Town of Halifax, Vermont

January 3, 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, and Earl Holtz, and Lewis Sumner. Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno, Margo Avakian, Chris Mays, Greg Marguet, Nick Bartenhagen, Maggie Bartenhagen, Len Derby, Linda Lyon, Everett Wilson, John LaFlamme, Joe Tamburrino, Justin Berry, Wayne Courser, Christina Moore, Bill Moore, Brad Rafus, and Peggy Webber.

Approval of Minutes

Edwards made a motion to accept the minutes of the December 18, 2012 regular meeting as written. Holtz seconded the motion , which passed 2-0-1 (Sumner abstained).

Edwards made a motion to accept the minutes of the December 31, 2012 emergency meeting as amended. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 2-0-1 (Sumner abstained).

New Business

Moving the Emergency Operations Center
The Selectboard and members of the public had a lengthy discussion about moving the emergency operations center (EOC) out of the fire house. Items discussed included the ability to make the EOC mobile, storage issues, internet and communications constraints, and various other matters. Edwards expressed that she believes the town office is a more suitable location for the EOC because there’s more parking, ability to expand, more adequate heating and ventilation, better internet connection, and noise control

Lyon suggested that a systematic evaluation be performed to determine what is needed to operate under other conditions. Identifying our needs and where to meet those needs in town needs to be analyzed. LaFlamme suggested compartmentalizing town resources. He noted that having individuals fill multiple roles leads to confusion and loss of focus. He suggested that the EOC stay at the fire station and the Selectboard function out of the town office so that each entity can focus on their own objectives.

The role and appointment of possible incident commanders was discussed.

The Selectboard asked the Emergency Management Directors to do an assessment of the facilities we have (how much space we need, what are our options etc), and prepare a recommendation of where we should have the EOC located. They requested that the analysis and recommendation be completed for the first Selectboard meeting in February (February 5, 2013).

Lyon and Bartenhagen noted that if the EMD’s need assistance, there are people in town willing to assist with this project.

Energy Efficiency Projects

Edwards reported that she and Tristan Roberts (Energy Efficiency Coordinator) went to a meeting with Cullen Meves at Windham Regional Commission. Roberts followed through with a free energy assessment for the school. Edwards noted that in the process of budgeting, the Selectboard tentatively funded a roof for the town garage and would like an energy audit prior to that work as well for the town garage. Edwards believes the cost is less than $1000.

Edwards noted that there was a meeting tonight with a plan for residents to participate in upgraded energy efficiency work in their residences. If we participate as a town, we need approximately 9 homes to participate.

Edwards also reported on a street light program which would replace street lights with LED lights at no cost.

Old Business

Hale Road Bridge Award

Sumner made a motion to accept the Renaud Brothers- Vernon, VT bid, for Hale Road Bridge construction in the amount of $164,180. Edwards seconded the motion which passed 3-0-0.

Edwards reported that they have received state approval for the improved project. In looking at the improved project assessment, they changed the calculation for the base resulting in a town portion of about $11,800 (versus the $2000 we originally thought). C Moore feels that we should continue with construction, but we should appeal the calculation.

There was a discussion about Renaud Brothers prior work in town including debris removal.

Edwards made a motion to ask Christina Moore to write a letter of appeal for the upcharge in the improved project cost for Hale Road Bridge. Holtz seconded the motion, which carried 3-0-0.

Engineering Construction Oversight Project
Edwards made a motion to accept the SVE (Brattleboro, VT) bid to perform Hale Road Bridge construction engineering oversight services as outlined in the letter dated January 2, 2013 for an estimated cost of $26,505. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

Edwards noted that a pre-construction meeting is needed. C Moore will be the point of contact with SVE. We also need to coordinate with Guilford if the roads have to be closed.

Update on Bridge Work/ Irene Recovery

Rafus reported that the abutment is completed on the Green River Road side. They have moved to the Deer Park side, footings are poured, and they are getting ready to put their wall forms up. They will try and get the other abutment done.

Contractor vs Employee

Edwards reported the Christina Moore has requested to be classified as a contractor versus a temporary employee. The Selectboard will ask her for a proposal with statement of work and a certificate of insurance.

Update on Plow Truck Fire

The Selectboard and members of the public discussed the recent plow truck fire. Rafus reported that he met with the insurance adjuster this afternoon but he does not have any estimates yet. Rafus was able to find two new trucks with the same equipment that meet our specifications. He also noted that a dealership is willing to loan us a truck but it is not a truck we would buy as it’s lighter and single axle. The two trucks that meet our specifications are with Clark Truck Equipment, and Patriot Freight Liner. Edwards suggested that we start the bid process immediately and advertise while using the purchasing policy to control costs. Rafus noted that sanding will be delayed but he talked to Jesse Boyd, and the town of Guilford offered to help. The quotes will go out tomorrow by mail with a due date of Wednesday, 1/23/13.

The Selectboard and members of the public had a discussion about a policy for having passengers in town vehicles. The group also discussed ways to make it safer for road crew employees. Webber asked the Selectboard to look for ways to improve safety for the road crew as there are issues with them not being able to contact anyone when they are on the road. The group discussed radios, mobile repeaters, and 415. Berry was asked to get costs for repeaters.

Edwards noted that they received an e-mail that a town vehicle hit a personal vehicle (during the same truck fire incident). Rafus will follow up with the insurance company.

Courser noted that although we pay for Rescue, Inc., Colrain has been up here to help out several times and he suggested writing them a thank you note. Bruno will draft the letter.

Designation of Town Newspaper

This will be discussed at town meeting.

Reserve Fund Shift

No new information.

Budget Finalization

We will schedule another meeting when we get the insurance numbers for the truck.

Catastrophic Exercise Training

Berry noted that there are five mandatory meetings and if one is missed, we will be excluded from the event. It’s a commitment that the town needs to make, but how extensively do we want to be involved? Berry noted there is a tabletop drill 1/15/13 and they would like the town official and EMD’s to attend. Holtz volunteered as a participant in the Catastrophic Exercise for 2014.

Hearing of Visitors

Other Business


The mail was reviewed and appropriately filed.

Payment number 3 for Cold River Bridges has not been certified by SVE. It went to SVE on 12/31/12 and SVE has 10 days to review or approve it, then we have 10 days to pay it.

Edwards made a motion to sign the Standard Sub Grant Agreement to extend FEMA projects to December, 2013. Holtz seconded the motion, which carried 3-0-0.

Holtz left the meeting at 8:30pm.

Selectmen’s Order to Town Treasurer for bill payment

The order for payment of bills was completed and signed.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno

Selectboard Secretary