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, March 16, 2015 in the Littleton Water and Light Department (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Perry Goodell, Commissioner Eddy Moore, Financial Services Director Cheryl Wilkins and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the March 2, 2015 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Moore made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Goodell.
The vote was in favor of the motion 2-0-0.
Mrs. Mary Ann Fullam, a resident of Littleton on Washington Street, addressed the BOC with regard to a $ 25.00 processing penalty that was placed on her statement as a result of an electronic payment being returned by her bank.
Mrs. Fullam stated that as her bank did not charge LWL for processing or failure to process and she received an “approved transaction” from the LWL web processor. She feels that based on these facts it is not right for LWL to penalize her.
Superintendent Considine and Mrs. Wilkins explained the process to the BOC. On line web payment processing fees are charged for each transaction, whether successful or not the fees are charged to the department. Mrs. Fullam opted to utilize the “make a payment by electronic check” method; this is no different than writing a paper check as the bank is the approving authority. When using a credit/ debit card the payment is verified in real time, a check (even electronic ones) must be routed to the bank to verify that funds are available and that the account is valid. LWL initially applies the credit to the account pending confirmation by the bank (the system send a successful message to the customer); this process is the same no matter if you are using electronic checking or writing a paper check. Apparently Mrs. Fullam accidentally entered the wrong account number on her electronic check; LWL credited her account pending bank verification that funds were available. The following day the bank rejected the transaction and notified LWL that no funds were transferred to LWL.
LWL policy is to charge customer’s for return items a fee of $25.00. This is to cover LWL third party processing charges, software costs and labor to manually correct the error. (Note – the department does not currently charges customers a convenience fee on any online process process)
Following some additional discussion with Mrs. Fullam the BOC agreed that the error was on the customer and that the department has no fault in this situation, therefor they agreed that removing the penalty was not warranted. Mrs. Fullam thanked the BOC for listening and stated that she did not agree with the penalty charged.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. General discussion centered on Hitchiner Manufacturing’s announcement and pending plant closure in Littleton and the effect on LWL. Superintendent Considine explained that most of the LWL’s electric rate tariff (80%) is based on wholesale and transmission services that are considered as pass through as the department can not affect these costs. The anticipated losses to the department will most likely be associated with distribution and some administrative services.
2. The department is in the process of developing a capital water construction work plan and will present the proposed plan at a future meeting. This should highlight and prioritize critical water system infrastructure and assets for capital financing alternatives and is becoming more of a priority with the NHDES.
Commissioner Moore made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 1:40 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.