Town of Halifax, Vermont



November 21, 2011

Special Meeting

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 12:06 PM.  Board members in attendance were John LaFlamme, Lewis Sumner, and Edee Edwards. Joseph Tamburrino was also in attendance.

Line of Credit/Loan Papers


            The Board reviewed the paperwork for a short-term (six-month) loan of $2,000,000.00 to cover flood-related expenses until such time as FEMA reimbursements might be received. This line of credit with Peoples United Bank allows the town to borrow funds as needed up to the maximum amount to cover current flood related expenses only.

Mr. LaFlamme moved to approve the current expense note in the amount of two million dollars with Peoples United Bank.

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

Loan Resolution (in regard to the above referenced line of credit)

Mr. LaFlamme moved to adopt the Loan Resolution with Peoples United Bank for the purposes of this loan.

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

Tax Certificate for Loan/Line of Credit

Mr. LaFlamme moved to approve and sign the tax certificate for current expenses borrowing line of credit.

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

Mr. LaFlamme raised the question of whether or not the Board needed to pursue obtaining a bond at this time.

Ms. Edwards advised that given the projected amount that the town will be responsible for, after all reimbursements are applied, they need to consider obtaining a bond so as not to put such a significant burden on the taxpayers at one time.

Mr. Sumner advised he agreed and that in order to obtain such a bond the town needs to have an outside audit completed covering two years.

Mr. LaFlamme advised that the estimated cost of such an audit is between ten and fifteen thousand dollars so it would need to be put out to bid.

Before any formal decision is considered, the subject will be scheduled for a regular Selectboard meeting.

Mrs. Dow asked if the Board had considered attending the next school board meeting to request deferment of the portion of school funds that the town still needs to transfer to them.  The Board agreed that they could ask to be on the agenda to present the issue.

Ms. Edwards noted that she had something that was not on the agenda for this meeting but she feels it needs to be considered.  In recent days she has noticed that some of the information being disseminated be the various media has not been accurate.  She suggested that there should be only one contact person for handling news releases and interviews. She wants to be sure that the voters are apprised of the correct information rather than trying to explain the actual situations after they have heard and read inaccurate things.

Mr. LaFlamme and Mr. Sumner both agreed that inaccuracies occur, and advised that when one of them is aware of it they should try to correct it.

Ms. Edwards would like this to be an agenda item to clarify the procedure for reporting information to the media.

Engineering Bids

Mr. Tamburrino advised that both RJR Engineering and Icarus have both been eliminated.  Both were thorough but both were financially out of reach for the town.

Renaud Bros. bid on four bridges when the request was for three bridges.  There also seem to be some items not mentioned such as soil samples and borings, approval of designs by state or FEMA.  He noted that they also did not go out to look at the sites, and he advised that if the town told them it was for only three bridges, then their price might go up.

Some questions were put forth by the Board and Mr. Tamburrino will ask for explanations from the bidder.  Generally they want to know specifics of what is and is not included in the quote.

SVE Associates did not call out soil samples and boring. Approval by Vermont state specifications they said they would submit. Charges for construction phase bidding services are additional if the town requests this service.  This is not included in the bid.  Mr. Tamburrino advised that at the time the town is ready to receive construction bids it would be beneficial for the town to use the engineering firm as the “information center” for bidders.

Greenman Pedersen raised three questions: 1) Submit all necessary paperwork and plans to State for approval; 2) extra drawings and blueprints; 3) Is there any additional cost associated with questions 1 and 2.  He also noted their price is quite high.

It was also noted there was no mention of meetings with state or Selectboard as being included.

Dubois and King listed optional tasks that would be discussed after the initial contract is awarded.  They had no clear time frame listed.  Some of the services required are assumed by the bidder to be separately billed by subcontractors (so this would be additional cost).  They also listed the bridge lengths as approximations.

Stevens and Associates listed a 20% discount if all three bridges are awarded to them. (Ms. Edwards noted that SVE had listed a 10% discount for all three and a 5% discount if they are awarded two)  The question was raised regarding “additional documents” for VTRANS. And what those documents might be.  The Board would like the current fee schedule as they will be paid on an hourly basis according to the fee schedule.  Mr. LaFlamme advised that this bid has only estimated costs and could trigger the need for a supplemental agreement.

Before the meeting adjourned Ms. Edwards advised she had received numerous phone calls over the weekend and she feels that many residents’ patience is wearing thin.  She suggested they might want to schedule a public site visit to Green River Road to let people see what exactly is being done, and explain why it is not yet finished.

Mr. LaFlamme suggested that the person to answer the questions is Brad Rafus as project manager.  When people inquire they should be directed to contact him.

Mr. Tamburrino suggested putting together all of the information and questions and develop an article for the newspaper.

Mr. Sumner advised that one of the major reasons people are asked not to travel the road is that with some of the materials being used to rebuild the road have to be left in the middle of the roadway until it is used.

A discussion of how and where to close the road followed.  It was noted that a press release should be the best way to inform the public of the situation.

Mr. LaFlamme advised that any other topics should be added to the agenda for a regular meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at 2:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Phyllis H. Evanuk


{Please Note: These minutes were transcribed from the recording only.  No notes or other} {information was available for reference.}