OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
September 17, 2019
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 Stephan Chait, Ray Combs, Nancy McCrea, and Robbin Gabriel.
Changes and/or Additions to Agenda
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Mitch Green made a motion to approve the 9/3/19 regular meeting minutes as written. Brad Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.
Discuss Windham County Sheriff’s Office Contract
Newly appointed Sheriff Mark Anderson attended the Board’s September 3rd meeting to introduce himself and answer questions. During that meeting, Board members asked for information about contracts available to Windham County municipalities. Tonight, during discussion, Lewis Sumner suggested the Town request a contract for 10 hours a month, while Green proposed $6,000 a year, the amount currently budgeted for enforcement. Rafus recommended a $6,000 initial contract from the present to June 30, 2020, the end of the Town’s fiscal year. That would give us a little more than 10 hours a month, and give us a chance to see how it worked, he said. Then, during the FY21 budget preparation process, we could decide to stick with $6,000 a year or budget a little more. The Board told Ray Combs it would be a one-year contract. What would be the priority list in terms of tasks they would undertake?, asked Stephan Chait. Rafus thought vehicle violations would be at the top of the list. The biggest problems we have right now are speed and reckless operation, he said. Sumner and Rafus said WSCO would operate in a manner similar to the Vermont State Police when the Town contracted with them. Deputies would patrol randomly, the Town could request specific hours if needed, and could also request placement of digital speed signs. Both VSP and WSCO have jurisdiction in Windham County towns, with or without municipal contracts. Green made a motion to request Sheriff Mark Anderson to prepare a contract for Halifax, with emphasis on traffic enforcement, for $6,000, from the present to the end of FY20. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. Prior to the vote, Chait asked whether the Town would get a percentage of traffic fines, as they do from VSP; Sumner said we would have to ask, but he thought yes.
Junk Ordinance Violations
Several months ago the Board sent notifications of non-compliance with the Halifax Junk Ordinance to several property owners. As the violations have not yet been resolved, Green made a motion to notify the Constable to proceed with enforcement action on the Wincek property at 10070 Jacksonville Stage Road, and the Boyd property at 104 Brook Road, and to send a 30-day warning letter to William Adams. Sr. on Branch Road. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. Sumner told Combs tickets must be issued to the property owner, not tenants; the Jacksonville Stage landowner is in Florida.
Planning Commission/Zoning Board Vacancy
Sumner advised that Alice Aldrich has resigned from the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment, as she will be spending half the year in Wyoming and half in Vermont. Aldrich told Sumner she didn’t think it fair that she would only be available to serve half the time. The Selectboard will post notice soliciting volunteers interested in serving on the two boards. Sumner told Chait the Board would be sending Aldrich a letter thanking her for her service.
The Selectboard signed a letter to GMP demanding action on the Vaughn Road ditch damage that occurred earlier in the season during contracted tree-trimming to clear utility lines. Green suggested the Town might do the work and bill GMP. Rafus said if repairs were not done soon they would have to wait until the weather opened up again in the spring. With Act 64, he added, you can’t just cob it; any ditching that the Town does has to be seeded within 48 hours. Rafus estimated about one day’s work was involved. Sumner advised waiting to see what response the Board’s letter to GMP receives. As the damage is in the right of way on his property, Chait offered to call GMP. This topic will be discussed again at the Board’s October 1st regular meeting.
Rafus said all the Windham Regional Commission grant paperwork for work done on Pennel Hill this summer is complete and has been approved; we should be getting a reimbursement check soon. Paving on Green River Road, from Ellingwood Road to a point above Dawn ‘til Dusk, was finished last Wednesday, and the chassis for the new truck has arrived; it is being installed in Westminster. Rafus told Chait the Highway Department will be grading again before winter. Next week they will be ditching on Jacksonville Stage, from Town Hill to the Center.
Hearing of Visitors
Stephan Chait announced that the Conservation Commission would be meeting in the Town Office on Wednesday, September 25th, at 7:00 p.m., and WSWMD Program Director Athena Lee Bradley would be present as a guest speaker to talk about the household hazardous materials collection event on October 19th, correct recycling procedures, and the State’s new food waste composting program. The Conservation Commission will be publicizing the hazardous waste collection event. There will be two collection points, one in Stratton and one at WSWMD on Ferry Road in Brattleboro. Sumner explained that WSWMD has two events per year, each with two collection points. Different towns are chosen each year.
Ray Combs asked about a landing being built roadside on the Bell property (Collins Road). Rafus said a logging operation has obtained a permit to construct the landing for use while loading their trucks.
Selectboard’s Order to Treasurer for Payment
The Selectboard’s Order to the Treasurer was reviewed and signed.
Correspondence was reviewed and filed.
Sumner made a motion to enter executive session, including Gabriel, to discuss a real estate proposal. Green seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. The Board entered executive session at 7:44 p.m., and exited at 8:07 p.m., with no decisions made.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:07 p.m.