Meeting Minutes : Water and Sewer Commission

Water and Sewer Commission Members Present: Allen Hitchcock, John Lapre, Hope Rantanen, and Helen McKinlay. Others present:  Bob Berardo, Mike Smith, Robin Rowe, John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary.

Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chairman, called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.


The minutes from the September 1, 2009 meeting were signed with no corrections.

Town Managers Report:

  • The Fall Newsletter will be sent to the printer.  The deadline for submissions is September 23, 2009.  There will be a status report of the water improvement project included.
  • The Wastewater Treatment Facility has been inspected twice recently by Suzanne Pickett of the State of Vermont.  One inspection was with Bob Berardo and John Haverstock present and the second again B. Berardo, J. Haverstock and also included Mike Smith and Mr. Brian Kooiker, also from the State.

Public Comment:

None stated at this time


Update on Project Status:

The archeological work is completed and a report was included in the packets for review.

Mark Youngstrom (Otter Creek Engineering) and J. Haverstock will be meeting with Markowski Excavating Representatives on September 24, 2009 to sign the contracts for the water project.  There is anticipation that a work schedule will be presented at that time.

There will be a meeting with the residents affected by the project on the Route 7 south segment to be held on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 6:30 at the Lothrop School Gym.  Mr. Youngstrom will be present, as well as representatives from Markowski Excavating.

There is an anticipated work start date of October 1, 2009.  J. Haverstock will report if this date is delayed for any reason.

There is no information available with regard to the water metering segment of the project.  J. Haverstock will be discussing this with Mr. Youngstrom.

A. Hitchcock inquired about the status of the easements.  J. Haverstock referred this matter to Executive Session.


Review of TV/Smoke Testing Results/Next Steps:

Mike Smith was present to report that Weston & Sampson worked with the Water & Sewer Commission and Town staff to complete this project.  The testing was successful and was completed in one day.  There was nothing major detected with the smoke test.  Mr. Smith reported that there is infiltration through manhole covers.  The data is being compiled and a report will include groundwater infiltration, storm water infiltration, cost effective suggestions and recommended repairs.  The report will be compiled from data to include the smoke testing and the TV results.  Mr. Smith explained the studies and how they will be included in the report.  Mr. Smith indicated that this report is expected to be presented in 6 weeks.

Discussion of Wastewater Treatment Facility Site Visits:

Mr. Smith reported that Suzanne Pickett from the Wastewater Management Division and Brian Quaker, the Section Chief from the Wastewater Management Division visited the facility recently.  Mr. Smith indicated that the chlorine contact tank was one of the biggest concerns.  Mr. Smith indicated that a plan, with a repair schedule will be submitted to the State of Vermont before mid-December.  Mr. Smith indicated that this report will include the I & I study recommendations.  The pumps that have been put in place by Bob Berardo since the report was submitted by Ms. Pickett were discussed.

The peak flows were discussed and how they would be included in the report to the State.

J. Lapre inquired if there were elapsed time meters on the pumps.  B. Berardo explained that these meters are in place.

A recommendation was made to further investigate the pump station spikes that are occurring and this will assist with the collection of data to be included in the State report to be presented.  B. Berardo indicated that he will be working with A-1 to investigate some possibilities at Elm Street in the next month or so.  B. Berardo indicated that there could possibly be some issue with tree roots getting into the system, thus, causing infiltration.  There was discussion that this has been noted in locations in Town and Bruce Babcock has recommended that A-1 be contacted a couple of times per year to hopefully prevent this issue.

A. Hitchcock indicated that if any issues arise with meeting the mid-December reporting deadline, J. Haverstock should be contacted immediately.

J. Lapre inquired if there is 30,000 gallons average of infiltration.  Mr. Smith indicated that he is not at a point to recommend any repairs on this issue.

Discussion of Chlorine Contact Options:

Mr. Smith discussed the plans that were presented.  Bob Berardo will review the plans and report back any concerns before the bid process begins.  These plans included the cover systems.  The proposed cover system is to be built of a nylon/poly blend material with the seams to be heat fused.  The frame will be built of aluminum.  The spaces required by the manufacturer were discussed.  Mr. Smith presented information from the manufacturer for review.  The consensus of the members of the Commission was to specify that there is no commitment to constructing the entire package as presented at the time of bid.  Mr. Smith indicated that the numbers included in the presentation were strictly budgetary.

B. Berardo proposed the possibility of a sludge thickener.  A. Hitchcock asked for an explanation of this process, which Mr. Berardo presented.

A. Hitchcock led discussion regarding the amount spent in removing the sludge from the facility.

J. Haverstock reminded the members of the Commission that the covers for the blowers have not been designed nor built.

Discussion of OVUHS Issues:

J. Haverstock reported that there is on-going frustration at Otter Valley with regard to safety issues.  J. Haverstock reported that he has spoken with Mr. Smith regarding these frustrations.

B. Berardo reported that Otter Valley was going to upgrade the facility and the lagoon levels were lowered in anticipation of this project.  The chemical room is inadequate.  B. Berardo reported that there is deterioration within the chemical room.  These concerns have been relayed to Nancy Robinson from Otter Valley, as well as Rob Naylor.  Liz Dickson from the State has inspected this facility and noted that there are electrical cables, screws, and wires that are rusting; a grate that is unsafe with a hole.  Mr. Berardo indicated that the containment cells are not adequate because they are a containment cell within a containment.  The chemical supplier had a problem with delivering the chemicals due to the cramped spacing.  A copy of the report will be on file for future reference.  B. Berardo indicated that Otter Valley is taking a great deal of time.  The design was discussed, including the ventilation and safety issues.

Mr. Smith indicated that he designed the areas discussed and the area was designed to be delivered in small containers, and the chemicals are being ordered in larger quantities, due to cost savings.  Mr. Smith indicated that the tanks were not delivered as he anticipated they would be and the operators are having to use broom handles to measure, due to the lack of graduation markings.  Mr. Smith reported that the final cost estimation is due at Otter Valley by November 1, 2009; specs due by December 15, 2009; and construction to begin prior to school ending in June 2010.

J. Haverstock reported that Otter Valley is aware that the more time that Jack Shedd and Bob Berardo spend there, the greater the need to adjust future contracts.

A. Hitchcock advised that if there are any issues with the time lines at Otter Valley, to advise J. Haverstock immediately.

Review of WWTF Flow Report:

No issues noted.

Mr. Smith and B. Berardo exited at 7:43 PM.

Water and Sewer:

Consider Requests for Abatement of Penalties/Interest on “Late” Utility Payments:

J. Haverstock reported that some residents expressed concerns that some checks were not received and this could possibly be a Postal Service issue.  Motion by J. Lapre and seconded by H. Rantanen to abate the following amounts:

  • Elinor Pike – $34.62
  • Evelyn Parker – $34.20
  • Maclure Library – $34.20
  • Markowski Excavating – $18.27

H. McKinlay reported that there has been a limit of $10 below which staff may abate penalties and interest without Commission action.

Passed unanimously 4 – 0.


J. Haverstock inquired if the Commission should be meeting more frequently during the construction period.  The consensus was to call a special meeting as required.

Executive Session

Motion by H. McKinlay and seconded by H. Rantanen to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of Contacts and Legal.  The Water and Sewer Commission entered into Executive Session at 7:49 PM.  J. Haverstock was invited to stay.

The Water and Sewer Commission came out of Executive Session at 7:55 PM with no action taken.


The meeting adjourned at 7:56 PM.

The next meeting will be held on October 20, 2009.

Respectfully Submitted

Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary

Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chair

Hope Rantanen

Helen McKinlay

John Lapre