TOWN OF HALIFAX, VERMONT
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES—DRAFT
FEBRUARY 7, 2023
CALL TO ORDER:
Sumner called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. Selectboard members present were Lewis Sumner, Pete Silverberg, Paul Blais, and Tristan Roberts. Others in attendance in person or remotely were Roza Podlaski, Raleigh Brown, David Meyer, Linda Lyon, Raquel Smith, Janice Bliss, Chris Parkins, Laurel Copeland, Doug and Marilou Parkhurst, Cathy Mclain and Mike Fournier.
APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES:
January 17, 2023 regular Selectboard meeting minutes motioned by Sumner to approve with amendment of adding Paul Blais to attendance, seconded by Silverberg, approved 3-0 with Roberts abstaining.
January 24 minutes to create the budget was motioned for approval as written by Sumner, seconded by Blais, approved 3-0 with Roberts abstaining.
Blais motioned to accept January 31st minutes for creating the town warning as written, seconded by Silverberg, passed 3-0 with Roberts abstaining.
CHANGES OR ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA:
Fournier would like to move winter roads policy up in the agenda to discuss first.
Fournier stated we are out of money for building maintenance and there are some LED lights that need to be replaced. Fournier asked if that should be replaced or wait until July. This may be a fit for some ARPA funds, possibly a Municipal Energy Resilience Program (MERP) fund. Since this is a safety issue and needs to be replaced quickly, MERP may not be the best option. Efficiency Vermont also has some rebates, up to $70 off a fixture, but we would have to go through their distributors.
A resident complained that their lawn was getting torn up from road maintenance on Stowe Mountain Road. Fournier stated that part of their garden that got torn up was in our right of way. Our Winter Roads Policy states that we are not liable for things that are in our right of way. Fournier stated we have two new employees and that it will take time for them to learn the roads. Silverberg will figure out who has raised the issue and give him a call.
Fournier asked about a roof quote update for the town garage. It will still have to go out to bid, we are just trying to get an understanding of what this project may cost. There is an opportunity to make it energy efficient and get some extra funding. We are working with Windham Regional Commission to learn more about that soon. This may be a good timeline for MERP funds, if we can make it energy efficient.
Fournier would like to know what to do about cars that are parked in the right of way. He will call Andy.
Fournier asked about sand purchase. We may have enough, we may not. Is it a good idea to stock up and place a bid? We purchased 4,000 yards this year. Blais reminded us that we are over on the gravel ($57K) and sand ($85K)budget. We have $10K left in the salt budget. We will follow up about this at the next meeting. In the meantime Fournier will make some phone calls to see how long it will take us to get it if we need it.
Paul made a motion to reaffirm the action item that was added to the December 20th meeting to sign the highway mileage certificate, seconded by Silverberg, passed 4-0.
Blais made a motion for the informational hearing on February 28th, at 6pm, at the Halifax Elementary School Multipurpose Room. The motion was seconded by Roberts, passed 4-0. There will be a zoom option.
We discussed previously at another meeting about having a community meeting on Saturday, March 25th, at 11:00 A.M. – 1:30 P.M., with Meg Staloff from the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC). There will be lunch provided. Blais reserved the Halifax Multipurpose room for that date. This will be an opportunity for town members to discuss ideas for community spaces, climate resilience, services for families, activities for youth, and anything else for our community, as part of the Community Assessment and Project Prioritization (CAPP) process.
Roberts proposed for up to $800 out of the 6260 Selectboard budget for lunch to host this meeting, with Blais rejecting 3-1.
Silverberg was at a meeting with Roberts yesterday in Wilmington about all the programs out there and a lot of funding. It can be overwhelming but there is a lot of help out there for us, such as Meg Staloff from BDCC and Chris from Windham Regional Commission.
HEARING OF VISITORS
At the Selectboard meeting on September 6, David Meyer and his wife Raleigh Brown attended to introduce themselves and ask if they should advise the Selectboard that they have a permit into the zoning board to be doing a Cannabis Tier 1 Indoor Grow Facility. They were informed the Selectboard does not control non-retail cannabis but were thanked for letting us know. This was unfortunately not included in the approved minutes of that meeting.
Roberts, speaking as state rep, encourages people that a lot of bills are being introduced that may be of interest to Vermonters. Please check out the legislative website to see bills introduced into the senate. You can live stream sessions and committee meetings. Please reach out to Roberts for any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org. Roberts will be at Town Meeting Day as state rep.
Cathy McLain came to speak about her garden getting torn up by road maintenance. She wanted to know if there is a plan for Stowe Mountain Road to widen the road. The board advised her that there is no current plan to change it. We have an obligation to maintain the road, as we do with all town roads. The road is 4 rods (5.5 yards per rod). Someone asked if we can make a motion to change that road to 3 rods. The board will have to see what the process is for that and if we need to go through the state.
The order was read and signed.
SIGN OVERWEIGHT PERMITS
No Overweight permits to sign.
Blais motioned to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Silverberg. Passed 4-0. Meeting adjourned at 7:30 pm.
For the Selectboard