TOWN OF HALIFAX, VERMONT
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES—APPROVED
APRIL 18, 2023
CALL TO ORDER:
Silverberg called the meeting to order at 06:03 PM. Selectboard Members present were Tristan Roberts, Karen Christofferson, Edee Edwards, Patrick McAllister and Peter Silverberg. Others present in person or remotely were David Jones, Roza Podlaski, Kyle Farnsworth, Alison Crossley and Michael Fournier.
CHANGES OR ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA:
Fournier would like to add a discussion on equipment replacement schedules under new business.
Silverberg mentioned that there are grant forms that need to be signed.
Follow up appointments for DV Fiber Rep and alternatives will be added under other business.
APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES:
February 25th, 28th, and March 7th (informational meeting) minutes cannot be approved because we do not have a quorum.
Silverberg moved to approve March 16 and 21st minutes, seconded by McAllister, passed 4-0.
Edwards suggested we should emphasize on building trust by meeting minute and agenda deadlines, improving communication with the community, such as working with bringing the state in to talk about what we are working on. It is important to celebrate as a community the coming of broadband. The broadband/DV Fiber committee can work with the celebration committee to facilitate this.
McAllister stated that priorities hold us accountable, such as finances. For example, statements should be reviewed quarterly. Reviewing priorities can be a good time for the finance committee to give their updates.
Road’s should be prioritized and notify residents of road projects coming up. Information on roads should be regularly communicated in board meetings.
We can do a better job of communicating grants and fiber optics updates. The admin assistant can help with communicating that to residents.
Board members will consider having themselves take responsibility as a liaison for different committees for the purpose of communicating updates with residents.
Fournier states that we need to review the equipment schedule. There is an excavator that is due to be replaced by next year. There is a woodchipper that should have been replaced by 2015. The board will look into making proper replacements of equipment.
Christofferson suggested we change the template of the agenda so that we can keep better track of what is an actionable item, what needs to be signed, and what needs a vote. This will help with communicating better transparency. Christofferson will work with the admin assistant to get this updated.
A lot of residents do not know what the emergency management or hazard mitigation plan is in town. Silverberg will reach out to Paul Blais to come to a meeting and explain where we are and what is going on currently.
PFAS: Monitoring well 3, testing two times a year for PFAS. Silverberg spoke to KAS who does the monitoring. They charge $1,300 per test. Silverberg asked KAS to come to the next meeting remotely and speak about their testing so we can have a better understanding of what our risks are. Silverberg will reach out to the state to come to a special meeting in the future. The town garage employees are currently drinking bottled water for safety precautions. The town website will be updated with current up to date KAS reports.
CAPP: The objective of the March 25 Community Assessment and Prioritization Program (CAPP) meeting was in part to identify funding opportunities for ARPA funds, which have to be committed by the end of 2023 and spent by the end of 2024. Edwards proposed dedicating most of the APRA funds to broadband, with a state match. Broadband affects all the groups within this community. The board’s responsibility is to get the best value out of this funding and figuring out what that is. There is a deadline coming up in May to be able to match state funds for broadband. Edwards will organize a follow-on community meeting during the month of May with Meg Staloff to finalize the project(s) the town will work on.
Having APRA funds go towards the Fire Department is another idea that was high on the list.
The board discussed not using ARPA funds for the garage roof since that can be considered basic maintenance. It would not have as much of an impact on the community as other projects. There can be other funding and financing opportunities for the town garage roof.
The Selectboard Order was read and signed. The Highway Order was also read and signed.
There were two overweight permits signed.
Silverberg made a motion to appoint David Jones as the DV Fiber Rep for the Town of Halifax, seconded by Edwards, passed 5-0.
Silverberg nominated Tristan Roberts and Edee Edwards as DV Fiber alternate rep, seconded by Christofferfson with Edwards abstaining, passed 4-0.
Edwards made a motion to appoint Tristan Roberts, Jennie Strowe, Stephan Chait, David Jones, and Thomas Fischer to the broadband committee, seconded by SIlverberg, passed 5-0.
HEARING OF VISITORS:
Edwards made a motion to go into executive session for interviewing the town zoning admin and selectboard assistant positions, seconded by Silverberg, passed 5-0. The meeting came out of executive session at 8:36 PM with no decisions made. Silverberg moved to appoint Kyle Farnsowrth the zoning admin position. The motion was seconded by Edwards, passed 5-0. Silverberg made a motion to appoint Alison Crossley to the selectboard secretary and admin assistant position. The motion was seconded by Christofferson and passed 5-0.
Roberts motioned to adjourn the meeting, seconded by McAllister , passed 5-0. The meeting adjourned at 8:42 PM.
For the Selectboard