Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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October 21, 2008


Water and Sewer Commission Members Present:  David Markowski, Hope Rantanen, Allen Hitchcock, John Lapre, and Helen McKinlay. Others Present: John Haverstock, James Watterlund, Lucie Watterlund, Robin Rowe and Kelly Giard: Recording Secretary.


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



The minutes of the September 16, 2008 meeting were reviewed and signed with minor corrections.  (J. Lapre stated that on page 4 that the supply indicated should read "domestic" supply.  A. Hitchcock indicated that the concern meters on a 8" main should read "hydrants" as stated on page 3.   A. Hitchcock inquired if there had been any update on the dye that was discussed at previous meetings.  J. Haverstock presented 3 samples that were recently collected by Bob Berardo and plans on visiting and reviewing the ordinance with the possible offenders.  D. Markowski stated that there is a possibility of 4 offenders.  A. Hitchcock inquired if there was an update on the progress of the installation of the meters as included on page 4 of the minutes.  There was discussion regarding the meter installation.)


Town Manager's Report

J. Haverstock reported the following:

Members were given a draft "Water Shut-Off Policy" that was drafted by J. Haverstock.  D. Markowski stated that the Pittsford shut-off should be handled independently from Florence.  J. Haverstock indicated that there would be 2 - 1 for Florence and 1 for Pittsford.  J. Lapre indicated that the wording should also indicate the "Water &/or Sewer."  J. Haverstock will make these corrections.  J. Haverstock reported that Bruce Babcock and Linda Drummond have both reviewed the policy and had no further additions.  H. McKinlay stated that there may be some statutes that need to be outlined in this policy and will work with J. Haverstock on this.


Public Comment

None at this time.



Robin Rowe's Concerns about Volume and Pressure:  Robin Rowe was present to express her concerns about the volume & pressure to her tenants.  J. Haverstock gave history to the Commission members in the September 16, 2008 packets.  J. Haverstock reported that one of the issues addressed is included within the recent Otter Creek Engineering study that was received and forwarded to the State of Vermont.  Ms. Rowe emphasized that the waterline installation date of July 2009 was in place.  D. Markowski explained the study and segments to Ms. Rowe and explained that the section that she is on is a priority and that the Town is currently reviewing funding and grant possibilities.  J. Haverstock reported that he has been in contact with the State regarding Rights of Way and the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) must review the study that has been sent for review.  D. Markowski stated that the ANR has been made aware of the priority of the Rowe property.  J. Haverstock reported that he has been in contact with Mr. Robie regarding this project as the water line should be in place prior to the Route 7 upgrade.  D. Markowski explained the process of funding considerations.  Ms. Rowe expressed concern for the rights of way and was under the impression that this was already occurring.  There was discussion regarding the rights of way and J. Haverstock reported that the "footprint" of the proposed Route 7 upgrade has been located and that obtaining proposals from engineers will be the next step in the process.  Ms. Rowe would like to see the landowners contacted.  J. Haverstock explained that this could not happen until the engineers report on which property owners are affected.  D. Markowski stated that the Town is aware that the water system is working on a deadline for the operating permit.  A. Hitchcock stated that there is a possibility that an extension of time may be needed.  D. Markowski stated that this portion of the project is in excess of $1.1 million.  J. Haverstock stated that he would be in contact with Ms. Rowe and forward any forms of communication to her that is sent /received to/from the State.  Ms. Rowe agreed to this and was thankful to be kept in the loop of communication.  J. Lapre indicated that the Commission needed to be mindful of the taxpayers' money and wanted to coordinate all projects together to be more efficient in this spending.  A. Hitchcock stated that the Commission has been made aware of the history of this project. 



Water Study Recommendations:  Members received a copy of a letter that was received from the USDA for discussion.  There were some comments that were included by the USDA that would need to be completed by Mark Youngstrom at Otter Creek Engineering.


D. Markowski asked members to prioritize the projects that were part of the engineering study.  D. Markowski stated that he feels that the Route 7 South section needs to be the top priority.  There is some discrepancy as to the distance (4800' vs. 5600') and this is one piece that should be reviewed by Mark Youngstrom.. J.Lapre stated that the map does not show the waterline extending as far south as the Rowe property.  J. Lapre stated that this could be an area of conflict between the 4800' and the 5600'.


