Town of Halifax, Vermont

June 5, 2012

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:32 PM at the town office.  Board members in attendance were Lewis Sumner, Earl Holtz, and Edee Edwards via conference call.  Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno, Joe Tamburrino, Margo Avakian, Orrin Isles, Brad Rafus, Ray Combs, Len Derby, Justin Berry, Christina Moore, Bill Moore, Jesse Boyd, and Wayne Course.

Approval of Minutes

Sumner moved to accept the minutes of the May 15, 2012 regular meeting as written.  Holtz seconded the motion.
The motion carried 3-0, and the minutes were approved.

Holtz moved to accept the minutes of the May 16, 2012 special meeting as written. Sumner seconded the motion.
The motion carried 3-0, and the minutes were approved.

Edwards moved to accept the minutes of the May 24, 2012 special meeting with a small correction.  Sumner seconded the motion.
The motion carried 3-0, and the minutes were approved. 

New Business

Flood Work Update

Sumner contacted the landowners that would be involved in the bridge, wing wall and rip-rap project for the Reed Hill Bridge. The landowners have agreed to sign easements. Sumner forwarded their information to Bob Fisher who will send out the easement paperwork for signature.

Christina Moore reported that the congressional review for the Green River Road project is complete and the project has been obligated. This has been confirmed by both FEMA and the State.

We received a large payment of about $307k from the State for Stowe Mountain Road ($137k), Brook Rd ($122k) and a payment for work completed on the Deer Park Temporary Bridge ($48k). The town also received approximately $26k from the State as a result of the change in payment structure. After May 25, 2012 FEMA reimbursement has increased to 90% from 75%.

We should be receiving about $90k for the Collins Rd and Thomas Hill Rd projects this week.

See attached for Christina Moore’s updated project summaries.

Sumner gave an update on the bridge projects:

Reed Hill Bridge will be ready to go out to bid June 15, 2012.  The plan is to open the bids July 17,2012.
Tamburrino confirmed that all is going according to plan, and we should be ready to go out to bid June 15.

The Deer Park bridge design should be complete shortly. They plan to put on a cement deck instead of a wood deck as the cost is only about $1000 more and it should last a lot longer.

Open Bids on Rip-Rap Project

Sumner and Holtz opened the bids for the rip-rap project. The bids were as follows:

Bartlett & Boyd- 300 cy/ 3’-/ $23.75 per cy
Cersossimo- 300 cy/ 3’-/ $20.00 per cy
Corse Excavating- 300 cy/ 3’-/ $22.89 per cy
Zaluzny Excavating- 300cy/ 3’-/ $24.90 per cy
Travis Bristol- 300 cy/ 3’-/ $16.00 per cy
Tamburrino noted that Lane, Mitchell, and Construction Services did not bid.

Holtz made a motion to go with Travis Bristol for the rip-rap project. Sumner seconded the motion, which carried 3-0. 

Discussion of Fuel, Sand, Roadside Mowing, and Chloride- Advertising for Bidding

Rafus gave Tamburrino the information on each one of the amounts that we usually bid. Edwards wanted to confirm the Tamburrino wanted to continue to work on non-FEMA related bid work. He replied yes, he did. Tamburrino advised that we would advertise all of the work at once and request one bid for all work. The advertising will have to go out this week wih a due date on the bids of June 19, 2012 so that we can get the purchase orders out by July 1, 2012.

Sumner made a motion that Joe Tamburrino put the fuel, sand, roadside mowing, and chloride work out to bid and advertise it in the newspaper. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 3-0.

40 Hour Work Week

Edwards started a discussion on whether it makes sense for the town road crew to go to a 40 hour work week from a 45 hour work week like they have had in the past. The Halifax road crew has a lower than average wage rate and the 45 hour work week was intended to offset that wage. Edwards presented some information to the other Selectboard members including VLCT report of salaries, charts and slides, and budget background information. It was also noted that a 40 hour work week may better reflect the work that needs to be done seasonally. The crew would get a better wage and have more time with their families. The employee manual and position description will likely have to be re-written and the Selectboard would have to look at pay across job requirements. The standard work weeks of other towns were discussed. Edwards proposed talking about the potential change as a Selectboard in more detail, and then talking to Brad and the road crew.

Edwards also mention that road crew evaluations are coming up and it might be useful if each employee of the road crew did a small self-evaluation (a few sentences). She noted this is a very useful tool in determining areas of needed improvement.

Combs expressed that he feels the road crew is doing an excellent job.

A special meeting was scheduled for Thursday June 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm at the town office to discuss the 40 hour work week and job description. This may potentially be an executive session.

