Town of Halifax, Vermont


January 18, 2011

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7: 29 PM.  Board members in attendance were John LaFlamme, Lewis Sumner, and Edee Edwards.  Others in attendance were Greg Marguet, Ray White, Rick Gay, Andy Rice, Mitchell Green, and Board Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.

Approval of Minutes

Ms. Edwards moved to accept the minutes of the January 4, 2011 meeting with the addition of the last name (Patrick Wilkins) of one of the visitors.

            Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion.

The motion carried 2-0-1, with Mr. Sumner abstaining and the minutes were approved.

New Business

  • F/Y 2012 proposed budget

The Board continued review of the proposed fiscal year 2012 budget.  They went over the figures and discussed the equipment replacement schedule.  Ms. Edwards suggested that the proposed equipment schedule sheets would be clearer if there were identifying headings.  Equipment Lease and Reserve Plan will be added to identify these figures.

Mr. Marguet voiced concern that the money in the equipment fund can be used for other than the specific piece of equipment that it is designated for.  Mr. LaFlamme advised that the money is reserved for equipment and would only be used for the purchase and maintenance of equipment.  Sometimes something happens to a piece of equipment that requires use of some of the reserved funds.  He advised that if funds need to be shifted, then the plan will be adjusted to compensate for this shift.  The hope of this Board is that the town will build up their reserve funds enough so that equipment purchases will be paid for up front rather than needing to lease.  This saves money by not having large interest fees.  Ms. Edwards advised that they are attempting by this plan to put the town on a more fiscally sound footing in the future.

  • Culvert issue at Ann Dewitt’s property

The Board will continue this to another time as there were no representatives present and Brad Rafus was not there to give input from the road crew perspective.  Mr. Rice advised that Brad had asked him to look at the situation, as the road crew has hit the pipe that was protruding into the roadway. Mr. Rafus is aware of the situation. Mr. White suggested that if this is a private pipe, the owner should pay the expense of redoing it, and the road crew could install it to be sure it is done properly.  Mr. LaFlamme advised he had talked with Ms. McLean about it.  There is not too much that can be done until spring.

  • Deposit into employee HSA

The new employee health insurance plan is a high deductible Health Savings Account plan.  The Board had agreed to put the amount of the deductible into the HSA for each employee.  The amount does not exceed the difference between the new premium and HSA contribution, and the higher premium of the old health plan.  The amount to be deposited is $12,000 (2 singles @ $1500 and 3 families @ $3000).

Mr. Sumner moved to deposit the full $12,000 into the Health Savings Accounts in January 2011.

Ms. Edwards seconded the motion which carried 3-0.

Mr. Marguet advised that getting back to the equipment issue he would like to have all of the major pieces of equipment appraised so that they know what it is worth.

Mr. LaFlamme advised that that data would be quickly outdated due to numerous factors.  He advised that the equipment schedule is based on the projected life span so that at any time one could calculate the remaining life and worth of the piece.  However there are many things that could happen which would affect the worth and that is why generally a piece of equipment is appraised at the time of sale or trade-in.

  • Warning for town report

Mr. LaFlamme advised they would work on this after they hear from visitors, rather than making them wait until after.

Hearing of Visitors

  • Mr. Rice advised that he had stopped a couple of private plow vehicles for excessive speed.  He noted that the Road Crew had advised him that some of these vehicles have caused them a problem.  He advised that he will be watching for them and will verbally warn them once, but after that he’ll issue tickets.

Mr. Sumner advised that the quarterly report from the state police was received.  He read the figures and noted that 80% of the fines imposed are given to the town.

  • Mr. White inquired about the roof situation at the town garage and wanted to know what had been done about fixing it and if there was added expense involved.  Mr. Sumner advised that they had held back 10% of the money that was targeted for the initial contractor, so that when the roof was fixed the charges were paid for with that money.  The only problem remaining now is condensation in the cold weather, which they will need to address.  There is still money left to pay for it.
  • Mr. White had another issue he wanted to address.  He advised that at the last meeting he was at there had been discussion about cemetery cleanup from the ice storm and he advised that he didn’t come to the next meeting but through the gossip mill he heard that someone on the Selectboard said that he was the one who complained about it and caused the complaint to be sent to the Attorney General.  He advised he wanted to know who, if anyone said he was the cause for this complaint.  A short discussion of the situation followed and after rehashing some past conversations the discussion ended.
  • Mr. Gay advised that there is a vehicle that goes by his house every morning at a speed too high for the road and/or conditions.  Mr. Rice advised he will watch for it.
  • Ms. Edwards advised that she had received a phone call about a damaged mailbox and she had left a message for the road crew.  She wondered if there was something else she should be doing.  Mr. LaFlamme advised that as it had just happened today, they would wait to see what the road crew does about it.  He advised that in the past they have repaired them if it was their fault.  When there is heavy snow and mailboxes are close to the road there are problems with snow impacting them during plowing.

Warning for Town Report

The Board wrote, reviewed and finalized the articles on the warning for Town Meeting.  They will meet at 5:00 PM on Friday, January 21, 2011 to sign the final version to be given to the Auditors for publishing in the Town Report.

Old Business


Other Business



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 9:36 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Phyllis H. Evanuk