OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
August 29, 2017
Selectmen Lewis Sumner and Bradley Rafus met at 1:00 p.m. in the Halifax Town Office with Windham Regional Commissioner Water Quality Planner Emily Davis. Mitchell Green was unable to attend. Stephan Chait and Robbin Gabriel were also present.
Emily Davis opened with an explanation of the Grants-in-Aid pilot program, a Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation project designed to assist towns with bringing their roads up to the new Municipal Roads General Permit standards (MRPG). The MRPG creates standards for hydrologically-connected roads under Act 64, the Vermont Clean Water Act. In particular, the MRPG addresses erosion, ditches, and culverts on road segments associated with streams. Halifax has been awarded $14,200 under the Grants-in-Aid program and that funding, along with a 20% town match, will assist in upgrading some problem areas. WRC will be handling the administrative aspects of the process.
Davis and the Board examined maps and discussed specific road segments which would be eligible for improvements under the grant guidelines. Rafus said the Town’s greatest priority would be culvert replacement, as many culverts are old and too small to meet current State specifications. Following general conversation, focus turned to the numerous under-sized culverts on Stark Mountain Road. Chait noted that portions of Stark Mountain Road were quite narrow; would they need to be widened? Davis replied that while the State would prefer to see such roads wider, they also recognized that some areas present physical limitations. The MRPG standards are still in draft, she continued, and past drafts have included the possibility of exemptions in certain instances.
In response to a question from Chait, Davis described the ways in which current State legislation is addressing changing weather patterns. She said that while many of the recent mandates are geared toward improving water quality, others promote a proactive approach to increasingly intense storm events.
The meeting closed shortly before 2:00 p.m., and Davis, Rafus, and Chait traveled to Stark Mountain Road for a site inspection.