2010-08-19 Water District Trustee Minutes



Don Oakes – Chairman Arthur McLean – Superintendent
Brant Miller – Treasurer Gina Flower – Office Manager
Harvey Freeman – Clerk
Stephen Cox – Trustee

The meeting was brought to order at 7:05 p.m. by Chairman Oakes.

VOTED: On motion of Miller, seconded by Freeman to approve the minutes from the meeting
held on July 15, 2010 as written. So voted.

The matter of whether or not to go for a rate increase in January was discussed. Richmond is doing a rate increase and we thought that there might be some savings by dong ours at the same time. We received a proposal from Maine Rural Water for a cost of $2,750 to conduct a rate study for the District, which would include all the work that goes along with a rate increase, but with no savings. After some discussion, it was agreed that we should wait until we must have an increase. The matter was deferred for another 6 months.

VOTED: On motion of Freeman, seconded by Miller to approve the July financial report as
written. So voted.

The warrant was discussed and approved in the amount of $12,751.14.

The checking statement for the month of July was reviewed and approved by the Treasurer.

The 1st and 2nd quarter reports for Rural Development were reviewed and signed by the Chairman.

Arthur reported that the lead and copper tests were done this month. The results came back this week. All of the samples taken tested well below the remedial action level. As a result, we won’t have to test again for another three years.

The Wellhead Protection Plan that Susan Breau-Kelley has been working on was discussed. It was noted that the zoning reference should reflect that we could mount an antenna on the newest water tower. It was also noted that there is already a gas pipeline that is in our watershed area, located on the west side of Route 201.

Arthur noted that a new CRT screen has been installed at the pump station. It is hooked up to the desktop. Art is very pleased with the results of the installation.

We lost one customer this month. The house at 10 Preble Road has been razed and the service line was removed. It is expected that the property will be sold for either a new home or a business – the lot being in the commercial zone. Whichever happens, the new customer will size the new service entrance and will pay all the entrance fees to set up a new account.

Three gate boxes at the intersection of Cemetery Road and Center Street were replaced this month in anticipation of the new road surfacing.

There was a leak on 162 Post Road at the Cornelius property. It was on the customer’s side of the service and was repaired by the customer. Art shut off their service for the repairas and turned it back on again.

During last month’s wind storm some minor damage was done at the pump station. We lost some siding trim and part of the road to the new well washed out. Art replaced the trim the next day and will regrade the road as part of the preparation for the new fencing.

Arthur noted that the Town is buying 2 Jersey Barricades in the near future and he wondered whether we might like to purchase one at the same time. It might be helpful to protect the 2 new valves at the pump station from a snow plow, etc. It was agreed that a better idea would be to lower the tow two gate valve boxes so that they would be accessible but not susceptible to damage.

Arthur spoke with Mr. Tome from Alder Stream Fencing. He will start the fencing at the pump station the first of September.

Arthur requested that he be allowed to purchase a pocket pH meter. The purchase was approved by the Board.

VOTED: On motion of Oakes, seconded by Freeman to go into Executive session at 8:10 p.m.

VOTED: On motion of Freeman, seconded by Cox to come out of Executive Session at 8:30.

None of the following understandings and agreements carries the force of a vote.

The time is at hand for furnishing the Office Manager with some guidance for preparing next year’s budget. The job market is unusually tight, funding is especially tight, and there is no guidance from other Districts – it being so early. Accordingly, the Board is requesting that the 2011 budget be prepared with a zero increase in wages. In addition, it is requested that the best estimate be prepared for the benefit package and that a 2% increase over everything else be applied to each benefit package line item as a contingency for these uncertain times.

The Board is particularly grateful for the outstanding work furnished by our Office Manager over these past 16 years, and so is particularly concerned that the transition to a new business office model is well planned in order to accommodate for her retirement in October 2011 – some 14 months away. The Board is also mindful of the income stream that Bowdoinham gives to Richmond and the synergies that a combined business office provides. Several business office model alternatives have been roughed out in recent Board meetings, but none have been discussed with the Richmond principals. Accordingly, Steve will discuss business office transition plans with Mike Broadbent, the Superintendent in Richmond.

These are politically and financially uncertain times, which have been further destabilized by upcoming elections. There is a possibility that stimulus funds could become available on short notice – as they were last year. Consequently, it is deemed prudent to agree on a candidate project, and some rough budget numbers, in case such funds were to materialize. The candidate project is the Millay Road loop. Its length is 1000 feet; its size is 8-inch, its material is fusion welded HDPE and its design is “cross country”, meaning without hydrants. The rough cost of materials and installation is $75 per foot and the project cost is $100,000. Steve agreed to get some real-world numbers in order to better position ourselves. However, it was agreed that any stimulus funding package would have to be especially beneficial to the District before any such project would be approved by the Board.

VOTED: On motion of Miller, seconded by Cox to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 p.m. So voted.