Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission




April 19, 2011


Water and Sewer Commission Members Present – John Lapre, Hope Rantanen, and Helen McKinlay. Absent:  Allen Hitchcock and Bob Harnish.  Others present:  Tom Nesbitt (Stantec), Dorothy Parkinson, John Haverstock, and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.

John Lapre, Vice Chairman, called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.



The minutes from the March 15, 2011 meeting were signed, with no corrections.


Town Managers Report:

J. Haverstock reported on the following:

  • Bruce Babcock and Shawn Hendee have received their Water Operators’ Licenses for the coming year.
  • Pittsford has received an unrestricted Water Operating Permit for the first time in several years.  The permit was received due to the recent upgrades to the water system.


Public Comment:

None stated at this time.



Update on Project Status:

J. Haverstock read an update from Mark Youngstrom with regard to the Water Project, to which the following highlights were included:

  • The automated controls for the reservoir on Plains Road and the Florence Pump Station have been completed.  A couple of small items/issues will be corrected.  The persons involved in the contact process have recently met at the location and reviewed the features.  These controls will allow the operators to monitor the water levels remotely via computer programs.
  • A meeting will be held with Markowski Excavating to discuss the timing for the additional Route 7 services to be installed using contingency funds.  This meeting will be held on Friday, April 22.
  • Rural Development is allowing the spending of contingency funds to replace a small diameter line on the lower end of Oxbow Road.  The design amendment has been submitted to the State for approval.
  • The Select Board meeting which will hear Mark Youngstrom describe a draft new Water Ordinance will be held on May 4, 2011.
  • The proposal for identifying the location of the main line from the springs to the Town’s reservoir was discussed.


Consideration of Options for Use of Remaining Contingency Funds:

Mark Youngstrom reported that there may be approximately $60,000 to $100,000 remaining following the Route 7 service upgrades occur.  Mr. Youngstrom indicated that there is enough funding remaining for some upgrade of lines on the Oxbow Road, as well as a couple of hydrants that have been identified by Bruce Babcock.


J. Lapre inquired what the distance involved would be on the Oxbow Road.  J. Haverstock indicated that the distance was as far as the funding would allow.


Motion by H. Rantanen and seconded by H. McKinlay to proceed and approve with the Oxbow Road segment.  Motion passed unanimously 3 – 0.


Water Billing Update:

J. Haverstock reported that there are currently 4 possible shut-offs to occur on Thursday, April 21.  There were 2 others that have promised overnight payments.  J. Haverstock explained that there were 35 certified mailings requesting payments sent out this year, compared to 20 last year.  There are currently 15 payment agreements this year, compared to 10 last year.


H. McKinlay inquired why the shut-offs were proposed with only the current billing cycle as being delinquent.  There was discussion regarding this and the customers have 30 days to pay the billing.  J. Lapre inquired if there were any alternatives to the shut-offs.  J. Haverstock indicated that the utility bills create a lien on the property.  J. Haverstock was asked to discuss water shut-off policy with surrounding towns for input.


Resident Utility Bill Abatement Request:

J. Haverstock indicated that a request was received from Donald Lajoie.  This discussion was deferred to Executive Session.


Discussion of Hydrant Fee Charged to the General Fund:

J. Haverstock reported that a proposal has been made to the Select Board to increase the amount of funds that are charged to the General Fund for hydrant fees.  J. Haverstock reported that the proposal includes an increase from $22,360 to $35,000.  The Select Board discussed and deferred the topic to a future budget cycle.  Ms. Parkinson presented a proposal that she has worked on.


Proctor Water Update:

J. Haverstock indicated that the Select Board approved the proposal from Mark Youngstrom for $22,000 fee to study options available to provide water to the Pittsford residents that Proctor plans to abandon.  J. Haverstock explained that the Town of Pittsford will be the entity  “sponsoring” and responsible for taking out a loan to fund the study.



