Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission

March 16, 2010

Water and Sewer Commission Members Present – Allen Hitchcock, John Lapre, Hope Rantanen and Helen McKinlay. Others present:  Bob Berardo, Mike Smith, Shawn Hendee, Marcia Westcott, Lorelle Bernard, John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.

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


The minutes from the February 16, 2010 meeting were signed with minor changes.  H. McKinlay made a motion to approve with minor changes.  Motion seconded by H. Rantanen.  Motion passed 4-0.

Town Managers Report:

J. Haverstock reported the following:

  • Bruce Babcock is experiencing some health issues.  Shawn Hendee is filling in and working with the Highway Department staff.  Todd Blow, the Water Superintendent in Proctor has offered his assistance as well.  Contact will be made with Brandon as well.  Bob Berardo indicated that he is also licensed by the State of Vermont and offered assistance as well.
  • The new connection policy has been issued to folks showing interest in hooking on to the water system during the water project.
  • The billing plans have been posted on the website, as agreed upon at the February 23 meeting.
  • Bob Berardo has indicated that a part is needed at the Depot Hill pump station.  A $3,900 quote was included in the packet.
  • Bob Berardo has submitted information as to the training he has been working on with Shawn Erickson.

A. Hitchcock asked for clarification of the repairs that are needed at Depot Hill.  B. Berardo explained the repairs that are needed and recommended that the part be removed and possibly welded for use as a spare, since there is another identical part and it may need to be replaced in the future. B. Berardo indicated that the pump is shut down currently due to the possibility of flooding the area.  The Commission members were in agreement to authorize the repair.

Public Comment:

Marcia Westcott indicated to the Commission that she recently lost the sale of her home due to the issues with Proctor water.  Ms. Westcott inquired if there was a way for the Commission to tell her when the resolution can be expected.  A. Hitchcock indicated that there is no way to indicate when a resolution can (or will) be done until Proctor decides, and that Pittsford has no legal obligation to provide water to non-customers.  The connection is dependent on the Proctor water cut-off.  A. Hitchcock indicated that there is no commitment until at least July or August.  J. Haverstock indicated that the engineers will be exchanging information and will be reporting back to the respective towns.

Ms. Westcott exited at 6:45 PM.


Continued Review of Infiltration Study Reports and Various Projects at the Wastewater Treatment Facility:

M. Smith from Weston & Sampson was present to discuss the various projects that his firm is currently working on for the Town of Pittsford.

M. Smith explained that the funding is no longer available for the Arch Street, Pleasant Street and Mechanic Street from the water project being funded by Rural Development.  J. Haverstock explained that this was pulled due to the possibility of an audit of the use of the funds and these funds are earmarked for water projects.  J. Lapre inquired if the sewer project was in isolation alignment with the water project.  A. Hitchcock indicated that this is unknown, however, the projects should be done at the same time.  One recommendation was presented to shut down the water project until the funding is available for the sewer project.  Various options were discussed and no firm agreement was reached.  Otter Creek Engineering has communicated to Mr. Smith that the design for those areas is not complete.  M. Smith indicated that he has “padded” his estimate to accommodate this additional portion of the project.

M. Smith presented funding options, which were discussed at great length.  The Rural Development loan program appears to be the least expensive to the rate payer and will be investigated further.  The Rural Development program funding, if applied to the entire project recommended by Mike Smith would increase each user’s rates by $195 per year.    M. Smith explained that there are no guarantees and that the USDA must calculate the financials, sewer service area, user rates, etc to determine if the project is eligible for up to 45% grant funding.  M. Smith indicated that the current user rates are above the national average on an annual basis. Jim Plouffe from Rural Development indicated that there should be no issue with the funding as the water funding was approved with no issues.  There were other options presented for comparison and the increases were also presented and discussed.  The Commission has made no solid decision as to the funding or the portions of the project to be performed.  The first portion of the bond vote will include the entire scope of the project.  There will be public informational meetings held  prior to the proposed bond vote.  A. Hitchcock recommended that J. Haverstock research the legal warning requirements in the event that the initial bond vote does not pass.

