Town of Halifax, Vermont
October 7, 2013

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 8:04am at the town office.  Board members in attendance were Edee Edwards, and Earl Holtz (Lewis Sumner was absent). Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno, Brad Rafus, Patty Dow, Bill Rossignol (via conference call), and Ken Boyd (via conference call).

Road Commissioner’s Orders
The road commissioner’s orders were reviewed and signed.

New Business

Healthcare Benefits- Town Clerk
Edwards noted that it was voted by the taxpayers in 2003 to give benefits to the town clerk. The VLCT believed that if it was voted 1x to give elected officials benefits, but not voted consistently, it is an open issue. They recommend having an agreement with the town clerk regarding a benefits arrangement. Federal law requires any employer who offers health benefits to provide them to all full time employees (over 30 hours per week).

Edwards had reviewed the VLCT compensation report and noted that our town clerk wage is based on 24 hours per week at $14.43 per hour. The average is $20.50 per hour and the median is $19.98 per hour. When possible the Selectboard would like to take salary changes to the voters.

The Selectboard would like to understand how other towns account for people who fill multiple roles when determining who is eligible for benefits. They may craft a warning to outline when elected officials are eligible for benefits.

Dow will review the VLCT compensation reports and come up with a salary proposal based on what her responsibilities are in that role.

Hearing of Visitors
Rafus did an assessment and determined that he does not have the equipment to fix the guardrails at the Green River Road bridge. In order to put in galvanized posts and uprights, they need to get the existing bolts out and replace them and he does not have the equipment to re-bore concrete.

He also noted that to put up the jersey barriers on the bridge at the bottom of Hubbard Hill, you still have to drill and put studs in them. He is not an advocate of putting up the barriers there because of how narrow the bridge is. The Selectboard noted that they need the cost remedying the bridge guardrails based on state suggestions and not based on what the one contractor wants to do.

Rafus reported that they are having an issue getting the final deliveries as part of their gravel contract. It has been 6 weeks since the last delivery and he has called numerous times. As it has been a year since the contract was originally signed, do we need to terminate the contract? The Selectboard pulled the contract and noted there was no date for the final delivery of the remaining 1600 cy (the first 6000 cy had delivery dates). The Selectboard will draft a letter requesting the remaining 1600 cy by November 1, 2013.

Old Business

Hydrolic Study Bridge 37
Edwards noted that she is having trouble getting the state to respond to when their study will be available. Mark Pickering at AOT estimated that they may receive it in about 2 weeks. The state was preparing the study at no cost to the town. At this point this item is holding up progress for Holden Engineering. Holden’s cost for preparing the study is $620 and can be completed within a week. The Selectboard called Bill Rossignol at 9:25am to discuss the impact of the delayed hydrology study. Rossignol expressed that he felt if the state can complete the study in two weeks, they can move on within their timeframe and have the engineering wrapped up by the end of November. He also noted that as they move forward, they may need to interact with the state to be sure they are ok with the design. Generally the state want to speak with the town and not the engineer, but they are asking that the state speak with them directly (on the town’s behalf) on engineering matters. It is a courtesy to have the state review the design and determine if they are agreeable to it, but if they choose not to participate, that is fine, they will still build a bridge that will work. The call with Rossignol ended at 9:25am.

The Selectboard decided to go with the state hydrology study for now in hopes that they will receive is within two weeks.

Old Town Garage
The Selectboard had viewed some changes to the old town garage site that were done without their knowledge by an unknown party. They had a letter to the adjoining property owner to find out if they knew anything about it. Ken Boyd responded and the Selectboard called him at 9:35am. Boyd expressed that he had a problem with standing water on his property. It is his understanding that the ditch was on his property. He had the opportunity to get an excavator onto his property so he dumped a file of rubble to fill in a spot and moved some dirt across the road to make the property look better. He was trying to clean up his property and did not mean to cause any trouble in any way. He noted that it looks nicer than it did before and he was trying to clean up the rubbish from Irene. He also noted that the ditch is still there.

Edwards expressed that the town garage site is not looking good either and they are intending to bring the issue to the voters to de-commission it. Holtz expressed that they were not sure who had made the changes to the property and if there was a water issue that the two neighbors find a remedy. They thanked Boyd for reaching out to them and ended the call at 9:45.

Other Business

An order was prepared and signed for a bill from SVE.

When going through paperwork, it was discovered that the bid for guardrails went out based on state AOT recommendations in the bridge report, and not based on the recommendations from John Alexander. Alexander’s letter was not with the bid package. Rafus now believed he can complete the work for the temporary fix based on those recommendations. The Selectboard will discuss next Tuesday.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:50am.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno

Selectboard Secretary


Halifax Vermont Emergency Selectboard Meeting– DRAFT

2 October 2013

Present: Edee Edwards, Lewis Sumner, Brad Rafus, and Earl Holtz

Location: The old town garage

The meeting was called to order by Edwards at 7:07 AM, to discuss excavation that removed a drainage ditch located along the western boundary of the old town garage, by persons unknown. This boundary line is shared by the Town (bro.0126)and Kenneth & Cassandra Boyd’s property (bro.0104). See picture below.

The drainage ditch was used to catch water between the properties and route it into a culvert going under Brook Road into the brook. The towns concern is that the removal of the ditch may cause water damage to either property and therefore should have been discussed with the town prior to its removal. If the town has to replace the drainage ditch, then the costs of the added work will be charged to the persons who removed the ditch.

A letter stating the towns concerns will be crafted by Edwards and forwarded to the Boyd’s inquiring whether they did or have knowledge of who did remove the ditch.

The meeting was closed at 7:35AM

Respectfully submitted

Earl B Holtz