The Board meets on the first and third Monday of each month. Meetings begin at 1:00 p.m. and are held in the department conference room at 65 Lafayette Ave, Littleton. Board meetings are open to the public and time is allotted for public comments at each meeting.
The regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting began at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 18, 2013 in the Littleton Water and Light Department (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Eddy Moore, Commissioner Perry Goodell, Commissioner Ralph Ross, Financial Services Director Cheryl Wilkins and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the November 4, 2013 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Ross made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Goodell.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. The 2014 operating budget will be available for BOC review before Thanksgiving. A cursory review of the preliminary figures shows little change from the 2013 budgets for each division. Though labor expenses will increase, wholesale power and health insurances are expected to remain at current pricing which accounts for largest cost centers. Costs associated with transmission services, capacity and demand reserves are predicted to fluctuate and those expenses will depend largely on how severe the weather conditions are throughout the winter.
2. The department recently sustained some property damage to and overhead door plane that will need to be replaced. The damage was the result of being backed into by a department vehicle.
Commissioner Ross asked if there was another employee riding in the vehicle that could have assisted in backing the vehicle due to safety concerns when backing a commercial vehicle in a congested area. Superintendent Considine stated that he was not aware that another person was available at the time of the accident. No claim was filed against the department’s property damage insurance carrier as the incident would adversely affect the department’s modification rating/factor as it was most likely avoidable and within the deductible threshold.
The BOC, following some discussion, agreed that the accident could have been avoided if the operator or an assistant checked to make sure that the immediate area behind the vehicle was clear of obstruction(s) and agreed that it was preventable and due to operator error.
The BOC also expressed concern as to the safety ramification of this incident. This is the second accident (in the past two years) where a department vehicle operator failed to check the area immediately behind their vehicle before backing. The BOC instructed the department to 1) schedule CDL refresher training for all department vehicle operators, and 2) implement a ground guide observer policy as a preventable safety measure.
3. The department has agreed to hang Christmas wreaths and garland along the Industrial Park bridge for the Coin Company and will also be working along Main Street to hang banners/ lights and garland prior to Thanksgiving Day. The department records and books the labor and equipment expenses (which is substantial) as a “favor” or “payment in lieu of taxes” that is consolidated throughout the fiscal year.
4. Several utility poles were place along Fox Ridge Road into holes prepared utilizing a core-drill machine due to the presence of ledge being close to the surface. Previous attempts to set poles in this area with an excavator failed increase pole installation expenses as the core drilling had to be brought in. Mr. Herrington opting to go directly to the core drill was far more cost effective per installation.
5. A section of the 2” galvanized water pipe that was removed from West Drew Street as a result of repairing a water leak was discussed with the BOC. Due to the severe deterioration of the pipe it was agreed that this 300’ section was to be replaced as soon as practicable (most likely summer 2014). Superintendent Considine stated that with the exception of improving water quality replacing the remaining 2” galvanized pipe in the system will be expensive and have little return on investment for the department.
6. In addition, on Drew Street, just above West Drew Street the BOC was shown a picture of the water pipe installation that feeds the meter pit to the mobile home park. The piping was discovered and brought to the attention of the department by a contractor working for the MHP owner and presented department personnel with an awkward situation. The excavation revealed a substandard installation, installed by the department, and an inappropriate method of connecting a meter pit to the water system. The BOC agreed and stated that the decision to connect the meter pipe in this manner was not very professional and that the department needs to correct this installation.
1. The BOC reviewed and discussed extending membership with the NH Local Government Centers - Property Liability Trust (NHLGC-PLT). Mrs. Wilkins stated that the PLT will start adjusting the department’s annual cost for property liability insurance coverage based on a modification exposure factor. This is similar to how workers compensation rates are assessed each year, a factor of 1.0 represents the base contribution. In the past the insurance costs were divided equally between all pool members based on a pool exposure factor, starting in 2014 members will pay their individual cost based on their individual exposure factor based on a three (3) year performance period.
Following minimal discussion the BOC agreed to continue membership with the PLT and Commissioner Goodell, BOC Secretary, executed the agreement on behalf of the department.
2. The BOC review a copy of the recently accepted collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the Department and union. Following some discussion each of the Commissioners followed by Superintendent Considine endorsed the 2014-2018 CBA.
Commissioner Goodell made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 2:10 p.m.
The regularly scheduled Commissioner’s meeting is held twice monthly on the first and third Monday, at 1:00 p.m., in the Department’s conference room.