Town of Halifax, Vermont


February 15, 2012
Special Meeting

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 8:07 AM.  Board members in attendance were John LaFlamme, Lewis Sumner, and Edee Edwards.  Others in attendance were William Moore, Christina Moore, Chuck Wasserloos (FEMA), Jeff Kirkland (FEMA), Bradley Rafus, Joe Tamburrino, Patricia Dow, and Board Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.

The purpose of this special meeting was to bring everyone up to speed and to formulate a plan for current and upcoming priorities for flood recovery.

·        Priorities:  On-going repairs; reimbursement priorities; other financial priorities.

Mr. LaFlamme suggested they should first be given an update of where they are right now.  Regarding the installation of the Deer Park Bridge, Mr. Rafus advised they were pulling the stumps and Renaud Brothers has been contracted by the state and they were on site this morning to do some prep work for the abutments.

Mrs. Moore and Mr. Kirkland both emphasized the importance of referencing a project and whether it is temporary or permanent repair.  It is also better if invoicing is identified for each project, rather than only invoicing for costs and hours.  By doing this the process or approval and reimbursement is expedited.

Mr. Rafus advised that the biggest project other than bridges is the repaving.  Bids are due in time for the next Board meeting on February 21st.

The FEMA reps both advised that they should be made aware of all of the paving, even if it may not be covered.  They will view the areas and see if they might qualify as flood related damages.

Priorities on permanent bridge replacement at this time, given that a temporary one will be installed at Deer Park Road is 1) Reed Hill Road; 2) Hale Road; and 3) Deer Park Road.

Mr. LaFlamme had to leave the meeting at this time but advised he would rejoin them as soon as possible.

Financial Priorities:  Mrs. Dow advised that they currently have $2 million, 12-month line of credit with Peoples United Bank.  Considering that this might not cover until FEMA reimbursements come in, she had started the procedure for a second loan through Brattleboro Savings & Loan to cover operating expenses.  However the documentation they are requiring to prove that the Selectboard has the authority to obligate the town in this type of transaction is a monumental amount of work.  She has almost completed gathering the information needed to even apply for this loan, but in the meantime, Peoples United Bank advised they should just come back to them and ask for an additional loan rather than going to another bank.  Mrs. Dow then asked the Board for a decision from them as to whether she should proceed with BS&L for a $1 million loan or use up the $2 million and then seek another line of credit from Peoples United Bank.  Both Ms. Edwards and Mr. Sumner agreed that as long as Peoples United Bank is willing to consider an additional line of credit they should stay with one bank.  If that proves not to be the case then Mrs. Dow should proceed with the BS&L.

Regarding the Bond Bank, in lieu of a full town audit, they can submit a compilation which needs to be done by an independent auditor.  April Dupree has recommended a colleague and Mrs. Dow needs to contact this person for information on the time and cost.  This probably would not happen until July.  She will get the information for the February 21st meeting.

·        Project Worksheets

Mr. Kirkland gave a cursory explanation of the PW.

Questions were asked about the information, how to interpret it and if amounts on this chart of projects were final or could they be amended with new information.

Mrs. Moore advised that any bids, quotes, contracts, purchase orders, or other explanatory information should be made available to the FEMA reps.  The more backup material submitted, the better the chance of obtaining reimbursement.

Mr. LaFlamme rejoined the meeting.

Mr. Kirkland advised that from now on they propose to be sure the PW’s are given to the Board for approval before they are submitted to FEMA.  He further advised that this was the way it had been done in the past and then for some reason FEMA changed that process, but it is now changed back.

Mr. Tamburrino inquired about FEMA paying for debris removal.  He was advised that they probably would not as it is not under the jurisdiction of FEMA.  It is NRCS that has jurisdiction under the Code of Federal Regulations. It might be worth it to pursue this.

Mrs. Moore noted a list of FEMA “406” Mitigation projects that have been identified and she advised that these should be incorporated into the appropriate PW’s.

They will be requesting a hydraulic study for Winchester Road, and ask for a stream permit.

·        Mr. Wasserloos advised that some items such as road cones, and such might be sold back to supplier and if they are then the amount should be listed as salvage to offset the cost.  He asked about paving quotes and if it was all storm related.  He suggested they tour the roads with Brad and see if some of the other paving needed could be considered in the PW’s.  He also wanted to see the extent of the guardrail installation.

·        Regarding Debris removal, Mr. Sumner will call Windham Regional Commission and see if there is still grant money available to assist in this.  It will be discussed at the next meeting.

·        Ms. Edwards suggested that because this was such an informative session, could they try to have a meeting for an hour or 90 minutes on the alternate weeks from the regular Board meeting.  With the schedule over the next couple of weeks, she suggested they meet Friday, March 2nd during the day (9:00 – 10:30 AM) to pull together information to present at Town Meeting.  Mr. Kirkland and Mr. Wasserloos advised their participation is not necessary now that they are all up to speed, and their time would be better spent on processing the PW’s rather than spending so much time in meetings.

·        The FEMA Reps and Mr. Rafus left to tour the damaged areas.

The Board took a five minute recess.



Approval of Minutes

Mr. Sumner moved to accept the minutes of the January 17, 2012 meeting as written.

            Ms. Edwards seconded the motion with spelling correction of one name.

The motion carried 3-0, and the minutes were approved.


            Ms. Edwards noted four typographical errors, and with those corrections she moved to approve the January 21, 2012 special meeting.

            Mr. Sumner seconded the motion which carried 3-0.


            Mr. Sumner moved to approve the minutes of the January 24, 2012 special meeting as written.

            Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion which carried 3-0.


            Ms. Edwards moved to approve the minutes of the January 25, 2012 special meeting with one correction “need” should be needed.

            Mr. Sumner seconded the motion which carried 2-0-1, with Mr. LaFlamme abstaining as he was not at that meeting.


            Mr. LaFlamme moved to approve the part 1 minutes of the February 3, 2012 special meeting as written.

            Mr. Sumner advised the dollar amount on page 3 should be $541,541.00, and with that he seconded the motion which carried 3-0.


            Ms. Edwards noted five typographical corrections

            Mr. Sumner moved to approve part 2 minutes of the February 3 special meeting with corrections.

            Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion which carried 2-0-1, with Ms. Edwards abstaining as she was not at that meeting.


            Several typographical errors were noted.

            Ms. Edwards moved to approve the minutes of the February 4, 2012 emergency meeting with corrections as noted.

            Mr. Sumner seconded the motion which carried 3-0.

Mr. LaFlamme inquired if there were supposed to be minutes from the January 28, 2012 meeting when they gave final approval to the Town Warrant.  Ms. Edwards will check her notes to see what is available to write up minutes.

Mr. LaFlamme reminded the Board that they are scheduled to meet with SVE Associates on Friday, February 24, 2012 at 9:00 AM.

·        Mr. Tamburrino asked if they had any input regarding the bid and purchase order forms.  Ms. Edwards suggested a few minor additions.  She suggested that his task force might look into standard forms that can be purchased rather than developing their own.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:37 AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Phyllis H. Evanuk