Town of Halifax, Vermont



September 29, 2011

Special Meeting

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 8:10 AM.  Board members in attendance were Lewis Sumner and Edee Edwards. John LaFlamme was absent. Others in attendance were Joseph Tamburrino, Bradley Rafus, and Board Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.

Vice Chair Sumner advised that the purpose of this special meeting was to discuss getting more heavy equipment to work on the Green River Road.  He asked Mr. Rafus to explain what he is requesting.

Mr. Rafus advised that if the Town hopes to have that road open before winter, they need more equipment (rock trucks and excavators) to move the job along more quickly.  Where they are working now is going to be at least 3 more weeks, and the upper section is far worse.  They are going to need a lot more material also.

Mr. Sumner advised that in speaking with the contractors they advised there is a lot of down time waiting for material.  If they had more rock trucks they could speed up the work.

Ms. Edwards asked if it was realistic to think that given extra equipment they would be able to open the road before winter.

Mr. Rafus advised that with more equipment they would be able to open it at least enough to be able to plow it.  It by no means would be a finished product, but it would be possible to make it one and one-half car widths wide so that it could be plowed and usable, with caution, for the winter.  He further advised that one of the problems now is the down time waiting for material to be trucked to the site.  With more trucks they could have less time waiting between loads.  He advised that what he would like to see on the upper end is some trees removed off the bank that are just sitting with roots showing.  They could then use the material on those banks to help with repairs.  There is a lot of material there and any that they can use will help reduce the amount they have to buy.  This is only in the first section that he is referring to.

In the other areas they can take a lot of material from the river and along the banks.  Most of the blacktop is going to have to be taken up because it has been undermined.

Mr. Sumner advised that Ray can get another rock truck and LaFogg has another one also.  He advised that if they received the okay, they could have the trucks here in one or two days.

Mr. Tamburrino advised that the quickest way to get the trucks needed is to stay with the contractors they are already using.  If it is put out to bid, even with a quick turnaround, time will be lost.  With winter coming that’s time that can’t be wasted.  The contractors are already familiar with what is needed.  The only thing he would need to do is call them to confirm the price.

Mr. Tamburrino asked how long it would take to complete the work to open the road.

Mr. Rafus advised with the extra equipment about one month.  Without the extra equipment it would not be open until next spring.

Ms. Edwards asked how much they have already spent on the rock trucks. She advised that she appreciates the need for speed, but her ongoing concern is that they get a reasonable price. Hiring the additional equipment (4 pieces) at $225 per hour would amount to $220,000 for two weeks.   She advised that she thought they were going to divide the work into projects and put each project out to bid, rather than continue on the open-ended hourly method.

Mr. Rafus advised that they have not received the FEMA determination regarding specific projects yet.  When that happens they will have the information to develop bid criteria.

He needs to know what the Board wants to do.  They need to develop a plan which will take time.  At least one full day to do site visits, and if they want to put it out to bid plan on another two or three weeks until bid approval.  With this much time used up the road won’t be opened up before winter.  In that case they also need to develop a plan for winter plowing and sanding.  Will they try to do it with the Road Crew or will they contract it out?  The only truck that could be used on that road is the one-ton and then he would need to go through Brattleboro (from Moss Hollow to Ames Hill and back over the Hinesburg Road) to get there and would not be able to sand because the one-ton can’t carry enough.

Not having the road open will impact the residents on Deer Park Road who use the Green River Road access.  They are already walking over the makeshift walkway on the bridge to get to work and school.

Ms. Edwards advised that might be a priority to consider and suggested a temporary bridge be put in place.

Mr. Tamburrino advised that temporary bridges are rented and the town would have to pay for the transportation to the site, pay to have it installed, and pay to have it uninstalled, and pay transportation for the return.  They would need at least a 100 foot bridge for Deer Park. He suggested they check with Christina Moore and FEMA regarding emergency repair time frame; scope; cost; and bid notice requirements.

