Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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August 12, 2008


Water and Sewer Commission Members Present: David Markowski, Hope Rantanen, Allen Hitchcock, John Lapre, and Helen McKinlay. Others Present:  John Haverstock, Tom Carrara (6:45 PM), Gary Stanley, and Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary.


David Markowski called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.



The minutes of the July 8, 2008 meeting were reviewed and signed with no corrections.   


Town Manager's Report


J. Haverstock reported the following:


  • Bruce Babcock, Mark Youngstrom and his assistant Tyler from Otter Creek Engineering & John Haverstock toured the water system about 3 weeks ago.  This tour included the springs, reservoirs and the Pittsford and Florence systems.   J. Haverstock felt that this exercise was a good learning experience for himself as well as Mr. Youngstrom.
  • There are several water and sewer-related items included in the next issue of the Newsletter.  There were copies included in the packets.  A. Hitchcock commended on the article of "Be Kind to Your Sewer System and it Will be Kind to You."
  • On Sunday, August 10, there was a lightning strike on our 6" cast iron water pipe buried five feet below grade near a hiking trail at the Recreation Area.  Mr. Babcock first detected an issue when there were low levels at the reservoir early Monday during his regular rounds.  The Town staff (including the highway department and the water and sewer staff) walked the water lines to detect where the water was escaping.  Greg Eastman from the Highway Department found the source off of one of the nature trails and alerted Mr. Babcock.  Markowski Excavating brought an excavator to the location and all gathered personnel worked to dig up and replace the damaged section of pipe.  Mr. Babcock then turned the flow back on and the slow process of re-filling the reservoirs began.  J. Haverstock reported that the initial post-repair water samples were taken into Rutland for testing and that a "boil water" order was currently in place.  J. Haverstock wished to commend the entire Town staff for all of their assistance in this emergency.


Public Comment


None at this time.





Sno-Mads:  Gary Stanley, President of the Sno-Mads was present to discuss the maintenance of trails in the area of the Baird property, which is in the area of the Sand Spring in Chittenden.  J. Haverstock stated that he spoke with Bruce Babcock, Mark Youngstrom, and Tim Raymond regarding this project.  All agreed that there have been no problems with this type of trail maintenance in the past, as there is a sufficient distance between the trail and the springs to avoid any impact on the Town's water supply.  In the past, the distance has been maintained and the project area has been kept open for snowmobile traffic.  Mr. Babcock, Mr. Youngstrom, and Mr. Raymond all recommended that permission be granted to continue the maintenance.  J. Lapre inquired what sort of maintenance would occur.  Mr. Stanley explained the project and this is to improve the trail tread and cut down the slope on a short section.  Mr. Stanley reported that every fall, the group takes a brush hog to the area and cleans the over growth.  A. Hitchcock asked Mr. Stanley to explain what he meant by "a short section."  Mr. Stanley reported that the distance was approximately 800'.   J. Lapre inquired if there would be fencing installed to avoid rolling water.  Mr. Stanley explained the project is intended to be built into the hillside and there would be rolling water bars installed.  D. Markowski inquired if the area would be seeded and mulched.  Mr. Stanley reported that it would be covered.  D. Markowski stated that a similar project had been done on the Baird property in the past.  A. Hitchcock requested that if there were any issues of any kind that the Commission be notified immediately.  G. Stanley stated that there is a spill kit installed on the trail groomer to avoid any gas and oil spills into the spring.  G. Stanley stated that the Sno-Mads could gate the area in the event of too much 4-wheeler traffic to avoid any issues.  Motion by A. Hitchcock to approve the request and seconded by H. Rantanen.  Passed unanimously.  G. Stanley presented a "permission slip" to J. Haverstock for signature.  G. Stanley stated that any conditions could be included on this document.  D. Markowski indicated that if there were any conditions that the Commission would like to see on the document that they should contact J. Haverstock.  A. Hitchcock indicated that this should be reviewed yearly.  G. Stanley stated that this trail is part of the State VAST trail system. G. Stanley exited at 6:45 PM. 


 Contract with Otter Creek Engineering: J. Haverstock reported that Mark Youngstrom stated that he would have a preliminary draft of his report submitted around Labor Day.  The smoke testing is still scheduled for August or September and the imaging is scheduled for October and this is all dependant on the dryness in August and September and the wetness in October.


