OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
April 3, 2015
Call to Order
This emergency meeting was called to order at 1:02 p.m. Selectboard members Earl Holtz, Lewis Sumner, and Edee Edwards were present, as was Robbin Gabriel
Changes and/or Additions to Agenda
Edee Edwards advised the meeting’s purpose was to confer with Town Attorney Bob Fisher by phone. She also requested the Board review content of the April 7th meeting agenda, clarify procedure from the March 31st meeting, and discuss data collection for road reclassification.
March 31st Meeting Procedure
Edwards made a motion to ratify entering into executive session during the March 31st special meeting. Earl Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 3-0. At the above-mentioned meeting, executive session was initiated through two motions. The first motion, made by Holtz, established the reason for the session and was seconded and passed with a 3-0 vote. The second motion, made by Edwards to actually open the session, was not completed.
The Board reviewed a list of Class 3-4 roads to be considered for possible reclassification. Woodard Hill Road was discussed; the upper section, beginning at the Stowe Mountain Road intersection, is Class 3, while the Branch road end is—per VTrans data—classified as Class 3 not up to standard, or functionally Class 4. Lewis Sumner said the bridge on the Branch Road end has been gone for at least thirty years. Edwards is concerned that the Class 3 designation might eventually lead to a need for the town to rebuild the road and replace the bridge. Edwards suggested that Sumner Farm Road and Weir Road are similar in that they are both brief segments of road, include a bridge, and lead to one or two properties. She recommended, for fairness and clarity, these roads be considered at the same time. TH50 and TH52 created some confusion. Sumner explained the VTrans map markings don’t always correspond accurately with the town’s road names. Some of the town’s road information may also need to be updated with VTrans.
Edwards made a motion to reconvene the executive session begun on March 31st for the purpose of discussing attorney/client privileged information on road reclassification. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 3-0.
The Selectboard went into executive session at 1:17 p.m. with Attorney Fisher (on speaker phone) and Robbin Gabriel.
The Board came out of executive session at 1:55 p.m. No decisions were made.
Road Reclassification (continued)
Edwards proposed adding “Road Reclassification—Consider Adding Other Roads?” to the April 7th agenda. Sumner said he would prefer not to add other roads to the Sumner Farm Road petition currently under advisement. “I’d like to have the discussion in an open meeting with the public,” Edwards responded. She will compile further data, including information about properties and residences on the pertinent roads. Holtz said further investigation may be needed to determine which properties are on Class 3 or Class 4 portions of each road. Sumner advised checking with the school for multipurpose room availability before a site visit/public meeting date is set, as the meeting could be a large one. Holtz suggested the Community Hall as an alternate location. Holtz said examining all Class 4 roads could be a huge task. We need to speak to the petition request, but the other roads could take longer. Edwards said she was not proposing to do everything, but wants to look at other roads that made sense because they are similar. Holtz would like to drive some of the roads; he asked about the Whitneyville section, which Sumner described as the section from Stephen Barrows’ driveway to Tucker Road. That’s still Class 3, said Sumner, but the town does not get state funds for maintenance of that four-tenths of a mile because it does not comply with Class 3 specifications. That’s the kind of thing–why aren’t we downgrading it? asked Edwards. Same with Woodard Hill, added Holtz.
April 7th Agenda
The Board agreed to further discuss road reclassification at their April 7th meeting. Holtz said John LaFlamme was working on the yearly local emergency plan forms, which the Board needs to sign. He also would like to discuss needed town garage roof repairs as the roof is leaking badly. Appointments not yet filled after town meeting will also be addressed. Gabriel will check with Brad Rafus regarding VTrans grant forms, and Rafus will be submitting specs for the new truck on April 7th. Holtz invited anyone interested to visit the town garage and take a look at the nice job on the new salt shed addition.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:26 p.m.