Meeting Minutes : Water and Sewer Commission

Water and Sewer Commission Members Present  David Markowski, Chair, Allen Hitchcock, John Lapre, Hope Rantanen, and Helen McKinlay. Others present:  Tom Carrara (6:52 PM) John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard,  Recording Secretary.

David Markowski, Chairman called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.


The minutes of the December 16, 2008 meeting were signed with no corrections.

Town Manager’s Report

J. Haverstock reported the following:

  • On January 15, 2009, there was an aeration tank at the Wastewater Treatment Facility that was off-line due to icing up.  The tank was able to thaw on January 19 and Messrs. Berardo and Shedd made repairs to the line. Bob Berardo and Jack Shedd were thanked for working on this project.
  • Some e-mail correspondence has been sent to the Legislators regarding the stimulus proposals with regard to the Water System Upgrades and potential for funding.  More information and proposals will be forwarded to the Legislators when they are received.  Currently, Pittsford is on the lists maintained by VLCT/the Rutland Region and State agencies for funding.
  • The Town Winter Newsletter article was reviewed. The topic of this article was regarding foreign objects that have been located within the system, e.g. medication vials and syringes.
  • The Water Study’s proposed upgrades have been communicated to the users via their recent water and sewer bills, Newsletter articles, the Town Report, e-mail to the Legislators and the website.  A possible public forum, to be guided by Mark Youngstrom, may be necessary.  D. Markowski inquired if this would possibly occur in April or May and would be considered as a “stand alone” meeting.  A. Hitchcock agreed that a separate meeting would be more beneficial.  D. Markowski would like to have a date set prior to Town Meeting for the benefit of the public and possibly add the date to the Newsletter.

Public Comment

None at this time.


Water Study Status:

An e-mail was received from Mark Youngstrom for the Commission members to review.  Mr. Youngstrom indicated that the aerial photo opportunity was “missed.”  Maps are available for use from a variety of sources, from the State as well as the Town archives.  There is still a possibility of upgrading the water lines for increased pressure and flow during the summertime construction season.  Mr. Youngstrom, as well as his assistant Tyler, were in Florence last week to review the system there.  D. Markowski inquired if the aerial “miss” would impact the overall engineering and if the timeline would also fall within the Stimulus Project.  J. Haverstock indicated that hopefully “yes” as it is the belief that the approvals would be based on “shovel ready” projects.  D. Markowski indicated that he believes that the projects have 120-day timeframe to begin construction.  There was discussion regarding the 120-day topic.  J. Haverstock reported that the preliminary engineering cost was included in the packets, totaling $208,000.  There was discussion regarding the phases.  The bid and the construction phases were not included in this amount.  J. Haverstock reported that he has been in communication with Eric Law from Vermont Rural Water and there is a possibility of extending the existing loans in the amount of $100,000 this year and $108,000 within the next fiscal year.    J. Haverstock indicated that these additional borrowed funds could be added to grants or low interest loans for the upgrade projects.  J. Haverstock will research to see if the Kendall Hill portion is included in the proposal.  J. Haverstock indicated that he would invite Mr. Youngstrom to the next Water and Sewer Commission meeting.  Motion by A. Hitchcock and seconded by H. McKinlay to authorize J. Haverstock to sign the amendment to the existing loan. Passed unanimously.

Act 250:

A letter was included in the packets from Bruce Babcock to the State of Vermont regarding the Fire Academy expansion for classrooms.  The letter indicates that there would be no adverse impact on the water system.  A more definitive letter will be sent.  Motion by H. Rantanen and seconded by H. McKinlay to move forward with a more definitive letter to be sent to the State of Vermont from Mr. Babcock.  A. Hitchcock inquired if the State has indicated their ambition beyond the current status and continue adding capacity.  J. Haverstock indicated he would speak with RJ Elrick regarding this project.  The sewer capacity suggests an increase in the water usage in the future.  J. Haverstock indicated that relatively little of the land that is owned has been developed.  Passed unanimously.

