MINUTES OF MEETING October 18, 2021

Commissioners  in Attendance:   Dan Harvey, Matthew Bykowski, Cynthia Browning, Glenn Sherman

Commissioners Absent: Todd Wilkins

Also in  Attendance: AWD Chief Operator- Burr Snow, Town Administrator- Nick Zaiac, and Janet Barry on phone.

The meeting was called to order by Mr. Harvey at 7:00PM

Minutes of the Meeting on July 19, 2021:  Ms. Browning made a motion to accept as presented, the minutes of the meeting of July 19, 2021. Mr. Bykowski seconded. Motion passed with Mr. Sherman abstaining because he was not in attendance at the meeting.

New Business:  Billing Appeal: Mr. Snow supplied a letter asking to appeal a Water Department bill to the Board and Mr. Zaiac, from Henry Bolster. Mr. Snow was unable to read the meter in the 1st Quarter due to Covid regulations and the meter being in the basement of the residence, so the homeowners were charged the basic, 11,000-gallon rate. The meter was falling off the wall, and after Covid regulations subsided, Mr. Snow was able to reaffix the meter to the wall and read the meter for 2nd Quarter billing, which read 51,000 gallons of usage, which resulted in a large jump in the homeowner’s bill, and a request for appeal of the amount. The homeowner told Mr. Snow that they did have to run their water in the pipes to keep them from freezing in the winter, which was a reasonable cause for the increase of water usage. The Board discussed the details with Mr. Snow, who said the meter needing to be reaffixed could not have caused the overage. The Board deemed there was no basis for forgiveness, due to the fact that the homeowners said they  kept their water running in pipes to avoid winter freezing of the pipes. Ms. Browning made a motion to grant the Henry Bolster appeal. Mr. Bykowski seconded. There no affirmative votes to the motion, and four votes opposed to the motion. Motion did not pass. Mr. Zaiac will draft a letter to the Bolster’s, explaining the denial.

Chief Administrator Compensation Rate: The Board reviewed the memo from Mr. Zaiac, concerning setting his rate of pay for Water Department labor to $32.93 per hour, payable through payroll, as was discussed at a September Select Board meeting. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to set the WD Chief Administrator wage to $32.93 per hour. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Review of Aged Billables:  Mr. Zaiac said he is proud of the ratepayers with overdue balances who have been sticking to their payment plans. He said there were several ratepayers who were eligible for utility bill assistance from the State, from between $500-$1000 each. It was agreed that the numbers were down, and the plan to collect overdue balances is working and will continue going forward.

Old Business:  ARPA Update:   Mr. Zaiac said Mr. Snow had a successful meeting with the Sunderland Select Board, and while it’s early in the process, they seemed interested in working with the Town on a WD Chiselville project, and contributing some of their ARPA money for the project.

Otter Creek Engineering Study:  The proposal from Otter Creek Engineering for a preliminary study of potential impacts related to the elimination of the booster pump station on South Road was discussed. Mr. Zaiac said there was now clarification that addressing the “Grey House’ issues can be separate from addressing the issues of the other houses in question on South Road, as have been discussed at many past meetings. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to approve and award the engineering study contract as presented to Otter Creek Engineering in the amount of $5250. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Executive Session:  Mr. Bykowski made a motion that premature discussion of a personnel issue would cause the municipality to suffer substantial disadvantage. Seconded by Mr. Sherman. Motion carried. Mr. Bykowski made a motion to enter into Executive Session for discussion of a personnel issue, and to allow Chief Administrator, Nick Zaiac, and Chief Operator, Burr Snow, to remain in the room. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed.

The Board entered Executive Session at 7:28PM. The Board exited Executive Session at 7:56PM. No decisions were made as a result of the Executive Session.

Ms. Browning made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Sherman seconded. Motion passed unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 7:57PM.

Other Business: None

Mr. Bykowski made a motion to adjourn. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 7:56PM.

Minutes taken by Janet Barry

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