Status of the Water Supply Division Loan:  J. Haverstock reported that he has spoken with Sheila Lilly and a closing can occur shortly.  A. Hitchcock inquired if there were any issues.  J. Haverstock stated that this would be just a formality.


Source Protection Plan:  J. Haverstock reported that this is a project the Kathleen Ramsay had started and he is in contact with the Vermont Rural Water Supply.  A copy of two proposed letters to (a) landowners near the springs and (b) to public officials regarding the plan were included in the packets.  D. Markowski signed the letters.  A. Hitchcock asked for clarification if this included just the source and not the actual piping.  J. Haverstock stated that this was source-related only.  A. Hitchcock inquired if there was a number of recipients for the letter.  J. Haverstock stated that there are approximately 20 on the current list. 


J. Lapre stated that he has heard discussion of the OMYA tailings project.  J. Haverstock reported that he attended a meeting last week and Geosyntec has been conducting testings of the ground water.  There was discussion of this process and the meeting that J. Haverstock attended.  J. Haverstock reported that there would be blasting at the Hogback Quarry in the near future. 


Wastewater Treatment

Discharge Report - July, 2008:  The report for July 2008 was reviewed.  The number of gallons have increased over 2007 numbers and J. Haverstock stated that Bob Berardo reports seeing spikes consistent with the storm patterns, probably indicating infiltration.  J. Haverstock reported that he has been in contact with Greg West, Principal of Lothrop School regarding foreign materials at the Treatment Facility when school is in session.


Temporary Coverage Issue at the Wastewater Treatment Facility:  J. Haverstock reported that there is a concern that an employee will be away for a period of time.  A. Hitchcock expressed concern that there is no plan in place to cover the water system and in the past Brandon has helped in the event of an employee being out.  D. Markowski stated that there is a need for action.  D. Markowski recommended that the Commission members review the situation and aid in economically assisting the Wastewater Treatment Facility and the Water System.  J. Haverstock has reviewed the situation with Bruce Babcock and Bob Berardo.  A. Hitchcock expressed the desire to mark the paths of the water system, because some places are not marked or landmarks have been removed or grown up so that the marking cannot be found.  There was discussion regarding this project and the general feeling was that this has to be done.


Proposed GSA with Weston & Sampson:  J. Haverstock reported that Otter Creek had no plans pending to review the ventilation issue and the blower covers at the Wastewater Treatment Facility.  Mike Smith, formerly of Otter Creek Engineering, has submitted a proposal regarding the Chemical Room and Blower project.  The proposal was reviewed.  D. Markowski asked for clarification of the project.  A. Hitchcock indicated that the Chemical Room is a priority over the blower covers and gave history of the pending project.  The breakdown of the proposal was discussed.  D. Markowski recommended that the Chemical Room project be prioritized.  A. Hitchcock inquired if the cost of the construction would be included.  J. Haverstock stated that it is his impression that this would be included.  J. Haverstock will research and contact the Commission Members with the information.  J. Lapre stated that the drawings should be construction grade drawings and not preliminary design so the project may begin promptly.  D. Markowski recommended that J. Haverstock research a contractor as he has a $5,000 limit in his authority.  Motion by H. Rantanen and seconded by A. Hitchcock to instruct J. Haverstock to move forward with the project.  Passed unanimously.  There was discussion regarding a General Services Contract with Weston & Sampson and this discussion was tabled.   


Water & Sewer


The fiscal year 2008 budget status report was reviewed. 


Other Business


There was discussion regarding meeting nights.  Currently, the Recreation Department meets on the first Tuesday of the month and uses the Conference Room.  Members of the Commission agreed to move their meeting to the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30PM beginning on September 16, 2008. 


Executive Session


The Water & Sewer Commission entered into Executive Session at 7:29 PM for the purpose of Contracts and Personnel.

There was no action coming out of Executive Session. 




The meeting was adjourned at 7:54 PM. 

The next meeting will be held on September 16, 2008.

Respectfully Submitted


Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary



David Markowski, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chair

Hope Rantanen

Helen McKinlay

John Lapre

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