Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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 July 8, 2008


Water and Sewer Commission Members Present: Hope Rantanen, Allen Hitchcock, John Lapre, and Helen McKinlay. Absent: David Markowski.  Others Present: John Haverstock, Mark Youngstrom (Otter Creek Engineering), Gary Stanley, and Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary.

Allen Hitchcock called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.



The minutes of the May 13, 2008 meeting were signed and the minutes from the June 24, 2008 meeting were reviewed and signed.  A. Hitchcock inquired the status of the timers on the pump station.  There was no decision made on the timers and A. Hitchcock asked J. Haverstock to review the costs for the timers for discussion at the next meeting.   


Town Manage's Report

J. Haverstock reported the following:


  •          The Newsletter has a deadline of July 15, 2008 for publication of the next issue.  This issue will include an informational section on the change of the water and sewer rates and the amount and frequency of the billing cycles.

  •          One water meter was installed in June.

  •          The water meters are being read for the current billing cycle.

  •          The contract with Otter Creek Engineering has been executed.  Some questions have been raised for Otter Creek regarding the smoke test performance.  J. Haverstock would like to notify the residents of this test in the Newsletter. 

  •          Mike Smith will be leaving Otter Creek Engineering on July 21, 2008.  Carl Crawford will be assuming the responsibility of the current project.  J. Haverstock will contact Otter Creek to be sure that there will be no billing for the time Mr. Crawford is reviewing the project.

  •          Bob Berardo reported a recent large discharge of a blue dye into the system.  A specimen was captured and local businesses should be reminded that there is a current sewer ordinance regarding discharge of toxins, grease and dyes as they have an adverse effect on the system.  A. Hitchcock suggested that this matter be included in the newsletter.  A. Hitchcock stated that this is probably the 3rd time that there has been a discharge of dye into the system and can cause real issues within the system. 

  •          J. Haverstock also received a phone call from a neighbor concerned of an odor omitting from the facility.  The caller reported that the odor also occurred about 2 years ago and there were "high levels of odor" and had discussed this with Mr. Balch.  The solution had been adequate for the past 2 years and the issue is back this year.  The resident agreed to contact J. Haverstock the next time there is an issue and Mr. Haverstock agreed to visit the property.  J. Lapre stated that there had been a letter sent by Kathleen Ramsay regarding the dye issue.  J. Haverstock stated that he was aware of the letter and is researching further.  A. Hitchcock inquired if there was an adequate sample captured for an analysis.  J. Haverstock stated that Mr. Berardo stated that there was a "jarful."  A. Hitchcock stated that the cost of the analysis was an issue in the past. 

  •          J. Haverstock researched the need for a grease Ordinance and found that the Town's sewer ordinance dates back to the 1970s and requires filtering of the grease prior to discharge.  J. Haverstock stated that either he or the Health Officer (Bruce Babcock) may need to visit the food preparation facilities on the system to discuss the filtering issue.  J. Lapre stated that there are also State regulations for designing the grease interceptors.  J. Haverstock stated that he would research the State regulations for discussion at the next meeting.


Public Comment

None at this time.



The status of the contract with Otter Creek Engineering was discussed.  J. Haverstock reported that the contract has been signed and will be presented to Mark Youngstrom from Otter Creek Engineering at this meeting.


The status of the Water Supply Division's Loan to fund preliminary engineering was discussed.  The loan has been approved and there have been modifications to the contact information submitted to have Mr. Haverstock as the current contact, thus, removing Kathleen Ramsay.  There was $510 withheld from the loan for sewer projects. 


Gary Stanley, representing Sno-Mads was present to address the Commission on continuation of work on the VAST trails near Sand Springs.  Mr. Stanley explained the area and stated that there was an issue with the grooming of the trails.  Mr. Stanley stated that there have been applications made for grant funding for the project.  Mr. Stanley continued by stating that the Proctor "Club" has lost 3 trails and anticipates more traffic on the Pittsford trails.  Mr. Stanley stated that he was not sure where the boundaries were for the trails.  There was discussion regarding the placement of the trails and A. Hitchcock stated that the decision would be easier if the location of the project was pinpointed.  A. Hitchcock suggested that a meeting be set up with Bruce Babcock and Eric Hanson (representing the Town) as well as a representative from the Sno-Mads.  J. Haverstock stated that he would coordinate the meeting.  Mark Youngstrom explained that the State may require a 200' buffer as a main concern for a sanitary survey.  Mr. Stanley stated that he would also be in contact with Sam and/or Dave Markowski as they will be involved in the project. 

