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:  Mark Youngstrom (Otter Creek Engineering), Bruce Babcock, Bob Berardo, Mike Smith, Chuck Charbonneau, John Reardon, John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary.

David Markowski, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 8:00 PM.  D. Markowski wanted to thank everyone involved in the passing of the Bond Vote.  The results were 136 – 89.


The minutes of the April 21, 2009 meeting were reviewed and will be signed at the June 16, 2009 meeting with some clarifications corrected.  The minutes from the April 28, 2009 Public Informational meeting were signed with no corrections.  The minutes of the May 11, 2009 special meeting were signed with no correction.

Town Managers Report:

J. Haverstock reported on the following:

  • J. Haverstock thanked all involved with the Water Bond vote results.

Public Comment:

J. Reardon asked for clarification on the Furnace Road segment of the water project.  D. Markowski explained that there would be approximately 450′ upgraded due a shallow line freezing in the winter.

Mike Smith expressed congratulations on passing of the bond vote and expressed that, given the state of the economy, this passage is a major accomplishment.


Status Report Update on Water Project Engineering:

Mr. Youngstrom indicated that the design is done, with the exception of some electrical design at the Florence location.  These have been sent to the Permitting agencies for review.  Mr. Youngstrom asked Bruce Babcock to review and comment, preferably done in the next 3 weeks so the project can continue.  The Rural Development funding application is being compiled.  These documents will be forwarded to J. Haverstock for completion.  Mr. Youngstrom indicated that the 45% grant is available, based on the positive bond vote.  Mr. Youngstrom will advise Rural Development of the positive bond vote results.  Mr. Youngstrom indicated that he will be meeting with regulators regarding the wetlands impacts on Wednesday, May 20 and invited any members of the Commission to attend.  Mr. Youngstrom indicated that he would like to meet with OMYA representatives regarding the railroad underpass.  Mr. Youngstrom asked J. Haverstock to coordinate this meeting.  Mr. Youngstrom indicated that the railroad permit may take some time to obtain and may require a new lease agreement with the Town.  J. Lapre inquired who owned the spur near OMYA.  Mr. Youngstrom indicated that according to the State, this spur is the property of OMYA.  There was discussion regarding easements in this area.

Mr. Youngstrom indicated that the advertisements will occur on July 1 for bids.

D. Markowski indicated that he will meet with J. Haverstock with regard to the easements.  Currently, every one that is involved has expressed a verbal agreement, just waiting for the official agreements to be drafted and signed.  There are some very minor conditions expressed with the easements.  Mr. Youngstrom indicated that he will be in contact with Attorney Jack Facey with regard to this.

J. Lapre inquired if the copy of the plans that were received would be given to the members of the Commission.  J. Haverstock indicated that the originals are available for review.  D. Markowski inquired if the Commission would like to meet to review the plans, to include Bruce Babcock in reviewing these plans.  The meeting is scheduled for June 9 at 6:00 PM.  Mr. Youngstrom will make additional copies for review.

D. Markowski expressed “thank you” to Mark Youngstrom for all of his efforts.

Wastewater Treatment:

Wastewater Discharge Report:

The April 2009 discharge report was reviewed and discussed.  There were some spikes noted at Depot Hill.

Bruce Babcock inquired about the status of the Police Academy sewer allocation.  D. Markowski and J. Haverstock reported that information has been requested and has not been received.

Status Report on TV Camera Imaging of Sewer Lines for I/I Study:

Mr. Smith gave history of the project and indicated that the flow monitoring occurred in the spring of 2008.  Some locations of possible infiltration were in the areas of the Plains Road, southern end of Arch Street, and along Route 7.  There were also some collection system inspections, which included manhole inspections.  Some mapping was updated, ground water monitoring was completed by Bruce Babcock, and rainfall monitoring was completed.  There was some TV imaging done in the spring of 2009 along Arch Street, Elm Street, and Depot Hill Road from the intersection of Route 7 to the pump station.  There were significant defects in the pipe shown.  There will be a report submitted to prioritize recommended repairs.

