Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission Minutes – 8/18/20 – Draft

Members Present – Clarence Greeno, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Baird Morgan (6:33 PM via teleconference), and Helen McKinlay. John Kiernan (via teleconference), Shawn Hendee, John Haverstock – Town Manager and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary. Absent: Ernest Clerihew

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Chairman Greeno.

Adoption of Agenda:

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

J. Haverstock stated that there was a need to amend the agenda to include the discussion of a future truck purchase. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by H. McKinlay to adopt the agenda as amended. Motion passed 3 – 0.


The minutes of the June 23, 2020 meeting were signed, with no corrections.

Town Manager’s Report:

J. Haverstock stated the following:

  • The Pittsford Commons had a contractor repair its service line to resolve a troublesome leak.
  • Shawn Hendee is in the process of developing a new town-wide hydrant flushing program. Residents will be advised of the procedure as they may experience water discoloration. In the past, the hydrants were not flushed regularly and the new program will involve flushing every spring and fall.

Public Comment:

None presented at this time.


Update on Route 7 , Segment 1 Work:

J. Haverstock reported that the hydrants have been moved with minimal disruption. Craig from Otter Creek Engineering submitted an email update on the project, which was read by J. Haverstock.

Update on Randall Park Water Line Project:

Shawn Hendee stated that there has been a lot of neighborhood input regarding the project as they were concerned with the depth of the replacement water line. The project is now complete and the mechanics of the project were explained to the Water & Sewer Commission. When the project was underway with the directional boring, there was ledge, which had to be dealt with before completing with the project. The project cost was more than originally anticipated, however, there were unforeseen obstacles that needed to be dealt with.

Discussion of Access to Town Water Sources in Chittenden:

J. Haverstock reported that the Chittenden Select Board has been discussing the possibility of reclassifying 3 Class 4 roads to trails. VLCT and VTRANS have been consulted and Chittenden Select Board have been consulted and they are only proposing this to comply with the State Stormwater requirements. The Chittenden Select Board has put this project on hold as the neighbors are at odds with each other.

Discuss Tree Cutting Project Near Town’s Secondary Reservoirs:

Shawn Hendee reported that there are some very tall pine trees in the area of the secondary reservoirs, located on recently-acquired land. There are 17 trees that have been identified as needing to be removed. There were 3 bids sought for the project. The bids were included in the packets for review. The results of the bids were Vaillancourt Trees ($40,000); McCullough Tree Service ($19,500) and Black Bear Tree Service ($12,500). J. Haverstock inquired if there was any value to the wood. The bid request included chipping the brush and removing the wood if there was any value. Motion by T Pelkey and seconded by H. McKinlay to award the bid to Black Bear Tree Service in the amount of $12,500. Motion passed 4 – 0. S. Hendee will recommend this be a winter project.

Discuss the Need to Make Repairs to Main Reservoir:

S. Hendee reported that there were some things in the Sanitary Survey from the State that prompted him to check the main reservoir tank. Tyler Allen and Shawn Hendee cleaned the tank lid and seal. They then contacted the original contractor that installed the tank and they recommended that they contact D & N Tanks to perform the repairs that are necessary per the State inspection. Mark Youngstrom was also contacted and recommends D & N Tanks for this project. Following an inspection, D & N Tanks returned with a bid proposal of $47,900. B. Morgan expressed concern regarding the cost for the projects that are pending with the Water & Sewer Department. J. Haverstock explained that there are Capital Funds available to cover the project. T. Pelkey explained that when maintenance items are let go, they cost more in the end to address. Motion by B. Morgan and seconded by T. Pelkey to award the bid to D & N Tanks in an amount not to exceed $47,900. Motion passed 4 – 0.

Discuss the Need to Purchase New Meter Reading Device:

J. Haverstock explained that the current device no longer works with the software updates and the cost will be approximately $9,000 to replace the device, which will include software support. J. Haverstock explained that there is Capital Funding available for this purchase. S. Hendee explained the current process and the need for the equipment to be functioning properly. J. Haverstock explained that he will consult with the Auditors during their annual visit as to the funding piece. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by H. McKinlay to purchase the required meter reading device. Motion passed 4 – 0.


Update on Depot Hill Road Sewer Project Status:

John Kiernan was present via teleconference to discuss the information that was included in the packets for review with regard to the Depot Hill sewer project. The bids were open with 5 bids received, 4 of the bids were close in price and the lowest bid was from Casella Construction. Mr. Kiernan stated that he met with the construction manager from Casella and they agreed to hold to the bid price. The project is expected to begin in November. Mr. Kiernan stated that the delay in the project may be beneficial to the Town as this is a new budget year for the State loan and grant funds. There is a possibility of a 40% loan forgiveness, if approved. Mr. Kiernan requested a letter of contract award be sent to Casella. J. Haverstock stated that he has advised the Select Board of the pricing for the project and they appeared to be pleased with the bottom line. C. Greeno inquired if the cost was firm. Mr. Kiernan explained that there are sometimes instances that do make the price fluctuate, however, there would need to be a change order submitted, reviewed and approved by the Water & Sewer Commission. E. Clerihew emailed his comments and concerns. J. Haverstock read this email. Mr. Kiernan stated that Casella Construction is aware of the requirements and holds a bond on the project. Motion by B. Morgan and seconded by T. Pelkey to authorize the Town Manager to issue a letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation; issue a letter regarding efforts to support disadvantaged business; and to issue a letter of bid acceptance to Casella Construction. Motion passed 4 – 0.


Update on Status of Route 7, Segment 2 Engineering Design Work:

J. Haverstock reported that the FONSI hearing was the last part that was needed until construction time is closer. VTrans has the design drawings.

Update on Professional Development of New Employee Tyler Allen:

Shawn Hendee explained the ways in which Tyler Allen is contributing, learning and developing.

Discuss the Purchase of a New Truck:

J. Haverstock explained that there is currently approximately $30,000 in the Vehicle Replacement Fund. S. Hendee has submitted requests for bids to John C. Stewart & Sons, G. Stone Motors and Stone Chrysler Jeep Dodge. J. Haverstock inquired about the lead time for a cab/chassis. S. Hendee anticipated six months per John C. Stewart & Sons. There was discussion regarding the truck and its winter time responsibilities. S. Hendee explained that there is a small route for this vehicle and the Town parking lots. Following discussion, the Water & Sewer Commission tabled this topic until the 2021 vehicles are available new bids will be sought as will trade-in offers for the existing vehicle/equipment.

Consider Utility Bill Interest/Penalty Abatement Request:

J. Haverstock reported that one customer paid her utility bill one day late and was upset with the assessment of $56.30 in penalty/interest. The customer had previously asked about the accuracy of the billing. Shawn Hendee worked with Linda Drummond to check the billing and reread the meter. There were no leaks noted and the usage appeared to be on track with past usage. C. Greeno inquired if it was possible to institute a grace period before penalty and interest is applied. H. McKinlay inquired about the possibility of following the interest/penalty procedure that is taken with the property tax bills. J. Haverstock will research the tax and utility bill policies and this will be discussed at the next meeting.

The Water & Sewer Commission adjourned at 7:41 PM

The next regular meeting of the Water and Sewer Commission will be held on September 15, 2020.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kelly Giard

Recording Secretary


Clarence Greeno, Chairman


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Vice Chairman


Helen McKinlay


Ernie Clerihew


Baird Morgan