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, April 07, 2014 in the Littleton Water and Light Department (LWL). Present were Commissioner Eddy Moore, Commissioner Perry Goodell, Commissioner Ralph Ross and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the March 17, 2014 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Goodell made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Ross.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
CUSTOMER & PUBLIC CONCERNS:
Mr. Rudy Gelsi, resident of Littleton and customer, asked the BOC what the department’s involvement was/is with the River District Committee proposed plans to reconstruct the Mill street area. He referred to literature and other documents that was presented to him at the recent River District Committee (RDC) meeting that alleges that LWL fully endorses their proposed projects and will assist in funding.
Commissioner Moore stated that the only commitment that the department has made to the RDC was to place an order for three (3) ornamental street lights for their proposed demonstration project between the covered foot bridge and Centennial Park. The RDC through emails and verbal conversations with the department stated that they will reimburse the department for the cost of these lights.
Superintendent Considine stated that the department has agreed to assist the Town with removing some overhanging trees along the river bank within this project area and supports the RDC in the development a comprehensive master plan in the Mill Street area.
Mr. Gelsi stated that he is not in favor of the department and or town spending millions of dollars on a project with little or no return to the taxpayer with the exception of the abutting business owners in the affected area.
The BOC reassured Mr. Gelsi that everything that the department does in connection with any capital project is fully transparent and goes through the year end audit and budgetary processes.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. The BOC was advised that there appears to be a problem with the crystal report program that the department uses to extract water consumption data that the town uses for their bi-annual sewer billing. Since conversion began some of the programming links between our reporting function and billing software databases were severed. Outside help has been requested though we are reluctant to spend any money (if needed) on a repair/ patch as the “go live” implementation date for iVue is in June. Discussions are ongoing with the town as to how they can produce their spring sewer bill in the event that the past six (6) month data cannot be provided by the department.
Commissioner Moore asked how much the town was involved in the data collection process. Superintendent Considine stated that all the data collection, data manipulation and the development of the special programs used by Harris to extract the needed data in a format the town requires is provided by the LWL at no cost to the town.
2. Cut & Fill Dirtworks contracting recently completed construction activities with regard to the construction of two (2) new storage structures at Lafayette Avenue. The new structures will provide the department with much needed and economical covered storage space of about 1,300 SF.
3. NISC will be on site training selected personnel over the next two (2) weeks in preparation for the accounting systems integration to iVue in May. LWL personnel are working through typical scenario base training events to get familiar with the differences between the software platforms.
4. A discussion insured with the BOC in regard to the “blue” return envelopes that are sent to customers to return their monthly payment. A recent survey tallied by LWL office personnel showed that about 30% of the envelopes that are mailed are being used by our customers. We are reviewing the cost effectiveness of this business practice due to the low volume being returned on average. It is estimated that the department spends about $2,100 to $ 3,000 on materials plus labor to operate the inserter and annual maintenance (note: Typically there is an issue with the inserter and the blue envelopes jamming causing delay).
The BOC agreed that the blue envelopes serves as a reminder for some customers to pay their bill and the cost to the department is not substantial. They asked the department to look into mitigating the problems in connection with inserting the blue envelope. If the problems with the inserter cannot be worked out they did not have a particular problem with not using them.
5. A problem with one of the water pumps at Goss Pump Station was discovered during the annual inspection program conducted by Layne Water Resources. Pump No. 2 was found exhibiting excess vibration which is indicative of an internal problem. The unit was removed and visually inspected on site and nothing obvious was discovered as to what was causing the excess vibration.
The decision was made to take the motor and pump assembles to the shop where a more detailed inspection could be conducted. The inspection reviled that the lower motor bearing was worn which was most likely caused by the excessive deterioration at the discharge head shaft and bushing believed to be the cause of the vibration. Preliminary cost estimates to repair the motor and pump to near optimal operating condition is expected to be about $ 6,000. Superintendent Considine stated that the if this problem had not been discovery during the scheduled inspection the damage potentially could have been much worse as these units typically are operational at low flow conditions at night. Goss pump station has been in operation for about forty (40) years and this is the first major maintenance on the system or assembles.
The BOC agreed that it is essential to restore the pump as it is a major operating component of a zone that fulfills the fire suppression requirements throughout that zone.
1. The department should receive the auditor’s report for year ended 2014 this week and the report should be ready for BOC approval at their next meeting on April 21st.
2. The Town is in the process of applying for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant to aid project funding of several proposed large scale construction projects estimated at about seven (7) million dollars ($7,000,000). The North Country Council is preparing the grant application as the agent for the Town of Littleton and the application is due to the federal government by the end of April 2014. The scope of the project includes Phase 2 of Main Street (West End), Mill Street and Saranac Street to Meadow and the completion of the River Walk Project (South End). Though technically no “matching funds” are required for the TIGER grant history has shown that those communities that have provided minimum matching funds of about 30% were awarded similar grants. Superintendent Considine will keep the BOC apprised of the situation and project status going forward. No action was taken or proposed by the BOC relative to the TIGER grant application process.
3. Superintendent Considine advised the BOC that Next Era Energy plans to attend a future meeting and will make a recommendation/ proposal that the department consider using an alternative energy product (load following) in lieu of block energy purchases. Next Era alleges that the load following products will reduce the department exposure and risk due to our open position on the spot energy market. They are in the process of review our actual ISO load settlements data and will contact the department with their proposal.
4. The Local Government Centers property Liability Trust renewal/agreement was discussed and reviewed by the BOC. Commissioner Ross made a motion to sign the renewal confirmation as presented for FY 2015-FY2016 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2016), seconded by Commissioner Goodell.
Vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
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 2:02 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.