OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
January 31, 2017
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 Dora Green, Leslie Green, Alice Aldrich, and Robbin Gabriel.
Changes and/or Additions to Agenda
Lewis Sumner changed the order of new business items to allow Board approval of the proposed FY18 budget prior to signing the Town Warning.
Final FY18 Budget Review
Only one change was made to the proposed budget spreadsheets; an estimated $14,000 for radio dispatch fees was reduced to $13,473 after the actual yearly invoice was received. Equipment schedule amounts were adjusted to reflect monies earmarked for the equipment reserve. Sumner made a motion to approve an FY18 highway budget of $1,004,135 and town budget of $370,427, for a total of $1,374,562, with anticipated income of $199,500 bringing taxable amount down to $1,175,062. Mitch Green seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.
Sign Town Meeting Warning
Sumner advised that one petition had been received, to be included as an article on the 2017 Town Warning. The petition reads as follows: “The undersigned legal voters of Halifax hereby petition the Selectboard to add the following article for Town Meeting to be held on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Should the residents of Halifax vote on changes to the size of the Selectboard by Australian ballot rather than by voice or floor vote?” Sumner made a motion to change two words in the petition; “should” to “shall,” and “residents” to “voters.” Green seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. Is the purpose to add two members to the Selectboard?, asked Alice Aldrich. She questioned whether that was desirable. Green thought that some people were of the opinion that more members would make less work for the Board. But, he said, it’s actually more work, because every member still has to deal with all business issues. He has talked to lawyers who work with three- and five-member boards who say that it’s harder to get things done with a five-member board. Sumner added that the town now has an administrative assistant who does a lot of the legwork. The question has been brought up several years in a row, said Green, and has been voted down.
Two articles address upcoming changes to recycling. One asks voters if the town should contract with a private vendor for recycling services and the second, which will come up for a vote only if the first is approved, requests a sum of $7,000 to pay for recycling. The Selectboard has estimates from three vendors indicating potential yearly cost would be $6,000-$7,000, but Brad Rafus noted the amount is not written in stone; it would vary with volume of recyclables produced. We still have to pay WSWMD for district membership, Sumner explained to Aldrich. The yearly cost has decreased, but if we withdraw from the district we are responsible for providing hazardous waste disposal service to the town, and that would prove to be even more expensive. Rafus said a town that withdraws from the district has to operate its own transfer station. Windham Solid Waste is currently investigating the possibility of providing recycling services to a smaller number of towns at a competitive price.
One other article asks voters to consider approving monies to support a summer celebration of community life in the Halifax. Sumner said that Patty Dow, who proposed the idea, would present details at Town Meeting. Green made a motion to approve the 2017 Town Warning as written. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. Board members signed the warning, which will be publicly posted later this week.
Hearing of Visitors
No further comment.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:35 p.m.