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, May 6, 2019 in the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Peter Cooper (via telephone), Commissioner Schuyler Sweet, Commissioner Ralph Ross, Financial Director Cheryl Wilkins and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the April 15, 2019 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Sweet.
The vote was in favor of the motion 2-0-1.
CUSTOMER & PUBLIC CONCERNS:
1. Commissioner Ross was welcomed back to the BOC as he was reappointed for another three (3) year term by the Littleton Board of Selectmen at their April 22, 2019 regular select board meeting.
2. Mr. Stanley Fistick, resident at 30 Dodge Road spoke to the BOC with regard to an invoice that he received from the LWL for service rendered to repair/upgrade his electrical service. Mr. Fistick believes that the amount of the invoice ($1059) was excessive and ridiculous for the actual time that LWL spent on site. He asked the BOC to credit a portion of this invoice to more accurately reflect the time LWL personnel spent on the job. Mr. Fistick also stated that the problem was with the electrical service and that he feels that it was LWL problem and that he should not have received an invoice.
Mr. Considine stated that the Fistick residence had experienced voltage problems for several days and decided to call out the LWL on-call crew on a Sunday when the issues suddenly became worse. Sundays are paid at double time and the minimum call out pay is three (3) hours. There was also a portion that LWL previously credited to help reduce the total charges to the customer.
Mr. Fistick asked if there was some sort of disabled combat veterans credit or compensation that he would qualify for to help lower these costs.
The BOC explained that they would discuss Mr. Fistick’s request at a later time and that the LWL would get back to him in writing as to the BOC decision.
1. Mr. Bill Thomas representative of the NHDES Bureau of Dams and Rivers Restoration accompanied by Amy Singler from the Americas River Restoration and Dianne Timmins from the NH Fish and Game briefed the BOC as to their effort to remove the dam on the South Branch of the Gale River. They thanked the BOC for the information and stated that they typically do not receive construction plans and bid documents to review and that LWL has supplied all this information.
2. The dam was built in 1956 by the Curran Construction Company did not meet its anticipated potential or design intent which was to supplement the water supply at the North Branch (headwaters) and was abandoned by LWL and never actually placed in continual service. LWL built the dam and installed about 5,000 feet of water main uphill toward the sedimentation basis at the headwaters. The dam and water main were installed by LWL on land owned by the White Mountain National Forest via a special use permit which is unusual.
Mr. Thomas stated that today’s appointment was to brief the BOC and to verify that the LWL BOC still desires to proceed into design and permitting. The removal of the dam and benefits to all parties is a reason why they have received grant funding. This phase will be executed following an on-site meeting with representatives with the national forest personnel later this spring. Providing that everything keeps moving forward an August 2020 construction date is most likely though depends on funding. NHDES will decommission the dam as a potential water supply source when the removal is finalized.
The BOC expressed a willingness to proceed with the project as this will remove a potential liability and LWL has no long term plans to use the current facility.
Mr. Thomas thanked the BOC for their time and excused his team from the meeting.
3. Mr. Considine explained that he accompanied by Mr. Stan Faryniarz from Daymark Energy Advisors attended a meeting at the Eversource Energy engineering facility in Manchester, NH on April 22, 2019 in regard to a 115kV interconnection feasibility study.
Mr. Faryniarz reviewed a power point side deck with the BOC and explained that the preliminary costs estimates are very conservative and that Eversource considered this project as 100% distribution work.
This is because 34.5 kV is a common distribution voltage for Eversource and that voltage at 115 kV and above are considered transmission according to ISONE.
The substation construction estimated at $5 million would be shared 50/50 between LWL and Eversource and the 2 ˝ to 3 ˝ miles of a 34.5 kV overhead line extension would cost about $1 million a mile or about $2.5 to $3.5 million dollars. Based on the Eversouce’s construction cost estimate and a proposed eighteen (18) percent carrying charge the annual cost to LWL would be about ľ to 1 million dollars per year or about one (1) to 1-1/2 cents per kWh added to the rate. No specifics were discussed and these dollar values are very rough.
Commissioner Sweet asked what the offset or payback would be on this significant system investment.
Mr. Considine stated that any return on our investment would be hard to measure tangible. Power quality, reliability, faster and more efficient power restoration and redundancy would be improved over time. Some National Grid expenses may be reduced but they are not expected to be significant.
Commissioner Ross stated that other alternatives will need to be explored before presenting this plan to the public at a deliberative session or town meeting if bonding was needed. It might be more economical to build an access road through the easement along the existing pole line or purchase specialized equipment.
Commissioner Sweet stated that this is another example of how LWL must evaluate and mitigate risk. The real question is whether or not the estimated annual cost of about $1 million is worth securing improving reliability, access, and redundancy.
Mr. Faryniarz stated that he believes the actual cost will be much less and LWL will be able to buy down the capital cost of both the substation and overhead line construction cost. LWL most likely will be able to borrow funds at a much less rate than at 18% which will greatly reduce construction cost to something less than one (1) cent/ kWh.
Mr. Faryniarz stated that another unknown is what conditions National Grid (LWL current transmission provider) will require for some amount of stand-by power capacity and at what cost. He thinks that Daymark may have some data from other clients that he could review and will advise Mr. Considine of his findings.
Following some general discussion with regard to Eversouce’s proposal Mr. Faryniarz excused himself from the meeting.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
LWL newest line person, Rob Duranleau reported to his first day of work today. He will be introduced to the BOC at a later meeting.
GENERAL/ OTHER BUSINESS:
1. LWL was awarded a Asset Management grant by NHDES on May 1, 2019. This project will record all water system above ground (vertical) inventory, plant and other asset in accordance with EPA guidelines. Dufrense Group Engineering will assist LWL in the administering and completion of this project.
2. LWL received two (2) bid proposals for a PV solar array one at the water intake and the other here at the Lafayette shop. They were submitted by Smart Energy of NE of Colebrook, NH in the amount of about $10,000 and $21,000 respectively. The existing solar panels at the Gale River generator building will be replaced with a new 2.1 kW array that is ground mounted that will feed into the battery bank. At the Lafayette Avenue shop an 8 kW array will feed into the offices main electrical AC distribution panel. Both projects were discussed and reviewed by the BOC during LWL annual capital project review though the Lafayette Avenue project did not have a proposed cost at that time.
The BOC was in agreement to proceed with both these project.
3. The BOC discussed Mr. Fistick’s request that LWL credit some of the invoice back. Following some discussion the BOC were in agreement that LWL has demonstrated some empathy for the situation as LWL did not charge all of the expense and that the damages were not on LWL equipment. BOC directed that the invoice be reviewed and that the detailed letter be sent to Mr. Fistick explaining why they incurred the charges that they did.
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 2:47 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.