A special meeting was scheduled for Monday May 25, 2012 at 9:00 am at the town garage for highway crew evaluations. This will be an executive session if so voted.

Healthy Halifax Program

Edwards reported that the road crew has started a pedometer and weight loss program through their insurance vendor. Other people have expressed interest participating in a healthy lifestyle program.

There is a national program that people can sign up for called the President’s Challenge which is a structured way for people to get together to set goals and be healthier.

Edwards expressed that she enjoys walking and her goal is to walk every road in Halifax. She may post a list of places she will try to walk on certain days if anyone is interested in joining her.

Blueberry Festival

Edwards reported that the Selectboard has been invited to participate in the Blueberry Festival parade at 11:00 am on August 4, 2012. It was noted that this falls on the same day as the fire department clam bake. Edwards invited Sumner and Holtz to participate. She thought it might be a good idea for them to have a blue plate special theme like they had during the Irene aftermath. In addition to walking in the parade she thought it might be a good idea to post more blue plates along Rte 112 with a blueberry on them welcoming people to VT. It was suggested that someone contact AOT or Laurie Williams at Whitingham Ambulance to find out if they need permission to post the plates on a town road. Edwards will send in the application paperwork so they may participate as walkers in the parade.

Hearing From Visitors

Tamburrino noted that Holden Engineering did the initial inspection of the beams and abutments for the 37 Old County North Bridge. They will be preparing a concrete and wood design as they have some concerns with the weight restrictions with the concrete.

Tamburrino noted that the Listers had 19 grievances. Form letters with the results of the grievance meetings were sent to the landowners on June 4, 2012. Landowners have 14 days to request a hearing with the Board of Civil Authority.

Rafus reported that the paving on Brook Rd, Branch Rd, and Collins Rd is complete. They are ¾ down Green River Road with the binder coat and should be done in about a week. Rafus also wanted to inform Derby that Lane has lost a lot of their signs.

Old Business

Truck Bids

Rafus expressed that he really thinks the town needs to purchase a tandem. If it means waiting until next year, we should do that. They would be doing half the work. For the $17k difference in cost, you will save that amount in about a year just from hauling the sand and plowing with a tandem. Edwards requested that Rafus prepare some hard numbers documenting and justifying the savings with an expected payback period. They need to do their due diligence as a Selectboard to justify buying bigger and more expensive equipment.

Other Business

Josh Rd Bridge #25

The Selectboard received a letter from the State regarding Josh Rd bridge #25. The State requires the town to either:

1-     Post the bridge with a 6,000 lb weight restriction

2-     Install new curb and runners to bring it up to 16,000 lbs.

There was a discussion on why the landowner had done work on a town bridge. The landowner had contacted Rafus but they had too much work to get up there right away. When they did get up there, a contractor had already fixed it.

Sumner made a motion to bring the Josh Rd bridge up to specs for 16000 lbs by installing a new curb and runners. There was no second to the motion.

There was further discussion about the cost of signs made to post it for 6000 lbs versus the cost to bring it up to spec for 16000 lbs.

Isles suggested that the Selectboard have Rafus get a cost estimate for the curb and runners noting that we just spent $90k for a bridge to one taxpayer. We are looking at hundreds of dollars here not thousands, and there should not be a different class of taxpayer.

The Selectboard decided to have Brad get a cost estimate for the curb and runners before making a decision.

Town Property Map

Holtz noted that Weir Rd and Sumner Farmhouse Rd were missing from the new property map. He discussed this with Tamburrino and Martynowski and they are working to update it. Edwards expressed that she thought we should wait until we hear back from the attorney. Holtz expressed he believed the most recent map should be complete.

Landfill Inspection

The landfill inspection on May 8, 2012 was fine. The report includes results on the test wells.

Basic Emergency Operations Plan

Edwards noted that Berry should be added to the front page of the new basic emergency operations plan. Sumner advised that he is on the contact list on another page. Holtz and Edwards asked Sumner to send in a revised front page to include Berry’s contact information, as they believe he should be on there for ease of access during an emergency.

Repeater Grant

Berry noted that he may be able to get a Homeland Security grant to cover part or all of the town’s cost for the new repeater. He will need an asset list so he can complete the grant application by June 16th.

Edwards made a motion to ask Berry and Sumner to follow up on the Homeland Security grant to obtain additional funding for the repeater they are slated to get through VT Yankee, to cover the town’s part of the cost. Holtz seconded the motion, which carried 3-0.

Certification of Constables

Holtz inquired whether the completion of the basic training course covers our constables until next fiscal year. The other members of the Selectboard believe that it does.


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 8:12pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno

Selectboard Secretary

6-5-12 FEMA