Town of Halifax, Vermont

July 3, 2012

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM at the town office.  Board members in attendance were Lewis Sumner, and Earl Holtz. Edee Edwards was absent.  Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno, Joe Tamburrino, Margo Avakian, Brad Rafus, Ray Combs, and Cara Cheyette.

Approval of Minutes

Sumner moved to accept the minutes of the June 19, 2012 regular meeting as written.  Holtz seconded the motion.
The motion carried 2-0, and the minutes were approved.

Sumner moved to accept the minutes of the June 25, 2012 special meeting as written. Holtz seconded the motion.
The motion carried 2-0, and the minutes were approved.

Sumner moved to accept the minutes of the June 27, 2012 special meeting as written. Holtz seconded the motion.
The motion carried 2-0, and the minutes were approved.

Sumner moved to accept the minutes of the July 2, 2012 special meeting as written. Holtz seconded the motion.
The motion carried 2-0, and the minutes were approved.

The minutes of the June 26, 2012 special meeting will be approved at the next Selectboard meeting as Sumner was not present at the June 26th meeting.

New Business

Signs on Hall Road

Cara Cheyette asked the Selectboard for approval to put up a sign at the end of Hall Road stating ‘Limited Access to Collins Rd- Seek Alternate Route.’ She expressed that GPS is sending at least 5 cars a day up the road. Drivers then realize they can not pass through, realize they are lost with no cell phone service, and come speeding back down the road. She did give feedback on various websites showing the road is not a throughway. Signs from www.roadsigns.comare about $40.

Sumner and Holtz noted several other roads in Halifax with the same issue (Hall Rd, Josh Rd, Old Cty Rd, Ballou Mtn Rd, Perry Rd, Woodard Rd). Sumner noted that you can get signs from the prison very inexpensively. Combs inquired whether the signs would be the same color as the existing signs to which Sumner replied they would be yellow and reflective.

Sumner made a motion to have Brad Rafus look into buying and putting up “Dead End” signs and various roads. Holtz seconded the motion which carried 2-0.

River Debris Clean Up

Holtz reported that he is working on three sites:
Green River Rd- large site with hemlocks down
Hale Rd- by the bridge
Green River Rd- closer to Brook Rd- hemlock issue

Holtz reported that there is a lot of paperwork, and they will need to set up a bank account which the funds will be directly deposited into. A meeting has been set Friday July 6, 2012 with Drew Adam and Ken Cox to look at the sites. It was noted that they will most likely cut the trees but leave the root wad for fish habitat or bank integrity.

Holtz also noted that someone needs to be in charge of signing the paperwork. It was agreed that Sumner would handle it. We will soon know what the total cost will be (of which the town will be responsible for 10%). Holtz also had tried to get a section of debris on 112 added, but he was told they were too late at this point.

Cheyette inquired whether invasive species as a result of the storm were being looked at for clean-up. Holtz responded that our rivers are washed pretty clean and so far is not an issue that he has seen. Windham Regional has seminars if she is interested. Holtz also noted that when he was surveying, most rivers were bare of vegetation.

Reed Hill Bridge

Tamburrino noted that there was a meeting Monday July 2 with the engineers and perspective bidders. He has not had an update from SVE regarding who received the bids. Tamburrino noted that there is a discrepancy on the drawing on page 10- the size of the U-bolt 10” versus 12”. SVE should be emailing everyone who is bidding with the change. When Tamburrino receives the drawings, he will redline the drawing and include a copy of the email with the change so that everyone will be able to take note of the discrepancy. In two weeks, the bids should all be in. Tamburrino expressed that someone needs to oversee the construction. He recommended looking into hiring SVE to oversee the project to ensure it is done correctly. Holtz asked Tamburrino to get a quote from SVE for construction oversight. Tamburrino also noted that SVE can be present to go over the bids and let us know who is bidding closest to the specs.

A meeting was scheduled for July 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm for SVE to go over the bids with the Selectboard.

Sumner noted that he and Bob Fisher are still working on getting one of the easements. Bob Fisher will be contacting the landowner to clarify any remaining issues.

Flood Work

Rafus noted that all paving and shoulder work is complete.
Sumner noted that the town received two checks from the State for approximately $87,000 and $397,000.
Holtz inquired whether there is any update from Bob Fisher on the Weir Rd issue. Sumner replied that he has not heard anything yet.

Rafus inquired whether we could replenish the gravel pile now that reimbursement money is coming in. He noted that the town used 12,000-14,000 yards. He will need at least 2,000 yards for Green River Road, and he has several other roads that will use about 3,000 yards (needed by mid-August). Rafus also noted that $120,000 was in an account for equipment replacement that got used during the flood that needs to be reimbursed. The reimbursement from the State was $212,000 for using our equipment during the flood.

The Selectboard, Tamburrino, and Rafus discussed the possibility of picking up the gravel, but it was decided the town is really not equipped to do that.

Cheyette inquired whether they could structure the bid in such a way that could allow for the delivery of material over a period of time which may have a financial benefit.

Sumner made a motion to put out to bid the delivery of up to 12,000 yards of gravel at VT State specs, with the first delivery in August. Holt seconded the motion which carried 2-0.

Tamburrino expected that they should be able to open the bids by the August 7, 2012 meeting.

Roadside Mowing

Rafus contacted 5 companies that rent mowing equipment. HP Fairfield had two weeks available in mid-August for $2400/week plus trucking. It was noted that this is subject to change as sometimes the people renting it may keep it longer (so the availability of those two weeks is questionable). Temco of NE did not have equipment available until November 1, and it is $6800/month. CRW Woods and EW Sleeper do not rent, and Orchard Hill does not have anything big enough.

Sumner made a motion to hire Andrew Rockwell at $56/hour for roadside mowing. Holtz seconded the motion which carried 2-0.

Holtz discussed the possibility of several towns getting together to buy a piece of equipment to share. Holtz asked Rafus to talk to some of the other town road foreman to discuss the possibility with their Selectboards. Rafus noted that one problem is that when something breaks, it gets passed on to whoever is next. The ideal situation is to own our own equipment and then trade man hours and our operator to run the equipment for other towns.

Hearing From Visitors

Combs expressed that he had seen an article that Vermont was getting federal funding, but it didn’t include Windham County and wondered why. Sumner noted that we didn’t have enough damage and didn’t meet the threshold for that funding. It was only for the northern counties.

Cheyette stated that she and Michael Drummey had to replace a culvert after Irene. Is there FEMA reimbursement for individuals that had to pay out of pocket? Sumner replied that FEMA does not provide individual support, but there were grants and low interest loans for individuals. Avakian suggested calling our Windham Regional representatives. Rafus noted that the town is responsible for bridges and culverts on class 4 roads. Where does the liability fall when the landowner fixes it, but it’s not up to spec? Cheyette asked the Selectboard to take a look at the ordinances and she will touch base with Michael Drummey. They may ask the town for reimbursement of the culvert replacement.

Old Business

40 Hour Work Week
This issue will go on the agenda for the next meeting. Holtz was able to get time records back to 2006 and looked at the hours per quarter.

Other Business

Sumner made a motion to sign and send back the state police contract for FY2013. Holtz seconded the motion which carried 2-0.

Certification of Constables
Combs inquired what the status of Len Derby’s position is. Holtz reported that Derby has to commit to going to formal classes and has 12 months to complete his requirements. He noted that the timeline was extended for those currently working in the role of constable and they have until July, 2013.


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 8:07 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno

Selectboard Secretary