Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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March 25, 2008


Water and Sewer Commission Members Present: David Markowski, Hope Rantanen, Helen McKinlay, Allen Hitchcock, John Lapre. Others Present: Kathleen Ramsay, Tom Carrara (6:40 PM), and Kelly Giard,  Recording Secretary.

David Markowski called the meeting to order at 6:33 PM.



The minutes of the March 5, 2008 and March 18, 2008 meetings were reviewed.  These minutes were signed with minor grammatical corrections. 


Town Manager's Report

K. Ramsay stated that the Disinfection By-Products plans have been developed and the Pittsford plan has been submitted and the Florence plan will be submitted to the State of Vermont on March 26, 2008. 


Public Comment

None stated at this time.



The Water and Sewer Commission interviewed Otter Creek Engineering and DuFresne Associates on March 18, 2008 for the preliminary engineering study portion of the water system upgrade.  These interviews were discussed.  The general feeling of the Commission was that both firms are well qualified and made good presentations during this process. 


There was discussion regarding sand in the system.  H. McKinlay stated that this is not a new issue and the water meters could be failing due to the sand.


Motion by A. Hitchcock and seconded by H. McKinlay to recommend Otter Creek Engineering.  D. Markowski recused himself from the vote due to personal contractual reasons.  Motion passed 4-0 with 1 recusal (Markowski).


Wastewater Treatment

K. Ramsay presented a current Inflow and Infiltration study update from Mike Smith of Otter Creek Engineering.  Mr. Smith reported to K. Ramsay that the equipment is in town and being installed this week and next.  T. Carrara will be checking the groundwater monitoring wells beginning next week.   D. Markowski asked K. Ramsay to draft a letter to CVPS thanking them for their cooperation for installing power meters at the pump stations with the data logging meters at no charge to the town.


A. Hitchcock asked K. Ramsay to follow-up with Mike Smith regarding a manhole that is mentioned in the update to the Water & Sewer Commission.  Mr. Hitchcock was inquiring where the manhole was located and what was obstructing the line into the manhole. 


Water and Sewer

H. McKinlay gave an update of the delinquent water and sewer bills.  Currently, most of the parties listed have either paid in full or have made contact to make payment arrangements. 


K. Ramsay presented an update of the FY08 budget.  There was discussion on the budget and income and expenses appear to be "on track."


A. Hitchcock mentioned the Otter Valley Union High School bond being passed including a sewer upgrade project.  D. Markowski recommended that if extra labor is required of the Town operators during the construction phase that this labor should be billed accordingly to Otter Valley.


FY '09 rates for Water and Sewer were discussed. D. Markowski stated that it has been 8 years since the last sewer increase and 9 years since the last water increase but the expenses have continued to rise.  H. McKinlay inquired if there was a way to charge for "water in/water out" to make the usage billing "more fair" to all users. Allen Hitchcock agreed that the Town should transition to metered billing when most users are metered.  There was discussion regarding the Florence meters.  Currently, there are some meters installed in Florence but it is unsure if the meters are operational.  In order to start to build a small reserve for capital improvements in the Florence Water System, the Commission discussed implementing a rate increase for the Florence users.  Revenue generated in excess of operating expenses would be put into reserve, as funds will be needed to address deficiencies of the water storage tank in Florence in the near future, as mandated by the Florence Water System's operating permit.


Motion by D. Markowski and seconded by H. Rantanen to increase the Pittsford water base rate  from $150 per year to $160 per year; the Pittsford sewer rate from $500 per year to $600 per year; the Pittsford water overage price per cubic foot from $0.0075 to$0.008; and the Florence rate from $200 per year to $220 per year, with the new fees to be billed quarterly, and the meters to be read semi-annually which is the current practice.   The motion was passed unanimously.

D. Markowski suggested a letter explaining the rate increase. A. Hitchcock also suggested publishing a billing and payment schedule for users.   


Other Business

D. Markowski reviewed a letter that was received from the Vermont Drinking Water Week Committee requesting sponsorship for the Drinking Water Week being held from May 4 -10, 2008.  D. Markowski explained that this has not been done in the past and that this should not start a trend.  Motion by A. Hitchcock and seconded by H. Rantanen to contribute $100.  T. Carrara asked what this project was.  D. Markowski explained that this is an educational project for school children.  The motion was passed unanimously.


D. Markowski recommended that the April 8 meeting be cancelled as he will be out of town and K. Ramsay will also be out of town.  J. Lapre inquired if there could be an update of the Inflow and Infiltration study before the next scheduled meeting of April 22.  K. Ramsay stated that this is possible.


David Markowski made a motion to go into Executive Session for Litigation and Personnel.  H. McKinlay seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.


Executive Session

In accordance with 1 VSA 312 (b), where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the Municipality or person involved at a substantial disadvantage, the Board unanimously agreed to enter into Executive Session for Litigation and Personnel discussions at 7:30 p.m..  K. Ramsay was asked to remain.

The Board exited Executive Session at 7:35 p.m.

      No action was taken.

Having no other business, the meeting adjourned at 7:35 PM. 



The next meeting will be held on April 22, 2008.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary

David Markowski, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chair

Hope Rantanen

Helen McKinlay

John Lapre

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