Town of Halifax, Vermont
January 13, 2015


Check-In with Highway Department

Selectboard members Lewis Sumner, Earl Holtz, and Edee Edwards met with the highway department crew at 12:00 noon on Tuesday. Brad Rafus, Keith Stone, Michael Fournier, Travis Briggs, Benjamin Barnett, and Robbin Gabriel were present.

The Board viewed the new one-ton truck and the almost-completed salt shed, then gathered in the break room for conversation. There have been no further problems with the diesel fuel supply, said Brad Rafus, since the vendor change. The crew has had to put down more salt than usual due to icy conditions. The culvert inventory has been started, and will be completed in the spring. Edwards suggested putting together a summary of bridge repair projects that need to be done. She requested a discussion of shared services for the next meeting agenda, particularly IT-related shared services. Earl Holtz asked whether there had been further difficulty with WiFi hotspot users parking in front of the town garage building or in the town trucks’ travel lanes and work area. Rafus said most people were good about using the designated parking area, but a few still didn’t understand the importance of keeping their vehicles out of the truck yard, especially in winter when the trucks carry plow blades and need even more space than usual to maneuver. Subsequent talk touched on next year’s paving, including the possibility of paving Jacksonville Stage from Branch Road to Tucker Road, pre-funding for new blacktop, and the deteriorating pavement on Collins and Branch Roads. Mike Fournier said the large amount of time the crew spends hauling sand means they have fallen behind on brush-cutting and fall leaf clearing. Also, added Keith Stone, 180 gallons of diesel are burned each day three trucks haul sand for a shift. The Board and highway crew also discussed roadside mowing and brush-cutting needs, and Travis Briggs recommended purchasing an all-wheel drive vehicle when it was time to replace his truck.

Sumner made a motion to give the highway crew a paid holiday on Martin Luther King Day. Holtz seconded the motion. During discussion, Edwards voiced concerns over potential payroll impact if the crew had to work on Monday. Holtz amended Sumner’s motion to make this a one-time holiday, January 19, 2015, to be reviewed for permanent addition to the paid holiday schedule when the Personnel Policy is next considered. Edwards seconded the amendment, which passed, 3-0. The main motion was then voted on and passed, 3-0.

The meeting ended at approximately 1:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robbin Gabriel
Selectboard Secretary