Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission

November 16, 2010

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

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

Minutes:

The minutes from the October 19, 2010 meeting were reviewed and there were two corrections.  Therefore, the minutes will be signed at the December 2010 meeting.

Town Managers Report:

J. Haverstock reported on the following items:

  • Shawn Hendee has passed the State’s Water Operator test and will soon enroll in  Sewer Operator’s classes.  A. Hitchcock requested a letter of congratulations be sent from the Commission.  J. Haverstock will draft this letter.

Public Comment:

None stated at this time.

Water:

Update on Project Status:

M. Youngstrom indicated that the water project is nearly complete and a meeting was held with the contractors on November 16 with all but roughly 12 meters installed due to various reasons.  M. Youngstrom indicated that this means that roughly 570 meters have been installed and a majority of the remaining meters are anticipated being installed “over time”.  There was some discussion that something could be included in the Water Ordinance that the meter would need to be installed before any property transfer could occur.

Currently, Linda Drummond is working with the metering contractor and the software contractor on the new billing process.  Shawn Hendee and Bruce Babcock are also learning this new system.

A. Hitchcock inquired if there would be trial readings done in the near future.  M. Youngstrom indicated that there would be trial readings again as there were roughly 40 meters that were not working when the first trial was performed.  M. Youngstrom indicated that $10,000 has been withheld from the metering contractor and will be paid once the project is satisfactory.

M. Youngstrom indicated that the Markowski contract is “wrapped up” until spring when some services along Route 7 will be replaced.  Rural Development has authorized the usage of funds for this project, as well for a control system for the Florence Pump Station.  The scope of the Route 7 project is to replace approximately 12 services under the road due to the fragile state of the services.

M. Youngstrom presented a copy of the draft Water Ordinance for review.  The members of the Commission were asked to return their thoughts or comments to J. Haverstock, who will compile this information and forward them to Mark Youngstrom for corrections.  J. Haverstock will research the adoption process.

Set Water Rates:

M. Youngstrom presented a proposal for the setting of the water rates. Mr. Youngstrom explained the proposal and there was discussion concerning the rate proposal.

M. Youngstrom indicated that the old meters should be deemed “non-existant” because they are considered inaccurate.  There was a recommendation to “revisit” the water rate schedule in one year and reassess.

Ms. Parkinson expressed concern that she is a single resident and does not feel that she uses on needs the minimum amount of water, as calculated in the rate proposal.  The Commission members discussed the individual situation with her.

Motion by H. Rantanen and seconded by B. Harnish to accept the proposed water rate schedule as presented and discussed.  Motion passed 5 – 0.

M. Youngstrom exited at 7:04 PM.

Sewer:

Update on Project Status:

M. Smith presented an update on the project status.

Mr. Smith indicated that 9 bids were received with relation to the proposed Wastewater Treatment Facility project.  Mr. Smith indicated that the lowest bidder was Neil H. Daniels Company.  A letter of recommendation was presented for review.  Mr. Smith indicated that USDA agrees with the recommendation of awarding the bid to the Daniels Company.  There will be a pre-construction meeting on November 30, at which time the contract will be executed.  There is a possibility that the Daniels Company can go ahead and order the initial drawings and determine the parts to be ordered for the project, with a cost of up to $5,000, which would be the responsibility of the Town in the event that the funding options fail.

A. Hitchcock inquired if there was any timeline to have a definite response from the funding sources.

Currently, there is a $750,000 grant eligibility, to which there is no firm commitment, and is Congressional-approval dependent.  Based on its funding so far, Rural Development has made an offer of guaranteeing a $605,000 grant with the balance of the funding to come in the form of a loan.

J. Haverstock inquired about interim funding.  M. Smith indicated that the loan rate now being offered is now 3%.  There was discussion as to combining the Plains Road proposal into the project.  M. Smith presented the cost estimates and explained the process to follow.

A. Hitchcock inquired about the length of time that the project would take at the treatment facility.  M. Smith indicated that the anticipated completion is the end of February 2011.

M. Smith presented the Notice of Award to Neil H. Daniels Company in the amount of $409,000.  The members of the Commission referred this to the Select Board for final approval and signature.  A. Hitchcock indicated that he would explain to the Select Board the status of the funding options.

Review of Recent TV Camera Work in Sewer Lines:

M. Smith discussed the camera work that occurred on the Plains Road sections of sewer line, as well as the property located near the Elm Street pump station.

The Plains Road section did show root intrusion.  M. Smith recommended the slipline repairs that were discussed in the past.  A. Hitchcock inquired about the length of the slipline project.  M. Smith indicated that this would take roughly two days to complete.  M. Smith presented the price estimates for this project.

There was discussion concerning the property that has had a number of back-ups.  The recommendation, in addition to the slipline repair, would be for the homeowner to install a back-flow preventer.

The property that was reviewed on Elm Street was discussed and possibilities of repair were recommended and will be reviewed again at a future meeting.

Water and Sewer:

There was discussion concerning the proposed office space at the Wastewater Treatment Facility for Bruce Babcock and Shawn Hendee.  J. Haverstock explained the proposal, which was referred to the Commission from the Select Board.  Chairman Pelkey has agreed to assist with the drawings and spec’s.  J. Haverstock indicated that he has consulted with Amy Loomis, Zoning Administrator, who indicated that the Zoning Board of Adjustment would need to conduct a hearing regarding this proposed change of use.  A. Hitchcock indicated that there should be some shelves and file cabinets installed in this space and an inventory made of all materials and equipment on site.

Other:

The Proctor legal proceedings have begun regarding their plans to abandon their out-of-Town customers.  J. Haverstock indicated that, at some point in the future, Rep. Shaw would like to hold a meeting for the affected customers to discuss the formation of a Fire District.  More information regarding this will be forthcoming.

Executive Session

None needed at this time.

Adjournment

The Commission adjourned at 8:26 PM.

The next meeting will be held on December 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

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Bob Harnish