TOWN OF HALIFAX, VERMONT
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES—APPROVED
DECEMBER 20, 2022
CALL TO ORDER:
Silverberg called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. Selectboard members present were Pete Silverberg, Paul Blais, and Tristan Roberts and Patrick McAllister. Others in attendance in person or remotely were Edee Edwards, and Mary Brewster, Meg Staliff, and Raquel Smith.
CHANGES OR ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA:
APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES:
Roberts moved to approve November 22, 2022 minutes, Blais abstained because he was not in attendance. Motion passed 3-0.
Roberts has a revision for the most recent minutes.
Meg Staloff brought a handout of the Southern Vermont Development Economic Strategy and shared with us some next steps. The BDCC will come and take a look at our ARPA initiatives and what our community goals are. How can we look at improved intermunicipal communications with our budget and building upgrades to name a couple. Staloff suggests having a community meeting to discuss anything that may be missed, such as childhood development projects. What are some barriers that may get in the way of getting these tings done? What are some known partnerships in the community that can be a resource. Someone brought up that we don’t have anything on the list for senior support. We have not been able to fill the role of the liaison for the Council on Aging. ARPA funds must be committed by end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026. We will have a community meeting on Saturday March 25th at noon at the school. There will be pizza served. Roberts volunteered to be the liaison between the board and BDCC.
Dow sent out the town report which states “selectmen” instead of “selectboard”. McAllister suggested that we change it to a more gender neutral term.
The way the orders come in are different and are being recorded differently on the order. It would be wise to have one invoice form that is streamlined for processing. This is not just for the delinquent tax collector, but for everyone. We will implement this going forward. Invoices will also stop at noon on the Friday before the next town meeting.
Roberts suggested implementing a 1% local option sales tax, which can include sales, meals, and rooms. He suggests a 1% room tax as a way to diversify the tax base a bit. The people paying will be the people who are staying with us from out of town. This will be added as a town meeting warning as an article. Roberts will develop the language for that warning. Someone suggested we reach out to those types of business owners so they are aware of what will be discussed at town meetings. Other things we can put a tax on are permits for trail use and cannibis sales.
Halifax is getting money from an Opioid class action lawsuit. We are not sure what that amount is, but when the first $53 came in, Roberts motioned to allocate Voices of Hope. Motion seconded by Silverberg, passed 4-0.
There is a house on 104 Brook Rd that needs an enforcement letter sent to them. There are things piled up against the property of the town garage. In September of 2019 we sent them a letter so this is not an unfamiliar situation. Blais will check with Andy Rice what the process is for finding. Podlaski will take a look at what the last communication was with that property owner. There are specific things that constitute a junk ordinance. We should be clear on our reasoning for citing a certain property.
The board discussed having Podlaski do the books because Sarah Barnett is not going to do it again this year.
VTRANS decided we work better with district 1 than with district 2. Any grants administered before November 1st would have been included in district 2.
We will devote the first hour of each meeting in January to the budget. We will try to get Dow to attend.
Blais will reach out to Bill Moore on property on Moss Hollow that has an awning on the garage. Zoning does not allow awnings over pillars. Last year Bill Moore sent letters with fees that they had to pay because they had things too close to the road hanging from his roof.
Roberts reported that DV Fiber is going to start serving their first customers in Readsboro. It is looking good for Halifax to start having DV Fiber customers next year.
Edwards wants to give an update on DV Fiber updates and future plans at the next meeting.
Roberts motioned to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Silverberg, passed 4-0. Meeting adjourned at 7:37pm.
HEARING OF VISITORS
Silverberg read and signed order.
SIGN OVERWEIGHT PERMITS