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, January 4, 2010 in the Littleton Water and Light Department (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Ralph Ross, Commissioner Eddy Moore, Commissioner Perry Goodell, Financial Services Director Cheryl Wilkins, Operations Manager Richard Herrington and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of December 21, 2009 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 2-0-1.
Commissioner Ross did not vote as he was not present for the meeting in question.
The BOC reviewed a message sent to the Department via email from a concerned customer suggesting that due to hard economic times that LWL consider authorizing a $25.00 credit for each utility bill for the month of December.
Superintendent Considine stated that the approximate cost to comply with the above request would be $100,000 or the approximate amount of the Department’s over 30 day arrears as of December 2009.
Commissioner Ross stated that when the Department allowed a similar program in the past and “forgave” the December utility bill (November’s usage) that it generated much consternation from those that did not receive the credit and wanted it. The BOC, at that time made the decision to stop the practice as there was not an efficient way to manage the program without biasing one group over another. The BOC was in agreement that keeping the rates as low as possible amounted to a greater savings over time and was a more fair business solution.
Commissioner Moore stated that he was not in favor of it; under the current economic operating conditions entertaining such a program was not warranted and fiscally irresponsible.
FINANCIAL DIRECTORS REPORT:
1. Mrs. Wilkins reviewed the financial statements for the month ending November 2009 with the Commissioners. Several discrepancies as compared to budget were discussed and explained by Mrs. Wilkins. It does not appear that the electric O&M will finish 2009 in the black based on the available energy sales for December.
2. The physical count was recently completed in regard to the Department’s inventory per working section. Several items where discussed with the BOC as to the reasons for certain corrections.
Superintendent Considine stated that the count identified about $19,250 in gross inventory discrepancies for year ending 2009 that contributed to a net cash inventory adjustment of $167 on the operating expense sheet. The year end auditor will randomly select items to validate the Departments physical count.
SUPERINTENDENT/ MANAGERS REPORT:
1. The BOC was advised that the Main Street Christmas lighting would be taken down as time permits by Department personnel.
2. A new 2010, Ford F-150 pickup truck was received by the Department recently and will replace truck 12 (1999 Dodge Dakota). The truck will be utilized in support of general maintenance operations and will be principally operated and maintained by the utility person.
3. The Department participated in a power supply “Request for Proposal” (RFP) demonstration via a web portal. RFP solicitations are prepared by LWL and all transactions are conducted digitally via the internet. Superintendent Considine stated that though the demonstration was intriguing the Department would lose third party power supply oversight currently provided by La Capra Associates.
4. Mrs. Kenney discussed with the BOC ongoing efforts in pursuing the collection of delinquent account funds and how aggressive the department should be through the winter months.
Superintendent Considine stated that though it is permissible to disconnect a heat affected customer’s service during the winter months the Department needs to comply with NHPUC guidance. The winter disconnect rule only apply to residential customers.
Monthly statements are typically stamped “PAST DUE” and he questions the effectiveness of sending a notice out while being somewhat restricted as to being able to actually disconnect an account while incurring additional processing expenses.
The BOC recognized the added expenses incurred though they agreed that the Department needed to be aggressive in its collection efforts even through the winter months. The notices should continue to be sent out monthly to all accounts in the arrears though no reminder phone calls need to be made as long as the notices mailed are for “past due”. The customers are duly notified of their situation and when the weather improves the department would be fully in our rights to terminate a delinquent service as required.
1. The BOC decided not to accept the engineering service agreement submitted by Horizons Engineering in regard to developing an estimated cost to develop a well field on the old airport at the end of Persons Field.
2. The BOC open discussion relative to a request submitted by the Littleton Police Department’s Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) at their December 21, 2009 meeting which was to include a pamphlet in with the LWL monthly statement.
Superintendent Considine stated that LWL would incur an approximate cost per pamphlet of about $0.14 plus postage to manually stuff the envelopes.
The BOC agreed that the information contained in the pamphlet met the Department’s established criterion and grant the VIPS request.
3. The BOC discussed the department’s proposed operating budget and capital expenditures for 2010 as amended. They agreed that the rates were to remain the same going forward and that capital expenditures were to be monitored deliberately at the discretion of the Superintendent. Margins were to be monitored closely and capital expenditure was to reflex any changes. The rate structure would be revisited following the close of the first quarter.
Commissioner Ross made a motion to approve the 2010 operating budget and capital expenditures as noted, seconded by Commissioner Goodell.
Vote was in favor 3-0-0.
Commissioner Moore made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 2:35 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.