Draft Minutes of the March 16th, 2015 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 motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Mr. Balestracci, the Authority unanimously approved the minutes of the February 23, 2015 Water Authority Meeting.

 

Public Comment on any Item on the Agenda – None

 

Correspondence

Mr. Cansler stated that any significant correspondence would be addressed during the General Manager’s Report segment of the meeting.

 

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)

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) has announced that it has completed the realignment of the geographical boundaries of the WUCC management areas. The number of management areas has been decreased from seven (7) to three (3): Western, Central and Eastern. According to DPH, the Western management area will be the first to be addressed. The SCCOG Regional Water Committee would like for DPH to address the Eastern management area first. In that regard, SCWA submitted a letter to the SCCOG Chairman, signed by the SCWA Chairman and General Manager, 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. Mr. Cansler stated that there has not been any developments regarding this issue.

 

  • SCWA Interaction With SCCOG

SCWA and the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG) continue to interact cooperatively. To this end, Chairman Monahan periodically attends the regular monthly SCCOG meetings and the SCCOG Regional Water Committee meetings. During the last Regional Water Committee meeting (February 11, 2015) the committee opened discussion about expanding the committee’s charge to also include regional wastewater issues.

 

c) SCWA staff is participating on the SCCOG Regional Water Committee’s Technical Advisory Subcommittee (TAS). SCWA welcomes this opportunity to assist SCCOG on technical matters. The most recent TAS meeting (February 19, 2105) included discussion of the proposed restoration/repair of the Gold Star Bridge and the possibility of adding a water main the length of the bridge during restoration.

 

Item 2. DWSRF Emergency Generator Program

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is offering subsidized grants/loans for generator purchases through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). SCWA has filed applications to acquire five (5) new generators through this program. SCWA recently received two new generators and the $49,786.13 to fund them, through this program. DPH has approved the eligibility of the remaining three (3) generators for participation in the program:

 

  • Two generators (Montville and Chesterfield) are each eligible for a 25% subsidy because they are considered replacement generators.

  • The other generator (Tower-Ferry View) is eligible for a 45% subsidy because it is considered a new generator.

 

SCWA is still in the process of preparing spec/procurement documents, requesting bids, and submitting bids, along with required documents to DPH to request funding.

Item 3. Outline of Ongoing/Upcoming Matters:

In addition to the above referenced items, SCWA is involved with various projects, as outlined below:

 

  • Capital Projects

    • Lantern Hill Division Pumping Evaluation/Upgrade

    • Tower Division Eagle Ridge Booster Station Evaluation/Upgrade

    • 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 and Mr. Leonard have been going over the original plans for this project to determine if the plans were still valid and usable.

    • Ledyard Division Wellfield

Preliminary stages of acquiring DPH and Authority approval for installing an alternate well.
 

  • Long Cove Rd., Gales Ferry – Proposed Development

A developer inquired about receiving water service from SCWA for a proposed residential project. The location is well within the Town of Ledyard’s Exclusive Service Area (ESA). The developer was advised to contact the Town. A representative of the Ledyard WPCA contacted SCWA and recommended that SCWA meet with the developer to explore the potential of SCWA serving the proposed project. SCWA staff met with the developer on June 18, 2014. There is great potential that SCWA will be able to provide water for this developer. As authorized by the Authority, Lenard Engineering is assisting with developing a preliminary engineering analysis of what infrastructure would be required to serve this development and to generate a preliminary cost estimate.

 

 

 

Item 4. Town of Preston – Public Water Assistance Request

Attachment 1: Final Draft of Addendum To The Operating & Monitoring Agreement.

SCWA serves 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. The Town has requested SCWA’s assistance in developing a methodology for having the school’s water system supply water to two off-site, non-municipal customers. Mr. Leonard and Mr. Congdon, Preston First Selectman, developed a methodology which, prior to implementation, would be subject to approval by the Authority and the Town. Mr. Leonard has written a preliminary draft “Addendum To The Operating & Monitoring Agreement” which has been distributed to involved Town officials and the Authority. Town officials had initially indicated agreement with the document. SCWA legal counsel reviewed the document, and has found it to be acceptable. Mr. Leonard and Mr. Cansler recommended that it be approved by the Authority, which was approved at the February 11th, 2015 Water Authority Meeting. Furthermore, the Authority authorized its general manager to sign the agreement on behalf of Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority. Town officials have conducted their final review of the document and recommended a few minor changes. Our attorney reviewed their recommended changes, and felt the changes have no impact on the intent of the document. However he felt that the Water Authority Board should vote on approval of the final document, which the Board did after conclusion of the General Manager’s Report.

