Town of Halifax, Vermont



June 1, 2010


Call to Order


The meeting was called to order at 7:31 PM. Board members in attendance were John LaFlamme, and Edee Edwards. Board member Lewis Sumner arrived after the approval of minutes. Others in attendance were Margo Avakian, Joseph Saladino, Nekki Saladino, Sean King, Robin King, Greg Marguet, Rick Gay, Brad Rafus, Timothy Putnam, Charlene Martynowski, Andrew Rice, Earl Holtz, Patricia Holtz, and Board Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.


Approval of Minutes


Ms. Edwards moved to accept the minutes of the May 18, 2010 meeting as written.

Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion.

The motion carried 2-0, and the minutes were approved.


New Business


 Zoning Violation: Zoning Administrator Rick Gay gave a summary of the violation. There has been a problem on Route 112 with outside lights glaring onto an adjoining property. He has been working with the parties involved trying to rectify the situation. He advised that the initial offending light was removed, but since then replacement lights have been put up. He is still receiving complaints and the situation has escalated to the point that he feels that a court settlement is the next course of action. Regarding the violation penalties the fines are now at $1700.00 ($100 a day for each day the violation continues).

Nekki Saladino advised that she has complied with every request and she explained that the lights now there are facing toward her driveway and is only a 45 watt bulb. The light is off by 11 PM. She questioned how it could possibly be a nuisance to neighbors who are 400’ away.

Mr. LaFlamme advised that the light bulb is not shielded, so it casts glare. He noted that complaints have been made about other properties and those people also received notices of violation.

Both Mrs. And Mr. Saladino advised that they had been told they were in compliance after they took down the first light and were upset that they were not notified that they were again in violation, and accumulating fines.

Mr. Gay advised he had been past their property since the original light was removed and found there to be other glaring lights. He advised that if they would shield the lights, the glare would be shielded from the adjoining properties, and the problem would be solved.

Sean King, the adjoining property owner, advised that he had sent them a letter which was the only communication they have had, asking them to put a baffle on the light to keep it from shining onto their property. He advised that he never asked them to remove any light, only to shield them. The offending lights have made it impossible for them to enjoy their yard.

He advised he and his wife would like to be able to go out in their yard and not see lights glaring onto their property.

Mr. King submitted some photos he had taken, some at night and some during the day to show the location of the lights.

After more back and forth discussion Ms. Edwards advised that they were only trying to resolve this issue rather than seeing it go to court.

Mr. Gay advised that if they put up a piece of plywood to diffuse the light the problem would be solved.

Mr. Saladino continued to argue that if they can’t have the lights that they do have, they cannot have lights because whatever they have puts them out of compliance. Mrs. Saladino advised that the suggestion of a motion sensor light does not solve the problem because she would not be able to see if there was anything or anyone in the driveway, but a light that is constant is what she wants.

Mr. Gay advised there was no need to keep going on about this. The answer is simply to diffuse the glare by shielding the light. Then the problem is solved.

This did not seem to register, as the discussion continued. Mr. LaFlamme put out a suggestion for fixing the problem. He advised if it was alright with Mr. Gay, he suggested that if the light situation is fixed by the end of the week, no fines will be levied.

Ms. Edwards advised that when it has been done, Mr. Gay should be contacted to come and check it, and the Kings should be asked if it is solving the problem.

Mr. Rice advised that neighbors should be able to work things out between themselves and not have to involve law enforcement rather than communicating with each other.

Mr. LaFlamme noted that it may be some time before they reach that point, due to the current situation.


 Mowing bids


Two bids were received from Andrew Rockwell of East Dover, Vermont. The first was for $60 per hour but it was superseded by a second bid of $50 per hour. No other bids were received.


Mr. Sumner moved to accept the bid of $50 per hour with a maximum amount not to exceed $5,000.

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


 Blacktop repair options


Mr. Rafus advised that they plan on continuing on Brook Road. He advised that if they reclaim the road by grinding the surface up, adding more gravel and the recompacting it they should be able to do about ½ mile. If they only repave by shimming and putting down an overlay they might be able to do 9/10 of a mile but it would last only 2-3 years and the road would be back to its present condition.

Ms. Edwards advised her concern was whether or not they could afford to do any paving this year given the money earmarked for the gravel. She wondered if they could defer paving to next year.


Mr. Marguet asked if it would be worthwhile to invest in equipment to lay their own pavement. He advised that if they had equipment and used their own trucks to haul the materials they could save money and do more roads.

Mr. Sumner advised that no other towns have that type of equipment and even the state does not have their own equipment.

Mr. Rafus advised that to reclaim ½ mile it will be approximately $101,000 and to repave 9/10 mile will be approximately $100,500.

Ms. Edwards proposed they shim and overlay approximately ½ mile this year to keep costs around $50,000.

Mr. Marguet advised that the roads are just glorified parking lots and they Road Crew could dig up and truck the pavement in to Brattleboro and have it crushed and remixed and then they could truck it back and put it down.

Mr. Rafus advised that the contractor grinds and remixes it in place, it doesn’t get trucked anywhere.

Mr. Putnam asked how many layers of asphalt have been put down already. He advised that after several layers the road will ripple and heave.

It was agreed that both options for paving will be put out to bid and the discussion will be continued at the next meeting.


Mr. LaFlamme moved to table the blacktop issue until the next meeting and put both options out to bid. Bids will be due June 15th.

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



 New Loader repair estimates:


Ms. Edwards advised they got one estimate for repairs of the loader from Clark Heavy Equipment Co. That bid was $36,100. She reviewed the calculations that she has been working with and explained the five years cost.

Mr. Marguet once again insisted that the purchase of a “$30,000 loader” as a backup should be considered.

Ms. Edwards advised that she had considered that in her initial calculations and it didn’t make the grade.

Mr. LaFlamme advised that the grader that was purchased in 1995 is to be replaced in five years. If the repair option is chosen for the loader that would mean that they possibly would be looking at replacing two large pieces of equipment in the same year.

After discussion about the costs, options, and advantages/disadvantages of the loaders being considered, Mr. LaFlamme advised he felt there was sufficient information to make a decision.


Ms. Edwards moved to approve the purchase of a 2009 John Deere 544K loader with 180 hours for $106,000 and with a 5 year/5,000 hour warranty for $5,300.

Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion which carried 3-0.




Hearing of Visitors


 Constable Rice Gave an update on the Dog Warrant, advising that there was only one unlicensed dog. He also noted that the warrant language has changed for next year. He gave an update on his recent activities and submitted some bills.


 Mr. Putnam inquired about a decision on Aldrich Road. He was informed that the issue is still pending.


 Mr. Rafus advised that they are having a problem with trash being dumped at the recycling roll-offs. It is a continuing problem and needs to be dealt with.


 Charlene Martynowski advised that thanks are in order for the time and effort Tim Putnam put into painting the Fire Station.


Old Business




Other Business






The new State Police contract was received for signature. The new hourly rate for contract services is $53.53. This rate includes officer, equipment, and dispatch services.


Mr. LaFlamme moved to renew the State Police contract at the rate of $53.53 per hour, not to exceed $6,000 for the year.

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


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 9:52 PM.


Respectfully submitted,

Phyllis H. Evanuk