Town of Halifax, Vermont

June 18, 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 (via conference call), Earl Holtz, and Lewis Sumner. Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno, Chris Mays, Ray Combs, Brad Rafus, and John LaFlamme.

New Business

Bids for Calcium Chloride
All State Asphalt, Sunderland, MA- 10k gal @ .86/gal $8,600.
Innovation, Glenmont, NY- 10k gal @ .88/gal $8,800. They also submitted a quote for magnesium chloride .81/gal $8,100.

Holtz made a motion to accept the bid from All State Asphalt, Sunderland, MA for 10k gal of calcium chloride at .86/gal for a total of  $8,600. Sumner seconded the motion which passed 3-0-0.

Edwards noted that this does fall within the budgeted amount.

Bids for Fuel Oil and Diesel Fuel
Fuel Oil
AR Sandri, Greenfield, MA- 2,000 gal #2 fuel oil $3.474/gal.
Guy Nido, Wilmington, VT- 2,000 gal #2 fuel oil- if prepaid by 8/16/13 $3.38/gal, or $3.45/gal if paid monthly by the 10th of the month.

Holtz made a motion to accept the bid for 2,000 of #2 fuel oil from Guy Nido, Wilmington, VT at the prepaid price by 8/16/13 of $3.38/gal. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

Diesel Fuel
AR Sandri, Greenfield, MA- 8,750 gal of summer diesel at $3.517/gal and 8,750 gal of winter diesel at $3.617/gal.
Guy Nido, Wilmington, VT- 8,750 gal of summer diesel at $3.43/gal and 8,750 gal of winter diesel at $3.68/gal.

The Selectboard discussed bidding summer and winter diesel separately in the future or potentially splitting the award to take advantage of the lowest prices.

Sumner made a motion to accept the bid from Guy Nido, Wilmington, VT for 8,750 gal summer diesel at $3.43/gal and 8,750 gal of winter diesel at 3.68/gal. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

Bids for Mower Rental
Howard Fairfield, Inc., Morrisville, VT- $2,600/week (5 days or 40 hours). Overtime hours are $65/hr. Available weeks are 6/24, 7/1, 9/2, 9/9, 9/19, 9/23, and October weeks are still open. This is for equipment rental only. The town supplies the labor.

Rafus noted that we have spent approximately 80 hours on roadsides in the past. Edwards noted that this is not a cost effective way to complete this work. The Selectboard discussed putting the bid out again for a contractor to complete the work. They also discussed renting equipment for one week and having a contractor complete the rest of the work. They discussed working with a neighboring town about a possible barter, but Rafus talked to two towns and they are not interested as they are using the equipment during the summer.

Edwards made a motion to rent the mower and tractor from Howard Fairfield, Inc., Morrisville, VT, for one week (40 hours), at the earliest week in September that is available, at $2,600. They will look into getting a contractor to complete any remaining work. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.

Internet Service- EOC
John LaFlamme discussed upgrading the internet service for the EOC. Fairpoint DSL (up to 78kbps) with long distance phone is $49.28/mo. Sovernet offered a package for a 10mbps dedicated fiber line at $400/mo for 36 months, or $360/mo for 60 months.

The group discussed various grants that the town has been awarded which may offer additional alternatives. It was noted that they should have primary and backup internet service for disaster planning.

LaFlamme talked with someone at Fairpoint and learned that there is a fiber line going from Gates Pond to the switch, Reed Hill to the village to the 4 corners switch, and Rte 112 to Hubbard Hill switch. They are also looking for an easement with someone in Halifax village to install a potential switch box there. Up to 3mbps would be available. Holtz noted that VTel signed a contract with a Halifax center resident. As there are 5 grants that could potentially affect their decision, the Selectboard will try and meet with Sharon from the VT Digital Economy Project to work through their questions. The group also discussed having a meeting to discuss whether the fire house is the best place for the EOC. The potential dates for that meeting are 7/11 at 6:30pm or 7/13 at 9am.

Town Repeater System
LaFlamme reported that R&R Communication installed the repeater and reprogrammed the radios. Rafus has had problems with the system not working as well as expected. Keene Mutual Aid looked at the setup and concluded that it was not interfering with the Keene Mutual Aid channel, but noted that a different installation would have made for a better application. The antenna is on the west instead of the east so it’s transmitting out in the wrong direction. A different coaxial cable and mounting bracket could also improve it. R&R said they have done what is in their quote and is not willing to make any changes for free. Edwards recommended getting an immediate quote to make the improvements. Sumner suggested that LaFlamme contact the state to see if they can carry over the funding to the next fiscal year as the system is not working right. LaFlamme will contact the state.

Red Cross Shelter
LaFlamme attended training in Readsboro, and learned of an agreement with the Red Cross for shelters. The Selectbaord can enter into an agreement with the Red Cross if they decide to open a shelter. They would also need an agreement with whomever owns the shelter building. The Red Cross is offering equipment and training of volunteers for a 72 hr shelter (after 72 hrs the Red Cross takes over). Food is also reimbursed by the Red Cross. LaFlamme already has a list of volunteers that are interested. The Red Cross will supply 25 cots, 50 blankets, sheets, water, and other equipment. The group discussed storage, requirements for a shelter, and inquired about volunteer training which LaFlamme will follow up on. LaFlamme will next meet with the school directors as the school is listed as a shelter for Halifax.

Old Business
Update on Hale Road Bridge
Holtz reported that the road is shut down and bridge work has started. They received approval from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Update on Deer Park Bridge
Sumner received a document from Intl Fidelity Insurance Co regarding Cold River’s completion of the project which he will complete and send back.

Update on Broadband
VTel- Holtz reported that VTel signed a contract with Larry Crosier for their wireless equipment. VTel would be bringing 4G into the area which is slightly better than Fairpoint DSL.

Fairpoint- the northeast corner is getting service now in the Lucier Rd area. They are also bringing fiber to Gates Pond and updating the trunk line.

Grants- Holtz asked the contacts from the VTA cell phone grant and the e-business people to contact each other and be sure their Wi-Fi hotspot plans are compatible. He noted that he would still like to entertain cell phone towers at the town garage.

Edwards noted that there will be a free workshop on social medial marketing on 6/26 at the town office at 5:30pm. Free pizza will be provided. Spread the word to small business owners.

Hearing of Visitors
Rafus reported that he received an estimate on the energy audit recommendations. The cold air intake estimate was $350. He also got a price form an electrician to put in switches for the boiler and exhaust fan $650. The Selectboard approved moving forward with these items.

Rafus reported that roadwork on Green River Road is starting the week of 6/24. The road will be closed 8am to 3pm.

Other Business


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 8:59 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno

Selectboard Secretary