Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission


August 19, 2014

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

David Pearson, Vice Chairman, called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.

Appointment of Chairman:
Motion by C. Greeno and seconded by H. McKinlay to appoint Dave Pearson as Chairman. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.

Appointment of Vice Chairman:
Motion by B. Harnish and seconded by H. McKinlay to appoint Clarence Greeno as Vice Chairman. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.

Adoption of Agenda:
J. Haverstock explained the Open Meeting Law changes.

J. Haverstock recommended the addition to the agenda of an Executive Session for the purpose of a legal concern and a personnel concern. The legal concern is the possible litigation with a dissatisfied customer and the personnel concern is a possible compensation adjustment for a water or sewer employee. J. Haverstock also suggested adding an agenda item–a request for abatement from the Lothrop School for penalty and interest assessed on their utility bill. Motion by B. Harnish and seconded by H. McKinlay to adopt the amended agenda. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.

C. Greeno indicated that there is a meeting to be held on September 3 at Otter Valley with regard to the Open Meeting Law changes. H. McKinlay indicated that she would be attending the meeting at Otter Valley.

The minutes from the July 15, 2014 meeting were signed, with no corrections.

E. Clerihew inquired about the Pool Filling Policy that was discussed. J. Haverstock stated that he will e-mail him this policy for review.

Town Managers Report:
J. Haverstock reported on the following:
• Congratulations to Dave Pearson and Clarence Greeno for being appointed to the positions Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively.
Public Comment:
None presented at this time.

Review Status of Rowe Utility Bill Abatement Request (Rowe Apartments):
J. Haverstock gave a history of the situation at the Rowe Apartments stating that there was a higher than average bill received in the last billing cycle. J. Haverstock indicated that Bruce Babcock is scheduled to remove the meter on August 20 and the Town will send the meter away to E J Prescott for testing. D. Pearson inquired if there was any further investigation with regard to any usage spikes in chlorination or well settings. S. Hendee stated that he gave Bruce Babcock flow data and will be re-checking the variations. C. Greeno inquired how the meters are read. J. Haverstock stated that the meters are electronically read and there may be a handful of meters that are manually read.

Review Status of Repeated Whittemore Ball Valve Failures:
Bruce Babcock has stated that there are no other meters inside a trailer in Town and recommended removing the meter and switching the account to a flat-rate bill.

Review Pressure Complaint from John Jackson:
J. Haverstock indicated that Mr. Jackson has made numerous visits to the Town Office concerning the water pressure at his residence. Mr. Jackson previously shared a service line with Mr. Janssen and has indicated a decrease in pressure following the water system upgrade.

Otter Creek Engineering has been to the property on two separate occasions and has tested the water main for pressure with no issues noted from the curb stop. Carl Crawford from Otter Creek Engineering has spoken with Mr. Jackson’s plumber. It has been noted that there is a small diameter pipe in the house and a unique solar heating set-up within the residence. Shawn Hendee indicated that there is a ¾” pipe to the house with either a 5/8” or ½” line within the house. Shawn Hendee also indicated that the entire service line to the house has been replaced.

J. Haverstock indicated that Mr. Jackson is concerned with possible boiler issues.

E. Clerihew inquired if there are specific times or locations that are noted. J. Haverstock stated that there have been no specific times indicated. H. McKinlay inquired if the decrease in pressure is noted if there is water used in other areas of the house. D. Pearson inquired if there is a possibility of blocked pipes.

It was agreed that the Town’s responsibility to deliver sufficient water pressure ended at the curb stop and that the Town had gone “above and beyond” to assist the Jacksons to resolve their complaints.


Review Proposal for Depot Hill Pump Station Study (Otter Creek Engineering):
J. Haverstock reported that Otter Creek Engineering has submitted a $3,000 proposal to consider the possibility of consolidating the Depot Hill and Transfer Station pump stations.

Review Plans for Operational Changes at Wastewater Treatment Facility (S. Hendee):
S. Hendee was present to discuss information that was received from Aeromod, the manufacturer of the Wastewater Treatment Facility’s headworks. Mr. Newbury has recommended changes from the current winter operation of 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off for the blowers to a 2 hour on and 2 hour off cycle. This practice will be tested, unless there are violations that occur. S. Hendee explained the process with the decanting and removal of the sludge.

Update on Chief Operator’s Attendance at Aeromod Training Conference (S. Hendee):
S. Hendee will be attending a conference in Kansas in November to learn more about Aeromod and the WWTF.

Water & Sewer:
Review Proposal for Route 7 Utility Replacement Study and Coordination with VTrans (Otter Creek Engineering):
Mark Youngstrom has submitted a proposal to do preliminary utility design and coordinate with VTrans for the Route 7 upgrade project. The price quote is for up to $15,000. In the past, Stantec had performed similar work for the section of Route 7 from Plains Road to the north. The Contract does not commit Otter Creek Engineering to the final design project.

Motion by C. Greeno and seconded by B. Harnish to sign the proposed contract with Otter Creek Engineering. E. Clerihew inquired about the urgency of signing the contract. J. Haverstock explained that there is no urgency. The project was discussed further. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.

None presented at this time.

Executive Session:
The Water and Sewer Commission entered Executive Session at 7:18 PM for personnel discussions and an abatement request.

The Water and Sewer Commission exited Executive Session at 7:25 PM.

Motion by E. Clerihew and seconded by B. Harnish to abate late penalty and interest charges on all 3 Lothrop School utility accounts (0236 – $34.11; 8010 – $462.16; and 8011 – $10.53) totaling $506.80. Motion passed 3 – 0 – 2 (Greeno and McKinlay abstaining).

The Commission adjourned at 7:26 PM.

The next regular meeting will be held on September 16, 2014.

Respectfully Submitted,
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary

David Pearson, Chairman

Clarence Greeno, Vice Chairman

Bob Harnish

Ernie Clerihew

Helen McKinlay