Town of Halifax, Vermont



January 17, 2012

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM.  Board members in attendance were John LaFlamme, Lewis Sumner, and Edee Edwards.  Others in attendance were Earl B. Holtz, Joe Tamburrino, Mitchell Green, Cara Cheyette, Margo Avakian, and Board Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Sumner moved to accept the minutes of the December 31, 2011emergency meeting as written.

            Ms. Edwards seconded the motion.

The motion carried 3-0, and the minutes were approved.

            Ms. Edwards moved to accept the minutes of the January 3, 2012 meeting as written.

            Mr. Sumner seconded the motion.

            Mr. LaFlamme amended the motion to accept with one correction; on page two it should read there is no stone or gravel at the Town Garage, not sand or gravel.

The motion carried 3-0 and the minutes were approved with one correction.

New Business

·        Statement:  Mr. LaFlamme read a statement announcing that he will not be seeking re-election and stated his reasons.  He advised that he was announcing it at this time to allow anyone who wished to run would have time to circulate a petition and gather signatures.

Both Ms. Edwards and Mr. Sumner advised they enjoyed working with him and thanked him for his time.

Mr. LaFlamme noted that the Secretary position had not yet been posted and advised that as he was not running, the content of the notice should be decided between Ms. Edwards and Mr. Sumner.

Ms. Edwards advised she felt they should consider a job description before it is posted.  With the short time before the position is vacant, they may have to post it before a final job description is developed.

·        Rent payment to the school:  As they haven’t heard whether or not the Town’s offer of $10,000 per year to include utilities has been accepted, this item was tabled until that information is received.

·        Temporary bridge possibilities:  Mr. LaFlamme advised he had met with John Alexander and toured the bridges in need of repair on Thursday, January 12th.  The results of this meeting were that Reed Hill is not a possibility for a temporary structure, due to the fact that it would need to go in the same place as the current bridge and thus would be in the way when it is time to redo the bridge.  Deer Park Road bridge due to the angle of the bridge Mr. Alexander advised that it would be possible to install a temporary 70’ one-way Bailey Bridge just up from the current one.  This could then be kept in use until the permanent replacement bridge is completed.  The State has such a bridge available and the cost to rent it would be $175 per month, plus the cost of installation and removal.  In order to obtain this temporary bridge the Board must, as a first step, submit a formal request which will be reviewed by a Bridge Maintenance Manager.  If approved they must hire a contractor to assemble and install, and disassemble and remove the bridge.  The state is willing to do this, and the cost would be approximately ½ what a private contractor charges.

Mr. LaFlamme moved to apply for a temporary bridge for Deer Park Road.

Ms. Edwards seconded the motion, which carried 3-0, and the motion was approved.

The question of whether or not FEMA will cover the cost of this temporary bridge needs to be researched.  Also they need to find out approximate costs.

Ms. Cheyette commended them for following up on temporary bridges in light of the earlier estimates that had appeared to make this option too costly to consider.

Mr. LaFlamme advised that they had also visited the Hale Road bridge, and while Mr. Alexander would not commit to approving filling in to make it passable, nor would anyone else from the state, in conversation it was generally thought that as this is an arch, it could be backfilled to stabilize the arch, and then posted for weight limits.

A general discussion followed regarding the condition of the bridge and whether or not allowing use would further damage the structure. It was noted that the main concern has been liability so that it has been difficult to get a confirmation that back filling is okay to do.  Ms. Edwards advised that she would like to have some nod of approval.  She noted that Alec Portalupi from VTRANS had offered assistance and she would like to make contact with him and continue the conversation on this at the Saturday budget meeting.

·        FEMA update:  Mr. LaFlamme advised that in speaking with John Alexander he had been informed that to Mr. Alexander’s knowledge no towns had received payment from FEMA.  When Mr. LaFlamme advised that Halifax had, he advised we were the first.

Mr. LaFlamme advised that Christina Moore has been right on top of things in regard to documentation and whatever is required to expedite the reimbursement process.  Due to the amount of work involved in doing that, and with her other jobs, she cannot work on writing mitigation grants. Mrs. Moore had advised that Everett Wilson had attended one of the workshops, but she did not know if he would be interested in doing anything further.  Mr. LaFlamme advised if the town wants to pursue these grants they need to find someone else to do it.

Ms. Edwards advised that expenses related to these mitigation grants are not reimbursable from FEMA.  If the town has no clear idea of exactly what projects they would like to include it may not be a good time to spend time and money on this.

Ms. Cheyette advised that while she is not an experienced grant writer, she would like to learn and if they decide to go ahead and hire someone to write the proposal she would like to be considered as she feels she could do the job.

The Board thanked her for the offer and they will get the information from Mrs. Moore and review it to see if this avenue is feasible at this time.

·        Cara Cheyette, NFIP draft document:  Ms. Cheyette gave a synopsis of the procedure the Planning Commission and Selectboard had gone through in anticipation of adopting Flood Hazard Area regulations for the town.  In reviewing the document the Planning Commissioners agreed that some sort of explanation regarding the pros and cons of adopting the regulations and joining the NFIP should be made available to the voters prior to Town Meeting so that they would have a better understanding of what they were voting on.  The Commissioners had suggested putting this information in the Town Report however the length might be prohibitive.

It was generally decided that the information should be available at the informational meeting and members of the Planning Commission should be on hand to answer questions.

·        Equipment Fund:  Ms. Edwards advised she had discussed concerns that Mrs. Dow has regarding sufficiently funding the equipment fund.  She gave a summary of the way it has been done in the past.  She would like to continue this discussion on Saturday at the budget meeting.

Hearing of Visitors

·        Mr. Tamburrino advised he received a call from SVE Associates and was advised they will need access to the bridges for boring tests next week.  This will require that the roads are plowed and barricades removed.  He spoke with Mr. Rafus who advised he will make sure they have access.

Mr. Tamburrino advised that Mr. Rafus would like to get paving quotes for next spring.  He would like permission from the Board to go ahead and put out requests for quotes.  He noted that Mitchell Brothers is now doing paving so that adds another option.

Mr. Sumner moved to have Brad and Joe to put paving for flood damaged roads out to bid.

Ms. Edwards seconded the motion.

Discussion followed regarding including the planned paving on Green River Road from the intersection of Brook Road to Ballou Mountain Road in the same RFQ.

Mr. Tamburrino advised it could be done and list it as a separate item from the flood damaged part.

Ms. Edwards moved to amend the motion to include the scheduled paving in the bid.


The amendment was approved 3-0.


Mr. LaFlamme called for a vote on the original motion to put the paving for the flood damaged roads out to bid and to include the scheduled paving as a separate item but in the same bid.

The motion carried 3-0.

Old Business

·        Change purchasing policy, $2,999.99 to $25,000.00:  Mr. Tamburrino requested that this be postponed until the next meeting as he has some additional information he would like to bring.

Other Business

·        None


Mr. Sumner moved to approve the liquor license renewal for Avigliano at Honora Winery.

            Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion which carried 3-0.

The Board reviewed the maps and designations of road classifications and agreed that they would need to closely review these due to some new designations on the maps that had not been shown on maps from previous years.

The mail was reviewed and appropriately filed.

Selectmen’s Order to Town Treasurer for bill payment

The order for payment of bills was completed and signed.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Phyllis H. Evanuk