OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SELECTBOARD REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
January 2, 2019
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m. Selectboard members Lewis Sumner and Bradley Rafus were present; Mitchell Green was unable to attend. Peggy Rafus, Stephan Chait, Ray Combs, Nancy McCrea, Diana Conway, and Robbin Gabriel were also present.
Changes and/or Additions to Agenda
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Lewis Sumner made a motion to approve the 12/18/18 regular meeting minutes with two corrections. (Commentary by Diana Conway was mistakenly attributed to Nancy McCrea.) Brad Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0.
Sumner made a motion to approve the 12/27/18 public hearing minutes as written. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0.
Selectboard Report for March 2019 Annual Town Report
The Board reviewed a draft of their report for the 2019 Annual Town Report, and Sumner requested a one-word correction. Sumner made a motion to submit the Selectboard annual report to the Auditors for inclusion in the Town Report. Rafus seconded the motion, which passed, 2-0.
Sumner advised that the Board would soon be setting a date for a special meeting to finalize the annual town warning. The Town Office is in need of a 2019 calendar; Sumner and Stephan Chait both offered to provide some.
Executive Session (if needed)
Hearing of Visitors
Chait said he knew Windham Regional Commission provides a yearly report to the Town; he asked whether he or Everett Wilson, as Halifax WRC representatives, should provide an additional report. Sumner said there was no need, unless they had something special to address.
Sumner told Diana Conway that each year the auditors collect written reports from Town officials and organizations active in Halifax, review the Town’s finances, and create the Town’s annual report, which is printed and available to the public several weeks before Town Meeting. What happens at the Town Meeting?, asked Nancy McCrea. Several people immediately responded, “Good food!” Town officers are elected by Australian ballot, said Sumner, and this year we will be voting on the Town Plan, also by Australian ballot. We also vote on the budget, and any other articles included in the warning. Sumner explained that we won’t know what articles will be on the warning until after petition deadline, January 17th or 18th. Anyone can submit a petition on any question, as long as 5% of registered voters—approximately 31-32—sign the petition.
How do we know what’s in the Town Plan?, asked Ray Combs. Rafus said the Planning Commission has completed the Plan revision. Gabriel added that the Selectboard held its public hearing on December 27th, and the final draft of the updated Plan was now being prepared for public inspection; it will soon be posted online and be available in the Town Office. Currently, a file with all but the last revisions is available at halifaxvermont.com. Click directly on the Report tab on the Home page (not the drop-down menu) to view. There is also a link to updated Town maps in that same location. Sumner offered his printed copy of the revised Plan, with mark-up from the public hearing, for examination. Only a few words were changed, which did not alter the meaning of the text, he said. If we (the Selectboard) had made any major changes, the document would have had to go back to the Planning Commission for approval. Are there any new ideas?, asked Conway. Sumner said some of the changes took new State laws into account. New information on flood resilience was added to bring the Town into compliance with new State regulations, said Gabriel. That makes us eligible for federal funds in the event of a disaster, said Sumner; we have had to update the Plan every five years, but now it will be every eight years. Conway also asked about WSWMD Bob Spenser’s offer to come speak at a Selectboard meeting. Sumner said he would be talking to Spenser at a WSWMD meeting next week.
Selectboard’s Order to Treasurer for Payment
The Selectboard’s Order to the Treasurer was reviewed and signed.
Correspondence was reviewed and filed. Sumner signed the yearly agreement with Powers Generator for generator maintenance. Yearly State mileage certificate forms were received for update. The Board also received equalized grand list percentages from the State. Town-wide reappraisal will begin in July 2019.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:27 p.m.