Meeting Minutes : Water and Sewer Commission

Water and Sewer Commission Members Present – Bob Harnish, Clarence Greeno and Helen McKinlay.  Absent:  David Pearson and Ernie Clerihew.  Others present:  John Kiernan, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Patch, Shawn Hendee , John Haverstock and Kelly Giard

Clarence Greeno, Vice-Chairman, called the meeting to order at 6:29 PM.

Adoption of Agenda:

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

J. Haverstock requested to amend the agenda to include grease trap loans and discussion of changing the November meeting date.  Motion by H. McKinlay and seconded by B. Harnish to amend the agenda as requested.  Motion passed unanimously.



The minutes from the September 15, 2015 meeting were signed, with no corrections.


Town Managers Report: 

J. Haverstock reported the following:

  • Shawn Erickson and Shawn Hendee and other members of the Highway Department have repaired the water leak at the Jim Grace property.
  • The engineering agreement with CLD has been signed with regard to the Route 7 bridge repair project.
  • The 2016 budget season has begun.  Bruce Babcock, Shawn Hendee and Dave Pearson have been asked to submit their budget requests.
  • Dave Buzzell has expressed an interest in connecting to the Town’s water system.  There is also a possibility of another connection on Orchard Hill, as a resident is hoping to sell a vacant lot.
  • Old Colony Condos has indicated that they will not be metering their buildings in order to reduce sewer bills, after all.
  • Brooks Newbury from Aeromod has had to postpone his visit at this time.  A date will be set in the future and will be communicated to the members of the Water and Sewer Commission.

Public Comment: 

None presented at this time.



None presented at this time.



Update on Process Changes at Wastewater Treatment Facility to Decrease Filaments:

Shawn Hendee was present to discuss the new processes at the Wastewater Treatment Facility using products that have been recommended by Aeromod.

Mr. Newbury was originally expected to be on-site this week. However, he has had to change the plans and will schedule the visit in the near future.

S. Hendee stated that the polymer representative has been in contact and will be assisting with the set-up and the actual usage is expected to begin by the end of the week.

S. Hendee hopes that results will be visible during the winter and spring seasons and, hopefully, there will be a decrease in the hauling fees for sludge.  Currently, sludge is being hauled at a rate of two loads every two weeks.


Review Depot Hill Road Pump Station Upgrade Proposal:

Mr. Kiernan from Otter Creek Engineering was present to discuss the proposal that was presented with regard to the Depot Hill Road pump station upgrade/consolidation.

Mr. Kiernan stated that Depot Hill and the Transfer Station pump stations have been studied, as well as the potential consolidation of the two pump stations.

Currently, there are many site constraints at the Depot Hill station, such as the steep slope, at the Depot Hill station, limiting the potential for expansion at that particular site.

J. Haverstock inquired the age of the two structures.  Mr. Kiernan stated that the Depot Hill Road location was constructed in the early 1990’s.  J. Haverstock inquired if the project was considered “critical”.  Mr. Kiernan stated that the project is not urgent, however, there is currently rust beginning to show inside the tanks, as well as some infiltration.

J. Haverstock stated that grease has also been an issue at the Depot Hill locations.  S. Hendee stated that there was a pump replaced with in the last couple of years and recommended that the saving begin now for the replacement of the pump stations.

J. Haverstock inquired the impact of the Transfer Station location being located in the floodplain.  Mr. Kiernan stated that he is not under the impression that the location is within the floodplain.  However, J. Haverstock will research this topic.

J. Haverstock inquired about the potential electricity cost increase by combining the two locations.  Mr. Kiernan stated that he will look into this question and advise.

Mr. Kiernan exited at 7:15 PM.


Discussion of Grease Trap Loans:

J. Haverstock stated that Keith’s Country Store, Kamuda’s Market and the School District have expressed interest in taking advantage of the Grease Trap Loan Program.

Following discussion of the loan options, the Water and Sewer Commissioners agreed that Promissory Notes signed by the loan recipients would be sufficient.


Water & Sewer:

Water Meter Cost Replacement Discussion:

Mr. Eugene Patch was present to discuss the cost of water meter replacement as a result of a frozen meter.

Mr. Patch stated that he had not heated the residence in the past.  However, his daughter wanted to use the residence.  Mr. Patch stated that his daughter had someone who watched the house weekly.  However, they had run out of fuel and two days later, the residence was “cold”.  The plumber stated that there was possibly less fuel in the tank than should have been and churned up the sludge, which plugged the filter.  The plumber came to fix the furnace and stated that the meter was leaking.

J. Haverstock read from the Water Ordinance that the meter should be kept in a “warm, dry area”.

Mr. Patch stated that he believes that there are other residents that have not been charged for similar situations.  Mr. Patch stated that if the safety device failed, that it is not his fault.

J. Haverstock stated that he has spoken with the manufacturer and the warranty is no longer in effect.

S. Hendee stated that the “frost bottom” typically breaks before the brass/meter but that, on this occasion, the meter itself broke.  It was replaced with a plastic meter.

B. Harnish inquired if the “new” meter had no frost bottom.  S. Hendee stated that this is correct.  C. Greeno inquired how old the cracked meter may have been at the time.  J. Haverstock believes that the meter was about 6 years old.

J. Haverstock inquired Mr. Patch’s intention for heating the residence in the future.  Mr. Patch stated that he intends to drain the residence and not heat this year.  Mr. Patch stated that he is looking into selling the property.

Mr. Patch stated that his plumber, has “never heard” of charging for a broken meter.

Mr. Patch stated that he spoke with Selectman Hooker regarding the situation, who stated “you shouldn’t have to pay for that”.

Mr. Patch stated that if he must pay for the meter, he would like the meter returned to him.  S. Hendee is not sure if the meter is still around.

B. Harnish inquired if any other meters have broken due to extreme temperatures.  S. Hendee is not sure.

C. Greeno requested that J. Haverstock research the replacement charges to other residents that may have resulted from freezing and breaking.

Mr. Patch would like the Ordinance changed to make it clear that homeowners must pay the cost of meter replacement due to cold-related damages.

Mr. and Mrs. Patch exited at 7:13 PM.



J. Haverstock stated that the next regularly scheduled meeting date falls on a voting day and inquired if there was any interest in changing the date of the meeting.  Following discussion, the Water and Sewer Commission decided to see what the “work load” was at the time of the next meeting and decide on whether a November meeting was required, in which case, one will be scheduled.


Executive Session:

None necessary at this time.


The Commission adjourned at 7:30 PM.


Respectfully Submitted


Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary

David Pearson, Chairman

Clarence Greeno, Vice Chairman

Bob Harnish

Ernie Clerihew

Helen McKinlay