OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
January 6, 2009
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:26 PM. Board members in attendance were Mitchell Green, Lewis Sumner, and. John LaFlamme. Others in attendance were Margo Avakian, Andrew Rice, Timothy Putnam, Brad Rafus, and Board Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Sumner moved to accept the minutes of the December 16, 2008 meeting with one correction [change Tucker “Hill” to Tucker Road].
Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion.
The motion carried 3-0, and the minutes, as corrected, were approved.
Hearing of Visitors
1. Brad Rafus:
(a) The grader went in for repairs; either the clutch or the transmission is the problem.
(b) He spoke with VLCT regarding the excavator. They just received the report from the insurance adjuster. It appears that the Town may get around $85,000. The coverage is for current value not replacement coverage. Once the paperwork is finished and the actual amount is known, then he can begin looking for a replacement.
(c) Last week he and Mr. Sumner attended a meeting in Wilmington with FEMA regarding the assessment of storm damages. They have declared and sent the paperwork to Washington, now it is a matter of approval. If approved they should receive 75% of the cost.
2. Andy Rice:
(a) He gave a brief report on the status of snowmobilers racing on the roads.
(b) He will be attending the Police Academy for non-lethal use of force training from January 20th through the 23rd. On January 24th he will be attending radar training, and from February 23rd through the 27the he will be attending classes on driving under the influence.
(c) He and the Town Clerk called the Secretary of State’s office and were informed that in order to change from elected to appointed Constables it must be on the Town Meeting Warning as an article and must be voted on by Australian ballot. He advised that the statutes are very specific on this matter, and with the changes to election laws they will be able to discuss the matter at town meeting, even if it is by Australian ballot. He further advised that he will include an explanation of why the Town is seeking to change it in his annual report, and that way people will be aware of the need to change it before they get to town meeting. He advised that he would draw up a petition and write an article for the warning.
- Constable car: Notice will be posted for bids to purchase – due by 2/2/09.
- Budget: Work Session with Mr. Rafus scheduled for Tuesday, 1/13/09 @ 7:00 PM, to work on roads and maintenance budget.
At 7:55 PM Mr. Green moved to enter Executive Session and invite Mr. Rafus to join them to discuss personnel issues. Mr. Sumner seconded the motion, which carried 3-0.
At 8:15 PM the Board resumed open session and Mr. Green advised that no decisions were made.
Mr. Green moved to give a 60¢ per hour cost of living increase to the Road Crew. Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion, which carried 3-0.
Mr. Green moved to increase the Road Commissioner’s salary from $300 to $350per month. Mr. Sumner seconded the motion, which carried 3-0.
Mr. Green moved to increase the Town Clerk’s salary by 4%. Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion. The motion carried 2-0 1, with Mr. Sumner abstaining.
January payment from state transportation fund may be withheld. Mr. Sumner advised that he heard that the legislature is against withholding payments. The April payment is also in question. The Town depends on that money and they are waiting to hear the disposition.
Regarding the Vermont Emergency Management grant money, a conference call with the Internal Revenue Service, recommended that people receiving money from the grant should be put on the Town payroll, which then would be subject to deductions whereas now it is paid as a stipend and a Form 1099 is issued at the end of the year and the individuals are responsible for the taxes. A short discussion of the options followed. They will consider it further. Mr. Sumner will draw up a list of those people who should be paid from this $15,000 grant, and suggest dollar amounts for each. The Board will discuss it at the next meeting.
Satellite for the EOC needs to be ordered before the end of the fiscal year. They will ask the Town Clerk to contact Hughes Net regarding the additional internet service. They will inquire if this would mean a savings to the Town.
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 8:45 PM.
Phyllis H. Evanuk