TOWN OF HALIFAX, VERMONT
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES—APPROVED
February 22, 2022
CALL TO ORDER:
Sumner called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. Meeting had been rescheduled from February 15 to today. Selectboard members present were, Lewis Sumner, Pete Silverberg, Tristan Roberts, and Edee Edwards and Cara Cheyette (participating remotely). Others in attendance in person or remotely were Linda Lyon, Stephan Chait, Laurel Copeland, and Mike Fournier.
CHANGES OR ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA:
Mike would like to talk about the accident.
Edwards asked about any audit updates. Sumner said he does not have any new info but Patty may.
Edwards asked about grant updates. Fournier stated that the certificate has to be filled out before the 1st of July.
Cheyette asked for executive session at the end.
APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES:
Silverberg moved to approve Feb 1 regular minutes; motion seconded and passed, 4-0.
Beaver Control Issue/Culvert – Silverberg states we had Tyler Brown from the state come out we looked at Hatch School Rd., Amidon Rd., and Pennel Hill. He suggested we could do something with inlet cage and run a flex and trench the dam, put flex through the damn and down into the culvert so they can’t block the culvert at Pennel Hill. It is a standard method that would work well for us. We need to talk to Skip and to the landowner. Silverberg will call landowner to inform about what we want to do. This is something that the road crew can do. We should get that rectified before it is too late in the season. Chait stresses that the intention is to protect the culvert and not about fighting off beavers.
Equipment Maintenance Account—Fournier states we are almost out of money. Do we go on as normal? Sumner states we need to maintain the roads and that we should wait until June to see what accounts are left and we can transfer it to that account. Roberts asked if we should move money from a different account. Silverberg states we need to keep the equipment running.
Long Term Gravel Sources— Roberts wanted to ask if we should talk about securing long-term cost effective source of gravel. Fournier states that last year we bought gravel from Cersosimo and so far everywhere we put that gravel up during mud season has held up really well. The gravel we make and use is not a good idea for mud season because it will not hold up as well. Roberts said he heard from people in town that they didn’t know we were even looking for a long term source of gravel pit. Should we talk explicitly about it to put the word out there better? Silverberg states that we need to make that a priority because prices will rise every year and we need to secure a good proposal for a long term gravel source. Edwards curious about what other towns have done to secure their own gravel pit.
Open House—Discussion of having an open house after town meeting in May to talk about what it takes to maintain the roads and people can see who is working. Roberts motioned for Sat June 4, 2022 at the town garage, Passed 4-0.
Sand—Fournier asked why sand budget was cut. 95K for 2021 and this year was 40K. Sumner says we need to talk to Patty to get more details on that. Cara states that we have a public sand area across from the recycling bins where residents can use sand. A lot of people do not know that it is an option for them. We need to do what we can to make people aware of that.
Fournier brought up that Whitingham wants a chunk of 14ft I beam. Asked if we can give it to them to maintain good relationship. Edwards asked if beams were salvaged. Fournier confirmed they are old highway beams that we have not made use of. Sumner motioned to give to Whitingham, Passed 4-0.
Truck Bid Selection –Silverberg talked to Bob Fischer and read correspondence. One bid was received by email, asked if that could be included as bid, as well as letter that was opened before meeting because it was not properly sealed. Bob suggested that we should have provided bid procedures to the public and that it should be published in the newspaper and posted in the usual posting locations in town, which it was not. Bob concluded that we should reject all bids and explain why asking them to resubmit in appropriate format with proper seal. Laurel Copeland asked if we can grant ourselves a waiver in following this policy. Fournier asked if we can look at purchasing policy and make sure it is up to date. Edwards stated we followed VLCT template for making the bidding and that we should stick to following that policy. Fournier suggested we let the public know through an advertisement rather than rejection letter and starting the bidding process all over.
Roberts motioned us following Fischer’s advice to inform bidders and that we follow the procedure. Fournier will get specs to Podlaski, and Podlaski will work with Silverberg to draft letter. Passed 4-0.
Budget Process—Roberts asked if we should have another budget meeting review since we have a new Selectboard member. We pushed back town meeting so we will have more time for this. Fournier states that this gives the public a chance to speak up about any changes that they would like to make. April 3 is last day to post final budget numbers. Budget discussion will be added to March 15 meeting to give adequate time.
Silverberg would like discuss use of ARPA funds. Special Selectboard meeting will be scheduled for March 29, 2022 at 6pm, motioned and Passed 4-0.
Job Descriptions—Roza will work with Mike on updating job descriptions. Edee volunteered to be contact person to report to for next Selectboard meeting.
Post Office Updates—Silverberg’s contact at Peter Welch’s office left that job so he got another contact who he has corresponded through email urging the need to keep our Post Office. He knew that Congressman Welch has been working with another post office up north. He communicated the strong need for that. Townspeople are encouraged to call and help back up. Please register and state that we would really like to keep it.
Insurance claim where a towns truck backed into a resident’s truck. The insurance company wants to get this resolved quickly. Asked to make the board aware of that so we can move this forward. It is $500 claim that needs to be settled. We can cut a check for the damage assessed. Order needs to be signed by next week for that.
HEARING OF VISITORS
Cara motioned for executive session to discuss a legal issue with respect to the town’s obligation under the public records law at, Passed 4-0.
Left executive session at 7:43 with no decisions made.
Sumner motioned to adjourn meeting, Passed 4-0. Meeting adjourned at 7:44pm.
For the Selectboard