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 Tuesday, January 19, 2010 in the Littleton Water and Light Department (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Ralph Ross, Commissioner Eddy Moore, Commissioner Perry Goodell, Financial Services Director Cheryl Wilkins and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of January 4, 2010 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Moore made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Ross.
The vote was in favor 3-0-0.
Superintendent Considine discussed with the BOC the Department’s procedure for dealing with a request for “water off” with regard to closing a residence down for the winter.
After November 15th and prior to April 15th the Department will attempt to shut the water off at the customer’s request. If the service is located in the travel way LWL will not make repairs to a service line or underground equipment unless an emergency condition exists. LWL, at its sole discretion, may choose to repair the equipment if the equipment is located outside the travel way. It is the customer’s responsibility to safeguard the service line, meter, and equipment whether the water is shut off or not.
The BOC was in agreement with Superintendent Considine’s assessment as stated above.
FINANCIAL DIRECTORS REPORT:
1. Mrs. Wilkins discussed a proposal to offer on-line web payments (IWEB) to LWL customers with the BOC. The IWEB portal compliments the InHance utility billing software and allows customers to pay their LWL invoice on the internet and have real time access to their billing information.
The licensing fee for the software is $3,500 plus incidental expenses to install and test the program. In addition to the credit card processing fee which is about $2.50 per transaction an IWEB transaction will cost an additional $1.00. Presently the credit card processing fees are applied equally across the customer base.
LWL office staff is concerned that the processing speed of the server may be affected by the additional usage as customers view their billing information. Several requests for information were sent to InHance for clarification.
Commissioner Ross stated that system security concerns should be addressed to LWL’s satisfaction.
Superintendent Considine stated that most likely if the Department were to absorb another transaction fee that the meter and billing charges would have to be adjusted when the rate tariff is reviewed. Over 2,100 debit and credit card transactions were processed by the department last year in which we collected about six (6) percent of the Departments overall revenue at a processing cost of about $5,300.
The BOC agreed that LWL will have to address a web payment system sooner or later and left it to the discretion of management to implement the program when they felt all their questions were satisfactorily addressed.
2. Auditors from J. Harding & Company, PLLC are scheduled to begin the 2009 year end audit of the LWL financials on February 1st.
SUPERINTENDENT/ MANAGERS REPORT:
1. The 2009 “Favors” (no payment solicited or debt forgiven) list was discussed and reviewed with the BOC. Service provided by LWL forces to the Town of Littleton and other non-profit organizations associated with the town amounted to about $89,000.
2. Superintendent stated that he will attend the Town of Littleton’s Planning Board meeting this evening to answer questions relative to a lot line adjustment needed to accommodate the proposed reservoir located adjacent to the Oak Hill Reservoir.
3. The Department was made aware last week that the NHDES has submitted the reservoir project for federal stimulus funding. It is not known at this time where the project will be ranked by NHDES. A meeting is also scheduled with the Granite State Rural Water Association this week to discuss funding alternatives for the new reservoir construction.
4. LWL submitted a written article/report to the town office for inclusion with the 2009 Annual Town Report. The BOC stated that they were satisfied with the content of the report.
5. Truck 12 is being repainted by North Country Ford following a lengthy and involved bid process which contributed to LWL receiving a partially painted vehicle. The truck will be available this week for our use.
6. A new fire connection/ protection fee was discussed with the BOC. There are two (2) levels of fire protection provided by the Department. Fire hydrants provide town citizens with general fire protection whereas a sprinkler connection provides a direct fire protection and suppression benefit. Customers with sprinklers or standpipe connections are provided immediate (or direct) fire suppression to the individual’s property that is not available to others on the hydrant system.
The rate for this service is being prepared and developed in accordance with the American Water Work Association (AWWA) M-1 standard rates for fire protection services. When refined the proposed rate will be submitted to the BOC for their review and comment.
Commissioner Ross stated that N.E. Tank wrote a letter directly to the BOC asking them to consider the use of a glass lined steel tank at Oak Hill in place of the pre-cast concrete tank that presently is being considered.
After some discussion the BOC agreed that unless the steel tank option presented a substantial construction cost savings that they plan to stay with the pre-cast concrete option.
Superintendent Considine stated that TAC-2 Communications gave him a heads up that the Federal Communication Committee (FCC) implemented changes in radio licensing that will effect all Department FM radio communication. The change is relative to using a radio frequency with a narrowband width. The FCC also set a timeline for Public Safety Pool licenses to convert to a narrowband frequency width by January 1, 2013. The impact to LWL would be that all FM truck radios and base stations most likely will need to be replaced.
This may be an opportunity for LWL to secure a separate operating frequency (for routine operations) and a common frequency for emergency communications with police and fire and to share the cost with town entities.
Commissioner Goodell made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 2:15 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.