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, June 2, 2014 in the Littleton Water and Light Department (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Perry Goodell, Commissioner Eddy Moore, Commissioner Ralph Ross, Financial Services Director Cheryl Wilkins and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the May 19, 2014 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Moore made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Ross.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Next Era Energy Resources representatives Robert Kasle and Dustin Schwarz (via telephone conference call) briefed the BOC in regard to their load following energy product. Mr. Kasle stated that the block purchase strategy (based on an estimate) is outdated and does not provide adequate protection against spot market volatility as it does not follow actual loads. The load following is adjusted on the real time market and the department pays according to the actual load.
The BOC agreed that they were intrigued by the product but are not convinced that the premium justifies moving away from the block strategy approach that has served the department well.
The BOC advised Mr. Kasle that the BOC would make a decision at their June 16th meeting and thanked him for his presentation. Mr. Kasle excused himself at 2:00 p.m.
FINANCIAL DIRECTORS REPORT:
1. Mrs. Wilkins updated the BOC in regard to the NISC iVue conversion process since going “live” with the accounting and business solution (ABS) portion of the software. Daily transactions from the current utility billing software (Harris) are being inputted into the iVue ABS system manually though a cumbersome process this insures a more accurate balance.
2. Superintendent Considine stated that he would like to set up user convenience fee for customer that use their credit/ debit to pay their monthly invoice. The department could establish some monetary or user class level which the fee may or may not be applicable. The fee would be based on the average processing fees incurred by the department.
The BOC took no action in regard to Superintendent Considine’s proposal with regard to establishing a convenience fee and discussion was tabled until a later date.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. Department personnel are researching whether or not using a service type boom/ bucket truck (similar to telephone/ CATV vehicle) is a feasible alternative for use by the department. A 50’ boom with bucket, mounted on an F-550 (GVWR 19,500) frame, was demonstrated by a dealer recently and briefly test operated by LWL personnel.
A majority of the electric service work requested would be easily accomplished using this size vehicle. Easier access into restricted areas where a full size vehicle would have trouble maneuvering would expedite repairs. A material handling jib will facilitate the installation of service secondary’s and could accommodate the installation of the smaller residential pole mounted transformer (say 10kva – 15 kva) under the right field conditions.
It is expected that normal wear and tear on the full size units would be significantly reduced thus extending the capital replacement life of the larger units. The cost of this vehicle is estimated at about $115,000 plus the cost of rigging the equipment or about half of what a full size line bucket truck would cost.
LWL personnel are still in the process of reviewing available options and will bring the BOC a recommendation and additional detail at a later date.
No action was taken by the BOC with regard to this matter.
2. The Town of Franconia asked the department (via Ferguson Water Works) whether the department was interested in purchasing their remaining 8” water main from their 2007 replacement project (about 1860’). Ferguson will pick up and deliver the pipe to the department for $12.85/ foot which is a 37.5 % savings as new pipe is $20.55/ foot. The factory representative has certified the pipe as new and LWL personnel have visually inspected the pipe and found it in good condition.
Several water main capacity replacement projects are scheduled and the purchase of this pipe would reduce installation costs.
Commissioner Goodell asked if the gaskets were still in good condition after sitting since 2007.
Superintendent Considine stated that the gaskets have been undercover out of the elements, if they needed replacement new gaskets are about $6.00/ pipe.
The BOC agreed to purchase the water pipe as the department would eventually utilize the pipe and replacing the gaskets if needed would add minimal expenses.
3. LWL customers are being notified (office posting, fliers and online) that effective at the close of business on June 24th the department would not be processing any sort of electronic payment (debit/ credit card) transaction until on or about July 2nd. This is the direct result of converting to new utility billing software and processing company, testing of the new systems will occur between these dates.
1. Due to ground settlement under a curb stop replacement repair/patch the resident at 22 Winter Street sustained minimal property damage when their fifth wheel camper sunk into the repair patch severing a wire in to the electric brakes. The repair cost is expected to be about $150 to replace a piece of the wiring harness and the site of the incident was addressed and reinforced.
2. The BOC reviewed the water abatement request for the period May through September 2013 submitted by the resident at 67 Easy Street. The higher that normal consumption record was reported relative to a leaking supply line to their swimming pool.
Superintendent Considine stated that the request meets the criterion established to abate the usage though he is not comfortable in doing so due to the timing of the request and that repairs were not expedited. The customer divulged that the department had notified him of the high water consumption though repairs were not made until several months later. As this is an exception to department water abatement procedures “timeliness” criterion he felt compelled to bring it before the BOC for action.
Following some discussion the BOC agreed that they would allow an abated amount of not more than fifty (50) percent of the usage less treatment and distribution expenses. This decision is based on the fact that the records show that the abatement request and mechanical repairs were not made in a timely manner and that the period in question is almost one (1) year ago.
3. Superintendent Considine advised the BOC that as a direct result of processing fee associated with accepting credit and debit cards the department is researching the applicability to charging a convenience fee for all electric payments beginning July 2nd. The new NISC online gateway when activated gives the department several options with regard to recouping processing costs. Commercial class credit/debit card have higher processing fees associated with them as a result the department is checking out whether or not it is legal to only allow residential class customer the option to pay on line with a credit/ debit card, commercial class customers would still have the option of paying with an electronic checks.
Commissioner Ross made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.
The above read and approved.
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.