Water Department Meeting Minutes 4.15.24 (draft)


MINUTES OF MEETING of April 15, 2024

Commissioners  in Attendance:     Dan Harvey, Cynthia Browning, and Jamie Paustian

Commissioners Absent:  Todd Wilkins and Glenn Sherman

Also in  Attendance: AWD Chief Operator- Burr Snow, Mark Rondeau – Bennington Banner, Town Administrator- Nick Zaiac, and Janet Barry, via Zoom.

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

Public Comments: None

Report of the Chief Operating Officer:  Mr. Snow said there had been infrastructure improvement with a curb valve that needed immediate repair in February. James Hawley worked on the project. He had two quotes for a new fire hydrant on  East Arlington Road, one from Kennedy for $4,310 and one from Watrus for $4,646. It was discussed that the Watrus hydrant is a better product and is standardized.  Ms. Browning made a motion to  switch to Watrus hydrants as hydrants are replaced going forward. Mr. Paustian seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously with Mr. Wilkins and Mr. Sherman absent.  Ms. Browning made a motion to authorize the purchase of one Watrus hydrant, not to exceed $4,646. Mr. Paustian seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously, with Mr. Wilkins and Mr. Sherman absent.

Mr. Snow said there were no water main breaks and water production remains historically low.

New Business:  RFP Extension: Ms. Browning made a motion to extend the hydrology analysis RFP until June 1, 2024. Mr. Paustian seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously, with Mr. Wilkins and Mr. Sherman absent.

Major Projects Update: The Water Board, Mr. Snow and Mr. Zaiac reviewed which Water Department projects have been completed and what is yet to be done. It was discussed that the 7A project, the connector on E. Arlington Road to Warm Brook Road, Ice Pond Road, and Munn Terrace are all completed. Chiselville is not yet done. Ms. Browning said she would like to prioritize which projects move forward at the next meeting, which is scheduled for July 15, 2024. Mr. Zaiac said he is working on a master project list.

Aged Receivables: The Commissioners, Mr. Snow, and Mr. Zaiac reviewed the Aged Receivables.  Mr. Zaiac said four shut-off notices had been sent out, with 100% compliance. One home was shut-off, but restored per state law with a payment and agreement. It was discussed that warning letters had been sent to higher balances and there are now active payment plans in place. It was discussed that the source of a major leak at a home with the highest balance has been discovered and addressed, and the payment plan is the largest in Water Department history. Most plans are for one to three years, depending on the balances owed and the resident’s ability to pay. It was discussed that there has been a lot of progress made, and there is hope that people will stick to their payment plans.  The number of balances over 120 days is ticking down, and it was discussed that gentle warning letters can be sent for balances above $400.

Mr. Paustian made a motion to adjourn. Ms. Browning seconded. Motion passed unanimously with members present, and the meeting adjourned at 7:24PM.

Minutes taken by Janet Barry

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