Draft Minutes of the November 14, 2016 Water Authority Meeting

Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority

1649 Route 12, Gales Ferry, CT

 

 

 

Present

Authority:  Chairman Monahan, Vice-Chairman Watson, Treasurer Eccard, Member Franciosi,

Member Balestracci and Member O’Connor

 

Authority Staff:  General Manager Cansler

 

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

 

Approval of Prior Minutes

On a motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Ms. Franciosi, the Authority approved the minutes of the October 17, 2016 Water Authority Meeting, by a vote of 4-0, with two abstentions (Mr. O’Connor,

Mr. Watson). 

 

Public Comment on any Item on the Agenda – None

 

Correspondence - None

 

General Manager’s Report

1.  Drought Issues - Montville

Due to the drought conditions resulting from much lower than average rainfall these past two years, and increased usage from customers in the Montville Manor Subdivision this past summer, the wells serving this area were not able to keep up with water demands in mid-August.  As a result SCWA sent out a notice restricting most outdoor water usage.  In addition we did a leak survey, and repaired two main breaks.   As a result of the leak repairs, and water restrictions that were implemented, the usage dropped back down to winter usage levels, and so far, the wells have managed to keep up.  SCWA field staff is continuing to check the tanks daily to ensure water levels remain consistent.  Although drought conditions continue to persist, SCWA has not experienced problems related to the drought at any other SCWA divisions, to date.  General Manager Cansler mentioned that he had received a call from a local NBC news reporter asking questions about the water restrictions in Montville Manor, and if we had implemented restrictions elsewhere. 

 

2.  Extension of Services on Fairway Drive -Ledyard

SCWA continues to work with the Town of Ledyard and Ledyard WPCA regarding support of a proposed extension of Fairway Drive in Ledyard Center, including the proposed Thames Aquatic Center project, planned for 2017.   Although the Ledyard WPCA proposed supporting the new Aquatic Center from their water main along Route 117 to the Aquatic Center site (approx. 700 feet), SCWA favored supporting the new Aquatic Center via our main, which ends at the three apartment buildings on Iron Street (Route 214).  This main is approximately 300’ away direct line distance, or 450’ via Iron street.  This alternative will keep the water service project for the Thames Aquatic entirely within the SCWA system, and not require coordination with multiple utilities. 

 

 

 

In late September, Dave Holdridge, representing the landowner of all the vacant Fairway Drive lands met with Mr. Cansler and stated that they were going to pursue a well for the Aquatic Center property, until such time in the future that the Fairway Drive is developed, and SCWA runs a main along the expansion.  Mr. Holdridge asked if SCWA would agree to run/monitor the well.  SCWA has responded that we will support that alternative, if the Aquatic Center can get permission to drill a well.

 

Several members of the Authority expressed concern that the Town, or developer, might think that SCWA was the holdup on this project.  Although Chairman Monahan felt that the Town understood that SCWA had adequately conveyed that we could support this project, he agreed that SCWA should take the initiative to put a line in from the apartments.   The Authority decided that SCWA should follow-up with another letter stating our support for this project, and laying out the various alternatives to providing water.  Mr. Eccard said that we should send the letter through legal channels.  To expedite the main extension to the Aquatic Center, the Authority agreed that SCWA would cover the additional cost, if any, of extending the main from the apartments along Iron Street vs direct line distance. 

 

Mr. Eccard made a motion to have the General Manager reach out to our attorney to draft a letter stating our desire to move the project forward with SCWA support as expeditiously as possible.  This motion, which was seconded by Mr. Watson, passed by a vote of 6-0.

