Draft Minutes of the August 31, 2015 Water Authority Meeting

Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority

1649 Route 12, Gales Ferry, CT

 

 

 

 

Present

Authority:  Chairman Monahan, Vice-Chairman Watson, Treasurer Eccard, Member O’Conner,

Member Balestracci, and Member Mullane

 

Authority Staff:  General Manager Cansler

 

Chairman Monahan called the meeting to order at approximately 5:16 p.m. 

 

Approval of Prior Minutes

On motion of Mr. Balestracci, seconded by Mr. O’Conner, the Authority approved the minutes of the August 10, 2015 Water Authority Meeting, by a unanimous vote. 

 

Public Comment on any Item on the Agenda - None

 

Correspondence – None

 

General Manager’s Report

 

1.  DPH Draft Consent Order/Agreement

Mr. Cansler stated that he, Dr. Monahan, and Attorney Kepple had worked on the response to the revised Consent Order that the State Department of Public Health (DPH), Drinking Water Section, sent SCWA on August 7, 2015.  Purpose of the Consent Order/Agreement is to establish a deadline for SCWA to have a permanent new pump station in operation.  In addition DPH wants to establish milestones for SCWA to complete Asset Management Plans for all 15 divisions, and an updated Water Supply Plan.  The SCWA response, including a cover letter signed by Chairman Monahan was sent to DPH on August 27, 2015.  Mr. Cansler stated that as of today (August 31st), SCWA had not heard back from DPH regarding our response. 

 

2.  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”.   On August 11, 2015 Dr. Monahan and Mr. Cansler met with The Town of Ledyard at the Ledyard Town Hall to discuss our proposal.   At their regular Town Council Meeting on August 26, 2015, the Council voted to award the contract to Groton Utilities.  SCWA was not informed of this decision by the Ledyard WPCA in advance.  

Dr. Monahan stated that he would follow-up with the Ledyard WPCA to obtain a copy of their minutes from the meeting where they selected the contractor for the Water Services Contract.

 

 

 

 

3.  North Stonington Pump Station Replacement

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.   Shortly after the pump station was destroyed Lenard Engineering recommended that a modular building on a new location would be the best solution to replacing the destroyed pump station.  On August 10, 2015 SCWA 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.  On the same date the Authority voted to move forward with fully equipped, modular pump station. 

 

Since the last Authority meeting SCWA has discovered that the modular pump station is going to take longer to construct/deliver than originally proposed, and that the sitework will be more complex and expensive than originally estimated.  In addition, our insurance company has stated that they will only reimburse expenses involved in replacing/repairing the original pump station, not expenses related to a new pump station.  After some discussion with Lenard Engineering, Mr. Cansler determined that we will be better off rebuilding the pump station, and replacing all of the tanks and equipment with the latest technology.  If SCWA were to continue to pursue the modular pump station on a new location, then SCWA runs the risk of having to pay $200,000 to $300,000 out-of-pocket after Insurance reimbursement.  Based on the risk of large out-of-pocket expenses, and a now longer timeline for the modular building, Mr. Cansler recommended the Authority approve the new replacement concept of rebuilding the North Stonington pump station at its original location so that SCWA and North Stonington can have a permanent solution in place as expeditiously as possible..

 

On a motion of Mr. Watson, seconded by Mr. Balestracci, the Authority voted unanimously to replace the original pump station, at its current location, rather than go with the previously approved United Concrete modular building.  

 

4.  Lantern Hill Division

Lantern Hill Division Pumping Evaluation/Upgrade- 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.  Dr. Monahan mentioned that SCWA needs to insure that the Transfer agreement specifically spells out who is responsible for close-out of the existing pump station and well.

 

5.  Cedar Ridge Pump Station Modifications

The project will consist of modifications to the Cedar Ridge Pump Station to provide a new opening into the underground floor of the pump station.  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).  SCWA sent a notice on July 20th, 2015 to The Day newspaper to advertise the Request for Proposal, and bids were due back on August 12, 2015.  Three sealed bids were received, and a public bid opening was conducted, as advertised, in the SCWA offices at 2:00 pm on August 12.  The three bids, in the order they were opened, are as follows:

 

                Company                                                                                                             Bid

                Gardner Construction and Industrial Services Inc.                                                    $74,500

                Chicopee, MA

 

                William Coon and Son, Inc.                                                                                $19,100

                Preston, CT

 

                Pazz Construction LLC.                                                                                       $44,500

                East Lyme, CT

 

On a motion of Mr. Watson, seconded by Mr. Balestracci, the Authority voted unanimously to authorize the General Manager to award a contract for the project titled “Cedar Ridge Division, Pump Station Building Modifications” to the low bidder, William Coon and Sons, for a cost of $19,100.

 

6.  Tank Inspections

Mr. Cansler has requested estimates from Mass Tanks for cleaning and inspection of seven atmospheric water storage tanks, with the goal of completing all work by the end of 2015.  The State DPH requires that all storage tanks be inspected a minimum of every 10 years. 

 

                SCWA Division                       Town                              Type and Number of Tanks

                Mohegan                            Montville                             1 Reinforced Concrete

                                                                                                 2 Steel

 

                Birchwood                          Montville                             1 Steel

 

                Barrett                               Ledyard                               1 Steel

 

                Robin Hill                          Montville                              2 Steel

 

Mr. Cansler also stated that he is going to add the Chesterfield Storage tank to the list of tanks to be inspected and cleaned this year, because of concerns of sediment build-up in the tank.

 

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.   As of August 10, 2015 both parties have signed and notarized the 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.   A recent study by Lenard Engineering determined that it was not feasible to provide fire flow capacities within the system, primarily due to the capacity of the distribution system to handle the additional volume and pressure. 

 

10.  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.

 

11.  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. 

 

12.  Regional Considerations

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

  • A. 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 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 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.    Mr. Cansler mentioned that he had received a letter from DPH about Informational Meetings to be held on each WUCC.  The Eastern Management Area WUCC meeting will be held on September 30, 2015 at Eastern Connecticut State University.

 

  • 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).  

 

 

 

Other Business -  Executive Session, To Discuss Pending Litigation

At approximately 5:55 pm, Mr. Watson made a motion to enter into Executive Session, pursuant to General Statute 1-200(6)(B), for the purpose of discussing pending litigation regarding an SCWA easement in the Town of North Stonington.  After the motion was seconded by Mr. Eccard, Chairman Monahan called the motion to vote, which passed unanimously.  At approximately 6:07 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. 

 

On motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Mr. O’Conner, the Authority voted unanimously to communicate, through counsel, to Mr. Georgidas’ counsel, that the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority is willing to resolve its dispute with he and the entity by waiving the SCWA Connection Fees for his property in exchange for a full release with the stipulation, that no such resolution will be effectuated without a resolution regarding all interested parties (i.e. Bellisimo Hotel).   The term Connection Fees in this motion refers only the connection fee that SCWA charges for hook-up to our system, and does not include any labor, equipment, or material costs related to the physical installation of the service line and physical connection to the SCWA water main.

 

Report from Chairman  - None

 

Report from Authority Members – None

 

Public Comment – None

 

On motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Mr. O’Conner, 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 September 21, 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 that 14 days, nor less

                                                                                  than 5 days prior to public hearing.

                                                                                           

                                                                                               

Public Hearing                                                    No later than August 30, 2015

 

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