OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
March 4, 2009
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:42 PM. Board members in attendance were Mitchell Green, Lewis Sumner, and. John LaFlamme. Others in attendance were Margo Avakian, Dora Green, Leslie Green, Ann Manwaring, and Board Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.
Hearing of Visitors
- Representative Ann Manwaring was in attendance to update the Board on the status of the state budget, and how it may impact the town.
- She advised that state revenues are down so the state has less money to cover its own budget, or to distribute to the towns. The gas tax that currently is used to fund the transportation needs, is based on ‘per gallon’ amounts rather than on per dollar amounts. With the higher gas prices coupled with the general economy, people are cutting back on the amount of gasoline they purchase therefore the tax revenues are less. As a result the contribution to the towns has been reduced by 15% for the last quarterly payment and probably will be reduced by at least that amount for the next quarter. This translates to less money for road maintenance and more money that needs to be paid by the towns. [Mr. Green advised that this is of real concern to the towns because they have already completed their budgets and factored in the amounts (percentage of costs) that the state has previously stated would be given. This means that they will be either over budget or will need to reduce services.]
- The legislature is considering ways to increase revenues and alleviate the state deficit. One suggestion is a revenue bond that would be funded by a 5¢ gas tax that would be based on dollar amounts.
- The deadline for projection of state revenues is April 15th. No definitive amounts will be known until after that date. Mrs. Manwaring suggested checking the Joint Fiscal Office section on the Legislative website for information regarding the “money streams” from the federal stimulus to the state.
- Mrs. Manwaring advised that one of the areas of concern for her is the lack of broadband internet service in this corner of the state. She urged the Board and the residents to actively pursue options for bringing it to the area. [Mr. Green advised that the Board has attempted to start a committee to research this, but have had little response. One person was actively researching, but does not have the time to continue without others to assist. They will continue to seek interested people to push for broadband, but due to the rural nature of the town most providers are unwilling to take on the project.]
The Board thanked Mrs. Manwaring for coming to speak with them, and expressed their appreciation for her willingness to be available for this and future meetings.
Mrs. Manwaring advised she is happy to come to meetings to discuss the issues and to keep the Board apprised of what is happening in Montpelier.
Mr. LaFlamme moved to approve Phyllis Evanuk as Secretary for the next year.
Mr. Sumner seconded the motion which carried 3-0.
Mr. Green moved to appoint John LaFlamme as Board Chair for the next year.
Mr. Sumner seconded the motion which carried 2-0-1, with Mr. LaFlamme abstaining.
Mr. Green moved to appoint Lewis Sumner as Board Vice Chair for the next year.
Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion which carried 2-0-1, with Mr. Sumner abstaining.
Mr. Sumner moved to approve the designation of the Brattleboro Reformer and the Deerfield Valley News as the official newspapers of record.
Mr. LaFlamme seconded the motion which carried 3-0.
Mr. Sumner moved to approve the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7:30 PM as the regular meeting days and time for the Board.
Mr. Green seconded the motion which carried 3-0.
All other appointments will be made at the next regular meeting.
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 8:30 PM.
Phyllis H. Evanuk