OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
September 18, 2018
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 Ray Combs, Stephan Chait, Nancy McCrea, Diana Conway, and Robbin Gabriel.
Changes and/or Additions to Agenda
Sumner advised the Board would choose a date to meet with Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Kasey Kathan, John Gannon, and others, to discuss PFCs.
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Sumner made a motion to accept the 9/4/18 regular meeting minutes with one correction. Brad Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0-1, with Mitch Green abstaining.
Environmental Court Filing—194 Old Green River Road
The Selectboard reviewed an affidavit, motion, and order prepared by Town Attorney Robert Fisher in the matter of a zoning violation at 194 Old Green River Road. The Board confirmed for Stephan Chait that a shed, which has not been removed, was at issue. What’s the result?, asked Ray Combs. The Court seems to have approved what we’ve done so far, said Sumner. We were hoping by now that the shed would be gone, and we’d just be collecting penalties, said Green. He asked if the camper had been moved, and was told no. The motion to the Court requests, in part, that the Town be allowed to remove the shed if the owners do not do so. Attorney Fisher will be submitting the Selectboard-approved documents to the Environmental Court.
Date for PFC Discussion
Sumner advised that Kasey Kathan, of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), would be available to come to a Halifax Selectboard meeting, 7:00 p.m., on October 16th. Sumner made a motion to hold the PFC discussion with DEC, our State Representative, and possibly State Senators, at the regular Selectboard meeting on October 16, 2018. Green seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. Chait asked whether John Gannon and State Senators were coming. We will invite them, responded Sumner.
(The Board dealt with the rest of the night’s business prior to holding an executive session. See below.)
Rafus said blacktopping on Collins Road is scheduled to begin on October 1st. Green had concerns about the lateness of the season. I don’t have it ready, said Rafus, the new Act 64 requirements are interfering with everyone’s schedule. We’re either going to have to start contracting some of the work out, or we need more help, or we need to tell the State we’re not going to do it, he went on. The Stark Mountain project had to be done by July 1st, we had a late spring and a lot of rain; that put everything two months behind. And next year we have two other projects, aside from the paving, that have to be done. If we hire someone to do the additional projects, the budget will increase by $120,000 to $150,000. Rafus told Ray Combs the stone for ditching was coming from Dummerston, and there was some further conversation about the disadvantages of stone-lining, and requirements for driveways.
Hearing of Visitors
Stephan Chait advised that Windham Regional Commission has begun the process of updating their Regional Plan. It is a lengthy process, he said; their deadline is 2022. WRC is soliciting comments and concerns from the Towns; these can be submitted through the Selectboard, the Planning Commission, or through Chait as the Town’s WRC representative. Chait said he had a copy of the Regional Plan available for review, or it could also be found online. He told Sumner the regional update was done every ten years.
At a meeting earlier in the summer, Nancy McCrea told the Board she would try to gather some information about PFC testing options. She said she is still waiting to hear from one person in Tennessee, but meanwhile researched testing laboratories. She learned that many labs do not do testing for private individuals, but she received one recommendation for an online business, mytapscore.com. They will test for individuals, to a base level of 10 ppt (parts per trillion), for $275. McCrea said she had no experience with the company, which is based in Berkeley, California, but they got a lot of good reviews and test for a wide range of contaminants.
Diana Conway wanted to know what town was responsible for Hatch School Road, which she has been traveling frequently. Rafus said Hatch School Road is in Halifax, and the Highway Department will be grading it very soon. He also mentioned it would be closed in the near future while a culvert was replaced with a cement box culvert. We maintain it from blacktop to blacktop, Rafus said; Sumner said Shearer Hill, to beyond the Bed and Breakfast, was also part of Halifax roadways.
Sumner made a motion to enter executive session to discuss a personnel issue, including Gabriel. Green seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0. The Board entered executive session at 7:35 p.m. They exited the session at 8:00 p.m., with no decisions made.
Green made a motion to adjust Benjamin Barnett’s pay rate to match Michael Fournier’s, as Barnett is doing a good job operating the excavator. Sumner seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0.
The Board confirmed upcoming dates for road site visits and the reclassification hearing. Rafus said Jessica Bruno had asked whether a written statement would be acceptable at the hearing, as she could not attend in person.
Selectboard’s Order to Treasurer for Payment
The Selectboard’s Order to the Treasurer was reviewed and signed.
Correspondence was reviewed. The Board has received the State’s yearly salt contract. The vendor is Apalache, out of Albany, and the price is $70 a ton. Rafus said he was a little nervous about using this supplier; we had problems last time we used Albany, he said; we couldn’t get what we needed. In discussion, Rafus asked the Board’s permission to query Cargill about their prices this year. As we don’t have to buy from the State’s contractor, the Board agreed Rafus should get a Cargill quote for the next meeting. A request from the State about municipal safety ordinances and forwarded to the Board by Health Officer Sue Kelly, was also reviewed. One driveway permit was signed. An October 10th date has been set for ICS-402 training in Marlboro; one Selectman and the EMD plan to attend.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:07 p.m.