2011-04-21 Water District Trustees Minutes




MEMBERS PRESENT:                                               OTHERS PRESENT:


Don Oakes – Chairman                                                Arthur McLean – Superintendent

Brant Miller – Treasurer                                                Gina Flower – Office Manager

Harvey Freeman – Treasurer                                        Michael Broadbent – Superintendent of

Gordon Johnson – Trustee                                                        Richmond Utilities District



            The meeting was brought to order at 6:36 p.m. by Chairman Oakes.


            Since Art wanted to leave early, his report was taken first this evening.


            Art reported that there was another leak on Bay Road – within 50 feet of the January leak.  This leak was similar in nature to the earlier leak. The leak occurred last weekend and was found because of a low storage alarm at the McIver Road tank.  Art had Ray Labbe come to aid with the repair.  Art estimates that we lost about 127,000 gallons of water due to the leak. 


            Art was just notified that the State plans on doing an overlay on Route 24 from Topsham to Gardiner this summer.  There are about 6 gate boxes on this stretch of road that should be repaired and/or raised prior to the paving.


            The Center Street Sidewalk Project has not gone out to bid yet.  It is still unclear as to whether or not the project will be done this year.


            The water samples were done this month, including a special test for asbestos that had to be sent to a lab in Connecticut.  Brant asked why it went there and Art reported that out of the list of labs qualified to do the test, this one was the closest.  Brant wondered about Northeast Labs, which is a private lab not too far from here.  Art will check to see if their costs and qualifications match up to the state lab.


            Power Products were here in January to do the annual maintenance on the generator.  Since then Art has received several faxes from their office telling us that the antifreeze needs to be changed, and they want to charge $900 to have someone come from Massachusetts to do the job.  Art says that the antifreeze was changed several years ago during a regular maintenance visit and doesn’t feel that it needs to be done again this soon.  He will follow up on the matter.


            Art noted that the well is at its highest level of the year at the present time and that during the next month or so would be the best time to redevelop the well.


            Art has purchased the part needed by Mrs. McMullen on Fisher Road to change her meter from a 2” to a 5/8” meter.  The work to downsize the meter will have to be done by her and we will sell her the necessary parts at cost.


            Art has been attending some informational meetings with other local Superintendents – the Mid Coast Utilities Directors.   The meetings are for the purpose of sharing information, assets, personnel, etc.  But the most beneficial asset of the meetings is the sharing of knowledge, ideas and history with each other. 

            Mike Broadbent, the Superintendent from Richmond was present to go over a few items with the Board.  Noting that Gina will be retiring soon he wanted the Board to feel assured that things will continue as they have been as far as the Bowdoinham work is concerned.  Richmond plans on having the new Office Manager starting by July 5th, which will give them about 2 months of training before Gina retires.  Mike would like to see a couple of changes during the transition to improve communication between the two districts.  He has also been working on a revised contract between the two districts.  He suggests setting up a meeting between the two Boards to discuss the contract and the possible changes that he has been working on.  The Board agreed that a meeting of the two Districts would be a good idea.  Mike will run the idea by the Richmond Board and get back to the Bowdoinham Board with some possible dates for the meeting.


            Mike left at 7:10 p.m.


VOTED:  On motion of Miller, seconded by Johnson to approve the minutes of the meeting held

                 on March 17, 2011 as written.  So voted.


            The financial report for March was discussed.  In the report there is a contingency figure of $718 in the Employee Benefits section.  It was agreed that this figure can be transferred to the General Repair & Maintenance section to help balance the Service & Line Maintenance line item.


VOTED:  On motion of Miller, seconded by Johnson to approve March financial report as written.

                 So voted.


            The warrant for the month was reviewed and approved in the amount of $12,570.41.


            Don presented a bill in the amount of $180 for the time and mileage he used while working on the rate case material.  The bill did not get on this month’s warrant since it was not previously approved by the Board.  The other Trustees appreciated the time and effort he put into the rate case and approved his request for payment.  The bill will be included in next month’s warrant.


            The checking statements for the months of February and March were reviewed and approved by the Treasurer.


            Gina and Don went over the rate increase material with the other Trustees.  The material was sent to PUC on April 14th.  It was sent by certified mail so we know they received the material, but we have not heard from them yet regarding the matter.  If everything is approved by PUC, the Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, May 19th, in conjunction with the May Trustee meeting. 


            Gina noted that she was contacted by a woman who is trying to get permission to purchase and use the old Fire Station and Downeast Credit Union building on Main Street as an adult Trade School.  Gina gave her a letter from the District stating that such an endeavor would not pose any burden on the present or future water services.  She did mention in the letter that if there was a need for any kind of sprinkler system in either of the buildings that would be a cost borne by the owner.


            Gina presented the water comparison sheet for the first quarter.  There is a difference of about 12.7% between what was pumped and sold during January, February and March.  There was the leak on Bay Road and a fire in Bowdoin that used some unaccounted water during that time period so the actual difference would be closer to 10.4%.  This is pretty good, but there still might be some leaks out there.


            Gordon has been going over Art’s time sheets, trying to put together some kind of graph that would show a history of different aspects of the District, including leaks, equipment repairs, asset changes, etc.  He is missing some of the time sheets and wondered if Gina could get him the ones he needs if he forwarded the months in question.  Gina said that either she or Art could get that information to him.


            It was suggested that the District have an open house at the McIver Road Pump Station this summer and invite both fire departments.  It was agreed that this would be a good idea and it was suggested that July would be a good time to hold an open house.  The Board members will work at pulling this together.


            Gordon updated the Board on several items that will likely be under Legislative review this session.


VOTED:  On motion of Miller, seconded by Johnson to go into Executive Session as 8:30 p.m.

                 So voted.


VOTED:  On motion of Miller, seconded by Johnson to come out of Executive Session as 8:37.

                 So voted.


VOTED:  On motion of Miller, seconded by Johnson to pay Gina $200 as an honorarium and in

                 recognition for her extra weekend hours at home in the preparation and support of the

                 Rate Increase package.  So voted.


            It was suggested that Gina’s honorarium and the one paid Don each be subtracted from the $3,000 set aside in the budget for the rate increase.  The remainder of the set-aside will stay in place to pick up the other costs of the rate increase, such as legal advertising and mailings.  At this time, it appears that the rate increase application will be successful and that the savings, compared to an application prepared by a consultant – which was bid at $3,000 – will be substantial.


VOTED:  On motion of Brant, seconded by Freeman to adjourn the meeting at 8:39 p.m.  So