OFFICE OF THE SELECTBOARD
Town of Halifax, Vermont
SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
November 23, 2013
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 8:05 am at the Halifax Fire Station meeting room. Board members in attendance were Lewis Sumner, Earl Holtz, and Edee Edwards. Other present were Jessica Bruno and Brad Rafus.
The purpose of the meeting was to start working on the FY15 budget.
Edwards reported that the annual meeting warning should be posted between 1/23/14 and 2/1/14. It needs to include voter registration information and early/absentee voting information.
The Selectboard discussed the process for social service program appropriations. VLCT suggests adopting a model social service agency appropriations policy which outlines why and when a petition is needed as well as how other agencies that have already received money from the town in the past would be managed. It was noted that if an agency has received money from the town in the past and wants to change the dollar amount, they should notify the Selectboard. Voters can change dollar amounts on the floor at the annual meeting. Edwards presented a spreadsheet of expenses by category (school, town, emergency, health, seniors, etc).
The Selectboard discussed their budgetary objective. The general consensus was to keep the service level about the same but to try and cut expenses where they can. It was noted that they will need extra money for bridges, the lister re-valuation, and guardrails. The Selectboard will check with the listers as to whether the re-valuation is required or suggested but not required (by the state).
The Selectboard discussed the highway budget line by line. The group discussed overtime hours and adding a cushion for storms. The group discussed health insurance. Edwards noted that some towns are funding bonze plans with HRA’s. The Federal government offers 75% of paid premiums to employees, the private sector averages 85% coverage. With changes to the market, they don’t want to wind up at a point where they can’t offer health insurance anymore. It’s important to give a fair amount but stay on parity with what other employers are doing. It was agreed to sustain the amount of money they budgeted and see what that buys in 2015 noting that they made need to change the plan offered.
The Selectboard discussed communications including cell phones and pagers. The group discussed building repairs and maintenance noting that $13,565 is needed to cover the garage roof, and $1k is needed for the possible demolition of the old town garage. The group also discussed the equipment schedule.
Hearing of Visitors
Holtz led a discussion about the possibility of Halifax citizens having a library card at the Brattleboro library. More information is needed regarding cost.
Sumner noted that Bob Spencer from Windham Solid Waste wants to come out and explain the new regulations.
Rafus reported that two employees are still unable to get confirmed for health insurance on the new system. Edwards noted that Dow believed it was supposed to be taken care of this weekend.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:37am.