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 Apr 18, 2016

The regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting began at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, April 18, 2016 in the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Eddy Moore, Commissioner Perry Goodell, Commissioner Ralph Ross, Financial Director Cheryl Wilkins, and Superintendent Thomas Considine.

MINUTES REVIEW:

The minutes of the April 4, 2016 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Ross stated that a correction was needed with regard to the attendance and made a motion to accept the minutes as amended, seconded by Commissioner Goodell.

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

CUSTOMER & PUBLIC CONCERNS:

1. Superintendent Considine stated that a recent flier from North American Power mailed to residents of Littleton is causing some confusion among LWL customers. The flier is directed directly to Liberty Utility customers though Liberty Utility has no customers in the immediate area. LWL customers are directed to disregard this flier as it is not pertinent to LWL customers.

2. The recent announcement that the State of Vermont is considering purchasing the hydroelectric stations along the Connecticut River and establishing a power supply authority has generated some concerned citizens placing calls to LWL. Last week the announcement prompted a visit from a potential elected official that is gathering information about the power supply process. Most callers are not familiar with the intricacies of the wholesale power market and others are questioning whether or not we are buying directly from Moore Station/ Trans Canada.

FINANCIAL DIRECTORS REPORT:

Mrs. Wilkins reviewed the financial statements for the month ended February 2016 with the Commissioners. Several discrepancies as compared to budget were discussed and explained by Mrs. Wilkins.

Superintendent Considine presented the BOC with a graph that plotted energy sales to date as compared to 2015 and the 2016 budget. Energy sales are trending downward and most likely due to a warmer than normal winter (first quarter) and some amount can be attributed to the Hitchiner Manufacturing closing production at their Littleton plant. If LWL sales had met their respective goal as compared to 2015 and the 2016 budget projections margins would be 3.9% and 1.3% respectively above breakeven. The eight (8) percent rate increase should bring the revenues close to breakeven, though energy sales are the key factor.

SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:

1. The new health officer (Milton Bratz) for the Town of Littleton will be given a tour of the water system on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Mr. Bratz is concerned about all the negative publicity surrounding the lead and copper rule and the issues that have been in the news recently. A briefing is planned for Mr. Bratz with regard to the LWLís lead and copper compliance and sampling program. A facilities tour of the headwaters and the monitoring station is planned.

2. The NHDES has requested that LWL conduct a lead pipe survey of the water system. This is the direct result of USEPA guidance received in response to the problems in other cities with lead and copper compliance issues. LWL is entering into its tenth (10th) sampling compliance round in August 2016.

3. The 2016 Consumer Confidence Report (water quality) is being distributed to all LWL customers throughout the month of April. The report contains all detected elements/contaminants found in the drinking water in 2015. An electronic copy is available on the LWL website.

4. A topographical survey of the five (5) acre property behind this building was requested. Dr. Ray Talkington is the hydrologist attempting to determine if the Lafayette parcel can support a public drinking water well. The next step is to survey the property and refine/confirm the previous data from the aerial survey on the ground that the rock fractures exist.

Commissioner Ross commented that actual data will not be available until a well is drilled and a pump tested in conducted. If a well was available at the Lafayette site that combined with Brickyard supply could meet or exceed the town present demand.

GENERAL/ OTHER BUSINESS:

1. Commissioner Goodell signed a letter certifying that the BOC was reorganized for the 2016-2017 year in accordance with the LWL enabling legislation that will be sent to the town clerk for filing.

2. The BOC discussed a questionnaire requested by the auditors (Vachon Clukay & Company) and partially completed by LWL management as to LWL policy, practices and or operating procedures used to deter and or prevent fraudulent business activity.

The questionnaire asked the LWL to answer a variety of questions that addressed both internal and external fraud preventative measures.

Following a brief discussion the BOC was comfortable with the answers that LWL management provided. Commissioner Moore signed on behalf of the BOC.

3. The BOC also reviewed a recommendation made by the auditors with regard to placing an allowance on the balance sheet that accounts for a portion of the inactive account bad debt. The allowance is meant to refine the account receivable (AR) to more closely represent LWL actual AR balance.

The proposed policy would create a new line item on the balance sheet that would represent an amount that is approximately equal 50% of the total delinquent bad debt that meets the greater than 90 day criterion on the open balance register as of December 31st. Operationally, a bad debt entry would be expensed until a reasonable amount remained. A reasonable amount to carry is defined as two (2) year bad debt plus the current year. On average about $5,000 is uncollected each year, going forward LWL would carry about $10,000 to $12,000 annual in bad debt.

The BOC thought that this was reasonable as the oldest bad debt dates back to September 2000 and there have been no activity. Commissioner Ross made a motion to accept the bad debt policy as recommend, seconded by Commissioner Goodell.

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

4. The Town of Littleton submitted an abatement request for excessive water use at the Opera House building due to a faulty pipe/ outside faucet that was not properly winterized.

Commissioner Moore stated that this was not the first abatement request received relative to this property as one was granted recently for a faucet in a restroom that was properly closed.

Following some additional discussion Commissioner Ross made a motion to grant the townís abatement request in accordance with LWL rebate criterion and the town would need to pay the treatment costs, seconded by Commissioner Goodell.

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

ADJOURNMENT:

Commissioner Ross 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 2:02 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.


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