OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
January 5, 2010
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:31 PM. Board members in attendance were John LaFlamme, Lewis Sumner, and Mitchell Green. Others in attendance were Russell Waterman, Timothy Putnam, Mary L. Brewster, Merle Eggert, Margo Avakian, Andy Rice, Patty Dow, Brad Rafus, and Board Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Sumner moved to accept the minutes of the December 15, 2009 meeting as written.
Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion.
The motion carried 2-0-1 with Mr. Green abstaining as he was not at that meeting, and the minutes were approved.
Ø Ms. Brewster was in attendance to advise the Board of some reporting changes that the auditors feel will streamline the auditing process. She advised that having worked through a fiscal year under the “existing requirements” they have discovered that there are some duplications of effort. Much of the information they have requested the Board to produce can be obtained from the Treasurer, therefore she feels that the Board does not need to also submit it. She further advised that the auditors do need their Summary of Accounts but they do not need profit and loss reports.
Mr. Green advised that the Summary of Accounts should be ready soon. He has all of the figures but needs to assign alternative funding items to the proper columns.
One thing that the auditors still need is information on the disposition of the old excavator and status of the agreement for the new excavator. This information can be obtained from Patty Dow and Brad Rafus.
Ø C.O.L.A. for employees – Deferred to end of meeting.
Hearing of Visitors
Ø Mr. Waterman was in attendance to request approval from the Board to use the lot across from the old town garage as a staging area for the purpose of reloading logs for transport. He advised he is working in Halifax and this location would be preferable to having to transport to Dummerston and then reload. He advised that the area would be cleaned up after he is finished and he would be sure that there was no damage to the property.
Mr. LaFlamme advised that the town plans to reseed and fix up that lot sometime in the future, hopefully next summer, but at this point in time there is no reason it can not be used for log staging.
Mr. Green moved to allow Russell Waterman to use the old town garage lot for staging of logs.
Mr. Sumner seconded the motion, which carried 3-0.
Ø Mrs. Dow submitted some figures that the Board had requested and they discussed the status of the Bridge account. It was noted that they have not yet received reimbursement for the Reed Hill Road Bridge.
A short discussion of reimbursements and some other accounting items followed.
Ø Mr. Rice was in attendance to submit paperwork and to update the Board on the status of a parking situation that had been discussed previously. He noted that he has verbally warned the owners multiple times that they are obstructing the traveled way, but the problem continues.
Mr. LaFlamme advised that in checking through the ordinances he found one that allows a vehicle in violation to be towed at the owner’s expense, and one that allows a $100 ticket to be given.
Mr. Rice advised that the State Police suggested towing the vehicles. Mr. Rafus advised that he could not even get past the obstructing vehicle with the one-ton so that if there had been an emergency, the vehicles could not have gotten through either.
Mr. Rice advised that the offenders are already accusing the town of harassment, so he does not want to proceed until they have been notified in writing of the consequences of their violations.
The Board agreed that a letter should be sent to the offending parties notifying them that this would be their last warning and that if violations occur after receipt of this notice that the offending vehicle will be towed at the owner’s expense. The letter should also clearly explain the ordinance and advise that a $100 ticket can also be given.
Logger on Old County Road North update: Mr. Rafus advised that he had spoken to the property owner and had been advised that the logger is supposed to be completely out of there within a week.
Mr. LaFlamme advised that he had also spoken with the owner who advised him that the logger is not working for him, and wants him to vacate. The owner is cooperating with the town and has asked that the town keep an eye on the situation and notify him if he does not leave so that legal action can be brought by the owner. The Board also received a letter in response to the one they had sent.
ü A short discussion of property appraisals and taxes followed.
ü Mr. LaFlamme read the letter of resignation from Town Clerk Laura Sumner effective March 2, 2010.
Mr. LaFlamme moved to regretfully accept the resignation of Laura Sumner to become effective March 2, 2019.
Mr. Green seconded the motion which carried 2-0-1 with Mr. Sumner abstaining.
Mr. LaFlamme advised that he was happy for Mrs. Sumner, but sad to see her leave.
Mr. Green advised that she has done an excellent job and while he understands her desire to have time to enjoy retirement, he also is sad to see her leave.
Mr. Sumner noted that in May it will be 43 years since she first became Town Clerk.
The mail was reviewed and appropriately filed.
C.O.L.A. for employees
At 8:38 PM Mr. Green moved to enter executive session to discus personnel issues and to invite Mr. Rafus to join them.
Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion which carried 3-0.
At 9:17 PM the Board reentered open session and Mr. LaFlamme announced that no decisions had been made.
Mr. Green moved to give the members of the road crew a 45¢ per hour increase as a cost of living adjustment.
Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion, which carried 3-0.
Selectmen’s Order to Town Treasurer for bill payment
The order for payment of bills was completed and signed.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 PM.
Phyllis H. Evanuk