October 16, 2006
Present: Ed Melanson, Chairman; Harvey Nasuti, Assistant Chairman; Ellen Friedman, Member; Vida Holmes, Member
Absent: Dan Winslow, Member
Ed Melanson called the meeting to order at 7:05 at the Town Hall in Room 124.
With no one from the public in attendance, Mr. Melanson deferred the Open Public Forum to the end of the meeting and continued with the next item on the agenda.
Approval of Prior Meeting Minutes:
Ms. Holmes made a motion to accept the meeting minutes of August 28, 2006 Mr. Melanson seconded, three - ayes; one - abstained, and it was so voted.
Mr. Melanson also noted the importance of posting the minutes to the web on a regular basis, which the secretary assured him, would occur with the assistance of the Town’s new Information Technology Coordinator, Jamie Masterson.
Mr. Melanson continued with the Report from the Director of Public Works:
Commitment Letter to the Treasurer/Collector: Mr. Vito presented the Board with a commitment notice for their review and signature explaining that this was the process followed for each water billing cycle; the notice stated the anticipated revenues to be collected for the fall 2006 water billing period and would allow the Treasurer/Collector to collect the revenues on behalf of the Department of Public Works, Water Division; without further discussion, the Board endorsed the document.
Retained Earnings: Mr. Vito continued the discussion by informing the Board of the estimated balance in the Water Retained Earnings Account, which he received from the Finance Director. He noted that three years ago we began looking at the retained earning balance in association with capital projects that were being reviewed for the spring. He continued by stating that the Department of Public Works would be tracking the balance to follow projects as they are assigned. Once we complete our rate study and we review our capital investments and capital projects a use for the funds would be more defined. Mr. Vito explained the balance presented to the Board was for the period ending June 30, 2005 (FY-2005); we expect an updated balance which would include FY-2006 within a month or
so. Spring Town Meeting 2006 voted the use of funds for the Meter Replacement Program and at Fall Town Meeting 2006 we are requesting funds for a Supplement Well. Mr. Melanson also discussed the possibility of a rebate to rate payers but agreed that at this point it was premature; it would be discussed at further length upon the completion of current water rate study. Mr. Vito also noted that the results of the rate study currently being formulated by Tighe & Bond, may allow the Board to switch the emphasis of where the fees come from – switching from the water user to development.
Route 115 Watermain Extension: Traffic Control Issues - After discussions with the Norfolk Police Chief and the assistance of the Town of Wrentham Police Department it was determined that the need for detours was necessary and more involved then originally anticipated, which did unfortunately inconvenience commuters. However, the project has been moving smoothly with an expected completion date of November 15th weather permitting. Mr. Vito also informed the Board that he has been getting a positive response from many residents whom have expressed an interest in connecting to the new water main.
The contract for the Route 115 Watermain Extension Project was presented to the Board for signature. The bid award was previously voted at the meeting of August 14, 2006. Mr. Nasuti inquired about the contractor’s quality of work; Mr. Vito informed the Board that C.J. Mabardy was doing a good job on the project and that we have a site inspector with the contractor everyday who is in contact with the Police Department regarding traffic control on a daily basis; without further discussion, the Board endorsed the contract documents.
Joint Salt Bid with the Town of Medfield: After a brief discussion, Mr. Nasuti made a motion to award the salt bid to a primary and alternate supplier as recommended by the Director of Public Works; Ms. Holmes seconded, and it was so voted.
Water Rate Study:
Mr. Vito informed the Board that he and the Executive Assistant met with Mr. Omer Dumais of Tighe & Bond to review his detailed request for information associated with the preparation of the Water Rate Study. It was determined that the list included some duplication, but the necessary information was submitted within that week noting that Mr. Dumais would contact us if he requires anything further. Mr. Vito also informed the Board that he received the revised agreement from Town Counsel and will forward it to Mr. Dumais at Tighe & Bond. It was agreed that Ellen Friedman would be included in future meetings with Mr. Dumais regarding the rate study.
Hydrant Flushing: Mr. Vito continued by informing the Board that the town wide hydrant flushing program which had begun on Sunday night, October 1st was nearing completion; signs continue to be posted in the designated neighborhoods as they are scheduled for flushing; the office has received a minimal number of complaints; but Mr. Vito noted that the procedure for residents to follow for clearing their water system is posted on the DPW, Water Division webpage; he also noted that Mr. Russell Tierney of Whitewater, Inc. informed us that weather permitting and barring any problems, the flushing program should be completed by next week. Mr. Vito added that the hydrant flushing program would be an annual fall event. Last year we concentrated on locating and exercising
Spruce Road Well: Mr. Vito reminded the Board that recently it has been necessary to scale back the amount of water drawn from the Spruce Road Well; he continued by informing the Board that the well has been scheduled to be shut down for cleaning, putting more emphasis on the Gold Street Well, noting that should not be a problem this time of year; the well cleaning function has been budgeted; and the well will be back on line in the spring; we will also be working on a supplemental well in the spring.
Town Meeting Articles: Mr. Vito briefly reviewed the articles submitted by the Board of Public Works for the Fall Town Meeting, which is scheduled for October 24, 2006. He did elaborate on two articles submitted by the Board of Selectmen. The first was a funding transfer from Water Division salaries to Water Division expenses to cover contract services for WhiteWater, Inc. through June 30, 2007. We have not had a favorable response to our employment postings and will solicit employment applications from qualified candidates once again in the spring. The ultimate goal is to establish the staffing to maintain the system in-house (treatment and distribution). The second, a new position – Department of Public Works Superintendent – The warrant article notes Grade 11; upon
review of previous minutes the position was voted at a Grade 10 by the Board of Public Works and as a result of a meeting with the Personnel Board the agreed grade based on the ranking system would be a Grade 10; he noted that the Grade could be changed from an 11 to a 10 on Town Meeting floor. Our goal is to establish a viable position with a defined salary before we solicit for personnel.
The discussion continued evolving into a reexamination of the Department of Public Works structure, personnel and salaries which the Board agreed to discuss at greater length at a future meeting.
As noted to Mr. Melanson previously, due to a meeting conflict it was necessary for Mr. Vito to excuse himself from the Board of Public Works meeting to attend the B1 District Planning Meeting. Mr. Nasuti commented that he was not pleased that Mr. Vito left the scheduled Board of Public Works meeting early. Mr. Melanson noted in Mr. Vito’s defense, that he had been informed via email of the conflict. Mr. Melanson stated that he would relay to Mr. Vito the importance of his attendance at all Board of Public Works meetings.
Mr. Melanson continued with Board Business
Mr. Melanson began by noting that the Board of Public Works is scheduled to dissolve in July 2007 possibly September 15, 2007. He stated that he would like to review the list of goals established at the inception of the Interim Board of Public Works.
Mr. Nasuti informed the Board that he was scheduled for surgery the week of October 30th which would put him out of commission for some time and he was uncertain whether he should continue on the Board. The Board members expressed their support for Mr. Nasuti to continue with the Board, but the decision would be his.
Mr. Melanson continued noting that the Board would need a transition plan to present to the Board of Selectmen as they approach the end of their tenure that should include a summary of the progress that has been attained with the Interim Board of Public Works and what remains; the possibility of a sub-committee; recommendation for an oversight body. It was agreed that this would be discussed at a future meeting.
At 8:45 p.m. being no further business Mr. Nasuti made a motion to adjourn the meeting; Ms. Holmes seconded, and it was so voted.