Wastewater Treatment

Discharge Report – December 2008:

There was discussion regarding the numbers that were included on the report.  J. Haverstock stated that the ground water infiltration has slowed due to the colder temperatures.  J. Lapre inquired if there is any recording of daily inflow or daily temperatures.  J. Haverstock stated that he would request this from the operators.  A. Hitchcock indicated that he believes that this information is currently being collected.  A. Hitchcock stated that there was another increase in flow at the Depot Hill station.  J. Haverstock reported that Bruce Babcock and Bob Berardo also noted this.  There was a collection of grease and debris noted by Mr. Babcock and Mr. Berardo.

Currently, there is a 19,500 uncommitted reserve capacity.  There was discussion regarding this and that the spring “flow” will be coming.

Status Report on Wastewater Treatment Facility Engineering for Sludge Removal and Chlorine Contact:

A. Hitchcock inquired what area had frozen up.  J. Haverstock described that the wires from the office to the treatment site become brittle over time from exposure to extreme heat and sun in the summer and extreme cold in the winter.  D. Markowski suggested that Mike Smith be reminded that this project has become more “urgent” than originally thought.

Ventilation and Blower Issues:

J. Haverstock reported that Clayton Lamson from Ground-Up Engineering has sent some communications for review.  J. Haverstock gave a history of the project.  There was discussion regarding to the frequency of an operator being in the Chemical Room.  J. Haverstock reported on the various options that have been proposed for the project.  A. Hitchcock expressed concern that heating costs would be increased with the installation of the louvers.  J. Haverstock suggested that he and D. Markowski schedule a time to meet with Mr. Lamson regarding the various options of this project.  A. Hitchcock indicated that health of the operators was a priority consideration.  J. Lapre inquired how the proposal from Ground-Up Engineering compares to others.  J. Haverstock explained the Weston & Sampson proposal vs. the Ground-Up proposal.  Motion by H. McKinlay and seconded by H. Rantanen to spend “up to $11,900” for the engineering of this project.  T. Carrara inquired if the operators have the proper equipment to be in the Chemical Room.  D. Markowski explained that the operators had been personally fitted and approved by the State of Vermont.  Passed unanimously. J. Haverstock presented a proposal from Ground-Up Engineering to provide engineering for the construction of a structure to protect the aerators.  J. Haverstock provided history on this portion of the project.  The decision was to table this proposal due to the fact that there could be a timing issue involved, dependent on the meeting with Mr. Lamson, D. Markowski and J. Haverstock.

Water & Sewer

The FY09 budget status report was reviewed.  Currently, it appears that Pittsford is higher than anticipated on expenses.  Florence and the Sewer accounts appear to be on target.  There are 2 allocations that are listed on the handouts, one is a personal and the second is for $13,500.  H. McKinlay reported that the $13,500 allocation was billed in January, when traditionally, is billed in June.  The payment of the $13,500 is due on June 30, 2009.  D. Markowski reported that the auditors have relayed to the Select Board that the Sewer funds are is coming out of deficit status.  J. Haverstock stated that the new rates have been helpful in this regard.

Possible New Employee:

J. Haverstock reported that he would like to schedule 3 interviews with 3 candidates on January 30, during the lunchtime hour, lasting roughly 45 minutes each.  J. Haverstock reported that he would like to have 1 member of the Water & Sewer Commission present, as well as Bruce Babcock.  D. Markowski volunteered to represent the Water and Sewer Commission.

Other Business

A. Hitchcock indicated that he has had a request from Don Nickless regarding the Town Plan.  There is a section in the Plan that describes the water and sewer system.  There was discussion that parts of the Otter Creek Engineering report be used for this purpose.  J. Haverstock will forward copies of the draft to members of the Commission.

D. Markowski stated that there has been a $22,362 allocation that was not included in the fiscal year 2010 budget for the purpose of the fire hydrant replacement fund.  This item should be a recurring item.  J. Haverstock will research and adjust the budget accordingly.

Executive Session

A motion by A. Hitchcock and seconded by H. McKinlay to enter into Executive Session at 7:35 PM for the purpose of Legal and Personnel.  J. Haverstock was invited to stay for Executive Session

There was no action coming out of Executive Session at 7:50 PM.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 PM.

The next meeting will be held on February 17, 2009.

Respectfully Submitted

Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary

David Markowski, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chair

Hope Rantanen

Helen McKinlay

John Lapre