Town of Halifax, Vermont
July 16, 2013

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm. Board members in attendance were Edee Edwards, Lewis Sumner and Earl Holtz. Others in attendance were Margo Avakian, Brad Rafus, Jessica Bruno, Patty Dow, John LaFlamme, Ross Barnett, Len Derby, and Ray Combs.

Approval of Minutes

Sumner moved to accept the minutes of the July 2, 2013 regular meeting. The motion was amended to add a few corrections. Edwards seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

Holtz moved to accept the minutes of the July 8, 2013 special meeting as written. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

Edwards moved to accept the minutes of the July 11, 2013 special meeting with a few corrections. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

New Business

Truck Body Purchase/Financing

The town is expecting delivery of the new tandem soon. In approximately 4-6 weeks, the body will be on. The cost of the cab and chassis is $108,875 plus another approx. $41k in equipment. Dow reported that the reserve fund has about $54k available. For the current fiscal year, we budgeted $90k to go toward the purchase of that truck. The Selectboard discussed financing options and payment terms. It was agreed that when the truck is delivered, it will be paid for outright.

Broadband Committee- expansion of mission

Bruno explained that at the last Broadband Committee meeting, the committee discussed expanding their mission and vision to include economic development strategy and implementation. Bruno asked the Selectboard for permission to include these topics as part of the focus of the Broadband Committee. It was agreed by the Selectbord that upcoming infrastructure changes will allow the town to expand economic development, and it makes sense to add these areas to the focus of the Broadband Committee.

Edwards noted that there is a request for projects to be included in the Windham region CEDS with a deadline of 8/9/13. She added that the community hall may be a discussion point- perhaps if we had a facility with grant funding, we could get some economic development going. Edwards added that possible ideas to consider might be a winter farmers market to promote local agriculture, or a public exercise facility to promote health and wellness. Bruno will call a special meeting of the Broadband Committee to discuss the potential CEDS projects.

Edwards also asked the Broadband Committee to call local businesses and ask if they would like to be listed on the town website.

Edwards made a motion to expand the Broadband Committee to include economic development activities. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

Irene Audit for FY13
It was noted that because we received grants from both USDA and FEMA, we need to have a full financial audit.

Edwards made a motion to ask the town treasurer and auditors to put out to bid an RFP for a full financial audit. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

It was noted that the audit needs to be completed by 3/31/14.

Selectboard Quarterly Priorities
Quarterly Selectboard priorities are as follows:

1-Irene Work
2-Town Garage Roof
3-Old County North Bridge
4-Address Town Highway Dept salaries/hours
5-Financial Assessment
6-Bridge Guardrails

Edwards noted that she has requested information on whether the town can have more than one structures grant at a time.

Rafus noted regarding the guardrails, that Renaud had some different ideas that could cut the cost in half. He did not see the bid in the newspaper.

Co-EMD Quarterly Report and Priorities

LaFlamme and Barnett presented their quarterly report to the Selectboard. LaFlamme noted that he was able to get an extension of the R&R grant to 9/30/13.

The Selectboard discussed priorities for the next few months:

-Close out radio system issues
-Strengthen the emergency operations plan- include an EOC back-up plan
-Revise/clarify the RERP in the coming year. LaFlamme will provide an electronic copy of the plan to the Selectboard.
-Test the reverse-911 system

LaFlamme added that a request for training has been put in for the reverse-911 system. The co-EMD’s need to be certified to activate the system. Edwards repeated how important it is to test the system and to figure out if the list of phone numbers is even valid.

The group discussed internet access at the ECO and the importance of having a backup (satellite) if they switch to DSL. It was also noted that the satellite can be put on ‘vacation mode’ and they may want to consider upgrading the satellite.

Hearing of Visitors

Derby informed the Selectboard that there have been several break-ins around town. One recent incident involved vandalism and damage caused by underage kids in town. He expressed that everyone in town should be vigilant especially on the back roads. Calls regarding break-ins should go the state police.

Rafus led a discussion regarding paving. Green River Road is scheduled for paving the second week of August. The contract is for about $147k and the grant goes up to $218k. Rafus inquired whether they should pave additional sections of Green River Road that are in poor condition to take full advantage of the grant. The additional sections would bring the cost up to $199,824.

Sumner made a motion to expand the paving on Green River Road to pave sections as according to the road commissioner’s recommendations of poor sections of the road up to a total paving cost of $200K.Edwards seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

Old Business

Deer Park Temp Bridge

Sumner will follow up with Christina Moore regarding town money spent putting in the temporary bridge. Rafus confirmed that the only expense he knows of is the operator and equipment, and it was all separated out.

Hale Road Bridge

Sumner stopped at the site and was told that it may be finished by the end of the week. He added that FEMA obligated $73k for Hale Road bridge to increase the length to 24’.

Town Garage Roof

Rafus contacted three contractors and received two responses. They are not interested in providing a free estimate. Edwards expressed that the roof needs to go out to bid formally.

Edwards made a motion to put out a RFP to repair the leaking town garage roof. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

The group discussed holding a meeting for the bidders to go over the issues.

Town Shed Extension Permitting

Edwards noted that we need to have a permit if we are building onto the salt shed.

Old County North Bridge

It was noted that the Selectboard received feedback from two property owners. The Selectboard will discuss the topic at their 7/29 meeting. Sumner will try and contact the permanent resident.

Community Block Development Grants

Edwards submitted the projects that were discussed at the July 2, 2013 meeting on the grant application. There was another discussion regarding the possible buyout of property GRR3112 due to environmental concerns.

Edwards made a motion to drop property GRR3112 from being considered for the Community Block Development Grant. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

Other Business

Liaison Reports

Edwards reported that the Planning Commission the final draft out of the town plan and has a public meeting tentatively scheduled for mid-August.

Edwards requested that communications be improved. She would like to be informed of anything out of the ordinary such as accidents, risks to property, completion of big projects etc. The Selectboard would also like a written report when the fire department is called out to an incident involving town property/equipment.

The Selectboard discussed having a liaison to the school board. It was agreed the Edwards will be the liaison for now.


The mail was reviewed and appropriately filed.

Homeland Security Package- Edwards noted that we should have a boilerplate contract that says you must follow xyz laws. For the next disaster, we have to set up a project, accounts and follow federal procurement.

Selectmen’s Order to Town Treasurer for bill payment

The order for payment of bills was completed and signed.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno

Selectboard Secretary