Halifax seeking grant for technology

Saturday March 16, 2013

HALIFAX -- The Selectboard has applied for a grant that could bring more technology.

"We're going to try and put our names in for (the Vermont Digital Economy Project grant)," said Selectboard Chairwoman Edee Edwards. "It's aiming to help towns, particularly those flooded in 20011, to begin using digital technology in new ways. We decided to move forward with that application."

The Vermont Council on Rural Development has offered this grant. The deadline for the application was Friday. The day before deadline, the board finished up the details.

Edwards said the board filled out the form, which detailed the types of services that the gear would support.

The Halifax Selectboard had discussed the possibility of applying for the grant on March 5.

"We've had it on our radar screen since (then)," Edwards said. On March 14, the board discussed another possibility regarding installation of Fairpoint DSL at the Halifax Town Office. The board will meet again on March 19 to discuss if it can move forward on it.

"(We've been looking at) ongoing grants to try and bring (Internet service) to the last mile in places of Halifax," said Edwards. "But we also have the opportunity to tap into new projects that will be able to use that technology when we get it."

Also on the agenda for March 19, the board will be appointing offices of paid positions. This will include a secretary, the road commissioner and emergency management director.

There are some people interested in the emergency management director position, which has been filled by both Lewis Sumner and Justin Berry.

FEMA has requested details on some of the early projects after Tropical Storm Irene, which the board discussed.

"We're continuing to close on our projects with FEMA," said Edwards. "And one of the things that can be challenging in the early days of the disaster is being able to note exactly what project you're administering administrative duties for."

The Selectboard thought it would be difficult to put that together and submit it to FEMA.

On April 17, there will be a special Town Meeting to ratify the votes that were made at Town Meeting on March 5. Since the town reports did not make it to voters on time, it is a matter of state statute that the town ratify its votes. The special meeting will be held in the Halifax Elementary School library at 7:30 p.m. It will be a joint meeting with the Halifax School Board, Selectboard and any residents who want to attend.

The board had briefly talked about a letter to unlicensed dog owners. "We have had concerns about unregistered dogs," said Edwards.

People are encouraged to register by the April 1 deadline. There will be a small late fee if a dog is not registered by then.

This year, Halifax will be sponsoring a Rabies Clinic on March 23.

On March 14, at the special Selectboard meeting, Edwards was elected chairwoman of the board. Sumner, who had previously served as chairman, was elected vice chairman.

Halifax Road Commissioner Brad Rafus said the weight limits for roads during mud season would go up as usual.

March 19 will be the next regular Halifax Selectboard meeting.

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


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