Town of Halifax, Vermont
November 20, 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, Edee Edwards, and Earl Holtz. Others in attendance were Jessica Bruno, Margo Avakian, Patty Dow, Ray Combs, Brad Rafus, Bill Moore, Timothy Putnam, and Christina Moore.

Approval of Minutes

Edwards made a motion to accept the minutes of the November 1, 2012 regular meeting as written. Holtz seconded the motion which passed 3-0-0.

Edwards made a motion to accept the minutes of the November 8, 2012 special meeting as amended. There was a discussion regarding the 10 day payment period of invoices. Sumner seconded the motion which passed 3-0-0.

Sumner made a motion to accept the minutes of the November 16, 2012 special meeting as written. Holtz seconded the motion which passed 3-0-0.

Edwards made a motion to accept the minutes of the November 17, 2012 special meeting as written. Holtz seconded the motion which passed 3-0-0.

New Business

Renew the Line of Credit

Dow reported that the original line of credit is due 11/21/12. We have $500k on it. Tomorrow $55k will be paid ($1k interest and $54k principal). The new loan will have the rollover amount of the balance due and a total line of credit of $990k which is enough to cover the balance of paving, the full cost of Deer Park bridge, and a cushion of $24k. In April, we will want to re-visit the line of credit and see if we need to add to the credit line or establish another line of credit to cover the Hale Road bridge.

The group then discussed the following financial issue related to the bridges. C. Moore reported that we capped out, but we will get additional funding at closeout. All of our other bills have caused us to hit 81% of the obligated amount. The State is not ready to start the close-out process. She noted that we may want to wait to start close-out anyway so that we can add our audit costs into our project costs. If we close out before we get the bills for the audit, we won’t be able to apply those costs. Moore recommends we leave the projects open until we get the bills for the audit as we may pay significantly more for the audits than we originally thought. Moore told the bank that we wouldn’t be closing out for about 6 months. Edwards noted that we should try to get the request for bids out on the audit ASAP. Dow replied that she received the documents from Dupuis and will type everything up tomorrow.

Sumner made a motion to sign the line of credit from People’s United Bank in the amount of $990,000. Holtz seconded the motion which passed 3-0-0.

Program Specific Audit

C Moore reported that we meet the three criteria for doing a program specific audit.

Brattleboro Reformer Invoices

Dow reported on issues with the Brattleboro Reformer invoices. She recommends not using the Brattleboro Reformer from here on out. They double bill, don’t apply their payments correctly, we have to retrieve our own tear sheets now, they have missed ads that did not print. Dow believes it costs more money to use them because of all the time it takes to reconcile their bills and they don’t get it right. The group discussed the possibility of using an alternate newspaper of record. Edwards expressed her concern with the challenges of going with a weekly paper. She does not believe there is another viable daily paper they can utilize. In order to get out notices out to a reasonable distribution, we may potentially shoot ourselves in the foot if we don’t use them. Edwards would like confirmation of whether we are required to have two newspapers of record.

Memorandum for Record

C Moore prepared a memorandum for record which will go into each of the project books. It tells the record of the early decision making process. Moore also reported that she sent a list of our vendors to the State of VT and confirmed that none of them are on the debarment list. The record also explains where we might have deviated from our policy.

Reed Hill Bridge

C Moore reported that when our documents were submitted to review design, FEMA removed money from our budget because they didn’t see the exact part number matches. Moore got that money back and got confirmation of that today.

The Selectboard discussed the property owner whose land the rip rap is on. Sumner will ask Bob Fisher to draft a letter to the property owner regarding the completion of the project involving the rip-rap.

C Moore reported that she got all of the building certificates etc. and all of the documents are in good shape.

Deer Park Bridge

C Moore reported that they will be pouring concrete tomorrow. She reported that the bank asked how many more months they will have to cover the remaining $75-100k of bills. C Moore explained that it was dependent on the weather and there is no indication that there will be a deck on before winter. She believes they are shooting for getting the abutments on.


Moore and Rafus reported on several acts of vandalism that have occurred recently. Moore will contact State Police Commander Favreau to discuss.

Hale Road Bridge

C Moore reported that everything is in line including approvals. Although she does not have written approval for the improved project, we should still go ahead. The permit is missing at the moment, but Moore suggests starting the work upon its receipt. Rafus suggested talking with Marlboro and Brattleboro to make sure they keep their routes open. Edwards added that the property owners should be given advanced notice. Acceptance of the bid was discussed. The bill from SVE was discussed. Ten day payment terms for Cold River invoices were discussed. It is the Selectboard’s understanding that the contractors sends the bills to SVE. Once SVE receives it, they send it to us immediately. We would approve it pending SVE approval so that Dow has enough time to pay it. Edwards will follow up with SVE to remind them to send us the bills immediately upon receipt from Cold River.

Hazard Mitigation Grant

C Moore reported that per Marc Pickering there will be another round of funding available. Documented damage needs to have occurred 3 times in the past and the damage now is considered an inconvenience. Edwards inquired what the requirements are concerning paperwork and cost analysis. Moore believes the affidavits from Rafus may be sufficient. Sumner added that the deadline is tentatively set for February 1, 2013 per Karen Horn. Edwards led a discussion about grant administration costs. They had a brainstorming session in the past and she suggested getting out the prior paperwork and having a discussion about those projects. Projects noted were the flooded town hall, office and the culvert issues on Pennel Hill Rd and issues over the post office.

Blue Plate

Tim Putnam handed over the blue plate to Christina Moore.

Health Insurance

Sumner reported that the new health insurance is in from Blue Cross Blue Shield. Edwards reported that there is a rate hold. Prescription drugs have an out of pocket maximum of $1250 single or $2500 family/two person.

Edwards made a motion to retain the current health plan coverage for town employees through the VT Health Partnership POS Plan. Sumner seconded the motion which carried 3-0-0.

Groundwater Monitoring Report

The town received the groundwater monitoring report for the town landfill. Sumner reported that we have not received approval yet to do monitoring one time per year. The report noted low to moderate specific conductants measurements for dissolved manganese exceeded PAL but they were within historic ranges. The next monitoring will be May, 2013.

Josh Road Bridge

Edwards reported that per the State of VT, the posting on Josh Rd bridge is in nonconformance. Rafus reported that the signs were up a month ago and they came directly from the state. Rafus will find out what is in nonconformance. Edwards asked that photos with dates are taken.

Hearing of Visitors
Old Business
Other Business
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 9:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno

Selectboard Secretary