OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
April 20, 2010
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:29 PM. Board members in attendance were Edee Edwards, and Lewis Sumner. John LaFlamme was absent. Others in attendance were Margo Avakian, Earl Holtz, Pat Holtz, Merle Eggert, Greg Marguet, Andy Rice, Brad Rafus, and Board Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.
Approval of Minutes
Ms. Edwards noted that on page one under new business it was stated “Spokesperson on the Town of Halifax as a Clean Energy District: continued as the speaker was unable to be here due to unforeseen circumstances.” She advised that because they had not discussed the topic at all it should be “to be continued” rather than continued.
Ms. Edwards moved to accept the minutes of the April 6, 2009 meeting with the one correction.
Mr. Sumner seconded the motion.
The motion carried 2-0, and the minutes were approved.
Ø Spokesperson on the Town of Halifax as a Clean Energy District Mr. Sumner advised that this should be continued again as they had not heard from the spokesperson.
Ø Selectboard bookkeeper No requests for applications have been received. Ms. Edwards advised that it was suggested that Sue Kelly could set up things for them but she had not yet contacted her personally. She further advised that she thought it was time to start looking for someone who professionally does bookkeeping to see if they would contract to do this. She asked if there were any other ideas.
Ø Whitingham Public Library trustee discussion Ms. Edwards advised she had been asked if Halifax would like to have a representative on the Board of Trustees for the library. She advised that they are typically elected to the Board and she would need to check to see if the town was interested and how they should go about it.
Mr. Eggert advised he thought it was a good idea to have representation, as the Town appropriates money for the library.
Ms. Edwards advised she would invite someone from the library to come to a meeting to present more information.
Ø Cemetery Commissioner No interested parties have contacted the Selectboard.
Ø Windham Regional Commissioner Ms. Edwards advised that Paul Taylor had expressed interest in filling that position.
Ms. Edwards moved to appoint Paul Taylor to the Windham Regional Commission for a term of one year.
Mr. Sumner seconded the motion which carried 2-0.
Ø Broadband Committee Ms. Edwards advised that in response to the request for people interested in serving on the proposed broadband committee several people had expressed a desire to serve; Gretchen Becker, Greg Marguet, and Earl Holtz. The first meeting of the group is scheduled for May 12, 2010 at 6:30 PM in the Selectboard meeting room.
Mr. Holtz suggested inviting someone from Marlboro to advise them on what they have done regarding broadband access.
Hearing of Visitors
Mr. Holtz advised that in response to the discussion at the last meeting regarding an ethics policy, he had researched and copied some examples for the Selectboard to review. He further advised that if they would like, he would get a group of people together to write up a policy for them that could be voted on by the town. He gave copies of the examples to the Board.
Mr. Rice advised that the insurance claim they had discussed at the last meeting has been resolved. After investigation the Insurance Company submitting the claim has withdrawn it as there was no factual basis or report for the claim.
Mr. Rice also updated the Board on the Rehabilitation Loan Committee, advising that having talked with legal counsel they will pay one year’s delinquent taxes on the property in question to avoid it going to tax sale. The amount of the taxes will be added to the loan.
Mr. Rafus advised that the Road Crew has laid approximately 600 yards of the new gravel on Hatch Road. He advised it is some of the best they have had in recent years.
Mr. Rafus advised that he had received an estimate for repairs to the loader from Beauregard. The total cost to repair the loader is $80,113. He further advised that while it is being repaired they would need to rent a replacement for 4 to 6 weeks at a cost of $4,500 per month.
Some visitors questioned the need for all of the repairs, suggesting that it could be done in stages to save money. Mr. Eggert suggested it was still more cost effective to repair the equipment rather than purchase new and add to the large amount of long term debt that the town already is committed to.
Ms. Edwards asked if Mr. Rafus had gotten any bids on replacement of the loader. He advised he had not, as companies were hesitant about bidding when the town might not actually be planning to buy.
Ms. Edwards advised she would still like to see replacement bids before any decision is made. Without firm figures they cannot do a cost analysis which is essential to the decision.
Ø Windham County Humane Society Ms. Edwards advised she had reviewed the WCHS contract and had discussed some of the issues with a representative from WCHS. She advised that according to the Humane Society records only one animal from Halifax had been cared for at WCHS last year. She reviewed the list of services that are required to be offered. Ms. Edwards noted that the maximum charge for a dog would be $75 and the maximum charge for euthanasia is $100.
No decisions on the contract were made, but it will be discussed again at the next meeting.
Ø eVermont Broadband Project Ms. Edwards advised that when looking into this project that she had proposed signing up for, it was found that the main thrust of the project is to put funds into upgrading existing systems rather than being a source for start up funds in areas where no broadband exists. While there are a few areas in town with access, it is not likely that this particular project would benefit Halifax.
The mail was reviewed and appropriately filed.
Selectmen’s Order to Town Treasurer for bill payment
The order for payment of bills was completed and signed.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 PM.
Phyllis H. Evanuk