Mr. Stanley exited at 6:45 PM.


Mark Youngstrom from Otter Creek Engineering presented maps for review and discussion concerning the water system.  Mr. Youngstrom stated that he has met with Bruce Babcock and discussed the fire hydrant flow and some concerns were raised.  (Some concerns stated were:  Rowe Apartments, Elm Street, and sections of Main Street)


There was discussion regarding the hydraulic distribution systems.  There is an issue with the fire flow and water flow distribution.  There are a couple of hydrants on the system that are exclusively "blow off" hydrants.  J. Haverstock inquired if the residents' homeowners' insurance companies take into account fire flows to set premiums as they often do regarding hydrant proximity.  Mr. Youngstrom explained that the insurance companies view rural areas, with volunteer fire departments, as being the only access to the hydrants; so, proximity is not necessarily a factor.


The area of West Creek Road has inadequate pressure to support hydrants.  J. Lapre explained that there is a construction project in the works for this area.  Mr. Youngstrom stated that Mr. Babcock had indicated this pending project.


Mr. Youngstrom stated that the map needs to be "fine tuned" to include the water consumption, leakage, and capacity.  Mr. Youngstrom anticipates the report being submitted "soon."


J. Lapre inquired if Otter Creek Engineering had compared the domestic usage vs. the fire demands.  Mr. Youngstrom explained the analysis calculations and stated that this is a "Priority Project" for him. 


Mr. Youngstrom explained that there are grants and funding available to keep the system improvement projects on track.  Currently, the state average cost of water, per household, is $375 to $400 per year.


Mr. Youngstrom stated that he would be visiting the Springs in the future for documentation.


J. Haverstock expressed concern about Mike Smith's leaving.  Mr. Youngstrom explained that Mr. Smith would be working more "New England-wide" and that Mr. Crawford has worked on these types of projects and there should be no effect in the transition.


Mr. Youngstrom left the maps for review.

Mr. Youngstrom exited at 7:02 PM.


Wastewater Treatment

J. Haverstock stated that the wastewater treatment flow report was the first for Linda Drummond, based on Bob Berardo's information.  There was discussion of wastewater operations and that Mr. Berardo's statement that "things are running smoothly" since the dye issue. 


J. Lapre inquired why the lines would be smoke tested in August and inquired what the benefit would be of televising before the smoke testing.  J. Haverstock stated that it was his understanding that the cameras to be used in the wetter month of October would show infiltration and the smoke testing, to be conducted in the dry month of August, might show leakage.  J. Haverstock stated that he would research the timing of the tests and report back at the next meeting.


Linda Drummond submitted a letter stating a concern that she received regarding the Town's Boil Water policy.  J. Haverstock explained the concerns of the citizen.  J. Lapre suggested that these concerns also be included in the newsletter and list the locations where any Boil Water Orders would be posted.  H. McKinlay explained that the citizen and his neighbor had consumed water and that this issue stems from a storm which caused power outages.  A. Hitchcock stated that there should be mention of the battery operated emergency chlorination system.  H. Rantanen stated that the grease issue should also be included in the article for the newsletter.


Water & Sewer

J. Haverstock presented the FY 08 budget for review and discussion.


Other Business

None at this time.


Executive Session

Motion by H. Rantanen and seconded by H. McKinlay to enter executive session at 7:08 PM for the discussion of facilities. 



The Water & Sewer Commission returned to Public Session at 7:18 PM. 

With no action to be taken, motion by A. Hitchcock and seconded by H. Rantanen to adjourn.

The next meeting will be held on August 12, 2008.

Respectfully Submitted


Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary



David Markowski, Chair - ABSENT

Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chair

Hope Rantanen

Helen McKinlay

John Lapre

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