OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
September 3, 2013
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:31 pm at the town office. Board members in attendance were Edee Edwards, Earl Holtz, and Lewis Sumner. Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno, Brad Rafus, John LaFlamme, Ben Barnett, Ross Barnett, Margo Avakian, and Ray Combs.
Approval of Minutes
Edwards made a motion to accept the minutes of the August 20, 2013 regular meeting as amended. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.
Sumner made a motion to accept the minutes of the August 21, 2013 emergency meeting with a small correction. Edwards seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.
Holtz made a motion to accept the minutes of the August 26, 2013 regular meeting as written. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.
Bids for Town Garage Roof and Salt Shed
All Roofing, Inc.- Windsor, VT- Town garage roof replacement with 10yr warranty $41,500. New roof is to go on top of existing roof. Salt shed roofs $9,450 per side. If both sides built, the second side will be reduced to $9,000.
It was noted that these bids are over the amount budgeted. Concerns were raised regarding condensation issues and wood rot when putting a roof on top of another. Rafus and Sumner will contact All Roofing, Inc. with their questions and request references.
DEMHS RERP Funding Request FY15
LaFlamme provided the Selectboard with a completed request form. There was a discussion about adding additional items, and about the VT Yankee plant closing and possible drills required during the decommissioning process.
Holtz made a motion to approve the DEMHS RERP grant request for standard funding for EPZ towns under several line items. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.
Planning & Zoning Board Vacancies
Edwards reported that so far two citizens have expressed interest in the positions- Greg Marguet and Charlene Martynowski.
Sumner made a motion to appoint Charlene Martynowski to the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Laflamme expressed that Norm Fagan has been considering the position. The Selectboard discussed the advantages of having someone with experience fill the role that isn’t expending as much time as Martynowski already is for the town.
Sumner withdrew the motion, which was seconded by Holtz, and approved 3-0-0.
The Selectboard will contact Fagan to determine his level of interest and make an appointment for the position at the next meeting.
Tree Warden Vacancy
Holtz reported that the interested party he met with is not able to commit to the position at this time. Ross Barnett expressed interest in the position. Edwards suggested Craig Stone and Ben Barnett. Holtz will discuss the position with them.
Broadband Committee- Business Broadband Improvement Districts
Bruno explained that the VTA has requested that towns submit business districts which they will use to determine if/where they will provide upgraded broadband service. It is not a grant but rather a request for information. Holtz presented proposed districts based on the Broadband Committee’s list of business in town. The Committee has requested that businesses submit their name, address, phone number and email by September 6, 2013 via the town website Bruno noted that there is no benefit to reducing the size of the proposed districts as it’s best to include as many businesses as possible. VTA can use the data as they see fit. The Selectboard agreed that the districts should be submitted. The Broadband Committee will complete the paperwork and submit the application.
Highway Department Salaries & Hours
Holtz discussed potential start dates for the 40 hour work week. Holtz felt they should start in March. Edwards expressed that the auditors felt it was best to synchronize the change with the fiscal year. Rafus asked that the change occur before Winter so they can plan for less take home pay in the Spring. The discussion will be continued at a later time.
Rafus inquired what the outcome of the road crew review is. A 2 ½% increase was budgeted. How will that be factored in to the 40hr work week adjusted salaries? Holtz will factor the increase into his calculations for analysis and discussion.
This topic will be revisited at the October 1, 2013 meeting.
Bulletin Board in Halifax Center
Holtz reported that Larry Crosier has a ½ telephone pole on his property at Old County Road and Stage Coach Rd and is willing to let us use the pole for the mounting of a town bulletin board. Edwards led a discussion about putting the bulletin board in the town right of way by the mailboxes in Halifax Center. Holtz will talk with Dave Christie who owns the property there.
Continuation of the 2nd, 4th, 5th Monday Selectboard Meetings
Holtz noted that these meetings are filling up with a lot of other work items and noted that they were supposed to be for Highway Order discussions. He would like to keep the agenda down to those more associated with billing/invoicing.
Sumner does not care for the additional meetings and noted that they have already bought and used the items that are on these orders. He felt that they should trust the road commissioner’s judgment.
Bruno expressed that as they have previously been having 4-5 meetings a month, it is more convenient to have the additional meetings scheduled rather than random. It is not convenient to have them at 1pm as it is disruptive to her work schedule. First thing in the morning or late afternoon would be more convenient.
Rafus agreed that the 1pm time slot was not convenient. He does not want to see a discontinuation of the meetings if that means that the highways orders can only be approved on the Tuesday night meetings as this may cause substantial delays in payments to vendors.
Edwards explained that Selectboards are discouraged from signing orders without discussion. She noted that they had a good conversation about the recent lease payment and noted that the 3rd member (who would not have signed the order) would have had no visibility of that issue. She feels that the discussion are valuable and provide visibility of what is being spent and when.
There was a discussion about the timing of bill payments and potential meeting times.
Holtz made a motion to hold regular Selectboard meetings on Mondays at 8:00am at the town office on weeks that do not have a Tuesday evening meeting for the purpose of reviewing and signing highway orders. Edwards seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.
Hearing of Visitors
Rafus noted that he has gotten three quotes for the air compressor that was budgeted for the town garage (which are under the purchasing policy limit).
Rafus also noted that the 1 ¼ ton truck that they received from another town has a transmission issue. It will cost approx. $1700 to rebuild or $2500 to replace it. It was noted that if the road crew does some of the work on the transmission, it might save about $700 on the rebuild.
The Selectboard agreed that the rebuild with town work for reduction of cost would be the way to go, and advised that he should just use his judgment on the compressor.
Moore prepared an appeal letter for the state regarding Deer Park Bridge.
Edwards made a motion to sign the letter to the state to appeal the Deer Park Bridge denial of eligibility for mitigation. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.
Bruno will e-mail the signed letter to Ben Rose.
It was noted that the Selectboard needs to present the FY13 year-end financial report in the town report in a clear fashion regarding Irene work.
Edwards will contact Holden Engineering regarding their need for an excavator. A request was put in to the state for the hydrology study.
Sumner reported that paving on Green River Rd is complete.
Holtz reported that he was informed by a VTel representative that the pole on Crosier’s property for wireless broadband has been delayed until the second half of 2014 due to state funding issues. Holtz contacted Ann Manwaring to check into why that could be given the grant funding was Federal.
Edwards reported that they need to provide a letter to town employees eligible for health benefits regarding health insurance changes by October 1, 2013. They will distribute the letters at the 9/24/13 meeting. Edwards followed up with VLCT regarding health benefits for the town clerk. They recommended making changes to the personnel policy effective 1/1/14. VLCT expressed that they thought voters might have to make the authorization every year and they should have an agreement with the town clerk regarding what her situation should be.
Sumner noted that they should put the sale of the truck they are retiring out to bid with a minimum bid. Rafus noted that it is $41 to put an ad in the VLCT classifieds and free to put an ad in the VT Local Roads classifieds. The bid will be prepared so they can advertise it when they receive the new truck.
The mail was reviewed and appropriately filed.
Selectmen’s Order to Town Treasurer for bill payment
It was noted that the Selectboard expects vendors to submit bills in a timely fashion. There was a bill listing a lot of work that occurred in last fiscal year (as early as January).
The order for payment of bills was completed and signed.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:57 pm.