 

Item 5. Town of North Stonington – STEAP Grant

The Town of North Stonington 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 Village of North Stonington and to the proposed new fire station. The project will entail the installation of 1500 feet of water main. There has not been any change in the status of this project.

 

Item 6. Montville High School Water Supply

 

Background

The Town of Montville is 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, at an estimated cost of $6,800,000. In consultation with Chairman Monahan, Mr. Leonard sent letters, dated June 17th, to the Montville Superintendent of Schools, the Mayor and the Chairman of the Town Council; pointing out that in 2013 SCWA provided a cost estimate of $53,000, in response to the Town’s inquiry, to serve the school with the SCWA Chesterfield Division.

 

At its November 10, 2014 meeting, the Authority expressed an interest in assisting the Town, if requested; and to communicate that to the appropriate town officials. The Authority voted unanimously to direct its general manager to write a letter to the Mayor of Montville and the Montville WPCA, indicating that: the Authority is aware of the Town’s recent interest in expanding the municipal water system; SCWA stands ready to work with the Town to serve the Montville High School, or to otherwise assist the Town; and SCWA is offering to participate in the Town’s upcoming public information meetings. Prior to the letter being sent, there was a news article, relating to the Town’s informational meeting, which contained several errors regarding SCWA’s water service. In consultation with Chairman Monahan, Mr. Leonard deferred sending the letter until after further consideration by the Authority. The Authority discussed this matter at its December 1, 2014 meeting. It was the consensus of the Authority members present that, because of the misinformation regarding SCWA being disseminated, Mr. Leonard should attend the two remaining informational meetings; and furthermore that Mr. Leonard send letters to the Mayor of Montville and the Chairman of the Montville WPCA, stating the following:

 

Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority (SCWA) is aware of the Town of Montville’s proposal to extend the Town’s water distribution system to the Montville High School, and the attention the proposal is receiving in the local newspaper. In fact, the most recent article (November 14, 2014) erroneously stated that the “high levels of manganese” contained in the high school’s water supply was being provided by a connection to SCWA. The article also reported other questions and references to SCWA and the customers we serve.

 

Initially, SCWA had intended not to attend any of the four (4) public informational meetings the Town has scheduled to present information on its proposed water system expansion, unless the Town invited us to do so. However, given the current level of misinformation regarding SCWA being disseminated, we now intend to attend the remaining two (2) informational meetings.

 

Also, SCWA wishes to again advise that it stands ready to work with the Town on serving the Montville High School or on any other public drinking water matters.

 

Current

The above referenced letters were hand delivered to the Mayor and Montville WPCA office on December 2, 2014. The Town postponed the December 5th public informational meeting to a date to-be-determined. The January 8th meeting was also cancelled. 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. There has not been any recent changes in the status of this issue.

 

Item 7. Montville Oakdale Elementary School Water Supply

The business manager of the Town of Montville Board of Education invited Mr. Leonard to meet with her to discuss the potential of interconnecting the Oakdale Elementary School to SCWA Montville and/or Seven Oaks division. This meeting occurred on December 11, 2014. The Superintendent of Schools as well as the Director of Facilities also participated in the meeting. The Superintendent of Schools indicated he would send SCWA a letter stating the Town’s interest in exploring this matter. We have not yet received the letter.

 

Item 8. North Stonington – Water Line Easement

As previously reported, SCWA has been contacted by a 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. SCWA has consulted with the attorney it was represented by on this matter and with Attorney Nicholas Kepple, SCWA general counsel. 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. This matter has recently been raised again by the property owner’s attorney. SCWA continues to seek the guidance and assistance of Attorney Kepple on this matter.

 

Item 9. SCWA Foreman Position

Mr. Cansler and Mr. Leonard interviewed 4 candidates for the vacant SCWA Foreman/Chief Operator position between 10-20 February. Based on the candidate interviews and qualifications they decided to offer the Water Works Foreman position to Mr. Brandon Belair, who was already working for SCWA as a water works technician. Mr. Belair’s promotion to foreman resulted in a water works technician vacancy. The position vacancy was posted, internally and externally, via water utility association websites, SCWA’s website, and the local newspaper (The Day). Thirteen applications were received by the closing date of March 9, 2015. Mr. Cansler announced that they would be interviewing the top three (3) candidates 18-20 March 2015.