  

3. Transfer of Lantern Hill Division

In June 2016, PURA (Public Utility Regulatory Agency), DPH (Department of Public Health), and the CT Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) held public hearings in Stonington and New Britain to consider the proposed transfer of the Lantern Hill Division from SCWA to Aquarion Water Company.  SCWA currently provides water to only 23 residential customers in the Lantern Hill Division.  Aquarion has a large pump station a few hundred yards from Lantern Hill, and a water main that passes within 100 feet of the current SCWA Lantern Hill distribution system.  After the hearings OCC expressed concern about Aquarion’s intent to lower the Lantern Hill customer rates to their Eastern Connecticut rate.  Aquarion  responded to OCCs concerns in August, and both Aquarion and SCWA are awaiting a decision from PURA regarding the transfer.  Mr. Cansler said that he had talked to Attorney Kepple the week before, and there was still nothing new regarding this issue.  He also stated that Aquarion was ready to install the new main extension from their main, so that they could switch Lantern Hill over to Aquarion water as soon as the transfer was approved.

 

4.  DWSRF Emergency Generator Program

At the September 2016 meeting, the Authority approved a motion to have Lenard Engineering prepare plans, specs, and all required bid documents for three generator projects which were previously approved for partial DWSRF funding (45% subsidy grant for a new generator at the Tower-Ferry View Division, and 25% subsidy grants for replacement generators at the Montville and Chesterfield Divisions).   Lenard Engineering completed the plans, specs, and bid packages on October 13, 2016, and SCWA sent out a Request for Proposal (RFP) to interested firms the following day.  SCWA received a total of 5 bids by the bid opening deadline of October 26, 2016:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Company                                                                                               Total Bid

 

Prime Electric LLC                                                                                    $296,780

 

Electrical Energy Systems Corp.                                                                   $310,178

 

Custom Electric                                                                                       $272,000

 

Tower Generator                                                                                     $251,494

 

D.B. Electric                                                                                            $270,275

 

General Manager Cansler stated that the RFP, bids, and other required paperwork were sent to DPH on October 28, 2016 requesting approval and funding for the three generator projects.   DPH is currently reviewing our request.

 

5.  Water Supply Plan

Per the terms of the September 2015 Consent Agreement with DPH, SCWA is required to submit an updated Water Supply Plan to DPH no later than January 1, 2018.   After soliciting bids from several engineering firms that are experienced with the development of Water Supply Plans in the State of Connecticut, the Authority authorized the General Manager to award the development of the updated SCWA Water Supply Plan to Lenard Engineering, based on price and experience with SCWA systems.   The General Manager and Lenard Engineering are currently developing milestones, and consolidating data that will be required for preparation of the updated Water Supply Plan.    

 

6.  Tank Inspections

The State DPH requires that all atmospheric water storage tanks be inspected a minimum of every 10 years.  Mass Tank inspection services began inspecting and cleaning the tanks listed below on November 2, 2016.   Inspections should be completed by December 2016. 

 

                SCWA Division                   Town                     Type and Number of Tanks         Inspection Date_____

                Hillcrest                                Montville                             2 Steel                                  Nov 2nd (completed)

 

                Tower                                  Ledyard                                                1 Steel                                  Nov 9th                 

 

                Montville                             Montville                             2 Concrete                          Nov 10th

                                                                                                                1 Steel

               

                Ferry View                          Ledyard                                                1 Steel                                  Nov 16th              

               

                Ledyard Center                 Ledyard                                                1 Steel                                  Nov 30th

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.  Trailer-mounted Mobile Pump Station Project

In preparation for the Chesterfield project, and other similar projects to follow over the next few years, SCWA intends to construct a trailer-mounted pump station that can be used to operate our regular pump stations during renovation projects, and/or emergency repairs.  At the June 2016 meeting the Authority approved construction of the trailer-mounted pump station.  SCWA purchased a new 20 x 8 enclosed trailer and ordered a booster pump skid package from FW Webb, through the State Contract.  Additional costs will include electrical panels, wiring, and piping.   The pump skid package finally arrived the first week in October.  Work began on the trailer-mounted mobile pump station in mid-October, however progress has been hindered by a number of water main leaks in Montville, Tower, and Barrett Park Divisions over the past few weeks.  

