January 16, 2007
Present: Ed Melanson, Chairman; Ellen Friedman, Member; Dan Winslow, Member; Vida Holmes, Member
Absent: Harvey Nasuti, Vice Chairman
Ed Melanson called the meeting to order at 7:05 at the Town Hall in Room 214.
Open Public Forum:
Mr. Melanson opened the meeting with the Open Public Forum, recognizing Girl Scout Troop 4751. The girls updated the Board on their “Adopt-A-Hydrant” program by passing out the sign-up form they had developed, and informed the Board that they had presented the Fire Chief with two types of hydrant reflectors to let him choose which one he liked. They further informed the Board that they had instituted a PO Box and an e-mail address for applications, and spoken to the library with regard to displaying a map of adopted hydrants; the girls also noted that any extra proceeds would go toward the purchase of extra hydrant markers. Mr. Melanson suggested that a link could be put on the DPW website, and suggested that the Board might be able to help fund the program. Mr. Melanson thanked the
girls for their presentation.
As DPW Director, Mr. Vito, was in another meeting, and not available to give his report, Mr. Melanson moved on to the next agenda item, Water Rate Study.
While Omer Dumais and Tom LeCourt from Tighe & Bond prepared their presentation, Mr. Melanson made a public announcement concerning the Spruce Road Well. Mr. Melanson announced that the Spruce Road Well maintenance was completed and the well would go back on line 1/17/07; residents might notice discoloration for a short period of time; if problem persists, residents can call the DPW at 508-528-4490 for resolution.
Water Rate Study:
A representative from Tighe & Bond introduced two worksheets of variable parameters - residential & non residential: where you enter variables, such as rate for lowest block; percentage you want to increase between blocks; minimum charge per billing period, how much water is bought with that minimum charge, if you want to associate usage; what percentage of bills do you actually collect; number of residential usage; bottom calculates. The next two worksheets do statistical analysis on past data to do calculations that go forward. Next two worksheets are for Capital improvement projects with debt service calculations: One worksheet reflects operating budget with calculations for increases in individual line items, the other shows existing projects. Next worksheet shows usage within
each rate block based on statistical analysis of past usage, bottom part shows services that we collect fees for. Next sheet is a pricing schedule. Next sheet is a summary of betterments, which are not included in revenue since all goes toward the capital expense of the betterment. Next sheet uses numbers from previous sheets to get projected revenues.
Mr. Melanson asked if the spreadsheet had an ability to project an annual percent increase in rates which could help plan for future large capital projects. Tighe & Bond responded that currently the rate is not programmed to increase every year, it would need to be entered manually. T&B demonstrated entering a $3 mil project, financed over 20 years, at a 5% rate, starting in 2009; then referred to rate worksheet now showing a deficit, and showed “Goal Seek” function under “Tools” menu, where you can set your goal of balancing revenues and expenses by the changing base rate cell, and the spreadsheet will calculate what the new base rate would need to be. It was noted that Norfolk will be more in line with state averages with the new fees. It was noted that the
Rate Setting hearing with the Board of Selectmen is scheduled for February 20, and that the presentation would be made by the BPW, but T&B should keep the date open. Mr. Melanson thanked the representatives from Tighe & Bond for their work.
Mr. Winslow provided Ms. Mitnick with contact information for Jeff Quick, head of Engineering for the Department of Corrections, requesting a concept meeting be set up to discuss expanding DOCs sewer system to Norfolk center; meeting to include the Affordable Housing (headed by Sara DelMastro) & Master Plan committees as well.
At 8:25 p.m. being no further business Mr. Winslow made a motion to adjourn the meeting; Mr. Melanson seconded, and it was so voted.