Wastewater Subcommittee Meeting Minutes (draft) 9.1.22

Arlington Wastewater Subcommittee

9/1/2022 Meeting


Members Present:  Steve McClafferty, Dan Harvey, Andy Curtis, Matt Bykowski, Jamie Paustian, Cynthia Browning, Andrew Rodriguez

Members Absent:  None

Also Present: Nick Zaiac

Call to Order at 7:00 PM by Chairperson Harvey

Motion to approve the minutes of the previous meeting as presented by Member McClafferty seconded by Member Curtis. Approved 4-0 by those present at the previous meeting.

The Town Administrator briefed the group on the task at hand, noting there were 3 proposals, the minimum number required to be interviewed as part of the award process. Proposals were from Otter Creek Engineering, DuBois & King, and MSK Engineering. He shared a table depicting a rubric he prepared to that depicted the completeness of the proposals, finding all met the minimum criteria. The group proceeded to take time to review the three responses.

Prior to proceeding, Member Rodriguez recused himself from the discussion due to a conflict of interest. The group began discussing the proposals with members suggesting preliminary rankings, and confirming the Town Administrator’s completeness review. Member Bykowski noted MSK’s proposal lacked evidence of much work on similar-scale proposals around the state. Members noted DuBois and King’s proposal lacked a unified references section, although the Town Administrator noted that certain guidance documents used by the state as part of wastewater planning programs conflate “examples” and “references”. Members acknowledged that all 3 firms have worked or are currently working with Arlington entities on various projects, including 2 previous wastewater studies by DuBois and King, municipal structural engineering by MSK, and municipal water and school wastewater studies by Otter Creek. Playing into the listed “experience with VT wastewater programs” criteria Member Curtis voiced support for MSK and Otter Creek on grounds that both firms are slightly smaller and typically more-responsive, a key factor in a state where many projects have unforeseen complications. Members also considered as part of this criteria that smaller firms that do more work in the region may have greater experience and incentive to support the bidding and back-end portions of the study, as well as incentive to successfully cooperate with the separate entity that will prepare the system’s economic analysis.

The group briefly turned to the “Next Steps” agenda item prior to finalizing the decision. The group discussed the timeline for the execution of any project, and whether the ongoing infusion of federal funds will accelerate this timeline. The Town Administrator noted that this could make the process faster, but it is more likely that new federal funds will move through existing programs whose scoring criteria favor projects in places with problems like have been documented in Arlington for decades. The Town Administrator shared a list of suggested interview items, with members planning to think of more questions later.

Interviews will be at the next regular meeting on 9/15/22 at 7 pm.

The group expressed a unified sense of the committee(excluding the conflicted member) confirming that all 3 firms would move forward, and that the initial ranking would be: 1. Otter Creek Engineering 2. MSK Engineering 3. DuBois and King.

Motion to adjourn by Member Browning, seconded by Member Bykowski, vote unanimous, adjourned at 7:57

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