OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
July 18, 2017
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. Selectboard members Lewis Sumner, Mitchell Green, and Bradley Rafus were present, as were Raymond Combs, Patricia Dow, Ross Barnett, Emily Blake (Deerfield Valley News), and Robbin Gabriel.
Changes and/or Additions to Agenda
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Mitch Green made a motion to approve the 7/5/17 regular meeting minutes as written. Lewis Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.
Open Generator Bids
Two bids were received for the town garage’s old generator, which was been replaced this summer using Vermont Yankee grant funds. Catherine Harder submitted a bid for $500.00 and Peggy Rafus made an offer of $351.01. Brad Rafus made a motion to approve Catherine Harder’s bid for $500.00. Green seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. Board members told Ray Combs the generator was being sold “as is,” and the purchaser would hire someone to install it.
Set Tax Rate
Patty Dow briefly explained how the local agreement tax rate was based on the State education tax rate. The Town forgives the rate on local agreements, but the education tax still must be paid. Sumner gave the new tax rates as follows: Municipal tax rate, $0.8578 (resident and non-resident); school tax Homestead rate, $1.2701; Non-resident rate $1.4187; total Homestead, $2.1279; total Non-resident, $2.2765. Last year’s Homestead rate was $2.2274 (down $0.0995 cents this year), and the Non-resident was $2.3746 (down $0.0981 this year). Sumner made a motion to accept the tax rate at $2.1279Homestead and $2.2765 Non-resident. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.
Ross Barnett—Emergency Services
Emergency Management Director Ross Barnett told the Board he’s not yet sure what will happen with Halifax Rescue. Barnett said that now Halifax EMS has ceased operation, there was discussion at a recent District #12 meeting of suspending their license to see if anyone else would step forward. At that meeting, a decision was made to change the rules, so firefighters with CPR and first aid training could function as first responders. Although Whitingham has offered to fill the gap left by the departure of Halifax EMS, they cannot provide full coverage without District approval. This would require a rule change, as Whitingham and Halifax are in separate districts. Halifax is in District #13, while Whitingham is in District #12. Barnett said CPR training would be held in Halifax sometime before September 15th. The majority of Halifax firefighters will be taking the class, which will also be open to the public. Rafus asked whether there would be VY grant funds available this year. Barnett said he believed so, but he has not seen paperwork yet.
Rafus spoke of a request he had received, through an attorney, from a resident on Old County Road who would like the road to be narrowed to 1970s width. Rafus told the caller that would not be possible, as the Town must conform to State codes and regulations.
Hearing of Visitors
Ray Combs related a story he had heard about a Halifax resident whose phone number had been hijacked and used to make an abusive call to Vermont state police. This initiated a discussion of various local experiences with telephone scams.
Sign Orders to the Treasurer
The Selectboard’s Order to the Treasurer was reviewed and signed.
New correspondence was reviewed. The Board signed State agreements for this year’s paving and structures grants, and two driveway permits. The WSWMD landfill post-closure certificate has been approved, and will be final after a 30-day appeal period.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.