Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission

September 14, 2010

Water and Sewer Commission Members Present – Allen Hitchcock, John Lapre, Hope Rantanen, Bob Harnish, and Helen McKinlay. Others present:  Mike Smith, Dorothy Parkinson, John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.

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


The minutes from the August 17, 2010 meeting were signed with no corrections.

Town Managers Report:

J. Haverstock reported on the following items:

  • Welcome to Bob Harnish, the newest member of the Water & Sewer Commission
  • A special meeting was held on September 14, at 3:00 PM to discuss setting the billing rates for the current water system users.

Public Comment:

Ms. Parkinson reported that there has been some discoloration in the water since Thursday, September 9.  J. Haverstock reported that Bruce Babcock was immediately contacted and this issue was discussed with Markowski Excavating to determine if this discoloration is related to the completion of the Florence Pump Station.  Bruce Babcock indicated that he could find nothing, however, will continue to investigate the issue.

Ms. Parkinson also expressed concern about the rate setting meeting as she feels that she uses very little water.  A. Hitchcock noted that there was a special meeting on this topic earlier in the day.  J. Haverstock indicated that the State average of $400 per ERU must be met for funding options, and there will be future meetings to discuss these rates.


Update on Project Status:

J. Haverstock reported that the Whipple Hollow main replacement has been completed in time for previously planned paving to be completed.  J. Haverstock reported that the issues at the Florence Pump Station have been resolved and this station is on-line and available in the event of an emergency affecting the Pittsford sources in Chittenden.

J. Haverstock reported that contingent funds available from the water project may be available may be used for an automated feature for the pump station, enabling the Florence well pump to kick in when the reservoir reaches a certain level.  J. Haverstock reported that Rural Development is agreeable with this proposal.

J. Haverstock reported that a contractor meeting occurred with Markowski Excavating to discuss pending issues.  The project is nearly complete.  The metering project experienced some breaks in service lines.  Currently, the expenses incurred to address these breaks are being negotiated with the contactor to determine liability.

J. Haverstock reported that the rates were discussed at the day’s earlier special meeting and no decisions have been made.  J. Haverstock reported that some ingredients will be a base rate, per gallon “overage” rate, and a bond payment.  There also was a proposal for an amount to be included for the Capital Fund.

A. Hitchcock inquired if the issues at the Florence Pump Station were the fault of the vendor.  J. Haverstock reported that these issues were factory issues and therefore, Pittsford was not responsible and would not pay for work related to resolving the issue..

J. Lapre inquired if the issue at the Florence Pump Station was due to the impeller size.  J. Haverstock explained and clarified the issues as he understood them.

Ms. Parkinson inquired if OMYA has a large demand for water on the Florence system.  J. Haverstock explained that OMYA recycles water used in their processes, but that the dry summer had depleted its quarries.


Update on Project Status:

Mike Smith explained the various aspects of the project.  Mr. Smith reported that the USDA/Rural Development application was submitted with a potential of a 45% grant and a 55% low-interest loan.  Mr. Smith reported that there is no “stimulus” funding  available for the project.  However, there is a possibility for funding during the next fiscal year, beginning October 1.  Mr. Smith reported that the successful bond vote was key and that this will be reviewed by Rural Development when annual budget funds are available.

Mr. Smith indicated that the review comments, with regard to the application, were returned within one week.  J. Haverstock indicated that he has met with representative from Rural Development seeking additional information.

Mr. Smith indicated that the Wastewater Treatment Facility work will occur this fall as the designs are complete.  Mr. Smith recommended that the wording for the solicitation of bids include that the funding issues are dependent on Rural Development funding.

J. Lapre inquired what the implications would be if the project is held over until Spring.  Mr. Smith indicated that the violations will be more closely reviewed or fined and the flows may be too high at the facility to accommodate the construction.

A. Hitchcock indicated that the flows at Depot Hill were running lower than average, however, on one particular day there was an unexplained spike of concern.  A. Hitchcock inquired if J. Haverstock would communicate this with Bob Berardo to see if there have been any dyes showing, as well as if there is a change in the metering flow of water from the Reservoir at the same time.

A. Hitchcock inquired if the bid process could be moved closer in time to move the project along.  There was discussion concerning this proposal.

J. Haverstock inquired why the  I & I bids will not be requested until March.  Mr. Smith explained the process and that better pricing might then be available.

J. Haverstock inquired about the preferred sequencing of the I & I work and the Wastewater Treatment Facility work.  Mr. Smith explained that the State dictated the priorities.

A. Hitchcock inquired about the bond funding available on Arch Street and asked for clarification.  Mr. Smith indicated that there would be a segment included in the estimate that would separate out the water line work.

Ms. Parkinson raised various questions concerning the project, which Mr. Smith answered in detail to Ms. Parkinson.

B. Harnish inquired if there would be a possibility of using “tenting” on the projects that would occur in the winter months.  Mr. Smith explained that “tenting” could occur and explained the curing of the concrete that will be necessary.

Mr. Smith discussed several concerns regarding the draft Assurance of Discontinuation. Mr. Smith recommended that the Sludge Management Plan be negotiated. Mr. Smith indicated that the dates proposed by the State of Vermont are fair and reasonable.

Mr. Smith made note that the fine has been decreased to $13,375 from $24,500.  There was discussion concerning possible projects to fund with the Town’s penalty funds, which included Kendrick Dam and the Fish Hatchery.  These ideas will be explored/discussed further.

Ms. Parkinson indicated that the line between Pine Woods & Kamuda’s is an old line and inquired if the line from the springs to the reservoir were as old.  A. Hitchcock explained that the pipes from the spring to the reservoir are old, however, are clean due to the high pressure of water that runs through these pipes.

There was discussion concerning a residence on Elm Street and a summary of a recent meeting with the owner was discussed.  There was also discussion of sump pumps present in some residences in Town.

Mr. Smith indicated that there would be a camera viewing of the sewer line from the residence on Elm Street in the next week or so and J. Haverstock recommended having the contractor run the camera through the Plains Road area which is known for experiencing root-related back-ups in the past.

Mr. Smith indicated that the cost for replacement of the Plains Road sewer section would be between $100,000 and $120,000.  J. Lapre inquired if it would be beneficial to view the slope of the line into the Watterlund’s home with the camera.

Mr. Smith indicated that he has spoken with Bonnie Stewart at the MacLure Library with regard to the sewer connection at the library.  Mr. Smith indicated that there would be more information coming on this discussion.

Water and Sewer:

None stated at this time.


J. Haverstock reported that a response is expected with regard to the decision of the Proctor officials with regard to the abandonment of out of district users, and a possibility of another meeting moderated by Butch Shaw.  J. Lapre inquired if the Proctor officials will be giving up the related infrastructure.  J. Haverstock indicated that this is unknown at this time.

J. Haverstock indicated that he has communicated with Melissa Hoffman who has granted access in the past to the Town’s forest via her property.  J. Haverstock indicated that the Hoffman property is for sale and that Ms. Hoffman has referred any further access inquiries to the next owners.

Executive Session

None needed at this time.


The Commission adjourned at 7:44 PM.

The next meeting will be held on October 19, 2010.

Respectfully Submitted

Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary


Allen Hitchcock, Chair


John Lapre, Vice Chair


Hope Rantanen


Helen McKinlay


Robert Harnish