Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission



March 18, 2014

Water and Sewer Commission Members Present – Allen Hitchcock, David Pearson, Bob Harnish, Clarence Greeno and Helen McKinlay.  Others present:  Bruce Babcock, Shawn Hendee, John Haverstock and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.

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



The minutes from the February 18, 2014 meeting were signed, with no corrections.


Town Managers Report: 

J. Haverstock reported the following:


·             Bruce Babcock has returned from his injury.

·             The water hardness tests have been completed.  The results show no unusual hardness found.  D. Pearson inquired about the use of water softeners.  J. Haverstock has information that he will forward to the Water Commissioners for review.

·             The County Forester and the Town Manager have met with Dave Parker with regard to the Sugarbush Agreement.  Mr. Parker is agreeable to the terms of the agreement, however, there is nothing in writing.  J. Haverstock will research the land-swap documents and advise.


Public Comment: 

None presented at this time. 




Update on Water System Expansion Project:

There was a meeting at the Route 7 pump station to review the project prior to completing the final paperwork.  The project finished $600 below budget, including the Corn Hill pipeline relocation.  The easement for the Curtis property has been signed and recorded.  Fire District #1 is formally requesting planning loan forgiveness.  The merger has met the voters’ approval and has now been forwarded to the Legislature for a resolution ratifying the merger. 


There have been communications from residents Jackson and Janssen expressing intermittent low pressure concerns.  J. Haverstock will communicate with the residents following the discussion that was had by the Water & Sewer Commissioners.


With no projects upcoming with the water system, there was discussion about possibly painting the exterior of the reservoir and taking GPS readings along the water pipeline.  Bruce Babcock and Shawn Hendee will research what type of paint is recommended and the application approaches.  This information will be discussed at the next meeting.  With regard to GPS, there was discussion about plotting the valves.   A. Hitchcock recommended that any water line that crossed property lines be clearly marked to avoid any digging-related damage issues in the future.


Dave Parker has offered to brush hog the area of the springs.   



Update on Project Status and Related Engineering Work:

Mike Smith has “promised” final billing and paperwork by the end of the week. 


There has been communication from Mr. Rulli (near the Elm Street pump station) with regard to a couple of the trees have died near the excavation site.  Bruce Babcock and Shawn Erickson will check this out and replant trees as necessary.


Continued Review and Discussion of Draft Sewer Ordinance:

Mike Smith has offered to visit to discuss the latest draft of the proposed Sewer Ordinance.  The ordinance was reviewed and J. Haverstock will forward the discussion information to Mr. Smith for modifications.  Mr. Smith will be invited to attend one of the required Select Board Public Hearings once the Sewer Ordinance has been forwarded for approval.


Continued Review and Discussion of Grease Trap Requirements for Commercial Food Preparers:

There was discussion on the proposed Grease Trap requirements.  There was discussion concerning the financing and compliance procedures as this is anticipated to be a costly endeavor for the establishments.  J. Haverstock will research any available grant funding that may be available and there will be further discussion at the April meeting.


Water & Sewer:

Utility Bill Abatement Requests:

This topic was deferred to Executive Session.


Discussion of Money-Saving Ideas (S. Hendee):

Bruce Babcock and Shawn Hendee were present to discuss possible money saving ideas for the Water and Sewer Departments.


S. Hendee made the following recommendations, which he has been discussing with J. Haverstock and Linda Drummond:


  •     The heating costs have all been expensed to the Sewer Department.  L. Drummond is researching this to divide the expenses between the Water and Sewer Funds.
  •     Brad Rousseau has been contacted with regard to the hot water boiler and the possibility of changing to a smaller tank.  This has been determined to not be possible due to plumbing code requirements.
  •     The billing cycle changing to quarterly to allow smaller bills for rate-payers.  The staff in the Water Department feels that this is a possibility, however, J. Haverstock indicated that L. Drummond has expressed concern as there is not enough time in her day to allow for this change.  H. McKinlay indicated that there is the possibility of some staffing assistance available from the Town Clerk’s Office.  J. Haverstock will research this further.
  •     Have someone similar to Efficiency Vermont inspect the facility to see what cost saving modifications can be made.
  •     Moving the new air compressor out of the current building as it gets too hot due to the other mechanical devices that are running.
  •     Modifying the call-out system and eliminating some of the pagers; having auto-dialers installed at all pump station facilities.
  •     Invite engineers to review operations at the facility to make recommendations for   more efficient operations.



None presented at this time.


Executive Session:

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


The Water and Sewer Commission entered into Executive Session at 7:26 PM.  J. Haverstock was invited to stay. 

The Water and Sewer Commission came out of Executive Session at 7:35 PM, with the following action taken:

The Commissioners instructed J. Haverstock to abate 50% of the metered water portion of Bob Forrest’s sewer bill and the Commissioners instructed J. Haverstock to deny Ms. Hart’s request for an abatement of penalty and interest on her utility bill.



The Commission adjourned at 7:37 PM.

The next regular meeting will be held on April 15, 2014.

Respectfully Submitted

Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary                                                                                                                                                                                                                 



Allen Hitchcock, Chair


David Pearson, Vice Chairman


                                                            Helen McKinlay


Bob Harnish


Clarence Greeno