Town of Halifax, Vermont
July 19, 2016


Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. Selectboard members Lewis Sumner, Mitchell Green, and Bradley Rafus were present, as were Patty Dow, Ray Combs, and Robbin Gabriel.

Changes and/or Additions to Agenda

Lewis Sumner added several items; approval of the July 7th executive session minutes, Moderator resignation, and approval of the previously discussed employee benefit changes. We will hold executive session at the end of the meeting, Sumner advised, to discuss information received from Fisher & Fisher. Brad Rafus had an update on Lane Construction.

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

Sumner made a motion to approve the 7/5/16 regular meeting minutes, with a correction to the date. Mitch Green seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.

Sumner made a motion to approve the 7/7/16 special meeting minutes as written. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.

Sumner made a motion to approve the 7/13/16 emergency meeting minutes as written. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0-1, with Green, who was absent, abstaining.

New Business

West Halifax Cemetery—Clif Inman
Sumner, speaking on behalf of Cemetery Commissioner Clif Inman,who could not be present at tonight’s meeting, advised that Mrs. Wineburg has offered to donate a piece of land to enlarge the West Halifax Cemetery. The approximately 200’ x 200’ parcel abuts the north boundary of the cemetery. If lot lines were staked out and markers placed, with everyone involved in agreement as to positioning, the Board does not believe a formal survey would be necessary. Sumner recommended consulting the town attorney to learn if the transfer required Act 250 review. The Town would take responsibility for any land record recording fees.

Set Tax Rate
The State has provided FY17 tax rates to the town. Municipal tax rate is $0.8919, the School Homestead rate is $1.3355, and Non-Residential is $1.4827. Total Halifax Homestead rate will be $2.2274, and total Non-Residential rate will be $2.3746. Sumner made a motion to approve tax rates of $0.8919 Municipal, $1.3355 School Residential, and $1.4827 Non-Residential, with total Homestead $2.2274 and total Non-Residential $2.3746. Green seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. Board members signed the document and returned it to Patty Dow.

Planning Commission/ZBA Candidates—Review/Appointment
Thus far, no one has applied to fill the vacant positions on the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Gabriel will repost the openings. Anyone with an interest in serving is encouraged to write to the Selectboard at P.O. Box 127, West Halifax, VT 05358, speak to a Selectboard member, or email or call the secretary at, 802-368-2590.

Branch Road Bridge at Hubbard Hill
After Rafus and Sumner met with VTrans last week to clarify State requirements for I-beam treatment on the renovated Branch Road bridge, Rafus notified the contractor, Renaud Bros., that the State recommends greasing the entire length of the beams. Renaud completed work on three of the stringers this week, and will finish the task as soon as they obtain additional supplies. Renaud did not submit any additional charges for the work.

Renaud will also be meeting with Rafus this week to work up an estimate for rebuilding the guard rails and greasing the beams on the Sumner Farm bridge. VTrans examined the bridge and said the deck is in good condition; once the rails are repaired the bridge should be good for ten years or more.

Rafus told Ray Coombs a special grease is used on the beams; a thick layer is painted on. Coombs also mentioned that when he drove across the Branch Road bridge in the dark recently he spotted the reflectors installed in the center of the guard rails.

Employee Retirement Benefits
The Board discussed the retirement benefits change approval process at their July 5th meeting, but did not make a formal motion to start the action. Rafus recused himself on this topic. Sumner made a motion to approve retirement benefit change choice for town employees. Green seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0-1, with Rafus abstaining. Patty Dow will notify the State, and changes will be made on an individual basis after communication with each employee.

Lane Construction
Fred Aldrich, of Lane Construction, met with Rafus recently to examine the sections of Green River Road where pavement is failing. Aldrich agreed the problem was in the mix, and requested measurements of the road sections, which Rafus provided. While Rafus has heard nothing further, he believes Lane is planning to correct the situation. Lane has repaved roads in several other towns with the same type of failure.

Rafus advised that reclaim on Collins Road is scheduled this week. The road will be closed on July 25th and 26th for culvert replacement, and paving will begin approximately August 4th.

Town Moderator
The Board has received a letter of resignation from Moderator Vicki Hardgrove. Patti Pusey will be available to moderate the informational meeting on August 4th. Notice of the vacancy will be posted. Green made a motion to accept Vicki Hardgrove’s resignation as Moderator. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.

Old Business


Other Business


Hearing of Visitors

Ray Coombs asked what would be done to fix Green River Road. They will have to repave it, Rafus replied, but it doesn’t need to be reclaimed at this point; reclaim was done when the road was rebuilt after Irene. Rafus also told Coombs that next year, if the Town repaves Branch Road, black-and-yellow striped vertical markers will be added to mark culverts—this is a state requirement.

Executive Session
Sumner made a motion to enter executive session to discuss a legal matter on a court case. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. The Board entered executive session at 7:43 p.m., and exited the session at 7:56 p.m.with no decisions made.

Sign Orders to the Treasurer

The Selectboard’s Order to the Treasurer was reviewed and signed. This order included the $88,500 payment to Renaud Bros. for work on the Branch Road bridge at Hubbard Hill.


Various pieces of correspondence were reviewed and appropriately filed or signed.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:11 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robbin Gabriel
Selectboard Secretary