The Halifax Board of Selectmen met briefly on Monday, Oct. 19 for one of their extra meetings they have been conducting during the ongoing pandemic. These meetings are used to discuss anything COVID related as well as any other ongoing issues that were not able to be dealt with during their regular Thursday meetings. With Board of Health agent Bob Valery absent, the COVID discussion was limited.
The Board met with Corey Monti, a contractor hired to remove material from John Peck’s property at 415 Plymouth St. Town Administrator Charlie Seelig said that there has been confusion regarding the nature of the material to be removed. “It has been described, at various times, as compost, manure, wood chips, leaves,” Seelig said. The concern for the selectmen is whether or not the material falls under the category of soil/earth removal. There have been issues in the past with earth removal on the Peck property without proper permits. If the material in question this time does not fall under soil/earth removal, it won’t require a permit. If it is discovered, however, that it does, an application will have to be filed in accordance with the by-law.
Previously, John Peck’s son Joe Peck had appeared before the Board to reconcile issues pertaining to earth removal. At the time, Joe had assured the Board that moving forward he would be the one handling such activities. Selectman Gordon Andrews referenced this assurance saying, “The only question I would have is that Joey represented to us before that it was all in his control?” Seelig said he was unsure who was behind the action being taken currently but said he had verified that John Peck is the trustee of the family trust making him in charge technically.
When asked how much material would be removed, Monti said, “hard to say.” Seelig also asked if material had been brought from other places to 415 Plymouth St. Monti was again somewhat vague saying, “not really.”
The Board decided that the best course of action would be for the Board to meet at the property to ascertain for themselves the nature of the material being removed. The Board scheduled the visit for Monday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m.
Seelig asked the Board to make a decision regarding a contract with Greenwood Emergency Vehicles for production of a new fire pumper. Multiple payment options were presented to the Board. Seelig said in the past, the town would usually pay fifty percent up front and then fifty percent upon completion. The Board unanimously voted, however, to pay the full amount up front in order to secure the town a 2.75 percent discount that is favorable given current interest rates. The cost of the new pumper is $555,000.
The Board also signed the new contracts with the Fire and Police Chiefs during Monday’s meeting. The terms of the contract had previously been approved at town meeting.