Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission

July 6, 2010

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

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


There were no minutes for review and signature.

Town Managers Report:

J. Haverstock reported on the following items:

  • The Water Project is nearing completion with roughly 20 – 25 meters remaining to be installed.  Markowski has asked for an extension with regard to the Whipple Hollow section.  This section will be completed prior to October 1, 2010.  There will be a meeting with the contractors on July 13, 2010 at 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM for project updates and payment review.
  • The paving schedule on Arch, Mechanic and Pleasant Streets is Bond Vote approval-dependent.
  • The Bond Vote is scheduled for July 20, 2010 with regard to the proposed Sewer Project.  There will be informational meetings held on July 13, 2010 and July 19, 2010 beginning at 6:30 PM at the Lothrop Gym.
  • There will be a mailing to residents with regard to the Bond Vote.  This mailing is anticipated to be out on July 7, 2010.

A. Hitchcock inquired about the meter issues.  J. Haverstock explained that there are roughly 6 – 8 residents that would be considered as “hardship” cases with such poor service lines that meters cannot be installed. Letters have been sent to these residents.  There was discussion as to having the Town install these meters, correct the connections and then billing the user, as this would eliminate the need to have the installations occur in the next few years, possibly increasing the price of installation.  Mark Youngstrom has also been consulted concerning these issues.

Public Comment:

T. Carrara inquired if there are various classes of ‘K’ Copper.  There was discussion concerning this and J. Haverstock was asked to discuss this with Mark Youngstrom and advise Mr. Carrara.  Mike Smith also referred this to Mark Youngstrom for review and comment.


Update on Status of Sewer System/Wastewater Treatment Facility Upgrade Project:

Mike Smith indicated that the Arch Street section of drawings is nearing completion.  The surveys are done and tied to the Otter Creek Engineering drawings.  The house numbers have been confirmed. Draft specs are complete. The bid form is nearing completion.  Mr. Smith indicated that the Elm Street and Arch Street segments may be deferred until the next construction season, due to the separation of the Wastewater Treatment Facility and the sewer construction.

J. Lapre inquired if there would be any wetlands affected by work to be done at the Wastewater Treatment Facility.  Mr. Smith indicated that this construction would occur within the current areas, just a little closer to the road.  The various permits were discussed.

A. Hitchcock inquired if there would be a savings on the paving.  Mr. Smith explained the formulas that are used and it is believed that Markowski Excavating should have a temporary trench patch included in their bid packet.  J. Haverstock was directed to discuss the funding with Mark Youngstrom.

J. Lapre inquired what the base depth would be.  J. Haverstock will discuss this with Mark Youngstrom.

Mr. Smith indicated that there may be some temporary maintenance required during the winter months on the temporary paving.

J. Haverstock indicated that here may be some areas where easements may need to be obtained and this topic was referred to a future Executive Session.


The members discussed possible concerns that may arise at the Informational Meetings.

Some concerns include:

  • When will the paving occur?
  • Why now, following the Water Bond?  Answer:  the studies and design were not completed.
  • If Bond Vote passes, what will be the next request for funding?  Answer:  no new projects currently anticipated.

J. Gagnon indicated that the State is requiring these projects.  A. Hitchcock indicated that there is a tie between water and sewer usage.

  • When will the project begin?  Answer:  The Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrades will begin this fall and the remaining segments will take place in the Spring.
  • That will happen with the unpaved roads?  Answer:  There will be trench paving done by Markowski in the Fall, or acceptable gravel for the winter.
  • What will happen with ‘Big Blue’?  Answer: Probably nothing.  Bob Berardo contacted the manufacturer and it would cost roughly $90,000 to remove.
  • What are the payment expectations?  Answer:  This is a modest project and only the State-required sections are being proposed.  Depot Hill pump station replacement was removed from project scope and will be repaired instead due to tough economic conditions.
  • Will this result in cheaper sludge handling?  Answer:  Not cheaper, but surely safer and more environmentally friendly.
  • May more customers be connected?  Answer:  Depends on the permitted allotments and the degree to which infiltration of water into system is reduced.
  • Will tackling infiltration cut down on the number of gallons processed per day?  Answer:  Yes. The averages are being used by the State for permitting.
  • When was the facility updated last?  Answer:  8 years ago, the facility is not up to handling large spikes of influent following storm events and spring thaw.  The State is involved and is imposing fines.
  • What if the bond fails?  Answer:  The State will continue to impose fines and  grant funds now available will disappear.

Executive Session

None required at this time.


The meeting adjourned at 7:44 PM.

The next meeting will be held on July 20, 2010 at 8:00 PM.

Respectfully Submitted

Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary


Allen Hitchcock, Chair


John Lapre, Vice Chair


Hope Rantanen


Helen McKinlay