Mr. Sumner moved to bring in two more excavators and two more rock trucks to ensure the road is opened before winter.

The motion died for lack of a second.

Christina Moore arrived at 8:45 AM.

Ms. Edwards explained that she did not second the motion because she still wants more information.  She explained to Mrs. Moore that she wanted to know how Green River Road was divided as far as projects.

Mrs. Moore advised that as far as she is concerned, she is classifying the recovery and repair of Green River Road simply as the Green River Road project.  Her understanding is that they will receive 100% reimbursement for the work that is continuing on Green River Road.  As long as it is temporary it is covered.  Any permanent road building would need to go to bid and would not receive 100%.  She further explained that this work is listed under staff augmentation and a bid description cannot be written unless it is for staff augmentation with no specifics other than possibly a period of time.

Mr. Rafus advised that another option would be to not fix the road.  Open up Thurber Road for an alternate route.  This isn’t an option he would choose, but it is an option.

Mrs. Moore advised they are allowed to open up alternate routes and then go back and fix the Road later. The problem is Thurber road is part trail and is only one lane.  She further advised that what they are really proposing to do is rent equipment; they are not bidding a project.

Ms. Edwards advised she still would like to request bids with short response time so that the full Board can make a decision at the next meeting on October 4th.

Mr. Rafus advised he still has a bid for a rock truck from the last round.  Mr. Tamburrino advised he also has one.

Mr. Warren Summers, FEMA Representative arrived at 9:00 AM.

Mrs. Moore advised that they were trying to decide how to deal with rentals of additional equipment and operators to help deal with one of the severely damaged areas in town.  She asked Mr. Summers if they can use the past quotes or do they need to go out to bid.

Mr. Summers advised that they can rent equipment as long as the operator hours don’t exceed the equipment hours.

Ms. Edwards advised that to be fair to those contractors out there they should at least contact other bidders and see if they get any other bids.

Ms. Edwards moved to request bids for rock trucks and excavator pairs up to 2, and go with the lowest two bidders.

            Mr. Sumner seconded the motion which carried 2-0.

Mr. Rafus advised he still would like a site visit with the Selectboard and the Tree Warden and the Project Manager.  Sunday @ 1:00 PM is tentatively scheduled for this.

Mrs. Moore advised the Board that in regard to the way contractors are bidding, it would be advantageous if they would bid truck and operator separately due to overtime hours for the operators.  This is much easier to track, and it insures that an overtime rate is paid for them.

Mr. Rafus advised they will need to grind some of the blacktop and wanted to know if it should be put out to bid. The answer was yes.

Ms. Edwards requested that if there are any proposed projects they know about now please bring them to the Selectboard meeting so they can start the planning and bid process.

9:20 AM: At this time the Board and Secretary moved the meeting to the Listers office to meet with Mr. Wallace Smith, NFIP Insurance Representative to discuss the process for joining the NFIP program.

Mr. Smith gave an overview of the program participation and noted that there is a website that can be helpful in finding an insurance agent in the area who sells flood insurance. The site is Flood Smart. He gave each a packet of information about the program.  He noted that there is no cost to the Town to join.  He advised that homeowners insurance does not include flood insurance.  That must be purchased separately.  For people without flood insurance there is partial assistance (IA assistance) available under the “Stafford Act” if the home is not fit to live in.

Ms. Edwards moved to enroll in the National Flood Insurance Program.

            Mr. Sumner seconded the motion which carried 2-0.

Ms. Edwards called Gary Shelley at VTRANS and advised they had just adopted the resolution to join NFIP, and asked if they could now initial that item on the state form that had been sent.  Mr. Shelley answered yes and also advised that the Vice Chair could sign the form in the absence of the Chair.  In order to meet the deadline for submission she faxed the forms to the appropriate parties. She made copies for the record.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:10 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Phyllis H. Evanuk