OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
August 1, 2017
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. Selectboard members Lewis Sumner and Bradley Rafus were present; Mitchell Green was absent on vacation. Craig Stone, Stephan Chait, Raymond Combs, and Robbin Gabriel were also in attendance.
Changes and/or Additions to Agenda
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Brad Rafus made a motion to approve the 7/18/17 regular meeting minutes as written. Lewis Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0.
Open Truck Body Bids
Three bids were received for the replacement truck body, as follows:
Viking, USA, Williston, Vermont: (Option #1) New body, remount headboard, cameras, tarp system, reuse hydraulic tank and hoist, turn-around time 90-120 days, $31,950.00. (Option #2) Used body, (used one season), same remount/reuse items as Option #1, 30-day turn-around, $19,250.00. (Note to reader: A question was raised regarding hand-written figures; Rafus will call vendor to verify. The Option #2 price may be $29,250.00)
H. P. Fairfield, Morrisville, Vermont: (Bid #1) Everest 14-foot 38” x 50” side-dump body, $33,000.00. Body to be installed within 90-150 days of order.
H. P. Fairfield, Morrisville, Vermont: (Bid #2) 14-foot MGSDS, 42” x 58” side-dump body, constructed on 3/16” steel for better corrosion resistance, $34,546.00. Body to be installed in August at Massachusetts location.
Rafus described the function of a side-dump body for Ray Combs. The Town has purchased from H. P. Fairfield previously. Rafus and Keith Stone will review the specifications on the bids and a decision will be made at the August 15th Selectboard meeting.
Update—WRC Grant in Aid Award
Sumner advised Halifax has received a $14,200 grant from Windham Regional Commission towards funding best management practices on hydrologically connected road segments. A list of possible projects has been compiled, and the Board will be meeting with WRC on August 14th for discussion. Stephan Chait asked whether Jeff Nugent had been in Halifax for the erosion inventory. Yes, responded Rafus, I spoke with him last week and the process is almost complete. Once all the data is compiled we will meet with him. Sumner and Rafus told Chait the $14,200 will fund a study, which is a separate grant from the road erosion inventory currently in process. The erosion inventory is funded by a Better Back Roads grant, and the Town will provide a 20% match in funds or “in kind” activity. The best management practices study will provide cost estimates and a capital plan for needed improvements. Sumner told Craig Stone no matching funds are required for this study.
Discuss Old County Road Right of Way
The Board has received a letter from an attorney representing Martha MacAllister, who owns the residence at 41 Old County Road in Halifax Center. The MacAllister property is for sale, and the owner believes the road is encroaching on her lawn and yard, although the road has not been widened for a long time. Old County Road is a 4-rod, or 66-foot, road. MacAllister would like the road to be returned to 1970s specifications, which, said Rafus, would essentially create a one-lane road. The present road is fairly well centered in the right-of-way between the stone walls, Rafus added; the house was simply built close to the road. Moving the road by six feet has been suggested, but it’s not feasible. Doing so would change the intersection, all the ditchlines, and Larry Crosier’s driveway. Sumner said he had talked with the attorney twice, and Rafus met with the attorney to inspect the site. The road is currently 21 feet wide, said Rafus, who estimates the MacAllister yard might have lost 18 inches over the years. State specifications call for a 22-foot roadbed with two-foot shoulders on each side, or 26 feet, whereas previous regulations called for about 20 feet. The Board agreed to forward the letter to the Town attorney for review.
Hearing of Visitors
When the highway department removes trees along the right-of-way, who does that timber belong to?, asked Craig Stone. Usually, it is the landowners, answered Rafus. That has always been the case, but we have started moving the wood, because if it is left roadside it interferes with plowing. If the landowners want the wood, or want to give it to a neighbor, we move it for them. If they don’t want it, we stockpile it at the Town Garage. Stone’s question was occasioned by a posting, not specifically described, which appeared briefly in the Post Office. Rafus told Combs the Highway Department talks to landowners whenever they are removing trees. We have one more day of cutting on Branch Road, said Rafus, then we’re hoping to reclaim next week.
When will you do Deer Park bridge?, asked Chait. Towards the end of August, replied Rafus; I’m waiting for a set of deck plans from LaFogg & Hathaway. Drivers should plan for the road to be closed about a week, but it will probably only be three days. Chait also asked about the mowing schedule. We’re mowing when we can, said Rafus. Town Hill and Tucker Road were done today, and last week we mowed Collins Road. Reed Hill is also done. The weather has slowed us down, but it’s nice to be able to do our own mowing, and maintenance costs have been minimal. Keith Stone has extensive tractor experience, so he handles the mowing. Rafus also told Combs they would be grading Tucker Road tomorrow.
Sign Orders to the Treasurer
The Selectboard’s Order to the Treasurer was reviewed and signed.
New correspondence was reviewed. Spring landfill test results have been received from KAS and will be posted on the town web site.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:48 p.m.