Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission Minutes – 1/21/20

Members Present – Clarence Greeno, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Baird Morgan, Ernie Clerihew, and Helen McKinlay. Others present: Jason Larocque, John Kiernan, 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 need for Executive Session to discuss an abatement request.

J. Haverstock reported that there was no need to amend the agenda. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by H. McKinlay to adopt the agenda as presented. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.


The minutes of the December 17, 2019 meeting were signed, with no changes.

Town Manager’s Report:

None presented at this time.

Public Comment:

None presented at this time.


Update on State’s Sanitary Survey of Town Water System:

J. Haverstock stated that the State’s Sanitary Survey of the Town Water System is complete, except item #6, which involves electrical service for a quick connect for a generator. Motion by B. Morgan and seconded by T. Pelkey to award the project to Larry McDuff at a cost of $4,500. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.


Update on Depot Hill Road Sewer Project Status:

John Kiernan from Otter Creek Engineering was present to discuss the Depot Hill Road Sewer Project status. Mr. Kiernan has met with the Select Board and explained the situation of the bids exceeding bond vote budget authority. Mr. Kiernan stated that he is still working on the various options that would satisfy the needs of the Town with regard to these pump stations. The engineering costs require additional coordination between the Town and the State due to the financing protocols. Mr. Kiernan explained that the rebid process would require an additional survey of the area at the upper site location, as well as technical information for the wet well and technical information to amend the funding scope. J. Haverstock stated that he has revised the loan application that was tabled at the December 19, 2019 meeting. Mr. Kiernan stated that there is $15,800 on additional engineering work that is not eligible for loan funding. Otter Creek Engineering values the relationship with the Town and is willing to assist in any way to help the project proceed. E. Clerihew inquired if there was any research done with regard to the proposal of utilizing a truck to pump out the lower pump station. Mr. Kiernan stated that the preliminary discussion would require the Town to purchase a truck or contract with an outside vendor to complete this task on a regular basis. Mr. Kiernan stated that there would also be a per gallon price charged. J. Haverstock expressed concerns over regulations. T. Pelkey stated that this could cause spillage concerns. Mr. Kiernan expects that there would be some push back at the State level. C. Greeno stated that he has received phone calls from residents about the situation and feels that the Town should not be responsible for the additional engineering costs. Following some discussion, this topic was deferred to Executive Session.



Update on Route 7/Segment 2 60% Utility Design Engineering:

J. Haverstock reported that he has met with Shawn Hendee, Otter Creek Engineering representatives and the State representatives 3 times. Jason Larocque stated that he has submitted the horizontal and vertical drawings. However, he expects changes to come due to the length of time before the construction begins.

Mr. Kiernan and Mr. Larocque exited at 7:04 PM.

Update on Utility Billing:

J. Haverstock reported that the utility billing has been completed. The water usage is lower and the sewer usage was about average.

Utility Bill Abatement Requests:

Tom Grace, who purchased the Paynter property on Route 7, had an issue with the shut off following a meter installation, which flooded the basement, which was determined to be caused by faulty plumbing. The water was pumped out of the basement and Mr. Grace is requesting a sewer charge abatement. E. Clerihew inquired the amount that was involved. J. Haverstock stated that Mr. Grace would be responsible for the sewer base and bond payments and that 37,000 gallons were billed. Motion by C. Greeno and seconded by H. McKinlay to abate $492.24 of the utility bill. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.

Mr. Quarantro stated that he would like an additional abatement beyond the $250 that was already provided related to the meter miscalibration. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by B. Morgan to deny this request. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.

Tom Bushey requested an abatement due to a faulty valve on a “new” meter. Shawn Hendee will review the photos prior to the Town Manager acting on this request.

Property Damage Claim:

Tom Bushey stated that he suffered basement water damage following a faulty valve on a “new” meter. This matter has been referred to VLCT insurance for review. J. Haverstock will provide the necessary information to VLCT.

Review Proposed Water & Sewer Fund Budgets:

J. Haverstock reported that the budgets were drafted based on previous history. Payroll was adjusted to reflect the retirement of Jack Shedd, the impending retirement of Bruce Babcock and the addition of Tyler Allen. B. Morgan inquired about the administration fee increase. J. Haverstock explained that the Town “bills” for his time, as well as the time of the Assistant to the Town Manager.

The Water & Sewer Commission entered into Executive Session at 7:25 PM with Town Manager Haverstock.

The Water & Sewer Commission exited Executive Session at 7:33 PM.

Motion by B. Morgan and seconded by T. Pelkey to accept a 50% reduction in the $15,800 of extra Otter Creek Engineering engineering fees to be associated with the redesigning of the Depot Hill Pump Station Project. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.

The Water & Sewer Commission adjourned at 7:34 PM.

The next regular meeting of the Water and Sewer Commission will be held on February 18, 2020.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kelly Giard

Recording Secretary


Clarence Greeno, Chairman


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Vice Chairman


Helen McKinlay


Ernie Clerihew


Baird Morgan