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 (6:25 PM), John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary.
David Markowski, Chairman called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM.
Funding Options for Proposed Water Project
Mark Youngstrom reported that the permit plans and contract documents are expected to be submitted to the State of Vermont on May 15, 2009.
Mr. Youngstrom presented updated cost possibilities for review. The Rural Development funding has confirmed a 45% grant, with the balance of the funding to be financed at 3.75% for 40-years. The stimulus funding through the State was also reviewed and discussed. There are currently several “conditions” that are involved with the State Stimulus funding. Mr. Youngstrom explained that the funding packages are “identical” and there is only a 4 year difference in loan term by using the Rural Development funding vs. the State funding (23 yrs. vs. 27 yrs. at the same funding rate). There was discussion that there may be an initial funding source required for $700,000 in the event that the funding is not released through the State funding source. The cost of the project will be increased by the costs of financing the $700,000, if required. There may not be a requirement to borrow initial funds by using the Rural Development source.
Mr. Youngstrom explained that the Rural Development funding is used with the loan money exhausted first, then the grant funds. Mr. Youngstrom explained that in the event of unexpected costs during construction, the funds may be increased by using more “grant” funds, if available and approved.
D. Markowski inquired if there was any opportunity for additional funding using the “Big Green” project. Mr. Youngstrom explained that this was not factored in the Rural Development Program as was incorporated in the State funding. Mr. Youngstrom explained that the requests for bids have to be out before July 1 or the Stimulus funding will be lost. The Rural Development only requires a positive bond vote. J. Haverstock inquired about the timing of the funding. Mr. Youngstrom explained that the Rural Development funding is “locked in” until the loan documents are signed.
Mr. Youngstrom explained that the contract documents are dependent on the funding source that is chosen for a particular project. Mr. Youngstrom explained his recommendation as being Rural Development package as primary; the State funding as back-up. Both funding sources should be pursued until a final decision is made.
J. Lapre inquired if the $4.725 million is “conservative”. Mr. Youngstrom feels very comfortable with this price figure. J. Haverstock inquired about the cost/benefit analysis, based on whether overruns are likely. Mr. Youngstrom explained that the project is expected to be within budget, however, additional grant funding may be available through Rural Development if there are cost overruns.
D. Markowski inquired if Rural Development has an approval timing. Mr. Youngstrom explained that there is funding available and the funding needs to be locked in. The documents will be submitted on May 15. Mr. Youngstrom explained the Rural Development process for locking in the funding.
Motion by A. Hitchcock and seconded by H. Rantanen to accept Rural Development as the primary source of funding for the proposed water project. D. Markowski amended the motion to include the State stimulus funding as the back-up funding source. Motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Youngstrom explained that there are 3 easements required. J. Haverstock was asked to work with the Town Attorney to secure. Mr. Youngstrom stated that he has spoken with the involved parties. J. Haverstock will contact Jack Facey or Jim Carroll. Mr. Youngstrom will also forward information to the attorney chosen. D. Markowski stated that he will also meet with the landowners.
The UVM Archeological Services have identified sensitive areas. UVM has given the Town an agreement for work on these areas with an estimate of $11,000 – $12,000. There is a possibility of reimbursement by the State. The Commission members agreed to proceed.
The design review is currently 80 – 90% complete. Bruce Babcock will review, as well as Rural Development, Water Supply Division, Stormwater and Corrosion Control, Water Quality. The Army Corps may be required due to the construction below Otter Creek. VTRANS Utility and VTRANS Power division will also be contacted.
J. Haverstock will review the FEMA regs and be in contact with Mr. Youngstrom.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:35 PM for members to attend the Public Informational Meeting.
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