J. Lapre stated that the projects need to be mindful of the funding and that the modifications meet all of the domestic needs.  J. Lapre inquired if any communication has occurred with Tom Hooker from the Fire Department regarding the supply of water.  A. Hitchcock stated that he has heard comments in the past from Mr. Hooker stating that there are variations in flow depending on the hydrants and backflow.  Mr. Hooker indicated that some hydrants are unusable due to low pressure.  D. Markowski stated that some of the lines are undersized. 


A. Hitchcock stated that his priority would also be Route 7 south.  A. Hitchcock stated that the Commission needs to also focus on fire protection, metering, and a backup operator for Bruce Babcock.  A. Hitchcock stated that there is enough water coming from the spring and if Florence is connected, this could be redundant; redundancy would only be beneficial in the event of failure.  A. Hitchcock explained his concerns.  D. Markowski stated that these are the comments that prioritize and benefit all the users within the town.


H. Rantanen stated that the report indicates that the Florence water system is not in bad shape, so, wondered whether there need to be repairs if there is an interconnection, or if the Florence system could be on hold.  A. Hitchcock explained that the State is requiring the storage to be upgraded. 


There was discussion regarding the potential GPS mapping of the water lines and connections and of the mapping that has happened in the past. There are some areas of line that are less than 1 foot below the surface of the earth. 


J. Lapre stated that there would be 1 opportunity to work under Route 7, so this should be a priority.  There was discussion regarding the various sections of the Route 7 upgrade.  D. Markowski recapped the priorities as being Route 7 south, metering, assisting Bruce Babcock with a backup operator, hydrant placement and assessment. 


D. Markowski expressed concerns stating that funding is the main concern.  J. Haverstock stated that the State will require some proof that the Town is billing its customers an appropriate amount, as a condition of any grant/loans. A. Hitchcock stated that this recommendation was included within the study reports.  A. Hitchcock stated that the next budget should include a backup operator. 


There was discussion regarding meters.  A. Hitchcock expressed concern that some of the new meters have failed.  D. Markowski stated that the backup operator may be able to install the meters to allow Bruce Babcock to continue with his daily routine.  J. Haverstock will compile comments and forward to Mark Youngstrom for his review and comments.  J. Haverstock also stated that Tom Hooker should be invited to the next meeting to discuss the fire protection requirements. 


A. Hitchcock stated that he would like to see the information included in the Town Report as well as discussed at Town Meeting.  J. Haverstock indicated that something be included in the Town Newsletter to keep the community updated as well as discussion at the Town Meeting.

H. Rantanen inquired about the types and qualities of water meters being installed.  D. Markowski explained the various types of meters.  There was discussion of various scenarios of malfunctions of meters and sand is not always the top source of malfunction of the meters.  Bruce Babcock and Mark Youngstrom will be consulted regarding the metering portion of the project.


A. Hitchcock inquired whether there were manholes whose flow can be measured at various points to detect loss areas.  There was discussion regarding how this could happen. 


Map Water Lines:  J. Haverstock has done some research on companies that map water lines.  A. Hitchcock indicated that all past and present records should be included in any mapping project that may occur.  D. Markowski advised that caution be used in the event of proposal requests.  A. Hitchcock stated that the last study may have been in the area of $10,000.  J. Lapre indicated that the pipes located should be included on an actual map and explained how some firms do this type of project.  A. Hitchcock stated that the current maps should be confirmed that the lines are actually placed where they are indicated. 


J. Haverstock stated that the Request for Proposal could indicate "no obligation" to the Town or the companies that respond. 


J. Lapre stated that accuracy (for example, "within one foot of actual location") must be stated within the Request for Proposal.


