Draft Minutes of the October 19, 2015 Water Authority Meeting

Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority

1649 Route 12, Gales Ferry, CT

 

 

 

Present

Authority:  Chairman Monahan, Treasurer Eccard, Member Balestracci, and Member Franciosi.

 

Authority Staff:  General Manager Cansler

 

Chairman Monahan called the meeting to order at approximately 5:15 p.m. 

 

Approval of Prior Minutes

On motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Mr. Balestracci, the Authority approved the minutes of the September 21, 2015 Water Authority Meeting, by a vote of 4-0. 

 

Public Comment on any Item on the Agenda – None

 

Correspondence – None

 

General Manager’s Report

 

1.  North Stonington Pump Station Replacement

Construction began the last week in September to replace the North Stonington Pump Station. 

Mr. Cansler stated that as of October 19th, the concrete footers and concrete walls have been constructed, and that the formwork would be removed from the concrete walls this week.  In addition, SCWA has ordered all of the new equipment for the new pump station.  Construction of the pump station should be completed by mid-November, and equipment hook-up and testing completed by the end of November.  Mr. Cansler said that they are still working out details for the contractor that will help us install the new pumping equipment.  Lenard Engineering developed all of the plans, and is working with SCWA to assist with quality control, and development of the bill of materials.

 

SCWA is still working with the insurance company regarding reimbursement for the cost of replacing the pump station, as well as costs related to emergency actions after the tank rupture to provide temporary water to the customers, and costs to get the temporary system installed and running.  To date SCWA has only received $61,440.77 for claims submitted.

 

2. Lantern Hill Division

Mr. Cansler met with Aquarion on June 10th to discuss possible alternatives to providing water to the 23 residents in Lantern Hill currently using SCWA water.   On August 10, 2015 the Authority voted unanimously to have the General Manager follow through with Aquarion on transition of the property.   On August 27, 2015 SCWA received a draft Asset Transfer Agreement between SCWA and Aquarion Water Company.  Mr. Cansler forwarded this draft agreement to Attorney Kepple for review the same day.  Attorney Kepple responded with proposed modifications on September 15th.  SCWA is waiting on word back from Aquarion regarding our response. 

 

3.  Cedar Ridge Pump Station Modifications

After an advertised public bidding process, the contract to modify access to the Cedar Ridge Pump Station was awarded to Coon Construction.  Access to the underground section of the pump station is currently only through a hatch on the ground floor, into a space that requires “confined space” entry equipment by certified personnel.  Construction will include excavation, new door, and stairs, per plans and technical specifications. (Note:  All OSHA requirements and best management safety practices are being followed pending elimination of the confined space).  Start of this project has been being delayed so that all of our resources could be focused on the North Stonington project.

 

4.  Tank Inspections

The State DPH requires that all atmospheric water storage tanks be inspected a minimum of every 10 years.  SCWA has hired Mass Tanks to clean and inspect a total of one (1) concrete, and seven (7) steel tanks, at the Mohegan, Birchwood, Barrett, Robin Hill, and Chesterfield Divisions.  The first tank inspection/cleaning will be on Oct 27th.  This round of inspections will be complete by Dec 8, 2016. 

 

5.  Chesterfield Water

SCWA has been receiving an increasing number of calls regarding discolored water, and occasional sediment, in the water from residents of the SCWA Chesterfield Division.  We have flushed the water mains twice this year, and tried various treatment methods to resolve this issue, however, we have not been able to resolve this problem.  SCWA is going to have the storage tank cleaned on Oct 27th, and SCWA staff will flush the same week.  Mr. Cansler also recommends bringing an engineer on board to review our procedures and make recommendations on other alternatives to resolve this problem.  Lenard Engineering is very familiar with our system at Chesterfield, and would be a good choice for this engineering analysis.  

 

Mr. Eccard made a motion to accept Mr. Cansler’s recommendation to hire Lenard Engineering to conduct an analysis of the Chesterfield system and make recommendations on alternatives to resolve the ongoing issues with discolored water.  This motion, seconded by Mr. Balestracci, was approved by a vote of 4-0.

 

6.  North Stonington – Water Line Easement

SCWA has been contacted by an attorney for Mr. Georgidas, a North Stonington property owner, who has stated that SCWA had not obtained, or filed, the necessary property easements for a water main that was installed by a hotel developer in 2007.  Based on the advice of Mr. Kepple, the attorney representing SCWA, the Authority voted to communicate, through counsel, to Mr. Georgidas’, that the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority is willing to resolve its dispute with his client, and the entity, by waiving the SCWA Connection Fees for his property in exchange for a full release with the stipulation. 

 

The most recent development involves allegations by the attorney for the hotel that SCWA engineers were involved in the layout and construction of the misaligned water main.  Mr. Cansler stated that he would be meeting with Attorney Kepple the next day to respond to these allegations.  Chairman Monahan stated that he would be attending the meeting as well.  Mr. Cansler said that his predecessor as General Manager, Greg Leonard, had volunteered to attend the meeting on his own time to provide a historical background on the easement, and water main installation.

