Town of Halifax, Vermont

May 11, 2012

Call to Order

The special meeting was called to order at 1:58 PM.  Board members in attendance were Lewis Sumner, Earl Holtz and Edee Edwards. Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno, Justin Berry, Joseph Tamburrino, Brad Rafus, Christina Moore, Dana Danieli (Task Force Leader), and Mike Henderson (Project Specialist).

Administrative Issues

Edwards reported that the VLCT suggests the town have a formal letter of offer of employment outlining salary, etc. She wanted to clarify the compensation for the EMD position would be prorated. The grant also has a line item for a second pager carrier that needs to be allocated. Sumner explained that he has one pager and Mr. Berry has the other pager. Both pagers have separate numbers and both beep at the same time when there is an emergency. It was decided that the allocation of the money for the second pager would be prorated and split between the two EMD’s.

Edwards also mentioned that the grant also stipulates that grantees (the town) understand that there are no State benefits. Edwards inquired whether the EMD position is covered by liability insurance or any benefits of the town? Sumner believed that the position receives no town benefits. The town does not pay any portion of social security or medicare tax either for this position.

Berry asked whether he could invoice monthly. The Selectboard replied that would be fine. Edwards asked the EMD’s to fill out a time sheet so if we ever need to know or justify how much time was spent in training vs. drills etc, we would have a way of documenting this. She also asked the EMD’s to break out compensation vs. expenses on their invoices.

Irene Recovery 

Moore reported that they received payment notification from the State for about $29k. It is comprised of many small payments but it is very hard to decipher how they came up with the payment amounts. Moore is working on reconciling the payment with the expected amounts.

Moore reported that FEMA obligated a bunch of projects to the State. The bridges have been obligated as well as Stowe Mountain Rd and Brook Rd. Moore also prepared an updated project summary (yellow indicates the project is obligated and green indicates there has been significant movement on the project). Moore’s memo to the Selectboard, updated project summary, as well as a payment summary from the State, are attached.

Mr. Danieli wanted to bring to attention the fact that all PW’s (project worksheets) have ‘conditions information’ in them. The conditions outline environmental, historical, and insurance issues as well as guidelines, rules and regulations, caps etc. Every grant you get has conditions which have to be met. Deviations from any of the conditions must be reported to the State. Danieli explained that FEMA funding is contingent on you meeting these conditions. For anything that deviates from the scope in the PW, you need to write a letter and notify the State. When you are having contractors bid on the projects, have them work out their own scope, but make sure you compare it to the conditions in the PW. Danieli also stressed that we make sure we have copies of all permits, and follow our local procedures. Edwards suggested we come up with a checklist for the purchasing process and construction work. Moore and Tamburrino will work together to develop a checklist.

Danieli repeated that when we get the bids in, we have to do a change in scope and cost as per the FEMA Public Assistance Guide. He further explained that we have 18 months (from Sept 1st) to complete the work. If we feel we cannot complete the work by that time, there are two time extensions available. Request a time extension per the FEMA Public Assistance Guide, page 138. Danieli’s opinion was that contractors should give you a schedule so you will be able to determine if you will need the extensions. If you don’t get to the bidding process, send the request for the extension right away. He also suggested waiting until we get the bids in before doing a letter requesting a change in scope and cost (as opposed to doing a change in scope first and a change in cost later). Edwards suggested doing a timeline to get the bids in, change in scope etc outlining the sequence of events.

The Green River Road project will need congressional review as the project is over $1 million. Moore will follow up with the Senators and Congressmans office to try to accelerate the process.

Moore has prepared three memorandums from the Selectboard to the State, which are requests for partial payments on Brook Rd, Stow Mountain Rd, and Deer Park temporary bridge.

Sumner made a motion to sign the memorandums for partial payment requests for Stowe Mountain Road, Brook Road Cat C, and Deer Park temporary bridge. Edwards seconded the motion, which passed 3-0.

Weir Road Bridge

As discussed at prior meetings, Edwards had followed up with Sara Moulton and the State regarding the request for Weir Rd and Sumner Farmhouse Rd to be added to the mileage certificate. She also enclosed copies of the information that should have been included with the mileage certificate. Jonathan Croft had also researched the highway certificates and found the requests to add mileage for these roads. However, the State claims that they had sent a request for follow up which was never received. Edwards explained that we are being asked to continue research to prove the town wanted to accept these as roads. A discussion about how much time should be spent continuing to research documents that may not exist took place.

Holtz made a motion for the Selectboard  to consult with Fisher & Fisher on the Weir Road Bridge issue. Sumner seconded the motion, which carried 3-0.   

Other FEMA Business

Edwards wanted to stress that she would like to maintain a collaborative relationship with FEMA and have visibility. She would like to maintain ongoing conversations and discussions. A follow-up meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

Review Bids and Award Engineering Contract for Old County North Bridge

Tamburrino expressed that he felt Holden was the best bet. He looked at the different explanations and descriptions and he can’t come up with anyone better for the price and what they propose. Edwards led a discussion concerning the hydrology component’s variation in price. The Selectboard discussed the timeline presented by Holden, and the letters of recommendation they included.

Sumner made a motion to accept Holden Transportation Engineering ‘s bid of $12,811 for the engineering contract for the Old County North Bridge. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 3-0.

River Survey

On Green-up day, volunteers started doing a survey of the debris in the rivers. The Selectboard will use this data to determine if they should apply for assistance from NRCS. A copy of the survey results are attached. The volunteers surveyed parts of Green River, Hinesburg Brook, and East Branch of the North River. Half of North River, parts of Green River, and Branch Brook surveys are not complete.  The Selectboard discussed whether it is worthwhile to proceed and ask for grant assistance. They may choose to talk to Drew Adam and show him what they saw and inquire whether they are likely to be eligible. Staci Pomeroy is also available to help map things out. Holtz indicated that Mr. Adam is in his SOUL class. Holtz will contact him and see what the next steps are. Edwards will transfer the information she has to Holtz who will follow up with Drew and keep Christina Moore in the loop.

Other Business

Holtz indicated that people have been asking him when Reed Bridge will be started. The post office is losing business. Sumner replied that it is not out to bid yet. Tamburrino will follow up and find out when the design will be complete. As far as he knows, the design should be complete by the end of May.  This will be the first bridge that we have a design on. The Selectboard discussed whether there are alternate routes to the post office, or if they should contact private landowners to ask permission for people to walk across their property to the post office.

Items to be added to the next agenda May 15, 2012 (not in order):

-Approval of minutes
-River Survey
-Bridge Update
-Highway department review scheduling

For the June 5, 2012 agenda, they may want to add 45 to 40 hour workweek change to the agenda.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:48 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno


5-11-12 A

5-11-12 B

5-11-12 C