The Board meets on the first and third Monday of each month. Meetings begin at 1:00 p.m. and are held in the department conference room at 65 Lafayette Ave, Littleton. Board meetings are open to the public and time is allotted for public comments at each meeting.
The regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting began at 1:00 p.m. on January 17, 2017 in the office of Littleton Water and Light (LWL) general manager. Present were Commissioner Eddy Moore, Commissioner Perry Goodell, Commissioner Ralph Ross and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
(Note: Accountants from Vachon Clukay & Company had their equipment set up in the conference room conducting year-end financial audit.)
The minutes of the January 3, 2017 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Goodell made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Ross.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Mr. Kevin Sorrell, Chief Water Operator for LWL, discussed the results of bids received with regard to purchasing a replacement utility pickup for the water division.
Mr. Considine stated that the 2008 Ford 350 plow truck is fully depreciated and in fairly good shape with about 60,000 miles. 2016 operating repairs were higher than normal signifying that it was time for replacement.
Mr. Sorrell stated that three (3) bids were solicited from local automotive/ light truck dealers for both a ¾ and 1 ton pickup with a utility body. After discussing the available options the bid submittal proposed by North Country Ford for a 1-ton F-350 utility (bid offer $33,327) is best suited for LWL operations. The low bid (Crosstown Motors) was $ 687 less though the final decision came down of operator preference as the existing vehicle has performed well with low life cycle operating expenses that drove up the trade in allowance.
The plow and hitch assembly will be a separate purchase with Ash Supply for $4,800 versus a turn-key with the deal as this is a more cost effective option. A stainless steel plow skin option is available for an additional $500 if desired.
Commissioner Ross suggested that the stainless steel plow be purchased as this will cut down on the annual maintenance cost that is typically associated with a standard steel plow skin.
The total cost of the new vehicle less the wiring of the FM radios and body undercoating is $38,627.
The BOC agreed with Mr. Sorrell’s assessment and recommendation and thanked him for his due diligence and thorough work on behalf of LWL. Mr. Sorrell thanked the BOC and departed the meeting.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. Day two (2) of a planned three (3) day audit is going well as they review the LWL 2016 year-end financials. Day one (1) consisted on inventory control and payroll and was accomplished previously in December 2016 during the annual physical count of the on-hand materials inventory.
2. The BOC looked at and inspected a piece of equipment (lightning arrestor) off a circuit regulator at the Burndy Substation that was damaged as a direct result of the severe wind storm (wind gusts reported at about 60 MPH) that hit the area on Tuesday, January 10, 2017. Several pictures were shown the BOC that clarified the physical damaged incurred to the Burndy regulator. The damage resulted from a fallen branch (½” diameter) that caused the equipment to short circuit. This was a significant overcurrent event as the fault current was recorded at about 2,000 amperes to ground. The overcurrent fault initiated the circuit breaker to operate several time before finally opening as the fault could not be cleared. The open breaker resulted in a power outage affecting mostly the Meadow Street area and some side streets. LWL on-call personnel already responding to other scattered outages responded quickly and were able to restore power in less than 90 minutes to the affected area. Fortunately the overall outages sustained system wide as a result of the high winds was localized and manageable by the one on-call crew though they worked throughout the night. The relatively small number of localized outages in light of the severe wind storm and minimal duration of each outage demonstrates the effectiveness of the LWL annual preventative maintenance tree trimming program and prompt response time of LWL on-call personnel.
A spare regulator was available fortunately and the station was returned to normal operations on Friday, January 13, 2017. Additional testing will be conducted on the regulator to assess any potential damage caused during the initial overcurrent event.
3. Several graphs that depict annual LWL products sales were reviewed with the BOC. The graphs show a declining trend in overall products sales (power/ energy and water) over the past several years. For the year ended 2016 energy sales were 68.3 Mwh as compared to 72.5 Mwh for 2015 down 5.9% or about 4.2 Mwhs. For the year ended 2016 water sales were 126.1 Mgals as compared to 129.4 Mgals in 2015 a drop of 2.5 percent or about 3.3 Mgals. Some of the decline in sales can be attributed to home/ business efficiency improvements such as LED lighting and water saver type appliances. A stagnated local business operating environment is also a contributing factor affecting sales as relatively no new load growth has been added to the system over the past several years.
GENERAL/ OTHER BUSINESS:
1. The BOC reviewed a letter of engagement provided by Vachon Clukay & Company (auditors) that details the terms, conditions and cost ($9,000) to provide year ended financial auditing service to LWL.
Following some additional discussion the BOC agreed with the conditions specified in the engagement agreement. Commissioner Goodell (BOC Secretary) and Superintendent Considine execute the agreement on behalf of the BOC and management.
2. Commissioner Moore stated that he had received several telephone calls over the past week or so from concerned customers complaining about the number and length of the electrical outages that have taken place recently.
Commissioner Goodell stated that you’re always going to have a number of power outages during storm and heavy wind events that are not preventable.
Superintendent Considine stated that there have only been two (2) outages recently that have affected a large number of customers and both were caused by significant storms and heavy winds. One outage was for six (6) minutes and the other was for over ninety (90) but was at 1 am and most people were not aware.
Commissioner Moore stated that preventative maintenance is the key and that the LWL needs to be conscious and pro-active when dealing with trees that could fall on to the electrical system and cause an outage that did not need to occur.
Commissioner Ross made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 2:05 p.m.
The regularly scheduled Commissioner’s meeting is held twice monthly on the first and third Monday, at 1:00 p.m., in the Department’s conference room.