OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
July 5, 2017
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m. Selectboard members Lewis Sumner, Mitchell Green, and Bradley Rafus were present, as were Stephan Chait, Wayne Courser, Malcolm Sumner, and Robbin Gabriel.
Changes and/or Additions to Agenda
Lewis Sumner said Aaron Dupuis might come to speak to the Board, and Mitch Green said an executive session was needed for a personnel discussion.
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Sumner made a motion to approve the 6/20/17 regular meeting minutes as written. Green seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.
Sumner made a motion to approve the 6/26/17 special meeting minutes (employee evaluations) as written. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0-1, with Green, who was absent, abstaining.
Halifax Fire Department—Wayne Courser
Wayne Courser and Malcolm Sumner were present representing the Fire Department. As of June 30th, Courser told the Board, we no longer have any first responders in Halifax. Whitingham has agreed to cover Halifax, and they would like to be able to use the Tahoe squad rig (previously utilized by Halifax EMS) for rescue calls. Courser spoke recently with Christina Moore, who suggested the Tahoe should be used for traffic control. When this idea was presented at a fire department meeting, everyone present felt that current traffic control procedures were sufficient. As the Tahoe is registered to and insured by the Town the fire department believes this is a matter for the Selectboard. Green pointed out that Halifax EMS, like the Fire Department, is a separate entity. I don’t think it’s really under our jurisdiction, he said, and advised setting up a meeting with Moore and any remaining members of Halifax EMS. We’re here primarily to communicate the Fire Department’s viewpoint to the Selectmen, said Malcolm Sumner; if Whitingham’s rescue crew could use the Tahoe or we could use some of the radios, it’s too bad not to let that happen. The Tahoe is insured by the Town, said Rafus. If there is no longer an EMS, and someone is driving the vehicle, where does the liability fall? If Whitingham has agreed to cover Halifax, I don’t see an issue with letting them use the vehicle. Should Halifax once again have first responders, added Malcolm Sumner, perhaps the vehicle could return. Lewis Sumner said the Town is advertising for volunteers to train as first responders. He told Stephan Chait that Halifax EMS is a 501(3)(c) organization, but could not give an answer about its current status. If there is no organization, he added, the $4,000 voted for EMS support at Town Meeting would either go back into Town funds, or perhaps we could give some of the money to Whitingham. Given the size of the two towns (Halifax and Whitingham), said Rafus, it would make sense to me to have one rescue organization with members from both towns working together, rather than two separate organizations.
The Board agreed to arrange a meeting with Moore and any remaining EMS members. If anyone is interested in becoming a first responder, said Lewis Sumner, Deerfield Valley Rescue is willing to train them, and has offered to hold training sessions in Halifax.
Courser and Malcolm Sumner thanked the Board and left the meeting at this point, and Board members agreed to hold executive session next, prior to discussing employee wages.
Sumner made a motion to enter executive session for a personnel discussion, with Gabriel present. Green seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. The Board entered executive session at 7:26. They exited executive session at 7:46, with no decisions made.
Employee Wage Discussion
The Board conducted employee reviews at their June 26th special meeting. Green made a motion to give the highway crew raises as follows: Travis, Ben, and Mike, $0.40 an hour; Keith, $0.75 an hour; and Brad $1.00 an hour. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0-1, with Rafus abstaining. Green made a motion to reimburse Brad Rafus for use of his personal cell phone for Town business at $80.00 a month. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0-1, with Rafus abstaining. Rafus noted that in accordance with a vote taken last year, this year’s budget includes a 1.5% increase in employee retirement amounts.
Hearing of Visitors
Sign Orders to the Treasurer
The Selectboard’s Order to the Treasurer was reviewed and signed.
New correspondence was reviewed. The LaFogg & Hathaway purchase order for the Deer Park #52 bridge renovation was signed, as was one driveway permit.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:02 p.m.