Draft Minutes of the April 6, 2015 Water Authority Meeting
Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority
1649 Route 12, Gales Ferry, CT
Present Authority: Chairman Monahan, Treasurer Eccard, Member Franciosi, and Member Balestracci
Authority Staff: General Manager Cansler
Chairman Monahan called the meeting to order at approximately 5:18 p.m.
Approval of Prior Minutes
On motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Mr. Balestracci, the Authority unanimously approved the minutes of the March 16, 2015 Water Authority Meeting.
Public Comment on any Item on the Agenda – None
Mr. Cansler brought up a letter from the Ledyard Lions Club asking if SCWA was interested in posting an advertisement in their Memorial Day Parade booklet. Purpose of the proceeds from booklet support this patriotic annual event. SCWA has supported this request in the past, and Mr. Cansler recommended that we support this event again. On motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Mr. Balestracci, the Authority approved placing a quarter-page ad, at a cost of $40, in the Parade booklet.
General Manager’s Report
Item 1. Regional Considerations
The Authority has been involved with or otherwise engaged in various regional items, including:
Water Utility Coordinating Committees (WUCC).
Mr. Cansler stated that there is no update regarding the SCCOG request to the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) to convene the Eastern management area WUCC first. SCWA submitted a letter to the SCCOG Chairman offering support of SCCOG’s efforts to persuade DPH to alter the sequence of convening the WUCC in the State’s three public water supply management areas.
b) SCWA Interaction with SCCOG
Chairman Monahan periodically attends the regular monthly SCCOG meetings. The last SCCOG Regional Water Committee meeting was March 18, 2015, and was attended by Chairman Monahan.
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). Mr. Cansler stated that there was not a TAS meeting last month.
Item 2. DWSRF Emergency Generator Program
SCWA is preparing spec/procurement documents to request bids for three (3) generators at Montville, Chesterfield, and Tower-Ferry View locations. Once bids are received SCWA will submit bids to the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) to request funding through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). SCWA has already received approval of a 45% subsidy grant for a new generator at Tower-Ferry View, and a 25% subsidy for each replacement generator at Montville and Chesterfield.
Item 3. Capital Projects:
Lantern Hill Division Pumping Evaluation/Upgrade- Mr. Cansler stated that he will be meeting with Lenard Engineering to discuss the required upgrades, estimated costs involved, and other options for providing water in the Lantern Hill area.
Cedar Ridge Division Pumphouse, Elimination of “Confined Space”. (Note: All OSHA requirements and best management safety practices are being followed pending elimination of the confined space). Mr. Cansler stated that he will be meeting with Lenard Engineering to discuss the plans and specs for the project, which are now 11 years old.
Tower Division Eagle Ridge Booster Station Evaluation/Upgrade- Mr. Cansler will be working with new Foreman to determine requirements.
Ledyard Division Wellfield- Preliminary stages of acquiring DPH and Authority approval for installing an alternate well.
Item 4. Long Cove Rd., Gales Ferry – Proposed Development
There has not been any change since last June (2014) when SCWA staff met with a developer to discuss the possibility of a proposed new residential development in Ledyard receiving water service from SCWA. There has not been any recent discussion regarding SCWA service to this proposed new development.
Item 5. Town of Preston – Public Water Assistance Request
At the March 16th, 2015 Water Authority Board meeting, the Authority Board approved the final draft of the “Addendum To The Operating & Monitoring Agreement” between the Town of Preston and the Water Authority. Purpose of the Addendum was to establish a methodology for SCWA support to two off-site, non-municipal customers as part of the Monitoring Agreement. This Agreement authorizes SCWA to serve as the contract water service operator for the Town of Preston, operating several public water supply systems, including the system at the Preston Veterans Memorial School. Mr. Cansler is coordinating with the Town of Preston to schedule a time to finalize the agreement.
Item 6. 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.