 

Item 10. Update of Bank Signature Cards       

As a result of the recent General Manager transition, many of the banking signature cards need to be changed to reflect the current authorized signatories. This process must include approval, by the Water Authority Board, of a Bank Resolution which tells the Bank who in SCWA is authorized to request an account be opened or closed, request treasury products and services, and authorize the change in account signers. Individuals designated by the approved Banking Resolution may designate, through Signature Cards, who in SCWA is authorized to sign checks. The Bank of America Bank Resolution was included as an agenda item for action/consideration by the Water Authority Board after the General Manager’s Report.

 

Item 11. Electronic Billing and Payment

SCWA is 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 would allow customers the option of receiving their bills electronically (e-billing). Mr. Cansler and Mr. Leonard conducted interviews with representatives of three (3) other Connecticut utilities that recently transitioned to electronic billing/payment. All three (3) indicated that electronic billing/payment was very favorably received by their customers, and was definitely the future of utility billing and payment. They also highly recommended upgrading our existing billing software, rather than risk using another billing/payment software in conjunction with our existing billing software. Mr. Cansler stated that SCWA was waiting for a proposal from the company that provided our billing software.

 

Item 12. Meetings – Information Item

 

Authority Action/Consideration - Town of Preston “Addendum To The Operating & Monitoring Agreement” (Reference Item 4 in the General Manager’s Report)

 

On motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Mr. O’Conner, the Authority unanimously approved the final version of the “Addendum To The Operating & Monitoring Agreement” with the Town of Preston; to be signed by the General Manager on behalf of the Water Authority. 

 

Authority Action/Consideration - Banking Resolution for SCWA accounts with Bank of America. (Reference Item 10 in the General Manager’s Report)

 

This Banking Resolution and Certificate of Incumbency will apply to all accounts the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority (SCWA) maintains with Bank of America. SCWA adopts the following Banking Resolution and Certificate of Incumbency.

 

The undersigned certifies that:

  • Any individual (each an “Authorized Signer”) with any of the following Titles

 

Chairman Edward C. Monahan

Treasurer Paul B. Eccard

 

is authorized, acting alone, including by electronic signature, electronic record or other electronic forms, (a) to establish accounts from time to time for the Organization of Bank of America N.A., (the “Bank”), as well as to operate and close such accounts, (b) to enter into any and all agreements and transactions contemplated by the provision of treasury management services by the Bank, including but not limited to Electronic Funds Transfer Services, and (c) designate persons to operate each such accounts including closing the account, and to designate persons to act in the name and on behalf of the Organization/Client with respect to the establishment and operation of treasury management services.

 

  • The person whose signature, name, and title appear in the “AGREEMENT, TAX INFORMATION CERTIFICATION and AUTHORIZATION” section of the Deposit Account Documentation Signature Card (“Signature Card”) and those persons listed below on the Incumbency Certificate , are Authorized Signers who are authorized, including by electronic signature, electronic record or other electronic form, to establish accounts and to designate persons to operate each such account and to execute contracts and agreements (including treasury management service agreements, including but not limited to Electronic Funds Transfer Agreements) with the Bank and that the signatures of such Authorized Signers are genuine.

  • The persons who signed in the Designated Account Signers section of the Signature Card are authorized to operate any accounts opened with the deposit account documentation unless otherwise noted on the Signature Card, and that the signatures of such Designated Account Signers are genuine.

  • The foregoing is a complete, true and correct copy of the banking resolutions adopted by the Board of Directors, the Members or the General Partners, Commission, Council or Governing Board as applicable, of the Organization, government entity or authority and that the resolutions are still in full force and affect and have not been amended or revoked and do not exceed the objects or powers of the Organization, government entity, authority or the powers of its management or Governing Board, Commission or Council.

On motion of Mr. Watson, seconded by Mr. O’Conner, the Authority unanimously approved the Banking Resolution and Certificate of Incumbency, which applies to all accounts the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority (SCWA) maintains with Bank of America.  

 

Report From Chairman – None

 

Report From Authority Members - None

 

Public Comment – None

 

On motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Ms. Franciosi, the Authority adjourned at approximately

5:53 p.m.

 

It was noted the next Authority meeting is scheduled to occur on April 6th, 2015, 5:15 p.m. at

1649 Rt. 12, Gales Ferry, CT.


 

Joseph C. Cansler Secretary


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


 


 


 


 

 

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