Meeting Minutes : Water & Sewer Commission Minutes – 5/18/21

Members Present – Baird Morgan (via Zoom), Ernie Clerihew, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, and Helen McKinlay (via Zoom).  Absent:  Clarence Greeno.  Others present:  Morgan McGee, John Haverstock – Town Manager and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Town Manager John Haverstock.


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 T. Pelkey and seconded by E. Clerihew to adopt the agenda as presented.  Motion passed 4 – 0.



The minutes of the April 20, 2021 regular meeting were signed, with no corrections.


Town Manager’s Report:

J. Haverstock reported the following:

  • Wastewater Operator Tyler Allen has passed his Grade 2 Wastewater Operator certification.
  • The masking policy with regard to Covid 19 will be discussed at the next Select Board Meeting.


Public Comment:

Rental property owner Morgan McGee was present to discuss the bond charges on his rental property’s utility bill.  Mr. McGee stated that he was last at a Water & Sewer Commission meeting about 2 years ago and has not seen any changes in the utility billing as he had requested. Mr. McGee pointed out that the charges are not consistent across all customers as he is aware of other multi-family dwellings that are not being billed in the same manner as his properties.  J. Haverstock stated that there was an agenda item to discuss a sewer rate change letter that would be sent to the rate payers.  J. Haverstock explained the ERU formulary that was used by Otter Creek Engineering to figure the pricing structure.  J. Haverstock stated that it is troubling if some customers are not being billed for all of their ERU’s and that it are based on information on file within the town records and number of kitchen sinks that are recorded.  J. Haverstock explained that the new billing formula would increase the base water allocation to 9,000 gallons from the original 6,000 gallons.  T. Pelkey inquired how many units Mr. McGee owned.  Mr. McGee stated that he has 4 units.  T. Pelkey inquired how many units are not being charged.  Mr. McGee stated that he is aware of 8 units, 3 of which are Air BnB units.  J. Haverstock inquired if these were units with multiple ERU’s.  Mr. McGee stated that they are being billed as single family homes despite the presence of multiple units.  Mr. McGee stated that he cannot afford an increase.  J. Haverstock stated that the ERU’s are reviewed during the re-assessments.

Mr. McGee exited at 6:57 PM.



Update on Tree Cutting at Site of Auxiliary Site:

J. Haverstock reported that there was no update on this project.



Update on Depot Hill Road Sewer Project Status:

J. Haverstock reported that the project has 3 components.  The first component consists of the replacement of both Depot Hill Road pump stations and is now complete with mulch and grass having been put down.  The second component is the generator, for which the decision will be coming in the near future.  The third component is the aeration automation at the Wastewater Treatment Facility.  Aeromod has indicated that the price has increased substantially from its original quote of $50,000 – $70,000 to a current estimate of $150,000.  Shawn Hendee, Craig Jewett (from Otter Creek Engineering), Aeromod representatives and the Town Manager are discussing the matter and more information will be coming soon.


Review and Update Sewer Rate Letter to Customers:

J. Haverstock stated that he received comments on the letter from Commissioner Morgan and a draft including the revisions was reviewed.  The Water & Sewer Commissioners agreed to send the letter with the changes.


Discuss Pending Renewal of Wastewater Treatment Permit:

J. Haverstock stated that he has been working with Shawn Hendee, Tyler Allen and the State with regard to the renewal of the Wastewater Treatment Permit for another 15 years.  The new permit will require new testing protocols.  There will be more information on this at a future meeting.



Update on Purchase of Utility Truck:

Shawn Hendee reports that the truck has gone to Iroquois for the installation of the plow frame, etc. and is expected to be completed in June.


Discuss Possible Uses for American Rescue Plan Act Funding:

J. Haverstock stated that he has attended a conference call with VLCT and its federal counterpart (National League of Cities) with regard to ARPA funding that will be coming to the State.  One of the eligible areas that can receive the funds is Water/Wastewater infrastructure.  The Town has to approve receipt of the funds and place the money in an account. The time to commit to the funding is December 31, 2024 and the spending deadline is December 31, 2026.  Shawn Hendee is looking at the recent Asset Management Plans for water and sewer projects.  One possibility could be the purchase/installation of a generator at the Wastewater Treatment Facility.


The Water & Sewer Commission adjourned at 7:14 PM


The next regular meeting of the Water and Sewer Commission will be held on June 15, 2021.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kelly Giard

Recording Secretary



Clarence Greeno, Chairman



Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Vice Chairman




Helen McKinlay




Ernie Clerihew



Baird Morgan