Update on Project Status:

Mike Smith reported the following highlights on Phase I:

  • Approximately 90% completed and at 80% billed.  The digester covers have been ordered and are expected to arrive soon.
  • All structures and piping are in.
  • The scum pump and impeller will be installed later this week.
  • The mixer will be installed in the week of April 25, 2011.
  • The control panels are on-site and will be installed early in the week of April 25, 2011.
  • Anticipated start-up will be in approximately 2 weeks.
  • There were no spring thaw-related catastrophes and the weather and snow melt did not negatively affect the construction process.
  • Currently, one half of the Chlorine Contact Tank is being used and both portions will be available at times of high flow.  Bob Berardo is reporting that less chlorine and bisulfate are being used.
  • Early in the project, work for cleaning of tanks was removed from the project scope and a new plan is anticipated to be reviewed for this portion of the project.  Members will be contacted to review the proposals.


Mike Smith reported the following highlights on Phase II:

  • The bid set should be ready during the week of April 25, 2011 for the Town (Bruce Babcock, Shawn Erickson, and Bob Berardo) to approve.  Once these have been approved at the Town level, they will be forwarded to the State for its approval.  There will be 3 bid alternates (A – Arch Street box culvert; B – Plains Road sheathing; C – costs for sidewalk replacement with concrete and not asphalt)
  • A status meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 9:00 AM and all Commissioners are invited to attend.
  • Mike Smith is aware that there is anxiety to get Phase II of the project out to bid as soon as possible.


H. Rantanen inquired if there were any historical issues with the culvert project.  J. Haverstock indicated that the UVM archeologist has been contacted and is reviewing photos of the affected area.


Dorothy Parkinson requested that the maintenance of concrete vs. asphalt be considered in the decision making.


Water and Sewer:

Village Sidewalk Project/Proposal from Weston & Sampson:

This topic was included in the highlights of Phase II.


Discussion of Route 7 Stantec Utility Design Revisions:

Tom Nesbitt was present to discuss the utility design revisions that need to occur, following the recent water system upgrade along Route 7.

J. Haverstock explained the background of the project and that Stantec had been contracted by the Town a number of years ago to perform the design work from Plains Road to Kendall Hill Road for the Route 7 upgrade work as that work was completed.  There were some portions of Route 7 that needed to be upgraded before the Route 7 upgrade work (cross-country connection of two water systems).


Mr. Nesbitt presented the designs for review and discussion.


Mr. Nesbitt explained that some of the curb stops are currently outside of the existing Right of Way.  The most costly portion of the project would include the intersection and valve work.  Mr. Nesbitt indicated that the proposed costs can be reduced by the fact that some of the work that needed to be completed has been done through the previous construction project.  The estimate of the project is $8,920, which is reduced by 16 hours of labor.  The original cost estimate of the project was $15,080.  Mr. Nesbitt explained the formula that was used to make these calculations.


Mr. Nesbitt explained that he has spoken with Theresa Gilman from VTrans and she explained the information that is needed before any engineering sign-off can be completed.  There was much discussion as to “who pays for what” and this information will be forthcoming, once a meeting is held with Theresa Gilman.


J. Haverstock explained that the negotiations and discussions of such contract details will be held in Executive Session and a decision will be relayed to Mr. Nesbitt following this discussion.

Mr. Nesbitt exited at 7:00 PM.


Discussion Policy Re: Late Utility Payments:

J. Haverstock explained that there was a situation where a customer posted a payment 10 days prior to the due date of the payment and the payment was received late, therefore, the customer incurred penalties and interest.  There was discussion as to how to best handle this type of situation.  The topic was tabled.  J. Haverstock was asked to draft a policy for review.



Dorothy Parkinson inquired where the funds would come from for the Route 7 upgrade.  J. Haverstock indicated that this is a topic that will need to be discussed in the future.


Executive Session:

Motion by J. Lapre and seconded by H. Rantanen to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing an abatement request and contracts.


The Water and Sewer Commission entered into Executive Session at 7:36 PM.  J. Haverstock was invited to stay.


The Water and Sewer Commission came out of Executive Session at 7:52 PM with the following action taken.


Motion by H. Rantanen and seconded by H. McKinlay to deny the request for abatement of interest and penalties on the utility bill for Donald Lajoie, with the Town Manager to convey this decision to Mr. Lajoie.  Motion passed unanimously 3 – 0.



The Commission adjourned at 7:56 PM.

The next meeting will be held on May 17, 2011.

Respectfully Submitted



Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary


Allen Hitchcock, Chair



John Lapre, Vice Chair



Hope Rantanen



Helen McKinlay



Bob Harnish