Item 7. Montville High School Water Supply
The Town of Montville has engaged in a series of public information meetings to discuss extending the Town’s water system to the Montville High School to address a water quality problem. In 2013 SCWA provided a cost estimate of $53,000, in response to the Town’s inquiry, to serve the school from the SCWA Chesterfield Division. According to a news article in the January 6, 2015 edition of The Day, the Montville WPCA will resume the informational meetings in the spring.
Item 8. Montville Oakdale Elementary School Water Supply
In December 2014 the Town of Montville Board of Education has indicated they would send SCWA a letter stating the Town’s interest in the idea of interconnecting the Oakdale Elementary School to SCWA Montville and/or Seven Oaks division. As of April 6, 2015 SCWA has not yet received the letter.
Item 9. North Stonington – Water Line Easement
There has not been any recent developments regarding this legal issue concerning a property in North Stonington where the owner has stated that SCWA did not obtain or file the necessary property easements for a water main that was installed by a hotel developer in 2007. On June 24, 2014, SCWA staff and Attorney Kepple met with the property owner and his attorney, as well as the attorney for the hotel developer. Chairman Monahan and Member Eccard recommended that Mr. Cansler meet with Attorney Kepple to discuss this issue and see if there have been any changes or updates.
Item 10. SCWA Vacancies
Mr. Brandon Belair was selected in February to fill the void left by the departure of Wayne Thompson as the SCWA Foreman/Chief Operator position. His promotion to foreman resulted in a water works technician vacancy. The new vacancy was posted through water utility association websites, SCWA’s website, and the local newspaper (The Day). After conducting interviews March 18-20, SCWA decided to fill the vacancy with Mr. Chip Rickey. He will start work on April 13, 2015. Member Franciosi asked if we had scheduled any management training for the new foreman, Brandon Belair. Mr. Cansler stated that he and Mr. Belair are still looking for appropriate training for his position.
Item 11. Update of Bank Signature Cards
At the March 16th, 2015 Water Authority Board meeting, the Board approved the Bank Resolution authorizing the Authority Chairman and Treasurer to designate signatories and open, close, or modify bank accounts and services to SCWA. This resolution has been processed with our bank, and our account records have been updated.
Item 12. Electronic Billing and Payment
SCWA has been researching the possibility of upgrading our billing software to allow customers to pay via credit card electronically (internet), in person, or by phone. Software upgrades will allow customers the option of receiving their bills electronically (e-billing). In March SCWA received estimates from our current software provider, Continental Utility Solutions, Inc. (CUSI), to upgrade our existing billing software to provide online billing, payment, and credit card modules. Mr. Cansler presented the estimates from CUSI, and after a thorough analysis and discussion of the options offered in the estimates, the Authority Board decided to vote on the proposal. On motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Mr. Balestracci, the Authority, by a unanimous vote of all members present, voted to authorize the purchase, at the proposed cost of $8500, of additional software upgrades to our billing software which will allow customers the option of paying via credit card and/or the option of receiving bills electronically. The $8500 will come from funds already budgeted in this FY budget to upgrade of billing software.
Other Business - None
Report From Chairman
Mr. Monahan brought up the subject of a proper farewell for Mr. Greg Leonard, after 21 years as the General Manager of the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority. Mr. Leonard has requested that nothing elaborate or special be done on his behalf. After some discussion the Authority decided to farewell Mr. Leonard at the next Representative Advisory Board (RAB) meeting, scheduled for April 16, 2015. On motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Mr. Balestracci, the Authority, by a unanimous vote of all members present, voted to authorize the purchase of a small gift to be presented to Mr. Leonard as a token of appreciation for his 21 years of service to SCWA.
Report From Authority Members - None
Public Comment – None
On motion of Mr Eccard, seconded by Ms. Franciosi, the Authority adjourned at approximately
It was noted the next Authority meeting is scheduled to occur on April 27, 2015, 5:15 p.m. at
1649 Rt. 12, Gales Ferry, CT.
Joseph C. Cansler Secretary