Wastewater Treatment


Watterlund - Plains Road:   James and Lucie Watterlund were present to discuss the recent blockage of the Plains Road sewer line.  Mr. & Mrs. Watterlund reported a backup on the late hours of October 11 and early hours of October 12.  Bruce Babcock, Tom Hooker and Bob Berardo assisted at the Watterlund's home during this.  There was damage to the rugs, carpets, towels, and shower curtains within the basement.  The Watterlunds presented a bill to the Town in the amount of $375.18 for the replacement of the items that were damaged ($135.38), as well as approximately 12 hours that were spent removing the sewage at a cost of $20. per hour.  A. Hitchcock inquired what could have caused the blockage.  J. Haverstock reported that Mr. Babcock has been away and no information was received.  J. Haverstock reported that it is his understanding that the line may have been clogged with roots.  A. Hitchcock inquired if the concrete work that has been occurring on Plains Road could have gotten into the system.  J. Haverstock reported that this project involved the maintenance of manholes and that concrete was used in that process.  Mr. Watterlund reported that this was the worst blockage of several he has seen since he moved there in 1985.  Mr. Watterlund requested that he would like to see this line cleaned at least twice per year.  Mr. Watterlund reported that he has had his sewage line reviewed and corrected a few years ago.    Mr. Watterlund expressed his gratitude to Bruce Babcock for his assistance in this issue. 

J. Lapre mentioned that there is a backflow preventor that is available to be put on the line.  There was discussion regarding the backflow preventor. 


Motion by A. Hitchcock and seconded by H. Rantanen to reimburse Mr. and Mrs. Watterlund $375.18 for labor and materials incurred in the Plains Road sewer line blockage.  Passed unanimously.  Discussion followed and A. Hitchcock stated that the line should be maintained on a schedule.  Mr. Watterlund stated that he would be willing to assist in the cleaning.  J. Haverstock reported that he has the receipts of the costs incurred. 


J. Haverstock reported that there was an influx in the readings received at the Wastewater Treatment Facility when the blockage released and work that was performed by A-1 hit the system.  J. Lapre inquired if this line was one of the lines that was intended to be scoped when the scooping project occurs.  D. Markowski stated that this was one of the lines and gave history of the project to Mr. and Mrs. Watterlund.


James and Lucie Watterlund and Robin Rowe exited at 7:04 PM.


Discharge Report - September, 2008:  The report for September 2008 was reviewed.  A. Hitchcock stated that there were no "outstanding peaks" in the current report.  J. Lapre indicated that the 2008 report has exceed the flow as opposed to the 2007 flow.  There was discussion regarding the infiltration.


Wastewater Treatment Facility Ventilation Issue Update:  J. Haverstock presented information that was received from Ground-Up Engineering.  Mike Smith inquired with J. Haverstock if it would be possible for his company to review this information and re-bid.  Members decided to table this information until the November 18, 2008 meeting.


Wastewater Treatment Facility Engineering Proposal Status:  J. Haverstock reported that Otter Creek Engineering removed themselves from the Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrade projects.  J. Haverstock reported that 3 other firms have been located and toured the facility with Carl Crawford, Bob Berardo and J. Haverstock.  There is a deadline of October 31, 2008 to submit this information and the information will be forwarded to the Commission members prior to the next packet.  A. Hitchcock inquired if the project could proceed with the weather turning colder.  J. Haverstock reported that it is his understanding that the project could proceed. 


J. Haverstock reported that the TV and smoke testing will happen in the spring.  J. Lapre suggested that the TV testing happen first, in the spring.  D. Markowski agreed. 


Water & Sewer

The fiscal year 2009 budget status report was reviewed.  J. Haverstock reported that the billing received for the various studies have been forwarded to the appropriate lending agencies.  Linda Drummond has been successful in collecting some of the delinquencies.  The discussion regarding the delinquencies was tabled to be included in Executive Session.

Other Business

H. McKinlay will work with J. Haverstock regarding the statutes that should be included in the Water Shut-Off Policy.  J. Haverstock gave background and reasoning for the purpose of the policy and that there should be some consistency in implementation.  J. Haverstock reported that he will work on this policy and present the draft at the November 18, 2008 meeting.




Executive Session


The Water & Sewer Commission entered into Executive Session at 8:00 PM for the purpose of Contracts, Personnel.  Motion by D. Markowski and seconded by A. Hitchcock.  Passed unanimously.  J. Haverstock was invited to stay for Executive Session


There was no action coming out of Executive Session at 8:16 PM. 




The meeting was adjourned at 8:16 PM. 

The next meeting will be held on November 18, 2008.


Respectfully Submitted


Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     


David Markowski, Chair

Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chair

Hope Rantanen

Helen McKinlay

John Lapre

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