OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
December 1, 2009
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:31 PM. Board members in attendance were John LaFlamme, Mitchell Green, and Lewis Sumner. Others in attendance were Margo Avakian, Brad Rafus, Christina Moore, Andrew Rice, and Board Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. LaFlamme moved to accept the minutes of the November 17, 2009 meeting as written.
Mr. Sumner seconded the motion.
The motion carried 3-0, and the minutes were approved.
Ø Comments from public on Aldrich Road matter.
Mr. Rafus advised that if the proposed discontinuance of a portion of Aldrich Road on the Whitingham side is approved, if lots in Whitingham along the town line are subsequently developed the access to those lots would be through Halifax. That would significantly change the aspects of maintenance on the Halifax portion of the road, adding to the costs for the Highway Department, while Whitingham would benefit by collecting the property taxes for the lots.
Ø Mrs. Moore advised that the discontinuance would hamper the response times for emergency services if there was no through access along Aldrich Road. She advised from that perspective she is against the discontinuance and will draft a letter to the Whitingham Selectboard prior to the December 16th hearing they have scheduled.
Ø Mr. LaFlamme advised that the Selectboard will also draft a letter to Whitingham and members plan on attending the hearing to voice the concerns of the residents of Halifax.
Hearing of Visitors
Ø Mr. Rafus advised that the loader will need major maintenance or replacement in the near future. He advised that it is getting antifreeze in the oil but as winter is a time when they use it less, Keith Stone thinks that it may last until spring, but they should be looking into a replacement. He further advised that a rebuilt replacement motor will cost approximately $11,000 and a rebuilt replacement transmission (which should be done at the same time) will cost approximately $13,000. That doesn’t include labor. The loader was scheduled for replacement in fiscal year 2008 but it was put off in an effort to keep the budget contained. He advised that a new loader costs in the range of $118,000 for “bare bones” to $135,000. It depends on the options required. Mr. Rafus will look into obtaining a used loader. The Board will consider the options over the next month or more.
Ø Constable Rice advised that there have been a series of events of vandalism on Collins Road over the past several weeks. He advised they have an idea of the perpetrators and are continuing to investigate. He also advised that the recent “partying” at the four-town monument has been hopefully “nipped in the bud”.
Ø Mr. Rice noted that certain roads in town are too narrow in spots to safely allow for roadside parking. In the winter when snow banks cover the sides of the road leaving basically only the travelled portion of the road clear he can issue tickets, however at other times of the year he cannot as long as they are off the travelled portion. A short discussion regarding the development of an ordinance creating no parking zones in certain areas of the town followed. The Board will research this further to decide what, if any, action to take.
Ø Old County Road North.
Mr. LaFlamme advised that they had discussed writing a letter to the property owner of land at the end of Old County Road North, regarding the obstruction of the turn around area usually used by the road crew. The logger who is working on that property has been approached, however the area has not been cleared. Mr. LaFlamme requested that the secretary write a letter notifying the landowner of the situation.
Ø The Selectboard report for inclusion in the Annual Town Report will be drafted by the secretary and the Board will review it at the first budget work session scheduled for December 10th. A short discussion of what to include followed.
Ø Work Sessions for budget preparation were scheduled for December 10 and 17, 2009 at 7:30 PM.
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 8:33 PM.
Phyllis H. Evanuk