Water and Sewer Commission Members Present: David Markowski, Chair, Allen Hitchcock, John Lapre, Hope Rantanen, and Helen McKinlay. Others present: Mark Youngstrom (Otter Creek Engineering), Tom Carrara, Chuck Charbonneau, David Rowe, Shannon Murray, Linda Weeden, John Weeden, John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary.
David Markowski, Chairman called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.
The minutes of the March 9, 2009 and March 17, 2009 minutes (previously approved but unsigned) were signed. The minutes for the April 7, 2009 meeting were signed with no corrections.
Town Managers Report
J. Haverstock reported on the following:
- Sue Fenick from the Proctor Select Board met with the Town Manager and Bruce Babcock regarding upgrading Proctor water systems/wells.
- Tom Brown, from the State, met with the Town Manager and Bruce Babcock, and toured the springs as part of the sanitary survey. A. Hitchcock inquired if this was for the springs and the reservoirs. J. Haverstock reported that the “tour” was just on the Pittsford system.
None stated at this time
Status Report Update on Engineering/Funding/Bond Vote:
J. Haverstock reported that the Select Board changed the bond vote to May 19, 2009; changed the amount to $4.725 million and notices reflecting the details of the proposed project have been posted in Town, the Town website, the Town Spring Newsletter, sewer and water bills, the Brandon Reporter and PEG TV videographer, Bruce Paynter, will be present at the April 28 meeting for coverage.
M. Youngstrom reported that the design is moving fast, the aerial survey is completed, the alignment and utilities are mapped; the new lines are on maps with the wetlands identified. The permitting process has begun, and the railroad permits take the longest to complete. Mr. Youngstrom reported that there were some field checks performed today and are just about complete. The Stimulus Funding process has ended and Pittsford and Florence are on the Fundable List for the grant amount of approximately $1.3 million, with the balance qualifying for a low-interest loan.
The advertisements for bids must be published by July 1, with the permits in place prior or the grants are no longer valid.
J. Haverstock inquired if there were any “problem areas”, including archeological areas. Mr. Youngstrom indicated that there were no real issues of concern. The State has funding available for further archeological investigation.
Mr. Youngstrom reported that in the event that permits are not in place or has stipulations for a certain area, e.g. railroad; work can go on, with contractors just avoiding these areas until permits are granted.
Mr. Youngstrom reported that surveying will continue on Wednesday, April 22.
J. Haverstock inquired if there was any further input on the Stimulus vs. other funding sources. Mr. Youngstrom will have this information available at the public informational meetings. Mr. Youngstrom indicated that Rural Development has funds available. There are contract document packages that are required through each funding source, which are being merged and the individual agencies are now reviewing the merged documents.
J. Lapre asked for clarification on the funding interest rates. Mr. Youngstrom explained the calculations that were presented and there would be a 0% rate. Mr. Youngstrom explained that the interest rates are on a sliding scale in relation to the average water user fees.
T. Carrara inquired if the Stantec data will be used in the project for the Route 7 north segment. Mr. Youngstrom stated that the project will be from Pinewoods to Kendall Hill and that it is doubtful that VTRANS will release funding for the segment from Plains Road to Pinewoods as this section is in the project for the Route 7 upgrades. However, there has been no information yet received to confirm this.
L. Weeden inquired about the stimulus calculations. Mr. Youngstrom explained that there is approximately $1.2 million in Stimulus grants and the remainder is from other sources. Mr. Youngstrom explained that the money will “go away” in the event that the bond vote does not pass. L. Weeden inquired if there would be another date set, in the event the original bond vote fails. D. Markowski explained that there is a timing issue and another date would not make the Town eligible for stimulus grant funds. Mr. Youngstrom indicated that the project would then go to Rural Development and there is only 45% of the project funding dollars that qualify for grants. The Rural Development funding is a 40-year loan.
T. Carrara inquired what the line to be replaced through the village. D. Markowski indicated that there are no lines being replaced through the village. Mr. Youngstrom indicated that in the event of any lines needing replacement through the village, these lines would be included in the Route 7 upgrade project.
C. Charbonneau inquired if a map would be available for review prior to the meeting. J. Haverstock will have a map available in the office for review.
D. Rowe inquired whether the easements required for the Route 7 section have been obtained. Mr. Youngstrom indicated that no easements are required as the line will remain on the Route 7 right of way. Currently, the tie-ins are being mapped with regard to this section. The line is currently on the east side of the road and there are wetlands and utility poles involved, thus, moving to the west side of the road.
