Town of Halifax, Vermont
April 7, 2014

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 8:00 am. Board members in attendance were Edee Edwards and Earl Holtz. Lewis Sumner was absent. Others present were Robbin Gabriel and Brad Rafus.

Road Commissioner’s Orders
The Road Commissioner’s orders were reviewed and signed. Edwards remarked that the highway department is doing some overtime due to mud season.

Hale Road
Holtz noted that the tree-cutting on Hale Road had been completed and the road is now open again. Edwards will take the closed notice off the web site.

Regional Highway Safety Forum
Edwards submitted a printed notice of a Regional Highway Safety Forum which will be presented by the Windam Regional Commission and the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission on May 12th, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, in Bellows Falls. All interested parties are invited.

Regular Meeting Schedule
Edwards has posted the revised regular meeting schedule to the web site. No errors or changes were noted.

Broadband Meeting
Holtz verified that he would post notice of the special Broadband Meeting to be held Wednesday, April 9th.

Selectboard Institute
Edwards has posted notice of the Selectboard Institute (VLCT training) that she and Sumner will be attending on Saturday, April 12th, in Rutland.

Several invoices were received by mail and will be addressed at the next regular meeting.

Other Business
Quarry File
The board discussed moving the Quarry file from its current location in a locked file cabinet to a place where it would be more readily available for public viewing.

#37 Bridge
Holtz and Edwards agreed that Holtz would be the primary contact with the engineering firm during the course of the bridge project. Rafus asked whether an official start date had been established for the project. No firm date has been set yet, as the builder is still working on the schedule and the shop drawings.

Web Site Training
Edwards has been working with Gabriel and Jessica Bruno to find a mutually agreeable date for web site training, probably during the third full week in April. In the interim Edwards is handling the posting of the minutes. Holtz will be attending the training session, as Edwards has had previous instruction.

Planning Commission
Edwards said she would attend the Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, April 8th, and would initiate discussion of citizen participation in the Municipal Planning grant process.

Line of Credit
Town Clerk Patty Dow joined the meeting at 8:20. Holtz told the meeting he and Dow had recent conversation concerning the #37 bridge project, which the town voted on for the coming fiscal year but which will be built in the current fiscal year. They agreed a loan would be needed. Dow listed the documents and information she would require in order to establish a line of credit for the town. Holtz and Edwards will assemble the necessary information for Dow. Edwards said the town had requested a 30-day payment window from the builder. May 9th is the tentative start date but a formal date has not yet been set. Edwards asked whether the town should borrow funds for purposes other than the bridge project. Dow said yes, there was a current need, while the town is awaiting monies from the engineering portion of the bridge grant, State Highway aid, and FEMA. Discussion followed concerning whether a six-month or year-long line of credit would be best. Edwards asked if Dow needed formal authorization to proceed with the credit request, and Dow said that wasn’t necessary, but once the loan documents were set up Board members would need to sign them in a duly warned meeting.

Hearing of Visitors
Rafus suggested submitting a grant for the guard rail project on Green River. The town already has estimates. He also spoke of  putting in a grant to start the engineering on the Hubbard Hill bridge, as previous experience has taught the town that the process is a lengthy one and the bridge will need upgrading in the future. Edwards mentioned that temporary guard rails still need to be installed on Bridge #15 on Branch Road at the Hubbard Hill intersection. She remarked on the importance of requesting the right type of grant, and suggested that a feasibility study might be the best way to proceed. Holtz asked whether there were any grants available in amounts larger than the $175,000 maximum received for the Old County Bridge. Edwards found information indicating an unlimited grant, separate from the structures grant, may be available through the Regional Planning Commission. There was further discussion of the paving grant, including the possibility of paving the road up to the town garage or constructing an apron in front of the building to keep the interior of the garage clean. Rafus told the meeting there was money left in the gravel account, and the supply of gravel on hand would carry us to the start of the fiscal year.  That surplus is offset by a $10,000 overage on the sand and salt budget. He anticipates that diesel fuel cost will also be over budget. Holtz and Rafus agreed that if necessary an area could be cleared at the bottom of the Town Garage drive to accommodate vehicles wishing to utilize a WiFi hot spot.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robbin Gabriel
Selectboard Secretary