2011-05-19 Water District Trustees Minutes









MEMBERS PRESENT:                                                           OTHERS PRESENT:


Don Oakes – Chairman                                                            Arthur McLean – Superintendent

Brant Miller – Treasurer                                                            Gina Flower – Office Manager

Harvey Freeman – Clerk

Stephen Cox – Trustee



            The Public Hearing was brought to order at 6:30 p.m. by the Chairman of the Board.  The Hearing was held at the Town Office in Bowdoinham for the purpose of answering any questions the public might have regarding the proposed water rate increase.  The public was notified of the hearing by way of a legal notice in the Times Record on May 3, 2011 as well as individual notifications that were sent to each and every customer of the District on May 2, 2011.


            Since no customers were present for the Public Hearing, it was agreed to change the order of the meeting in case any customers showed up late for the hearing.  The Trustees went on to the regular agenda and will return to the matter of the rate increase later.


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

                 on April 21, 2011 as written. 


            Art and Don met with a representative from Chaplain Associates regarding a SCADA system they offer.  It was decided that this system has some limitations and would not work for the District as was first thought.


            Art noted that Fairpoint has DSL in the Bowdoin area now and would add about $18/month to the telephone bill to get DSL at the station.  With “PCAnywhere” or similar software, Art could access the station from any remote location with internet service.  Steve will check with some of his contacts to see what might out there to help us.


            The State installed new guardrails on Route 24 leading to and from the Cathance River bridge and since our water line is in the area they were working, Art spent several days with them making sure they did not disturb our lines.


            It was noted that Central Maine Power Co. will be moving some poles during the Center Street project, which should start in August.  Art will check this out and make sure they are not near any of our water lines.    Art also noted that DOT will be doing some work this summer that could affect us.   They will be doing some overlaying on Route 24.  Art will monitor this job as well.


            The water meter at the McMullen residence has been downsized from a 1” to a 5/8” at the customer’s request.  All of the plumbing work was done by the customer; all Art had to do was install the new meter.


            Last month the Board asked Gina to check on CD rates at some other banks.  With the rates they way they are (very low), it was agreed to leave the funds as they are for the present time.


VOTED:  On motion of Miller, seconded by Cox to approve the financial report for the month of

                 April as written.  So voted.


            The warrant for the month was reviewed and approved in the amount of $8,531.66.


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


VOTED:  On motion of Miller, seconded by Cox to go back to the Public Hearing at 7:09 p.m.


            The Chairman read the brief statement required by State Law.


            Gina noted that since the District is only asking for a 4.5% increase this time, the minimum rate for customers will only increase by $2.93 per quarter.  She handed out a sheet showing rates for surrounding towns and noted that this increase would not substantially change our standing on the list.  She also noted that a lot of other towns in the area are or have recently raised their rates as well.  Most increases by other District were in the 20% to 40% range.


            It was noted by Steve that the new rate will result in a water cost to customers of still less than a penny per gallon at the 9,000 gallon per quarter rate for residences.


VOTED:  On motion of Miller, seconded by Freeman to approve the 4.5% increase and have

                  the Chairman sign 3 sets of the proposed rate schedule.  Since there was no public

                  present the Public Hearing was adjourned at 7:09 p.m.  So voted.


            The matter of rehabbing the well was discussed briefly.  The matter will be discussed further at the next meeting.


            The Board briefly discussed the matter of the business services that are currently provided to Bowdoinham by Richmond Utilities District.  Gina provided a copy of a list of the hours spent on various business tasks for the past month, a list requested by Mike Broadbent, Richmond superintendent.  Eventually, Richmond plans to re-draw the contract for business services provided to Bowdoinham.  This initiative is all part of a greater plan to better define the business manager’s job when hiring a replacement for Gina when she retires in September. 


            Steve noted that all funds designated as reserve funds each year should not total over 5% of the total budget.  Gina will make note of this and make sure we comply with this ruling.


VOTED:  On motion of Miller, seconded by Cox to adjourn the meeting at 7:37 p.m.  So voted.