Meeting Minutes : Water and Sewer Commission



September 15, 2015


Water and Sewer Commission Members Present – David Pearson, Bob Harnish (6:56 PM), Clarence Greeno and Ernie Clerihew.  Absent:  Helen McKinlay.  Others present:  Mark Youngstrom, Shawn Hendee, Linda Drummond, John Haverstock and Kelly Giard.

David Pearson, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 6:41 PM.


Adoption of Agenda:

J. Haverstock stated that there was no need for Executive Session.

J. Haverstock stated that there was no need to amend the agenda.

Motion by E. Clerihew and seconded by C. Greeno to adopt the agenda as presented.  Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.



The minutes from the August 18, 2015 meeting were signed, with no corrections.


Town Managers Report: 

J. Haverstock reported the following:

  • The waterline replacement project on Blackberry Lane has been completed by Tom Grace at the quoted price of $9,250.
  • The hydrant on Route 7 has been replaced by Markowski Excavating and when the bill is received, the insurance company of the driver who fell asleep and struck it will be contacted and the bill will be forwarded.
  • There was a water leak on Route 7 at the Route 3 intersection, which has been repaired by the members of the Highway, Water and Sewer Departments.
  • There is a water leak on the Jim Grace property that will soon be addressed.
  • Jack Shedd is currently on leave for a non-work-related eye injury.
  • Bob Berardo is also currently on leave for a non- work-related eye injury.
  • Shawn Hendee is currently working on OVUHS coverage with their Facilities’ Manager Kyle Watrous.

Public Comment: 

None presented at this time.



Review Notice of Testing Failure:

J. Haverstock stated that the Water Department was not in compliance with the State testing deadlines for a volatile organic chemical (VOC) test that is required every 3 years.  Bruce Babcock explained that he misread the State’s letter and conducted the required test two weeks late.  The Town will be notifying the customers via the Consumer Confidence Report and include an information statement in the next utility billing.  Currently, there are no penalties expected.



Review Sewer Rate Structure:

J. Haverstock reported that there has been some “grumbling” heard from consumers with regard to the current sewer rate structure.  This input was summarized in an email sent to Mr. Youngstrom.

Currently, there are 776 water system ERU’s and 335 sewer system ERU’s.

C. Greeno inquired if there was room at the plant to expand and allow for more customers.  S. Hendee stated that there is room when looking at the numbers.  However, there is a lot of concern over the spring melting period and the increases in flow.

There was discussion concerning the upgrading of the pump stations.  J. Haverstock explained that the next budget season is beginning and this is a great time to look at the budget closely and identifying potential money saving areas.


Water & Sewer:

Review Late Penalty Structure:

J. Haverstock explained the current penalty structure as being 8% from day one.  It has been suggested that this be changed to a two-tier system similar to property taxes.

J. Haverstock stated that VLCT input is being sought on this matter as to whether the Commission or the voters need to approve a penalty structure change.

Further discussion on the topic was tabled until a future meeting after the VLCT information is received.

Mr. Youngstrom exited at 7:38 PM


Consider Process Change at Wastewater Treatment Facility to Decrease Filaments:

S. Hendee stated that he has spoken with Brooks Newbury of Aeromod regarding bacteria filaments that have been detected.  S. Hendee explained that these filaments like low oxygen levels and Aeormod recommends using a chemical that can be introduced into the system at $850 per tote and 3 totes will be needed.  The shipping on the totes is $1500 each as the contents are considered hazardous material.

J. Haverstock recommended that our State liaison, Mr. DeDominico, be contacted to confirm that the material is approved in Vermont.

Following discussion regarding maintenance and timing, a motion was made by C. Greeno and seconded by B. Harnish to authorize the Town Manager to purchase no more than $8,500 of the chemical (including transportation) to bring the facility within Aeromod specifications, providing State approval.  Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.


Utility Bill Abatement Request (Ojala):

J. Haverstock reported that a request for abatement of late penalty and interest has been received from G. Ojala, in the amount of $22.47, owing to a “medical issue.”   Motion by C. Greeno and seconded by B. Harnish to approve the requested abatement.  Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.


Utility Bill Abatement Request (Kit Hudson):

This request was denied following discussion.


Water Replacement Cost:

Mr. Patch has requested a replacement water meter.  However, his house was not winterized and the water meter cracked and needed replacing.  This item was tabled to a future meeting.



None presented at this time.


Executive Session:

None necessary at this time.



The Commission adjourned at 8:03 PM.

The next regular meeting will be held on October 20, 2015.


Respectfully Submitted,


Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary

David Pearson, Chairman

Clarence Greeno, Vice Chairman

Bob Harnish

Ernie Clerihew

Helen McKinlay