Town of Halifax, Vermont


July 8, 2013

Call to Order

The Selectboard met at 60 Wheeler Road, calling the meeting to order at 9:02 am.  Present were Selectboard members Earl Holtz, Edee Edwards, and Lewis Sumner.  Also present were Bradley Rafus, George Squires and Margaret Squires.

Road Washouts

The Selectboard and Road Commissioner met with the Squires about the road edge washouts that are occurring along the road in front of their property.

Wheeler Road is a class 3 road, but it only has a 33 foot right of way, because it was originally a private road from the 1960’s which the town took over.  There is also piping along one side of the road related to a community water system which is no longer in use.  The Squires property was purchased in 1996, and at some point prior to December 1997, when Bradley Rafus joined the road crew, the town apparently put in a pipe, approximately 6 inches in size, and 25 ft in length, along the road in front of the property.  George Squires added an extension to this pipe to move water at an angle out across what was then a grass field on their property.  At a later date, he added fill over that pipe to create a second parking spot.  He also put a third driveway/road across the property below that, about 12 years ago.

Now, all three drives/parking areas have washouts, extending alongside the road below.  It was noted that the original pipe was much smaller than the current state minimum of 15 inches for driveway culverts.

Rafus measured off the length of the problem spots.  The full length is 78 feet.  Rafus recommended a 40 ft driveway culvert across the upper driveways, then a stone-filled ditch of 20 ft, followed by an additional 20 ft. culvert across the lower driveway, and finally additional ditch work that will widen that area up a bit closer to the Squires’ fence.  Because the town had installed the original pipe, Rafus recommended that the town pay for culvert replacing that first length of pipe, while the Squires pay for the additional two culverts.  The town will perform the work to get them installed, as is our common practice, and invoice the Squires for the 2 lengths of culvert.  Twenty feet of 15” culvert costs $126.50 at present.

This was agreeable to the Squires.  Rafus does not have any culvert on hand, but he will order it all.  It will take about 10 days, and the work will then be integrated into the road crew’s project schedules, factoring in weather.  Edwards inquired about temporary fill, which Rafus said he could do to help the top two driveways.

The Selectboard and Road Commissioner also agreed that re-creating a swale further up the road would help with the problem.

Edwards made a motion that the town pay for 20 feet of culvert while the Squires pay for 40 feet of culvert, with the town performing installation and ditch work.  Sumner seconded the motion, which carried 3-0.

At 9:53 am, the Selectboard suspended the meeting to resume upon arrival at the Town Office.

Road Commissioners Orders

At 10:07, the Selectboard and Rafus resumed the meeting at the Town Office.  Rafus submitted the Road Commissioners orders, including payroll, which the Selectboard reviewed and signed.

Noted were the following items:

  • Rafus indicated that the paving costs were $6/ton less than last year’s prices, likely due to lower demand and lower petroleum costs.  The state paving grant is good for $175K, on Class 2 Roads.  The originally planned project was quoted at a total of $147,680, less than we anticipated.  Rafus inquired if the Selectboard would consider additional paving to make full use of the grant funding allotted us.  Sumner suggested an area on Green River Road between Clark and Ellington.  Although ½ of the road was Irene damaged and repaired, the other half is in rough shape and should be considered for regular maintenance. The purchase order will reflect the per ton price. The Selectboard agreed to put additional paving on their next agenda for consideration.
  • It was noted that advertising costs for recent highway bids was $600.  Edwards thought that the advertisements should be bundled and streamlined, referring interested parties to our website or phone for further information.
  • Rafus noted that we had checked on a payoff quote for the Caterpillar Excavator.  However, we discovered that instead of one extra payment, we would need to cover 2 years since the original lease was made in arrears.  The Selectboard said that in this case, only the regular payment should be made for now (the order was so signed).  There will need to be some review of the equipment schedule to determine how best to apply the “extra” $22,000 this year, but that will also impact the Equipment schedule for next year.
  • Rafus stated that the new tandem truck already purchased should be delivered about July 18th.   Had the Selectboard made the final decision to lease the truck or pay outright for it?  Holtz suggested that we check with Patty Dow about our current cash flow and reserve accounts.  Edwards asked Rafus to consult with Patty Dow, and we would put this on our next agenda.



The meeting adjourned at 10:23 am.

Respectfully submitted,

Edee Edwards

Selectboard Chair