Town of Halifax, Vermont


February 3, 2009

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:32 PM.  Board members in attendance were Mitchell Green, Lewis Sumner, and. John LaFlamme.  Others in attendance were Timothy Putnam, Andy Rice, Margo Avakian, Brad Rafus, and Board Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Green moved to accept the minutes of the January 20, 2009 meeting as written.

Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion.

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

Mr. Sumner moved to accept the minutes of the January 27, 2009 meeting as written.

Mr. Green seconded the motion.

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

Hearing of Visitors

1.  Andy Rice gave an update on Constable expenditures and training.  He advised that he will be at the police academy the week of the informational meeting, but if the Board wanted him at the meeting to explain the changes to the constable position he could drive down and then drive back after the meeting.\

Mr. Rice asked for a letter stating that he is a duly elected constable for the Town of Halifax.  Mr. Sumner advised that the Town Clerk needs to certify the letter so Mr. Rice should have her write the letter.

Mr. Rice advised that he had received a call from the state police regarding complaints of vehicles parking in the roadway on Clark Road.  He asked the Board for direction regarding this, should he issue tickets, warnings, or what action did they want.  He advised this is a problem in other areas of town also.

Mr. Green advised that the ordinance gives authority to ticket if the vehicles are in the way of snow removal.  He advised that a warning should be given first and if they continue to park in the road, a ticket should be issued. He further advised that before summer, he would like the Board to look into making the ordinance more specific regarding any areas in town where the parking should be prohibited or curtailed.

Mr. Rice advised that he will work with Mr. Rafus on dealing issues of snow being removed from driveways and left in the road.

Mr. Rice advised that he had some information on purchasing a domain for the town to use for emails and website.  He had heard that there were problems with the site the town has now, and wondered if they could set up a new one that would be managed by the town and have emails for all town employees and officials so that they didn’t have to use their home emails for communications.

Mr. Green advised that he would prefer to stay with the domain name that the town already has, and work with the person uploading and managing the site now.  He also would like to see someone from the town be able to upload the information and notices rather than always having to rely on someone else.

The last item Mr. Rice had to offer was that he is now certified to use the state police radio system and Halifax has its own call signs, which was actually used today.

2.  Brad Rafus advised that he had a couple of things to bring to the Board.  He advised that the grader had done some damage to a stone, laid-up well located next to the road.  The side was pushed in.  He advised he thought that there was a well behind the house, but they covered the well to protect it in the event it is still in use. It was buried in snow and not marked.  The property owners are not residents, and he does not know whether or not the well is being used.  Mr. Sumner advised he thought there was a drilled well on the property, and that the well in question was no longer in use.  Mr. Rafus thought the Board might want to contact the owner and advise of the situation.  He will get the information regarding who owns it and how to contact them, and pass it on to the Board secretary.

Mr. Rafus advised that he has a meeting with FEMA on Thursday regarding the ice storm damage to review what has been done and see about getting some of the funds for the completed work. 

Old Business


New Business

1.  Bids for Constable Car:

Three bids were received and opened.

    • Mike Crosier  $211.00
    • Brad Rafus  $201.01
    • Jeff Longe  $250.00

The Board accepted the high bid, and will retain the other offers in the event the high bidder does not follow through.

2.  Excavator information:

Caterpillar – $153,900 for the one currently being leased by the town.  Has 530 hours on the engine; 1 year warranty; deferred payment until after July 1, 2009; seven year payment option.

John Deere – $160,500 for Hitachi with 15 hours on engine and 6 month warranty.

The Board discussed the financing options in light of the current financial situation (tax delinquencies are greater than had been anticipated) and maintaining the current or close to current payment amount for the replacement equipment.

Mr. Green moved to purchase the Caterpillar Excavator at $153,900, and to work out the financing and payment schedule at the next meeting.

Mr. Sumner seconded the motion.

The motion carried 3-0.

Amortization schedules based on down payment options of $20,000.00, $30,000.00, and $40,000.00 will be ready for the next meeting.

Other Business

1. Mr. LaFlamme advised that Energy Coordinator Michael Drummey approached him regarding possibly having the town pay for some on-line training in energy conservation to qualify him to perform energy audits.  The cost for the course is $600 and the fee for the test is $200.  He will submit some additional information for the consideration of the Board.  

When the information is received the Board will consider the request at a future meeting.

2. EMD Pay: The Board reviewed the breakdown of the proposed payments from the EMD money, and agreed, that in conformance with the IRS recommendation, payments will be calculated to allow for FICA taxes.

Mr. LaFlamme advised that the distribution of the EMD money should be left up to the Director, as it was designated as his money.

Mr. Sumner advised that when he spoke with someone at the state regarding this money, he was told to expend it first and then request reimbursement.  When he advised that he was not taking it all, but dividing it among several who did a lot of the work, she advised that was a good idea.


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 8:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Phyllis H. Evanuk