OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
May 5, 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, and Board Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Sumner moved to accept the minutes of the April 21, 2009 meeting as written.
Mr. Green seconded the motion.
The motion carried 3-0, and the minutes were approved.
Hearing of Visitors
1. Mr. Rafus advised that they are continuing with the cleanup of brush and debris from the ice storm. He advised that because a complaint had been received, the State has ordered them to stop burning the brush, even though FEMA work orders direct them to burn. He will apply for a state permit to burn, but in the meanwhile the brush is “piling up”.
1. Update Employee Handbook
Mr. LaFlamme advised that they had met with the Road Crew for performance reviews and they understood why there would not be any merit raises. They were asked for their input regarding changes to the current holidays and they advised they would prefer that they remain the same.
The Board continued reviewing the current employee policies and discussed bereavement leave. It was agreed that for immediate family members (spouse, parents, children) an employee should be given 3 days leave, and for siblings 1 day.
The changes to the handbook will be put in draft form and them reviewed by the Board for discussion and acceptance at a future meeting.
1. Trees on Deer Park Road
A complaint was received about the number of trees being cut down (more than the ones that were tagged), and that the stumps were left too high.
Mr. Rafus advised that the only trees removed were ones that were damaged and sometimes trees do not appear to be damaged until the tagged ones in front are removed. The State won’t let them bury the stumps anymore, so they were left higher to allow them to be pulled out. The Road Crew will be removing the stumps. As far as the number of trees being removed, they are preparing to upgrade the road and the trees in the right of way need to be cleared.
2. Gravel Bank
Mr. Rafus advised that the Town-owned gravel bank has stone that is too big to be crushed by the two contractors he has consulted with. Their crushers are not big enough. He advised that Rob Mitchell has the necessary equipment, but will not do small jobs. It takes 3 days to bring in and set up the equipment so he wants to do around 20,000 yards. He advised they might be able to work a deal with him. He advised that there is $30,000 allotted in the budget for gravel. One suggestion he put out was to spend about $10,000 this summer to buy gravel and then in the spring, if Mr. Mitchell is willing, contract with him and pay for it over two fiscal years. He advised that Mr. Mitchell had done this for the town once before, spreading payment over two budget years. If this can be done it would provide about 3 years worth of gravel, which would be a substantial savings for the town.
Mr. Rafus advised that he will talk with him again.
Regarding State grants for paving no amounts have been approved yet, as the legislature has not approved the budget.
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 8:18 PM.
Phyllis H. Evanuk