 

 

7.  Town of North Stonington - New Center for Emergency Services

The Town of North Stonington is constructing a new Center for Emergency Services.  To support the new facility the Town has been awarded a Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant of $245,400, from the State of Connecticut, to extend SCWA’s water distribution system.  The grant will be used to extend the water main further into the Town Center, and to the new Center for Emergency Services.  The project will require the installation of 1500 feet of water main.  SCWA has been working with the Design/Engineer Firm to assist with planning the main extension and Emergency Center water system.  

 

8.  Montville Oakdale Elementary School Water Supply

SCWA is working with the Montville School District to provide an alternate water source to the Oakdale School’s well system.  After analysis of the usage logs at the Oakdale School it was determined that there is enough capacity to support the school from SCWA’s Montville District.  At the May 18th, 2015 Authority Board meeting, the Authority approved supporting the Oakdale Elementary School either as a primary and/or back-up water provider.  We are told that Montville has included a budget line item in their FY16 schools budget to pay for construction of the connection to the SCWA system.

 

9.  FY 2016 Proposed Rate Increase

Attachment 1: Proposed Rate Increase schedule of related Activities.

The FY16 SCWA budget includes a proposed 5% increase in water rates, service charges, capital charges and connection charges, with the projected implementation date of November 1, 2015.  The Representative Advisory Board (RAB) “Rate Review Procedure” dictates a 90 day review process.  The RAB held a Public Hearing on the rate increase at the Montville Emergency Services Building, in Montville, on August 27, 2015. 

 

Mr. Eccard made a motion to adopt the 5% proposed rate increase, effective November 1, 2015.  This motion, seconded by Mr. Balestracci, was approved by a vote of 4-0.

 

10.  Regional Considerations

The Authority has been involved with, or is monitoring, various regional items, including:

a)  State Water Plan and Water Utility Coordinating Committees (WUCC): Pursuant to Public Act 14-163, a State Water Plan for the management of water resources in the State of Connecticut is required to be presented by the State Water Planning Council (WPC), to the General Assembly by January 1, 2018.  The WPC has assembled a Steering Committee to coordinate the development of the Plan.  In conjunction with State Water Plan, DPH has coordinated the activities of the three Water Utility Coordinating Committees (WUCCs).   Mr. Cansler attended the first of several Informational meetings regarding the Eastern Management Area WUCC, which was held on Sep 30, 2015 at Eastern Connecticut State University.

 

b)  SCWA Interaction with the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG).  Chairman Monahan periodically attends the regular monthly SCCOG meetings. 

 

c)  SCCOG Regional Water Committee’s Technical Advisory Subcommittee (TAS).  SCWA staff has been participating on the SCCOG Regional Water Committee’s Technical Advisory Subcommittee (TAS).  

 

 

Other Business – None

 

Report from Chairman  - None 

 

Report from Authority Members – There was some discussion regarding the SCWA Representative Advisory Board (RAB) meeting held on October 15, 2015, on how to make these meetings more interesting for the RAB members.  One of the suggestions discussed was to bring in guest speakers at occasional meetings.  Mr. Cansler said he would explore this option for future RAB meetings.  There was also discussion about limiting the time allowed for RAB members to speak.  The suggestion was made to limit speakers to 5-10 minutes.  This recommendation will be made to the RAB chairman prior to the next RAB meeting.

 

Public Comment – None

 

On motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Ms. Franciosi, the Authority voted to adjourn the meeting at approximately 6:10 p.m. 

 

It was noted the next Authority meeting is scheduled to occur on November 9, 2015, 5:15 p.m. at

1649 Rt. 12, Gales Ferry, CT. 

 

                                                                                                Joseph C. Cansler                                                                                                                                                                             Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENT 1

 

 

 

 

 

Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority

Proposed Rate Increase

Schedule of Related Activities

 

The Rates Review Procedure requires that the Representative Advisory Board conduct a public hearing on the proposed rates within thirty (30) days of being “notified” by the Authority.  SCWA is developing materials associated with the proposed rate increase.  These materials will be included with the official RAB notification.  SCWA is proposing the following schedule of related activities:

 

Activity                                                         Date

Official Notification to RAB                       July 30, 2015                  
                                                                          

 

Notice of Public Hearing                              Published not more than 14 days, nor less

                                                                      than 5 days prior to public hearing.

                                               

Public Hearing                                              August 27, 2015  (6:30 pm)

                                                                       at the Montville Public Safety Center

 

Regular RAB Meeting                                 October 15, 2015

 

RAB Forward Advice                                              No later than October 16, 2015

and/or Comments to Authority

 

Authority Review/Action                             October 19, 2015

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