OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
February 2, 2016
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. Selectboard members Lewis Sumner, Doug Grob, and Brad Rafus were present, as were Ray Combs, Patricia Dow, Stephan Chait, Arthur (Jesse) Ferland, Sarah Barnett, Ben Barnett, Michael Fournier, Keith Stone, Janet Hoffmann (AFLAC), Dana Ero (AFLAC), and Robbin Gabriel.
Changes and/or Additions to Agenda
Lewis Sumner noted that Town Clerk Patty Dow wished to speak to the Board.
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Sumner made a motion to accept the 1/26/16 special meeting minutes as written. Brad Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.
Sumner welcomed Janet Hoffmann and Dana Ero, Aflac representatives who were present to explain the supplemental insurances their company offers. After handing out informational packets, Ero gave a brief summary of Aflac’s history and the various types of insurance they offer, including accident, cancer, short-term disability, and dental. Benefits are paid directly to policy-holders and are not tied to any other insurance the policy-holder might have. While Aflac solicits town approval before employees are eligible to enroll, there is no cost to the town; all premiums are paid by the employee.
Sumner said he has been carrying Aflac cancer insurance for 40-45 years; he enrolled through a previous employer. Rafus asked whether employees could pick and choose among the different types of insurance; Ero said yes. She told Keith Stone an individual who has had a cancer diagnosis must be cancer-free five years before being eligible for benefits. Short-term disability is only available to full-time employees, she told Rafus. Doug Grob asked about coverage for self-employed persons. There is a limit to the types of policies a self-employed individual can purchase, and premiums are higher. Do benefits have to be declared as income, asked Patty Dow. We are not tax advisers, answered Ero, but you will never get a 1099 from Aflac.
Patty Dow—Ballot Question
The 2016 Town Warning contains an article to see if the Town will vote by Australian ballot to approve the revised zoning regulations. Dow asked whether it was the Board’s intention that she create a ballot for Town Meeting, based on that article. Sumner made a motion to have the Town Clerk prepare an Australian ballot for a vote on the proposed revised zoning bylaws on March 1st. Grob seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.
Town Garage Foam Insulation Bid Approval
At their January 26th special meeting the Board opened and reviewed three bids on the town garage insulation project. (See https://halifaxvermont.com/selectboard/meeting-minutes/2016-01-26-selectboard-special-meeting-minutes-draft/ for specifics.) Bid approval was postponed that night, pending receipt of further information on the lowest-bidding contractor, Insulation By Foam Pro. After conversation with the contractor, Phil Savoy of Savoy Engineering returned a favorable report. Sumner made a motion to accept the Insulation By Foam Pro bid of $24,725 to remove the fiberglass insulation and spray in foam insulation at the town garage. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. In discussion, Ray Combs asked whether any electrical or fan work was included. Rafus explained that no changes to the electrical or ventilation system would be necessary. One of the options offered in the engineer’s assessment included the installation of a drop ceiling; that choice was rejected because it would have entailed making extensive changes to the wiring and exhaust system in the building. Stephan Chait asked if the grade of foam to be used was an industry standard; Sumner and Rafus said that was the Board’s understanding. We discussed that with the engineer when we met with him, added Sumner.
2016 State Mileage Certificate
The yearly mileage certificate must be updated, signed by the Board and Town Clerk, and sent to the State in February. Gabriel has compiled the paperwork documenting the Town’s road classification changes in 2015. Sumner Farm Road from Branch Road across the bridge and the segment of Whitneyville Road between the Barrows and LaFlamme driveways will be added to the Town’s Class 3 mileage total. Did we ever reclassify the Aldrich Road section between Rowan’s and Bruno’s, asked Keith Stone. No, replied Sumner, we should have a hearing on that this year. It’s about a half-mile section. It’s a good piece of road, added Stone, with a turn-around that was built for us. The classification of Josh and Bell Roads will also be corrected to reflect the Court’s reversal of a 2005 town reclassification order giving those roads Class 4 status. In a 2007 ruling Judge John Wesley determined those roads should remain legal trails. The State’s numbering of Bell and Carey Roads will also be corrected. Sumner told Sarah Barnett the updated mileage certificate is submitted to the state once a year. Grob asked about Weir Road; that will not be reported, said Sumner, as no changes were made. However, the half-mile section at the base of Woodard Hill Road becomes legal trail, and the section of Whitneyville Road between the LaFlamme driveway and Tucker Road is now Class 4.
Set Date for Joint Selectboard/School Board Informational Meeting, Candidates’ Night
The last few years, we have combined the Selectboard and School Board pre-town meeting informational meetings, said Sumner. We have set the date for Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. in the school multipurpose room. This is an opportunity to meet candidates running for town offices and discuss any subject on the town warning. Sarah Barnett told the Board the auditors have mailed out postcards announcing the dates of the informational meeting and town meeting, and advising residents they can request a mailed copy of the town report or pick up a copy at the Town Clerk’s office after February 16th. The report is also available for viewing online at https://halifaxvermont.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/FYE-2015-Annual-Report.pdf.
Executive Session (if necessary)
No executive session was held.
Hearing of Visitors
Sumner verified for Chait that all the topics on the Town Warning are open for discussion at the informational meeting.
Mike Fournier wondered whether they were going to get a raise—this earned a laugh, if not a wage increase.
Selectboard’s Order to the Treasurer for Bill Payment
The Selectboard’s Order to the Treasurer was reviewed and signed.
Various pieces of correspondence were reviewed and appropriately filed. Sumner made a motion to sign the Listers’ Certificate of No Appeals Pending. Grob seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. KAS has submitted an estimate of $2,093 for well monitoring at the old town garage during 2016.
Sumner made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. The meeting was adjourned at 7:43 p.m.