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 Monday, August 06, 2018 in the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Ralph Ross, Commissioner Peter Cooper, Commissioner Schuyler Sweet, and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the July 16, 2018 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Sweet made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Cooper.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
CUSTOMER & PUBLIC CONCERNS:
Mr. Rudy Gelsi discussed with the BOC that many of the town’s citizens that he speaks with are not aware that electric rates are going up eleven (11) percent on August 1st because LWL gave $155,000 to the river district project. He also stated that he made two (2) hundred public fliers (presented the BOC with a copy) and passed them out to his constituents throughout the town. He stated that LWL did not do a good job of notifying the public as to the increase as it was never placed on the radio or picked up by the newspapers. Mr. Gelsi stated the LWL could have done a separate mailing to inform customers of the pending rate increase, though he admitted that he did not know how much that would cost.
Commissioner Ross advised Mr. Gelsi that LWL posted notice in both local papers in early July and that the minutes are publically available but in the future LWL would endeavor to do better about notifying additional media outlets as required.
There was some back and forth discussion between the BOC and Mr. Gelsi as to the need and reasons behind the rate increase. Mr. Gelsi strongly asserted that the reason that rates are increasing is because LWL gave the money and has been giving money to support the river district and that LWL is not being transparent about why the rates are going up.
Mr. Ross restated that the reasons for the increase have been well defined and are due to rising wholesale and transmission power supply cost especially capacity expenses. The rate increase is aimed at strengthening LWL operating margins which has declined through the first half of the year. No money has been given to the river district project to date though the timing of the Towns request for funds and the rate increase are not ideal and are only coincidental.
Mr. Gelsi strongly stated that he did not agree with the BOC explanations in regard to LWL involvement or transparency with the river district project. He further stated that he does not agree with how the eleven (11) percent rate increase is being implemented or the reasons behind the needed rate increase and left the meeting at about 1:45 p.m. without further comment.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. The BOC was advised that Daymark Energy (La Capra – ISONE liaisons) plan to attend their August 20, 2018 meeting and present the BOC with an update in regard to the wholesale power supply markets.
2. The BOC briefly reviewed and discussed the scoring results of the use of funds from the NHDES Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund. The proposed LWL project to relocate a portion of the transmission main qualified for funding consideration though ranked out of the funding range for 2018. Project design is progressing and it is anticipated that it will be completed later this fall.
3. Geosphere Environmental submitted a report that summarizes the installation of two (2) 8-inch wells on Lafayette Avenue behind the LWL office and stated that the potential water yield of Well site B is encouraging and recommended further development. Geosphere will prepare a scope of work and budgetary figures for LWL consideration.
4. As a result of the heat wave that hit the region during the July 4th weekend the New England electrical system (ISONE) attained it 2018 summer peak on July 5, 2018 at 6 p.m. Though the LWL system peaked at 3 p.m. its coincidental (at 6 p.m.) system peak was 13.3 MW. The summer peak is significant in that it is the bench mark for determining LWLs system capacity (demand) obligation for next year. This peak number represents an annual wholesale power supply expense of about $1.4 million dollar impact to the operating budget.
5. The business office of the IBEW (union) advised LWL that the union is interested in making changes to their collective bargaining agreement that is due to expire on December 31, 2018.
GENERAL/ OTHER BUSINESS:
The BOC reviewed a proposal submitted by Next Era Energy to blend LWL current power supply energy contracts at a slightly lower price and extend the contract out for five (5) years to 2027.
Mr. Considine stated that Daymark was asked to give an opinion which most likely will happen when they attend the next BOC meeting.
Commissioner Cooper made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 2:36 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.