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 1, 2015 in the Littleton Water and Light Department (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Ralph Ross, Commissioner Perry Goodell and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the May 18, 2015 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 2-0-0.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. The department was notified by the New England Electrical Workers Benefits Fund (NEEWBF- Health Insurance provider) that effective
June 1, 2015 health insurance premiums will increase by more than thirty (30) percent; benefits under this plan will not change at this time but are being reviewed.
Over the last several months there has been much speculation surrounding pending changes to the insurance rates and benefits package. Several comparable plans were evaluated by the department. The benefits package offered by NEEWBF includes health, dental, vision, disability and life; with the exception of health coverage the other plans do not include these other benefits.
As a direct result of a correspondence received by the department on May 26, 2015, NEEWBF remains the most cost effective overall health care option at this time with considering the total benefits package available. The NEEWBF plan represents a significant overall cost savings to the department and its employees over the other plans that were evaluated. No change in health coverage is recommended at this time though reports are that the rates and benefits package with NEEWBF will change further. Until that time the department will continue to evaluate alternative coverages and plan availability in the event that NEEWBF is not a viable alternative.
Increase health care costs will be factored into the O&M budgets to gage the impact on operations. The adjusted budgets will be presented to the BOC for review and discussion relative to possible rate adjustment to compensate for increased expenses due to insurances.
2. The LWL was found in compliance with the NH Retirement System (NHRS) requirements for standards pertaining to reportable wages and deduction. A recent audit of the departmentís payroll data and contributions was conduct by NHRS for the period of October 2014 Ė March 2015. Overall the records submitted by the department to NHRS auditors were found to be in compliance with state law with the exception of a few clerical housekeeping items.
The department signed and returned the property easement request forms submitted by the Littleton Snowmobile Club. In accordance with NH RSA, any portion of the state trail system that is maintain by the club that cross private/ public property must request permission from the property owner before accessing. The property in question is the pump station property on Mt. Eustis Road and a portion of the Brickyard Road pump house. Both accesses do not affect or interfere with the operations of these facilities.
3. Several exploratory test pits were dug at the proposed Lafayette Well House to determine the extent of the gravel pack. Though water was present (at about 6-8 feet) the gravel strata was not deep enough to accommodate a municipal well as glacial till, clays and bedrock were found at 12-15 feet. Before ruling out the site a fracture trace study will be conducted to determine if a bedrock well could be located and sustained. Minimal evidence (refuge or other dumped debris) was found during the excavation of the test pits, suggesting that the alleged dump site (circa 1890-1925) is not a major consideration of source water contamination in the immediate area. A full report will be prepared by Geosphere for the department when the fracture trace study has been concluded.
4. Representatives from Eversource Energy (Northeast Utilities/PSNH) and La Capra Associates will meet with the department on Friday, June 12, 2015 to discuss the feasibility of an interconnection to the U-199 line behind the transfer station. The department has proposed the project to increase reliability and reduce the risk that are associated with more than fifteen (15) miles of sub-transmission overhead lines that are difficult to access.
5. First quarter profit margins were reviewed with the BOC. Several graphs were shown and explain by Superintendent Considine.
Water division revenues are slightly above the required revenue goal and well ahead of O&M budget projections and are showing an operating margin of 0.923.
Electric division revenues are below O&M budget projections and show an operating margin of 1.03, though profits for April 2015 appear to be ahead of budget.
6. Commissioner Goodell asked what the status of High Street was with regard to the towns proposed sanitary replacement project.
Superintendent Considine stated that the department only plans to relocate the fire hydrant, replace a few of the gate valves and possibly extend the water main toward Clay Street. The majority of the water main down High Street toward Pleasant Street will remain as there is no operational need to replace it.
A new/replacement water main on the upper portion of Maple Street may also be attempted if time permits. This project has been on the schedule for the past couple of years and the line is already stubbed in on the School Street end. If time and budgetary constraints permits work may begin in July/August while school is out for summer recess.
The spring 2015 wholesale power supply solicitation was discussed with the BOC. The request for proposal is prepared and solicitation will be made within the next two weeks. Bid prices are expected to be stable and similar to current contracts prices therefore the decision was made to solicit varying amounts of resources to hedge power supplies to 2019. The majority of LWL resources are locked in with one supplier, the BOC agreed that diversifying resources among different providers was in the best interest of the department in so long as the prices are reasonable.
Commissioner Goodell made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor of the motion 2-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m.
The regularly scheduled Commissionerís meeting is held twice monthly on the first and third Monday, at 1:00 p.m., in the Departmentís conference room.