Draft Minutes of the April 27, 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 approved the minutes of the

April 6, 2015 Water Authority Meeting, by a vote of 5-0, with one abstention (one member present was unable to attend April 6 meeting). 

 

Public Comment on any Item on the Agenda – None

 

Correspondence - None

 

General Manager’s Report

 

Item 1.  Regional Considerations

The Authority has been involved with or otherwise engaged in various regional items, including:

a)                           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 April 15, 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 Divisions, and a 25% subsidy for each replacement generator at the Montville and Chesterfield Divisions.

 

Item 3.  Capital Projects:

 

  • Lantern Hill Division Pumping Evaluation/Upgrade- Mr. Cansler stated he met with Jim Ericson of Lenard Engineering to discuss what upgrades are required.  They prepared an estimate for the cost of the proposed upgrades, to include design/engineering fees.  Mr. Cansler stated he was going to look at other alternatives to upgrading the system, and then do a cost analysis.   

  • 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).   SCWA staff met with Jim Ericson of Lenard Engineering to discuss the plans/specs which are several years old.  Mr. Cansler recommended several changes to the plans to possibly reduce costs, and better accommodate access if/when a pump has to be replaced or repaired.  Lenard Engineering is preparing updated plans/specs and a bid package.   

  • Tower Division Eagle Ridge Booster Station Evaluation/Upgrade- Mr. Cansler and the Field Foreman, Mr. Belair, decided that since the tank bypass modification is working they would monitor, and pursue tank replacement as long-term project.

  • 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.  Mr. Cansler is also working with the A/E firm to determine the meter size, meter pit requirements, and system development/connection fees.

 

 

 

 

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 idea of interconnecting the Oakdale Elementary School to SCWA Montville and/or Seven Oaks division.  As of April 27, 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.   Mr. Cansler stated that he has a meeting scheduled with Attorney Kepple on April 29th to get an update on the status of this issue.  

 

Item 10.  Electronic Billing and Payment

At the April 6, 2015 meeting the Authority authorized SCWA to upgrade our billing software to allow customers to pay via credit card electronically (internet), in person, or by phone.  Software upgrades will include the option to allow customers to receive their bills electronically (e-billing).  Download of new software is scheduled for the last week of April, and training will occur the first two weeks of May. 

Mr. Cansler stated that the new billing system should be fully online by the end of May.

 

Item 11.  SCWA Financial Statements – Third Quarter FY 2015

Attachment 1:   FY 2015 Third Quarter Financial Statements

                                Production Report FY 2015; through Third Quarter

                                Cash Position Report 4/22/15

 

The Authority discussed the FY 2015 third quarter financial statements, water production figures and the April 22, 2015 Cash Position Report.  Specific questions regarding 3rd Quarter Financial Statements:

 

  • Mr. O’Conner asked why the “Admin Travel & Miscellaneous” line item under the Administrative Expenses category was much higher than budgeted.  Mr. Cansler explained that it was primarily the result of having to advertise four times this budget year for vacancies.  Each advertisement in the classified section of the local paper costs a minimum of $500.  In the case of the General Manager position SCWA also advertised through AWWA (American Water Works Association).

  • Dr. Monahan asked why there were two line items that seemed to be the same; “Authority Member Fees” under the Administrative Expenses section, and “Authority Member Fees” under the Statutory Regional Expenses section.  Mr. Cansler said he would research this question and get back to the Authority members at the next Water Authority meeting. 

 

 

  • A question was also raised regarding the increased cost of the Rental Space, under the Administrative Expenses section.  Mr. Cansler stated that this probably referred to increased rental fees for the additional storage space SCWA leases for recordkeeping.  He said he would look into this question in more detail, and get back to the Authority members at the next Water Authority meeting.

  • Several members asked if they should be concerned about the $122,073.71 “Surplus Deficit” under the Operating Surplus Adjustments section.  Mr. Cansler said he would research this question and get back to the Authority members at the next Water Authority meeting.

  • Mr. Cansler pointed out that under Capital Expenditures there is a line item for vehicle purchases in FY15.  He stated that SCWA has two trucks that need to be replaced, and that he would be requesting bids, in May, from dealers under the Connecticut State Contract for purchase of Trucks and Vehicles.

 

Other Business - None

 

Report From Chairman

Chairman Monahan announced he would not be able to attend the next meeting, scheduled for

May 18, 2015.  He requested Vice-Chairman Watson to run the next meeting; to which Mr. Watson agreed. 

 

Report From Authority Members –

 

  • Mr. O’Conner asked if anyone knew why the Water Authority Board meetings were held every 3 weeks versus other frequencies, such as monthly.  The Authority Board discussed the positives and negatives of meeting monthly versus the current schedule of every three weeks.  After much discussion, the Board decided not to vote on this matter at this time, and reopen discussions later this year.  General Manager Cansler stated that at a future meeting regarding meeting schedules, he would provide two meeting schedules; one based on the current 3-week format, and one based on a monthly meeting format.

 

  • Mr. O’Conner stated that he is a member of the Thames River Valley Flood Control Commission, and would be attending their upcoming commission meeting.  

 

Public Comment – None

 

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

6:10 p.m. 

 

It was noted the next Authority meeting is scheduled to occur on May 18th, 2015, 5:15 p.m. at

1649 Rt. 12, Gales Ferry, CT. 

 

                                                                                                                Joseph C. Cansler                                                                                                                                                                             Secretary