December 19, 2006
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 P.M. at the Town Hall in Room 214.
Open Public Forum:
With no one from the public in attendance, Mr. Melanson deferred to the next item on the agenda.
Mr. Melanson continued with the Report from the Director of Public Works:
Spruce Road Well: Mr. Vito informed the Board that the well has been shut down for cleaning and will be back online in mid-January. Residents will be notified when the well is put back on line. Mr. Vito noted that he was confident the well would be back to its anticipated yield.
Weber Tank and Sharon Avenue Tank: Mr. Vito informed the Board that we had contracted with a vendor to dive and inspect the Weber tank. He continued by noting that next year a diver would clean and inspect the Sharon Avenue Tank.
Water Rate Study:
Mr. Vito informed the Board that he had spoken with Omer Dumais of Tighe & Bond and noted that the betterment information and retained earning, as well as the meter and connection fee information, had been forward to Mr. Dumais for use in the rate study. The Board recommended scheduling Tighe & Bond to attend the January 8th meeting, prepared to present a draft rate structure proposal for FY-08. The recording secretary was instructed to confirm the Water Rate Public Hearing date with the Town Administrator’s office and email the Board. It was also suggested that Board of Selectmen member, Jim Lehan, Liaison to the Department of Public Works, be invited to attend the January 8th meeting.
Meter Replacement Program:
Mr. Vito informed the Board that the RFP was difficult to put together, but noted this process would give them a better feel for the cost of the project. He continued by stating that the Meter RFP was scheduled to be opened on November 29, 2006, and the AMR System RFP was scheduled to be opened on December 7, 2006. Mr. Vito stated that the he was leaning toward the Sensus meter, since it is tamperproof and we already have about 150 in the system. He further stated that the Town would do the installations, and it would take 6 months to a year. Mr. Winslow suggested providing incentive for residents to have meters installed, by offering a rebate coupon upon installation. Mr. Vito suggested holding off until the retained earnings balance is better understood in conjunction with current projects
on the table. Discussion continued with relation to the various meters and reader systems; it was decided to take a vote on the meters, and hold off on the reader system until next time. Mr. Melanson made a motion to award to Putnam Pipe Corporation a contract not to exceed $144,264.00 to supply, on a per-unit basis, tamper-proof Sensus meters in accordance with the meter size schedule and in compliance with the meters that we are using within our system today. Mr. Winslow seconded, and it was so voted.
Operational Budget. An Interview Committee was discussed for the DPW Superintendent position; the Town Administrator will be included, as well as Ms. Friedman, and Mr. Vito will check with Mr. Nasuti for his availability. Mr. Vito continued by stating that level-funded budgets have been requested. Fixed costs with regard to personnel will reflect increases of 2.7% COLA and 1.5% merit; many other fixed costs will increase, such as ROW lighting, fuel, landfill; some parts of budget are fee-based; Mr. Vito stated that overall, it currently appears that a level-funded budged may result in about an $80,000.00 cut in services and/or personnel.
With regard to the apparent increase in the top of the DPW Organizational Chart, it was clarified that the Superintendent position currently being advertised, will replace the current Interim Superintendent is currently being funded, and the proposed Inspector position will be funded through fees, replacing outside inspectors and engineers; although the DPW will be taking on extra services, there will be a decrease to general funds, while improving Town oversight of various projects.
Mr. Winslow stated there are at least 300 parking spaces available within Town right-of-way, that we could charge for, resulting in $120,000 in annual revenue; Mr. Vito questioned if this was the correct Board to address that question. Mr. Vito suggested that transferring dollars from the general fund every year to pay for pumping of leachate, as opposed to a one-time capital project to build a roof was not wise; Mr. Vito further stated that chipping away at the Road Program results in having to wait to do maintenance, while material costs are increasing rapidly.
Special Town Meeting: Two projects going over budgeted amount: Pine Street water project overage due to details, and having to pave the trench to comply with new state design criteria to comply with narrowing the street from 34’ to 30’. The other project going over budget is the cleaning of the Spruce Road well, due to unexpected findings upon cleaning. Mr. Vito stated that the DPW will try to use currently budgeted funds to get by until the regular Town Meeting, and will speak to contractors regarding waiting for payment until after Town Meeting. Mr. Winslow suggested a standing article for future Town Meetings, that will allow the DPW to withdraw up to a certain amount of money for emergency repairs on an as-needed basis.
At 8:35 p.m. Mr. Winslow moved to go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing personnel matters and will not return to our regular meeting and will adjourn the meeting from there. Vida Holmes seconded. A roll call vote was taken: Ed Melanson, aye; Vida Holmes, aye; Dan Winslow, aye; Ellen Friedman, aye, and it was so voted.