 

8.  Hillcrest - Radon in Water Letter

Jensen Communities, Inc., which developed, and sells homes in the Hillcrest Division of Montville, expressed concern earlier this year about radon in the drinking water of a home that was recently sold.  Although not a regulated substance, radon in water is a cause for concern if it is released into the air.  In June the Authority approved an engineering feasibility study on reducing radon in the water at Hillcrest.  The study recommended radionuclide treatment using a bubble-up radon removal system, which would cost approximately $33,000.  The feasibility study also discussed the option of utilizing an air compressor and perforated pipe to force air into the tanks.  The consulting engineer felt that this solution may not eliminate enough radon in the water to resolve the issue, however the General Manager plans to try the cheaper solution first, and see how much radon is eliminated.  SCWA has discussed both solutions with Jensen Communities.  

 

9.  Montville Oakdale Elementary School Water Supply

In 2015 the Authority approved supporting the Montville Oakdale Elementary School either as a primary and/or back-up water provider.  The school currently operates off of an on-site well system.  In July 2016 General Manager Cansler and SCWA Foreman Brandon Belair met with Montville Schools to discuss connection costs and requirements.  Mr. Cansler has informed Montville Schools that the Connection and System Development Fees would be around $12,000, which includes the cost of the meter.  Montville Schools will be responsible for the cost of construction/installation costs.  In September, Montville schools requested information regarding average water bills if they connect to the SCWA system.   This information was provided, and forwarded to the Montville Schools Finance committee for review and approval.  

 

Mr. Cansler mentioned that he had talked to the Montville School District and that they were very close to funding the fees and costs for hook-up to the Oakdale Elementary School.  After some discussion by the Authority members regarding our fees and costs to the School District, Mr. Eccard made a motion to authorize the General Manager to  work with the Montville Schools Finance Committee to work out an a definitive agreement for system development fees.  This motion, seconded by Mr. Balestracci, passed by a vote of 5 in favor, and one opposed. 

 

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

The Town of North Stonington is constructing a new Center for Emergency Services, which includes extending SCWA’s water distribution system 1500 feet, to the new Center for Emergency Services.  SCWA continues to work with the Design/Engineer Firm, as needed, to assist with planning the main extension and Emergency Center water system, and will continue to support the project after it has been awarded. 

 

 

11.  SCWA Financial Statements – First Quarter FY 2017

Attachment:      FY 2017 First Quarter Financial Statements

                                Production Report FY 2017; through First Quarter

                                Cash Position Report 11/07/16

 

General Manager Cansler discussed the FY 2017 first quarter financial statements, water production figures, and the November 7, 2016 Cash Position Report with the Authority.  There was not any significant concerns or issues with the third quarter statements.

 

12.  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.  In conjunction with State Water Plan, DPH has coordinated the activities of the three Water Utility Coordinating Committees (WUCCs).   The Eastern Connecticut WUCC officially convened in June 2016.  Future WUCC member meetings will be every second Wednesday of the month at the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG) Office, at 1 pm.  These meetings are open to the public.   At the August WUCC meeting General Manager Cansler volunteered to serve on the ESA (Exclusive Service Area) sub-committee.  There have been two meetings of the ESA (Exclusive Service Area) sub-committee to date, both held at the SCWA Conference room in Gales Ferry. 

 

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 participate on the SCCOG Regional Water Committee’s Technical Advisory Subcommittee.  The last meeting, to discuss drought status/conditions in Southeastern Connecticut, was held on November 9, 2016.

 

Other Business – General Manager Cansler mentioned that he had received a phone call from a developer that was interested in building up to 73 new homes in Ledyard.  The proposed development will be approximately 800 feet from the closest SCWA main.  Although the proposed development is not in our ESA, SCWA is the only water utility close by.   

 

Report from Chairman  - None 

 

Report from Authority Members – None 

 

Public Comment – None

 

On motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Ms. Franciosi, the Authority voted to adjourn the meeting at approximately 6:37 p.m. 

 

It was noted the next Authority meeting is scheduled to occur on December 12, 2016, 5:15 p.m. at

1649 Rt. 12, Gales Ferry, CT. 

 

                                                                                                                Joseph C. Cansler                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Secretary