Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission



February 21, 2012


Water and Sewer Commission Members Present – Helen McKinley, John Lapre, and Bob Harnish.  Absent:  Allen Hitchcock.  Others present:  Dorothy Parkinson, Tom Carrara, John Haverstock and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.

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



The minutes from the January 24, 2012 meeting were signed, with no corrections.


Town Managers Report:

J. Haverstock reported the following:

  • There will be a meeting of the residents that are affected by the Proctor Water system abandonment on February 22, 2012 at 6:30 PM at the Lothrop Gym.  There will be an update on the well drillers information.  The residents that are affected have been notified.
  • Mark Youngstrom reported that the remaining grant funds with regard to the water system upgrade are still available for the work in the Village and near the Town Green.
  • The copying and scanning of the Water Department documents is complete.  There is a copy of the documents and a copy of the disc are currently at the Wastewater Treatment Facility and a copy of the disc is on file at the Town Office.
  • Eric Law with the Water Supply Division has reported that the $22,000 loan for the Proctor water study will probably not be eligible for forgiveness.  Mark Youngstrom has been notified and will be researching alternatives.  This loan is at 0% interest and is due to mature in 5 years.
  • The format for Town Meeting remains the same as in years past.  Allen Hitchcock will present the Water & Sewer Commission information;  Joe Gagnon will present the Highway Department information;  and Thomas “Hank” Pelkey will discuss the General Fund information.


Public Comment:

Tom Carrara inquired about the following:


  • Is Florence water being pumped back to Pittsford on a regular basis, depending on the OMYA usage?  J. Haverstock explained that OMYA has been decreasing their demand on the public water system each year by recycling rainwater and process water.  J. Haverstock also reported that OMYA typically notifies the Town prior to increasing their demands on the public water system.  J. Haverstock will speak with Bruce Babcock regarding these questions.
  • Does Pittsford qualify for any grant funding?  J. Haverstock indicated that Pittsford applies for any applicable grants.
  • What is happening with the Plains Road sewer line?  J. Haverstock indicated that this portion of the sewer project will be reevaluated when the system upgrade is near completion, as the Town’s ability to address this project will depend on remaining grant funding.
  • There were ball valve failures.  What is the settlement for this?  J. Haverstock reported that 7 valves had failed and that the Town has been reimbursed by Meter Backflow Services for costs of repairs and that an extended warranty has been granted.  There was discussion concerning the lead-free requirement that is federally required.


Dorothy Parkinson inquired about the following:


  • There are red cones in the area of the Village Green.  J. Haverstock indicated that he is not aware of any issues in that area, but, would look into the situation.  T. Carrara indicated that this was due to loose gravel from the recent construction in the area.



MBS Ball Valve Proposal:

J. Haverstock reported that there were 100 ball valves installed along with the new meters and that there was a 7% failure rate.  It is uncertain whether there will be any failures in the future.  There was discussion as to whether to replace now and whether a different batch of lead-free valves would make a difference.  Currently, Mark Youngstrom and Rod Dubois are involved in drafting and reviewing a proposal to have Town staff replace the remaining ball valves in Town.



Update on Project Status – Phase I & II:

Mike Smith sent an e-mail status update that was reviewed by the Commission members.  Phase I is completed.  Currently, Phase II is in the winter shut-down mode.  There was discussion concerning a possible upgrade to the planned remote-access Elm Street Pump Station telemetry device.  Mr. Smith will be invited to the March meeting to discuss this option further.


Review of Draft Grease Trap Letter:

A letter has been drafted to send to any preparation locations on the Town sewer system.  J. Lapre recommended that the Town ordinance be reviewed and that information be accurately included in the letter.  A follow-up visit may be required and the penalty for violations will be reviewed,


Water and Sewer:

Discussion of Water and Sewer Budgets:

A copy of a recent letter from the auditors (Sullivan & Powers) was included in the packets for the Commissioners to review.  There is a recommendation to adjust the sewer rates to bring revenues more in line with expenses.  Mike Smith will be invited to the March meeting to further discuss this recommendation.  D. Parkinson inquired about the annual deficit in the Sewer fund.  J. Haverstock indicated that the average annual deficit is between $13,000 and $26,000.



None presented at this time.


Executive Session:

Motion by H.  McKinlay and seconded by B. Harnish to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing abatement requests.


The Water and Sewer Commission entered into Executive Session at 7:31 PM.  J. Haverstock was invited to stay.


The Water and Sewer Commission came out of Executive Session at 7:44 PM.


Motion by B. Harnish  and seconded by J. Lapre to instruct the Town Manager to write Chuk Pitts declining his request for partial abatement on his utility bill. Motion passed unanimously 3 – 0.



The Commission adjourned at 7:45 PM.

The next regular meeting will be held on February 21, 2012.

Respectfully Submitted

Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary


Allen Hitchcock, Chair


John Lapre, Vice Chair


  Helen McKinlay


Bob Harnish