Town of Halifax, Vermont

February 5, 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, Earl Holtz, and Lewis Sumner. Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno, Margo Avakian, Nick Bartenhagen, Maggie Bartenhagen, Linda Lyon, Everett Wilson, John LaFlamme, Joe Tamburrino, Christina Moore, Bill Moore, Brad Rafus, and Ray Combs.

Approval of Minutes
Holtz made a motion to accept the minutes of the January 15, 2013 regular meeting as amended. Edwards seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

Sumner made a motion to accept the minutes of the January 23, 2013 special meeting as amended. Edwards seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

Edwards made a motion to accept the minutes of the January 26, 2013 special meeting as amended. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

Sumner made a motion to accept the minutes of the January 28, 2013 special meeting as written. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

New Business
Moving the Emergency Operations Center
Sumner, in his role as co-EMD reported that there have been two meetings to discuss moving the EOC and a third is planned. It is the EMD’s plan to leave the EOC where it is (at the fire house) and get a trailer to store supplies, radios etc which would enable the EOC to be portable. Berry is looking into grants for a trailer. Edwards was surprised that their recommendation is to leave the EOC where it is, as it has been discussed numerous times that it is not an adequate facility. Sumner explained that there was not adequate storage space at the town office. Edwards explained that the Selectboard was looking for a written analysis discussing the pros and cons of the potential EOC locations. Holtz led a discussion regarding an all hazards plan and a strategy to plan for incidences if the fire house is not available. Edwards expressed that the After Action Plan had many comments about the current EOC being inadequate and the needs and concerns brought up by these meetings are not being addressed. Many citizens at the meeting expressed their concern that there is no plan a year and a half after Irene, and several felt there is a lack of focus and leadership at the recent meetings which discussed the potential EOC locations. Holtz explained that some of the EMD’s directives from the Selectboard were to create an all hazards plan, come up with a strategy for moving the EOC and prepare quarterly reports for the Selectboard. The Selectboard scheduled a special meeting for Saturday 2/9/13 at 9:00am (which was rescheduled to Monday 2/11/13 at 9:00am) to create an outline/format and set clear objectives regarding the EOC.

Catastrophic Exercise Training
Holtz attended a meeting with Andrea Young regarding the catastrophic exercise training for 2014. It was decided that it was not appropriate for Halifax to participate in the statewide project as it doesn’t allow you to go across state borders (Colrain, Keene etc) and what we would be testing would be very localized. Young expressed that she would help us design a regional test should we come up with an all hazards plan and need a test simulation in the future.

Old Business

Update on New Town Truck
Rafus reported that they picked up the new truck on Thursday and everything seems good so far. He also reported that the buyback was well worth the money spent as the equipment will be approx $28k compared to $68k (without even considering the scrap value).

Update on Bridge Work/ Irene Recovery
C Moore reported that she filed extensions and confirmed status on all projects (whether they are already approved or are still pending). She has not seen and date changes on the FEMA site yet re: new project dates.

The Selectboard will be attending the 2/12/13 Planning Commission meeting. John Bennett from Windham Regional Commission will lead a presentation on river analysis and erosion analysis.  C Moore expressed that in order to qualify for future grants we need an analysis on where flooding will happen and we need ordinances in town reflecting the rules for FEMA flood zones.

Hearing of Visitors
C  Moore asked the Selectboard to attend the Whitingham Selectboard meeting 2/6/13 at 7:45pm where WASI is scheduled on the agenda. The Selectboard posted it as an emergency meeting.

Laflamme expressed his concern about his road’s conditions and wanted to know the policy on sanding. He expressed that his road is Class 3 and was not adequately sanded during recent snowfall which was dangerous for his family and for caretakers dropping off his children. The Selectboard will clarify with Rafus that sanding should be done as much as needed on CL3, but that it might be more effective for citizens with concerns about their roads to contact Rafus directly.

Other Business
Edwards drafted a letter regarding Whitingham Ambulance Service for our state leaders and forwarded it to the other Selectboard members for review/comment.

The Selectboard discussed asking appointed citizens if they are still interested in their positions and letting them know that the positions will be available and posted.


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 10:18 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno

Selectboard Secretary