Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission – 9/17/19

Members Present – Clarence Greeno, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Ernie Clerihew, and Helen McKinlay. ABSENT: Baird Morgan. Others present: Tom Hooker, Joe House, David Aines, John Haverstock – Town Manager and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.

Chairman Greeno called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.

Adoption of Agenda:

J. Haverstock stated that there was a possible need for Executive Session for contracts to possibly discuss the potential reservoir land purchase. Motion by E. Clerihew and seconded by H. McKinlay to enter into Executive Session for contracts, if necessary. Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.

J. Haverstock reported that there was no need to amend the agenda. Motion by E. Clerihew and seconded by H. McKinlay to adopt the agenda as posted. Motion passed unanimously 4 0.


The minutes of the August 20, 2019 meeting were signed, with no changes.

Town Manager’s Report:

J. Haverstock stated the following Town Manager’s Report:

  • There will be a Staff Appreciation Picnic on September 20, 2019 from noon – 2:00 PM. The members of the Water & Sewer Commission are invited to attend.
  • The State is reviewing the Sanitary Survey and the results are expected to be returned in the near future.
  • Representatives from FEMA and the State plan to visit the Wastewater Treatment Facility and appear to be moving forward on the Town’s request to obtain a back-up generator.
  • Representatives from the State will be inspecting the sewer collection system on September 27 with Shawn Hendee and the Town Manager.
  • Letters have been sent to the customers that had faulty meters explaining the payment/credit they were receiving. There have been no responses.
  • There were no water shut-offs necessary with this billing cycle.

Public Comment:

None presented at this time.


Update on Possible Acquisition of Land Around Town Reservoirs:

J. Haverstock explained that there was a memo in the packets for review following the Town’s receipt of the survey. The survey map was reviewed and the Town is looking to purchases a 2.77-acre triangular section of property. J. Haverstock explained that the Town would be looking into defensive cutting of trees around these reservoirs.

The Water & Sewer Commission entered Executive Session at 6:45 PM.

The Water & Sewer Commission exited Executive Session at 6:53 PM.

Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by E. Clerihew to purchases the 2.77-acre triangular section of property that surrounds the Town reservoirs from Ron Smith at the agreed price of $4,155.00. Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.

Consider Taking Ownership of Blanchard Avenue Water Infrastructure:

J. Haverstock stated that he has discussed this proposal from residents of Blanchard Avenue with Bruce Babcock and Shawn Hendee and they agree that this infrastructure is relatively new and in good condition. Atty Kupferer and Mark Youngstrom have also been consulted in this matter and have not raised any concerns. Tom Hooker and Joe House, who are residents of Blanchard Avenue, explained that this is a 2” PVC line and was originally installed by Markowski Excavating. Mr. House explained that there is a blow-off valve between the Fitzgerald and Lawrence properties. E. Clerihew inquired how many residents were on the line. Mr. House stated that there are seven structures. There was discussion with regard to the water line locations and Mr. House stated that there may be one location where the line runs under the road and back to the residents. However, most of the service lines are on the individual resident’s side of the street. Atty Kupferer recommended that the Town obtain documentation for access from each of the property owners. C. Greeno inquired the location of the shut-off valves. T. Hooker explained that they are on the property of the residents. J. Haverstock explained that the residents are currently responsible for the maintenance of the waterline and are currently metered. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by H. McKinlay to approve the acquisition of the water line on Blanchard Avenue. Motion passed unanimously. The Town Manager was instructed to draft the documentation for the acquisition and to work with Mr. House as representative of the residents.

Mr. Hooker, Mr. House and Mr. Aines exited at 6:42 PM.

Discuss Proposal to Make Repairs to Randall Park Water Main:

J. Haverstock explained that there have been recent breaks along the 1000’ water line that services the residents at Randall Park. Bruce Babcock and Shawn Hendee recommend that this service line be replaced. J. Haverstock will check with some local contractors for pricing and will report at a future meeting.


Update on Depot Hill Road Sewer Project Status:

J. Haverstock read an email that was received from John Kiernan of Otter Creek Engineering. Mr. Kiernan stated that he has recently met with officials in Montpelier regarding the project and the Town can move forward with the bid process. The timeline for the bid process will be for a pre-bid meeting on October 4, 2019 at 10:00 AM with a bid deadline and opening on October 29, 2019 at 12:30 PM.


Update on Route 7, Segment 2 Design RFQ Process and Selection of an Engineering Firm:

J. Haverstock reported that the State asked for 60% drawings before year’s end as part of its own work to complete its design of this stretch of Route 7. There was a subcommittee that interviewed three engineering firms and considered the pros and cons for each firm. The subcommittee was concerned about fees not being presented at the time of selection and the State assured them that this can be negotiated following selection of a firm. The subcommittee recommends that Otter Creek Engineering be presented with the contract. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by H. McKinlay to appoint Otter Creek Engineering for the Route 7, Segment 2 utility relocation and replacement project. Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.

Update on Recruitment for Water/Wastewater Operator Employee:

J. Haverstock reported that Bruce Babcock is looking to retire in May 2020. There have been eight applications received with a deadline of September 20. J. Haverstock asked for volunteers to assist with the interview process. C. Greeno and E. Clerihew volunteered to join Shawn Hendee and the Town Manager. Shawn Hendee has also mentioned to the Town Manager that there is a free State apprentice training program and this will be researched.

Update on Frank Hudson Abatement Request:

J. Haverstock reported that Mr. Hudson has withdrawn his abatement request following his plumber’s inspection.

Update on Nolan Abatement Request:

J. Haverstock reported that there have been three meter readings since the large bill which generated the customer’s abatement request. These three meter readings are reflecting an overage of one gallon of usage per day. Meter retailer E J Prescott has been contacted and the testing of the meter would cost $100. J. Haverstock proposed sending the meter for testing and that the property owner would pay the $100 plus the bill’s balance if the meter is working properly. Following discussion, the Town Manager will communicate with the property owner to see if an agreement on the next steps can be reached and will advise at a future meeting.

Discuss Service and Utility Billing at Village Farm:

J. Haverstock stated that Baird Morgan reported that one of the bathrooms at the Village Farm property was opened for summertime events. Mr. Morgan had pledged that there would be no sewer or water usage (except for the community garden) at the Village Farm. There was agreement that the Village Farm should be billed for sewer use going forward. There was discussion as to a time frame to reinstate sewer billing. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by E. Clerihew to reinstate sewer billing to the Village Farm beginning July 1, 2019. Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.

The Water & Sewer Commission adjourned at 7:15 PM.

The next regular meeting of the Water and Sewer Commission will be held on October 15, 2019.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kelly Giard

Recording Secretary


Clarence Greeno, Chairman


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Vice Chairman


Helen McKinlay


Ernie Clerihew


Baird Morgan