Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission

June 3, 2010

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

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


The minutes from the May 18, 2010 meeting were tabled, as this is a Special Meeting.

Town Managers Report:

There was no Town Managers’ Report, as this is a Special Meeting.

Public Comment:

None stated at this time.


Discussion of Water Project:

J. Haverstock indicated that there is still an anticipated completion date of July 3, 2010, after which work on Whipple Hollow Road will be done by Markowski Excavating.  The Whipple Hollow portion has been approved as an “add-on”.  The metering is progressing. However, there have been some situations of “old infrastructure” being fragile and failing upon meter installation.  These line breaks are being repaired in a timely manner.  Bruce Babcock and Shawn Hendee have been very helpful in these situations.  The next payment meetings will be held on June 8, 2010 at 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM and members of the Commission were invited to attend.  The Select Board will be signing the loan documents on June 16, 2010 with regard to the USDA loans.  The funding is anticipated to be received on June 23, 2010.

A. Hitchcock indicated that there was a meeting with the Proctor representatives.  This topic was referred to Executive Session.


Consideration of Engineer’s Proposal for Wastewater Treatment Facility and Sewer System Upgrade:

Mike Smith gave a presentation with regard to the proposed Wastewater Treatment Facility (Chlorine Contact Chamber/Sludge Handling) and the Sewer System upgrades to include Elm Street (pump station), Arch Street, Mechanic Street and Pleasant Street.  The final cost for this proposed project is $1.97 million.

A. Hitchcock inquired about whether USDA funding could be used for a combination of sewer and water work, such as paving of Arch, Mechanic and Pleasant Streets.  Mr. Smith indicated that he was advised to specify on the USDA funding application that this was for a “Water & Sewer Project”.

J. Lapre inquired if the final costs include the engineering.  Mr. Smith indicated that this is included, except for the work that was begun prior to him leaving Otter Creek Engineering (the I/I study and smoke testing).  Mr. Smith indicated that there is roughly a 15% contingency included in the proposed amount.

A. Hitchcock inquired if the design costs are paid.  Mr. Smith indicated that the payments have been received, however, are included in the proposal and will be treated as a reimbursement.

Bruce Babcock inquired if there is a requirement for the proposed sewer project to include all US made products, as with the Water project.  Mr. Smith indicated that he will be in contact with Mark Youngstrom with regard to this portion and will obtain suppliers and specifications.

Mr. Smith indicated that the original project scope bid proposed cost was $2.3 million and the current revised proposal is $1.97 million.

J. Haverstock indicated that he has spoken with Bob Berardo and there was an inquiry as to whether the digester covers are necessary.  Mr. Smith indicated that if these covers are removed, there would be roughly a $50,000 savings.  Mr. Smith inquired whether there was icing issues at the Facility.  Bob Berardo indicated that the submersible pumps would help with the reduction of the icing.

J. Haverstock indicated that the other concern from Bob Berardo was to repair or replace the Elm Street pump station.  Mr. Smith explained the water that was flowing into the pump station.  There was discussion concerning the line and there may need to be an easement obtained on this property to replace any lines across the property of the neighbors.

There was discussion with regard to the use of the covers vs. the submersible pumps.  Mr. Smith indicated that the pump is a requirement from the State for safety and the covers will control the temperature.

Mr. Smith recommended that the bond vote remain at $1.97 million and not lowered to the $1.92 million, which would reflect the omission of the covers.

J. Lapre inquired if there is a contingency for ledge removal.

Mr. Smith explained the figuring and added the 15% contingency.  Mr. Smith indicated that he has spoken with representatives of VTRANS concerning the asphalt necessary for project completion.  Mr. Smith figured in $85 per ton to cover the streets at full width and 5” thick.  The current asphalt will be ground and used in the base of the roads, lowering the costs because gravel will not be necessary.

Discussion of a Bond Vote Timeline:

J. Haverstock indicated that an estimated cost amount needs to be included in the warning of the Bond Vote.  The members of the Commission agreed that the warned amount will be $1.97 million.  The members discussed the proposed dates for a bond vote and informational meetings.  The members would like to hold a Bond Vote on July 20, 2010.  There will be 2 informational sessions, to be held on July 13, 2010 and July 19, 2010 at 6:30 PM at the Lothrop Gym.  J. Haverstock explained some of the possible means of communication to the Community:  A Town-wide mailing (a draft of this was circulated for review and feedback), inclusion on the Town website, e-mails to residents, communications to other Town boards/commissions, informational meetings, and letters to the editor of local newspapers.  Notice was made that the Sewer users pay for the bond, however, ALL voters can vote on this bond.  Also noted was that a $600 sewer charge would increase to $763 if the bond vote passes.

Discussion of Wastewater Discharge Violation Notice:

J. Haverstock reported that information was received from the State of Vermont with regard to past e-coli violations, sewage spill, and dye discharge into the system.  The State has notified the Town of its intent to fine the Town $24,500 in penalties.  There will be a meeting on June 10, 2010 to discuss this matter with the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Environmental Attorney.  Bob Berardo, Allen Hitchcock, John Haverstock, and Mike Smith will be attending this meeting to discuss these fines.

Approval of Bond Vote:

Motion by H. Rantanen and seconded by H. McKinlay that the Water & Sewer Commission recommend to the Select Board that it approve the proposed sewer system upgrade project in the amount of $1.97 million to be pursued using USDA/RD funding, with the bond vote occurring on July 20, 2010.  Passed 4-0.


There was a meeting on May 28, 2010 of the Pittsford and Proctor representatives. J. Haverstock indicated that the Select Board discussed the Proctor interconnection proposal in Executive Session.

Bob Berardo indicated that he has evaluated the micro-strainer and there is a fairly large hole in the screen.  A quote was received in the amount of $5,000, plus travel and expenses.  Mr. Smith indicated that there is a company in Maine that also provides this service and product.  Mr. Smith will forward the contact information for review.  There was also discussion concerning the water needed for this piece of equipment.  Bob Berardo was instructed to work with J. Haverstock with regard to this project.

Bob Berardo indicated that there was an extensive lab inspection on June 3, 2010.  There was a favorable feeling expressed by the inspector to Mr. Berardo.

Executive Session

A motion by H. McKinlay and seconded by H. Rantanen to enter into Executive Session at 7:14 PM for the purpose of Contracts and Legal.  Passed unanimously.


The Commission exited Executive Session at 7:36 PM, with no action taken.

The meeting adjourned at 7:36 PM.

The next meeting will be held on June 15, 2010.

Respectfully Submitted

Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary


Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chair


Hope Rantanen


Helen McKinlay


John Lapre