Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission

August 17, 2010

Water and Sewer Commission Members Present – Allen Hitchcock, John Lapre, Hope Rantanen and Helen McKinlay. Others present:  Tom Carrara, Dorothy Parkinson, James Watterlund, Lucie Watterlund, John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.

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

Minutes

The minutes from the July 20, 2010 meeting were signed with no corrections.

Town Managers Report:

J. Haverstock reported on the following items:

  • Proctor held a Public Hearing on July 15, 2010 with regard to their possible water project to discuss the Bond Vote that is set for August 24.  The Proctor Select Board is not unanimously in favor of the proposal.

Public Comment:

T. Carrara inquired if there were any plans to assist the residents that are being disconnected from Proctor.  A. Hitchcock explained that there is not much that Pittsford can do at this time, plus, the cost of extending some of the Pittsford water lines would be extremely costly.

D. Parkinson expressed concerns with the metering issues.  Ms. Parkinson explained that her property is one of the properties that may have breakage issues and the representative from Meter & Backflow discussed these issues with her.  Ms. Parkinson explained that she has discussed this with J. Haverstock.  Ms. Parkinson indicated that her meter has not been read in over 18 years and expressed concerns with “false” numbers being input to obtain her billing.  A. Hitchcock inquired if the condition of her pipes was poor.  Ms. Parkinson explained that the piping is poor and she can not afford to replace this piping at this time.  A. Hitchcock explained that the new meters will give a proper reading so the billing could be done more accurately and efficiently.  Ms. Parkinson explained that she has been keeping track of her meter and the usage and does not feel that she is using nearly the amount for which she is being billed.  A. Hitchcock explained that over 50% of the meters that were installed did not operate properly and that over 60% of the water was not being accounted for with the previous metering system.  A. Hitchcock explained the billing process as being a remote read meter and the billing is being calculated on an ERU (Equivalent Residential Unit) basis, which was explained in detail.

Ms. Parkinson inquired about the “add-on” water project on Whipple Hollow Road.  A. Hitchcock explained that there have been several breaks in this line and to replace this line would cost less than to continue to repair the breaks.

Ms. Parkinson inquired if there has been any feedback from the area to the south of the Rowe Apartments.  J. Haverstock indicated that he has spoken with Ms. Rowe and the residents appear to be pleased.  A. Hitchcock explained that there have been requests from south of the Rowe Apartments for Town water service.  The residents in this area would require installing a pump station to receive service.

Water:

Update on Project Status:

J. Haverstock reported that Otter Creek Engineering and Markowski Excavating held project meetings on August 10, 2010 and the next meetings are scheduled for September 14, 2010.

There has been patch paving done on Arch Street, Mechanic Street, and Pleasant Street.  The residents on these streets have received letters explaining that the permanent paving will occur after the sewer project is complete.

The Whipple Hollow Road segment began on August 16, 2010 and is expected to last approximately 6 days.  This will work well with plans to pave this road.

The metering segment is nearly complete.  The metering at the Fire Academy still needs completion.

A letter of thanks has been sent to the easement providers for their cooperation in the project.

Mark Youngstrom will be attending the September 21, 2010 meeting of the Water & Sewer Commission to discuss billing.

Mr. Watterlund expressed concerns, on behalf of the Plains Road residents, that the grass did not germinate.  J. Haverstock indicated that Markowski Excavating has been contacted and it has not been determined if Belden or Markowski Excavating will be re-seeding these lawns.

Sewer:

Update on Project Status:

J. Haverstock reported that the documents have been forwarded to Mike Smith for review and submission with funding application to USDA/Rural Development.  There is a 30-day review period for Rural Development.  J. Haverstock has proposed to Mr. Smith the possibility of starting the bidding process.  There was discussion that there may not be a large amount spent (possibly only for postage and printing of the advertisements) and that the risk of not getting funding would be minimal.  J. Haverstock will communicate to Mr. Smith that the Commission would like to move ahead with the bidding process.

Consideration of Claim for Compensation for Sewer Backup:

J. Haverstock reminded the Commission members that approximately one year ago, Mr. and Mrs. Watterlund had a backup of sewage in their basement.  J. Haverstock reported that this occurred again on August 5.  Mr. Watterlund indicated that this has happened approximately eight times since he moved to the property in 1984.  J. Haverstock indicated that he has spoken with Mike Smith to put this area on the list for any contingency funding for replacement of the section of line so often infiltrated by roots.  J. Haverstock reported that there is a six-month cycle of flushing the line of any roots or material that collect and cause this issue.  Mr. Watterlund has had to remove the carpeting of the finished basement and is looking into installing a back flow device.  J. Lapre inquired if there was any video obtained on this section as part of the I & I study.    Mr. Watterlund spoke very highly of Bruce Babcock and expressed gratitude that Mr. Babcock responds very quickly when called. Mr. Watterlund presented his receipts for the most recent clean-up (which included removal of a rug) and repair to the basement caused by sewage back-ups.  There was discussion regarding this topic and the decision was deferred to Executive Session.

Water and Sewer:

Consideration of Application fro Potential New Commission Member:

J. Haverstock reported that Bob Harnish has expressed interest in serving on the Water & Sewer Commission.

Other:

None stated at this time.

Executive Session

A motion by H. McKinlay and seconded by H. Rantanen to enter into Executive Session at 7:21 PM for the purpose of State of Vermont fine and negotiations; the Watterlund claim; and bagger sale discussion.  Passed unanimously.

Adjournment

The Commission exited Executive Session at 7:41 PM with no action taken.

At that time, the Commission entertained further questions from Ms. Parkinson regarding the sewer project and water quality and usage in the Town.

The meeting adjourned at 7:52 PM.

The next meeting will be held on September 21, 2010.

Respectfully Submitted

Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary

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Allen Hitchcock, Chair

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John Lapre, Vice Chair

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Hope Rantanen

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Helen McKinlay