Water and Sewer Commission Members Present: Allen Hitchcock, John Lapre, Hope Rantanen, and Helen McKinlay. Others present: Bob Berardo, Bruce Babcock, Mike Smith (6:40 PM), Tom Hooker (6:47 PM), John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary.
Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chairman called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.
The minutes from the July 7, 2009 meeting were signed with minor corrections.
Town Managers Report:
- J. Haverstock reported on the following:
- A copy of the draft newsletter article explaining the water rate increase and timetable were inserted in the packets for review. The first increase will occur in the July, 2010 billing cycle and the final increase will occur once the construction is complete. There will also be an insert in the next water billing. A. Hitchcock indicated that the metering will raise concerns once people are charged for actual usage.
- Shawn Hendee, the newly appointed employee, will begin work on August 10. Mr. Hendee will be invited to meet the members of the Commission at the August 18, 2009 meeting.
- The Water & Sewer Operators will be assisting with the licensing recommendations for Mr. Hendee. A. Hitchcock indicated that the licensing should be scheduled ahead of time. J. Haverstock indicated that he is recommending that Mr. Hendee have a year on the job before being enrolled in any certification classes.
- Answers to some questions to Mark Youngstrom were included in the packet for review.
- There was also correspondence from Sue Feenick from the Proctor Select Board included in the packets. There was some discussion concerning potential changes to the Proctor water system and their possible impacts upon Pittsford residents.
None presented at this time.
Update on Water Project Funding:
The USDA and Rural Development have approved the loan and grant funding. The bids will go out on July 24, 2009 with the bid opening on August 25, 2009.
A letter was received from a local resident expressing concern about the project and a reluctance to provide an easement. These concerns were addressed by Mark Youngstrom and J. Haverstock and the rights of way will remain in the State’s areas.
J. Haverstock has been in communication with Robin Rowe concerning the priorities of the upcoming water project. There was discussion, which has been communicated to Ms. Rowe, that the Town is not setting priorities to the bidding construction companies due to the concern of costs possibly being incurred.
Discussion of Sludge Handling and Digester Covering:
Mike Smith of Weston & Sampson was present to discuss the funding that may be available for the sludge handling project. Currently, there is 57% funding available for this project. Mr. Smith discussed this and explained that a bond vote would be necessary to move forward to take advantage of this funding and, in the event the bond vote was successful, the Town would need to demonstrate that the funds are available to pay for the entire project, then, be reimbursed for the project. A. Hitchcock inquired about the timeframe for the funding availability for the project. Mr. Smith indicated that there is no deadline. The estimate for the sludge handling upgrade project is roughly $100,000. The design could possibly be completed in 2 – 3 weeks. A. Hitchcock requested that J. Haverstock research funding with H. McKinlay and report back at the next meeting.
There was discussion concerning the Digester Covers. Mr. Smith explained the need for covers and the available options were explained to the members of the Commission. A. Hitchcock recommended that the project move forward with design. Mr. Smith explained the various funding requirements and the final design will be presented at the August 18, 2009 meeting.
The possible dates for the Smoke Testing are the week of August 10, 2009. There will be adequate notices posted and the residents will be notified of the project prior to the smoke testing occurring. There was discussion that the Fire Department, Police Department and VTRANS should be notified of the impending smoke testing.
Mike Smith, Bruce Babcock and Tom Hooker exited at 7:45 PM; Bob Berardo exited at 7:48 PM
Otter Valley Contract:
The Otter Valley System is currently requiring roughly 15 hours per week from the operators. The contract discussion was referred to Executive Session.
Water & Sewer
J. Haverstock reported that the Expenses for Pittsford water, Florence water, and Sewer are over budget. There was discussion concerning the $208,000 loan that was to cover the engineering from Otter Creek Engineering. There was $100,000 available in the FY ’09 budget from the State. J. Haverstock indicated that he will continue communications as to whether and when the balance of $108,000.00 can be expected.
J. Lapre had raised the concern of involving Peg Flory in the Railroad negotiations for the water project. J. Haverstock included communications in the packet for review.
A motion by H. Rantanen and seconded by H. McKinlay to enter into Executive Session at 7:49 PM for the purpose of Contracts. Passed unanimously. J. Haverstock was invited to remain.
There was no action coming out of Executive Session at 7:54 PM.
The meeting adjourned at 7:54 PM.
The next meeting will be held on August 18, 2009.
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chair