Draft Minutes of the September 21, 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 Franciosi.

 

Authority Staff:  General Manager Cansler

 

Authority Guests from the Department of Health (DPH), Drinking Water Section:  Lori Mathieu (Chief, DPH Drinking Water Section), Gary Johnson (DPH Drinking Water Section, Enforcement Supervisor), and Tom Chyra (DPH Drinking Water Section, Supervisory Engineer)

 

Chairman Monahan called the meeting to order at approximately 5:17 p.m. 

 

Approval of Prior Minutes

On motion of Mr. Eccard, seconded by Mr. Balestracci, the Authority approved the minutes of the August 21, 2015 Water Authority Meeting, by a vote of 5-0, with one abstention (Ms. Franciosi). 

 

Public Comment on any Item on the Agenda – None

 

Discussion with DPH about North Stonington, Asset Management Plans, and Water Supply Plan

After the Authority members introduced themselves, the DPH visitors each explained their responsibilities at DPH.  Ms. Mathieu then discussed the Consent Agreement background and subsequent discussions.  She stated that the events at North Stonington had been extraordinary, and that the State wanted to take all possible measures to reduce the likelihood of another tank rupture occurrence in CT.  Ms. Mathieu also stated that they were concerned about getting the North Stonington pump station fully operational as soon as possible.  DPH discussed at length the tank rupture at North Stonington, and the best ways to avoid future occurrences.  Ms. Mathieu then signed the DPH version of the modified Consent Agreement.  Dr. Monahan had already signed the Consent Agreement before SCWA sent our proposed modifications to DPH.  Per the terms of the Consent Agreement, SCWA will complete the new permanent pump station at North Stonington by November 30, 2015.  In addition, SCWA will prepare an Asset Management Plans encompassing all 15 divisions by July 1, 2016, and update the SCWA Water Supply Plan by January 1, 2018. 

 

After the DPH guests departed, Mr. Balestracci made a motion to endorse the use of SCWA resources for educational purposes, with the goal of possibly preventing similar such occurrences at other locations around Connecticut and the U.S.   This motion, seconded by Mr. Eccard, was approved by a unanimous vote of all Authority members still present, 5-0 (Mr. O’Conner had to depart early).  

 

Correspondence – None

 

 

 

General Manager’s Report

 

1.  North Stonington Pump Station Replacement

At the August 31, 2015 meeting the Authority voted to replace the original pump station, at its current location, rather than go with the previously approved United Concrete modular building.  The reason SCWA decided to rebuild the pump station, rather than purchase the fully-equipped modular pump station, was because the modular building was going to take longer to construct/deliver than originally proposed, and the insurance company has stated they will only reimburse expenses involved in replacing/repairing the original pump station, not expenses related to a new pump station.  Lenard Engineering has completed the design and equipment plans for the new pump station, and they have requested a building permit on our behalf.  Mr. Cansler stated that SCWA has ordered the new pump system, which includes all pumps, VFDs, valves, gauges, etc. 

 

2. 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.  Attorney Kepple responded with proposed modifications on September 15th.   Mr. Cansler forwarded our proposed modifications to Aquarion on Sep 21, 2015.

 

3.  Cedar Ridge Pump Station Modifications

The project involves 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).  At the August 31, 2015 meeting, the Authority voted 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.  Mr. Cansler stated that start of this project was being delayed so that all of our resources could be focused on the North Stonington project.

 

4.  Tank Inspections

Mr. Cansler has requested estimates, and a schedule, from Mass Tanks to clean and inspect a total of one (1) concrete, and seven (7) steel tanks, and at the Mohegan, Birchwood, Barrett, Robin Hill, and Chesterfield Divisions; with the goal of completing all work by the end of 2015.  The State DPH requires that all atmospheric water storage tanks be inspected a minimum of every 10 years.       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  North Stonington – Water Line Easement

SCWA was contacted by an attorney for Mr. Georgidas, a North Stonington 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.  Over the past two years SCWA, and our attorney, have met and consulted with Mr. Georgidas’ attorney regarding this matter. Based on the advice of Mr. Kepple, the attorney representing SCWA, the Authority voted (at the August 31, 2015 Authority meeting) to communicate, through counsel, to Mr. Georgidas’ counsel, that the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority was willing to resolve its dispute with he and the entity by waiving the standard SCWA Connection Fees for his property in exchange for a full release with the stipulation.

 

6.  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.  

 

7.  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.  

 

8.  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.

 

9.  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. 

 

 

 

 

  

 

10.  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.  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 would be attending the first of several Informational Meetings regarding the Eastern Management Area WUCC, to be held on Sep 30, 2015 at Eastern Connecticut State University.

 

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 has been participating on the SCCOG Regional Water Committee’s Technical Advisory Subcommittee (TAS).  

 

Report from Chairman  - Dr. Monahan mentioned that there had been discussion at the last SCCOG meeting regarding nominations for Mr. Watson’s Authority seat, which expires this year.  The SCCOG intends to forward the names of three (3) nominees to the Representative Advisory Board (RAB), as required by the bylaws.  Dr. Monahan told the SCCOG that Mr. Watson was interested in continuing as an Authority member.

 

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 7:00 p.m. 

 

It was noted the next Authority meeting is scheduled to occur on October 19, 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 than 14 days, nor less

                                                                      than 5 days prior to public hearing.

                                               

Public Hearing                                              August 27, 2015  (6:30 pm)

                                                                       at the Montville Public Safety Center

 

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