M. Smith indicated that all forms should be submitted prior to September 1 to have a “better chance” of funding, before all of the stimulus funding is allocated.  M. Smith requested permission to begin working on a preliminary engineering report to get the process started as this is one required piece of the paperwork to be submitted.  An environmental analysis, to include the entire scope of the work to be completed, as well as a Rural Development grant loan application also must be completed soon.  M. Smith indicated that Rural Development would like these 3 documents submitted in advance of the bond vote.  M. Smith indicated that there should be a meeting of the Water & Sewer Commission prior to August 1, with an approved bond vote to discuss the contracts.

A. Hitchcock inquired if there was a requirement to include all project costs in the bond vote.  M. Smith indicated that it would be the best to seek the full amount even though much of it will be funded with grant money.

M. Smith explained each item as presented to the Commission and how the items relate to the proposed project.  The members of the Commission posed questions to M. Smith regarding these various sections of the proposed project.

There was a discussion concerning the sludge handling and the chlorine contact chamber.  J. Lapre inquired if there would be a decrease in the amount of water that is involved.  M. Smith explained that the same amount of sludge will be handled but that the proposed projects will be more efficient and safer for the operator.  There was discussion of the reduction of budget expenses.  J. Lapre discussed about the possibility of trucking sludge with the existing staff.  J. Haverstock inquired if there was anyone certified to handle this transportation.  B. Berardo explained that there is a “haz mat” requirement.  H. McKinlay inquired if there would be a need for additional manpower to handle this process.  J. Haverstock indicated that this is an infrequent process and B. Berardo explained that there is a truck at the facility about once a month. B. Berardo explained that once the digesters are operating properly, the trucking could be once every 2 months.  M. Smith recommended using a thickener.  The highest concentration accepted in Rutland is 2%, therefore, making the thickener non-beneficial.  Variable speed drives at the pump stations were also discussed.

S. Hendee explained that he & Bruce Babcock were in the process of working on the manhole covers when Mr. Babcock went on medical leave.  The project will be continuing in the near future.

M. Smith indicated that Rural Development will require that the bond vote, preliminary engineering report, environmental review, and the completed application submitted and approved and the money will be set aside so construction can occur during the summer.  Mr. Smith recommended that the projects at the Treatment Facility should be put out to bid and constructed this summer and a contact to Rural Development to make this funding retroactive.

M. Smith indicated that since there is a General Services Agreement in place, he will be able to begin work on the preliminary engineering and the environmental portion of the project immediately.  The Commission agreed to this proposal.  M. Smith suggested the beginning of the design for the pump station at Elm Street.  The design estimate is roughly $19,300, which includes the design through construction.  J. Lapre inquired how much of this amount is actual design.  M. Smith indicated that there is roughly $12,000 in design costs.  The design would not be performed under the General Services Agreement, and will be completed as a separate project.

M. Smith, B. Berardo, and S. Hendee exited at 7:34 PM.


Discussion of Water Project:

J. Haverstock reported that Markowski Excavating will begin construction as early as April 5, depending on weather and the agreement of the State AOT, with 7 crews on the project.

Robin Rowe has agreed to host the USDA on her property during this project.

The metering contract is progressing with over half of the residences scheduled into May, with an estimated completion of early July.

Proctor Water:

A. Hitchcock indicated that there was a meeting on Monday, March 15, 2010 with a fairly large turn-out.  This meeting was called by Rep. “Butch” Shaw for the benefit of the Pittsford residents.  There will be more communications coming as they become available.  More complete discussion was referred to Executive Session.


None stated at this time.

Executive Session

A motion by H. Rantanen and seconded by H. McKinlay to enter into Executive Session at 7:35 PM for the purpose of Contracts and Legal Issues.  Passed unanimously.  J. Haverstock and M. Youngstrom were invited to remain.  M. Youngstrom exited at 8:12 PM.


The Commission exited Executive Session at 7:50 PM with no action taken.

The meeting adjourned at 7:50 PM.

The next meeting will be held on April 20, 2010.

Respectfully Submitted

Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary


Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chair


Hope Rantanen


Helen McKinlay


John Lapre