He also attended a discussion regarding planning and zoning boards. Edwards received some information on ways for small towns to get work done in compliance with the open meeting law. She explained that they may talk about topics for agenda items, administrative items, and planning a meeting. She recommends that the Selectboard choose focal areas- one person who is responsible as the liaison to the road crew/planning commission etc and report on that when we get together as a Board. She also attended a session on how the healthcare law will impact employers.

Edwards would like to discuss Selectboard meeting management and adopt procedures that VLCT recommends including time boxing agenda items.

Edwards reported that the Windham Regional Commission Transportation person, Matt Mann, is interested in coming to look at the bridge at the Branch Rd/Rte 112 intersection for visibility issues.

The Selectbaord received a letter from the Department of Health in response to our letter concerning emergency services. The letter from Henry Chen, Commissioner of Health, noted that they also received a letter from Whitingham with a significantly different request to suspend WASI’s conditional license. The letter noted that there was not a requirement to correct the issues by the deadline, but to report on them. Staff sustainability was noted as an issue. It was also noted that training requirements may present barriers, but they are consistent with national standards to protect the public. The letter also noted the provisional rule allowing a physician to approve transport without a legal crew, but there was no mention of the financial ramifications of that. The Selectboard was pleased to receive the response.

The mail was reviewed and appropriately filed.

Selectmen’s Order to Town Treasurer for bill payment

The order for payment of bills was completed and signed.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:49 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno

Selectboard Secretary