Halifax closes on Irene loan


HALIFAX -- A request coming from the town's treasurer to close out a temporary loan, which was used for funding Tropical Storm recovery efforts, left Selectboard members feeling accomplished.

"We're glad to have reached that milestone," said Halifax Selectboard Chairwoman Edee Edwards. "We're still expecting funds for remaining projects but it's nice not having a short-term loan."

On Oct. 1, the Halifax Selectboard held its regular meeting, where Treasurer Patricia Dow presented the board with paperwork for closing on the temporary loan. Edwards told the Reformer that the town had a little more than $400,000 to pay off on that loan.

"With our recent tax collection and money received from the state, we could pay that off," said Edwards.

After Irene, the state had assisted towns like Halifax with obtaining loans from local banks, which could not have been covered on a small town's budget.

According to Halifax EMS Chief Christina Moore, Halifax is a town with an annual operating budget of $800,000 and it spent over $4.2 million recovering from the storm. In August, the town had collectively received $3.6 million from the state and FEMA for Irene recovery efforts.

At the same meeting, the Selectboard discussed issues with road names and signs.

"Halifax has a number of roads where the middle of the road has been discontinued," said Edwards.

She said the concerns mostly stem from emergency services "having to go around quite a long distance," which can also cause confusion for first responders.

During the meeting, the board was able to round up a group of volunteers to look at the roads. The first step will be prioritizing the roads that need clarification.

Another step may require the town to rename some of those roads for the sake of first responders.

"Some of the roads have no structures on it," Edwards said. "Some may have permanent residents, some seasonal. We need to get an understanding of what roads are a problem."

Examples of roads that the volunteers will look at include Old County Road, Hale Road and Josh Road. Seven more roads came to the attention of the Selectboard during discussion, Edwards said.

The group of volunteers was mostly made up of emergency services workers.

"We realize we need to get the public involved as well," said Edwards. "Obviously we use our addresses for a variety of reasons. Renaming is always difficult to do."

The signage issues also involve other neighboring towns such as Marlboro, where it can be unclear which town the roads are actually located in.

Edwards said she didn't know how long the process will take.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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