2008-09-18 Water District Trustees Minutes


MEMBERS PRESENT:                                                                       OTHERS PRESENT:
Don Oakes - Chairman                                                             Arthur McLean - Superintendent
Harvey Freeman - Clerk                                                                       Gina Flower - Office Manager
Stephen Cox - Trustee                                                                          Stephanie Fecteau - Maine State
Gordon Johnson - Trustee                                                                                Retirement System
                                                                                                            Brian Smith - District Customer
            The meeting was brought to order at 6:40 p.m. by Chairman Oakes
            Stephanie Fecteau was present to discuss the District's and Arthur's options should the District decide to become a member of Maine State Retirement System.
            The different options were discussed as well as the costs and benefits associated with each option.
            It was asked if Arthur could roll his current retirement funds into Maine State Retirement and the answer was yes. MSRS would have to conduct an actuarial study, using the number of years and salary paid since Arthur started work to calculate how much money he could contribute to buy back some or all of his previous years’ service.   There would be a charge for the actuarial study the cost of which would be borne by either the District or Arthur, or perhaps a combination of both.
            Should the District decide to join MSRS using the No COLA plan, which has a lower contribution rate, they could change to a COLA plan on January or July of any year. The change would affect future rates only and the joining rate would not increase. If the District did change from No COLA to COLA, all of Arthur's past service up to the change date would be at the no COLA rate.
            Stephanie also noted that MSRS also includes pre-retirement death benefits. There are different payment options for the beneficiary for the pre-retirement death benefits. The employee can choose which option he wants. There is also Long Term Disability benefits, should an employee be permanently unable to do his/her job. The benefits for this are 59% of the average salary. The employee must work at least 15 hours per week and 720 hours in a 12 month period to qualify for the benefits.
            Stephanie also discussed the portability of MSRS Benefits. Should an employee stop working for Bowdoinham Water District and go to work for another District that belongs to MSRS his/her benefits can be continued without any disruption of benefits.
            Should the District decide to join MSRS, the paperwork would have to be submitted prior to the end of the year for the January 1, 2009 deadline, otherwise we would have to wait until July, 2009 to join. 
            Stephanie Fecteau left at 7:20 p.m.
            Brian Smith was present to discuss his options for getting water service to some property he owns off Main Street and Preble Road in Bowdoinham.
            He presented a sketch that he had drawn up that showed approximately where the lots are that he would like to develop and showed the Trustees what he had in mind for the lots. The lots in question are back from Main Street and any water line would have to be run quite a distance and would be considered a main extension if the development was proposed as a subdivision.  Brian was told that the District does not contribute to any main extensions so any cost associated with this water service would have to be borne by him. He was also reminded that each lot would have to have a separate line into it so that each lot could be turned on and off when necessary. According to Public Utilities Commission rules, no lot can be run off another lot, that would make the line a main instead of a service line and that is what the District is trying to avoid. Brian requested a letter from the District which would summarize all of our points.
            Brian Smith left at 8:00 p.m.
            Brant Miller arrived at 8:15 p.m.
            The Trustees discussed Brian's plans after he left. It was agreed that if the Planning Board needs something from the District stating that we could serve these lots, that would be okay, but we would need an official request for such information first. Also, the matter should be addressed only as a proposed service line. Don will draft a letter to Brian Smith letting him know the District's stand on the matter of the development of the lots in question.
VOTED: On motion of Johnson, seconded by Freeman to approve the minutes from the meeting held on
                 August 21, 2008. Three of the Trustees voted to approve, Steve abstained since he was not
                 present at last month's meeting.
VOTED: On motion of Freeman, seconded by Johnson to approve the financial report for the month of
                 August as written. So voted.
            The warrant for the month was reviewed and approved in the amount of $24,093.00.
            The checking statement for the month of August was reviewed and approved by the Treasurer.
            Gina noted that the District received a dividend check from Maine Municipal Association in the amount of $262 for cost savings realized in the Workers Compensation Fund and the Property and Casualty Pool.
            The difference between the 2007 and 2008 pumping figures was discussed. There has been a significant decrease in the amount of water pumped since the leaks were discovered and repaired. Next month Gina will also include the amount of water sold for the year to date as well as the difference between what has been sold and what has been pumped.
            Arthur noted that the new gate valves have been installed on Main Street.   The work was done with the assistance of Ray Labbe and Sons. Arthur did take pictures of the work as it was being done.
            The matter of water running on the property of James Read was discussed. Arthur said that he had checked the area and there does not appear to be a water leak, just ground water.
            The survey of the property in Bowdoin has been finished. Copies of the boundary maps were shown to the Board. Everything will be recorded by the surveyor.
VOTED: On motion of Miller, seconded by Johnson to make the bill from Wheeler Surveyors a part of
                 tonight's warrant. So voted.
            The personnel policy that is being worked on was discussed. It was suggested that any forms pertinent to the policy should be included in the finished policy. The policy will be on the October agenda for comments only.
VOTED: On motion of Miller, seconded by Cox to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 p.m. So voted.