Bids, policies, and quarry top meeting
by Margo Avakian
Jun 09, 2014 | 3237 views | 0 0 comments | 92 92 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HALIFAX- After approving minutes for the half-dozen meetings held in the past two weeks, the selectboard opened bids for work on the school building roof. The town will pay for that work as part of its rental agreement with the school district.

Two bids were submitted, one for $33,700 from Eric Slade Roofing, and one for $16,800 from Kandu Construction. The board will review the details of the bids for conformity with the specifications of the bid request before awarding the job.

Arthur and Lynda Copeland told the board that Kandu has done roofing for them, and that they are very satisfied with the results.

Most of the residents attending Tuesday evening’s meeting were there to discuss the Denison quarry project, in particular a proposed traffic study. Board member Edee Edwards said she has been advised to call District 2 Environmental Commission coordinator April Hensel to discuss the town’s concerns and ask if the study is warranted, and to confirm whether the town must pay for it or if the cost must be borne by the applicant. Sue Kelly asked what specific concerns would be discussed with Hensel.

Traffic, damage to the road, and responsibility for the cost, replied Holtz. Dust, noise, culverts, the absence of guard rails, road width, and the suspension of shipments during mud season, added Edwards.

A wide-ranging discussion revealed that the status of some roads is confused and that legal definitions distinguishing class 4 roads from trails are vague. The latter may be up to individual towns to define. Lynda Copeland asked if the number of truck deliveries can be restricted, and was told that the district environmental commission can and does impose such conditions as part of the Act 250 permitting process.

Copeland was also concerned about a small stream within the proposed work area. Edwards and Holtz told her that state environmental officials have examined the site. Some culverts already are in place on the property, which has been logged for many years. Coombs expressed worry regarding sediment flow into the river. No sediment is allowed to enter the river, Holtz said.

Marilyn Allen observed that Vermont is very good about imposing such conditions, “But who checks?”

“You do,” responded Holtz, going on to say that any problems or violations observed should be reported. Board chair Lewis Sumner added that an outside engineer will check on the project annually.

Janet Taylor told the board that “Exhibit 12 (a stream alteration permit) is missing from the Act 250 application. Taylor was reminded that several items must be submitted before the application will be deemed complete.

In other matters, the board voted to adopt a revised personnel policy. Changes include extending the probationary period for new employees from six to 12 months, bringing it into line with the school policy; allowing gifts of small food items and non-alcoholic drinks; the inclusion of e-cigarettes in the tobacco use policy; and provision for selectboard oversight in cases where an employee would be working under supervision of a family member. Drugs and alcohol will be treated under a separate policy. The board will meet with employees on June 9 to discuss the changes, which will take effect on June 17.

In another personnel matter, co-emergency management director Ross Barnett has resigned. The board will post the position. Co-EMD John LaFlamme asked whether he will be regarded as the sole EMD in the interim, noting that the amount of time he can give to the work is dependent on whether he is paid for half of it or all of it. Board member Earl Holtz said his “gut reaction” was to say yes, but he wanted to think it through before coming to a decision. LaFlamme also asked who will be answering the second pager; at the moment no one seems to know where that pager is. Sumner, LaFlamme said, would probably be the default contact person until Barnett’s replacement is hired. But the board may decide to share the job on a rotating basis.

Board members will each draft a job description for the administrative assistant approved at Town Meeting. They will meet to share and compare the drafts on June 12.

Ray Coombs expressed concern with the poor condition of recently paved sections of Green River Road. Sumner told him that Lane Construction will be redoing the job. Halifax, said Sumner, was one of three places in the state where the paving mix recommended by the state did not hold up well.

There will be no cost to the town for the repair work, as it falls within the guarantee period. Holtz reported that construction of the Old County North bridge is scheduled to begin on June 16; if all goes well, it will be completed by August 15.

“LaTulippe is a well-organized company to work with,” said Holtz. “We were very impressed.”
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