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Draft Minutes of the August 10, 2015 Water Authority Meeting

Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority

1649 Route 12, Gales Ferry, CT






Authority:  Chairman Monahan, Vice-Chairman Watson, Member Franciosi, Member Balestracci, Member Mullane, and Member O’Conner.


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. Balestracci, seconded by Mr. Mullane, the Authority approved the minutes of the

July 20, 2015 Water Authority Meeting by a vote of 5-0 (Mr. O’Conner was not present during vote). 


Public Comment on any Item on the Agenda - None


Correspondence – None


General Manager’s Report


1.  Regional Considerations

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

  • Mr. Cansler explained that 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 to the General Assembly by January 1, 2018.  WPC has assembled a Steering Committee to coordinate the development of the Plan.  In conjunction with State Water Plan, the Dept. of Health (DPH) has coordinated three Water Utility Coordinating Committees (WUCCs).   To date SCWA has not been actively involved in either the State Water Plan, or the Eastern management area WUCC, but we are anticipating involvement in both as they develop.   


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


  • 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).    The most recent TAS meeting occurred on June 4th, 2015 and was attended by the SCWA General Manager, Mr. Cansler.







2.  North Stonington Tank Failure

The North Stonington SCWA water system continues to operate via a temporary pumping system, as a result of the hydro-pneumatic tank rupture on June 23, 2015.  A verbatim warning system was installed in July to alert the emergency on-call person if one of the wells fails, or if the pressure in the system gets too high or low.   A new fully equipped modular pump station should be ready for delivery by mid-October.  Lenard Engineering has completed the new site layout for the new pump station, which will be prepared by SCWA prior to delivery of the new pump station.  In addition, the 100,000 gallon atmospheric tank was cleaned and inspected on August 6, 2015.  


Mr. Cansler stated that on August 4, 2015 he sent the Town of North Stonington a letter stating that SCWA will be constructing a new pump station on the same site, but in a slightly different location than the current pump station, which is now condemned.  Authority Member Mullane, who also serves as the First Selectman for North Stonington, stated that he had forwarded the letter to the Town Zoning and Planning staff for review. 


Mr. Cansler also stated that he had received a cost estimate from United Concrete, through Lenard Engineering, to construct, assemble, and deliver, the new pump station at a cost estimate of $393,000.  Mr. Cansler recommended SCWA accept this cost estimate because of State DPH concerns about operating the temporary system for an extended period of time.   On a motion of Ms. Franciosi, seconded by Mr. Watson, the Authority voted unanimously to move forward with the “ready-to-go”, fully equipped, modular pump station from United Concrete so that SCWA and North Stonington can have a permanent solution in place as expeditiously as possible.


3.  Executive Session, To Discuss Pending Litigation

At approximately 5:26 pm, Mr. O’Conner made a motion to enter into Executive Session, pursuant to General Statute 1-200(6)(B), for the purpose of discussing pending litigation regarding a draft Consent Agreement.  After the motion was seconded by Mr. Balestracci, Chairman Monahan called the motion to vote, which passed unanimously.  At approximately 6:27 p.m., the Authority concluded the Executive Session, and resumed the regular meeting.  Chairman Monahan noted that no motions or votes were made during the Executive Session. 


4.  Proposal for Request for Proposal:  Discussion/Action

On motion of Mr. Mullane, seconded by Mr. Balestracci, the Authority voted unanimously to have the Chairman, General Manager, and Attorney for SCWA, draft the revised Consent Agreement on behalf of SCWA.  


5.  SCWA Bid to Provide Water Services for the Town of Ledyard

SCWA submitted a bid on July 15, 2015, to provide meter reading, customer notices, and water billing/collection services, for Town of Ledyard customers.   This bid was in response to a June 15, 2015 Town of Ledyard Request for Proposal (RFP), titled “Water Services”.   Mr. Cansler announced that the Town of Ledyard has requested SCWA to participate in an interview process to discuss our bid on

August 11, 2015 at 5 pm, at the Ledyard Town Hall.   Chairman Monahan and General Manager Cansler will represent SCWA at the Town interview.





6.  Capital Projects

  • Lantern Hill Division Pumping Evaluation/Upgrade- Mr. Cansler met with Aquarion on June 10th to discuss possible alternatives to providing water to the 24 residents in Lantern Hill currently using SCWA water.   Mr. Cansler stated that he had received a call from the Vice-President of Aquarion, and they are interested in taking over the Lantern Hill system.  On a motion from

Mr. O’Conner, seconded by Mr. Watson, the Authority voted unanimously to have the General Manager follow through with Aquarion on transition of the property. 


