No fooling around at first April meeting
by Margo Avakian
Apr 07, 2014 | 3922 views | 0 0 comments | 95 95 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HALIFAX- After welcoming new board secretary Robin Gabriel, the selectboard dealt swiftly with a clutch of overweight permits and moved right along to a vote on the construction contract for the Old County North Bridge. The contract, for $359,231, was awarded to M.E. La Tulippe Construction, of Ashland, NH. Voting had been deferred in hopes of finding a way to bring the project in for less, but board member Edee Edwards reported that the design firm, Holden Engineering, has assured her that is not feasible. Edwards noted that Holden “will assemble the construction contracts.” Billing will also be done through Holden, which has primary oversight responsibility. According to town attorney Robert Fisher, Edwards said, the necessary easements from abutting property owners “are in process.”

The board re-appointed Tristan Roberts as energy coordinator, and Edwards to the broadband/economic development committee. No appointment could be made to the Rescue, Inc. board, as no one approached by the board wished to take that job on. Edwards said that Halifax EMS chief Christina Moore told her Rescue is in transition and suggested “sitting it out.” Edwards said she is not comfortable with relinquishing the town’s voice on the board. Board member Earl Holtz agreed. Edwards said she would volunteer, but the Rescue meeting schedule conflicts with the selectboard’s regular meeting schedule. For the time being, the board was forced to let the matter lie.

Holtz asked whether the town will need to take out a short-term loan in light of the upcoming bridge construction, which will probably be completed before taxes are due. Board chair Lewis Sumner said that town treasurer Patricia Dow does not feel a loan is needed at this time. Much depends on when the final payment from FEMA arrives. There was some delay over a close-out document from Southern Vermont Engineering, which was apparently emailed but not received. That document has now been received and submitted.

The board also listed its tasks for the upcoming quarter, including oversight of the bridge project, revision of the town’s personnel policy, and writing a formal position description for an administrative assistant. Other tasks identified will be delegated to the planning commission, the highway department, the emergency management directors, and the broadband committee.

In other business, the board discussed the need to support the planning commission in its upcoming revision of zoning regulations and Holtz’s suggestion that an “elastomer expert” evaluate the leaky garage roof to see if coating it “is a viable solution.” No action was taken on those items.

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