The proposal did not include the smoke test.  The cost estimate of this portion of the project would range between $4,000 to $5,000.  There were other portions that were lower in cost through the other segments of the testing from which the funds could come(e.g. flow isolation was at about 1/2 of the proposed budget).

D. Markowski inquired if the TV portion found the main lines structurally intact.  Mr. Smith indicated that the pipe is asbestos cement pipe and there were no indication of any really poor conditions noted.  Bob Berardo and Bruce Babcock assisted in the TV portion of the work.  B. Babcock indicated that the pipe was actually broken near the fire station, which has been dug up and repaired.  There was discussion regarding this testing.  There were some segments of pipe on Arch Street that Green Mountain Pipeline could not view. A-1 Sewer was called in and found some pipe in poor condition.

A. Hitchcock inquired about the status of the manhole inspections.  Mr. Smith indicated that the Route 7 section is not leaking too badly.  There will be a report on each manhole submitted with the completed reports.  J. Haverstock inquired if there were any manholes that needed the cover holes plugged.  Mr. Smith explained that there were some manholes that needed to be plugged because there are tire ruts that the water runs and goes right into the manholes.  Bob Berardo explained that some of the manholes were sealed with use of a common caulk.

Mr. Youngstrom inquired if there was any conclusion on Pleasant Street or Mechanic Street.  The water line will be going through there and the sewer line can be replaced at the same time for maximum cost savings.  D. Markowski asked Weston & Sampson to be in communication with Otter Creek Engineering.

A. Hitchcock inquired whether the flow metering surges were related to rain events.  Mr. Smith indicated that there was some metering that did pick up some serious infiltration.  There was some indication that this could be possibly be a pump station discharge.  There was discussion that there could be some discharge from the Maxham’s pump station.  There was also a spike that was not related to Maxham’s and occurred on southern Arch Street.  There was discussion regarding the pump station ownership at Maxham’s.  Bruce Babcock indicated that that particular pump station is not the property of the Town.

Bob Berardo explained that the issue may be due to flapper valve and explained the process by which one functions.  Mr. Berardo recommended replacing the flapper valve system with a reach rod system.

J. Lapre inquired if Rural Development might cover the small sewer project on Mechanic Street.  Mr. Youngstrom will inquire and report back at a future meeting.

D. Markowski inquired if August was the target time for smoke testing.  Mr. Smith indicated that the weather must be dry for the testing to be effective.

Mr. Smith recommended a house-to-house survey to locate sump pumps.  Bruce Babcock indicated that this has happened in the past and Linda Drummond has the forms that the residents signed at the last survey.  A. Hitchcock inquired how many were located at the last survey.  Mr. Babcock stated that there were roughly 6 at the most.  Mr. Babcock indicated that there may be some underground drains that could be causing some infiltration, as well as some roof drains.

Mr. Babcock indicated that Brandon has a machine that can be used for the project and which was offered in the past.

J. Haverstock inquired who would notify residents about the potential testing.  Mr. Smith indicated that he has extensive experience in this and would handle the advertising, which will include the make-up of the smoke, what to do if you see smoke and who to call.

A. Hitchcock inquired if the testing could be done sooner than August if the weather cooperates.  Mr. Smith indicated that this could be done sooner if the weather cooperates and only takes roughly one day.