  • Cedar Ridge Division Pump station, Elimination of “Confined Space”.  (Note:  All OSHA requirements and best management safety practices are being followed pending elimination of the confined space).  SCWA sent a notice on July 20th, 2015 to “The Day” newspaper to advertise the Request for Proposal, and bids are due back on August 12, 2015.   

  • Tank Inspections- On July 7, 2015 CT DPH sent out a circular recommending inspection of all hydro-pneumatic tanks.  SCWA already had plans to move forward with inspections of our tanks. 


7.  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.  


8.  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 sent notarized copies to the Town of Preston requesting their signatures, so we can finalize this agreement.   


9.  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.   As a result of the project to rebuild the pump station at North Stonington, Lenard Engineering did an analysis to determine if the new pump station could be designed to provide fire flow capacities within the system, however, after looking at a variety of options it was determined that it was not feasible, primarily due to the capacity of the distribution system to handle the additional volume and pressure. 




10.  Montville High School Water Supply

For several years the Town of Montville has been trying to address water quality issues at their well serving Montville High School.  In the past SCWA has discussed the possibility of connecting to our Chesterfield system.  During a meeting on June 23, 2015 with Vicky Carrier of DPH, Mr. Cansler learned that Montville has established a test well near the school, and is waiting on sampling results to determine if a new well can support the High School. 


11.  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.


12.  Fecal Indicator Assessment Monitoring Plans

In June the State Department of Public Health (DPH) requested that SCWA complete Fecal Indicator Assessment Monitoring Plans for 12 of the 15 SCWA Divisions.  Mr. Cansler stated that these plans were submitted for all 12 divisions on August 7th, 2015.


13.  Main Break at Chesterfield Division

Mr. Cansler reported that around 5:30 pm on July 27th residents reported low pressure within the Chesterfield Division of Montville.  Emergency on-call staff discovered water had broken through the pavement on Bayberry St. and water was gushing down the street into various storm drains.  SCWA staff, with support from Coon Construction, isolated the main, which left about 35 houses without water.  Crews worked until 3:30 am repairing the 6 inch main.  The next day, it was discovered that the adjoining section of repaired main had ruptured, so crews worked until 6 pm repairing that section.  The two water main breaks left customers without water for 9 and 5 hours respectively.


14. Sentencing of former SCWA Billing Clerk for Embezzlement/Larceny

Former SCWA Billing Clerk, Stephanie Hodge, was formally sentenced in New London Superior Court on July 30th, 2015, for embezzling $44,478.25.  Mr. Cansler and Attorney Duggan attended the sentencing hearing on behalf of SCWA.  She had pleaded guilty to first-degree larceny.  She received a 12 year suspended sentence, of which she was ordered to serve 120 days.  Although her Defense Attorney argued for a delay until October to start the prison sentence, the judge ordered her incarceration to begin immediately.  This will be followed by 5 years of probation.  She will also be expected to repay the $44,478.25.  


15.  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.  This proposed increase is subject to a public hearing and further Authority consideration. The Representative Advisory Board (RAB) “Rate Review Procedure” dictates a 90 day review process.  The attached proposed schedule was developed in consideration of the RAB procedure.





16.  SCWA Financial Statements –  Fourth Quarter/End of FY 2015

Attachment 2:   FY 2015 Fourth Quarter Financial Statements

                                Production Report FY 2015; through Fourth Quarter

                                Cash Position Report 8/6/15


Mr. Cansler presented the FY 2015 fourth quarter/end of the fiscal year financial statements, water production figures, and the August 6, 2015 Cash Position Report.  Mr. Cansler stated that FY15 revenues had exceeded expenditures by approximately $2000 in FY15; but that was only because the Authority had received reimbursement of $43,977 for losses resulting from the FY13 embezzlement in FY15.  He stated that with a rate increase in November we should be able match revenues to expenditures in FY16.  Mr. Cansler also explained that most expenditures had been as budgeted.  The only notable exceptions were electrical costs (due to harsh winter), and Maintenance Services (due to the significant number of water main breaks in FY15). 


Other Business – Mr. O’Conner suggested that SCWA should have a sub-committee to assist with preparation and approval of an overall Asset Management Plan for the Authority.


Report from Chairman  - None


Report from Authority Members – None


Public Comment – None


On motion of Mr. O’Conner, seconded by Mr. Watson, the Authority voted to adjourn the meeting at approximately 7:00 p.m. 


It was noted the next Authority meeting is scheduled to occur on August 31st, 2015, 5:15 p.m. at

1649 Rt. 12, Gales Ferry, CT. 


                                                                                                                Joseph C. Cansler                                                                                                                                                                             Secretary

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