May, 2009 Meeting Schedule:
There was discussion concerning the May meeting schedule, due to the Bond Vote being held on May 19, the usual meeting date of the Commission. The general consensus was to hold the meeting on May 19 at 8:00 PM, following the bond vote, due to the “compressed bid schedule”. The meeting of the Water & Sewer Commission will be held in the Listers’ Office unless the Conference Room is then available. There is a possibility of a May 18 public informational meeting, which will be determined based on the prior informational meetings (April 28 and May 11), and will be announced accordingly.
Wastewater Discharge Report:
The March 2009 discharge report was reviewed and discussed. It was noted that the 2009 spring season has been drier than average as is reflected in the report.
The WWTF chemical room ventilation project has been completed and it has been reported that the operators are quite pleased with the project results. D. Markowski explained that there was a delay in the project due to parts delays.
J. Haverstock reported that he has spoken with Mike Smith regarding this project. Mr. Smith indicated that he hopes to have a report compiled for the May 19 meeting. Mr. Smith recommended conducting a 2-day smoke test, at a cost estimated to be $4,000 – $5,000. D. Markowski spoke with regard to the Arch Street sewer section in the location of Chuck Charbonneau’s residence. J. Haverstock reported on his conversations with Bruce Babcock and Mr. Babcock has also spoken with Mr. Charbonneau. There was a 60′ section that was able to be viewed, but, not any further. Mr. Charbonneau explained his conversation with Mr. Babcock. J. Haverstock suggested inviting Mr. Babcock to the May 19 meeting to further discuss this issue.
Sludge Handling/Chlorine Contract:
J. Haverstock reported that Mr. Smith will report on these topics at the May 19 meeting as well. A. Hitchcock inquired if this would be significant changes proposed. J. Haverstock indicated that there was nothing radical being considered.
Fire Academy Sewer Allocation:
J. Haverstock, D. Markowski, and Thomas “Hank” Pelkey had a conference call recently with the State legislative committee overseeing public buildings. J. Haverstock reported that currently, the State pays $12,500 yearly for the sewer allocation. It appears that the State would like to surrender the allocation. J. Haverstock referred this topic to Executive Session. D. Markowski reported to the General Public the background of this allocation.
Water & Sewer
J. Haverstock reported that Pittsford water revenues are at 104% of budget and expenses are at 75% of; Florence Water revenues are at 77% of budget; expenses at 78% of budget; Sewer revenues are at 88% of budget; and expenses are at 81% of budget.
Efforts to Identify Possible New Employee for Water and Sewer Departments:
J. Haverstock reported that there is on-going interest and would like to refer this to Executive Session.
J. Haverstock explained that there is a supplier’s quote included in the packets that states “steel grating”. J. Haverstock reported that this was for two small portions of the catwalk above the sewage at the Wastewater Treatment Facility. The proposal amount is $1,377.52. Bob Berardo has expressed concern with the orientation of the grating (grating goes parallel and should be horizontally to the user’s footing). Mr. Berardo is involved with the Safety Committee and would like to eliminate any future risk of wintertime falls. D. Markowski inquired if this was a request or recommendation from a regulator. J. Haverstock will research and report back. The members of the Commission tabled this item to a future meeting. J. Haverstock indicated that VLCT has possibly reviewed this section of grating. A. Hitchcock inquired the regulatory status of this. T. Carrara inquired if there were hand rails installed in the area.
D. Markowski has had an inquiry about extending the water project approximately 450′ from the intersection of Furnace & Hitchcock Roads in an easterly direction on Furnace Road. There is currently a one inch galvanized line that is buried shallow and which freezes in the winter. Mr. Youngstrom will research this and report back. D. Markowski stated that he has discussed this with Bruce Babcock. A. Hitchcock indicated that this is an inadequate line.
L. Weeden inquired why the entire Pittsford taxpayers would be paying for the bond. A. Hitchcock explained that this is not the case, but that the general taxpayers do pay the “Fire Hydrant Fund”, which is paid annually, roughly $22,000. A. Hitchcock stated that this must be clarified to the general public. D. Markowski explained that this was researched early in the project; however, funding and grant money is lost if the entire Town pays for the project. Mr. Youngstrom explained that the more people that pay, the less grant funding is available.
C. Charbonneau inquired if Arch Street would be dug up. D. Markowski stated that the area of Mechanic and Pleasant Streets were the sections that would be dug up.
A motion by A. Hitchcock and seconded by H. McKinlay to enter into Executive Session at 8:15 PM for the purpose of Legal, Contracts and Personnel. Passed unanimously. J. Haverstock and Mr. Youngstrom were invited to remain.
There was no action coming out of Executive Session at 8:29 PM.
There will be public informational meetings on April 28, 2009 at 7:00 PM and May 11, 2009 at 7:00 PM at the Town Hall.
The next meeting will be held on May 19, 2009 at 8:00 PM.
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
David Markowski, Chair
Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chair