Motion by A. Hitchcock and seconded by H. Rantanen to authorize an estimated value of $5,000 for the smoke testing to occur in August or before.  J. Haverstock inquired what the lead time required would be.  Mr. Smith indicated that the Town personnel could perform this test, with Mr. Smith’s assistance and there would be a short lead time; Weston & Sampson has a company that comes from Massachusetts and could be costly; or Green Mountain Pipeline could perform the test.  The second option allows very little flexibility due to scheduling.  H. Rantanen suggested getting the information out to the public and A. Hitchcock stated that a time frame should be indicated when posting the advertisement.  J. Lapre inquired how many employees of the Town would be required.  Mr. Smith indicated that two town employees and the traffic flaggers, plus he could do the project.  Mr. Smith also indicated that the fire department should be informed of the project.  Mr. Babcock indicated that he would communicate with Mr. Hooker and possibly obtain a fire radio to advise differently if a call goes out of smoke being seen.  Motion passed unanimously.

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

Mr. Smith reported the history of the project.  The first issue is to review the sludge pumping from the aerobic digesters to load the trucks for disposal off-site.  The second issue is to build a chlorine contact chamber to meet State standards.

The chlorine contact chamber piece will be on hold until the I/I study has been completed as the State is going to allow the Town to take a credit for identifying inflow sources, such as sump pumps and manholes.

The sludge pumping study was reviewed.  Bob Berardo recommended a submersible pump being installed.  Mr. Smith explained the process that was recommended and stated that there would be no outside excavation.  The sludge would be “thickened,” thus removing more water prior to trucking the solids for processing off-site.  The ice in the digesters is causing an issue due to thickness of approximately 1 foot.  There was discussion regarding this issue.  Mr. Smith indicated that Kathleen Ramsay was given the information on this project in December 2007 showing a steel pipe frame and fabric cover, which cost roughly $20,000.

A. Hitchcock indicated that this would be beneficial to the functionality.  Mr. Berardo explained the process.  Mr. Berardo indicated that the covering would be removed in the summer time and cleaned until needed in the winter months.

J. Lapre inquired about a baffle system being installed.  Mr. Smith explained that the baffle system would not allow for movement of the system and the process occurring.  The suction would have a riser that could be tipped into the water to draw the water down.  D. Markowski indicated that there is no cover now.  Mr. Smith indicated that the digesters are not operating properly and the water content is higher than necessary.  A. Hitchcock indicated that there was previous discussion of building a platform for truck loading and inquired if this was still necessary.  Mr. Smith will research and report back at a future meeting.  J. Haverstock inquired if there was a color required for the cover to help with the melting of the ice.  Mr. Smith indicated that there is currently air blown from the bottom of the tanks, which is warmer air to help with the heating.  D. Markowski inquired what the size of the area is.  Mr. Berardo stated roughly 10′ X 30′.  Mr. Smith explained that there is a 3′ difference between the inside and the outside of the walls.  D. Markowski inquired if a portable garage would serve the same purpose.  Mr. Babcock indicated that the snow is heavy and may not withstand the weight.  There was discussion regarding the covering of the area.  J. Haverstock will forward a copy of an e-mail proposal for review and discussion at a future meeting.
J. Haverstock inquired if there was any price quote for the submersible pump system.  Mr. Smith indicated that there has been no firm price proposed, however, roughly $50,000 should be sufficient.  The Commission will discuss this topic at the June 9 meeting.

Bob Berardo, Bruce Babcock, Mark Youngstrom, Mike Smith, John Reardon, and Chuck Charbonneau exited at 9:23 PM.

Water & Sewer

Budget Update:

J. Haverstock reported that all budgets are on track with regard to both Pittsford and Florence.  The sewer budget also appears to be on track.

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. Lapre inquired about the rate structure for future billings.  Following much discussion, J. Haverstock indicated that he will research and report back.  A. Hitchcock indicated that the loan will not be payable until the construction is completed.

A motion by A. Hitchcock and seconded by H. McKinlay to enter into Executive Session at 9:29 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 9:55 PM.


There was no action coming out of Executive Session at 9:55 PM.

The next special meeting will be held on June 9, 2009 at 6:00 PM.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on June 23, 2009 at 6:30 PM.

Respectfully Submitted

Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary

David Markowski, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chair

Hope Rantanen

Helen McKinlay

John Lapre