Serving the Community since 1903

Minutes of Littleton Water and Light Meetings

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.

Minutes for 2016

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Regular Meeting Mar 7, 2016

The regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting began at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, March 7, 2016 in the Littleton Water and Light Department (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Ralph Ross, Commissioner Eddy Moore, Commissioner Perry Goodell, Financial Director Cheryl Wilkins and Superintendent Thomas Considine.

MINUTES REVIEW:

The minutes of the February 16, 2015 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Goodell made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Moore.

The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.

APPOINTMENTS:

1. John Hennessey River District Redevelopment chairperson and Andrew Dorsett Littleton Town Manger discussed the US Department of Economic Development Grant application with the BOC.

Mr. Hennessey asked that the BOC consider having LWL as the co-applicant on the town’s grant funding application that is aimed at replacing infrastructure in the Mill/Saranac Street area. LWL as a co-applicant is the recommendation of the US Department of Economic Development (USDED) analyst that performed a cursory review of the grant application prior to final submittal following town meeting vote. The suggestion was made as LWL will most likely be accepting maintenance responsibility for some of the infrastructure replaced by funds provided by this grant. There is no monetary commitment required on the LWL for being a co-applicant.

Superintendent Considine stated that there most likely will be a limited amount of water main replacement in this area of the project, above ground devices such as street lighting circuits (architectural) and fire hydrant will most likely be replaced as part of the overall design. It is unlikely that the LWL will qualify for any of the planning grant monies unless the USDED grant criterion are different than that used by the US Rural Development Administration.

Following some discussion Commissioner Goodell made a motion that the LWL sign as the co-applicant on the town’s federal economic development grant application, seconded by Commissioner Moore.

The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.

Superintendent Considine is authorized to sign the final document on behalf of the BOC.

Mr. Hennessey thanked the BOC for their consideration and excused himself from the BOC meeting at 1:20 PM.

2. Superintendent Considine introduced Mr. Dorsett to the BOC as the new Town Manager.

Following some general discussion Mr. Dorsett spoke to the BOC about an idea that he and Mr. Considine were discussing relative to replacing a larger number of HPS street lights with newer LED. The proposed plan is that LWL would purchase the new light fixtures and invoice the town monthly for a set period of time, similar to a loan. He stated that he has not discussed this with the BOS yet as the plan is still in the feasibility stage.

Mr. Considine stated that though the specific detail has not been worked out at today’s current prices it would cost about $150,000 to replace the six hundred (600) or so HPS light fixtures. The proposed plan would be for LWL to set the town up with a zero (0) interest loan (principal only) to recoup the purchase of the fixtures, LWL would install at no direct cost to the town (installation is estimate at about $148,000). A monthly predetermined loan payment amount would be added to the normal consumption monthly invoice. The savings in energy is expected to off-set a portion of the capital cost minimizing the town’s overall replacement cost. This is most likely a 2017 program though we wanted to gauge the BOC’s interest and if they may be amenable to the proposed cost sharing plan before pursuing any further.

The BOC were in agreement that this seems like a good approach at sharing the costs that are associated with replacing the HPS fixtures at a quicker pace.

Commissioner Ross suggested that any bulk purchase of the fixtures be limited to what the LWL could actually replace in a set period as the prices of LED fixtures are dropping.

Superintendent Considine stated as the department is replacing twenty HPS lights this year that he would use this data to model how aggressive a program they set up.

Mr. Dorsett thanked the BOC for their willingness to work on this cost share proposed plan and left the meeting at 2:00 PM.

FINANCIAL DIRECTORS REPORT:

Mrs. Wilkins discussed several Health Trust membership forms that need to be signed by the BOC. Following some general discussion Commissioner Moore (Secretary) executed the agreements on behalf of the department.

SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:

1. The Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce in appreciation of the support provided by LWL delivered coffee and donuts as a “thank you” on Friday, February 26, 2016 to the LWL.

2. The load at Hitchiner Manufacturing has been dropping off since September 2015. February 2016 load is 50% lower than that recorded in February 2015. Though energy consumption will not drop to zero as they need to maintain the building, demand load should be minimal. The loss of Hitchiner load was figured in the department 2016 operating budget.

3. Bids are due on Friday, March 11, 2016 to replace the 2001 bucket truck number 501. The department is expecting three (3) bids that will be presented to the BOC at their meeting on March 28, 2016.

4. Department personnel will be making repairs to the water main adjacent to Staples on Meadow Street. This area has been leaking for some time though not significant enough to make an immediate cold weather repair and disturb the pavement. As a result of warming temperatures the repair will be made this week.

GENERAL/ OTHER BUSINESS:

1. The BOC reviewed a policy exception request submitted by James Anon, Pastor of the Elevate Church located at 70 Redington Street to be placed in the special service electric rate class (Churches/ public lighting). Pastor Anon provided the BOC with the necessary zoning documentation for review.

Following some discussion the BOC agreed that they met the necessary criterion and granted the requested action. The BOC also noted that the Littleton Zoning Board of Adjustment granted a special exception for a house of worship, and that the transformer and metering package was recently upgraded are all factors in their decision making process. As long as they (church) maintain their ZBA classification as house of worship the special services rate will apply, the electric rate will revert back to commercial if something changes.

2. As a direct result of increased electric operating costs (mainly transmission services) the BOC agreed that a rate increase of about 7 – 8 percent appears warranted and ordered that a public hearing be convened on Monday, March 28, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. The appropriate ads will be placed in the local newspaper the week prior to the hearing.

Superintendent Considine stated that an overall rate increase of about seven (7) percent appears to mitigate the increased cost main in transmission expense and provide the department with a small margin. As wholesale prices are expected to drop in 2017 as a result of previous hedge contacts this increase should provide a small buffer.

The BOC discussed how to allocate costs and were in agreement and that the expenses should be aligned according to the centers of costs.

Superintendent Considine reviewed the projected increase in cost for each line item on the invoices and stated that the electric rate model assigns costs based on their usage trend and then allocates those costs by class. He will also work up some talking points and slides for the public hearing.

ADJOURNMENT:

Commissioner Moore made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
Commissioner Goodell.

The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.

Meeting adjourned at 2:25 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.


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